Places Far, Far Away

One of the many blessings I count in my life is the opportunity I've had to do some overseas traveling.  Today I thought I'd share some brief thoughts on the foreign countries (and one self-governing commonwealth) that I've visited:

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Belgium-My senior English teacher docked me a point on a paper for typing the Grand Place instead of the Grand Palace. It really is Grand Place and I still want my point back.  Make sure to see the night-time laser light show!

Luxembourg-Teeny tiny, but beautiful.  You know the capital city and country are the same, right?  Making it officially Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

France-After two trips to Paris I can officially say I could care less about ever going back there.  The Normandy Coast and the French Riviera, however, are definitely worth repeat visits.

Netherlands-My paternal ancestry and I LOVE this country!!!  

Canada-The thoroughfare for my multiple drives to and from Alaska. I'm still grateful for kind strangers 50km north of Edmonton who helped me change my flat tire.

Mexico-Anyone who tells me they're taking a Mexican Riviera cruise will probably never have to worry about me asking them for travel advice.    

London, England
England-I haven't made it out of London, yet, but definitely on my list to go again.

Bermuda-A GREAT cruise destination because all the ports are on the same island.  Get off at the first one and rent a scooter for the rest of your stay.  You don't have to be on the ship when it moves-but know that the island is a little step back in time and all-night gas pumps may not be readily available...

Bahamas-Okay, this is a little cheating because I've only been on the beach Princess Cruises leases.
Guatemala-Does anyone have insight on how safe it is to travel independently here?  Not knowing, we were overly cautious.

Costa Rica-Definitely do the zip-lining.  I went 5 months pregnant.  My husband and I were the only English speakers and after listening to a 20-minute safety speech in Spanish we were told, "Hold here, don't touch here. Go!"  

Panama-Traveling through the canal is amazing!  Tip for my LDS readers-the Panama LDS temple is viewable as you're entering/exiting the east end of the canal. 

Puerto Rico-I mostly remember it being dirty.

Barcelona, Spain
Taiwan-This also should be considered a cheat, but a 10-hour over-night layover anywhere counts in my book.

Thailand-Go here!!  Get out of Bangkok right away.  I went north to Chiang Mai and did a jungle trek.  Next time I'll go south to Phuket and the beaches!

Malaysia-Aqua blue beaches, snake temples, and English architecture-a surprisingly interesting destination.

Singapore-As clean as the news reports lead you to believe.  

Spain-Gaudi was such a freak!  A big-dreaming freak!

Australia-Really incredible-Perth was my absolute favorite.  Great opposite-side-of-the-road driving in Tasmania.

Cinque Terre, Italy
New Zealand-The mist in the fjords is worth getting up early for, but I'd spend the rest of my vacationing days on the north end of the north island if I could.  

Tahiti-French-speaking and you'll REALLY benefit from being french-speaking, too.

Italy-Where to start?  Go here...that's all I can say.

Portugal-All the blue & white tiles in Lisbon-enchanting!

Albania-Such a sad looking country.  The fall of communism, the rise of capitalism, and now?  Deserted developments as far as the eye can see.

Croatia-Everything wonderful that, for me, Albania was not. 

The Matterhorn, Switzerland
Switzerland-Idyllic and the greatest place to have family!

Gibraltar-Okay, the Rock of Gibraltar is a real place!  And at the top is a mess of wild monkeys. Totally awesome!

Do you have a story from any of these countries?