Country Counter

I have a dream … I would like to travel and visit every single country in the World. The problem is that day by day the World is becoming a very dangerous place. Look at this list of countries (For E.g.):

  1. Venezuela
  2. Columbia
  3. Honduras
  4. Iraq
  5. Syria
  6. Lebanon
  7. Nigeria
  8. Chad
  9. Somalia
  10. Yemen
  11. North Korea
  12. Afghanistan
  13. Zimbabwe

It is not clear how I will manage to visit these countries, as of now 😦 Each day I check the newspapers, I see more countries getting added to this “dangerous” list. Anyway, all I can do is to plug away and hope that time will “heal” the problems these countries are facing. Luckily, there are many other countries which can satisfy my travel urges in the meantime πŸ™‚

Note: In my “Country Counter” (below), I am not including countries I was taken to as a child (E.g.Β  Italy, Iran Etc.).

 

Country Count == 45Β 

 

My Top-5 Countries and the reasons “WHY”

COUNTRY “WHY”
Russia A huge country with Tsar opulence (Palaces, Museums Etc.) and the majestic Siberia …
Norway The Top-Dog as far as scenery goes … The Fjords are a must-see. The towns are so cute … Well, how about the Winter? πŸ™‚
Jordan The history! One of the “7 Wonders of the Modern World” (Petra!)
Greece The islands … Hah! Santorini was oh-so-cute. We had a rocking week over there. Athens is almost the cradle of civilization.
USA

 

Duh … πŸ™‚ No Country (so far) has the sheer range of USA. Huge cities, Natural Wonders (Niagara Falls, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Everglades Etc.), Mountains (Rockies), Rivers (Mississippi/Missouri) Etc.

Honorable Mentions: Czech Republic, Turkey, France, Peru, Brazil, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina

 

My Top-5 Cities and the reasons “WHY”

CITY β€œWHY”
San Francisco A small city, but a city with a distinct “personality” … Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the up-and-down Streets Etc. All adds to the charm of the city …
Prague A new entrant, knocking of London πŸ™‚ The Old Town Square, the Christmas Markets, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge Etc. Just a Winter Wonderland … (And I am sure, a Summer Wonderland as well)
St. Petersburg Huge Churches, massive Museums and Palaces … You name it, St. Petersburg has it. One of the most ornate cities you will ever see. The Tsars sure knew how to live it up πŸ˜‰
Istanbul The pride of the Orient … Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar … Wow!
Paris Ah … What a city! Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe … You can spend weeks exploring this mighty city.

Honourable mentions: London, Dubai, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Athens, Moscow, Beijing, Oslo, Hong Kong, Edinburgh

