The Portland Rose Gardens is another local landmark site - with gorgeous views of Mt. Hood and the downtown city proper.
The 'test' gardens are literally that - experimental buds abound and many award-winners at that. Row after row after row of botanically-engineered beauty, and not just for enthusiasts.
Located in the winding playland that is Washington Park - The Rose Gardens sit within one of the best walking tours Portland has to offer - stroll up to the Japanese Gardens for an authentic cultural experience (it has been called the most perfect replica of a Japanese tea garden outside of Japan), or keep strolling up the park - playgrounds aplenty for the young ones and gorgeous picnic spots - if you make it to the top you can visit the Portland Zoo, Children's Museum, the Hoyt Arboretum or Forestry Center. Watch out for stray foxes.
Washington Park is Portland's largest and most exemplary - it is quite tourist friendly with plenty of buses, but the best way to experience it is on foot. The Washington Park Zoo train is also a refreshing option, taking you up on narrow tracks through the heavily wooded hills on an old-fashioned locomotive.
Family friendly - absolutely - but romantic enough for adventurous couples. With good trainers. A walking stick wouldn't hurt, either. Spread over 400 acres - long rests are encouraged.
Off of Hwy 26, from Burnside to Vista Avenue.
It is a massive cathedral and inside there is a hole in the roof through which a slowly (but perceptibly) moving spot of light shines illustrating the movement of the earth round the sun and the exact time of the solstices and astrological periods on a huge linear sundial on the marble floor. Arrive shortly before 12:30 (probably 13:30 in the Summer?) and you can follow the spot of light as it crosses the floor to reach its destination. Great for kids and free!
A side chapel also contains a Foucault's pendulum kept in motion by magnets.
It is free to go into almost all of the museums in Bologna and this one is amazing - due in large part to the work of an 18th century female artist/anatomist who made models to enable medics to study the human body. Some are wax and some are human bone and wax. I would not recommend a visit if you are pregnant - the obstetrics section, although fascinating, could be upsetting: it contains midwife-training models of wombs illustrating difficult foetal presentations, many of which would surely have resulted in infant and/or maternal death.
It also contains (less alarming!) sections on natural history and physics.
Italian chain that allows you to see what dishes are being prepared before you choose food. Always full of locals rather than tourists. Great opportunity to get a hang of Italian food habits. Padua Brek is slightly better if you're travelling.
Main square outside opera amphitheatre
The Quinta is on the shores of the barragem de Santa Clara in lower ( Baixa) Alentejo. It faces south and has fantastic views over the lake with water sports facilities as well.The isolation of the Quinta makes it ideal for unwinding. However be aware that there is no TV, mobile reception is not good and to go "offsite" is a 20 minute drive until you come to the main road.
It takes 90 minutes to reach the Quinta by car from Faro.Alternatively Lisbon is 2 1/2 hours by car.
There are two trains a day from both Faro or Lisbon which stop at Santa Clara. Thereafter either take a taxi or contact the Quinta for collection.
Tel:(351) 283 933 065
The website is here
The Panoramio entry is here
The flickr images are here
Pronounced "thung-gulie", a 14 acre coral island (off the east coast of mainland) which you can walk around in just 20 minutes. A small selection of beach huts - from around £20pppn - are all a stone's throw from the sea. Perfect location for snorkelling/diving and if you're really lucky (like us!), a Humpback whale or two might just swim past the island.
All meals (incl. in price, plus an afternoon cuppa!) served in the communal dining room - also right by the water's edge.
Island run by members of the Methodist Church of Fiji, some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet.
For more information and bookings:
Tel: (+679) 344 0166,
Caqalai Island, Box 149, Levuka, Fiji Islands
A picturesque medieval walled town of white houses and narrow cobbled streets where the famous chestnut festival is held at the begining of November.
The streets are lined with stalls selling genuine Portuguese handcrafts, artists demonstrating their traditional skills, various street artists and folk music.
Join in the fun with a glass of local wine and of course chestnuts and delicious chestnut cakes.
Lacanau isn't one of France's most appealing beach towns and pales in the shadow of grand Arcachon with its Dune du Pyla to the south. However, it lies in the heart of the Landes pine forest, between the Atlantic and a chain of lakes, and the surrounding area's natural beauty is well worth exploring. Numerous establishments on the main road, Avenue de l'Europe, hire out bikes for the day or half day at very reasonable prices, and it's easy to get hold of a map of the extensive biking trails around the town from the tourist information centre (on the same street). Head south along the coast for views of the seemingly endless sandy beaches and atlantic breakers in either direction, or inland to explore the beautiful pine forests (some of Europe's most extensive). Dappled sunlight and the scent of pine and wild flowers add to the peaceful magic of leisurely riding through almost entirely flat back country. A perfect alternative to lying on the sand, and a healthy way to redress indulgence in local wines.
Lacanau Océan, Gironde, France. An hour's drive west from Bordeaux.
A hidden gem in the hills on the outskirts of the picturesque ancient town of Sarnarno. We had a very relaxing week there last June with our 16 month old daughter. The views from the spectacular swimming pool are simply stunning and the owners were extremely helpful and accommodating. Comfortable, modern decor too. Highly recommended if you are planning a holiday in this part of Italy. We were sad to leave so soon and would stay longer next time.
