For quality at a fairly affordable price in Venice, simply stay outside of Venice itself. The Hotel Bologna has been recently refurbished in a modern and tasteful style. But its real beauty is that it's over the road from Mestre railway station and just 10 minutes from Venice station and the Grand Canal.
It's also just over the road from the bus stop that will take you to (Venice) Treviso airport for your budget flight home.
Via Piave 214, Venezia, I-30171, IT
Phone: 39 041 931000
Literally opposite Venezia Mestre railway station
The first option would be air travel - there are several flights from Kansai Intl (KIX) to Sapporo (New Chitose - CTS). Flights depart at 16:45, 17:55, and 20:50. The price is 39,900 yen (US $335 at today's rate).
Another option is taking a ferry and train combination from Osaka to Hokkaido. Unfortunately, the ferry takes a lot of time - 19 hours one way, plus a couple of hours for the train. So flight seems to be the best option here.
More options and detailed flight schedule:
JAL - Japan airlines and ANA airlines are the main players in the air travel industry in Japan. Many other smaller airlines are also competing with them along the most popular routes, such as Skymart, Air DO.
Not only are you doing your bit for climate change (which scientists will tell you is the reason for the ever more unreliable snow fall), but you also get to unwind as you journey through the beautiful countryside of France. Plus, you won't get stung by the airlines for taking your equipment with you!
The Campaign for Better Transport are actually running a competition to win coach tickets down to various skiing destinations (including Val D'Isere).
Take a look at: www.bettertransport.co.uk.
Carcassonne is a beautiful medieval citadel surrounded by vines but it's also an airport in the foothills of the Pyrenees well served by Ryanair from a number of UK and Irish cities.
So it's cheap to get to and onward travel to the ski resorts of the east Pyrenees - Font Romeu, Ax, Les Angles and Andorra - is relatively simple - a 90 minute drive. Rather than fight with the crowds in the big ski airports of Geneva, Lyon or Grenoble here is a charming and cheap alternative.
We've been doing this for three years now and wouldn't go back to the Alps.
Carcassonne is in the Languedoc region of S France. Daily flights from Stansted, Dublin, Liverpool and E Midlands from www.ryanair.com and ski packages srating from Carcassonne airport from www.francealacarte.com
Want to go to Venice but afraid of the hotel prices there? Stay in Mestre and commute to Venice each day. We did and found it fascinating to jump on a bus each morning and go to Venice with the workers. The view of Venice from a bus on the causeway is certainly different.
If you're arriving at San Marco airport, do splash out the 12 euros to get the blue line Alilaguna boat to your nearest stop. Day or night it's the only way to arrive, but once you're there, enjoy Venice most by just walking and getting lost in the quieter backstreets, and seeing a glimpse of what's left of the life of a diminishing non-tourist resident population. Small shops, bars, galleries and markets will welcome you.
Try Arsenale or around Campo Santa Margherita and the beautiful Del Frari Church for a start. If it's raining or misty, so much the better. If it's December, the Christmas market near Accademia Bridge will warm you up. For half a euro cross the canal by shared traghetti gondala and stand like the locals.
Then have a map handy for use in emergencies only
A recommendation that they be avoided like the plague. In a recent trip out here, my Dad was delayed a total of 11 hours over three flights.
When we were scheduled to fly back to BA from San Martín de los Andes at 2pm, having rung to check all was ok, we were informed that we'd be flying back from Bariloche instead and they would be coming to pick us up at our hotel at 4.45am. I asked how they had planned to inform us about this development, since if we hadn't rung we'd have been stranded. They said 'you should always re-confirm your flights'. We already had, twice.
Take LAN wherever possible, or better still, the bus.
The province of Pontevedra is full of interesting villages with castles, monasteries, natural reserves, Celtic settlements, spectacular viewpoints, and much more. If you have the intention of spending your holidays there, I recommend you rent a car to go from one village to another.
Sometimes it is a little bit difficult to find the right place, but don't worry, take a good road map with you and everything will be OK.
I think that's better than going by bus, because the bus connections aren't very good and you'll spend more time in the bus than visiting nice places.
The airport of this province is the airport of Vigo.
