My daydream holiday destinations

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The other day I found myself thinking about places I’d like to travel to. “Like” is not really a strong enough word, though. Maybe “urge” is more descriptive. Places or things I feel I have to experience, and soon, as some of them probably won’t be there forever. My destinations might not be what most consider proper “holiday” destinations though.

My current top 5 reads like this:

The abandoned Russian Ekranoplan in Kaspiysk, Russia

This is the grail of destinations, the final resting place of maybe the last existing Ekranoplan, on the shore of the Caspian Sea in Russia. I’m not sure why this speaks so deeply to me, but it touches something quite fundamental. Is it the massively cool Russian cold war engineering? The desolate final resting place where it lies? The manner in which such a still great idea has been cast aside? Heck, I don’t know, but there mere thought of it has me tearing up. If you’re not feeling it, take a look through this awesome photo-documentary of it, here. Maybe I should start a Kickstarter campaign to rescue it?

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The WW2 Maunsell forts in the Thames and Mersey estuaries

I actually made an attempt to visit the Maunsell forts in the Thames estuary a couple of years back, but there were very few options, bar renting a canoe or calling a Captain Haddock style boat hire place, of getting out to them. Places like this are no doubt quite magic to visit on your own, but a knowledgeable guide would really add to the experience. This goes for the Ekranoplan as well, naturally. These forts were erected in 1943 and are still standing there. What a brilliant, insane idea!

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The Hebridean Islands off the coast of Scotland

Now, you’re thinking I want to head up to the motherlode of Harris tweed for some truly enthusiastic fondling, right? Ok, so going back to the roots of Harris tweed, getting to see where it’s made, visit the wool sheds, visit an actual weaver busy at the loom in the shed at his croft, taking in the massive place of worship that is the Harris Tweed Authority, is part of it. How could it not be? But there is so much more. Try Peter Mays photo guide to the Islands, and read his four crime novels set there. Achingly great stuff. The desolation, the wind, the peat bogs. The hardy sheep whose wool becomes carpets on the mainland as it’s too coarse to make tweed of. Next year I want to be on the ferry to Stornoway.

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The current hipster origo: Portland

Yep, that’s the one. Portland, Oregon. Home of beards, boots, craft beer, all things eco, a million little start-up companies making artisanal stuff, a place where enthusiasm trumps profit margins and life is sweet. Or so I’d like to think, even though I detest the limp Kinfolk magazine and laugh along with Portlandia, the tv-series that spoofs all the silliness. In a world where global warming is carrying on with little real hope of stopping it, the Panama papers are revealing a level of corruption and greed that even the most suspicious could only guess at and where a character from South Park could become the next president of the USA, is it wrong to seek escape from the madness? And does the dream of 90’s really have to end?

And that’s it really. I’m struggling to come up with a 5th place that doesn’t involve time travel. Maybe I’ll think of something later.

 

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6 Comments

  • Andrew Halliday 09/10/2016 at 23:06

    Strike Stornoway from this list and add the German towers in Vienna.

    Reply
    • nick 10/10/2016 at 06:44

      To paraphrase Ultravox from 1982, “Vienna means nothing to me” 🙂

      Reply
  • Alastair 11/10/2016 at 00:26

    How about the Goodwood Revival Meeting. Old cars vintage tweeds and style.

    Reply
    • nick 11/10/2016 at 08:01

      Good call! Yes, I do want to get to the Goodwood revival and I keep saying so every year. Maybe 2017 will be when it finally happens?

      Reply
  • Jan 16/10/2016 at 18:30

    Hello,
    could You perhaps write something about the reddish (or heather?) woolen chore coat by Ley Clothing Company You recently posted on Instagram?
    I’m a bit confused about how to contact them and scared of learning how much that cost.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • nick 16/10/2016 at 19:04

      Hi, yes, this will be coming up shortly! Don’t fear the price, it’s only 160 pounds, quite the bargain!

      Reply

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