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10 places for mental wealth
This is not intended as a travel guide but more to show what I have got out of these different places.



  • Wineries. The wineries include Francis Ford Coppola's winery (the picture is mine from their cabana) and Ferrari-Carano with the wonderful hog.

  • Sonoma plaza. The largest plaza in California with tasting rooms, shops and restaurants including the magnificent Girl and the Fig.

  • Water. Russian River with all of the water sports and the coast with the stunning beaches and amazing sunsets.Water, water everywhere but I recommend the wine.

San Gimignano

  • Tuscan hills. The scenery around San Gimignano is spectacular with the tall thin Cedar trees adding a unique beauty to the area.

  • Cum Quibus. To this day the best meal I have ever eaten. The walled garden, the salted bread and the lemon spaghetti. Wow.

  • The ancient walled city. It is a real walk back in time with the towers and the ancient buildings.



  • Octoberfest. Possibly the maddest beer festival in the world just being there is so uplifting. It is a wonder to watch the staff carrying so many steins to the tables.

  • Hofbrauhaus. In the centre of Munich is the tourist trap known as the Hofbrauhaus. I love the Umpah band and the lederhosen. The last time I went it was Oasis night. Yes Wonderwall played by an Umpah band. Magic.

  • The parks. Outdoors in Munich is special. I love the Englisher Garden and the Olympic Park. Very different but magnificent spaces.   

New York

  • The New York marathon. It's an odd starter but running across the Verrazano bridge to the strains of New York, New York, then the different foods presented along the route to ending in Central Park. Incredible.

  • Central Park. I could walk around here for hours and still not get bored. A wonderful open space with the zoo, the fountains and the Guggenheim just off the park.

  • 9/11 memorial. Emotionally very impactful.



  • Herdwick sheep. Yes they have become very touristy, they have their own shops, but they are the most loveable creatures.

  • The hills. Again stating the bleeding obvious but climbing Cats Bells, Helm Crag, Helvelyn via Striding Edge or Scafell Pike the view from the top even on a cloudy day is sensational. 

  • Messing about on the water. Whether its a boat trip or taking a rowing boat of kayak out on the water the view from the middle of a lake is uplifting.

  • Gingerbread. Again, very touristy but delicious.   


  • Gaudi everywhere. From the Parc Guell to the numerous buildings that bear his mark Barcelona is a testament to joyous creativity from this man.

  • La Sagrada Familia. Walk into the centre of the cathedral, stand in the middle and just look around for 10 minutes. It is so overwhelming and truly spiritual in the sense of uplifting.

  • Tapas. The food here is exceptional wherever you go.



  • The festival. In August Edinburgh doubles in terms of the number of people. The festival is multifaceted but I love the comedy and have many amazing memories with two accountants trying to do the Time Warp being one of my favourites.

  • Leith. This used to be very run down, in fact it is the setting for Trainsporting, but now there are fantastic restaurants and the Royal yacht Britannia. The vibe is delightful. 

  • Edinburgh castle. It seems to follow you wherever you go. Home to the tattoo where you freeze even on a hot, sunny day but the castle is atmospheric

  • Oh and Dolly the sheep .. yes the cloned one..


  • The majesty of the valley. From entering via Tunnel View to being on the valley floor there is a sheer sense of calm and wonder about this valley. It's my favourite place on earth.

  • Half Dome. This incredible rock, sheered in half many years ago is awesome.

  • Awanechee Hotel. This is a stunning piece of engineering right on the valley floor. If you get the chance to stay, do.



  • Cinnamon buns. Well, all pastries really. They have Cinnamon bun week when all buns are half price. How good is that. 

  • Out on the water. Stockholm is best enjoyed out on the water I think. Just hop on a ferry and go. There are so many islands to investigate.

  • Vasa museum. A recovered wooden sailing galleon which is more accessible than the Mary Rose. It is incredible to see how people lived at that time.


  • Rugged coastline. The coastline is astonishingly steep. How people thought about living here is beyond me. Truely remarkable.

  • Pasta. Some of the best pasta I have ever tasted especially rags based meals.

  • Ravello. Perched high on the rocks this village is so tranquil, so at peace with its surroundings. It is mesmerising.

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