The airport is a confusing maze of roads and is on the edge of a very fast through route (Segunda Circular) with crazy drivers, missing road signs, and other road signs that are just plain wrong.
Bad accidents on this road are very common. Parking is near impossible anywhere central, and even expensive hotel carparks are so small that getting in and out takes some serious precision driving.
If you're staying in the downtown area Metro, walking is all you need.
The many ferries crossing the mouth of the Tagus are very relaxing and offer both excellent views and great tanning possibilities. I tried the one from Praça do Comércio to the South bank and back and the one from Belém which is a convenient way of getting to the Caparica beach just round the corner from landing.
Along the waterfront - various places.
Beyond Estrela lies the smart, chic and self-contained district of Campo de Ourique: a grid of tree-lined streets with an almost Parisian feel, with plenty of small shops, cafes and a fresh produce market. Off the beaten track, but a pleasant (and mercifully flat) area for a stroll. South-west of here is the huge Prazeres ('Pleasures') cemetery, which has great views across the Ponte 25 de Abril.
At the western end of the 28 tram route: some trams end their journey at Estrela, so make sure the sign on the front of the tram says 'Prazeres'.
Balice (Krakow) is a small airport and the transfer links to the city centre, some 17km away, are sparse, being two local buses or a local taxi. We arranged a transfer over the net the day before departure and, for 25 Euro (about £17) were met at the gate, had our luggage transferred to a very smart limo and were taken directly to the hotel by a native English-speaking driver, son of the owner of the business. Got a running commentary on the sights en-route free. By 10am we were checked-in and exploring the city - no worries. They arrange visits beyond the city boundary too.
If you only have a short time in Lisbon, definitely take a trip on one of the trams - you get to see a lot more and can decide where you would like to visit further.
Old ones run in the old town of the seven hills, and new run alongside the river.
Forget bungee jumping, crossing the road in Naples can seem like the scariest adventure sport of the lot. The best advice is to do what the locals do: don't try and get around the traffic, let the traffic get around you. Just hold your nerve and walk across the road - it sounds insane, but the drivers will (generally) see you and avoid you. It takes some bottle the first time, but you get used to it surprisingly quickly. Obviously use common sense, i.e. don't walk out in front of a speeding car - but Naples traffic seems to feature the horn more than the accelerator, the congestion being what it is. Just watch out for ten-year-olds on Vespas...
Uluru is a large sandstone rock formation located in Uluru-KataTjuta National Park, some 475km from Alice Springs. Uluru is sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area (Pitjantjatjara). The park also houses Kata Tjuta, or “The Olgas”, literally meaning 'many heads' owing to its peculiar formation - this is another rock formation about 25km from Uluru and they make for two must-see features of Australia's Red Centre.
The local Aborigines request that you do not climb the rock as it passes an important dreaming track and can also be very dangerous. A free coach is at hand to transfer you from the airport to the nearby Yulara resort, where there are three, four and five-star rated hotels and also a youth hostel that has a very relaxed feel and live music with bring-your-own BBQs in the evening.
Accommodation is extremely pricey, as is food and drink, although the supermarket is reasonable. One must-have for Uluru is insect repellent. The flies will have you performing several “bush salutes” a minute if you aren't able to ward them off in some way.
Uluru is an amazing landmark, once referred to as the “remarkable pebble” by the explorer Ernest Giles. The many tours are informative and provide breathtaking sights of Uluru, especially at sunrise and sunset when the rock puts on a magnificent display, changing colour with the sun’s position.
Uluru is 475km by road from Alice Springs. It takes around 50-60 minutes to fly, and around 4.5 – 5 hours to drive.
Google map: tinyurl.com/mpddkq
The train is a really cool way to travel to/from Istanbul. Sleeper trains are much slower than the coaches, but do add a touch of class to your budget trip. We caught the Meram Expresi from Konya (daily at 17h50, 90YTL - about £35) for a private cabin for the two of us. Scheduled arrival was 06h30 but we arrived at Haydarpasa (Asian side) about 08h00 and caught the commuter ferry directly across to Eminonou. It is a lovely way to approach Istanbul.
Buying tickets in advance as a non-Turk was tricky. The website requires a Turkish ID #, and trying to buy by phone or from a local train station was fruitless. But despite being advised to buy tickets well in advance we had no problems at all when we turned up 3 hours before travel. If you are going to be in Istanbul during office hours before you travel then there are agencies that will reserve the cabin and collect the ticket for you.
Konya is 3 hours' coach journey from Goreme in Cappadocia so you can have a two-centre holiday with a cheap night on a train (to get to Goreme first we flew from Istanbul to Kayseri - 45 mins on a coach to Goreme)
A personal website run as a hobby, not a business, with information about how to travel around the world by train or ship. It's extremely useful if, like me, you've stopped flying.
Destinations covered on the site are worldwide;
I took the ferry to Sweden and back again, and I think that flying to a place for a "green" vacation is a contradiction in terms. Obviously crossing the Atlantic or Pacific requires a flight, but to really be kind to the planet, travelling surface is the way to go. If you have to fly, you should make sure that you are staying for a long time. Hopping on a plane for a week holiday is about as ungreen as it gets.
You can take the ferry in Newcastle and come back via Harwich for a nice round trip;
Moored at Williamstown, Melbourne Seaplanes offers various flights in and around Melbourne and the bay. I did the Coast/Dandenong Ranges flight and it was great. Smooth and with great visibility at 2500ft, the seaplane offers a different view of Melbourne. Highly recommended.
Williamstown foreshore, moored next to HMAS Castlemaine at the jetty.
Tel: 9397 5388 or 0418 688388 (mobile phone);
Some airlines offer a free trip into Chengdu with their minibuses, if you have flown with their airline. Sichuan Airlines is one. If you have paid more than 500 rmb for your ticket, they offer the free minibus service. Worth asking the airline, or ask the air crew. If you are in a hurry, though, just take a taxi.
www.randomstuff.biz has some more details about taxis and buses from Chengdu airport into the city.
The Lisbon metro is cheap and fast for getting from the city centre to some of the suburbs and vice versa. The stations are clean and the trains are efficient. There are only four lines which are colour coded (green, blue, yellow and red) so it's easy to see which line you want. Each one is clearly signposted. A single journey costs 70 cents but it is much cheaper to buy a book of 10 tickets for 6.50 euros.
It is an old tram, crawling its way through the town. While doing so, for roughly an hour, you can have an apple-based drink (cider or juice) or water, and a bag of pretzels (included in the fare). This is just one of the most stupid things to do in town, but you get to see it from a centre of the road perspective, and it's slow - so you can actually see something.
Catch a ferry along the Elbe, the price of which is included in the price of a day ticket. A quick ride out from the Landungsbrücken to Övelgönne/Neumühlen or Teufelsbrück is not only a nice way to see the city from the water, but takes you straight to Hamburg's nicest beaches.
Public transport is run by HVV, whose website is excellent even if the English is a bit dodgy.
One last transport point: the 9 o'clock day ticket (valid from 9am until 6am the next day) is significantly cheaper than the standard day ticket if you don't need to travel during the morning rush hour.
Hamburg Public Transport: www.hvv.de
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