Chengdu is pretty much flat. Cycling around Chengdu is easy and often quicker than taking a taxi. You can park your bike outside shops, and/or at bike parks - you will see rows of bicycles on the pavements. You normally pay (2 jiao - 0.2 rmb - is usual fee) when you return to collect your bike. Often the 'bike warden' will tell you what time he/she is going home. Lock your bike. Never a guarantee that it won't be stolen, but locking your bike to something is of course a good idea.
If you can't hire a bike, just buy one - 200 rmb should get you a really good one. 'Pre-owned' impromptu markets are around town, but they may not be all that legal.
All over town. Info on bike repair and maintenance vocab on www.randomstuff.biz, a basic guide to Chengdu.
SF can be an expensive place, so if you want to get plastered on a budget, I recommend this place. It's a cheap bar - drinks for a dollar when I was living in SF a few years ago. It's not fancy, but it's not a total dive either, and you always get an interesting crowd in.
1535 Folsom Street in Soma (four blocks south of Market and 11th);
tel: 415 621 6087; www.theholycow.com
SF is justifiably famous for burritos, and Cancun makes the best ones, hands down. Good-sized chunks of avocado, fresh salsa, and it is great value. I used to have a Super Burrito 3-4 times a week until I moved away. Their secret is that they grill the tortilla. Most places steam them, and they come out limp and rubbery. There are lots of good burrito taquerias, L’Avenida, El Toro, but if you want a memorable eating experience, head for the yellow sign.
2 locations! 16th and Mission, Mission and Valencia
San Franciscans (I am one) have many passions, and the Giants are among the most important.
This elegant baseball park was built in 2000, funded entirely by the club - a rarity in the American sporting world, where clubs often hold cash-strapped city governments for ransom. It's located on the southern end of the South of Market district, and the views from between the foul lines frame the entire San Francisco Bay Area, from the Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island to the Oakland ports, Mount Diablo and even down to the San Mateo bridge, a good thirty miles away.
For value, sit in the bleachers in left (where Bonds hobbles around, feeling the effects of twenty years of baseball on two ravaged knees) and center field, where the hoi polloi sit, or even buy a standing room ticket and stand on the right field arcade - the closest thing you'll find to a terrace. For views, sit in the upper deck down the right field line.
But be sure to come soon, as Barry Bonds nears retirement. It may be your last chance to see the most controversial and most talented American athlete of this, or perhaps any other, generation.
24 Willie Mays Place
Mission Bay line - Third and King Sts.
Across from The Hotel Barcino, just off La Rambla, is a shop that sells falafels. Middle Eastern food seems popular here. It is easy to become addicted to these vegetarian pittas with their lip-numbing contents dressed with houmous, tabbouleh and coriander with chilli.
Hlucin is a town of around 15,000 people with an artificial lake, Sterkovna (Sterkac in local parlance), which has waterskiiing, windsurfing, swimming, mini-golf, and of course a few bars. You can go fishing on one side of the lake, too.
Hlucin itself also has numerous excellent bars, including the legendary "56", as well as some pretty decent restaurants and a couple of very good boarding houses. It's where lots of people chill out at weekends and it's a good place to relax with a few beers.
If you're lucky, catch the footy team at Hlucin stadium near the railway station. There’s a good pub at the station, and a great pub, "Gol", at stadium. Then continue the pub crawl down the road and carry on. Very friendly people, nice little cinema, good food and a nice place to sunbathe. Well played all round.
Take the 56, 34, 69, 70, 71 or 72 bus from Ostrava - should take only 15 to 20 mins. Get off opposite the "56" pub or hang on one more stop and get out at the bus station just near the main square.
Firstly for the breakfast - really good English breakfast and for those really indulgent days try their American breakfast. And if you've had a night of clubbing and can't face eating I really recommend their milkshakes - sets you right up for the day.
After the food, Una and Mitch, the owners are really friendly and always willing to provide all the information you need.
Calle Ramon Muntanter 49, Figueretes;
Krabi's night market is wonderful - tonnes of different foods to try and all fantastic and so cheap. The atmosphere is relaxed but exciting too, and there's a real community feel as most of the town turn up at some point during the evening. A must!
The Monash Gallery of Art is a public gallery run by the local council. Its aim is to push the visual arts and I think it succeeds in that. Predominantly showing Australian photography, the collections and the special exhibitions are worth a visit.
860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill;
tel: 9562 1569
Hotels in the District of Columbia tend to be very expensive, typically over $200/night. You can do much better just across the Potomac in Arlington, Virginia, near the metro stations of Rosslyn and Courthouse. From there you can either take the metro back into DC or walk over the Key Bridge into Georgetown, where you can pick up an even numbered 30s bus or the metro to go further on your way.
Get some culture and go to this museum, situated close to Mykonos Town. It is very old and contains a lot of interesting artefacts from not only Mykonos, but all over the Cyclades group of islands. Some of the artefacts are relief carvings from the fall of Troy as well as the renowned black and red vases from the 5th century BC. When we visited in 2005 the admission was 2 euros for adults and free for children and students
In the large white building, on the hill above the road that runs between the port and the town of Mykonos
tel: +30 22890 22325;
In and around Nuremberg, you'll find a festival most weekends celebrating local beer varieties, usually every weekend in the summer, and mostly every month in winter.
