Hoboken is a mile square city best known, perhaps, as Frank Sinatra's birthplace. It also disputes Cooperstown, NY as being the birthplace of modern baseball. It is an eclectic, thriving community located directly on the Hudson River across from Manhattan, sporting amazing views from one of three riverfront parks.
The main street - Washington Street, hosts trendy and traditional cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops -a pleasing blend of the "old time" Italian and German Hoboken, and the gentrified new Hoboken.
Hudson Street, just two blocks from the river, is lined with elegant brownstones and mansions that once belonged to the rich and famous of NYC who sailed to Hoboken for a days' respite.
One can get Hoboken from NYC via the PATH train (subway from NYC to New Jersey), at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, 9th, 14th, 23rd and 33rd streets.
A $2.30 bus ride (gate 205) from Port Authority Bus Terminal will take you to Washington Street, the main drag, and the 38th street and pier 11 ferries will give you a lovely ride across the Hudson River in a matter of minutes.
This is a vast, three-level underground limestone necropolis that was in use from about 3600 BC. The 50-minute archaeological tour is excellent and must be booked in advance, as only 10 people are admitted at a time. It is a climate-controlled state-of-the-art facility built with UNESCO assistance.
It is in a small street, Triq-ic-Cimiterju, in the Valletta suburb of Paola, accessible by city bus. Book at www.heritagemalta.org
A wonderful garden filled with marvellous statues and scenarios telling old historical & legendary tales from the Singaporean past.
MRT to Buona Vista and then the bus to the Villa. After the villa head to Holland Village for refreshments and shopping.
On 6th August 1945, the US perpetrated the first ever hostile use of a nuclear weapon by dropping 'Little Boy' over the city at 8:15am. Over 200,000 people are believed to have died during, and in the months after, this attack.
Catch a ride by tram from outside the main station to the A-Bomb Dome which was one of the few buidlings left standing after the bomb. From here, you can walk across the river bridge then through the Peace Park, a selection of shrines and monuments to the event and those whose died.
Don't miss a visit to the A-Bomb museum (near to the 'clock' monument) which, whilst a sobering experience, is a 'must see'. Respectfully presented, it reduced me to tears, but I am glad I visited to pay my respects to all those innocent people who lost their lives.
Make sure you explore other things too; take a walk up the many residential streets on the hills behind the centre, for spectacular views across the city and the bay beyond. If you're in the area a little longer, be sure to go to Miya-Jima Island and see the famous Itsukushima Shrine.
Travel to Hiroshima is easiest and fastest by Shinkansen (bullet train) which runs frequently from Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka and in the other direction from Hakata/Fukuoka.
A very old open-air temple built on the cliffside, with steps running between the numerous shrines and pavilions. The place is shrouded with incense smoke and locals busy themselves with prayer. Near the top, it affords good views across the water into mainland China.
Macau Peninsula, Barra district, opposite the Maritime Museum
This place is in the guide books but nobody seems to bother with it. It's a real escape from the hustle and bustle outside. There's also a tea shop with friendly staff (unfortunately they don't speak much English) across the street.
Across the road from the Lama Temple (Yonghegong) 100m down the lane on the right, opposite a vegetarian restaurant.
A Mexican market. It's bustling, fun, great atmosphere. And while there, you can visit the oldest house in LA (on the same street) and walk around the grounds of the beautiful church nearby. When I was there, there were also street performers in the square at the end of the street. You really feel like you've not only left LA, but left the country! It's great - by far the best LA experience I had.
Maybe only a sentimental old fool like me would be moved by Saint Andrews Anglican Church in Haputale (and dozens of similar Anglican Churches across Sri Lanka) but the Tamil community who this church still serves really care about this place and it tells a real story about the British in Sri Lanka.
I am not a religious person and I will not attempt to defend imperial rule but Saint Andrews, set in its neat little graveyard, with its well polished brass plaque in memory of the Haputale planters who fell in the Great War of 1914 to 1918 brought a lump to my throat.
If I should die, think only this of me - and all that.
In the township of Haputale, which is on the railway in the south of the Sri Lanka Hill Country
If you want to visit a truly impressive place which is usually crowd-free then get along to the ancient cave and rock temple at Pahiyangala.
Famous throughout Sri Lanka, Pahiyangala attracts Buddhists from all over Sri Lanka on Poya Day but is over-looked by the most of the guide books so the rest of the time you might well have the place to yourself. In addition to the pre-historic excavations and rather eclectic collection of relics there is a training centre for Buddhist monks and temple complex.
A site of special scientific and archaeological interest, complete with massive statue of a reclining Lord Buddha and surrounded by some of the finest countryside that Sri Lanka has to offer Pahiyangala is the prefect daytrip. There is no fixed entrance fee but a donation is expected, particularly if you are escorted around the site.
There is a flight of rather uneven stairs so take good shoes (which you will need to remove when entering the temple compound at the top).
Pahiyangala is near Bulatsinhala and easily accessible from Colombo and all other west coast tourist resorts. You can get there by three-wheeler or bus via Matugama or Horana or ask your hotel to arrange a car.
The hill temple at Pimbura is not a particularly impressive structure, more a ramshackle collection of shrines and associated outbuildings spread out on the top of a ridge. In fact the nearer you get to the temple, the more you feel like you are in Nepal rather than Sri Lanka, but the setting, the atmosphere and the fact that you are almost certainly the only visitor makes up for any shortfall in the architecture. You need to explore this place and just when you think you have seen it all there is yet another path to something else.
