These are ten places I have been to that seldom make it to an American tourist’s itinerary. I have been to all these places and cannot recommend them highly enough.
1. Damascus Syria — Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is huge in the Moslem world but it also has much Christian history attached to it. The picture below is of one of the main mosques in the city. But if you look closely you will see that it resembles a cathedral, which it was. The cathedral was built by the Crusaders but when the Ottoman Empire moved the Christians out it retained its status as a holy place.
2. Baalbek Lebanon — Lebanon was once a destination for French tourists. Beirut is a beautiful city with very friendly people. The ancient town of Baalbek sits northwest of Beirut. The picture below shows the remains of the temple of Baal, the Phoenician sun-god. The Greeks and Romans also built temples on this site dedicated to their sun-god.
3. Cyprus — Cyprus is an island at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. It has endured centuries of fighting between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants. Still, it is a place of beauty and great historical importance. Cyprus is the location of Othello’s Castle as told by Shakespeare. The picture below is of one of the beaches on the north coast of Cyprus.
4. Warsaw Poland — Warsaw is a city rich in Polish, and European, history. Its people are very friendly, its food extremely good, and its prices very reasonable.
The picture below is of a street called Nowy Swiat and is typical of many Polish streets.
This is a picture of Market Square in Warsaw.
This last picture is of the Wilanow Palace in Warsaw.
5. Porto Fino Italy — Most people who visit it visit places like Rome, Venice, Florence, and Naples. But Italy has hundreds of other cities that are great destinations. Chief among these is one well-known to Europeans, Porto Fino. Porto Fino is a small city south of Milan that is a hideaway for European millionaires. This is a place where seeing the large yachts of the wealthy and the super-wealthy is not at all unusual. Even so, reasonably priced accommodations are not difficult to find.
6. Volterra Italy — Volterra is a small town located in the central Italian mountains. Its 13th Century center remains virtually unchanged since it was built. Extremely narrow street defy the use of automobiles in them. Volterra is also the site of a first century Roman amphitheater.
7. Kona Hawaii — When visitors to Hawaii decide to go to other Hawaiian Islands they make Maui, Molokai and Kauai their prime destinations. But the largest island of the chain, known as the Big Island of Hawaii, offers everything any of the other islands have and more. For people visiting the big island Kona is the city where you want to stay. It is the second largest town, to Hilo, on the island but has a quaintness about it that is extremely attractive. Not too far from Kona is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
8. Boothbay Harbor Maine — I have visited most of the seaside cities and towns on the Maine coast and I believe Boothbay Harbor to be far and away the finest of these. Boothbay is a small town situated in mid-coast Maine. It is at least half an hour from the nearest interstate. Boothbay is rich with history surrounding ship building and fishing. The town has any number of bed and breakfast houses which are virtually the only place you can stay there as there are only a very few motels.
9. Monaco — When Americans consider what countries to visit in Europe, I doubt Monaco ever comes under consideration. You cannot fly there, it does not have an airport. The closest is probably Marseille France. Monaco is a hidden gem. It sits between the Alps and the Mediterranean sea. You arrive there either by car or by train. The city-state offers beautiful beaches, casinos, and an active castle.
10. Krakow Poland — Krakow is the most ancient of cities in Poland. Its history reaches back to the earliest of times in Polish history. The city was amazingly untouched by World War 2, it was never bombed or even attacked. It retains all of its old-world quaintness. Its leisurely way of life is conducive to the most restful of vacations. It is also home to Jaglonian University which dates back to the 14th Century.