No Return Cities

I don’t care to go back to Cuba, especially Havana. I wrote about this yesterday. Today I’m thinking about other cities, and is some cases their countries, that I have no desire to return to.

I’m glad I went to Andorra but once was enough. Andorra la Vella, its main city, is the highest capital in Europe. Andorra, the 23rd richest country in the world, is famous for tobacco. It’s on the French-Spanish border, and Ruth & I went there on a bus from Barcelona. Catalan is the language commonly spoken in Andorra. It’s mostly mountains and has been considered as a place to hold the Winter Olympics. This perhaps hasn’t happened because of its reputation.

Andorra has a total population of 77,500 or so, but more than 50 of its citizens die from tobacco use each year. More than 16,000 of them smoke daily, and pallets of stacked cartons of cigarettes are in front of several stores. Andorra has very little farmland, but some of what is available is used to grow tobacco that is usually mixed with eastern tobaccos and sold locally.

I have no need to return to Albania. Its capital Tirana is mostly a shabby city, and visitors see dwellings in all stages of development throughout the country. They also see military bunkers everywhere because this country was run by a crazy dictator, a dedicated Marxist-Leninist named Enver Hoxha, for many years and is still suffering the consequences.

Bulgaria was interesting, but I have little urge to return to its capital city, Sofia. This city is known for its squat shops known locally as a klek. They are knee-high stores in former bomb shelters and cellars like weird 7-11s. They are only found here in the capital. I was so hungry for American food in Sofia that Ruth and I used what little currency we had to buy hamburgers at a Burger King near our hotel. We saw most of Sofia’s tourist sites or sights on several walks.

I would return to Costa Rica but have no desire to return to its capital, San Jose, despite some good museums and attractions like its Teatro Nacional. We took a day trip to Parque Nacional Tortuguero. All the locals on our bus laughed when we dropped off one man at his hotel upon returning to San Jose in early evening. I asked why and was told that his hotel doubled as a whorehouse.

I have no desire to return to distressed Guatemala City.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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