If you are planning to visit Johnson Space Center but don't have a car or want to pay through the nose for a cab (over $50 one-way from Houston city centre), then there is a good public transport option. The 246 and 249 buses both go directly to the front door of Space Center Houston, which is the public visitor centre and entry point for tours of the Johnson Space Center. We caught the 249 from near the Downtown Transit Center (one block away from the corner of Main and Pierce streets) for $2. Our return was on the 246, which leaves from the same stop outside the Space Center, for $4.50. Not sure why the prices are different, the driver said it was just due to it being a different bus line. Timetables for the buses do not appear at the bus stops so it is best to look these up online before you travel.
We had been warned not to flag cabs down in the street but to book one through our hotel. Nevertheless as we were miles from our hotel on a hot day and already well on the way to La Boca, we flagged down an official taxi to take us there. Things were going fine until, driving down an eerily empty street, the driver stopped for no apparent reason and a young guy came to the front passenger window. Words were exchanged between the driver and the man and the driver handed over a small amount of money. The guy then stuck his head through my window looking around the car (our bags were on the floor at our feet and we were not wearing jewellry etc) and demanded something from us in Spanish. Thinking he was asking for money, I told him in no uncertain terms (in English but am sure my intention was clear!) where to go. The man then left us. Meanwhile, mysteriously, our taxi meter had switched itself off (or been switched off?). Luckily I had glanced at it just before this happened so the heated exchange we then had with the driver when we got to La Boca was able to be sorted out fairly quickly with us still feeling we had given him a fair price. Things got more interesting when we returned to central Buenos Aires. We decided to take a bus and while heading back through the same deserted streets we came across a taxi stopped at an intersection and being swarmed over by people who were literally reaching in to the car and removing cameras and bags from the hapless tourists inside. Fortunately we were not the only ones shocked to see this happening right under our noses as the locals on the bus were horrified too. So, it seems the buses are safer in some instances and we would definitely be a bit more careful in future about taking taxis in Buenos Aires, particularly to an area like La Boca. Having said all of that, the taxis that we took from the official stands at the airports, and that were booked through our hotels were all absolutely fine (probably just proving the point to try and avoid flagging them down off the street!).
Beautiful restaurant run by a European chef with an extensive wine list. Have not been able to beat it for ambiance, service, food or price.
Best tip for taxis is just wave one down on the street and pretend you know what you are doing. The rates are set according to a zona mapa and there are no metres. Pay $2 for a small trip or $3 for say El Cangrejo to Albrook Mall. Avoid the hustlers / taxis outside of hotels, they will want up to four times as much. Best decent hotel is the Milan currently at $57 cash, El Cangrejo
Located in El Cangrejo near the Veneto hotel.
Av 2A Norte
Google map: tinyurl.com/35xbneu
Three lakes and two passes all by local bus.
Starting and finishing at Keswick bus station, a local bus gives magnificent views of Derwentwater from above, and lakeside views of Buttermere and Crummock together with the dramatic scenery of Honister Pass and the more friendly Whinlatter Pass. By breaking your journey at the numerous beauty spots en route you can have nearly a full day out or if time is short just sit in and get a snaphshot of real Lakeland in an hour and a half! Buses about two hourly in each direction. ( And no parking problems!)
A scenic tram trip to the top of the island, Coca-Cola, vegetarian food and serenity - all for a reasonable price.
This is where the engines that drive the cables for the cable cars are located. For geeky kids (and parents), see pre-computer, mechanical stuff.
The "OV Chipkaart" ticket system (similar to London's Oyster) is now mandatory in Amsterdam for trams, the metro and city buses. Unfortunately the handy "strippenkaart" strip tickets are no longer valid in Amsterdam.
Useful explanation (in English) of the OV chipkaart at:
If you don't fancy the crowds at Badaling or the slopes at Simitai, why not try Huanghua. Lovely, a bit run down, I went on a foggy day in 2009 and it was deserted. Pay the cafe owner to let you onto the wall.
You can get a taxi all the way from Beijing, if you haggle, otherwise take a bus to Huairou and get a bus or taxi from there.