The views from the top are magnificent, which means it is quite a climb (but I am fat and 40 and I made it ok) so you will need good shoes and plenty of water and do not go too late in the day, the track is steep, rocky and unlit. For the naturalists amongst you there are birds, bats and even monkeys. There is only one monk in residence, he will be surprised to see you and will no doubt welcome your generous donation.
You can take the train from Colombo to Aluthgama and then take the bus to Agalawatta via Matugama. From Agalawatta pick up the Horana bus or a three wheeler (approx Rs150). There is only one road worthy of the name running through Pimbura, the track to the temple leads off to the left (if you are travelling north) just past the district hospital, ask anyone. There is an alternative route up and down the hill so you can make a round trip. There is another temple in Pimbura (which is not on a hill).
Galle Fort is a Sri Lankan ‘must see’ and is only a few minutes walk from Galle railway station (you can’t miss it). The Fort is free to get in and the sea breeze on the ramparts is a real treat. There are plenty of places to eat, drink and stay inside and outside the fort, watch out for touts, who can be a nuisance.
Galle is stuffed with history, the old gate tells anyone passing through it something about the history of the Fort, on one side is the Lion and the Unicorn of the British Coat of Arms on the other the Lions and Cock of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).
At the South West tip of Sri Lanka and on the west coast railway line (Colombo to Matara).
The finest Craftsman house in Pasadena, built in 1908 by architects Greene and Greene. The style is Charles Rennie Macintosh with a Pacific Rim twist; everything, down to the light switches, was specifically designed for this house. It also has a great bookshop, with a huge selection of books on design, architecture and art.
Orange Boulevard, Pasadena
A picturesque fishing port on the border of Spain and Portugal, at the far western end of the Costa de la Luz. Great for seafood, golf, bowling, kitesurfing, sailing ... phew!
Nearby Isla Canela is where the Spaniards go for THEIR holidays, but the rest of Europe seems to have missed it!
The best damn hamburgers in town, this place is an Austin institution. The decor is quirky diner with mementos from the restaurants 50+ years of service on the walls, seriously though, for a piece of genuine American culture, this is the only place to go.
The malts are awesome too...
6th st, 2 blocks down from Lamar, (you can walk from Whole Foods Market).
People go to Agra for the Taj Mahal. But do not forget to go to Fatehpur Sikri. An ill-fated city built by Emporer Akbar, it was discarded as soon as it was built, because of lack of water. Amazing architecture. Good views.
Near Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Harrods, a magnet for the tourists. Whatever you think of the store itself, the Food Halls are a wonder in themselves and not to be missed! They are historically Listed in their own right, due to the wonderful decorative wall tiles.
The selection of food and wines are among the best in London, and not always as expensive as you might think. And make sure you visit the wet fish section, truly spectacular!
Harrods Ltd, SW1
Nearest tube, Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line).
The statue of the famous raising of the flag on Mt Suribachi, Iwo Jima, is walking distance from Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn Metro. Go on Saturday and speak to Marine veteran Gordon F Ward, who fought and was injured on Iwo Jima, and now volunteers his time on Saturdays to speak to tourists and school groups about Marine history. There is also a great view back down the National Mall, with the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capitol Building all in a line.
Arlington VA, near the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Sited on that increasingly buzzing area, the South Bank, this reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is a refreshing change from the theatre district of the West End. It's an opportunity to see great plays performed by superb actors in the setting in which they are meant to be seen; oh, and the only way to see it is as a 'groundling' standing in the open area in front of the stage - where else can you get a good night's entertainment for a fiver?!!
Watch out for other events as well, as the Globe has been used in the past for musical events and the London venue for a certain Mr Billy Connolly on his 'World Tour'.
21 New Globe Walk
To be honest Harrogate is a dull yet twee Yorkshire town. The shops are like something out of 'Are you being served' and the town is chock-a-block full of the twin set and pearls wearing Yorkshire Tory set munching on cucumber sarnies in Betty's rip-off tea rooms.
But the Turkish Baths are a real gem - now restored to former glory, these council run baths consist of a series of progressively hotter rooms. You plunge in ice-cold water in-between hot room sessions. Take a book and spend a 1/2 day relaxing - you'll feel great after. You'll be so relaxed you wont even mind forking out 15 quid for tea and cake in Betty's afterwards. Check out the photographs on the way in of various early twentieth century 'health' treatments that wouldn't look out of place in Abu Ghraib. Thankfully times have moved on since then.
Two museums, right next door to each other, and a great way to occupy all of the family.
The Natural History Museum is wonderful before you enter it, a beautiful example of Victorian extravagance. Plenty to see and do, especially the dinosaurs; be warned though, the animatronic T Rex is very real and great for scaring small children! There's a decent little coffee shop, although it was a bit disturbing eating chocolate cake sat next to Chi Chi the Panda!
The Science Museum is more modern, although the exhibits go back some way. All kids will love the 'Launchpad' area in the basement, all hands on, noisy, messy and great fun. The Deep Blue Cafe does a decent lunch as well.
Both museums have regular exhibitions as well, although these will have an entry charge; usually well worth it though. There is also an Imax Cinema in the Science Museum, any of the underwater or outer space movies are good value.
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