We completed the London to Sydney overland trip last year by bus that was already running before OZBus came to the sene. I was frustrated to read in all the papers that they were the first to offer this service, since we had already completed it!
It took nine months and we paid slightly less than OZBus! The OZbus website copied word for word the other company's website, I got in contact with OZBus but they never responded!
Three months is way too quick to complete this trip. To go through China has to be pre-arranged, for them to cancel that at the last minute is highly unprofessional! Be warned, try the other companies that are out there, as there are plenty of them.
Check out the new high-speed links from Paris to south-west Germany, TGV Est Européen.
From Paris it's three hours to Mannheim (romantic Heidelberg round the corner) or Karlsruhe (Black Forest nearby). Or 4-ish to Frankurt or 6-ish to Munich.
Changing in Paris couldn't be easier (10 minutes by foot) - from the Eurostar terminal at Gare Du Nord, walk round the corner to the magnificently restored Gare De L'Est and hop on your TGV or ICE (= the German TGV) towards Germany.
Take the train from Paris to Bourg St Maurice when skiing in some of the major French resorts such as Trois Valleys, La Plagne, Les Arcs or Tignes Val d'Isere.
As an alternative to the snowtrain why not take the scheduled London to Paris Eurostar and change stations on to the TGV from Paris to Bourg St Maurice. There is the disadvantage of changing stations in Paris, but this can be eased by taking a taxi between the stations. The advantage is that you have more flexibility with traveling times and the fares can be cheaper if you book early.
If you end up at Bourg St Maurice you can take time to enjoy the French town life with many interesting bars and restaurants. The Bazoom Bar is a favourite of ours, directly opposite the station. You can enjoy several hours having a good meal and watching the world go by whilst waiting for your transfer taxi/bus or before you board the return train.
The transfer times are very short in comparison to the airports, often in the region of 30 mins for Les Arcs, La Rosiere and Tignes / Val d'Isere. There is a funicluar railway directly up to Les Arcs. For La Plagne and Les Trois Valleys you have to use stations before Bourg St Maurice or the transfer is longer.
Particularly if you are visiting with children make sure you take a trip on Metro line 14. This is a new line from St Lazare to Olypiades and the trains are driverless. If you get in the front carriage you can sit right up front and pretend to drive! It is great.
For those travelling to Longchamp Racetrack on 'Arc de Triomphe' raceday, there are FREE shuttle buses to and from the racetrack from Porte d'Auteuil (RATP bus station), Porte Maillot (244 bus stop), and Pont de Sèvres (RATP bus station).
If planning on multiple journeys or using the Metro over several days, purchase a Paris Visite pass (valid 1, 2, 3 or 5 days) which gives unlimited travel in either 1-3 or 1-6 zones, discounts to attractions and can be purchased in advance.
If you are staying for several days buy a Carte Orange, zone 1 & 2, to use metro/buses etc rather than the Paris Visite tourist pass which is more expensive.
Tickets can be bought at most metro stations, you will need to ask for the wallet and card from the ticket desk, then attach a passport-sized photo and you have free travel from Monday to Sunday. As this is a weekly pass, aimed at Parisian commuters, be careful with the dates, it runs from Monday to Sunday.
I felt perfectly comfortable during my stay in Venice. We were a group of people and our trip was arranged by a local tour operator that I found surfing the net. I contacted them by email and accommodation and all ground services were perfectly organised (boat trip to the islands, restaurants, guide and museums). Since I was the leader of a group of 23 people I felt a bit stressed until our vacation was over, but now I can tell you that it was brilliant! So do not miss the boat trip to Murano, Burano and Torcello, and ask for a trip off the beaten track... far and away from the crowds. They can handle it!
I just moved to Munich - what a wonderful city! Fantastic mixture of historic tradition and anarchic alternatives, accessibly modern and suprisingly friendly. From the moment you arrive in the well-designed (of course!) airport -they check your passport and you pick your luggage up straight at the gate - right the way through to literaly hundreds of independent bars and restaurants it's one the nicest cities in the world!
Best bars are in the Glockenbachviertel. For good restaurants try Schwabing and Liehl. Great beer gardens everywhere.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org