The fact that a perfectly good Olympic stadium is being demolished was a good, albeit harsh, reminder that I have a crap ton of Olympic cities I still need to visit, and that those venues won't all be around forever. It's kind of hard to plan big trips, let alone take them, when you're not sure where (or if) you'll be employed in a month's time... but nevertheless, I've started planning my (dream) Olympic trips!
Back in the good ol' days, when backpacking through Europe was a thing I did. Berlin, you're fab.
I did a kind of hilarious amount of research for this, what with finding all the cities and Google mapping things and such. Do you realize just how many Olympic cities there are? Because I'm pretty sure I didn't. I'd be trucking along just fine, and then realize CRAP I FORGOT ABOUT ALBERTVILLE and have to go back and tweak things. Why is it always the French cities I'm forgetting?! (Maybe it's because France has hosted the Olympics five freaking times
Ahem. Getting out of France... Let's begin! (And if you would like to be a travel companion or host me in any of the following cities, please form an orderly line and express your interest in the comments. Thank you.)
Sydney, Australia | Melbourne, Australia
Yeah, there's not really much else I could do with these two, is there? :P But I'm down for some exploring in Australia, so no complaints here.
Salt Lake City, Utah | Squaw Valley, California | Los Angeles, California
True story: America is very inconveniently large. This is either a beast of a road trip or a couple of extremely short flights. Or three separate trips. Y'know what the funny thing is? I have flown into or through LAX, SLC and Reno-Tahoe, but never done Olympic things. Actually, I'm pretty sure I flew through SLC while going to Reno-Tahoe. So next time I just need to leave the airport (or, uh, not be working).
Vancouver, Canada | Calgary, Canada
The only Canadian city I've ever been to is Toronto, so some Canadian quality time is definitely in order! Vancouver and Calgary were a couple of awesome Games, too. Might have to pick myself up a pair of those awesome Canadian mittens!
Montreal, Canada | Lake Placid, New York
Okay, so, I've been to Lake Placid before, but I did it wrong. It needs a redo. And I didn't know until now just how close it is to Montreal! (Fun fact: these Games were also held in back to back quads, in 1976 and 1980. What I wouldn't give to have lived nearby back then!)
Sapporo, Japan | Tokyo, Japan | Nagano, Japan | PyeongChang, South Korea | Seoul, South Korea | Beijing, China
These little countries sure have a high concentration of Olympic cities! I'm down with a whirlwind tour through Asia, especially one ending with the Bird's Nest and the Great Wall of China. Uh, yes please!
Lillehammer, Norway | Oslo, Norway | Stockholm, Sweden | Helsinki, Finland
I love Scandinavia. My trip to Copenhagen was only about a lifetime in the making. And the prospect of this trip excites me greatly. Like, I don't think you understand.
London, England | Paris, France | Antwerp, Belgium | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Rome, Italy | Barcelona, Spain
Want to see the great European capital cities? Well, the Olympics sounds like a perfectly valid excuse to me! (Also, yes, I've been to London. And Paris. Aaaand Rome. But I didn't do anything Olympic in Paris or Rome, and only went to one of London's Olympic stadiums. Pretty sure this was me subconsciously giving myself a concrete reason to go back, besides that gaping hold in my heart that's been present since I left.)
Grenoble, France | Albertville, France | Chamonix, France | Torino, Italy | St. Moritz, Switzerland | Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany | Innsbruck, Austria | Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy
Alright, eight Olympic cities all within a couple of hours of each other? Yes. Just lots of yes. All of the yes. Albertville and Chamonix are about 20 minutes away from each other. How epic is that?! You could do three cities in one day! Basically, this trip needs to happen, and pronto.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | Moscow, Russia | Sochi, Russia
Technically Yugoslavia was never in the USSR and was only an ally of it until 1948... but sshhh. Sarajevo's venues are abandoned and crumbling (and destroyed by war), and I wouldn't be surprised if Sochi followed suit (except maybe not the war thing), so I should probably start practicing my Russian and get my butt over there before there's nothing left! Ugh, that's so sad to even think about.
Olympia, Greece | Athens, Greece
Ah, Greece. It's been on my "must visit" list since 2004... which is when Athens' now crumbling and abandoned venues were brand spankin' new. It's also kind of where this whole Olympic thing began, so it's kind of a big deal. Kind of.
Atlanta, Georgia | Mexico City, Mexico | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
These are the cities that, try as I might, just did NOT fit anywhere else. However, for someone that hasn't already been to St. Louis, that could be worked into a trip with Atlanta. But since I have been to St. Louis, Atlanta is a floater. And there's really nothing to do with Mexico City and Rio. Sorry kids. Those are solos.
(Please note: I left off Munich and Berlin because I have already been there and frolicked in those Olympic stadiums. But for anyone actually reading this for legitimate trip planning ideas, Munich and Berlin is easily it's own trip. Take an overnight train between the two and you're good to go!)
So basically, now my wanderlust is acting up and my bank account is cowering in fear. I'll probably be working on this list for the rest of my life. Here's hoping some cities are awarded future Games for the second and third times, 'cause the prospect of this list getting longer is mildly frightening.
However, earlier today, Kara and I promised each other that we're both going to Rio 2016, whether it be for work or as spectators. We pinky swore, too, so this is legit. Two-plus years and counting! Let's see if I can make anything else happen before then!