The Roskilde Cathedral has been the burial place for Danish kings and queens since the year 985 when Harald Bluetooth took a hankering to the original wooden church on the spot. The present cathedral is a fantastic work and you'll be amazed when you see it and, at the same time, consider the fact that the main body of the building was erected around 1280.
The cathedral features on UNESCO's list of worthy sites. Wander about the huge cathedral and see the graves and tombs of a millenium of Danish royalty. I love visiting it but I'll always remember it for my son's baptism back in 2002.
A perfect lazy day out. Start off with a long picnic down by the lake, followed by a drenching in the water maze (bring spare clothes) and a run around the adventure playground. Finish off with a walk around the castle getting the kids to check for secret doors and passages. In the summer, jousting sessions are an added bonus....
Three miles from Edenbridge off the B2026 between Sevenoaks and East Grinstead in the village of Hever.
30 miles from London, exit the M25 at junctions 5 or 6 and follow the Brown tourist signs.
Trains take about 30 mins from London Victoria.
A warren of underground streets and houses hidden beneath Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Costumed guides take you around this amazing site, revealing the stories of the former residents. Very eerie and supposedly very haunted. Great for adults and older kids alike.
Mary King's Close, off the Royal Mile;
Bookings: 08702 430 160;
This decrepit old apartment building is the oldest apartment building in the UK, and a listed building. Known for its hawks, it has featured in films including the Jim Henson Company's Mirrormask.
Kings Road, Brighton;
Just ten minutes by bus from the centre of Brighton and you're in the middle of some incredible countryside. Take the bus to Devil's Dyke (ignore the beefeater style pub by the bus stop) and take a walk round the top of the dyke, or (armed with a map) go exploring. There are some great country pubs and villages to be found -- great for dog walking, great for kite flying or paragliding and a real breath of fresh air if you want to blow a hangover away!
Buses go to Devil's Dyke from the centre of Brighton.
Bit of a rip-off to see the balcony and statue of Juliet. You have to pay to go up the stairs to the museum, if that’s what you can call it - very sparse, and so busy that you’re lucky to get a picture on you own on the balcony. Graffiti everywhere on the arches as you go in and chewing gum - yuk! not worth the trek.
Via Cappello 21-23, south of Piazza delle Erbe, in the Old Town Just follow the crowds of tourists - you cannot miss it.
As in olden days, you can sit outside in the park and read and listen to the orators in the forecourt or inside, where the reading room takes you back to early last century. Quaint and quiet and a great place to while away a few hours. I recommend the tour to discover the history and facilities offered by the institution.
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne,
corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets;
Every evening around dusk thousands of starlings congregate and swarm in an amazing display over what was once the West Pier. Simply an incredible natural phenomenon. Best seen at sunset with a cold pint.
West Pier - the burnt out one on the beach;
The loveliest church in Rome is the 13th century Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
It's right on top of the Capitoline Hill, in the space between two palaces. There is a huge flight of stairs which challenges the many brides who enter the church. But it is utterly beautiful and filled with chandeliers, ancient columns and a wonderfully decorated ceiling as well as some amazing renaissance frescoes.
4 Piazza del Campidoglio
The highlight of this trip is travelling on a wooden river boat through a reed filled waterway where loggerhead turtles live. You may or may not spot one in the water. Also on view are ancient rock tombs of the Lycian age at Kaunos. These resemble small temples carved out of sheer rock which housed the nobility and their belongings after death to await reincarnation. The lower orders were buried in less impressive surroundings below them.
Also worth doing - taking a mud bath, followed by a shower and a dip in a thermal bath afterwards.
And finally by boat again to Iztuzu or 'Turtle' beach, a beautiful expanse of white sand. You can dive into the Mediterranean on one side of the beach and swim in fresh water on the other. The beach is closed to public access at night to allow the turtles to breed there.
You can get there easily from the bigger centres such as Marmaris or Fethiye on an organised trip or from Dalyan itself. Most agencies offer it.
