The five places that should be struck from your bucket list
COLORADO IS GREAT. DENVER SUCKS
but it has a great PR machine. There’s a reason the Denver Broncos lost this year’s Super Bowl and that’s because it’s the beer capital of the US and its sister city is Ulan Bator in Mongolia. Brad and Angelina hang out at the Grizzly Rose in Denver about as often as they do at the Grand Khan Irish pub in Ulan Bator. Denver International Airport says it all. At 137.3sqkm, it’s bigger than Manhattan. Two words: drab and boring. Alternative: New York.
Disneyland in California. Look, I have four kids. They were young once and I stupidly took them to the Happiest Place on Earth and stayed in the WallyWorld hotel so we could get into the park early and my eldest daughter could be traumatised for life by Goofy, who snuck up on her and tried to muscle in on the hot dog she was eating. For only $100 for you and another $100 each for every child over 10, you get two-hour queues, closed rides, the population of Darwin and fattening, soggy food and people. Two words: stay
John Connolly writes about life, leisure and taking care of business
and away. Alternative: Coney Island, New York.
Bali: To paraphrase the song: “Bali will whisper, here am I, your special island, come to me, come to me”. Don’t listen. The Bali you dream about is the Bali of the Hippie Trail and
the world’s greatest surf movie, Morning of the
Earth. The Bali of now is a mind-expanding voyage into cheap dental implants, the worst
Australian tourists, overnight nightmare flights, thieving monkeys, polluted beaches, motorcycle injuries, glitzy hotels but unbelievably beautiful (in every sense of the word) Balinese people. Two words: better and yesterday. Alternative: Coopers Beach, New York (summer only).
Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco: San Francisco and everything within 300km of the city is fantastic. Everything except Fisherman’s Wharf, that is. When you think wharf you think quaint old sea persons (QOSPs) bringing home the day’s catch for you to eat while you watch the QOSPs wash down their boats, untangle the nets and prepare for another Hemingwayesque day on the ocean. You don’t think Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, the Harley Davidson store, Annie’s Hot Dogs and Pretzels, Applebee’s or the Hard Rock Cafe. There is a reason not many prisoners tried to swim the 2.4km from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf. The food was better in jail. Two words: crook and expensive. Alternative: The Wharf, Rockaway Park, New York.
Saint Martin in the Caribbean: Here’s your first clue: this island is 60/40 Dutch/French, so if you are forced to go, stay completely away from the Dutch bit. Now the French bit could be not bad but just about every day about one million cruise ships pull into Philipsburg and the 20 million passengers whose idea of a tropical paradise is sitting on beach chairs with 19 million other passengers sipping expensive cocktails, listening to very loud music and trying to turn very white skin very red go to the French side beaches. Quite rightly, the local persons don’t take much of a liking to what appear to them to be very rich whiteish people having a great time while they are jobless and francless so they turn to the national sport of stealing. Two words: empty and pockets. Alternative: The rooftop pool at the Hotel Gansevoort in New York. Dutch name, French food, no crime.
Crook and expensive ... Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco