Special Edition: My Top 6 Travel Destinations

Not had a Special Edition for a while (or any posts for that matter).  I’ve been lucky enough to visit various places in my time, and obviously, I really want to keep adding to the list (my travel bucket list is the current place to see where I’d most like to go next).  However, which places have been my favourite so far?  Time for a Buzzfeed style list I reckon.

So the top 6 (originally 5, but I felt like putting one more in) are in no particular order:

6. Vermont, United States

The beautiful state of Vermont is in the top corner of the USA, in a region known as New England.  The scenery is absolutely stunning, with mountains, forests, lakes and all sorts of wildlife (including bears).  I’ve been lucky enough to visit a couple of times, as my family has some good friends who live there (one of whom has graduated from university and is now living in China.  You can read her excellent blog about it all here).  There’s no shortage of outdoorsy things to do, such as kayaking, or snow sports in the winter.  Not only is it the place for maple syrup, but also it’s the home of Ben and Jerry (of ice cream fame).

5. Little Langdale, Cumbria, United Kingdom

Ah the eternally delightful Lake District.  Home of Beatrix Potter, and the rainiest part of England (the  town of Buttermere – which was sunny when I visited, much to my surprise).  Full of stunning mountains, small villages, and of course lakes, the Lake District is not to be missed.  However, in my opinion, the hamlet of Little Langdale (it’s so small that the term “village” is a bit optimistic) is beautiful.  Not only does it have the famous Slater Bridge (a photo I took in 2008), as well as views of Wetherlam, Little Langdale Tarn, and abandoned quarries, it is also home to a most excellent pub (The Three Shires Inn).

4. Andorra La Vella, Andorra

Andorra is a tiny landlocked country in the heart of the Pyrénées. Consisting of only a couple of small valleys, it’s not especially well known.  However, it’s a hub for financial services, and is very wealthy. Skiing is hugely popular in the winter, whilst in the summer, the spectacular scenery will enchant you.  The food has a strong Catalan influence (which also happens to be the official language).  If you’re ever in the area, it is a country that is definitely worth visiting.

3. Château De Peyrepertuse, Duilhac-Sous-Peyrepertuse, Languedoc Rousillon, France

This ancient castle, built by the Cathars a while back (it was first mentioned in 806), towers over the surrounding countryside in the foothills of the Pyrénées.  An absolutely amazing place, and not one for those of you who are scared of heights (it is perched half a mile (800m) above the adjacent village, and surrounded by almost vertical cliff faces).

2. Hong Kong SAR, China

Hong Kong is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, and British until 1997, giving rise to curious differences with the Chinese Mainland (such as driving on the left and red post boxes).  They say New York never sleeps, but Hong Kong is a level above that.  At all hours of the day and night, the bright lights and masses of people going about their daily lives make this city hugely exciting.  Gazing over the skyline from the peak of Hong Kong island towards Kowloon after sunset is an incredible sight.

1. Easter Island, Chile

Let’s be honest, this post couldn’t have omitted Easter Island.  I don’t really need to say especially much about it, just click here to see my series of blog posts I wrote during my visit to this magical place.

The End of Term

Well, that’s it.  My final lecture ever has been and gone, and now it’s the end of term, and I return home on Sunday afternoon.  Only one more term remains, most of which will be taken up with revision (AJ, you know you miss the UL times we had, don’t deny it)!  In other news, various things have been going on!

Yesterday was the Sedgwick Club conference, which is a new thing this year, I guess inspired by the Imperial one that was on in February. It was a lot of fun, and we had a lot of interesting talks, as well as being able to catch up with the Oxford geologists (some of whom I met when they came down for the annual Geology varsity football match a couple of weeks ago), as well as meeting some Imperial geologists.

Job hunting still isn’t going especially well.  A graduate geologist job with a company in Cambridge that I was really hopeful for rejected me this morning which was a bit of a pain, but on the upside, I’ve got a phone interview early next week for a job in Woking, so hopefully that’ll go well!  It’d be so handy to have an interesting job already lined up before I graduate, and I’d be able to have a delightfully smooth transition to the real world (where the fun of council tax, mortgages, utility bills and TV licences awaits).  This job looks really interesting too, so fingers crossed that I’m lucky!

I’m off to Spain next week for the ninth and final geology field trip of my degree which should be a lot of fun.  The rocks are pretty diverse, with everything from metamorphic petrology to palæontology being represented.  I’ll bung up some photos of it when I’m back.