liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
[personal profile] liv
[livejournal.com profile] ghoti asked: could you tell us about your favourite places outside the UK?

This is going to be brief, cos it's ended up on a Friday and I never have more than half an hour spare on Fridays. I've been to plenty of beautiful and historic places, but I put a much higher priority on visiting friends than on being a tourist. So I'm most likely to get excited about the home town of someone I love, especially when it's far away enough that I probably wouldn't have the time and energy to go there except to visit them. I think the top two in that category are Melbourne in Australia, and Montréal in Canada.

Neither really has the kind of must-see tourist destinations that the most beautiful old-world cities have, nothing to compare with Paris or Florence or Jerusalem. But they are places I could imagine myself living, not just ticking the sights off my bucket list. They are big cities with plenty going on culturally, but feel much more spacious and less crowded than London or New York. Partly because they're less densely populated in a literal sense, but partly because they have sensible public transport infrastructure and a somewhat European-like café culture, you don't feel like everybody's constantly in a hurry and shoving you out of the way. I love that they're multicultural and don't seem, at least to my visitor's eyes, horribly segregated by race or economics. Both have an amazing range of really good food available.

I mean, the climate is hopeless, Melbourne regularly has summer temperatures above 40°C and Montréal has several months of unbearable humidity and winters that are terrifying even to someone who lived in Sweden. But basically everywhere that isn't the UK has a worse climate than the UK. And I love the mix of new world and imported European flora. Melbourne just smells amazing!

The main reason I love Melbourne is that my very good friend MK lives there, as does my mother's brother, with their respective families. And likewise I love Montréal because [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel lives there, and I have had the most amazing visits with them. And just last year [personal profile] hatam_soferet moved there too so now I love it even more!

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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