Best 250 Travel Destinations in the World (according to Gary) — Installment 48 — #1-5

                   Here is the best of the best! According to Gary, these are the world’s absolute best travel destinations. They combine the ancient and historical with man-made and natural beauty, a collection for the ages.

                  5. Rome, Italy — My favorite city in the world is Rome, the “Eternal City.” One of the reasons is that I am of Italian ancestry and have always been drawn to Italy by my family. However, there is no place else in the world like Rome. You can be walking down a side street and turn to find an ancient and enchanting square or a building which dates to the time of the Romans. Rome has more Egyptian obelisks than anyplace else in the world. My favorite fountain is here — the Trevi; my favorite building is here — the Pantheon; and my favorite square is here — the Piazza Navona. (Walking Tour available for purchase on website)                      

Piazza Navona, Rome

               4.  Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA — My favorite all-time destination combines the best of everything that nature can offer. There are otherworldly thermal areas which defy the imagination. There is a gorgeous canyon whose kaleidoscope of colors stirs the soul. There is more interesting wildlife here than anywhere except perhaps the African plains. All this is coupled with fantastic mountain scenery and beautiful waterfalls. What a place!                     

Yellowstone Falls

               3.  Taj Mahal, Agra, India — Although I have not seen it personally, I am convinced that this is the most beautiful building in the world. It is somewhat ironic that this “building” is a tomb, erected by Shah Jahan to commemorate the death of his favorite wife, Mahal. The sight of the Taj from a distance is awe-inspiring and unforgettable, yet closer analysis reveals even more splendor. The intricacy of the stonework, the glory of the inlaid precious and semi-precious stones, and the extraordinary calligraphy are truly magnificent.

               2.  Great Wall of China — An enduring testament to man’s presence on the planet, the Great Wall is also a brooding reminder of man’s penchant for violence and aggression, since the wall was built to frustrate and resist incursions from beyond China’s borders. It extends some 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) across northern China to the sea. The most accessible section of the wall is found at Badaling, about 70 km (43 miles) northwest of Beijing. Because of its proximity to the Ming Tombs, it is frequented by numerous tour groups and busloads of visitors.                         

Great Wall of China

               1.  Pyramids of Giza & Cairo, Egypt — The only remaining of the original “Seven Wonders of the World” are the pyramids, erected as tombs for Egyptian pharoahs as far back as 2560 BC. There are three (3) huge pyramids here, along with the famous statue of the Sphinx, on a desert plain 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Cairo. The city of Cairo itself is an important stop for the tourist because of its many attractions, the most important of which is the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, one of the world’s greatest museums.

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