I've always had a fascination with castles, knights and the whole medieval lifestyle thing. I'd love to buy a slightly run-down but livable manor house, and I even went so far as to tender an offer for a manor house in Scotland a few years ago - unfortunately although the advert in Country Life had said "offers over 150,000 pounds" (around AUD $375,000), it quickly became apparent that a realistic price was over 400,000 pounds. In the end my father and I made an offer of just under 400,000 pounds which wasn't accepted. I think the property sold for around 450,000 pounds or so - a bit out of my league. It's also a large chunk of capital to invest in an asset that doesn't tend to appreciate much over the inflation rate - although country houses in the UK have boomed in the past few years, boosted by price increases in the cities.
These days I still browse through the Country Life ads looking for a bargain, and I even look at properties in Eastern Europe and at buying a property in Spain - although I'd rather buy in the UK as I know the language and legal system. It gives me something to daydream about while waiting for the magic of compound interest to do it's work on my investment portfolio.