Happy 2011! To celebrate the awesome new blogs and amazing travel writing that was published in 2010 we are hosting the 1st Annual Best Travel Writing Posts Carnival. We received numerous awesome submissions and included all of them below. They are in no particular order . Each post name is followed by a blurb about the post or the first few sentences of the post.
Best Travel Writing: 2010
Todd authored HOW TO: Get In (and Back Out) of San Pedro, Bolivia’s Most Notorious Prison posted at Notes of a Globetrooper.
We recently asked why on Earth would anyone accompany a real criminal into a real prison under entirely false pretenses for a completely illegal tour. I myself wondered if I’d actually do it, given the chance. From a trip to the police station, to being scammed, to giving up hope, to finding a second-wind, to finally getting in, and then getting out again… it’s all here.
I’m a big believer of the old saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans do", but there are a few Canadian habits that I just can’t shake in Germany and yes, that includes thinking that red really is the best color for police uniforms as it is the traditional color of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P).
Brutal sun blazed down on the Mayan ruins of Palenque, Mexico. Heat permeated my boots and crept up my pant legs as I climbed steep stone stairs of the Palacio – the Palace. I paused at the top to ineffectually dab my beaded brow with a too-wet tissue. As I blinked away stinging sweat streaming into my eyes, the powerful city that once ruled over a large part of the states of Chiapas and Tabasco in southern Mexico came into focus. For miles in every direction, ancient temples poked through dense vegetation. The wonder of this place is not how it grew to be such a powerhouse of Mayan culture. The wonder is how it existed at all.
It’s 1 September, the night before I leave for Dublin. I’m having an arrivederci dinner with my upstairs neighbors – the DiVecchios; middle-aged parents of the screaming Emilia. Maria says it’s her mission to find me a man. She says this over spaghetti alle vongole, as Emilia grabs fistfuls of table and kicks her feet towards the wine glasses. A glint comes into Maria’s eye. She says: “I have it. The perfect man for you. Stefano.”
In his novel Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts wrote that “The Indians are the Italians of Asia”. At first I thought that Roberts’ words were a liberal stretch of the imagination. But after various visits to Italy, I’ve come to realise that the two countries have more in common than just the enigmatic Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Always capitalise the “f” in Food
Nothing gives you more insight into your spouse’s DNA than a trip to their hometown. It’s an exploration of far more intimate geography, a navigation of the elements that shape a personality. Guidebooks don’t work here, as the landmarks are far too personal. What I learned on a trip this summer to my husband’s birthplace: tiny Atlantic, Iowa.
Have you ever thought about hitchhiking on your journeys? For one traveller, the experience provided insights into his fellow countrymen and restored a bit of faith in humanity.
The beauty of Grenada is not only in the lush topography and fragrant spices, but in the warm and resilient people who make it home.
A volunteer gig as Santa that turned me into a permanent Santa in Okinawa, Japan.
A post about visiting Bern with a six year old, and how to enjoy the city on foot and using public transport
The Walkway Over the Hudson is not only the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge, it is also an inspirational example of recycling on a gargantuan scale. It was created by renovating the historic Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge, which for decades stood in disrepair, unused. A preservationist group began raising funds over a decade ago, confident that the $35 million renovation cost would be far less than the cost to dismantle it. They were right, and use of the bridge in its new life has far exceeded anyone’s projections! This piece is about a rainy afternoon in Burano — and all the color and life therein.
Swimming with wild dolphins is an extraordinary travel experience, and vastly different than, say, watching a trained dolphin show at SeaWorld. Although I know the spinner dolphins off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii don’t remember me, swimming among them was an experience I’ll never forget.
Visiting a major expo which occurs only every five years is not a usual occurrence. The highlight of my 2010 travels was getting inside the Shanghai World Expo, which was like seeing the world through the many pavilions. The expo theme of Better City, Better Life fits promotes balanced progress of cities that also advances the protection of the environment.
The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden was one of the highlights of our familiarization trip in Chiang Mai. Visiting attractions like this enables me to learn more about plants and brings me closer to nature.
I love cycling. In Toronto, its my primary mode of transport throughout the year. When I went to Montreal last spring, I found the city’s cycling infrastructure to be excellent, and I’ve tried to capture it in this post.
It is my honeymoon trip to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. As lonelyplanet say it: It is the soul of Java. And indeed, we encounter some soul as free as we can imagine
A comprehensive list of the best New York City food carts.
In many ways, Norway is a green pioneer. However, it’s difficult for one of the world’s largest oil exporters to further reduce emissions at home.
If you want to impress your friends, relive your vacation memories and laugh all over again, take fun pictures. Here are some of my favorite tips taken on a recent trip to Philadelphia and Washington D.C..
I have just got back from an incredible trip to the Pantanal in search of great fazendas (farms) for the Hidden Pousadas Brazil sites and now I really feel like a fully-fledged explorer.
This is a story from the heart. It’s not a solo travel story but a story that explains why I travel solo. It’s a story about long term travel. My hope is that it inspires you to take the trip of your dreams.
And from our blog, Go Green Travel Green, the favorite post was 10 Chilling Tales of People Killed by Icicles Around the World.
Strolling through my Minneapolis, Minnesota neighborhood yesterday, I noticed a 6-foot-long icicle dangling from a neighbor’s gutter and thought, “That looks like it could kill someone.” It turns out, it could. Falling icicles kill people all of the time — especially in Chicago and Russia. In fact, death by icicle goes back to at least 1776. Here are 10 chilling tales of people killed and injured by falling icicles, ice dams, and roof snow.
Now – go curl up on the couch with your laptop and start reading!