Thursday, June 25, 2009

We call it... the, uh... ... The place to be! Yes! It's the place to be.

Here's a list of favorite magical places I can remember from my life so far, in reverse chronological order from last weekend back to childhood.
  • The North Country Fair grounds under a midnight twilight sky, mist from the river covering the whole valley, high bright clouds in the dark blue sky, distant camp fires and sounds of drumming everywhere.
  • That stretch of La Rive Gauche from the view of the Notre Dame, glowing in a soft misty aura of hazy lights, to the circles where they come to dance Tango d'Argentine et al. Everywhere are groups of young Parisians with picnics and wine, singing and playing instruments, dancing with fire.
  • The hostel at Gimmelwald; looking up past prayer flags to watch the moon playing in and out from behind the surrounding mountains; the view from the hot tub interrupted only when putting another log in the stove.
  • The hostel at Freiburg, its massive and welcoming common room permeated with signs of musical and artistic creative energy. At the back door is a stream with a water generator in it; beyond that is a hill covered with the Black Forest.
  • The hostel in Budapest, with its thousand pictures and thousands of stories. Lounging in a hammock in the covered sanctuary in the back yard, anticipating and smelling the goulash slowly cooking over a fire a few feet away. The place had a magical energy that you could feel, and see in the faces of everyone there.
  • The mountains near Darjeeling. Food cooked over open fires in the kitchen, by families with simple lives. Climbing the hill in the early morning to see the distant Mount Everest before the clouds came in.
  • Lisa's old house, with turntables in the basement turning all night, keyboards and recording studio upstairs, and hot tub and barbecue on the roof.
  • Prague old town square, its Church of Our Lady looking straight out of a fairy tale. Cesky Krumlov too... its castle enchanted under the moonlight; its bars serving up absinthe and the nicest drunk feeling I've ever had; its hostel with the luxurious bathtub; its ambiance perfect for falling in love.
  • Fairmont hot springs, under the waterfall with a girl in a pink bikini. Of course I didn't talk to her, but then... I was only a child.
  • Dancing with family at Saint Georges club in Bermuda. The tropical scenery, the decadent surroundings, the pina coladas... feeling like a poor family, but tonight: like we were made. I was just a kid and could not dance, and maybe this was the first time I tried, but that didn't matter.
  • The deck of the family home, staying up late on a warm summer night with family friends and a spectacular northern lights display.

Building this list reminds me to go traveling. There are a lot of recurring themes here... it seems the perfect place would have these elements: Mountains, warm water, camp fire, prayer flags, and live music.

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