BA and Virgin have frequent direct flights to Shanghai Pudong International airport from London.
Other airlines with good connecting flights from the UK are KLM, Air France, Emirates and Qatar Airways.
To check fares from a number of different airlines from London see
or direct BA see
For flights from airports outside London check KLM (via Amsterdam) see www.klm.com/travel/gb_en/index_default.html
they have good value direct flights from Amsterdam to Shanghai.
Majnu-ka-Tila is a quiet, relaxing little area in north Delhi totally at odd with the rest of the city. It's quiet, nearly clean and relaxing.
There are several cheap clean guest houses, like the Snowlion. The buses to Dharamasala leave from here.
There is a problem- the local council are attempting to demolish this little Tibet, so I'm not sure if it'll be there when you arrive.
Should only cost 120 R for a rikshaw from the center of town.
Sledge down La Truite, a green piste which leads from Mottaret to Méribel - a lot steeper on a sledge than it looks on skis!
Great fun, you are given a sledge (with brakes of sorts), a helmet and a glow stick so you can spot the other sledgers in the dark as you hurtle down the slope, and are accompanied by ski guides to give you a push if you get stuck.
Tuesdays at 5.45pm, meet at Méribel-Mottaret tourist office (costs €3 per person, including sledge and helmet, put your name down at the tourist office)
Hotel in Tribeca, excellent value for money.
Near Ground Zero, a subway stop, walking distance to Battery Park and South Street Seaport.
I've now stayed there twice and would stay there again. Best rooms are the ones with two double beds, but these are more expensive.
95 West Broadway (At Chambers), New York, NY 10007
To fully appreciate the beauty of Baeza there is a short but illuminating walk to be done. Walk through the Puerta de Jaén off the Plaza de Leones, go along the Paseo Muralles (following the route of the old city walls) around the edge of Baeza. From this street there are fantastic views of the surrounding plains and the mountains of Cazorla national park. Cut back to the Plaza Mayor via the stone-walled arched alleyways which hide behind the Cathedral.
Baeza's cathedral is probably the most under-appreciated in
Andalucía, which in a way is a shame as the façade is so intricately designed. Inside the building itself are brillianely painted 16th century rejas (iron screens) created by Maestro Bartolomé - the master of this craft. Part of the old mosque over which the cathedral was built can be seen in the cloister.
Plaza Mayor, Baeza
Entry is free (a tip is optional)
Opening hours: daily from 10.30am-1pm and 4-6pm (April-Sept closes 7pm)
Baeza is a tiny treasure jewel a mere 30 mins from Jaén buried in the hills of the Cazorla national park. It is crammed full of Renaissance masterpieces and is definitely my second most favourite of Andalucía's sleepy little towns (after Alcalá la Real). The most beautiful sights to see are: Plaza Mayor/Plaza de Leones, Palacio de Jabalquinto and the Cathedral. The best thing is that all of Baeza's great monuments are free to get into (although a tip to the guardian is recommended) and the spectacular views cost nothing!. It is basically a great town to get lost in and absorb it's splendour.
Baeza is situated 28km to the east of Jaén and is served by 14 daily buses from Jaén. There is also the combined train station of Linares-Baeza (14km from Baeza) which is served by frequent trains from Seville, Córdoba and Granada, there is a connecting bus to Baeza for most trains, (except on Sun) or it's 14 euros in a taxi.
A charming little pension (budget hotel), run by two sisters, located just on the edge of the El Born district. A great option if you're on a budget.
Rooms - some ensuite, some shared facilities - are bright and airy, basic, but clean and comfortable. Rooms with balconies benefit from plenty of natural light but little noise, considering how close it is to the bustling Born bars and cafes.
Due to the age of the building, there is no lift, so it's a walk up about four flights of stairs to the Pension, which takes up the top two floors. Works off the tapas though!
Carrer de Rera Palau 4 - corner of Placa Olles and a 2 minute walk from Port Vell.
Tel: +34 93 3 19 03 76
The Hancock building offers a better view of Chicago than the taller Sears Tower. Go at sunset and rather than pay to visit the observation deck, spend what you saved on a couple of cocktails in the bar two storeys higher. Sit back and watch the whole of Chicago light up.