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-bosnia-herzegovina
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Stari Most (“Old Bridge”) in Mostar, from the minaret of Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque. Mostar is one of my favorite destinations.
1-cambodia
Cambodia: Angkor Wat. What an intricate complex it is … I would definitely recommend a Siem Reap visit.
1-canada
Canada: Niagara Falls, Ontario. I definitely plan to be back in Canada. Such a huge scenic country requires many days.
1-china
China: Great Wall of China, Beijing. I have only scratched the surface of China. With so much history, a detailed scrub of China requires several weeks. Hopefully soon …
1-croatia
Croatia: Old City, Dubrovnik. Made a valiant effort to crack my Top-5 πŸ™‚ Just missed. The crystal blue waters, the historic cities … What a country!
1-dsc_3306
Uruguay: Palacio Salvo, Montevideo … Once the tallest building in South America. I had really bad luck with the weather when I was in Uruguay.
1-dsc_3346
Paraguay: Palacia de los Lopez, Asuncion. All decked up for the night … Paraguay is typically not high in a traveler’s list. But I have big ambitions πŸ™‚
1-dsc_4856
Peru: The instantly recognizable “Master-Piece” of Peru … One of the “7 Wonders of the Modern World” … I did the 4-day Trek to Machu Picchu. Though during the trek, the cold, the exertion Etc. was overwhelming, I am 200% glad I did that because it has given me many happy memories.
1-dsc_6813
Brazil: Amazonas … One of the many tributaries of the mighty Amazon River … I had a rocking time at Manaus, Tefe, Mamiraua Reserve Etc. The only downside was the mosquitoes! They practically ate me alive … :-0
1-england.jpg
England: Big Ben, London. London was in my Top-5 Cities list, until I visited Prague πŸ™‚ I hate the weather in England (and London, in particular), but the Country and the City is filled with major attractions.
1-finland
Finland: Helsinki Cathedral, Helsinki. Just like in Uruguay, I was blessed with real lousy weather when I was in Finland 😦
1-france
France: Seine River, from Eiffel Tower. You can see the ominous shadow of the Eiffel Tower. France is yet another Country that will require several visits.
1-germany
Germany: Munster Cathedral, Munster. Germany is another Country that requires many visits.
1-greece
Greece: Santorini! A true paradise, if ever there was one … This picture was taken from my phone camera. No matter what device you use, you have to be a real bad photographer to land up with a bad photo … Greece is that beautiful!
1-hong kong
Hong Kong: 2ifc (International Finance Center) … Alas, there is on Sky-Deck or anything. But Hong Kong is a real nice City with excellent public transit.
1-indonesia
Indonesia: Ubud Rice Fields, Bali. We had a great time in Bali … The architecture and the art work was amazing.
1-ireland.jpg
Ireland: Sculpture of George Salmon at Trinity College, Dublin.
1-japan
Japan: Skytree, Tokyo. Well worth the trip to the top, for the amazing views of Tokyo. Tokyo is a true Metropolis. Kyoto was more traditional … The Shinkansen (Bullet Train) ride? Awesome!
1-jordan
Jordan: The amazing Petra … One of the “7 Wonders of the Modern World”. Though I had tremendous bad luck to have the “Worst Snow-Storm in 100 years” hit me on the day I was in Petra, at least I got Petra to myself πŸ˜‰ Explored the entire Petra in the bad weather.
1-malaysia
Malaysia: Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur. I love Kuala Lumpur. The weather, the cuisine Etc.
1-mexico
Mexico: Cabo San Lucas … Mexico has some beautiful beaches. Though there are parts of Mexico which are dangerous for tourists, we had a great time in Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta Etc.
1-mongolia
Mongolia: Genghis Khan Statue Complex, Ulanbataar. Ghengis Khan dominates Mongolia. His pictures and statues are omnipresent … Understandably so. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is one of the best parks I have ever seen!
1-myanmar
Myanmar: Schwedagon Pagoda, Yangon. Myanmar is filled with Pagodas and Stupas … Never miss the Bagan area. It is a tremendous experience …
1-netherlands
Netherlands: Architecture in Amsterdam … The huge network of canals is fun to explore.
1-norway
Norway: Waterfront, Trondheim, from the Old Town Bridge. Trondheim is such a nice town, I had one of the best jogging experiences there. It was fun to jog all around Trondheim. Oslo is also a very fun city. The Fjords? AMAZING!!!
1-oman
Oman: Sultan Qaboos Mosque, Muscat. Look at how pristine the Mosque is … I loved Oman. Quite an unassuming country.
1-philippines
Philippines: A Jeepney on the streets of Manila. Among all the things I saw and experienced in Manila, the standout is the humble “Jeepney” … What a variety of colors and styles πŸ™‚
1-qatar
Qatar: Museum of Islamic Art, Doha. I could not spent much time in Qatar. Will definitely go back to explore more …
1-russia
Russia: St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow. Russia is an amazing country … A must-visit, IMHO. St. Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal Etc.
1-scotland
Scotland: Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. Edinburgh should be right up there in terms of beautiful cities.
1-serbia
Serbia: Church of Saint Sava, Belgrade. I just wish some of the major sights in Serbia were a tad better maintained. Saint Sava Church is an example. It is very nice, but … Serbia is the home of my Idol, Novak Djokovic πŸ™‚
1-singapore
Singapore: Marina Bay Sands … Singapore is a place my Family enjoys a lot. We love the cleanliness, the modernity and how the city has maximized its limited area.
1-slovenia
Slovenia: Lake Bled, taken from the Bled Castle. The climb to Bled Castle was fun πŸ™‚ Slovenia is a very beautiful country. Ljubljana Castle, especially at night, is a sight for the sore eyes …
1-south korea
South Korea: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul. An excellent attraction … A visit to the DMZ is highly recommended as well.
1-sri lanka
Sri Lanka: Sigiriya! The climb to the top of Sigiriya was a lot of fun … The only sad memory of this particular visit was that our van inadvertently ran over a small stray puppy (The puppy crossed the road and for some reason ran right back on the street) … 😦 But that bad memory apart, Sri Lanka was a lot of fun … Loved the history and the greenery.
1-sweden
Sweden: Gamla Stan, Stockholm. The entire Gamla Stan area is wonderful. Stockholm has many more attractions to offer, though …
1-taiwan
Taiwan: A view of Taipei 101 from Description
Xiangshan (“Elephant Mountain”). This viewpoint is very popular, as there were many photographers there. Taipei 101, with its colored lighting, is very nice to see …
1-thailand
Thailand: Khao Phing Kan (“James Bond Island”), Phuket. Seen the James Bond movie “Man with the Golden Gun”? πŸ™‚
1-turkey
Turkey: View from Bosphorus River (Golden Horn) … You can see Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque in the background. Istanbul is in my Top-5 Cities list πŸ™‚
1-uae
UAE: Sheik Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi. What a majestic Mosque! The conducted tour was well worth it … A better Mosque, I have not seen yet. Really opulent …
1-usa
USA: Mount Rushmore Park, South Dakota. United States is so vast and offers the entire range of attractions any tourist would want … I have deeply explored 37 states in USA. A few more to go πŸ™‚
1-vietnam
Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi … Though I was sick this day, I did my best not to miss any of the major attractions in Hanoi. Vietnam is a great country to visit … Tumultuous past, with lot of natural beauty.
argentina
Argentina: La Boca, Buenos Aires … What a great city Buenos Aires is. Just missed my Top-5 …
1-dsc_0566-001
Czech Republic: Prague Castle, from Charles Bridge, Prague. Prague! Czech Republic! What an experience it was …
1-img_20181228_091308
Austria: Belvedere Palace, Vienna. When I think of Vienna, Salzburg Etc. the 1st word that comes to mind is “Imperial” … Palaces, Castles … What a country.

 

 

Adios!

 

 

 

 

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