Re-reads OP

I mean, it wasn't that hard to understand was it?
A vain attempt to inject a spirit of romance and adventure into this endeavour which has clearly failed to hit the mark given the suggestions of a) bypassing it all in a fleet carrier and/or b) not bothering to go at all 'cos there's nothing there.
Those stellar pictures are tickling my exploration itch too... It's been building for a while. And finding an awesome system just one jump from Asterope with a hot potato has also made me want to go and find more. :)

If you keep us updated on your progress, Alec, and don't mind some company... I'll happily come and join you at some sights. Doubt I'll go all the way to Colonia, but a few thousand light years is definitely tempting (though I would bring the FC, it would be for support rather than to avoid the journey!).
There's the abandoned settlements from the Dynasty Expedition in the Conflux and there are Guardians sites just outside the Flyiedgai nebula (or was it Skaudai nebula, or both - check the Galmap with filters for Guardians on and you'll see a couple of systems just outside the nebula). You can also fly straight up or down ~2+ KLY for a really good view of the region (slightly to one side of the direct route, the Cobweb nebula and the Gatehouse Nebula are well outside the Galactic Plane). The Festival Grounds, a short way before Colonia, has enough nebulae to keep you interested in finding your own sights for weeks.
A vain attempt to inject a spirit of romance and adventure into this endeavour which has clearly failed to hit the mark given the suggestions of a) bypassing it all in a fleet carrier and/or b) not bothering to go at all 'cos there's nothing there.
But as long as the locals tell everyone "There is nothing there", the longer it stays a brilliant & exciting backwater...
a TODO list for when I get there

If you're looking to rank up with the engineers while you're here, we'd find it really useful if you used one of the following blueprints as the "get the rep" module - it won't cost you any extra materials, but it'll help improve their research for everyone. Ones which might be completed by the time you get here, depending on how long you take, in brackets.
Etienne Dorn: Manifest Scanner (or Kill Warrant Scanner)
Petra Olmanova: Mines, Torpedoes, ECM (or AFMU or Chaff)
Marsha Hicks: Fuel Limpets or Hatchbreakers (or Cannons)

There's quite a few interesting stations in the region - the trophy dash will take you to a few of them already, but Foster Terminal in Coeus, the twilight mountains of Concordia Hub [1] in Edge Fraternity Landing, and Mortimer's Charm in Kinesi are also worth a visit (not a complete list...).

There's a Glowing Green Giant inside the nebula. Plenty of molluscs to have a look at, too, all over the region.

In terms of mysteries, there's Hyford's Wreck in the Colonia system, and the mysterious wreckage orbiting Kinesi 3b - possibly both have more to discover.

While you're visiting memorials, there's a beacon outside Jaques Station commemorating one commander, and of course the Dove Enigma megaship nearby for another.

Some distance down from Colonia is "Colonia Point" - a pair of Wolf-Rayet stars at Thaae Pruae AA-A h5 giving a spectacular view of the galactic plane.

[1] Depending on time of day and year, the twilight mountains might be positioned quite some distance from the actual station. You'll know them when you see them.
I remember my trip to Colonia very fondly. Took me few days to get there and it was pretty fun. I mostly followed the Neutron highway, stopping at well known outposts along the way, basically hopping from nebula to nebula. and for that reason I don't have any special suggestions you won't find anywhere else.

Just remember there are abandoned settlements you can find along the way

and Guardian ruins too:

I'm curious about your reaction to skybox closer to the galaxy centre though. Some people don't mind it, but for me this was the reason to quickly leave and go back to the outskirts of Milky Way ;)
Oh goodness, I hope I'm not too late, I just saw your episode of Flight Assist and I don't want to miss an opportunity to recommend the Fields of Elysium. ;)

But I do have other places up my sleeve:
I am heading out there myself once I have mined another 6K tonnes of tritium so I have enough to get there and back. Really just going back there to unlock the Colonia engineers and pin some bluprints. May stay a while, don't know.

I have a https://www.gpd.hk/gpdwinmax , slaved off to my cell phone, that I can use to jump periodically while I am pretending to be busy.
While I don't want Elite Dangerous to become a point and click game, I really wish there was, either FC route planning similar to regular ships and auto tritium movement, or a web application that allowed you access to FC administration and tritium movement between cargo bay and tank.
Would a ringed ELW excite you? I know of one around 11.5 kly from the bubble. It's kind of heading the right way, but is a little bit off the beaten track. Only thing is I never got around to mapping it, as it was a pre-FSS discovery and I haven't been far from the bubble since my last trip to Colonia in a sub 15 ly Python some years ago.
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