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2014 Top 5 Favourite Places

Admit it, the posts you have been waiting for. Chicago Addick’s Top 5 Favourite’s of the past year.

I am going to begin this year’s Top 5’s with Places. I got to some fascinating spots in 2014 and these were my Top 5 Favourite Places, with one in particular surprising me.

1) Mexico City
Some people were aghast that we’d take ourselves and our daughter to Mexico City, but I am a huge sucker for cities and will give anywhere the benefit of the doubt and sure enough with five centuries of history there were gems and awe-inspiring moments aplenty, none other than the area known as Zocalo (photo), the vibrant heart of the Centro Historical where a compact grid of streets poured fervour and ceremony out of every street corner.

Gritty, overcrowded, smelly, polluted, busy and dangerous are all words associated with Mexico City, but beneath the warnings we saw some terrific architecture, proud monuments, a lot of green and pleasant land and happy people.

2) Scottsdale, Arizona
The west of America is well worth travelling. Scottsdale is not far west of the bustling Phoenix, the state capital of Arizona and is known for its art district, museums, historic downtown, golf courses and rodeo.

What we also got was the purest air to breathe and adventure. Part gruff Wild West, part dazzling modern society with dramatic landscapes with endless possibilities, this part of America’s west is well worth a visit.

image3) San Francisco, California
Not my first visit, but the streets of San Francisco always inspire me. It is one of America’s greatest cities. Endearingly liveable, horribly expensive but sensational to visit.

On every corner lies a hill or a place to stare. And for the first time ever I witnessed the full beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, so often engulfed in a blanket of fog as it has been on my past visits.

4) The Borough, London SE1
My first ever job was at an office on London Bridge Walk, and then and for all the years I used to walk over London Bridge from the station I turned my back on what happened south of there.

In March I stayed at The Borough when I was in town for work. What a transformation, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I loved it, revitalised history blended with stunning modernity. There were people everywhere, and some great places to eat and drink. The Shard was like a towering beacon looking over it. Nearby the Globe Theatre and the charming reminder of old London at Shad Thames.

The Borough felt like an undiscovered out of the way place, yet it was right on the river and just across from the City. When did this happen and why didn’t I recognize the potential of this little pocket of London?

5) Napa Valley, California
Not my first visit, but these long stretches of unblemished and fertile valleys are a must for any one who enjoys their vino.

The town of Napa may not be as pretty as Sonoma, but it’s home to the world’s modern-day wine country. There is something for everybody from the opulent vineyards to family-owned wineries, all sat side by side.

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