"Born Traveller!!!" romanhighlander's Profile
It was a fluke!!! I had only been on school tours during my teens BUT when I turned 20!!!! I couldn't wait to explore the world. I had friends in Asia and what was supposed to be a few weeks trip to Japan, ended up being a 3-4 year rollercoaster ride taking me to country after country! The more I travelled, the more I desired. The thrist was never quenched. Although now, when I have considerably slowed down, whenever I get a chance, I am in the air. I hate sailing but I have no problem with flying at all. Like I say , I BELONG IN THE AIR!!!!
The trouble is that when you have been to many places, you tend to end up repeating your favourite places. I am not immune to that tradition, whereas, whenever I revisit a country it is my priority to try and hit new ground. Over the years, I have been to a few places that I really wanted to go again, like the thriving Barcelona, Cote du Azur, Benelux, India & Pakistan!!!
It was an absolute privilege to be going on a Official visit to India and Pakistan in March & April. Our team included businessmen, Representative of Council and other oragnisation. Our main aim was to promote Bardford as Bradford is currently undergoing a massive regeneration process costing Billions of Pounds. We were honoured to meet the Indian PM Man Mohan Singh in Delhi, Pakistani PM Shukat Aziz at PM house Islamabad, Sardar Ateeq PM Independent Kashmir and Raja Zulqurnain President Independent Azad Kashmir. We also had meetings with Minsiter, Police Official, various organisation and Sheila Dikshit Chief Minister of Delhi.
My second time to Switzerland. Last time I went to Geneva in 2001 and I was alone as is my habit. This tour however, was with mates from Holland and Belgium. We drove from Amsterdam, picking up passengers from The hague, Luik and Antwerpen. It was an all night drive for us and then we picked up some flying mates jetting in at Zurich!! In the Europcar vito we headed to Landhaus Hotel, Giswil, some 20 km off Lucerne. It is on the main highway going to Interlaken and as it is at some altitude the sights are awesome. During our 3 days stay we took the cog wheel train (world's steepest) ride up the mount Pilatus 2100 metres. From there we hopped on a cable car to the outskirts of Lucerne centre. The cable car ride was amazing as we got the expereince the true beauty of Lucerne. Breathtaking views and quite easily one of the best rides I have ever had. We bussed it to the centre of Lucerne from where we took the boat 90 minutes back to our parked vehicle under mount Pilatus. We also stopped at Interlaken and Bern, (Capital) on our way back to Amsterdam!!! It turned out to be a cracking tour!!!
Most of my travels have been alone. I am at ease when it is me against the clock. It saves all the hassle and arguments and a lot of time. I just get the map out, zero in on the sights and away you go. I go around at a brisk pace and unless I am in some spectacular place, I tend to wrap up quick. The negative side of travelling alone is that you are more vulnerable to petty crime and I have indeed over the years been through that phase as well. I can consider myself lucky as I have had a couple of close shaves. Thankfully, incidents like that, did not put me off but on the contrary spurred me on to new epic heights of travelling. My advice to everyone has been to be vigilant and keep your eyes open. Be aware of who is infront of you and who is behind you and if in doubt, pull out!!! Never be complacent, and be prepared to make a move in 10 seconds flat, if you can see the HEAT coming round the corner!!!!!
It was a depressing and sad day for me. This date for me will live in infamy for as long as I live. On the stroke of midnight, the bustling and thriving Colony went back to Chinese, after 150 years. I was there and saw it happen and sobbed bitterly. Hong Kong was so very close to my heart and it was going to the Chinese. What I was more concerned about, and same feelings the locals shared, was the fear and uncertainty for the future. How will the Chinese treat the high degree of Autonomy that the Island enjoyed during the British rule. Fear was evident in everyone's eye and in hindsight, to a certain degree we might say that our suspicions were along the right lines. However, political issue aside, Hong Kong is a major business centre and one place that will remain close to my heart, forever. I will need to amass tons of courage to go back once more!!!
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