Thursday, October 15, 2009

Top Twenty-Five Places To See While I Can Still Walk

Okay. So the fact that this list even exists makes me a pretentious fuck. But, it's there, and I love it, and it's boring, and you don't care. But I know that at least Sid cares. It's full of links and pictures, because apparently that's how I do things now. Enjoy or ignore, whatever. I just want to go some places a whole lot.

1. Egypt. Travel the Nile from Cairo to Aswan. I have to put this as one whole entry, because there are so many goddamn things involved in this that my head is collapsing on itself just thinking about it. This would take at least three weeks. At least.

2. Lascaux Caves, France. This is one of the only things on like every single list of shit to see I’ve ever made. And I don't like France. Even though you can’t go into the original caves anymore because of mold and shit, they've got a replica (Lascaux II) right next door. To this day, this is like my all-time favorite piece of art, ever. And after I’ve seen the cave paintings, I’m getting it as a tattoo.

3. Petra, Jordan. Thank you, Indiana Jones.

4. Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The trees of the earth are swallowing the palace inch by inch, ripping it apart block by block. Blows my fucking mind.

5. Shark Bay, Australia. Come on, people. It’s called Shark Bay.

6. Cappadocia, Turkey. I don't even know where to begin.

7. Jasmund National Park, Germany. I’ve been imagining this place since like elementary school, when I saw the chalk cliffs in a painting. But the painting focused on this one famous outcropping of rock that totally got destroyed in a landslide a couple of years ago. PS: Dork alert: what does that outcrop remind me of? I'll give you a hint: It starts with a "M" and ends with "-inus tirith." Aaaaaaaand then everyone stops reading my blog.

8. The Uffington Horse. I probably love this for the same reason that I love the Lascaux Caves and Jasmund – it’s like a four hundred foot prehistoric chalk geoglyph in England. Of a horse. Or a dragon. Who knows?

9. Yellowstone. I know. I know. I've never been to Yellowstone.

10. Wudang Mountain. Wander through sacred Taoist monasteries, learn Kung Fu. God, some stuff rips my world asunder. I refuse to ever travel to China without seeing it. I can feel it starting. You know what this means, don't you? I'm going to be doing nothing but thinking about this and watching Kung Fu movies for the next month. And someone has my copy of Zhuangzi, which I'm pretty sure I lent out in like 2004, so I'm prolly never reading that again. Gaaaahhhh. Wudang Mountain ain’t nothin’ to fuck with.

Those are just the places I can name off the top of my head. Is all of this stuff possible to see in one lifespan? Can anyone other than Anthony Bourdain or Rick Steves pull this off? Fucking watch me. I may be broke, but I’m crossing off these top ten if it kills me.

The rest, in no particular order:

11. Lhasa, Tibet: Come on, look at this picture. Can you feel it pulling your soul?

12. Hike the Appalachian Trail. It would be excellent if I could just take off a season and get all of this shit over and done with, but then I would have to be, like, in shape and stuff. Besides, I can't afford to not work. What am I supposed to do? Write a book about it and make millions? That is soooooo Bill Bryson.

13. Machu Picchu. I'm pretty sure everyone's familiar with this, since it's like the IT destination for white people. Thank god that doesn't diminish it.

14. Ajanta and Ellora Caves, India. You know you see shit like this in your dreams.

15. Scotland. From Fingal's Cave and Isle of Mull to Loch Ness, lake to river to lake to river to lake.

16. Alberta Badlands, Canada. Ginny, if I ever visit you, we’re going there.

17. Grand Canyon. I’m not going into detail here, but it involves riding a burro. Which technically doesn't require walking, but shut up. Whatever.

18. Tikal, Guatemala.

19. Mauna Kea Observatories, Hawaii. FF, you lucky motherfucker.

20. Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas. Nikki introduced me to this shit. Thank the world for her.

21. Skellig.

22. Island County, Washington. Are you allowed to walk across Deception Pass, which sounds way scarier than it looks? Because I want to.

23. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

24. Iceland's Ring Road. Not only is this a bad ass road trip, but it's all Jules Verney.

25. The Fucking Moon.

I know, there aren't really any cities on here, and it's all very touristy. Well, it's my list, jerks. Cities would be on a list of just places to go. Then I'd have to add Verona and Tokyo and Edinburgh and Cape Town and stuff. And sure, we can walk there. But these places you need to feel the ground, because they're made of the ground, or into the ground. That's what it is. That's the pull, right there.

Now that this list is over, I feel like I've done it wrong. It should be places to walk. Like "across hot coals" as well as the Appalachian Trail. Or on this rope bridge.



Anonymous said...

As long as you're going to Scotland, add Iona and Lindisfarne to your list--Iona is a ferry boat ride from Mull and to get to Lindisfarne you have to do it like the ancients and walk through the North Sea at low tide. I saw some other cave paintings in France and was underwhelmed. Cappadocia is on my list too. Everywhere you mention is on my list except for the moon. I heard the bars there really suck.

Rassles said...

Do you realize how much all of this would cost? I mean, I'm looking at $100,000 worth of travel here.

Rassles said...

More, if we count the moon.

Chamuca said...

The only place I've been on your list is the Grand Canyon.

It was all super huge and amazing and shit, but there were goddamn fireants.

I hiked halfway to the bottom, and then I got bitten by one of those little shits.

Then I had to hike back out. They wouldn't even send a one helicopter to fucking airlift me.

I don't ask much, really.

Logical Libby said...

The fucking moon? This is why I read your blog.

Anonymous said...

Ever since the first season of The Amazing Race, I've wanted to see Vicoria Falls. So beautiful.

Ginny said...

YEAH Badlands!! It is, as the name would lead you to believe, badass. And I would like nothing more than to show it to you.


The Daily Rant said...

GREAT list.

The only places on your list that I've been to are:

1. Alberta, Canada (but not the Badlands, so I guess technically I haven't been to THAT place on your list).

2. Grand Canyon (no burro rides though....but they do have a cool new glass cantilevered glass bridge to go on) Check that out here:

3. Deception Pass ( And yes, you can walk on the bridge. It actually looks much cooler in the photographs than in person.

nursemyra said...

I'm planning on the Lascaux Caves next year. My friends are renting a house in the Dordogne region and have invited me to visit!

Red said...

I once did the Grand Canyon. The North Rim, which has a very nice lodge and is allegedly less touristy. EG's never been there, and I totally want to go back with him. I loved smelling the Ponderosa Pines, these trees that I would say smell like vanilla but they talked about them on NPR and people think they smell like lotsa different stuff. I think we rode mules instead of burros. My then 7-year old brothers was named "Two Bits" and he fell in temporary, little boy crush with that thing. It was kinda cool, even if 15-year-old Red rolled her eyes.

Anonymous said...

great list! i dont have mine in writing, but i'm going to be a moving target for as long as i'm mobile (maybe only 20 years left for me - if i'm lucky!).

Angkor Wat is THE ABSOLUTE FUCKING COOLEST... i only had a day and a half and am planning a return trip for a week in cambodia.

Same for Machu Picchu. Did it by train last year and am going to hike in through the sun gate next time. Planning to do it in a couple years. It would be a helluva lot more fun if i had a drinking buddy... will let you know as plans develop!

American in Sydney said...

I've never been any of those places-- well except the moon, but whatever. I hope when you go to Shark Bay you'll make a stop in Sydney.

Blues said...

Okay Rassles, that's it, we're travelling together. Cause a bunch of this shit is on my list too and the ones that weren't on it, are now on it cause you convinced me. But I have a couple of requests for our tour: Tour de Mont Blanc (How else will we walk through three countries on one hike, stopping in villages to drink wine and eat giant blocks of cheese every night?), also Camino de Santiago, because, it's a fucking pilgrimage, and I've always wanted to be a pilgrim.

