Twenty Cities Quiz

Friday quiz time. Some of these cities are nice and easy to recognize, others are pretty much impossible. When you’ve made your guesses click at the bottom to see how you did. And please brag on yourself in the comments. The numbers correspond to the photo above them. Good luck.





























































Now if you’re ready, get the answers.
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When Money Doesn’t Matter #9

Michele Bachmann's in the news for politics, but more importantly, how does she travel?

Ryan Lizza's long biography in the current New Yorker informs us that Bachmann's campaign has traveled in a Dassault Falcon 900, and that she told Lizza, "Isn't this an incredible way to fly? I've never been on a nicer plane in my life."

So let's see.

The Dassalut Falcon is a trijet. Various iterations of the 900 can fly from 4150 to 4750 miles. Here's the web site. I found several used Falcons on sale, ranging from a 1986 model for just $6,700,000 to a nice 1994 for $15,300,000.



Fabulous Destinations When Money Doesn’t Matter #11

The Million Dollar Valentine's Date at the InterContinental Hong Kong is a bargain at only US$130,000 or so. It's a million HONG KONG dollars, see. It's a night in Hong Kong's largest Presidential Suite, 7,000 square feet, available between the 11th & 14th of February.

For just a million Hong Kong dollars you'll get airport transfers by Rolls Royce, "a custom-designed Valentine's message displayed by banner via a private boat at a designated time as seen from your rooftop terrace" and several other amenities.

The InterContinental Hong Kong is in Kowloon. We stayed there on our most recent visit to China, three years ago. No Presidential Suite for us, a mere Executive Harbour View or something like that. It does have a really nice view back across to Hong Kong island:


See the China Gallery at for more photos from Hong Kong and all of China.

Fabulous Destinations When Money Doesn’t Matter #10

Survey after survey ranks Singapore Airlines at the top, and no wonder. These are photos from the airline's web site of the suites aboard Singapore's A-380s.

Suites_seat_hero Suites_seat_img1

Checking on a suite on a random Sydney to London Heathrow roundtrip, departing SYD on 1 January and returning two weeks later, the price came back at AUD$16353.16. That's AUD$32706.32 for the two of you, or USD$31323.48, according to the currency converter in the column on the right.

But now the big news: Now, instead of spending more than the gross national per caita income of all but five countries in the world, you can cash in some of your frequent flyer miles for those suites. How many miles for a a couple of suites, SYD-LHR-SYD? According to this flyertalk thread, just 6,200,200.

Get yours today.


Fabulous Destinations When Money Doesn’t Matter #9


Proximity to Power is Pricey.

This surely wouldn't appeal to everybody, but it's right up my nerdy alley:  


Global Challenges in a Post-Perestroika World

World Leaders Symposium: Russia & the Black Sea

With Condoleezza Rice, William Perry, Mikhail
Gorbachev, and other special guests

Aboard the Silver Wind • August 30 — September 15, 2010

I'm no cruise fan, but this is no ordinary cruise. It's a symposium that begins in Moscow, travels to Istanbul, and then continues by ship and local transport to Batumi and Tbilisi, Baku, Sochi, Yalta, Sevastopol and Odessa. 

I'd say put me down for that in a flash. Just one tiny problem: The least expensive accommodation is $47,980 for a "Vista Suite," based on double occupancy.


There are photos from Moscow in the Russia Gallery, Istanbul in the Turkey Gallery, Tbilisi in the Georgia Gallery, Baku in the Azerbaijan Gallery and Odessa in the Ukraine Gallery at

Travel Lists & Visited Countries Maps

Much of a perfect spring Sunday morning here on the farm was spent posting a chronological list of our travels to the web site (here's how we did). It's another one of those sites, like Douwe Osinga's Visited Countries project, that allows you to compile a map of your travels. Here's our PassportStamp map, followed by our Douwe Osinga map:


Close enough to the same that I'm wondering why I spent multiple hours on a gorgeous morning painstakingly clerking in every trip all the way back to my first drive to Canada in 1980 (Or maybe it was 1979).

But I know why, really. It was in the spirit of competition. See, you'll be ranked among the other site members, stacked up against the competition, sized up and told where you stand. And our results weren't bad:

105 countries visited, ranking 109th overall. Our most-visited countries are the predictable European ones, and many are because they were transit stops on the way elsewhere. The top ten: Germany 11 visits, Finland 9, Austria & France 8, Thailand 7, Italy, Russia, Switzerland & the UK 6, and China 5.

The trouble is the arbitrary rules.

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Fabulous Destinations When Money Doesn’t Matter #8

Silva We're not much for cruises. There are good, practical reasons like this, but also because after four or five days of lockdown with strangers, it just seems like time to move on.

It's not the cruise itself – I began to feel the same way after a few days in Zermatt one winter. Same folks, same single main street, same couple of restaurants. Just a little stifling.

But here's one cruise that just might work – fifteen days aboard the icebreaker 50 Years of Victory, for a trip to the north pole. Might work except for one teeny detail – money really has to be no object, because the price tag is, um, well, a little robust.

Here's another cruise that doesn't have the cachet of the North Pole, but which cruises around above the Arctic Circle. And hey, it's a bargain, starting at a mere $10,000 per person.

(Photo from the Greenland Gallery at