Last weekend in June:
Altstadtfest Lauf - local bands play for free, market, car boot sale, beer gardens, crafts fair,
www.lauf.de/index.php?goto=termindetails&tid=3838 (German language site)
First weekend in July:
Kunigundenfest Lauf - historic parade including local groups and associations, free school theatre event on top of the local hill, lots of horses and costumed school children, fireworks, beer gardens, and a funfair.
First weekend in August:
Altstadtfest Hersbruck - beer gardens with free gigs, antique fair, little marathon and donkey race.
www.altstadtfest-hersbruck.de (German language site)
Last Sunday in August
There is a flower festival and parade in Roethenbach, which is tremendous. Since 1929, local groups and associations have designed puppets and logos and decorated them with flowers.
www.roethenbach.de/cmsweb/index.asp?menu=c_1008&style=100 (German language site); There are pictures at www.roethenbach.de/blumenfest2005/index.htm.
The most impressive funfair is usually in Nuremberg, but the beer is expensive and the atmosphere is better in Erlangen. The flower festival is very impressive, whereas the costume-rich celebrations are nice for children to watch and participate in.
There are many more festivals in the region that go under the names Kirchweih and Altstadtfest. There is also a garlic festival northwest of Nuremberg.
All the parades and festivals are usually free, but unfortunately the beer is not.
Local trains leave from the main train station out into the countryside. Get the information on the festivals from the local event magazine Plaerrer (www.plaerrer.de - German language site) or the tourist information office: Hauptmarkt 18; email: firstname.lastname@example.org (www.tourismus.nuernberg.de)
Nuremberg has a lot of small arthouse cinemas, a multiplex, a MAD simulation and a 3-D IMAX cinema. Most are owned by the same person Wolfram Weber.
The arthouse cinemas are now used more as cafes and pubs and places to hang out locally in a nice atmosphere, whereas the big one is more trendy and basically seems to support the little ones economically. Some nice arthouse cinemas are Casablanca, Meisengeige, and Metropolis.
There are no people inspecting tickets in Cinecitta, as this is done electronically. There is a foreign-language cinema for films screened in their original language at the Southern Cemetery, called Roxy.
And Nuremberg is also hosting annually the International Human Rights Film Festival: see www.fitame.de for details.
Filmhouse im KOMM has a filmarchive and makes them available for the public to copy and also to convert from US format into European format and similar, but it is pretty expensive.
Casablanca Cinema: Kopernikusplatz; tel: 0911 454 824
Cinecitta: various locations, see www.cinecitta.de
Meisengeige Cinema: Am Laufer Schlagturm 3; tel: 0911 204 724
Metropolis: Stresemannplatz 8; tel: 0911 538 848
Roxy Cinema: Julius-Loßmann-Strasse 116; tel: 0911 488 40; www.roxy-nürnberg.de; U-Bahn: Frankenstrasse; S-Bahn: Südfriedhof; Tram 8
Full cinema listings: nuernberg.stadtus.de/kino/kinoprogramm.html
This family-run Italian restaurant has fantastic food is fantastic for reasonable prices. A two-course meal for two with a bottle of wine cost under £30. Suitable for children as the menu contains pizza and pasta dishes, and there’s a great selection for vegetarians.
It’s easy to get to by tube or bus, and a five minute walk from the Thames, which is ideal for an after-dinner stroll.
The venue is quite small and always busy so it can get quite loud, but there is seating outside which is perfect in the summer. The service is outstanding and staff are very friendly. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
192-196 Jamaica Rd, London SE16 4RT;
tel: 020 7064 4631;
Two minute walk from Bermondsey tube station;
Local bus routes C10, 188, 47, 381 and P13
There is a small boat that runs between Corfu Town and Vidos Island for just one euro return.
The three-minute trip affords wonderful panoramic views of the old Venetian town from the water. Once on the small island you can have a drink or meal, wander through the pine trees or lie on the beach.
The boat leaves at regular intervals until late evening from the Old Port.
Great little B&B near Genice, located in Oriago di Mira, on the Riviera del Brenta. They offer free internet access and bike hire.
Owned by the local council, Waves is just a great spot for the family to have a splash... or to use the sauna/spa. There is also a wave pool and a gym. Nice place to get healthy.
111 Chesterville Road, Highett 3190, near Southland Shopping Centre;
tel: 9559 7111;
plenty of parking (no public transport though);
A traditional Alentejan joint in Bairro Alto, where diminutive space is inversionally proportional to the food quality. Forget the mercurial service: the gambas ao alho (garlic sauce shrimps) may be the best you´ll ever taste. Nice value, too.
No sign, but it’s on a corner of Rua do Norte (number 46), low Bairro Alto;
tel: 21 346 4265
Open every day except Monday from 7pm
This cheap and cheerful Pakistani restaurant is probably not worth the tube journey to Upton Park all by itself, but very nearly.
This is an Asian McDonalds practically. Big family groups turn up for Pakistani feasts. Queue up at the counter and order kebabs, curries, dhals and bread to share. It will all be carried across to your table on a groaning tray.
Swig back sugary Rubicon drinks and get them to box up some desserts (I recommend their kheer) to take home – there’s no way you will have space straight after eating your meal.
Wander slowly back towards the tube looking in the windows at all the sari/sweetmeat/jewellery shops.
222-226 Green Street, E7 8LE
Left out of Upton Park tube and keep on walking.... (maybe 10 minutes)
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com