A great oasis in the busy and fascinating medina, roof terrace with views over Bou Inania, great selection of snacks, meals, teas and coffees, cakes, and excellent lamb patties etc. Cheerful young local staff and an enthusiastic English patron. Restored courtyard house up a tiny alley by the waterclock, close to Bab Bou Jeloud Gate. Given the lack of eating places to occupy the gap between very cheap traditional cafes, and upmarket gourmet restaurants, this is a very welcome place any time of day. But the best thing is that the owner is determined to run a rare local cultural programme of arts and music with something on several evenings a week. And then there are the camel burgers, fresh from the camel butcher over the street...
off Tala Kebira under the water clock opposite the Bou Inania Medersa(a must visit)
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.
A unique architectural gem, in a city once remarked upon by Mark Twain.
"No recorded event has occurred in the world but Damascus was in existence to receive news of it ... There was always a Damascus."
One of the best examples of typical Damascene style.
The unique striped stonework, however, is a gem in itself and arguably the most worthwhile reason to visit. The look, or banding technique known as ablaq is achieved by alternating layers of black basalt with limestone and sandstone, and gives this structure a fascinating black and white decorative appearance.
Comprised of several complex buildings, two wings (the harem and salamlik), courtyards and gardens the Palace is an impressive sight to take in, so set aside a few hours to do it justice.
Address: Suq al-Buzuriyya
Opening hours: Wed-Mon, Apr-Sep 9am-5.30pm, Oct-Mar 9am-3.30pm.
Cost: 150 SP
I was delighted to read this article dated Jan 29 about Nile cruise tours. It brought back such wonderful images about my own cruise on “El Nil”, one of Nour el Nil's striped sail dahabiehs.
Hieroglyphs, temples, palm trees, sun, sand desert, floating down the Nile in absolute bliss on this beautiful dahabyeh, full moon above the Nile, billions of stars : it is one in a life time experience! The charming owners, from Nour el Nil not only show you sites that others do not visit, but also take you for wonderful walks that show you todays Egypt and its people.
My travel tip is the following: before booking a cruise, ask full information about both the boat and itinerary, since some so-called dahabyehs are fake ones and incapable of sailing under sails. They are actually small cruise boats exclusively motor driven which do trips of 2 ½ to 3 days in a similar manner as the big cruise boats.
And instead of having a gourmet dinner that you are looking forward to, you end up with a dull fast food sandwich…
You would not want to fail your one in a life time experience for not asking these key questions, would you?
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.
We cannot praise Riyad Al Moussika enough; the effortless attention to our every wish was discrete and subtle, nothing was too much trouble for the staff.
The lunch every day was excellent. Our last meal was the best Tajine we have ever tasted - it unfortunately has changed our appreciation forever and whenever we choose a Tajine it will be compared less favourable with today's creation.
You must visit the Berber souk at the base of the Atlas mountain. The staff at the Al Moussika will arrange it with a very knowledgeable taxi driver who will outline every interesting site,
including for old rockers like me, " Mick Jaggers" Marrakesh hideaway.
The Library is an oasis of tranquillity with an excellent cross section of reading material in many languages.
Multi channel television and wi-fi in every room.
We chose this Riyad because of the TripAdvisor reviews and once again members were spot on.
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
For fantastic views and a slice of Sri Lankan life pick up some provisions at bustling Pettah Market, cross the road, brave the crowds at Colombo Fort Station, and for less than a pound rattle your way down the west coast to Galle or beyond. A stream of temples, houses, workshops show life behind the roads, and the line soon settles into its place between fine beaches creeks and bays, and the fields and forests of the coastal hills. Theres a rickety fan for air conditioning, and people sit in the open doorways reading a paper or gazing at the scene. A trolley and sellers pass up and down the aisle. You can join the train at many of the seaside resorts on route, to finally reach Galle. Straight outside the station here, nestling between dutch fort and the lapping Indian Ocean is the worlds most beautiful test cricket ground and a host of fine buildings to explore. Beautiful bays with bright small boats and stilt fishermen surround the town. And if this journey has tempted you, there are more trains and mountain views if you head for Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, or even up to Dambulla and finally Trincomalee on the distant east coast with its fine open bay and harbour. If crickets your thing you can reach nearly all of Sri Lankas test grounds and experience a riot of enthusiastic and friendly supporters.
