A rendezvous that's been going on for years and still feels totally impromptu: every Sunday, a bunch of musicians (mainly drummers, and the odd saxophonist) gathers around the Etienne Cartier statue in the beautiful Parc du Mont Royal and entertains a happy crowd of young and old hippies. Informal and really uplifting. In the winter you can enjoy a full range of seasonal activities - hockey, lovely walks and cross country ski trails that are easy, have great views and are open all evening.
Parc du Mont Royal - www.lemontroyal.qc.ca/en_index2.html
The Huntington institution is a massive estate at San Marino featuring botanical gardens, a library, art galleries and more. They even have Gainsborough's Blue Boy! Admission is free on the first Thursday of every month.
It's a leftover of the International Exhibition of 1929 on Montjuic, an artificial village of more than 100 buildings showing the typical architecture of different parts of Spain, showcasing various crafts and arts and selling artisan products. It sounds a bit cheesy, but it's actually very attractively done.
It's a good place for kids as they can run around in a traffic-free environment with plenty to look at and some family activities. There are some good cafes and restaurants. We followed it with a trip on the teleferic (cable car) across the port. It costs 7.50 euros for adults, 4 euros for 7-12 year olds, under 7s free. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 paying kids is 15 euros.
www.poble-espanyol.com/ - English version coming, they say.
Poble Espanyol de Montjuïc Av. Marquès de Comillas, 13. 08038 - Barcelona T. 935 086 330 F. 935 086 333 firstname.lastname@example.org
Buses 15 or 30 from the Placa d'Espanya or walk from there.
This is Berlin's one and only hostelboat, which means you can actually stay overnight on a boat on the River Spree for reasonable and have superb views over the river. I recommend it because it is something different, but apart from this, it's a very cosy place with very helpful people. Rooms are nice and have all attached bath. It is next to what's left of the wall and in general a cool place.
You can get off one of the main station, which is Ostbahnhof and walk along the wall, which enables you to admire the numerous murals, or you can get off the tube stations Warschauerstrasse or Schlesische Strasse, which are a bit closer;
It is one of the best preserved monuments of baroque in Europe, but unfortunately only few know and are able to enjoy this true masterpiece. It is a fairly large church near the Charles bridge in Prague. From the outside it does not look that impressive but once you are inside you are lost for words. I hope more English go for the architecture of this beautiful city rather than cheap beer; they just miss the point of being in Prague!
Malostranske namesti; 118 26 Prague, Czech Republic 30 min walk from the centre (Old Town Hall)
The ferry between Darling Harbour and Circular Quay gives you one of the best views of the Harbour Bridge as you actually sail under it. It is a fitting end to a visit to the Australian Maritime Museum. This free museum is well set out and has plenty to keep children interested while still being fascinating to adults. It includes some naval vessels such as a submarine but there is a charge for going aboard.
Pyrmont Wharf, Darling Harbour
A tour company run by a young man from the Cape Town Flats area trying to get his business off the ground. Chris took us on a wonderful day's tour of the wine fields and to the Cape of Good Hope. He was fun, informative and relaxed. We felt good about redressing some of the financial imbalances only too visible as a result of the years of apartheid.
Tel: Chris on 083 246 1924
Rio's 'Covent Garden'. A shopping mall but on an intimate scale without any chain stores. Not very far from Leblon. Also has several theatres with Sat/Sun afternoon programmes for children and a playcentre. If you have small children, you can buy excellent cheap clothes at Bebe Basico on the ground floor. The owners also have a nice educational toy shop on the 2nd floor (Enfim Enfant) which sells hand-made toys and brilliant towelling cushions shaped like elephants and hippopotamuses.
Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 52, Shopping da Gávea - 2º piso Sábado e Domingo, às 17h Mais informações: 2540-6004 Classificação: livre ...
Rugby and football fans should go on the Millennium stadium tour, where you can take a look at the teams’ dressing rooms, visit the VIP area, walk through the players’ tunnel and marvel at the famous retracting roof. It’s £5.50 for adults and £3 for children.
A lovely park with a huge lake to feed the ducks or hire a boat. There’s a great playground for children, lovely rose gardens and an impressive greenhouse. Also in the park is a memorial lighthouse dedicated to Captain Scott, the South Pole explorer, who set sail on his final, ill-fated voyage from Cardiff.
This museum, with its collection of Welsh archaeology, arts and crafts, and surprisingly impressive collection of Impressionist paintings, is worth a visit if you’ve got a few days here. Entry is free.
It's a brilliant free outdoor museum 10 minutes west of the centre showing how Welsh people lived, worked and spent their spare time through the ages. Set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland in the grounds of St Fagans castle, a 16th-century manor house, over 30 buildings have been painstakingly moved from various parts of Wales and reassembled brick by brick. Native farm animals roam the fields and farmyards, and there’s a working flour mill and blacksmith. There are also some great old-fashioned shops including a baker’s and a sweet shop. The village of St Fagans itself is worth a look, with pretty thatched-roof cottages, a picturesque cricket ground and decent pub.
The best ice-cream in Rio - a small chain of posh ice-cream parlours. The one I went to was on the fanciest shopping street in Ipanema, which has a cafe. Try all those exotic fruits (e.g. pitanga) that you should also be tasting at the street juice bars, but in ice-cream!
134 Garcia D’Avila – Ipanema. tel: 2521.1384
More than just a temple, it is a park, a teahouse, a shopping street, a snack street, and a mini-Sichuan theatre house all rolled into one. Go here anytime during the day or night for a bit of relaxation and fun.
Not far from Sam's Guesthouse at 130 Shanxi Jie.
The People's Palace is Glasgow's social history museum. It tells the story of the city through its people, and not just the great and good. You can listen to examples of Glasgow speech, and see a reconstructed tenement 'single-end'. It's also free, like all of the City of Glasgow's 13 museums. Unmissable if you're a resident or expat Glaswegian, and still good even if you're not.
Glasgow Green, Glasgow, G40 1AT; Tel: 0141 271 2951; www.glasgowmuseums.com/venue/index.cfm?venueid=9
A Chinese garden of the Ming Dynasty 'Scholar's Garden' style. It is the first full-sized classical Chinese garden outside of China. Located in Vancouver's Chinatown, it is tranquil and beautiful. Take a tour or experience a musical presentation here, then enjoy a meal in Chinatown.
578 Carrall St. (604) 662-3207 www.vancouverchinesegarden.com/index.html
When the noise, grime and mayhem that otherwise characterises Shanghai gets you down, head for this flower market. It's a refreshing change to wander around the aisles of this huge indoor bazaar that still retains a whiff of old-school charm about it, not to mention the scent of a multitude of exotic blooms shipped in from who knows where. And at festival periods, even Christmas, the upper floor is reborn as an all-singing all-dancing plastic tat wholesaler - just what you need for those last-minute decorations...
225 South Shanxi Rd, near Yongjia Rd. Look for the trail of floral debris and turn into the car park. Nearest metro - Shanxi Nan Lu (Line 1)
Ice cream cafe and art gallery. Marvellous organic ice cream from Devon. Run by lovely ex-pat Galina and Kirstin. Easy, friendly ambience in centre of Bohemian East Berlin. Art works change every month. Great to sit and chill out. B&B possible too, with English-speaking flat owner.
Zionskirchstrasse 75, Berlin 10119; Nearest metro: Senefelderplatz; Tel: (004930) 44038577
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