For the last two years I’ve written blog posts about where not to travel in the new year. They received such overwhelming responses that it’s now an annual tradition. So here’s A Lady in London’s guide to where not to travel in 2017. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll avoid these 9 destinations next year.
2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the launch of the physical euro currency in Europe. On January 1, 2002 new coins and notes started making their way around the Eurozone, ending the joyful travel experience of having to change money at every border crossing.
I don’t know about you, but I loved the good old days of paying exorbitant exchange rates and ending up with pockets full of random coins every time I flew home. Let’s not support the single currency next year.
India is another travel destination to avoid in the new year. The country is celebrating 70 years of independence in 2017, which probably means big celebrations like the ones they put on for Holi and Diwali. And what a pain that will be for travelers. I don’t know about you, but I like my trips to be bland and beige.
Plus, as an American I’m a strong supporter of British colonialism. My country fought a war to stay loyal to George III when he attempted to get rid of us by hiking taxes on tea (the cheek!). We lost that one, and things haven’t been the same since.
Another region to steer clear of next year is the Balkans. In 2017, the 1,200-mile (1900-km) Via Dinarica hiking trail will be completely mapped with detailed stage information. The trail crosses the Dinaric Alps and runs through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia.
I’ve been to these countries, and I have to say you should give them a pass. After all, who likes stunning mountains, beautiful beaches, delicious food, and fascinating history? Certainly not people who like to travel.
Oh, Canada. I’m not sure I need to tell you to avoid the 51st state next year, but in case you’re planning to help Canada celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2017, I will advise against it.
Trust me, I’ve been there. There’s tons of snow in the winter so I have to ski all the time. Plus, Vancouver keeps stealing my home city of San Francisco’s title of coolest place on the west coast, which just isn’t polite.
Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Which is too bad, because I kinda liked the heady days of Peter and Catherine, Alexander and Nicholas. And Russian literature got really boring after the golden age of Tolstoy (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was one day too many).
But perhaps our good friend Putin will bring back those glory days of autocracy. And with the Kremlin complex increasing visitor access, Russia might be off my blacklist in 2018.
I’ve always disliked Marrakech, so I’m happy to be able to put it on my list of where not to travel in 2017. The colors, sights, scents, and flavors of the medina fly in the face of my anti-sensory travel style. And with the autumn opening of the new Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech the city is set to get a lot brighter with the designer’s garments, sketches, and photos strewn about.
So let’s skip it, shall we? I know a nice part of Siberia that’s far more pleasing. Oh wait, we’re boycotting Russia, too…
Closer to home, I’m sorry to say that there are a lot of British destinations to stay away from next year. 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festivals, which have been responsible for bringing vile acts of comedy and theater to our stages and screens for far too long.
So please join me in saying no to Scotland. Let’s not support the festivals that spawned Tom Stoppard’s forgettable Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and helped launch the careers of boring people like Rowan Atkinson, Billy Connolly, Ben Elton, and Eddie Izzard.
Elsewhere in the UK, next year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. I’m sure you’ve never heard of her, but she wrote a few books that some people think are ok.
So don’t bother visiting her house in Chawton. She wrote duds like Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion there, so it will probably give you writer’s block. Trust me, I went a few years ago and it’s not like it was really pretty or anything.
It pains me to add another place to the list, but I don’t think you should visit London next year. Among other reasons, 2017 marks the 125th anniversary of the first Sherlock Holmes publication. Given he was a private detective, you may find your skeletons being forced out of the closet if you venture to come here.
So if you don’t have a squeaky clean record, take my advice and avoid 221B Baker Street in the new year.
Last but not least, Germany is a no-go zone. 2017 marks the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It came at a bad time, because my ancestors were really hoping to buy a few papal indulgences before Martin Luther came along and screwed everything up.
So avoid the exhibition on the Reformation at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau, and turn your back on the much-anticipated grand opening of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall complex. We wouldn’t want people to think we visited a country that brought about much-needed religious reform, would we?
How about you? What destinations would you include on a list of where not to travel in 2017?