I was nominated by Jodie from The Little Backpacker to write about which five cities I would return to. I had a really hard time making my decisions for the top five to return to, so I also included a first runner up.
1. Jerusalem, Israel. Just this summer I went to Israel to work on an archaeological dig at Lachish. We would work during the week, and on weekends we went on excursions around the country. The last weekend we had planned on spending in Jerusalem, but because of the political crisis between Israel and Gaza we had to leave early. I was able to see some sites in Jerusalem: the Western Wall and Hezekiah’s Tunnel. But there were many things I didn’t get to see because of the political unrest, and there is so much to see in Jerusalem. Hopefully I will get to go back to properly see the Temple Mount and Holy Sepulcher among other things.
2. Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is an all around interesting city, even if I did get fined while I was there. I love the old town in Prague and how easy it is to get lost in the side streets of the city. The people were extremely kind. Before going to Prague, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I love what I stumbled upon. What really draws me back to this city is night life – underground bars, dancing until the sun rises, and good times.
3. Sorrento, Italy. Sorrento is a nice, relaxing coastal city. It is not too busy and takes one away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. Strolling through the thin, winding streets one can stumble across plenty of little shops and unique restaurants. I love Italian food, which is also a big reason I would love to go back to Sorrento. Plus, you can walk through rows and rows of lemon groves that are then used to make fresh limonchello, YUM! Taking an elevator down from the top of the coastal cliff, you find yourself at a bar on a dock over the Mediterranean. During the day, a short bus trip will take you right down to sun bath and splash in the Sea.
4. Oviedo, Spain. Oviedo is a city that I once called home. I miss everything about it – the old town, the “spaceship mall,” hiking to Mt. Naranco, drinking sidra in the streets, passing by the old cathedral on my way home from a late night out, and the pilgrims walking through on their way to Santiago. Oviedo is well known for its Sidra, an amazing version of hard cider that is extremely unique to the region of Asturias. I would love to go back to the city to revisit some of my favorite hang outs, bars, and of course friends!
5. Munich, Germany (for Oktoberfest!). I went to Munich for a long weekend trip. I love the beer gardens and the wide open parks that are incorporated into the city. The reason I really want to go back to Munich though is for Oktoberfest. As one of the world’s largest festivals, I would love to partake in the festivities.
1st Runner Up. Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul is a lively city with a rich cultural history. I really enjoyed checking out The Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, The Cisterns among other things. I also find the shisha (hookah) culture very intriguing – Istanbul and Jerusalem are the only places in which I have ever tried shisha. Beyond the cultural history, the bazaars are really fun to peruse for unique items.