Via Case Rosse 278, Sarnano 62028 MC, ITALIA
Ancona & Pescara airports 1.5 hrs away
Great Salkeld is an ancient village within the Eden Valley, Cumbria. It has a number of historic attractions. There are the remains of the medieval Aikton Castle, then there is St Cuthberts church parts of which date back to 880AD. The church is one of only three in Cumbria to have a defensive Pele tower.
The Eden Valley offers great walking, shooting and fishing.
With Great Salkeld the most convenient accommodation is probably Wetheral Cottages.
Public transport is limited, although the Carlisle to Settle railway line runs through the Valley and stops at Lazonby , about 5 miles away.
The address for the village is here
Great Salkeld, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9NA
This website provides good aerial views of the village
and this website provides details of the accommodation
The Valley is a private working estate which grants access to all walkers and limited access for cars. It provides easy access to the Cheviot and surrounding peaks. You can easily reach the border fence with Scotland. There is lots of wildlife, from the feral goats, red deer and fox, through to a large variety of birds. There are also ancient hill forts from the Bronze Age to explore. Peace and tranquility are there for free.
Access is really only possible by car.There is no public transport to this remote valley.Car parking is available at the bottom of the Valley.
College Valley Estate, Hethpool Mill,Wooler, NE71 6DW.
Tel: 01668 281 611
Great hostel in Dubrovnik Old Town. Best location on the Pile Bay: 20m from the beach and only 80m from the historical street Placa. They offer both shared and private rooms.
Marco, the owner, also offers luxury apartments in the city center of Dubrovnik.
We had a family apartment for five which was spotlessly clean, secure, with all amenities.
The staff is very helpful and extremely hospitable.
We had the best recommendations for restaurants, things to do and they also helped us with car rental.
We would definitely stay again the next holiday.
This service allows curious travelers to be paired up with local residents who want to share the hidden attractions and treasures within Buenos Aires. Each tour can be catered towards your particular interests, perhaps museums, coffee shops or arts performances, and the tours are available in a number of languages. This is a brilliant way of getting to know the capital through the eyes of someone who lives and breathes the city, cannot recommend it enough.
This could be quite possibly the plushest shopping center you may ever visit. Located on Florida Street and Cordoba Avenue, the exterior alludes to the amazing features inside, with its golden lighting and full length window displays. Enter through the doors and it’s almost like you have entered the halls of Grand Central station, with the superb bonus of having a stunning biblical mural painted upon the ceiling. The designer shops on offer are second to none in the city, as fashionista’s will find themselves in shopping heaven.
Corner of Florida Street and Cordoba Avenue
Last week I've been in Rome for 1 week with my family and I've booked with a last minute deal a large apartment near Spanish Steps . The price was very convenient and the apartment was wery appointed and equpped . If you are going in Rome this season I suggest you to don't miss the Giulio Cesare exhbition at Chiostro del Bramante www.chiostrodelbramante.it
Via della Vite 32 , www.romesweethome.it , +390669924833
A unique oasis of calm and tranquility away from the centers of mass tourism on the island. Runs entirely on wind and solar energy. Loads of extra details to make you feel at home with comfortable, tasteful decoration - the owners have really gone the extra mile. Fresh eggs from the chickens, fruit from the garden, kids play area, trampoline and bikes for guests to use!
There is a shared pool and chill out area which is a perfect place to relax.
The authentic Canarian fishing village of Arrieta and its fantastic beach, La Garita, are only 5-10 minutes walk away.
We count our week there as one of our best family holidays and hope to return! The experience was a real insight and education for us and our children into alternative energy and green eco living!
Rambling B&B establishment set on the side of a hill overlooking a large lake. Boats available for guests to use. The proprietor, Frank Mclintock, is slightly eccentric and fusses over the guests. Food is cooked on site and in so many ways you are made to feel as is if you are a guest staying with a friend. The area has a lot of wildlife and Frank is a keen birdwatcher. The remoteness and isolation will really help you to forget the outer world.
Quinta do Barranco da Estrada: 7665-880 Santa Clara a Velha, Portugalhttp://www.paradise-in-portugal.comNearest train station is at Santa Clara. Nearest airport is Faro
Whitby as a stunning place to visit on a day when the weather is nice. Atop the cliffs, next to the sea, you will find incredible views and historic Whitby Abbey.
A tour around the abbey will cost you a small some. However, for a family day out it is well worth while. There are usually exhibitions on show in the building outside the walls of the Abbey. Also, the history of the Abbey is given here, so it is very educational for the kids.
The ruins are quite well maintained and safe. They are beautiful on a lovely summers day. Although they can get busy during peak season.
The views to be had over the top of the cliffs and out over the North Sea are also amazing.
Whitby North Yorkshire. Once you are in the town, just follow the signs up the cliffs. Or you can park nearby and walk around the Abbey's walls. www.hotels-uk-accommodation.co.uk/north-yorkshire/whitby-abbey/
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