From one of the piers in the centre of Trieste's waterfront, little ferries chug across the gulf to the fishing village of Muggia. Fantastically well preserved old village centre, generally sleepy atmosphere (well, I was there on a Sunday) and no shortage of small and authentic eating places.
The 17th century Renaissance cathedral in Jaén is the architectural showpiece of the city. It has a dramatic west façade flanked by twin towers. The interior is enormous and has tall Gothic columns supporting an intricately carved vaulted ceiling. The citizens of Jaén are immensely proud of this monument as it was designed by local architect Andrés de Vandelvira. The museum has some well preserved local bishop's clothing and treasured religious artefacts and is worth the 1.80 euro entrance fee.
Plaza San Francisco
The cathedral is free to visit and is open daily from 8.30am-1pm and 5pm-8pm). The museum is open daily from 10am to 1pm.
This is the only hostel by the sea in Rome. I stayed here and loved it. It's a newly renovated building, very spacious and comfortable. Staff is the best...really fun and helpful. It's about a 30 minute train into central Rome very easy, and more relaxing than staying in Rome. Mediterranean is just across the street...and rooms have views of the sea.
via cozza, 7
00121 Roma, Lido di Ostia
train from Piramide to Ostia Centro
The last stronghold of the Moors in Iberia, the Alpujarras is an unspoiled region of hilltop villages spilling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains south of Granada. Up here the mule is still an essential form of transport and tapas are still free when you buy a glass of wine in a village bar. Fabulous area for walking and birdwatching.
We stayed in a lovely, newly reformed holiday let with stunning views in Juvíles, one of the highest and prettiest of the villages, about an hour and a half from Granada city.
Chang means elephant in Thai and so it is fitting that when a new home had to be found for the elephants from northern Thailand, as they were no longer used for work or transport, that they were brought to Ko Chang. It is possible to go on a 1 or 2 hour elephant trek to the interior of Ko Chang taking you through rubber and mangrove plantations. Our elephant, Banyen, treated us to 2 hours of pure pleasure - we rode her through the plantations, watched her bathe in the pool and fed her pineapples and bananas. A fabulous trip to be enjoyed by all the family for only 900 BHT per person - approx 11 pounds.
Klong Prao, Ko Chang
We were met as planned at Delhi airport by Maya – one of our hosts – smiling brightly and welcoming us to Delhi.
A short taxi ride later (once Maya finally found our taxi, but that’s another story) we met our other host Betu. Together they run the guesthouse which to the eye is small, modest and comfortable. But Maya and Betu make it so much more than that with their help, advice, good food, ginger tea and warmth.
They arranged taxis for us, helped us to work out what to see and do in Delhi, answered our questions about India and made us laugh until our sides hurt.
In addition to the guesthouse they run a voluntary organization which provides a helpline, counselling and support to women across India who are questioning their sexuality or identify as lesbian. If you consider the usual issues faced by any woman coming out and add to them the cultural expectations faced by women in India you can imagine how important this work is.
Unfortunately it is not currently funded and so by staying at Naari guesthouse you are contributing towards the running costs. Another good reason to visit!
950 INR (approx 11 pounds) per person gets you and en-suite A/C room.
Tel: 0091 – 11 – 26138316 or 26899262
Varese Ligure has three restaurants, all excellent (and cheap) and two pizzeria both very good. Varese Ligure, of course, boasts its own cooking, and the best place to experience this is at the Hotel Dei Amici, a family run place, with delightful laid back charm.
Hotel Dei Amici: www.viaggiaedormi.it/eng/scheda.php?id=15344&plu=1&az=
Small cafe on main street serves decent sandwiches and hot tea. It really comes alive at night when local chef Jamie takes over the kitchen. He serves a limited menu of freshly cooked food, everything we had was excellent. Makes the most of local produce. A really good meal and very reasonably priced - you'd have to mortgage your granny to eat anything like it in Dublin.
Main Street, opposite the church
A great bar, friendly staff, good fresh seafood and fantastic atmosphere at night. There's often live music. Work by local artists cover the walls, and the wine list is surprisingly good and cheap.
Main Street, near the zebra crossing.
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