City Criteria with numb bums Day 583 - 584
Our last part of our 6th month journey in South and Central America was 1,500 km by bus, from Belém to Fortaleza. The roads on the first day were mainly made from red compressed sand, covered with massive pot holes. Our driver seemed to enjoy swirving around them on the other side of the road with juggernauts aiming straight for us. Tim and I got full frontal views as we are sitting in the front of the bus.
Thankfully, Day 2 the roads were smooth and straight. The journey passed by quicker than I expected, even though it ended up being 30.5 hours long rather than the expected 26 hours. There was some excitement just as we reached Forteleza. Two young lads were crossing a dual carriageway on their bikes when suddenly a car swerved, stopped near them and three policemen holding guns ran over to one of them. The lad wisely put his hands up quickly in the air. Perhaps his actions beforehand had not been so wise. We will never know. As well as this drama, the rest of the journey was catching up on sleep, watching the world go by, a few games of sqiggle and join the dots, snacking and reading. I read a couple of books; one a travel book where the author has created his own 'Mercer Quality of Living Index' with 18 categories. It got us thinking: what are our criterias for an enjoyable city? We have some similar to his such as Walkability and Climate, but some such as Attractive Women and Prositution are definitely NOT on our list. Is he serious?! Q: What are your top 10 criteria which makes a great city? Here are ours: Climate - early 30 degrees with a soft breeze and cool nights. Perfect Walkability - we love to stroll around cities. Sadly a few cities either don't cater for walkers or their pavements are in dire need of repair. Friendliness - we love to meet people and have found that some cities are exceptionally friendly (San Jose). Culture - finding out about the history and culture of a city is so fascinating as well as admiring stunning architecture. Currently in Seville - wow, rich in all three. Cleanliness (air and streets). Who wants to breath in stinky fumes and sewage? Not us! Cafes - chatting and people watching over a deliciously rich coffee. Great meeting the owners. Water - as in River, Lake or Sea, soaking in the positive ions. Nature - having a balance with being in nature as well as the city; hearing the birds and hugging a tree. Quirkiness - Areas where small businesses and Artisans are thriving Cost of living - we have a budget you know!