I'll never forget...
David Travis
United States
College Park
Maryland
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There are so many beautiful places in this world both natural and manmade. There are many examples of the best and worst that mankind has to offer. Every once in a while we visit somewhere that sticks with us for ever, we learn something about the human experience that we never forget. These places can be grand or mundane, sacred or secular, can represent triumphs of human endeavor or the absolute worst that man kind can offer (or both), but the one trait that unites them all is that they had such a great impact on us and may have changed our lives in some way.

Please share your tales of those places that you will never forget.
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1. Board Game: Lascaux [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2616]
David Travis
United States
College Park
Maryland
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I recently returned from a trip to France and while there were many things that I did there that I will never forget, perhaps the best example of what I am talking about are the caves at Lascaux. Granted the caves that you get to visit are actually replicas (down to the millimeter) because of the need to preserve the originals, but the impact is still there. I had heard of the caves and the paintings but wasn't anywhere near prepared for what I saw. It is amazing to think that something 17000 years old could have any impact in today's world, but I will never look at anything in the same way.

It is amazing the amount of artistic thought that went in to these paintings. The animals are painted into, not just on, the cave wall. For example, there is a section where a crack in the wall is used to form the back of a bull, or a curvature in the wall is used to accentuate the round belly of a horse. There are abstract representations of many different animals, and one proportionate horse that is painted upside down and wrapped around the edge of a wall. The impression is as great as the grandest cathedral. The tour lasts maybe a half hour, I could have easily sat in the cave for a whole day.

Everything else that I saw on my trip reminded me of the cave, as if I had been given a new prospective of the works of mankind. All of the cathedrals, the artwork in the Musee d'Orsay, the mechanical elephant in Nantes. All of these things were impressive, but in all of them I couldn't help but see the lineage from our caveman ancestors.

If you are ever in the south of France (or anywhere in France for that matter) Lascaux is definitely worth the visit.
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:140] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Andrew Roy
United Kingdom
Bath
GB
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While we're on the topic of France:

I'll never forget Carcassonne, that whimsical little French town that's like a massive folly castle.

Yes, people, it's not just a board gamelaugh

No, you all knew that. But I enjoyed a few days, during the best tripping of my life, hostelling on the outskirts of Carcassonne. And I had never heard of the board game.

A few months later, back in the U.K., I sprained my ankle really badly. My girlfriend (now fiancée) returned home from work one day with a new board game from a FLGS - Carcassonne. We fell in love with its meeples, and it acted exactly like the gateway game it's famous for. It led me, eventually, to this Geeklist
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3. Board Game: Hawaii: The Aloha Game [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Greg Gresik
United States
Bolingbrook
IL
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We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. When people ask me to describe what Hawaii was like (not many people ask about the honeymoon ) I simply reply, "It's liek everything you've ever seen about it - only 10 times better."

We also stopped at the USS Arizona exhibit on the last day (sorry - I am a history buff, even on my honeymoon). When people ask what that was like, I simply say "I wasn't sure whther I wanted to cry or throw up" (not because it was "gross" - simply because it was so terribly sad an experience I actually felt a little physically ill afterward.)

I will forget neither experience.
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4. Board Game: The Princes of Machu Picchu [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1119]
Andrew Hodkinson
Canada
Owen Sound
Ontario
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Three years ago, a friend from high school and I hiked the Inca trail.

Each ruin along the way was amazing: there was one that had clouds rising through it and another, a plant transfer station called Winay Wayna (forever young), that had a waterfall and a hundred step irrigation system that still worked. Everything was very green from the wet Amazonian air and yet so high up that the views were very clear.

But the high point, that brought together every other site, was Machu Picchu. It looks as otherworldly in a picture as it is in real life -- and it's difficult to describe, but here's a picture

And that's me smiling, or as close as I come to smiling after waking up at 4 a.m. to hike through the dark to be at Machu Picchu at dawn.
Or it could be that we had just decided to hike up Wayna Picchu, the mountain in the background.
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5. Board Game: Niagara [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1132]
arjan van de bovenkamp
Netherlands
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impossible to capture in a single shot, but truly amazing..
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6. Board Game: Great Wall of China [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:2341]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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I visited a couple of different sections of the Great Wall. Quite impressive and interesting. At the time, I was living in Mongolia, so looking north into the desolate terrain, I tried to imagine what it was like to see a horde of tough Mongol warriors sweeping south on horse...

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7. Board Game: Yellowstone [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:12070]
CM Amidon
United States
Hancock
Michigan
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GO CRAWL IN A CAVE! When not playing games.
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I work for the National Park Service as a park ranger, which is pretty dang cool. It's still a job, with typical (angry visitors) and atypical (cave rescue!) job headaches, but when I leave my office, I'm surrounded by some of the greatest scenery and most amazing history in the world.

I've worked at Wind Cave National Park, SD (my favorite so far), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI, and currently at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM (nearly lost our visitor center to a 30,000 acre wildfire last week! Got to organize an emergency cave evacuation with 15 minutes warning! All went well).

However, Yellowstone is arguably the father of all America's National Parks and truly one of the greatest and strangest geologic wonders of the planet.
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8. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:321]
Paul S
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorks
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DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?
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One of the few places in the world where the reality is more impressive than the expectation.
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9. Board Game: Giza: The Great Pyramid [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:5560]
Paul S
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorks
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DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?
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Handily, here's the 2nd place where, again, for me, reality exceeds the hype.

Here's a generic pic - but what's not appreciated often, is that the bottom blocks are enormous, higher than your average man.

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10. Board Game: Magnum Sal [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1247]
arjan van de bovenkamp
Netherlands
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highlight nr.3 for me in South America. The saltflakes in Bolivia. I so needed that drink.

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