Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Weasel words

Today BBC TV and British newspapers are reporting with glee that Glasgow is the only European city in a top 10 list of must-see destinations that doesn't mention, for instance, Paris, Rome or Barcelona. As I suspected, however, this is sloppy reporting: the list - established by Frommer - is of UP-AND-COMING must-see destinations, not the top 10 places to visit in the world, as these articles imply. I am so sick of mis-statements like this from the media, if it happens as regards issues that really aren't very important, how can we rely on them for things that are?

Anyway, the only one of the 10 Frommer recommendations that I have visited is Goa, and I'm astonished that anyone thinks that is "up-and-coming" any more (and anyway I think I prefer Kerala). The same applies to Kenya, where I have only transited via Nairobi airport, but I can't believe it is "better" than Tanzania - although I note that they are recommending Amboseli rather than the Masai Mara, presumably because the Mara is already well-known to tourists, and this list is really about where ELSE people who have already been to these places could now think of going.

Of course these things are a matter of personal taste, and even then, I would personally find it very hard to establish a world-ranking of must-see places. My own list, based on places I have already been to, would have to include Venice, the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, Hong Kong, the Alhambra, Petra and New Zealand (and, and, and....) but in what order?! I was once asked by a Mexican-American which country in Europe she should visit if she could only visit one, and I had to say Italy, as it is such a treasure chest. But, if it was a single European city rather than a country, I think I would have had to recommend London over Paris. The BBC TV programme "Around the World in 80 Treasures" narrows things down even more, sometimes the treasure concerned is a place or building, but sometimes it is a specific object.

All I know is, the world is full of wonderful places and things, and I want to see them ALL!


At 12/1/06 04:06, Blogger Green said...

London during the summer would be nice.
I traveled around Scotland and remembered Edinburgh, nice city but can't remember Glasgow. It must have been changed a lot...

At 12/1/06 09:16, Blogger qaminante said...

I believe Glasgow has changed a lot in the years since it was European City of Culture (which was in 1990!), but I confess I don't know it well either, Edinburgh sticks far more in my mind. One of these days I'll have to go and see what all the fuss is about.
I like London (for the lights, window displays, outdoor skating rink..) just before Christmas - apart from the crowds in Oxford Street, which is not very nice at any time of year. But for sight-seeing, it is certainly better in summer, especially for trips on the river.


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