Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Top 5: Travel Moments

OK, so this is a list that floats around my head on a dull day, or my walk around the lake, or stuck on the tram....and why wouldn't it! So many great, memorable, life changing times!

Number 1 is and may always be, my train ride at dawn from Kandy to Colombo in Sri Lanka, in 2004. I was there for the cricket, and had landed and made my way in the dark in the taxi ride from hell from the airport to Kandy, in the middle of Lanka, in the mountains. I was to meet the boys there, but it turned out they weren't there after all.

To get back to the capital, I made my way to the train station in the early hours of the morning, and then when the ticket booth opened, bought a first class ticket...for a grand total of $4, or something. My seat faced backwards, at the back of the train, with a full window effect for the first class carriage. As we pulled out of town the dawn began to break, and thus we wound our way out of the jungled mountain range in the most beautiful light. Gorgeous!

Next, at 2 would have to be the magical White Christmas, in Sweden. That trip and all it's expectations were all brought together with that first flurry of white stuff from the sky, on our walk around Uppsala. So wonderful, and just a special day for the 5 of us there that day.

Experiencing Ankor Wat at dawn, perched on one of the highest points of the temple, with only a handful of other people around is up there at 3. The fact that you as a tourist have access to this wondrous ancient wonder, and the peace and beauty of it as the light dawns and comes across the formations....spectacular. Of course, then wandering though Ankgor Thom and staring at those big faces, and then the jungle covered Ta Prom. The Angkor complex is just so amazing.

My totally wild night in New Orleans for NYE for the Millennium tick over definitely rates a mention. 6 girls from all over the world, staying in an amazing, empty mansion in New Orleans, and then the revelry of that massive night of our lifetime, along Bourbon Street. A crazy, fun fun New Years Eve!

Number 5 is another Cambodia story from when I lived there. On Christmas Eve a group of the staff of the centre I was working in took a load of toys and things that had been donated, to an orphanage on the outskirts of town, run by the Missionaries of Charity, which had been described as the place for the "hopeless of the hopeless'. Here, there were 5 of us young volunteers, we visited a couple of the hospital wards, and ended up spending the most time in the children's AIDS ward. We were told that these children's parents lay terminally ill in the ward on the floor above, or were deceased. These babies rarely had human contact, let alone someone to hold them, and interact.

We had each taken on a little one, and spent time with them. The little boy I held, and cuddled, and played with, and rubbed his belly swollen because of his medication, was so weak, and sweet, and just fascinated that this barang would spend time with him. Even though we really had done and taken so little, we all left there that day a little different for the experience and the brush with raw human suffering.

Special mentions would need to go to my hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia in Turkey, and the 90th anniversary ANZAC Dawn Service at Gallipoli, also in Turkey. Passing Mt Fuji in Japan, and also our roadtrip day in Cuba.

I will need to separate and make my Aussie travel moments their own top 5....made it easier to decide on a 5 here, and there!

1 comment:

  1. Do you know what I love! That I haven't been to a single place mentioned in this post (except Japan but we didn't see Mt Fuji).

    Still so many places left for us to visit!


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