10.01.2013 - 10.01.2013
From friends and acquaintances old and new, we have been asked hundreds of times what has been our favourite part of the trip? As you know we have had a myriad of flights, bus trips and long lazy days to debate this very good question….. For years we have both pored over articles and TV shows that list the top destinations of the year, the up and coming destinations of the next year, and mentally prepared our own list that one day we would tick off for ourselves.
After nine months we have crossed a lot off, so where to start picking just 10 days from what has been an incredible journey around the globe? Some were mutual inclusions, others we had to compromise on (10 years of marriage does hone your compromising skills!) but there were a handful that just missed out on a top 10 ranking that we thought still deserved a mention! So in the Highly Recommended category we offer you the following destinations –
Petra, Jordan – for the incredibly preserved architecture of a mystical lost city in the middle of a desert
Iguazu Falls, Brazil & Argentina – an opportunity to be reminded of the wonder that is Mother Nature (don’t forget the birdpark in Brazil for the toucans!)
Cairo, Egypt – an opportunity to be reminded of the wonder that is the human race, and for the only ancient wonder of the world still in existence: Pyramid of Giza
Jungfrau region, Switzerland – for its glaciers, lush green rolling hills and the view you get from a paraglider sailing over the top of it all
Lofoten Islands, Norway – picture perfect scenery in every direction from the ocean to the lakes to the snow-capped mountains
So here they are – our top 10 days from our trip around the world in 270 days!
No. 10. Day #95: Santorini, Greece
With Emily and Mikael we rented a car and set out to explore this beautiful island: the black beaches, the turquoise waters and the sunset that is burned in our memory forever. We ate saganaki and greek salad for lunch in Thera, sipped on cocktails as the sun went down on a roof top terrace in Oia, and indulged in nutella crepes late in the night when we returned to Kamari. Great day, great food, great company!
No. 9. Day #77: Longyearbyen, Norway
Literally on top of the world inside the Arctic Circle we spent a day in the northern most populated town in the world, the arrival of our cruise ship more than doubling the town’s population. Donning a sexy one-piece thermal suit we jumped on an ATV tour to explore this fascinating landscape, and as the ship sailed away in the sunlit evening we thought that this might just be the furthest we have ever been from home.
No. 8. Day #257: Machu Picchu, Peru
Boxing Day 2012 will be one etched in our memory for years to come – the reward for our four days of being wet, sore and tired was the view of Machu Picchu appearing from underneath the low lying cloud. That glass of wine with lunch went down very well, even better were the pina coladas we enjoyed in the thermal pool later in the afternoon with our fellow trekkers!
No. 7. Day #171: Goreme, Turkey
Floating over Cappadocia in central Turkey was an unforgettable experience with the sun rising as our balloon left the ground. It was eerily silent and so beautiful. It was just our second day in Turkey and we were already converts to the Turkish cuisine – our gozleme for lunch today would be the best we would have over the coming two weeks.
No. 6. Day #46: St Petersburg, Russia
The number one reason for boarding the cruise to the Baltic region in May was to see this mysterious city and our efforts and investment were rewarded. We were mesmerised with the beauty and history of this gorgeous city that Peter the Great had built to rival the cities of western Europe. Our tour of the Hermitage Museum was inspiring, and walking the streets was akin to walking through a large open air museum. Seeing Swan Lake in the evening was the perfect end to a perfect day.
No. 5. Day #15: Etosha NP, Namibia
Travelling with Diane and Danny is nothing new to us, and it was magical to share our first game drive in Africa with them. We spent the morning enjoying the comforts of the lodge with a long breakfast and a swim in the pool, and in the afternoon were treated to giraffe, zebras, lions and a rhino – more than we could have hoped for on our first drive! The day ended with a rowdy evening with Danny’s family where we continued celebrations for Peta’s birthday
No. 4. Day #12: Sossusvlei, Namibia
Another amazing day on tour with Di and Dan, another luxurious lodge in Namibia. Our flight over the sand dunes of the Namib Desert was breathtaking in the early light, and we had a ball playing in the dunes afterwards and walking on the salt flat of Deadvlei. The drive from Sossusvlei to the Namibian capital of Windhoek was incredible as we passed from red desert to lush green mountainside and into the city, and the day ended with a cold beer and game meat shared with Danny’s family.
No. 3. Day #110: South coast of Iceland
When we set out on this morning we did not anticipate how spectacular our day would be. Lunch was an incredible roast cauliflower soup and homemade bread, dinner was a mouth watering lobster fettuccine. And then there was the scenery! We hiked on a glacier in the afternoon, then took a cruise through a glacial lagoon in the early evening – today warranted the effort to get to Iceland, we were completely hooked.
No. 2. Day #82: Geirangerfjord, Norway
The Norwegian cruise had already impressed us with our stops in the Lofoten Islands and Longyearbyen, and then there was Geirangerfjord. It is regularly referred to as the most beautiful fjord in the world and we could see why. As the ship sailed into the fjord we were blown away by the stunning landscape around us, and it only got better on land when we jumped on pushbikes to ride down the mountain. The day ended with cocktails in a hot tub on the back of the ship as we sailed out to sea. Perfection!
And this brings us to No.1 – amazing to think that after 270 days tripping around the world three of our top five were within our first month away from home! Africa certainly did not disappoint……
No. 1. Day #26: Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Descending into the crater surrounded by fog we could never have imagined what this day would hold. In Ngorongoro we saw elephants, water buffalo and rhinos (three of the Big 5 by lunchtime!); a hippo, hyenas and loads of zebra and wilderbeest. Then it was into the Serengeti National Park. With just a few hours of sunlight left we scored a pride of lions, and then the elusive leopard sighting on our way to the campsite. The Big 5 all in one day! Watching the leopard stalk and kill a guinea fowl for dinner was just icing on the cake!