Local town near Breckenridge, you can stay here much cheaper than staying near the slopes in Breck itself. Also useful as a base for Keystone, A-Basin and Copper.
You don't even need to drive as the free Summit Stage will deliver you to all the resorts, although a car would be handy. If you don't have a car stay on Main Street as it's quite a walk to the restaurants / bars from anywhere else.
Housed in an old palace overlooking the Hippodrome the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts charts the history, influences and changes in Islamic art through the use of pottery, tiles, artefacts, calligraphy, glass and metal work, manuscripts and friezes.
There are some wonderful exhibits, especially the beautiful calligraphy and decorated manuscripts, vibrantly coloured tiles and also the exquisite, elaborate pins and brooches used to decorate turbans.
The later galleries and the Main Ceremonial Hall contain one of the world’s foremost collection of antique carpets. The exhibition explains the different types of carpets and how some styles are named after certain artists i.e. Holbein, because they were featured in paintings by those artists. In the west Turkish carpets were so prized that they were used as table coverings rather than on the floor, thus showing the wealth of those who owned them.
The museum also has an Ethnographical Section which includes a reconstruction of a traditional Yurt dwelling and also details of how natural dyes are made from such things as plants, dried flowers and even crushes insects.
All the exhibits are well displayed with descriptions in Turkish and English. There is a lot to take in however the museum also has a lovely tea room where you can refresh your senses and feet and, in summer, sit out on the terrace with beautiful views over the Blue Mosque.
At Meydani 46, Sultanahmet
Overlooking the Hippodrome, opposite the Blue Mosque.
Tucked in a busy street of bars, restaurants, hotels and hostels, Albura offers a large selection of Turkish and International dishes at very reasonable prices.
Wooden floors and ceiling are offset by orange/ochre walls and exposed brickwork, the walls also decorated by interesting metal lamp fittings. Seating is on iron or wooden chairs and some very comfortable leather banquettes.
The menu is extensive with traditional Turkish dishes – such as mixed meze, kebabs and fresh fish – on offer next to wider ranging fare such as crepes, salads and pasta. There are also a number of vegetarian options.
The food was well cooked and very tasty, more along the lines ‘comfort food’ than modern or fusion cuisine but nothing wrong with that, as attested by a number of people in the restaurant who were visiting for a second time. Indeed had we not wished to sample as many restaurants as we could we may have returned as there was a number of different things on the menu I would like to have tried. We had a couple of criticisms, the salad we ordered had a bit too many pickled/bottled vegetables, making it rather less fresh and more bland then I would have liked, and the baked potato accompaniment with one of the dishes was slightly cold, however, these are really minor caveats and didn’t effect our overall enjoyment of the meal.
Combine all the above with friendly staff and a price tag for two starters, two main courses, a dessert, two beers and a coffee of 83 YTL (approx. £34.00) and you’ve got a good evening out.
Yeni Akbiyk Cad. 26
This is a great two-star hotel (breakfast only - quiet bar) brilliantly located less than 100m from the foot of La Flegere so it's an easy walk even in boots. The Flegere ski area is wonderful for skiers up to good intermediate skill level, with easy access, short queues, a range of eateries and offering wonderful views of the Mt Blanc range to the south. The hotel is simple but very comfortable and cosy and a number of the rooms have balconies with incredible views of Mt Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi.
There are two ski hire shops close by which offer discounts to guests. The free bus stops right outside the hotel so access to the rest of the Chamonix Valley ski areas couldn't be easier. To top it off, there is a truly lovely tree-lined snowy walking trail between Les Praz and Chamonix central (25mins) which winds it's way along the banks of the River l'Arve and is well lit at night - a terrific way to ease those weary legs at the end of the day as you head into town to party.
If you don't want the nightlife, the Hotel Eden (50 metres walk) offers a really good restaurant with a fine wine list. Parking is easy at the Hotel Les Rhododendrons or the hotel staff can organise a pick up from Geneva.
Prices: 53 euros single, up to 118 euros for a quadruple room. Booking is easy, efficient and reliable using the web.
