Summer is half way over, and here where I live it has been cold, or very, very mild, unless one goes further inland to experience any heat.
Unfortunately I’ve not had a chance to travel being busy with work and home renovations, but I take my one day trips when and where I can.
But I’ve been asked where would an Elder/Elderly Goth go for a vacation?
I’d have to say one has to first consider your general health and physical condition—those are the two most primary concerns, the next one of course is one’s pocket book.
Secondly: do you want to tour the United States, Europe or someplace else, other than outer or inner space?
Alright so let’s say you are in good physical condition, love to walk, then almost any walking tour that specializes in Ghosts, Hauntings, vampires, or Jack the Ripper would be good.
With that in mind you can chose a destination city and Google in what they have to offer as well as what is it that you want to tour, is it hauntings? There are a lot of places just in the U.S. alone. Vampires? Voodoo? So the “what” is very important as well.
If you are of a romantic gothic turn of mind then check out this web site:
www.gothicromantic.com/ for ideas and locations, this web site covers everything from music, books to places to visit both in the U.S. and out.
Now let me give you places that I’d like to see.
I love to start with the United States and in the area that I live I would Google in walking tours that feature hauntings, and vampires in San Francisco, the city is so Noir that even a British vampire would feel at home and since Ann Rice conceived her vampire story here in San Francisco it would be very appropriate.
The Columbarium in San Francisco, as well as the City of the Dead aka Mountain View cemetery in Oakland is also very Gothic appropriate and a lot of walking, excellent for one’s health, did you know that the tragic Black Dahlia is buried in Oakland?
Nearby is the city of Colma where the dead out number the living, you can even visit Wyatt Earp’s grave.
If you want to stay in haunted places there is the Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco and the Brookdale Lodge in the Santa Cruz mountains, the food at the Brookdale is good and where else can you dine with a brook running through the dinning room.
Seattle, Washington is a beautiful city with its space needle but it also has an underground tour, the city of Seattle that is underground, this was featured in one of the “Night Stalker” made for T.V. movies, this underground city is also reputed to be haunted as well.
One of the more unusual and religious places that I had a chance to visit is in Portland, Oregon; called “The Grotto” it’s official name is the “Sanctuary of the Sorrowful Mother”, they offer masses during the late Spring, Summer and Fall as well as tours if you are of a more religiously romantic Goth. It features the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross, as well as beautiful rose gardens, check out its web site by googling “The Grotto”.
There is also suppose to be what is called “The Shanghai Tunnels” underneath Portland Oregon, these are education tours of the infamous “Portland Underground” the focuses on the shanghai trade in that city from 1850 to 1941 as well as its use for “white slavery” and prohibition. This can also be googled.
Have you ever been to Hell? There are several places in the United States that have that name such as Hell, California; Hell, Michigan and Hell Creek, Montana notable for its Cretaceous Dinosaur fossils. Hell, Michigan embraces its name with celebrations on Friday the 13th and other events, so if you want to raise “Hell” this is one place to check out.
Or you can see hell at Yellowstone National Park, yes Darklings I know...It is tourist infested, but it really is hell on earth however. The smell of sulphur, the steaming heat rising from the earth, simmering pots of colored mud in a barren landscape, rumbling earth, pools of crystal blue water less than a foot across and hundreds of feet deep boiling away... Horrifying and beautiful at the same time.
You practically expect something horrible to climb from the depths and make itself right at home like the demons from the Cluthlu Mythos. And when old Faithful geysers sends its hot plume of water up from the fiery depths it can be awe inspiring.
Did you know that California has its own petrified forest? Yes Darklings, in Calistoga, California, famous for its mud baths, it has its own web site with all the information, but remember in 1980 when Mt St. Helens exploded forever changing its landscape and killing 57 people who were foolish enough to remain on the mountain?
Well several million years ago Mt. St. Helena near Calistoga did the very same thing burying redwood trees which eventually turned into fossils. As a bizarre curiosity and as a relaxing trip this is worth while including our own local old faithful geyser. Because we sit on what is commonly known as “The Ring of Fire” volcanic mountain range, we could blow up at any minute. Nothing like sitting on a potential “powder keg” to wet one’s appetite.
Interested in going to some devilish locations, there is the Devil’s post pile in Northern California as well as Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming feature in “Close Encounters”, to see this sticking right out of the land is a bit disquieting but one forgets that at one time the whole area was underwater when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, huge, massive and bat filled. In this cave is silence so deep you can hear your heart beat and darkness so darkly profound, in the evening like clockwork the bats leave the cave, be sure to keep your head covered.
If you are into tours of the dead and are in New York City then Dead Apple Tours is for you especially if you love to be chauffeured in a hearse.
And what about New Orleans, also made famous by Anne Rice and the Voodoo Queen herself, Marie Laveau, there are tours of both the city and it’s cemeteries, but be careful some of the cemeteries are in locations that are not very safe, so as much as one would hate it, go with a professional guide, and avoid the city during Mardi Gra, you don’t need to deal with boozy drunks and floozies.
The Anasazi ruins in Utah Canyon Country are both scary and awe inspiring, but remember do not take anything from there except pictures and always be respectful, go with a professional guide.
Salem, Massachusetts, walking around late at night, the spot where the gallows stood or perhaps the downtown area where many spirits lie. Again a professional guide to start and then a chance to wander a bit on your own.
Then if you are into Western Steam punk Gothic ala “Wild, Wild West” then Tombstone, Arizona is the place for you.
There are many, many more, so this is just a suggestion to at least prick your interest.
And I haven’t even gone through the gamut of places to visit in Europe, such as the Jack the Ripper walks, the Mary’s Gate walks, Stonehenge just a few in England, the Dracula tours, and many, many more, so I’ll just allow your imagination to take you there.
Maybe I’ll even do a European vacation suggestion.