Love is . . . a life on the open road

I've been to many places around the world so thought I'd share things I love about travelling...

France, especially Lanquedoc Rousillon
Eurostar, premier seats though
Virgin Atlantic’s choice of movies
BA’s Business class movie screens
Premium Outlets for shopping madness
Grimsby fish and chips
Massage on a Thai beach
Lobster and prawns at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort
Silk trousers from Bangkok
Noodles from a Hong Kong vendor
Animals on safari in Kenya
Rio Carnival for being the best in the world
Tobago for being so chilled out
Friendly faces at Jakes in Jamaica
Pink sand in the Bahamas
People-watching in Las Vegas
Disney World, Orlando, can't get enough of Mickey
Ireland because my dad was born there
Edinburgh on New Year's Eve
Venice because you have to love it
Wine-tasting in Stellenbosch, only white!
Swimming in the forever warm Caribbean Sea
Biking over the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco
Gazing at the awesome Taj Mahal
Helping build a nursery in a Cape Town township
Screaming on Universal's The Hulk
Seeing the Pope at the Vatican
Drinking champagne at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Christmas in New York
Coffee from Jamaica's Blue Mountains
Crabbing in Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
Necker Island, who wouldn't?
Pashminas from India
America and even Americans
Walking in the Lake District
Driving across the US, even with a two-year-old
Handbags from Buenos Aires
Eurocamp for great family holidays
No-hassle souks in Damascus
Bon Sol hotel in Majorca
My Antler Duolite case and my Apple iPad2, love them
...and all the people in all the world who I have had the pleasure of meeting



Buenos Aires wins hands down

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argie
With Maradona lookalike in Buenos Aires

IT’S amazing how much money a fat chap dressed in an Argentine football shirt and standing on the corner of a Buenos Aires street can rake in.

Actually, it’s probably more amazing that tourists like me hand over money to have a picture taken with the Diego Maradona lookalike!

The Hand of God whips 20 pesas (about £3) out of YOUR hand as quickly as the real one scored to knock England out of the World Cup.

The real Maradona is a national hero in a land where football is a religion — one of their greatest loves along with tango and beef.

I came across “Diego” in La Boca, one of the most vibrant and colourful districts of the city and home to the nation’s most popular team Boca Juniors (Maradona and Carlos Tevez are ex-players).

The old port area is where Italian immigrants once worked in the shipyards and the inhabited rundown wood and corrugated tin houses are a testament to the poverty that still exists.

But the brightly painted houses and shops in pedestrianised alleys are a backdrop for local artists and cafes where you can eat cheaply while watching tango. I was amazed at the lightning feet of dancers and it’s a mystery as to how they stay on their feet.

Even impromptu performances in squares around the city are astonishingly good so imagine the thrill of seeing a national champion at a dinner show in the chic Faena boutique hotel in the antique district of Puerto Madero.

Buenos Aires has become a world capital for boob jobs and bum lifts

Expensive to stay but the show is fantastic and the plush bar with red velvet sofas and black chandeliers is ultra cool.

I’d flown from Heathrow to Buenos Aires on BA’s new direct service. It takes 13 hours but the service is great so it passes relatively quickly. Buenos Aires is sprawling and blessed with open spaces despite over three million people living in the centre.

Its tree-lined avenues are wide and there are huge parks everywhere with dog walkers strolling along holding the leads of up to a dozen pooches and fitness trainers putting ladies who lunch through their paces.

Argentinian women like to look good and Buenos Aires has become a world capital for boob jobs and bum lifts. In the huge neighbourhood of Palermo, there’s also five blocks of psychoanalysts, locally known as Palermo Freud because of all the “crazy people in the streets”.

Even if you don’t need to go into therapy, do go to Palermo for a spot of retail therapy. Another shopping hotspot is Florida. Boutiques and numerous markets sell leather goods galore, but that’s no surprise if you consider the Argentinians kill 13 million cattle a year.

If you like beef, you will be in food heaven. Steaks served in restaurants such as La Cabrera in Palermo would feed five Maradona lookalikes. Locals can eat meat morning, noon and night and a good steak is half the price of one in Britain.

Undoubtedly, you just have to wash down any meal with Argentinian wine. Signature red is Malbec and white, Torrontes.

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