Google map: tinyurl.com/37gcezz
If you're staying in Prague for more than five days, a little known fact is that a whole month's public transport pass can be bought for 550czk, just 50czk (about £1.50) more than a five day tourist ticket.
You can buy the monthly tickets at Mustek and Dejvicka metro stations.
Directly in the centre of the city around the Akropolis a large archaeological park has been built with many paths, pedestrian and low-traffic streets. With a bike, you can relax, enjoy and discover hidden Athens. Take a ride to the new Akropolis museum or explore the hidden streets in old Athens (Plaka).
On a bike you will able reach locations that are sometimes difficult for pedestrians to access and a lot of more ground can be covered, giving you more time to admire and photograph important ancient monuments and sights that are found around Akropolis.
Address: Ag. Theklas 18 – Psirri,
P.C.: 105 54 – Athens
Telephone: +30 2130 423922
Mobile: +30 69 8323 7400
Fax: +30 2130 423922
This bus tour takes in 20 stops and lasts about an hour and a half. The tour takes in the Shankill and Falls Roads, as well as the Titanic Quarter, city centre, Stormont parliament building & the university quarter, with a live commentary.
Departures every 20 mins in peak season.£12.50 for adults, £6 for kids.
Pick up this red sightseeing bus from the High Street near the Albert Clock Tower.
In the light of the possible flight disruptions due to ash, it's worth knowing about the 'rail & sail' offer between Belfast and Scotland. You can book a train & ferry between Belfast and Glasgow/Edinburgh for £25 each way. Separate train and ferry tickets will almost cost double.
Train to other parts of the UKwill cost a little more but again far cheaper than if you get the tickets separately.
In my experience its really hard to find good information about Mallorca which isn't aimed at the bottom of the market. But this site has a real magazine feel to it and has got some fantastic boutique hotels and hideaways listed. Plus there are loads of descriptions of where to go and what to see.
I went to Brasilia when the city was celebrating its 50th anniversary. I was surprised that there was no reference to the city here at the Guardian.
Brasilia was built to be capital of Brazil. The city is lined with monuments, both political and civic:
Presidential Palace, Congress, Courts, Statues, large National buildings (Theatre, Museum, Cathedral), all are open to the public.
Most buildings were designed by the same architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and while each is distinct, all seem to match in perfect harmony.
Thanks to the planning, driving around is easy, by car or by bus and you can find good restaurants and shopping options all around the city. Anyone visiting Brazil should consider visiting Brasilia.
About Brasilia: www.aboutbrasilia.com
About the recent anniversary:
We stayed here for three nights. Riad Lorsya is beautifully renovated and very well located, just a few minutes walk from the main square.
There are two suites and two rooms, well-decorated. The dinner offered on the first evening was the best one we had in Marrakech.
Nice riad, welcoming hosts, good location five minutes' walk from the main square, good value for money.
I will recommend it to all my friends
If you want to stay in Mykonos for less than a week, the best option is to find a hotel in the town of Mykonos. Prices are most reasonable in June and late September. The hotel Pelican is a good option, just 10 minutes' walk from the centre.
+30 22890 23748
You have a choice of two great routes, either a NW loop taking in Dien Bien Phu and Sa Pa or a NE loop taking in Lang Son and Cao Bang, or you can just do your own thing! Minsks are as simple a machine as you can get and help for the mechanically-challenged is never far away in this very populous and friendly country. When you turn up on a 'local' bike caked in dust you get a great welcome.
Starting point is still the Minsk Club in Ha Noi - www.minskclubvietnam.com/index.htm.
A beautiful and remote coastal region, amazing roads, quiet and great fun for motorbikes and bikes.
There are also really good places to stay or camp, total variety of eateries, really good local seafood, venison and lamb as well as award winning local beers. Add this to stunning views and you have the perfect area for a meeting of bikes ... actually there are quite a few bikers who already come every year!
Tighnabruaich, and Argyll's Secret Coast lie at the end of the Cowal Penninsula, about two hours west of Glasgow. Visit by Bike, sail into the moorings and Portavadie Marina, let the Waverley bring you in style, or the seaplane from Loch Lomond; just come and see for yourself!
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