Colombo Fort Station in the historic core of the City, Galle Fort Station right by the cricket ground.
Info at 'seat61'
This small museum houses a massively worthwhile exhibition. Though it's virtually all in Russian, I would also encourage non Russian-speakers to visit. If you know something about GULAG already, you'll find the artefacts and artworks fascinating. If you are visiting Moscow and don't know anything about GULAG; you need to learn. I was made to feel very welcome and given a personal guided tour.
16, Petrovka St.
The Teatro Colon is Argentina’s major opera house and one of the city’s finest structures. You should venture into this section of the city, even if you are not interested in the arts, just to capture a photo of the Teatro itself. The sheer enormity of the building is overwhelming and at night the Teatro looks even more impressive and should you be able to afford a ticket, the shows are a must-see. The building is currently being refurbished so you should check it out before the original structure disappears altogether.
Cerrito 618, Buenos Aires 1010
This cool district is located by Buenos Aires’ waterfront, once a busy port in the early part of the century. A major regeneration project has now transformed the area into luxurious homes, apartments, office blocks and hotels. The port has a selection of stunning residential high-rises and office blocks that look amazing at night when lit up, and makes for a perfect evening of strolling should you find yourself close to the docks.
About an hour and a half drive north of Toronto lies the town of Midland and its sister village of Penetanguishene.
This area was one of the first places in Ontario that was settled by Europeans. French missionaries from Quebec came back in 1639 to convert the local Huron population and a replica of their settlement, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons has been built close to the original site, just outside Midland.
In the early 1800s, the Royal Navy set up a base after the War of 1812 to prevent the Americans from dominating the Great Lakes. Some of the original buildings, mixed with more recent replica buildings and a couple of schooners can be seen in the living history museum of Discovery Harbour on the shores of Penetanguishene Bay.
Both Midland and Penetanguishene offer daytime and evening cruises of the Georgian Bay Islands National Park which pass close to some of the ritzy "cottages" perched on tiny rocky islands in Georgian Bay.
There is plenty else to do from seeing the huge murals painted on the silos and walls in Midland harbour and town centre to paddling a canoe or snowshoeing through the nature reserve at Wye Marsh.
Penetanguishene is one of the few parts of Ontario where there is still a strong French speaking presence and you can hear people chatting in French in the local shops.
Take Highway 400 North from Toronto to Barrie and then follow Highway 93. Midland is almost at the end of Highway 93, Penetanguishene is at the end of the road.
It is the way to cruise the Nile - small, intimate 19th century style sailing boats with six cabins and private moorings, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd. The company has four boats - Nesma, Amber, Zahra and Musk! Don't do the Nile any other way.
The Hotel Riyad Al Moussika, where I spent with friends a long weekend at the beginning of our journey to the south of Morocco in early January, is a place that has stopped time, where the magical atmosphere, relives Morocco of Pasha of 1800, but with all the comfort of our century. Everything is perfect, authentic, calm, serene.
I recommend strongly this hotel for its central location, even for the excellent and very professional service provided by the young boys of the staff, always smiling and present without being intrusive.
The chef and owner, Khalid, a nice and helpful big boy, who speaks I do not know how many languages, but among them an excellent Italian that has enabled me to know a world of things about authentic Marrakech, thing impossible otherwise, due to my language limitations, and, most important, who cooks in divine way.
I conclude that the value for money is very good considering that the copious breakfast and the courses haute cuisine lunch, (by far the best of all restaurants in Marrakech and Morocco, where we ate), are included in rate.
