Just in case the world is actually coming to an end this year, to be specific on the 21st of December, we should all try to travel as much as we can in 2012. Unfortunately my travel agenda for the next couple of months doesn’t really look that impressive: a citytrip to Bruges, a weekend in Amsterdam and a couple of days at the Sziget Festival in Budapest. A couple of extra holidays could make 2012 so much more interesting. But where to go? I checked the Lonely Planet’s Must-Visit Countries in 2012, but that didn’t help much. From the top ten countries to visit, I’ve only been to three, but out of those three, there are two I won’t go back to any time soon: Denmark and Cuba. (btw: Uganda might be a little too dangerous, even our ministry of foreign affairs states there are large areas you shouldn’t go to as a tourist. And Myanmar? Could be stunning, but politically not very correct, is it?)
Honestly, of all the countries I’ve been to in Europe, I found Denmark the most boring. It’s even hard not to fall asleep while writing this. I was there two times, once in Copenhagen and once in Thy, in the north-west of the country. And both times I came back with a hangover. In Copenhagen I was looking forward to seeing the statue of the mermaid and to walk trough Freetown Christiania. But the statue was about two feet high and surrounded by large groups of Asian photographers, probably equally disappointed as I was. And Christiania didn’t satisfy my inner hippy at all. Where I thought to find free spirited people, I only found people who had drank too much spirits the night before. Homeless people sleeping it of on benches, big ugly dogs wandering around and the occasional policeman patrolling the area. The rest of the city looks better, but it’s just not that interesting. There were some pretty girls though. You don’t even have those in Thy, the north-west province of Denmark. Here I visited a place called Klitmoller, that calls itself ‘The Cold Hawaii’. This nickname gives you high hopes, but it only brings disappointment, unless you are a die hard surfer.
And yes, also Cuba is not on my ‘to do again’-list. I thought Havana was very interesting, with the beautiful old buildings, awesome cars, good cocktails and happy people dancing on every little square. But once you take a closer look you can see the people aren’t really that happy. And they can’t really afford to drink cocktails or go to bars with live music to dance to. According to Lonely Planet you should go while the clock is still stopped at 1959. It’s funny that the only thing that is not like in 1959 anymore, are the prices. Com’on, 80 euros for a room in a ‘charming’ hotel, or 30 euros in a private house (casa particular) is just way too much for what you get in return.
So why don’t I just book a trip to Switzerland? It’s also expensive, but I could drive there and take a tent and some sleeping bags. Or I could go on one of those new trains leaving in Paris. And at least I will be sure not to be disappointed…
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