When people all over the world think of England, I imagine they might conjure images of rolling autumnal countryside and Big Ben chiming overhead. They might picture the smart red tunics and big fluffy hats on proud display outside Buckingham Palace.
Perhaps they may even think of teapots and black cabs and some sort of big wizarding castle where all the children say things like “Bloody Nora, Harry!” (other wizarding schools are available). Little do they know that the real England is made up of traffic jams, rain, a borderline unhealthy obsession with trainwreck TV, and even more rain – I’m convinced that the entire British Empire was just an attempt to keep dry.
Summer may be on its way, but I’ve had enough, and sometimes, two nights in Amsterdam on a flight packed with hyped up hen-dos just won’t cut it. Plus, I crave an escape from storms called things like Barry and Clive and Mavis. I want more. Something completely new. Something worth it.
Here’s what three destinations on my must-see list, with a bit of information about each one…
If there’s one place I don’t mind donning a raincoat and taking on the elements for fun, it’s on the bow of a boat heading into the furious spray and mists in the Niagara Falls basin. I might even try my best Rose impression from Titanic … although perhaps I’d best not tempt fate when going up against more than 3,000 tonnes of water per second.
Yeah – Niagara Falls means business. But that’s not all there is to do here. There are shopping malls. Something called Souvenir City. And fireworks almost every weekend. Find out more about the packages on offer and do something a little out of the ordinary – rumour has it that you can even take a tour behind the falls. That’s pretty amazing.
Petra (the lost city of)
Are we counting the far eastern reaches of the Med as being outside of Europe? Who knows, these days. Since Australia joined Eurovision, all bets are off. For the purposes of the next few moments, let’s assume Jordan is not a European state.
Because that’s where you’ll find our next escape to the world, Petra. For those who appreciate cinematic masterpieces from the 80s, you’ll know Petra as the huge temple/tomb carved into the side of the valley in Indiana Jones.
Or was it carved into the side of a mountain? Not important. Get involved and take advantage of the night shows, taking in the full stroll around the ancient rock city, including the stone-carved amphitheatre and the recently renovated towering dam.
Blue Whale Safari – Wild Card Destination
This one is more the ‘doing’ than the ‘where’. Blue Whales are the biggest animal to have ever lived. That includes the the dinosaurs (to be fair, there was a large four legged dinosaur that measured around about the same length as a Blue Whale, but in terms of body mass there is no contest).
If you’re looking for something truly adventurous and unique, go and see the largest animal to have ever lived in the entire known universe.
Currently on the endangered species list, the Blue Whale may not be around forever. See these majestic 100 metre long creatures glide through the oceans in your choice of splendid destinations, from Mexico and Canada to the Azores and Sri Lanka. Remember to pack your wide angle lens!