The list of top five places I’ve been and would go back to in a heart beat continues this week with #s 3 and 2. Tune in next week to find out which place holds the #1 spot.
I will just describe the scene of entering this town and tell me if you would get back their at all costs:
We (5 adults and a 4-year old in a Toyota Matrix) drive down these remote Mexican mountain roads. The pavement turns to cobblestone, the cobblestone turns to dirt, and our altitude continues to rise. We come across a random town with nobody in it, but it looked ready for a parade/festival, and we were greeted by this guy:
So as we ascend, we, and multiple other carloads of people, need to ask a food vendor if we are lost, if he has heard of, and how do we get to one of the magical towns of Mexico. Right before despair set in, we come to a tunnel cutting through the side of a mountain leading to our destination. We wait our turn to pass through the one way tunnel, with old-ass stones, low ceilings, and dim lights.
On the other side, we are greeted by a teen who tells my friend (who is a native Spanish speaker) he will never find a hotel without his help. He jumps on the hood of our car and directs us through the narrow cobblestone streets to a hotel. We head down to the street markets and peruse the brightly colored clothes, religious idols, and souvenirs. The history seeps under the skin and before I knew it, I was mesmerized. How could I not want to go back.**
Oh yeah, I took this picture there too.
** if you want to see the town and the tunnel, watch The Mexican with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. The scenes with Pitt in the small town were filmed here.
2: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Reason: hip, historic, and romantic nostalgia
I had the first conversation with the woman who became my wife in Plovdiv. There is a lot of personal history in that place, to go along with the 6,000 years of history before I was born. Plovdiv has an ancient Roman amphitheater, hip hip nightclubs and cafes, Bulgaria’s first recycling program, art museums that celebrate the cutting edge and ancient times, a city square that could rival any piazza or plaza in Europe, do I need to continue….?
Visitors can spend an afternoon or a week and feel fulfilled. The major attractions are centrally located, so they can all be seen in an efficient manner. The shops are aplenty, parks are a-lovely, and the diskoteks are a-hopping, so an extended stay will not be left with any dull moments. This is very comforting because I know whenever I make it back there, no matter how much time I have to give it, Plovdiv will be ready to show me a good time. One of the best moments of my life happened in Plovdiv, adding my little story to its rich history. I know there are many great moments left to be had. I think ya hear hear me knockin’ Plovdiv, and I think I’m coming in, and I got my family, a group of 12 gypsies dancing the horo, and a whole bunch of chickens coming with me!
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