The World is an amazing place with many visually stunning destinations. But do you know where they are? This website highlights 58 must-do places (100 planned) and events to visit. It is a companion to my coffee table book titled The MUST-DO PLACES from POLE to POLE, about great places and events. The book provides the visual imagery and brief descriptions of how it feels to be there including my top photographs while the website provides the factual background and illustrated travel information. A list of the ~100 top places and events is provided on the page Must-Do Places, located on the menu bar.
General comments and corrections to the articles are welcome and can be included in the GENERAL COMMENT page on the menu bar.
There is also a travel blog that I write when travelling, it is not as polished as the page articles. These posts will be deleted once they have been transformed into pages.



(posted 11 october 2015)
Our last visit to Istanbul in 1991 felt like we were amongst a few westerners exploring an exotic and distant land. This time, however, we were not alone. Mass-tourism had cast its spell transforming many of the monuments into endless queues. But we had a strategy. Buy the tickets online and queue at the entrance 20-30 minutes before the doors opened. Fortunately, we stayed at the White House hotel right in the heart of the historic centre with its bustling narrow winding streets and a short walk to most of the major highlights.
inside Hagia Sophia Istanbul

inside Hagia Sophia

Blue mosque at dusk Istanbul

Blue mosque at dusk

Hagia Sophia at dusk

Hagia Sophia at dusk

Both the Hagia Sophia the former Christian basilica, and the blue mosque were impressive by their scale and grandeur from the outside, particularly at dusk when they dominated the night sky and all their surroundings. Inside much less so, being cavernous and empty, with the jostle of visitors reducing the ambiance offered by the half-light of an enourmous chandelier and daylight streaming through high windows. One outstanding highlight was dinner at the seven hills terrace restaurant at dusk. On one side, we had a panorama of the city overlooking the Marmara sea, and on the other side, a spectacular view of both the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque as the lights were turned on. Read More

Oxford Revisited, Again

(posted 9th October 2015)
Turf tavern passage oxford

Turf tavern passage

Bath place hotel oxford

Bath place hotel

Oxford-spires from sheldonian theatre cupola

Oxford spires

The Bridge Of Sighs Archway Oxford from Sheldonian cupola

The Bridge Of Sighs Archway Oxford

Location, location, location is the popular mantra. Well, our stay at the 17 century Bath place hotel could not have had a better position, located a 100 metres from the heart of the colleges of Oxford. It took less than 1minute to walk through a twisted cobblestone passage to reach the Sheldonian Theatre. The passage passed through the 13th century Turf Tavern frequented by some locals and hordes of tourists. I know this, as our bathroom window opened onto the Turfs' courtyard. Still, little has changed around the colleges since we lived here some 30 years ago, so we bathed in its nostalgia, visiting many of the colleges, climbing both the Saint Marys church tower and the Sheldonian Theatre cupola (for the first time I must confess) to view the rooftops of Oxford. Now, I know from where the TV Morse program took its panoramic views of the old city. We also took the once a year opportunity offered by the Oxford Preservation Trust to visit the original stacks of the 16century Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera. No photographs and certainly no speaking or touching in these holy places. Fortunately the new Weston library an extension of the Bodleian across the road had a historic manuscript and book exhibition, displaying one of the few original copies of the Magna Carta and a first edition of Newtons Principia Mathematica Read More

Our visit to York.

(posted 5th October 2015)
 historic street York

historic street York

York minster Abbey UK

York minster Abbey

We stayed 3 days in York. Dahlia remained at the Best Western in Dean Court opposite the York Minster Abbey, while I attended a writers conference at York University. We both liked York with its narrow winding medieval streets, particularly in the morning when there were very few visitors. In particular, we really enjoyed the grandeur of the York Minster and its long history. We took a tour of 13 persons. There was a point when the guide was recalling its history, starting around AD 180 then AD 250 and on and on to AD 637 when the first stone structure was erected. By the time the guide reached AD 1000, it sounded like she was talking about the modern era. Overall of the three prominent cathedrals we have visited York Minster Abby, Westminster Abbey and Notre Dame in Paris I would place it 2nd behind Westminster. Read More

Our visit to Stratford on Avon.

(posted 3 october 2015)
Mercure hotel Stratford upon avon

Mercure hotel Stratford

Stratford upon Avon theatre

Stratford theatre

We wanted to see a Shakespeare play but the season was over and all we could book was Volpone. Volpone? Never heard of it. Still, any play in the Royal Shakespeare Playhouse would be an experience. It developed that Volpone was a dark comedy about greed and corruption recast into the 21 century and written by Ben Johnson, one of Shakespeare's contemporaries. The plot was a bit suss, but the acting was superb. The central character played by Henry Goodman was a tour de force of acting moving easily from one characterization to another. It was a major, but pleasant surprise. We again stayed at the Mercure hotel, a structure composed by combining three 17th century Tudor buildings, located close to the heart of Stratford. Its lunch restaurant was good, but the breakfast cook needs to go back to cooking school. Finally, the ambiance of this historic Tudor town still can be felt, although many new tourist shops are trying to bury it. Read More


(posted 3 october 2015)
giraffes necking kings camp timbavati

giraffes necking

leopard moving his prey kings camp timbavati

leopard moving his prey

The manager picked us up from Hoedspruit airport and drove us the 40 km to Kings Camp Safari Lodge in the centre of the Timbavati game reserve. The camp reminded me of the movie Out of Africa, with a dining room overlooking a small waterhole frequented by buffalo and elephant, and thatched roofed chalets outfitted with exquisite period furniture. The general ambiance and the top quality meals completed the canvas of a classical African 19th century bush experience. Our Stay: We stayed 5 nights and had a private vehicle to ourselves. This allowed us to have 4 hour morning and afternoon game drives of our own choosing and be able to stop for extended times when we saw something of interest. This contrasted with the normal Timbavati Safari vehicle which had 6 persons per vehicle and the itinerary determined by consensus. At the extreme end we saw safari vehicles completely filled with 9 visitors seated 3 abreast; those in the centre hardly able to turn around. During our stay we had two unexpected bonuses: a wonderful bush breakfast under a stand of shade trees, and a buffet dinner in […] Read More


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