Top Three – Part Two

So the other day I posted about my Top 3 Least Favourite Places that I’ve been and now here comes my Top 3 Most Favourite place I’ve been.

1. Bath

I LOVED Bath!!  I loved the architecture, the crazy one way roads (even if I did get a fine for going the wrong way), the Hop on Hop off bus and did I mention the architecture. The thing I hated about Bath?  We were only there for one day!  My sister and I had based ourselves just outside of Exeter for 8 days and since we had a car, we did a lot of little day trips. One of those day trips was to Bath.

I discovered two things in Bath – a) my love for Hop on Hop off buses and b) my love for Georgian architecture. I had wanted to see The Royal Crescent for years after seeing it somewhere – not sure if it was a photo or TV show, so I was super excited to visit Bath for mainly that reason.  But we got there, parked the car and walked to the Abbey and well, I was sold.  We didn’t even go into the Roman Baths!

Bath is definitely one of those places that I would like to visit again and spend more time in.  Next time however, I think I will leave the car behind and just jump on a train from London instead.

Crescent  Bath (1)  Bath (3)

Bath (4)  Bath Church  Royal Crescent

 Bath Abbey  Bath (2)  Abbey

2. Philadelphia 

I went to Philly in the same trip as the NYC one and my feelings for the two cities couldn’t have been more different.  I had spent 3 days in DC, which is another city that I loved and then got the train to Philadelphia for the night.  I was met by a lady called Lois who was my personal tour guide for the day (a birthday present from a friend).  We went to Christ Church (I have this thing… whenever I can I have to go where there is a Christ Church, being from Christchurch it’s just a quirky thing I like to do!), went on a tour of Independence Hall, had a Philly Cheese Steak for lunch, went on a drive around the city streets, went to the Bellevue hotel and had a look at the ballroom, and then through City Hall.

I remember watching Nicolas Cage running through the Philly streets in National Treasure 2 and really wanting to see the city.  I’m so glad I decided to add a day to my itinerary but I would love to come and explore the city more.  What I saw was only the icing on the cake, I am sure I will love Philly more after spending more time in this great little city.

Washingtons Chair  Independence Hall  Christ Church window

Art work  Christ Church  City Hall

Elfreths Alley 2  Elfreths Alley  Independence Hall 2

3. New Zealand’s South Island

So I might be a little biased and this might be a whole island and not just one city but hey, it’s my list and the South Island is honestly worth being on anyones list!

There are so many things to do and see on the South Island that it would be easy to spend a couple of weeks there.  If you are into adventure, there is bungy jumping, white water rafting, jet boating, hikes, bikes and whatever else you might fancy.  If you are more of a wine connoisseur there are so many wineries to choose from that it would make your head spin.  Want to relax in some hot pools? Well we have a couple of those too.  There are fjords, glaciers, high mountain ranges, beaches, bush walks.. you name it, the South Island has it.  Oh and not to mention a few cameos in those little Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.

Why do I love it?  Well because it’s home! My hometown Christchurch is smack bang in the middle of the action.  Located on the East Coast of the island, it’s about a 5 hour drive to the scenic West Coast or the Marlborough area famous for its wines.  Not to mention about the same distance to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown.

In January 2008 I went on a bit of a road trip around the South Island and went a lot of places I hadn’t been before.  It was one of the best things I’ve done.  I started in Christchurch, drove north to Nelson to visit family, then down to Westport to see my sister, then down  the West Coast to Haast for a night (in torrential rain I might add! I had to pull off the road at one point). From Haast I went to Wanaka, Arrowtown and on to Queenstown.  Then up to Twizel for a night and then back to Christchurch with a short detour to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

Apart from the torrential downpour on the drive from Westport to Haast (hey, come on… it’s the West Coast – or Wet Coast as it should be called!), the weather was pretty stunning, including on the drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook.  That for me was the highlight, it is a really stunning drive and it made me realise that my country, even though I already knew it, was well and truly one beautiful place.  I am proud of where I am from and being able to see my country through ‘tourist eyes’ was amazing.  This was a time before a lot changed in my life and I remember it now as being one of the best times of my life. And that is why the South Island is in my top 3 favourite places.

South Island (1) South Island (2) South Island (3) South Island (4) South Island (5) South Island (6) South Island (7) South Island (8) South Island (9) South Island (10) South Island (11) South Island (12) South Island (13) South Island (14) South Island (15) South Island (16) South Island (17) South Island (18) South Island (19) South Island (20) South Island (21) South Island (22) South Island (23) South Island (24) South Island (25) South Island (26)

So there you have it.  I can’t wait to travel more so that I can have a longer list of favourite places – have to think positively and not go out there thinking I will not like a place.

How about you?  What are your favourite/least favourite places that you’ve been?  Have you been to any of these places?

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