Country house previously owned by artist John Ruskin. Near to Lake Coniston, so, if it's a nice day, combine with a walk along the lakeshore or even up nearby fell Coniston Old Man.
I owe my insights into even the least visited tourist attractions in and around Aleppo to the very friendly and competent Mahmoud Lababidi (which is why I know and love Aleppo more than Damascus). He is a qualified tourist guide and working as an English teacher at a local high school. He can also assist with the hire of a car and driver for day trips.
Mr Lababidi can be contacted by mobile phone no: 00963 (Syria) - 955276368 or email: email@example.com
This is a beautifully restored Turkish bath dating back to the 14th century. The bath is reserved for women on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9.00 - 18.00 hours and for men at all other times.
When I was there, I shared the bath with two local families (from toddler to grandmother). They were all happily and noisily washing each other, feasting on the sumptuous food they had brought along and later dancing and singing to the beat of the upturned plastic wash bowls. Once they had realised that I was not interested in being left in peace I was made to participate in their merry-making. The bath also has a nice rest area, where one can recline on comfortable seats and order coffee/tea or a water pipe. A thoroughly wonderful experience.
About 200 metres south-east of the citadel, near the covered bazaar, everyone will be happy to point out directions
Take the ferry from Cais do Sodre for the ten-minute crossing to Cacilhas (€1.25), avoid the street traders at the exit and turn sharp right to walk along the quay. There are wonderful old industrial buildings and eventually, the maritime museum and an elevador or a steep series of steps up to the small town of Almada and the Cristo Rei statue, from where there is a great view back across the Tejo as far as Sintra.
We enjoyed dining at Manolo Caracol (casual, locally owned) and Astrid y Gaston (more formal, originated in Peru).
As for places to see, I recommend the Baha'i temple, walking in Soberania National Park, and visiting Miraflores Locks.
If you plan on spending a few days visiting most of the attractions around the city, the pass is definitely worth buying.
With free entry to 30 places and airport transfer included, it saves a packet.
Buy from www.edinburgh.org/pass/
The centre of the city is not large, so it makes this place easy to visit in a day.
You can choose to visit Florence by bike, following the cycle tracks that reach the most famous historic sites.
What to see:
- Piazza della Signoria
- Piazzale Michelangelo
- Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square)
- The Bargello Museum
- Ponte Vecchio: To one side of the bridge there is the majestic bust of the most famous Florentine goldsmith, Benvenuto Cellini.
- Bike along the romantic Viale dei Colli up to Piazzale Michelangelo to see the wonderful landscape of Florence
- Panoramic view of the Boboli Gardens
Bike rental estimated prices:
1 hour - about 3 Euro
1 day - from a minimum of 14 Euro to a maximum of 27 Euro
Testaccio is a lively and cool area situated in the neighbourhoods of the Piramide and the thousand-year Circo Massimo, just under the famous Aventino Hill and demarcated by the River Tevere. Testaccio district is characterised by several typical Trattorie and offers a slice of trendy Roman life with its multiple nightclubs.
Testaccio district is situated at a comfortable distance from the archaeological area; enjoy the charming Colosseo by night and admire the nearby church of San Pietro in Vincoli with the Statue of Moses sculpted by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Find out what Rome is capable of offering beyond history and culture.
Bull Street is one of the nicest old streets crossing Savannah, GA. It starts at the river front and crosses the nicest squares (small parks) and coffee shops and small restaurants and takes you to the large Forsythe Park. Go to the other end of Forsythe for more shops.
If you're travelling in the Loire Valley, plan to visit the chateaux at night as many have light spectacles. At Blois on Wednesdays, it's in English. On July 4/5 over 2,000 candles are lit in the grounds of Villandry and Azay-le-Rideau has a wonderful show most evenings.
They don't start till late (sunset 9.30pm) so, if you have kids, eat somewhere late then visit, most of the nearby villages have bistros. Chenonceau has musicians roaming and night lights. Other events can be found below.
For other events in the area see: www.myweekin.net
Norwich cathedral (well worth a look in itself - second tallest spire in the England) sits in a very lovely and quiet "close", with grassy areas dotted with trees and a rich mix of architecture in the surrounding buildings - an oasis so close to the city centre.
