Travel highlights of 2009

Over on Lonely Planet I’ve posted my travel highlights from the past decade. Here, I thought I might run the best bits from 2009 before the year is out. What are yours?

Leaving Zimbabwe on the Victoria Falls Bridge

Feeling the torrents of Victoria Falls on my bare chest. Lacking a rain mac, I whipped off my top and let the surging Zambezi Waters do their worst. One wonder of the world which lived up to the name. While in Zimbabwe I picked up a few $100 Trillion bills, which made for good presents. I gave one to Tony Wheeler, who left in on Jack Kerouac’s grave in Lowell, Massachusetts. Jack gave me my first itchy feet, so this felt quite appropriate.

One hundred trillion dollars - as Dr Evil would say

Riding through the Windhoek (Namibia) rain and rush hour to finish my stage of the Tour d’Afrique, one of the finest adventures of my life.

Like the man himself, Windhoek's Robert Mugabe Avenue goes on forever and induces misery

Eating chips on the Kusttram in Belgium, and getting on Marvin Gaye’s trail in Ostend.

Thor Heyerdahl’s Oslo: the Kon-Tiki discovered, and warming up in the Tiki Bar before walking beautiful Autumnal streets.

Oslo Opera House

I loved being in transit at Changi Airport, and went for a swim at sunset. If only all airports were like this.

A happy picnic lunch at the Gare de Lyon, Paris, then across France by TGV, to a tiny hameau with a river at the end of the road to swim in, and my family to have fun with.

Glasgow, at last. So many highlights, but drinking 1% ginger beer in Monorail Records and communing with the ghosts of the Hi-Hi in Cathkin Park. Then being far too excited to sleep on the Sleeper Train home.

Glasgow's Cathkin Park

London to West Brom: a grand bike-ride

England’s wonderful secrets: a church in an Oxfordshire field, a summer’s evening at a riverside pub in the Norfolk Broads, a man’s face at The Hawthorns as I told him I’d cycled from London, fell running on the West Riding, the London Transport Depot in Acton and Gunnersbury Park.

Here’s to a great 2010. Happy Christmas to everyone who has stopped by this year, and I hope to see you again.

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