How it Started

When I was 12, I found a blank ledger book. It was a treasure beyond treasure to me. I debated and debated about what to do with it - it had to be something special. Finally I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my life and then cross them off when I had accomplished them. At first they were simple things, but soon I was adding dramatic things, impossible things, but things still worth dreaming about. Oddly enough, putting them on the list somehow made them attainable. I have kept the book and updated the list my entire life. Here is the story behind some of the entries - successes and failures, embarrassing and proud moments, laughter and tears - the ridiculous to the sublime!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Visit the Highest Point in the City - DID-IT

 At first I just meant the highest point in Seattle, but it turns out, I've visited the highest point in lots of cities.  I love visiting a city at street level - window shopping, smelling (and eating) the food, listening to the voices whether I understand the language or not, checking out the fashions and just feeling the pulse of the place.  But when I get tired of the jostling immediacy of the street, I like to find the highest place and just watch the city from the quiet serenity of its loftiest peak.

Pin It In Seattle, the 75th floor of the Columbia Town offers a dizzying view.  When the Blue Angels precision flying team is in town practicing for their annual show, the 75th floor puts you at eye-level with the pilots. The women's restroom in the Columbia Tower is famous for having the most incredible view from the throne of any bathroom in the world.  Each private stall has an uncurtained, ceiling-to-floor window offering a unique view while seated.  Those with a fear of heights or bashful kidneys should skip this one!

In Paris the Eiffel Tower offers the quintessential birds-eye view of the city, but the view from the tower in Notre Dame is pretty impressive as well.  I prefer Notre Dame because you get to share the view with the gargoyles!  Neither is actually the highest point - Sacre Coeur is officially the highest altitude, but I don't think the view is a good as it is from the other two.  So while I strive to find the highest point in a city, it only counts if that point affords an amazing view.

In Provence, we went up the tower in the medieval Cathedral de le Baux and looked over the entire South of France... okay, not all of it, but you can see a long way. They have a trebuchet (catapult) that used to fire cannonballs at invaders from the top of the hill.

The rooftop of Sant'Angelo Church in Rome looks down on the mighty St. Peters Basilica and the Vatican.The high view helps you orient yourself in a new city giving you a better idea of how it is laid out than trying to figure it out at street level.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, also known as Mad King Ludwig's castle, has a fabulous view over the Bavarian Alps and down onto his parents castle below him - Picture on the left is from Neuschwanstein.  Picture on the left is from Hohenschwangau - the folk's place.  The mountains are higher than the castles, but I can't climb them, so the view from the tower will have to do! 

In Brazil, you have a couple options vying for highest point - the hill where the Corcovado (the giant statue of Christ) stands, or the top of Sugarloaf.  Both are impressive. It was raining on Corcovado (left), so the picture is kinda drab.

The tower in Warwickshire Castle in England, although relative to some of the other locations, isn't all that high, it is the highest point in the village.  You can see sufficiently far enough to spot an invading horde of Norman conquerors headed your way. I included it because I just love the look of the castle battlements and crenelations along their peak.

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