Flickr photos of 1,000 places to see before you die

A friend of a friend of mine sent me a link to a blog post by Molly McCall. Molly has the dibs on a Flickr pool where photographers are uploading their best shots of the places that made it into Patricia Schultz’s book 1000 Places to See Before You Die.

When I went to this Flickr pool myself, I picked out the Sistine Chapel from the thumb nails on the first page straight off. Yep, I agree with this one. It’s worth braving the crowds of Rome to see this gem. I also recognized The Louvre. The rest of the first page thumbnails I’m not too sure about. If it”s between Paris and Rome. I’d choose Rome. If you’d choose Paris, there’s nothing wrong wth that.

With 404 members, this pool of more than 4,000 photos can keep you busy marveling over the variety of places to see in this world. There are close ups, panoramas, buildings and nature that range from the artsy to the mysterious to the bold camera angles. The variety of the composition is a broad as the subject matter.

This shot of Oia, Greece by Avarl reminded me of the trip to Europe I took after I received my undergraduate degree. The day I spent riding a motorcycle around Skopolos, another Greek island was one of my days of perfection. I drew a sketch in my journal of one of the villages that looked quite similar to this one.

France’s Visitors Equal Its Population

Here is an interesting fact I came across. The number of people who visit France each year is equal to its population. Each equals 60 million. [source: National Geographic Traveler] Of the visitors, here are some statistics about Paris, the city that is partly responsible for the visitor bounty.:

  • number of people who visit the Eiffel Tower: more than 6 million
  • number of people who visit the Louvre: more than 5 million

In an aim to get more people to come to Paris, July 9 is the first ever Tourism Day in Paris. Visitors will receive a commemorative bracelet and a map to find participating venues.There are also other events of note that coincide. One of them is the Paris Cinema International Film Festival, July 3-14, where over 300 films will be shown. For information about both, check out where you can find all you need to know about travel in Paris and travel deals.

Paris: Romance Perfection or Romance Disaster? You Decide.

Now, that this day has been filled with love, here’s the other side of the coin. Paris is touted as the city for romance. Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes there. Gene Kelly danced through puddles to “Singing in the Rain” in An American in Paris. Frank Sinatra crooned “I Love Paris,” (click for lyrics) Cole Porter’s song. We’ve all seen pictures of the Eiffel Tower backlit with kissing couples doing some perfectly framed eye-gazing.

Sure, Paris might be the place for romance, but my first time there during my junior year in college was romantically disasterous. The first misstep was not convincing that dashing Canadian fellow I met at that youth hostel in Norway to ditch his friend in Germany for a couple of days and come to Paris with me. “There will always be Berlin,” I had said.

Being young and determined, instead of altering MY course and going with him like he thought I should do, I headed to Paris alone on my “I’m independent” streak. No, nothing terrible happened, but I did fend off a custodian’s advances at a Metro stop which involved drawing a toilet on a scrap of paper after I unwittingly wandered into his custodial closet while looking for the restroom. With that coloring my impressions, I wasn’t too thrilled to brave out my adventure. I did get in a boat tour on the Seine River, toured the Louvre and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, went to a symphony concert and walked along the Champs Elysee before heading out of town feeling disappointed. I sighed all the while, thinking about my missed Canadian opportunity. Oh, the follies of youth.

Thankfully, I’ve been back to Paris three times since then and each time was better than the last. So, go ahead, give Paris and romance a shot. Just avoid the custodial closets.

If you are going to be in Paris on Valentine’s Day here is a romantic dinner cruise you can take on the Seine. If you can’t make it by the 14th, this cruise is a daily event made for two, but book ahead.

Do you have any of your own sad-sack love/travel stories? Here is a place for venting.