100 Route de Tines, Les Praz de Chamonix, - Chamonix Mont Blanc 74400 - France
Phone: 04 50 53 06 39
Fax: 04 50 53 55 76
Great for those who always want what everyone else has orderd, this Italian 'tapas' restaurant offers a tasty selection of small bites. Plates are priced around the £2/£3 mark, so you can easily get carried away. Best to go in a large group to make the most of the spicy meatballs, calamari and miniature pasta dishes.
115 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2NW
0161 831 9930
We have just got back from four magical days in Budapest, staying at this brilliant apartment. The place is fantastic, and Tomas is a very good host who can tell you places to visit. Its location is fantastic, in a beautiful old building with a cafe at the bottom. Convenient! Honestly, look no further, this is the place to go.
Tomas: +36 20 3328952
Three-star hotel on Sonnenstrasse, just off the end of Kaufingerstrasse and handy for central sights such as Marienplatz and Frauenkirche as well as the Hauptbahnhof. Modern and friendly with a pleasant breakfast room on the first floor. I stayed in an en suite double room (in 2003) for a very reasonable 65 euros a night.
Sonnenstrasse 5, Munich, DE, 80331
The guidebooks I read before setting off to Nice failed to mention Cagnes. I wanted to go to Renoir's museum so that's why I went. I was very taken with the place. I imagine it's like Brighton was in the 1960s but with a lot more class and a lot more sun. Pay this place a visit. There are restaurants a plenty and they are much cheaper than in Nice yet to the same standard. There are so many children here having fun in the sun too. A very sweet family holiday place which I intend to recommend to my niece's ma and pa.
If you want a taste of real passion for cricket come to this stadium in the Motera district of Ahmedabad. Indian people come regardless of who is playing simply because they love to watch great cricket and cheer at every good shot. It's a great atmosphere. Be warned you can't take water into the stadium and you can't buy it at the site (there are vendors outside the grounds). This is because (i am told) people have a habbit of chucking water at the players when they are at the boundries! There is usually a way around it - kind kids will usually try and smuggle some in for you! Tickets are reasonable from 300rps to 2000 (but a mid price on of about 500rps is usually the way to go).
Motera district in the north of the city
Although "Goa trance" isn't really my music scene, I enjoyed Anjuna immensely. There are a whole lot of freaks out there and most of them travel into Anjuna at some point. There's a good choice of places to eat ranging from Tibetan, Indian and Chinese to Western.
Lots of bars abound on and around the beach areas and there's plenty of cheap accommodation for those on a tight budget.
The local nightclub is pretty impressive, even if it's all bang-gnab trance all night long.
The beach is medium sizee but really nice (just expect a lot of hawkers) and locals are as friendly as the tourists.
This is a really good place to relax on the beach by day and party by night. You also have a lot of options for exlporing the rest of Goa once you get there.
Anjuna beach, north Goa
This is an informal and welcoming bed and breakfast. It's 20 minutes on the 53 metro line to the centre, making this a quiet place to stay.
The hosts Jan and Cecile make every effort to make your stay a comfortable and enjoyable one. The breakfast is particularly recommended.
Bed & Breakfast Apostrophe
1103 RA Amsterdam
Baga beach down by the creek at the quiet end of the Candolim - Calangute stip, is just perfect as a base for exploring north Goa. There are some excellent hotels, guest houses, restaurants and night clubs in the area. You can walk around the cliffs to Anjuna if you don't mind a bit of a hike. Half way round is a small secluded bay and beach shack imaginatively called "Cliffs" perfect for stopping of for a mid moring snack or drink.
Calangute is within walking distance in the other direction should you need the exercise, but a taxi or Tuc-Tuc will take you anywhere within north Goa for less than £10! The views from the top of Chapora fort or from Arambol lake are spectacular at any time of day and Vagator beach is fantastic for sundown.
The capital city of Panjim is also worth a visit as is Old Goa for the architecture and churches - a 3 day trip to Hampi is also well worth the time and trouble.
Dabolim airport is 70 mins away and Mapusa Station is 10 minutes away.