Built in 1070, this is Scandinavia’s largest medieval building. Not just big, it’s quite beautiful too with a particularly impressive exterior west wall which features ground to roof statues of kings and religious characters. Not surprisingly, it’s a prominent landmark and if you approach the city by boat it stands out amidst the modern surroundings.
Inside you’ll see very formally dressed resident guides giving solemn and reverential talks to the usual tourist groups, but it’s good just to wander around the large, atmospheric space and watch the locals trying to ignore them.
Visit Delos, the Sacred Island and the place where Apollo was born. Explore the biggest open-air archaeological monument in Europe. You will have a unique opportunity to see remains of temples, holy places, houses, and settlements ageing from the Neolithic to the Roman periods.
More information can be found by searching on www.greek-vacation.gr
On arrival at the train station in Jaipur we got the usual pitch from the scooter taxi driver - give him is due he took us to our original hotel to compare, but there was no contest once we saw what we got at Shahpura House in comparison. Great place to stay.
Situated on a hill in one of the nicest parts of London is the Royal Observatory. I like it because of the view across the Thames (fantastic and free); it’s not jammed in like lots of things in London (the Aussie in me wants big spaces) and for something different, you can stand in both halves of the world at the same time . How so? By straddling the line at 0 degrees longitude at the Observatory ( which means, you stand in two hemispheres at once).
The National Maritime Museum is close by (at the bottom of the hill, on the edge of the park) and is also worth a look, as is the Queen’s House. The Observatory is part of the Greenwich World Heritage site.
Greenwich Park, London;
Access from Greenwich station is best (carparking is limited);
Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum: www.rog.nmm.ac.uk
Greenwich Park: www.royalparks.gov.uk/parks/greenwich_park/
The four Inns of Court in central London - the Inner and Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn, and Gray's Inn - are as beautiful and historic as many of the Oxford and Cambridge colleges, but far less crowded.
You can wander freely through the outdoor areas of the Inns of Court on weekdays, during business hours, and picnics are permitted on weekdays in the spacious gardens of Gray's Inn, called "the Walks”. This is a remarkable privilege since all four Inns of Court are still the main workplaces for large numbers of barristers.
The Inner Temple offers the added attraction of Temple Church (built c. 1200), one of five medieval round churches in England and as stunning architecturally as it is unusual.
Underground station: Chancery Lane, Temple; Bus No. 11
Malia, Crete, gets undeserved bad press. Yes, The Beach Road bars/clubs cater for British kids in July/August, but one can avoid them altogether & have a pleasant vacation here. There is an attractive old village to the north of the main road.
Most of the restaurants mentioned in the Rough Guide & Lonely Planet have been closed for the past few years as they were run by non-Greeks and rents were too high for the short tourist season. There are however, two excellent restaurants remaining, The Elizabeth, which is in the town square of the old village, and off to the left, Kalesma, both offering dishes way above the usual taverna fare.
There are two classic rock bars on the Main Road, The Cavern and Epsilon - The Alcoholic Church, which can be dangerous territory in the afternoons if the owner, Michaelis is working. He doesn’t like the customers to leave sober!
Malia is a good central base from which to see the island. It has a spectacular beach and a Minoan Palace nearby. Driving inland will take one to the breathtaking views from the Lasithi plateau in about 15 minutes.
High above Crete's Lasithi Plateau is this extraordinary late Minoan site, slung across a strategic mountain pass with views to the sea below. It's a steep 30-minute walk up from the nearest road - though when I visited, I saw a man shepherding his goats on the plain below from inside his 4x4. The site was excavated by John Pendlebury, the archaeologist, whose grave you can see at the Allied War Cemetery at Soudha Bay.
Near Tzermiado village, Lasithi, Crete;
Block Arcade is an old shopping arcade tucked away in the inner part of Melbourne. It has been refurbished and all its 19th century fittings restored. It originally was a place to shop but these days also has the obligatory cluster of cafes (lots of them!)
Melbourne city centre, between Collins St and Little Collins St (a short walk from Flinders St station);
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