The Bucket List

Having a “bucket list” could seem a bit silly, too much like “1000 Places to See Before You Die”. It is also far too sobering, when you realize you have a rather long list and maybe not enough years to work your way through it. On the other hand, one may as well be optimistic.

The Current List, as of 20 September 2018:

More national parks in the US! Still to be visited: Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Rocky Mountain National Park…not to mention monuments, memorials, and historic sites.

South Africa: We’re going! February 2019.

Scotland: Edinburgh…etc. We’re going! June 2019.

Normandy: Yes, *that* Normandy. Must see the beach. Robert would probably prefer to go to the south of France, birding in the Camargue.  Can we do both?

Montenegro: That’s Crna Gora to you. Another ex-Yugoslav country to see.

Botswana: Liza is probably overly influenced by reading the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, but on the other hand, the Okavango Delta sounds fabulous. Tried to include this in the planned South Africa trip but it doesn’t quite work, so…another time.

Morocco: “Round up the usual suspects!” Yes, Liza wants to go to Casablanca. So what if it bears no resemblance to the movie.

Southern Spain: This would likely be in conjunction with Morocco, and Gibraltar. Would love to get to Barcelona, Granada (for the Alhambra).

Turkey: It’s Istanbul, not Constantinople … why did Constantinople get the works? It’s nobody’s business but the Turks. Ok, more seriously … Istanbul, the bazaar, the Hagia Sophia. Maybe even Troy (purported). On the other hand, it doesn’t seem as safe as it might once have been.

Ireland: Maybe a cycling trip. Although it would be pretty wet most of the time. There’s a reason why Ireland is so green.

Australia: We’ve been in Queensland, and the southeast (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra). Would be nice to get to the Red Centre, and up north to the “top end”.

Trinidad & Tobago: A name we tend only to see at track & field events, but some excellent birding awaits.

So…where do you want to go

Checked off since first published in 2014:

Germany, cycling from Berlin to Dresden: We had looked at a VBT cycling trip but it didn’t quite do what we wanted, so we went with Mecklenburger Radtour in June 2018. Self-guided 9 day trip from Dresden to Magdeburg along the Elbe, lovely, with a visit to Berlin afterwards.

Norway: Went here following our cycling along the Elbe, June 2018. No cycling (well, one day in Ulvik), and we rode the Bergen-Oslo train.

Iceland: Flew through Reykjavik going to Germany for cycling in 2018, and returned through here from Norway. Stayed a couple of days in Reykjavik and saw the south coast. Went to see if it was worth going back, and it is!

Uruguay: Got to both Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo following birding in Argentina, Nov 2017.

Chile, redux: Yes, we went in 2014, but we saw a very small part of the country (around Santiago). We went back in Jan 2017, cycling this time with Bicycle Adventures, bracketed by birding tours. Didn’t get to Torres del Paine, but we did get to Chiloe Island and Puerto Montt (but liked Puerto Varas better).

Chile & Argentina: Wine and birds! and more wine! Oct/Nov 2014. Read about it here.

Slovenia, Croatia (Istria)…been there, done that. Gorgeous!

Bhutan: Birds, spectacular scenery, and a measure of Gross National Happiness. Read about it here.

Cleveland: Don’t laugh, folks. Not only does Cleveland have the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but it is also home to the largest population of Slovenians outside Slovenia, and you can get authentic kranjska klobasa there. Not to mention Case Western Reserve University, and a terrific art museum. Made it there in May 2015!

Scarcely needs a caption, does it?

South Dakota & the Badlands: Another movie-inspired trip (North by Northwest, if you have to ask). Must see Mount Rushmore, but we promise not to try to climb down their faces. Enjoyed a Bicycle Adventures tour there in Sept 2015. Over 250 miles and 18000 ft of climbing in 6 days of riding!

…cycling, birding, and more!