Tag Archives: Tourist Attractions

 

Ravello sits just behind Amalfi, further inland and up the mountainside. You can get there by walking, I suppose, if you don’t value time or your life all that much. The more practical options are to crowd into a bus with a bunch of local kids who don’t understand capacity limits, and tourists who don’t understand Italian (so that when you are screaming, “Per favore, fammi uscire!” they stare at you with blank looks until you yell, “I NEED TO GET OFF THE BUS.”); or you can get swindled by some cab driver.

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It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Bavarian, and all Rand wanted to do was go to Garmisch. He wanted to sit in the sunshine in a picturesque Bavarian town and do nothing all morning, besides eating a pretzel or three.

“But we’ve been to Garmisch a dozen times,” I whined.

“That’s because Garmisch is amazing.”

And that’s fair: Garmisch is lovely. But I wanted to see what else this corner of Germany had to offer. So when my stepmother suggested we visit the AlpspiX – a viewing platform high up in the mountains, reachable only by cable car, I insisted we go there.

“For the blog,” I said. And poor Rand, he caved, even though all he really wanted to do was sit around. He is a good man.

A good, patient man who deserves lots of pretzels.

The drive from my father’s home to the Wetterstein Mountains, where the AlpspiX can be found, is as lovely as a postcard.

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I had been to Neuschwanstein once before, in 2005. I went with my parents. Both of them.

I do not recommend going anywhere with my parents. I love them both – I really and truly do. Without them, I would not exist, and I am such a huge fan of existing.

But good heavens, there are the two most incompatible humans on the planet. I’m not surprised they got divorced. I’m shocked they were ever together.

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Remember how I said, like, just last week that even though I wasn’t a religious person, I could easily get behind the beliefs of those who are religious? Let’s keep that in mind, and remember that I am sometimes open-minded and loving, and accepting of the beliefs of others.

This, however, is not one of those times.

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From the moment Rand told me about the Salton Sea, I wanted to go.

I’m probably one of the few people in the last 50 years to have had that sentiment.

Here’s why:

The Salton Sea is not a hot getaway destination, or even a particularly nice place to kill a couple of hours, but it used to be. The sea was created by accident at the beginning of the last century. Engineers goofed up an irrigation route from the Colorado river, and flooded an area of the Coachella Valley which then became known as the Salton Sea.

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Salvation Mountain, California.

 

Unless we’re talking about poltergeists or the healing power of cupcakes, I could not be described as a believer. I can’t even claim that I’m spiritual and not religious, because I’m not even that. The only thing that comes close in my life is my tendency to say “HOLY CATS” when I’m shocked about something, which brings to mind a rather delightful image of a higher power of the feline persuasion.

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The shadow of our car on the rocky mountainside below us.

 

For years, my aunt has tried to persuade me to move to California. Her tactic has been repetition of the state’s numerous glittering qualities.

“We have the beaches, and then the mountains are just an hour away. An hour! You can go swimming at the beach and then go skiing!”

When that fails, mostly because I don’t understand how such a thing could be true (I have seen no such evidence of the multi-climate environment she claims exists in Southern California. It is, all of it, very warm and rather pleasant), she tries changing tactics.

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The Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs is not terribly big. Fortunately, admission reflects this:

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