January 02, 2004

A few of our favorite things

The blog would feel a little incomplete without a few "best of" lists. Plus, we've already been asked by numerous folks what our "favorite country is" which is really to broad a question to answer adequately. Naturally each place had its own unique pros & cons. Sooooo, nine months and 16 countries later, here's a recap of the things we liked the best (note these lists (obviously) ONLY represent place we've been to whilst traveling in '04 :-):

Favorite cities (pop. > 1,000,000)

  1. Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Istanbul, Turkey
  3. Seville, Spain
  4. Barcelona, Spain
  5. Salvador, Brazil
  6. Lisbon, Portugal
  7. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  8. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Favorite Small Towns (pop. > 200,000)

  1. Stone Town, Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
  2. Paraty, Brazil
  3. Fira, Santorini, Greece
  4. Granada, Spain
  5. Luang Prabang, Laos
  6. Hermanus, South Africa
  7. Kas, Turkey
  8. Sintra, Portugal
  9. Pipa, Brazil
  10. Lagos, Portugal
  11. Goreme, Kappadocia, Turkey

Best All-around Cuisine:

  1. Turkey
  2. Thailand
  3. Spain
  4. Brazil
  5. South Africa

Best Beaches:
  1. Island 60, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
  2. Lions Beach, Fernando De Norohna, Brazil
  3. Elia Beach, Mykonos, Greece
  4. Bweeju, Zanzibar, Tanzania
  5. Island 65, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
  6. Maya Beach, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
  7. Two Brothers Beach, Fernando De Norohna, Brazil
  8. Impanema, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  9. Railei Beach, Krabi Peninsula, Thailand
  10. Kendwa, Zanzibar, Tanzania
  11. Super Paradise, Mykonos, Greece
  12. Dona Ana, Algarvae, Portugal
  13. Tofu, Mozambique

Hottest Women

  1. Brazilian
  2. Spanish
  3. Laotian
  4. Egyptian (when visible!)

Best Diving

  1. Red Sea, South of Hurgada, Egypt
  2. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
  3. Tofu, Mozambique
  4. Fernando De Norohna, Brazil
  5. Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

Friendliest People:
  1. Laotian
  2. Thai
  3. Turks
  4. Portuguese
  5. Tanzania, Zanzibarians especially

Most Memorable "Experiences"

  1. Witnessing the Masai Mara Mammal Migration, Kenya
  2. Safari in the Umlani Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
  3. Red Sea Diving, Egypt
  4. (Surviving :-)) Carnivale, Salvador, Brazil
  5. Hiking the Red and Rose Valley, Kappadocia, Turkey
  6. Tubing down the Nam Song River, Vang Vieng, Laos
  7. Samaria Gorge Hiking, Crete, Greece
  8. Cruising down the Nile (and all the sights along the way), Egypt
  9. "Teaching" school children (and prompting them to dance) in Thailand

Most Magnificent Man-made Wonders:

  1. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  2. The Sargada Familia, Barcelona, Greece
  3. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
  4. El Hambra, Granada, Spain
  5. Parthenon, Athens, Greece
  6. Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
  7. Knossos, Crete, Greece
  8. Great Temple of Ramses II & Temple of Hathor, Abu Simbel, Egypt
  9. Ephesus, Turkey
  10. Alcazar, Seville, Spain
  11. Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
  12. Mosque Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, Cairo, Egypt
  13. Palacia Nacional Pena, Sintra, Portugal

Most Impressive Natural Wonders:

  1. Kappadocia, Turkey
  2. The islands of the Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
  3. Ngoro Ngoro Crater, Tanzania
  4. The underwater world of the Red Sea, Egypt
  5. Santorini Island and Calledra, Greece
  6. Black and White Deserts of Egypt
  7. Stellenboch and the Wine Country, South Africa
  8. Limestone Cliffs on the Western Islands of Thailand
  9. Cape Point, South Africa
  10. Foz de Iguazu, Brazil
  11. The Mighty Mekong River, Laos
  12. Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
  13. Algarvae Coast, Portugal

Most Moving Experiences:

  1. The rough yet rewarding overland travel through Mozambique
  2. Attempting to comprehend the Killing Fields, Phnom Phen, Cambodia
  3. Seeing the destructive aftermath of war in Nong Khiaw, Laos
  4. Witnessing the hope and pride of South Africans in spite of the dire atmosphere of Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa
  5. Seeing the poverty of the children of Cambodia
  6. Feeding off the smiles and exuberance of the children of Africa

Well done, y'all!
Keep trippin'!
Hope all is well......
Hey there - your trip looks incredible! My partner and I are going to Morocco/Spain in less than a month and we were planning on the Zagora - to the desert but haven't been able to find out any info. Can you email me about this? twaugh@jordanbattista.com I love to get some details about how to arrange the camel trek.

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