If coming to Shanghai for the Grand Prix check to see if there is a shuttle bus running from Shanghai Stadium (Metro Line 1). There was for the A1 Grand Prix in April. The circuit is on the outskirts of the city and although a taxi is quite cheap (100 RMB) not all the drivers know where the circuit is. Formula One is Eff ee in Chinese by the way. Say that and flash your ticket if you do decide to go by taxi.
There were plenty of people selling binoculars and fake Rolex watches but I only saw one person selling earplugs so bring your own if you can.
Always carry a card with the name and address of your hotel in Chinese just in case you get lost and want to jump into a taxi. Not many speak English but they will understand if you point to the card.
You can save money by sitting on the grass on one of the hairpin bends. There is plenty of action there but you may need a new lens for your camera as the action is a bit further away – but this can be paid for by the money you save on the ticket.
Take an umbrella. If Westerners get a cold here it lasts for three weeks when the locals shake it off in a couple of days.
Enjoy the beauty of this town which seems to have grown from the rock, and been added to piece by piece to suit the inhabitants; but don’t eat in it, or buy anything.
Leave it with the memory of its beauty and a quotation from an Italian journalist Renato Fucini who said, “For the Amalfians called to Paradise, Judgement Day will be a day like all others.”
If the return by road is too daunting, try the alternative – the hydrofoil. And stop off at Positano on the way. The ferries on this coast ply their trade to the islands and back on a regular basis. It’s even possible to go to Naples by one from here. Not that anyone would really want to go to Naples.
If you find yourself arriving in Vienna on a Sunday, first orientate yourself by taking the tram all the way around the Ringstrasse - a one day travel pass costs 5 euros. When evening begins, head for the Rathaus (you'll have seen it on the tram ride) where you will find every food choice you can think of in the park. Join the Viennese on an evening out by making your choice and sit in the free seats in front of the Rathaus (what a great name for the town hall). A recording of a memorable recent classical concert or opera will be shown on the screen before you. Relax and enjoy.
The Rathaus is on Dr. Karl Lueger Ring;
By underground: Rathaus or Schottentor station
Renting a scooter gives you total freedom, and is not that expensive at 24CUC per day. It gives you the possibility to visit remote places, like old manors in Valles de Los Ingenios, and to ride around Topes de Collantes, where the 62m high waterfall must be seen! Or simply ride to one of the remote beaches along the Ancon Peninsula. Don’t forget to take some colour pencils or crayons for kids you meet along the way.
Scooter rental, Ruina del Teatro Brunet, Calle Antonio Maceo, Trinidad
From Chonqing to Wuhan, the boat ride takes over three days. I used a Chinese passenger ferry which was very basic but clean and well equipped. The views are spectacular. See them before the dam is finished. Be prepared for very few westerners on board but everyone is friendly nonetheless. An unforgettable experience.
Ask in any hotel in Chonqing, or go down to the docks- there is a travel agent there.
To visit the valley just outside Trinidad you can take a taxi-tour for 20 cuc or the train (which doesn't run everyday). It's beautiful.
In Trinidad stay at Ruth's, she is very friendly gives you huge portions if you have dinner there.
Ruth Martin Rodriguez: c/ Frank Pais 38 ( 01 ) 419 4396
Great value segway rental based in Montreal's Old Port. You can have a quick training lesson (looks scary to start with but the lovely Jeff soon makes you feel comfortable on these amazing machines) then head off on your own along the promendade or take advantage of a guided tour. Real fun, though you have to get used to everyone pointing at you!
The leisurely way to get about the city centre. The ferry taxis passengers from Bristol Temple Meads into town as well as to the ss Great Britain and to Hotwells, where the floating harbour meets the River Avon. There are occasional trips up the Avon Gorge and under the Clifton Suspension Bridge. They offer up a traffic free perspective of the historic docks which gave rise to the phrase 'ship shape and Bristol fashion'.
Upon arrival at Bristol Temple Meads go out of the rear of the station and follow the signs to the ferry service behind the Bristol & West offices. Ferries also depart from the fountains on Narrow Quay;
Get a ferry timetable at Split ferry terminal and find one of the little routes that goes around several of the small islands. The ferries provide the islanders' bus service, and deliver the post and supplies. If you pick a good route you'll sail into half a dozen tiny blue-water harbours of outlying islands, and all for just a few pounds. Most tickets are valid all day, so you can step off for lunch on an island before continuing. The ferries usually do a circuit, so you'll be back in Split by nightfall. If you are backpacking, you can see almost the entire coastline this way.
Get a timetable at the Split ferry terminal on the waterfront. Most staff speak English and will know the best routes to take.