Only one regret: Have stayed there for four nights only!
At the end of a tiny dead end lane in the very heart of the Medina, and looking distinctly unpromising with its collapsing and propped up buildings, is this painstakingly restored small and fabulous riad. With just three rooms available, the owners have lovingly brought every historic piece of timber, plaster and zelij tiling back to its original best. The house is intimate and beautifully furnished with an eclectic and stylish mix of period and contemporary pieces, bird cages, and fabrics including objects from Vietnam, Europe and elsewhere. the terrace looks out over the Medina and hills and is ideal to relax. The home made breakfast preserves, pancakes, juices and range of teas are the passion of the owners, as is the cooking if you have dinner in. The staff and Stephen and Bruno are helpful in the extreme, and will give you lots of honest advice on surviving and enjoying Fes. Rooms E100 to E200 with taxis to airport and that fantastic breakfast.
9 Djerb Lamsside, Souiket Ben Safi, Fes Medina
A small sugar cane town just off the Bay of Pigs that was Castro's HQ for repelling the three-day invasion. The cane factory is in ruins apart from a small museum but the old rail sheds host a motley collection of decaying steam engines from its heyday, with slight signs of restoration and a helpful guardian who will let you in. Other than that it's the easiest way to visit Australia in the northern hemisphere. Now the town is surrounded by orchards and a huge juice factory.
North of Giron close to the Cienfuegos-Havana road. Station closed
Tehran. Ugly, sprawling and polluted. But to miss out Tehran from an Iranian itinerary would be to miss out a window into the living, breathing, and vibrant world of modern Iran. Take a taxi north into the foothills of the magestic Alborz mountains. The air is cooler and far cleaner here, and even through the smoggy haze, the views are spectacular. Beside this, the Alborz foothills are home to two of Tehran's highlights: Darband, and the Palaces of Niavaran.
A narrow valley cut deep into the sides of the Alborz mountains, with a single road leading up beside a noisy brook overhung with trees, Darband is barely even a village. This pretty scattering of buildings among nature is a completely different world from the megalopolis that lies just minutes away, and walks in the surrounding area offer fresh air, great scenery and a chance to get away from the bustle. If you don't feel so physically inclined head for one of Darband's teahouses - one is spectacularly perched like a beautifully clichéd image of the middle east. Deliciously sugary pastries and wonderful teas in luxuriant surroundings are still cheap for the western tourist.
The get a taste of how the Shahs used to live in the Niavaran Palaces. Beautiful buildings drawing on Persian and western architectural traditions are scattered through lush parkland with the city's best panoramas.
In the foothills of the Alborz mountains to the north of Tehran, taxi drivers can take you there from all over the city. Buses run up Val-e-Asr avenue from downtown to the leafy northern suburb of Tajrish, from where taxis are cheaper or a walk is perhaps contemplatable.
The Art Academy B&B in Dorsoduro, Venice is a truly wonderful little gem. Tucked away by the side of the Accademia bridge you couldn't wish for a nicer to stay whilst exploring the marvels of Venice. The hosts Barbara and Mara were friendly and welcoming - despite our delayed 1 am appearance due to fog and an un-expected route via Trieste!
The rooms are immaculately clean and bright and spacious with simple furnishings. Some rooms have views of the Grand Canal..... the thrill of opening the shutters in the morning and seeing it all before you cannot be beaten.Rooms are available with en-suite or shared bathrooms, we opted for the latter and it was all perfectly fine.No queues or drama, perfectly nice bathroom with all the usual facilities. A lovely Italian breakfast is served in a room with views of the Grand Canal - so not much talking over breakfast but plenty of gawping!
Trust me, I have been to Venice before and places to stay that are as good as this, as centrally located and with such friendly & helpful hosts can be counted on the fingers of one hand. If flashy and fancy is your thing, then this isn't for you, but if you want to see and experience the friendlier side of Venice then do go and stay! Tell them Emma sent you!
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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