Turn left with the main (west) door behind you or walk straight ahead from St Ethelberts Gate and take the path away from the city centre, straight down to the river Wensum. You'll reach the picturesque spot known as Pulls Ferry. Then turn left to walk beside the river for a few minutes to Bishop Bridge and the Red Lion pub (outdoor seats by river). Keep to the river walk that diverts briefly behind the pub, to reach Cow Tower, (ruined 14th century fortification) and continue by the river for a short while until the pathway forks. Take the left fork, away from the river to reach the Adam and Eve - oldest pub in Norwich (also has outdoor seating but not much of a view).
Reaching the road just beyond, turn right and follow it until you reach the junction with Whitefriars and Palace St. Keep left along Palace St and you'll find the Erpingham Gate leading to the cathedral just inside.
A pretty and restful walk just a few minutes from the market. It takes only 30-40 minutes - without pub stops!
Starting from Norwich Cathedral, NR1
OK, Graceland is a no-brainer - you've gotta go!
Sun Studios - the birthplace of Rock'n'Roll - sure!
Now go to Stax, by far the most polished experience, as there seems to be a real enthusiasm for the subject rather than the "let's create as much merchandise as we can" motives that affect the others.
STAX Museum of American Soul Music
926 E. McLemore Ave.
Memphis, TN 38106
If you want a real sense of Valparaiso's international roots, visit the three cemeteries on Cerro Panteon - Number 1, 2 and the Dissidents' Cemetery are full of British, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and other nationalities' tombs... all with beautiful sea views. A fascinating look at the history of South America's most unique city.
Cerro Panteon - from plaza Anibal Pinto take Subida Cumming and walk up.
More info: corrugatedcity.blogspot.com/search/label/Cemeteries
Relax those feet and be pampered!
With tired feet and an afternoon plane to catch, we decided to spend our final day indulging ourselves at the local Spa, Bagni di Pisa. It is located in the sumptious converted residence of the (ex) Duke of Tuscany.
We took a taxi from Pisa to the Bagni di Pisa spa (€20), had a soak in their warm water thermal pool, followed by a 'Thai foot massage' for me and a facial treatment 'Silk Thermal' for my friend.
Upon arrival we were given bathrobes and plastic shoes to wear.
We found the place welcoming and atmospheric, the staff are professional and definitely know their stuff. We left feeling fantastic, soothed and relaxed. A nice way to end our holiday.
We then took the train back to Pisa (the train station is a five-minute walk from the spa - €1.60 each, 9 minutes' journey), changed trains in Pisa Centrale for the five-minute journey to the airport, Pisa Aeroporto, for our late afternoon flight home.
Note: Bagni di Pisa also is a four-star hotel.
Bagni di Pisa Natural Spa Resort
Largo Shelley 18
56017 San Giuliano Terme,
Tel Spa: 0039 (0)50 8850432
Phone hotel switchboard: 0039 (0)50 88501
Nearest railway station:
San Giuliano Terme (on the web its: S. Giuliano Terme) - on the main Pisa - Lucca railway line
Note: there is no ticket office at S. Giuliano Terme - one buys the tickets from the ticket conductor on board.
This church just outside the centre of Chamonix dominates the town and has a magnificent interior with colourful frescoes and a golden altar.
From Chamonix train station go straight ahead down Avenue Michel Croz, at the end of the street turn left on to Place de l'eglise, the church is on your right-hand side just after the town hall.
The St Laurent bridge connects the city centre of Grenoble to La Tronche - Grenoble's oldest district. This iron chain bridge is closed to cars and is a great place to take pictures of the famous "Bulles".
It's also the starting point for those who choose to take the arduous 45 minute walk up to La Bastille.
Follow the "Telepherique" signs, go past the cable car station, walk beside the Isere river for about 15 minutes and you'll see the bridge in front of you.
The cathedral of Our Lady looks rather plain from the outside as it doesn't have the spires or the gothic façade which make it resemble a cathedral, but don't be put off by this - inside there are magnificent chapels with colourful and striking paintings and altars.
Cathedrale de Notre Dame is a 20 min walk from the train station
The main reason for taking the cable car up to La Bastille is to take in the 360° view of Grenoble's wide boulevards and motorways as well as the Dauphine Alps which encircle the whole city from the roof of the Terrase restaurant. If you're lucky and it's a clear day you can see Mont Blanc. I saw it and it looked so close!
The views are breathtaking and only from La Bastille can you appreciate the immense size of Grenoble.
Best of all the views are free!
For even better views there is a path which you can walk up which goes up from behind the fortress to the top of the mountain which it sits on.
Just take the cable car from Grenoble city centre up to La Bastille and follow the path behind the Terrasse restaurant to climb the stairs up to the roof.
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