In this lens I will show the top 7 places I’d like to visit before I die. Each destination calls to me in its own way. They stir the imagination, fuel an inner passion or open the door of wonder. It’s not by coincidence that most of the places are castles. It’s a reflection of my appreciation for history, lore and adventure.
Transylvania in Romania
Bran’s Castle, believed to be Count Dracula’s Castle, has to be on of the creepiest places on Earth. The castle is shrouded in darkness and mystery as the corridors, side chambers and secret passageways form a sort of labyrinth. It’s like a journey into the Twilight Zone, Fear Factor and Supernatural all rolled into one. Even the online virtual tour leaves me feeling like I’m going in circles as hallways seem to lead back to the room that was just exited. That’s impossible. Or is it?
Chillon Castle in Veytaux, Switzerland Switzerland
Also known as the Sorcerer’s Castle, it offers the most incredible view from the eastern side of Lake Geneva. The castle inspired Hugo and Delacroix. Lord Byron carved his name into one of the dungeon’s pillars. It’s easy to understand why it’s touted as the most popular attraction in Switzerland. This castle can be rented for events. Imagine having a medieval-themed wedding in one of the courtyards and the reception in one of the great halls. Banish any rowdy guests to the dungeon!
Coral Castle in Miami, Florida
I find this castle fascinating. It was built solely by Edward Leedskalnin over the course of twenty-eight years. How did this one man quarry, move and position coral blocks that weighed up to thirty tons? Leedskalnin thought of every detail. Sunlight streaming through one of the windows landed upon the bath water to warm it. Some say the castle was a tribute to a woman who rejected his marriage proposal. If that’s true, I think it’s probably the greatest example of the power of love being able to move Earth; that moves me.
Pamukkale in Southern Turkey
Pamukkale (cotton Castle in Turkish) is an incredibly beautiful area of calcium-terraced travertine hot springs and petrified waterfalls. It all appears as white as cotton with illusory pools of aqua. The mineral-rich waters are said to have healing properties. Very close to the travertines, there is an ancient Roman amphitheatre. There are also mud baths at a red spring just a few minutes away. This rejuvenation expedition can be topped off with a visit to the ruins of a biblical site called Laodikya. It’s the perfect place for some meditation and spiritual healing. This is my dream trip to restore mind, body and spirit.
Boston Harbor in United States
Although it may seem rather ordinary, it has always been my dream to have breakfast at sunset somewhere that overlooks Boston Harbor. I’d have to call it a serendipitous adventure as it has no rational reason behind it. It’s just somewhere I’d like to be when a new day is dawning. I’ll find out why when the time comes.
Tintagel in Cornwall, England
I’ve always loved a good story and Tintagel is filled with them. It’s said to be the birthplace of King Arthur and the village has kept his legends alive. Merlin’s Cave is nearby at sea level and accessible only at low tide. Tintagel also has hidden valleys and a beautiful coastline with turquoise waters that hold a history teeming with pirates and smugglers. The beaches resemble scenes right out of the Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s so easy to picture Johnny Depp swashbuckling his way across the sand.
The Blarney Castle in Ireland
Honestly, I’m only interested in the block of blue-stone known as the Blarney Stone. I’m enticed by the promise of the gift of eloquence for simply putting my lips in the same spot as millions have done for a few centuries. Well, it’s really not so simple. It’s my understanding that I’ll have to bend over backwards to accomplish the feat. When I’m done, I’ll be able to sell ice in the Arctic.