Whilst Goa is beautiful, jump on a train and head south to Fort Cochin in Kerala, with its “truly Indian” feel, unspoilt by ravers, the best food in the country and MUCH cheaper too.
It has an amazing fish market daily and at night the market becomes a series of outdoor restaurants. Watch the fishermen at dawn every day and sink a couple of ice cold beers as the sun sets over this little mini ‘island'.
Take an overnight train from Goa to Kerala.
A really great overnight trip is to the ruined city of Hampi in Karnataca. The highlights include sunrise and sunset over the city's pagoda like temples and drumming on the hollow pillars - they are like stone organ pipes inside the temples and when banged lightly, you can play a rhythm on them. The attached palace is interesting with its geometric buildings and elephant stables.
Hampi is popular as a school visit destination and the children thought my wife was Princess Di (trust me - my wife is lovely but there is no resemblance!) and would creep up to touch shyly as they had never seen a white European! They drove in from India's little tourist visited interior.
We took a taxi to Hampi from Dona Paulo and paid about £70 for the two-day trip. On the way we drove through a chilli farming region and the chillies were laid out on the road for passing cars to thresh.
A fascinating trip all in all - and we had our cheapest meal ever there - £1.80 for a three-course meal for both of us! Just what do you tip when the meal is so cheap?
Palolem in south Goa is a fantastic laid back beach. You can check out how beautiful it is by watching Matt Damon run along it during the opening 10 minutes of the Bourne Supremacy.
There are some great beach huts to rent (average price £7 per day). My favourite has to be Dreamcatcher at the north end run by Jacky and Walter. Jacky is from Liverpool via the asteroid belt while Walter is an ex Kerelan wrestling champion. They make you feel so welcome it feels like home after about 10 minutes.
The food the cook serves up is fresh and tasty (prawns the size of bananas and curries that are far tastier than anything you've had in the UK) while the bar will serve you anything from a lasi to a Kingfisher.
If yoga is your thing, Wayne (yes I know not the most mystical sounding name) does a sunrise (well 9am) class and a sunset one. There's also a variety of massage too.
The place is magical at night as it is lit by candles. You can either sit around the campfire or relax on a daybed by the bar.
If you're going to Goa and want a place that's not commercial, Palolem and Dreamcatcher is where you should head to.
As with other states, the Goan state government runs cheap one-day sight seeing trips for about US$1.00. Well worth the time.
Take a bus trip to north Goa or south Goa. Again, less than one dollar. Since public buses are crowded, go to a terminal and get a seat next to a window, so that one does not have to be put off by crowded passengers shoving.
Old homes. Recommended by government.
Goa state museum in Panjim. Good on history of Goa.
Study Portuguese. School, with short courses,in Porvorim.
Goa State Museum, EDC Complex, Pato, Panaji, Goa - 403001. Tel: 91-0832-2438006/2437306
A donkey trip gives you the best views and is the most fun, slightly ridiculous way to see the valley of the kings. We made the mistake of booking through a hotel, who take massive commissions (up to 80% of fee). The donkey trip guides are VERY poor, so why not book direct and cut out the fat? Then they get a fairer deal and you get a cheaper price. Call Abdl on this number: 095/2060352, or 010 472 9416. He will meet you at your hotel and take you on a great 5-6 hour trip which should cost about £4 sterling each.
Call him on 095/2060352 or 010 472 9416
A fascinating collection of rock-carvings, thought to date from the Upper Palaeolithic or Mesolithic eras (between 20,000 and 30,000 years old, although estimates seem to vary depending on who you ask).
These include an X-Ray style bull, a dancing woman, several maze-like whorls and a mysterious symbol which defies identification.
The site is next to a marvellously tranquil little river. The exposed rock can get very hot, so keep your sandals on!
The site was free when I went, but there's a guide who'll need a tip. Don't forget to sign his visitor's book.
The site is situated in or near an open-cast Iron Ore mine in South Goa. Approx 15km south of Rivona. It isn't easy to find and is a little bit of an adventure.
Find a friendly taxi-driver to take you there - it's about two hours drive from Calangute, and you'll almost certainly need to ask someone for directions in Konkani.
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