There are lots of places I have not been to that I aspire to visit. Among them are Tamworth, Iqaluit, and Mendoza. And there are 2 places in Europe that Ruth has not been to but I have. Antwerp and Brugge are both in Belgium. Being part of a traveling couple, in the past I have been in the habit of returning to places I have visited solo so that Ruth can see them, but for some reason we have not returned to this part of Belgium.
We have been to many destinations in Australia but have never been to Tamworth. I have aspired to go there since meeting 2 brothers in The Kimberley who live there, and we planned to see Tamworth on our last trip Down Under. However, at the last minute we had to return to Sydney to visit a dear friend so did not make it there. Tamworth is a city of 76,000 in New South Wales about 250 miles almost due north of Sydney. It’s Australia’s country music capital and has a popular music festival featuring this type of music. No one talks about authentic country music in Australia without mentioning the name Slim Dusty. He had a career as long and illustrious as Willie Nelson’s, became a national icon, but has died. His home in Kempsey is Australia’s Graceland. If we go back to Australia, Tamworth will be on our itinerary for sure.
I like cold places. Nome and Newfoundland have been 2 of my favorite destinations. I would love to visit Iqaluit, pronounced E ka lou eet. Canada’s Northwest Territories split 21 years ago, and this town on Baffin Island became the capital of its eastern half, an entity newly called Nunavut. Now a town of about 8,000, Iqaluit is known for its parks, lack of paved roads, and focus on Inuit culture. It’s not yet big enough to have a Walmart but is growing despite its remoteness. Like Nome, Iqaluit is built on permafrost. The vast Territory it serves has only 31,000 people.
On our way back from Salta, Argentina, to Buenos Aires, Ruth and I landed briefly at the Mendoza airport, and I wanted to go into this city of 2 million known for its European culture but couldn’t. Mendoza is at the center of Argentina’s wine production and is known for it Malbecs. Wine tours are its primary lure. Considered very different from Buenos Aires, Mendoza has high Andes Mountains to its west. It’s about half as high as Denver, CO and is said to be a city of Europe-style plazas like Piazza Italia.
I went to see the cobbled streets and medieval atmosphere of Brugge and the Diamond District of Antwerp with our son, but Ruth has not been to either places in Belgium. I would love to return to both and show her 2 of Europe’s most distinctive towns. Maybe next year!