Don’t mind if I do! As long as you don’t go by Shakespeare’s depiction of Denmark, the Scandinavian country is supposed to be one of the happiest places on Earth (and beautiful!). Over the past few years, Denmark has received a lot of attention for its environmental initiatives, but it’s also known for having some of the best restaurants in the world. It’s been a long time since I’ve explored a new city, so Copenhagen with its free bicycles, cobblestone streets, and Danish (naturally) architecture is particularly enticing. Once you leave the capital, there are ancient castles to visit, bog people (!), and some of the oldest cities in the world. Definitely on my wish list is a trip to the island of Bornholm where you can kayak on the Baltic Sea!
I’ve been wistfully dreaming of St. Petersburg since I learned about its June through July ‘white nights,’ when night is a perpetual state of twilight, basking the city in a white glow. During this magical time, St. Petersburg is home to the annual White Nights Festival, an international celebration of concerts, theatre, opera, and carnivals. I picture myself strolling along the Neva, Dostoyevsky in hand, discovering what he called in Notes from Underground ‘the most abstract and premeditated city in the whole world.’
When you think about artistically important cities of the twentieth century, Tangier in Morocco probably doesn’t come to mind. (If it does, hats off to you, madam!) But it’s true. Novelist and travel writer Paul Bowles spent the last half of his life (over fifty years) living in Tangier. Tennessee Williams spent time there, meeting and befriending Mohamed Choukri, who would become one of North Africa’s most controversial and widely-read authors. William Burroughs lived there for four years, writing Naked Lunch. His fellow Beats, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, were known to pay him a visit.