Mannequins in Tripoli (Travmaz)
Blog Words : From the Editor | 15 July

From the Editor: The best from myWanderlust this week

Things got a little dark on myWanderlust this week. We throw a little light on why.

Last week it all got a bit psychedelic on myWanderlust. This week things got a little dark and moody. Sergeant Pluck kicked off things by pondering the rise of Dark Tourism – both amongst the myWanderlust experiences and in the world at large.

“Is this a ghoulish fascination?" he asks. "A celebrity fashion? A pilgrimage? A exercise in educating oneself beyond the normal aesthetic experiences in travelling? Do you think opening up such sites is inappropriate, or an absolute necessity?” The responses have been illuminating. You can add yours here.

Elsewhere, Roovilla asks her fellow myWanderlusters where they'd like to have their ashes scattered. Morbid? Not so, judging by the responses. Roovilla nominates Island Djerba in Tunisia. Treacleminer wants to be scattered in the stream at the bottom of her garden. Ttbko took it up a notch by saying she wanted a sky burial. Her partner isn't keen on having to stump up the airfare to transport her remains to Tibet. Make sure you tell us where you want to go when you go.

Experiences this week has been dominated by entries for our mini travel writing competition. It seems you have taken to our theme of Arrival. Snowkaz writes of arriving at the Tokyo Metro, jetlagged from a long haul flight. LEMEZ, at the Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan. Cycleeast, the Taj Mahal. joannesensei, Mount Bromo. Ichand, the Eiffel Tower by bike. Bryan Hyman, Machu Picchu. Over forty entries about arriving that just make me want to grab my pack and go!

Somehow Liz Cleere has managed to squeeze in and leave some experiences about recent trips to Egypt and Southern India. She tells how Tut brought her to tears and takes UNESCO to task for dragging their heels over Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace. As she so eloquently puts it: "OI! UNESCO World Heritage! What are you waiting for?"

Just Back From continues to inform and delight. Ninaola just got back from The Gambia and recommends visiting a local fishing village and avoiding the bumsters.She didn't elaborate as to what a bumster was – I thought she was referring to low slung hipster jeans which I could see would be a problem in tropical climes, what with getting sand in places you shouldn't and exposing so much skin to so much sunshine. Gambian bumsters, it turns, out are touts, fixers, chancers, gigolos and wheeler-dealers. An altogether more troublesome proposition than a pair of jeans that reveal too much builder's cleavage.

Andy Morris just got back from Tunisia and it seems now is the time to go. “Go now while it's relatively quiet,” says Andy. “The country needs tourism and great sites like El Djem are less busy than usual. Tunisians are very welcoming.”

ElliFry just got back from Rome and recommends a day trip to the beach at Nettuno, about an hour South by train from Termini. “Beautiful beach (though very "Italian" and therefore organised), tiny medieval town, with a couple of great trattorie serving excellent fresh seafood. (Take whatever the waiter recommends!)”

Elsewhere Beccs gives us the rub on arranging last minute accommodation on Poros Island in Greece. (Warning: her definition of last minute is "on the ferry going over”!) And Hideo has some tips on making a weekend in Dublin one you'll have trouble remembering.

To the galleries and Travmaz has put up a selection of fine shots from a visit to Libya. The ones from Leptis Magna are stunning but it's the one of mannequin heads in the old town in Tripoli that haunts. Young, expressionless faces peering into the distance, each wearing jarringly bright headscarfs. A kind of Libyan version of The Village of the Damned. Check it out.

I'm also loving Rhoda1's images from Indonesia. The one of the tofu maker is stunning. And the Bells of Borobudur had me reminiscing about my first trip to Indonesia, first year at uni and still wet behind the ears. Check out her Sumatra gallery as well.

Satkinson has whacked up some photos from Vancouver Island.One question: How much did she have to pay to get that Bald Eagle to pose so perfectly?

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