Saturday, 10 March 2007

Listing the ports

Saturday night is party night in ... Oh, who am I kidding? I just watched Around the World in 80 Treasures. The problem with this program is that it makes me want to hop onto an aeroplane and head for exotic places. I have a long enough list of destinations—I don't need any more to add to it.

This week the affable Dan Cruickshank was in India and Sri Lanka. I haven't travelled to either country. (Well, I was in Sri Lanka for a few hours when I was three but I'm not sure that counts as a real visit.) Both are on my list. Cruickshank went to Cochin, the Taj Mahal and Red Fort at Agra, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy ... He also went to Jaipur.

Jaipur is on my list for the water palace and the forts. But I didn't know about the observatory*. Built between 1727 and 1733 by Maharajah Jai Singh II, it is the largest astronomical observatory of its type. It includes a sundial with a gnomon the size of a ski-jump** that measures the time more accurately than my bedside clock. The complex looks like an astronomical Disneyland.

Next week Cruickshank is off to explore Persepolis and Tamerlane's Mauseoleum in Samarkand. The week after he's at Petra, Burgon's "rose red city half as old as time". I might have to give up watching television. Either that or earn more money, so I can visit all these places before I enter my dotage.

Where did I put that plaid rug?


* Because I seem to have lived much of life without knowing very much at all

** For wimps


Trevor said...

I share your frustrations. So much so, I've started a series on my travel blog called Exotic Destinations - places I'd love to go but can't afford. Travelling vicariously through the internet, books and television is cheap , but not very satisfying.

To add insult to injury, my daughter heads off to Ireland in April. Mind you, she's also taking with her 15 feisty teenagers on a school exchange.

I've found a very simple cure for itchy feet by the way. Just look at the bank balance.

Snail said...

I think the deficiency with the bank balance just makes it worse!

Ascension Island is another destination on my list. It doesn't pop up on television very often. But tonight David Attenborough featured it on the Planet Earth.


amegilla said...

Don't forget...

It's the same old world wherever you go,
Whatever place you are at.
The Earth is round but ev'rything on it is flat!
Don't tell me Venice has no lure.
Just a town without a sewer.
The Leaning Tower I adore.
Indecision is a bore!

(Removed from the musical Gigi with no ceremony whatsoever.)



>Temple of the Sacred Tooth

Sounds like a place where dentists would go to worship.