If you could have any super power in the world, which would you choose? The ability to fly? An invisibility cloak? To be able to eat trifle for breakfast, lunch and dinner without the accompanying spare tire situation?
We’d choose time travel. The ability to zing off to any time in history and experience all those historic events first-hand. Regrettably we don’t see that happening any time soon, so we’ll have to be content with visiting the destinations in which they took place! Jump in our Deal-orean, and let’s (time) travel around the 20th century…
The shadow of the first World War hangs over this decade, and there are plenty of places you can go to revisit its sprawling and complex legacy. One way is to visit the Somme, where the historic Battle of the Somme took place in 1916; remember those who fell in its wake whilst enjoying the panoramic scenery of the Picardy coastline. These days, this picture-postcard French destination is less the scene of bloody battle and more a place to dine, visit museums and gulp in some fresh air (and make light work of some proper Brie).
The Tomb of King Tutenkahmun was discovered in the 20’s inside one of the magical Pyramids of Luxor in Egypt. You can say hello to his Royal Majesty with a visit to his tomb and treat yourself like royalty with a stay in a plush Luxor hotel (raising a glass to the King in his dusty ancient cabin, of course). King Tut had the right idea being entombed in Egypt – with its gorgeous weather and incredible history, it’s definately a contender for Eternal Resting Place of the Year (or just our next holiday).
1930’s New York was a study in contrasts; whilst it quaked with the effects of the Great Depression, it was also a time during which buildings like the Empire State Building were erected and there was a sense of hope for better times – even if plenty of people could hardly afford dinner! These days, New York is a much happier place to be, so go play Meg Ryan at the top of the Empire State and drink like you’ve got a Depression to forget in one of NYC’s many, many watering holes.
War returns with a vengeance to the world and many lives are destroyed during this period. There are lots of ways to acknowledge and remember the lives that were lost and the sacrifices made, but one of the most poignant is with a visit to Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam, where you can see for yourself the devastating cost upon the lives of ordinary people during this game-changing moment in modern history.
After years of dreaming about it and seven weeks of climbing, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Tenzing Norgay reached the top of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world on May 29th, 1953. They were the first people to ever reach the summit. Nestled in the Himalayas, along the border of Nepal and Tibet in China, these days the mountain is a rite of passage for any keen climber; for active types, we think would make a pretty awesome holiday!
Whilst the Vietnam War raged, a hippie counterculture was building and 1969 saw Hendrix and his rockstar peers take to the stage at Woodstock Festival in the USA! Whilst visiting the site (not actually in Woodstock – it was held near Middletown, New York) might give you a historical thrill, to soak up a little of its hedonistic magic, you’d probably be best taking yourself off to Coachella Festival in California for a dose of present-day musical madness.
The death of Elvis Presley in his Memphis home shocked the world; to many, he was a symbol of the brave new world that was emerging and his fans still mourn his passing to this day, often with visits to Graceland, the famed mansion house in Tennessee in which he died. The area still receives huge levels of visitors and interest, so if you fancy strapping on your blue suede shoes and being nothin’ but a hound dog, you could pop in yourself!
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was both physically and symbolically huge, and marked the end of conflict in Berlin that had existed since the war. These days, not much exists of the wall; what is left has been turned into the East Side Gallery, a section of the wall that is now covered in artwork by various German artists. Go check it out, and whilst you’re at it, enjoy the weird and wonderful nightlife the German capital is famous for – we promise we won’t tell anyone what you get up to.
Where would you visit if you could time travel?!