If you haven't managed to get a ticket in the sleeper carriage and are facing an overnight (or longer) journey by train, buy the soft seat ticket and board the train as normal. When the train departs find a conductor and ask for a sleeper ticket. The sleeper carriages have beds reserved for the conductors, but often they will sell these to you once the train has left the station (particularly if you're a foreigner). You only pay the difference between the cost of the soft seat ticket and the hard sleeper. Plus you can pretend to be asleep when a well-meaning student tries to practise their English on you for the full 18 hours of your journey!
If you haven't got a bike, take the bus. Air conditioned buses normally cost 2 rmb, normal buses cost 1 rmb. Can be crowded, and pickpockets abound, but if you're careful you will be OK. Get on, and if you can't see a ticket seller by the door, find a seat and they will find you. Often free seats at the back of buses, if you can squeeze past people to get there. If you are cycling, don't expect buses to stop for you. Either they can't or won't, or both.
Bus stops have the bus route numbers clearly printed. The numbers are usually painted on the buses, although more modern buses have large displays showing their numbers.
Chengdu is pretty much flat. Cycling around Chengdu is easy and often quicker than taking a taxi. You can park your bike outside shops, and/or at bike parks - you will see rows of bicycles on the pavements. You normally pay (2 jiao - 0.2 rmb - is usual fee) when you return to collect your bike. Often the 'bike warden' will tell you what time he/she is going home. Lock your bike. Never a guarantee that it won't be stolen, but locking your bike to something is of course a good idea.
If you can't hire a bike, just buy one - 200 rmb should get you a really good one. 'Pre-owned' impromptu markets are around town, but they may not be all that legal.
All over town. Info on bike repair and maintenance vocab on www.randomstuff.biz, a basic guide to Chengdu.
The best way to get there from Stuttgart is by car. It will only take about 40 minutes via the B27 heading south. Or take the train from
Stuttgart's Main Station (Hauptbahnhof - Hbf). Standard adult return is about 18 euro, but get a Baden-Württemburg ticket allowing 5 people to travel all day for about 25 euro or so. Check
www.bahn.de for details. Journey time is one hour maximum - it takes so long because
the train has to travel around the edge of the Schonbuch Nature Park - well worth visiting itself if you have the time - don't get lost however, it's pretty big.
I was in Gelsenkirchen for the Argentina - Serbia & Montenegro game and used the tram to get from the city centre to the stadium. It's the best way to get to the ground, much quicker than going by car, and it's too far to walk. However, you need to leave the city centre well before kick-off time. We left for the stadium about 90 minutes before kick-off and it was wedged at that stage. If we had left it much later, we may have had difficulty getting on. At the Argentina game, the atmosphere at the stadium was as good as that in town. Coming back after the game, we literally had to fight like Tokyo commuters in rush hour to get onto the small tram. And pray that Saturday's not a hot day, because you'll probably have your face stuck in somebody's armpit for good measure.
Follow the signs from the train station. Or ask - everybody is incredibly friendly
Travel around the Greek Islands is usually by ferry or seajet (fast ferry) but if you are travelling to Mykonos from Athens you can avoid all the hassles of getting to the port of Athens and then taking the slow trip to Mykonos by flying. The train from central Athens goes to the airport (as do most hotel buses, along the new freeway), which avoids the problem of getting to the port. The flight from Athens is around 30mins on an Olympic Airways TurboProp plane. The fastest ferry takes much longer and is subject to weather conditions. Avoid the stress and the need for sea legs.
There is a small boat that runs between Corfu Town and Vidos Island for just one euro return.
The three-minute trip affords wonderful panoramic views of the old Venetian town from the water. Once on the small island you can have a drink or meal, wander through the pine trees or lie on the beach.
The boat leaves at regular intervals until late evening from the Old Port.
A lot of visitors end up negotiating their own van and guide for the day. Along the road out to the site of the Teracotta Army, many very unworthy sideshows have sprung up, including what looks like a plastic pyramid, a jade shop, and an uninspiring garden. Tour guides get paid by the attractions for each tourist they bring - our guide tried to bring us to each one along the way. They all charge an entry fee, and severely reduce the time you get to spend at the main attraction. You may need to be firm with your guide and tell them that you don't wish to see these sideshows. Wad to in the end.
From Schonefeld (which is the location of one of Berlin’s airports), the S9 goes into central Berlin and north-west, and the S45 skirts along the south (taking in Schoneberg) and west of the city. These lines terminate at Shonefeld, so all trains from there should be going towards Berlin (there are suburban lines in other directions).
Buy and validate a ticket on the platform (there are no gates). A single fare for zone AB is €2.10, and a day ticket is €5 or €6.
Inspections are frequent and (this being Germany) rules must be obeyed. I have seen confused tourists, pensioners, businessmen and polite middle class families all being caught. No excuses accepted. The fine is €40.
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