You know I went into the grand canyon this summer and it was amazing. The beasts carried our burdens, but I didn't get to ride one.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

I've been to 3 out of the 25. Dang, I need to get out more. I definitely want to go to these places:
The Isle of Skye in Scotland. There's quicksands and mountain trails and early morning coffee by a fire and then outside in the misty rain. Mmmmm
Also, I want to sock slide on a glacier in Antarctica.
I'd totally go those other places too cuz I'm all badass adventurey n shit.

Nikki B. said...

your list is impressive, and expansive, and fascinating, and filled with IN-FUCKING-CREDIBLE places...from dick-shaped mountains in turkey, to monasteries, to the fucking MOON!!

yet, you still had room on your list for dinosaur valley state park in texas!!


Sid said...

Your number 3 & 4 are on my list of places to visit too. And I have a similar rope bridge thing on my blog.
Think I might try to compose a similar list.

Rassles said...

Franklin: You know, way to go and fuck up the list. I've got about seventy-five other places I want to go, and here you are telling me that my list isn't good enough? You got some gall, friend. And I heard the moon was BYOB - you think I want to pay their spacetime taxes?

Chamuca: That's cool. I've never been anywhere on my list, so any one of these things is fucking awesome to me.

Libby: You can't tell me you've never dreamed of the view from up there.

Annie: I know, right? For me it was Blue Planet.

Ginny: Thank god I have your support on this.

Daily Rant: Oh, the ONLY places you've been on the list? Bitch I ain't been to any of them. Psssh.

Nurse: That is incredible.

Red: I decided I don't care about touristy. Damn near whole list is pretentious tourist fuckery, and that doesn't make it any less desirable.

Daisy: I figure I can do about half of this in my lifetime, provided I keep on making the same amount of money and never buy anything else ever.

Flora: Australia is a big place, and there are tons of areas I want to go. Sydney for sure. But Shark Bay...I mean, come ON. Best name ever. And if I go to Sydney, we will hang out, and I will ruin your life.


Tabbie: Yeah you are. My biggest obstacle is funding. I don't know how I could possibly afford any of this. Hence trips like Cancun.

Nikki: How the hell could I pass up walking the paths of dinosaurs? I can't. I don't have it in me. Who's to say that's not as incredible as anything else?

Sid: Do it. I love reading about places to go. It's like crack.

Mia Watts said...

Hm. Well, I write for Ellora's Cave but it's not the same, I know.

On my list, because you spawned the sucker, Jurassic Park. Because someone somewhere had better create it.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

You prett much have 4 choices here:
1- make more money
2- make total shit money as a nanny for world travelers
3- get a sugar daddy
4- convince a family member or family friend that THEY want to go there & that you're the perfect traveling companion- these places are too scary all alone. Aww but you can't afford it, so they'll beg you to come along & offer to pay

each of these options has a pro/con list. I recommend option 1, with option 3 as a back-up.

Chris said...

Now I've got like 23 things added to my list, and I'm older than all of you. Plus, high mileage and poorly maintained. I wonder if you can get around Machu Pichu in a Rascal.

Le Meems said...

Three fucking times I have been on road trips with various people and we just cruised on by, THE GRAND CANYON, like it ain't no thing.

But it is a big thang.

Cindy and Bobby ate beans out of a flashlight there. I need to ride a donkey and eat beans out of a flashlight, too.

Lets do it in the spring.

Mrs. Booms said...

Perhaps my favorite thing about you is how you call me a jerk before I can even comment.

Erin said...

God, I can't believe I missed this one!

I have a lot of the same places on my lists. Petra is way up there. Cappadocia, too.

This is a picture of my scariest bridge yet:

I haven't tried coals on or off the Appalachian Trail.

Mahjong said...

Looks like the author has massive awareness in the subject. Thanks you for the info.

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