The view from the bell tower of the cathedral is awe-inspiring. You can see the entire city, which is not very big, and the surrounding hills and mountains against the backdrop of the permanently clear blue sky. It really makes you feel like you are 4070 metres above sea level!
The shady side of the central plaza
The bar at the top of Ceylan International Hotel is wonderful for sipping classy cocktails while watching the Bosphorus. It’s especially great at night when, because the hotel is high enough to avoid the city’s lights, the only lights that pierce the darkness of the sea are those of the ferries and the floodlights of the mosques and palaces. Drinks are not cheap by Turkish standards but then neither is the view.
The hotel is towards Harbiye from Taksim Square
We rented bikes when we were there and rode out into the country for a few miles. This way we saw some local culture, kids swimming in a pond (they got a kick out of us and our bikes) and some beautiful views. We tried to ride out to the waterfall but it was too far and got picked up by a taxi. The waterfall near the city is worth it though. As is the market and climbing up on the hills for some views and the sunset. It's a beautiful place.
It's Salzburg's answer to the Tower of London. There are no crown jewels but there are great views over Salzburg and there's a nice museum. It's on a crag above the Old Town and can be reached by a funicular railway near the Domplatz, or by paths (much cheaper, although steep).
The funicular station is near the Domplatz (there are signs to it). You can get a map from the Tourist Office in Mozartplatz. I don't really know where the paths begin from, but they are near the mountain's base.
Of the more southerly fjords that I’ve visited, this in my opinion is the most beautiful. It’s certainly one of the deepest and the granite rocks that rise out of it are extremely pleasing in their variety of formation and colour. Even the journey by boat from Stavanger is spectacular, passing towering islands and water-side villages on the way. Two landmarks of the fjord are the pulpit rock – a huge slab that overhangs the fjord from way above and from where the view is legendary – and the Kjerag Mountain at the end of the fjord. With the gushing waterfalls and the dramatic Baltic light this is a trip to remember.
Boat trips from the harbour
An old 15th century grand house with an open courtyard that overlooks the Alhambra which is floodlit at night. There are inward and outward facing rooms. Very atmospheric and within easy walking distrance of the Albaicin area. Has Ac and central heating. Very cosy in Jan this year 2006. Helpful staff.
Dine at El Huerto de Juan Ranas which over looks the alhambra, tapas at bodega castaneda in calle almireceros.
Cuesta De La ictoria 9m 18010 Granda
Tel +34 958 221 100
A wine bar that opens at 10 pm and stays open till the early hours of the morning. Go through the tiny doorway and up the rickety stairs to find a cosy space filled with old couches, low lighting, amazing staff and a wine list as long as a novel. Check the view from the end window across town.
On Spring Street, near the corner of Bourke Street
Take the tram to St Kilda from outside Flinders St Station, enjoy the cake shops or a pint in the Espy. Catch the ferry across the Bay to Williamstown from St Kilda Pier - it leaves hourly on the weekends. Have fish and chips at Williamstown before the return trip back up the Yarra through the port and Docklands. There’s good views, but wear sunscreen.
St Kilda Pier
During weekends in the summer it's possible to take a helicopter tour above St Petersburg. The cost is around $30 and the helicopters take off and land on the lawn beyond the northern wall of the Peter and Paul Fortress. Just follow the deafening noise…
Perched high on a hill overlooking the Old Town, Quito’s Basilica is well worth the climb. In the grand Ecuadorian tradition of church-building, it is still unfinished after over 100 years of construction, but reopened fairly recently for services in its cavernous interior. The view from high atop one of the Gothic structure’s main towers is the real attraction of the Basilica, though. Accessible via an unlikely elevator and a series of steep ladders, you pass behind the great clock face to find the city and surrounding mountains spread out below you. Looking down across the tiled roofs and spires of the colonial quarter to the mound of the Winged Virgin “Panecillo,” you feel like you too could take flight.
At the corner of Calle Venezuela and Carchí
Santiago's very own revolving restaurant.
There is something very modernist about the whole revolving restaurant thing: a 60s/70s international style fad that has just about survived into the 21st-century. You can imagine Augusto Pinochet, fresh from one of his shopping trips to London, asking Santiago's city planners to come up with something that could replicate the GPO Tower dining experience.
Bizarrely, my main course at the Giratorio was like a Chilean riff on fish'n'chips: battered conger eel and a fried egg and chips. Not bad actually. And the wine was, as you'd expect in Chile, excellent.
Unlike with some revolving restaurants I have visited, the Giratorio building itself does not move, instead the restaurant is on a kind of giant turntable inside a rectangular steel and glass structure. With mountains on all sides, the 90-minute journey around Santiago is a picturesque and contemplative experience. Can the Muzak though please, guys.
Av. 11 de Septiembre 2250, Piso 16; nearest metro: Estacion Los Leones; tel: 232 1827/251 5789;
This is possibly one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. Central La Paz lies in a valley, or chasm (make no mistake, this "valley" is still at an altitude of 3,500m), surrounded by a high plateau.
Get a cab way before dawn and ask to be dropped off at a panoramic point somewhere halfway up the mountain: the views at sunrise are breathtaking, and due to La Paz's unique geographical location this experience will probably stay with you for a long time.
Obviously you should not do this alone or take valuables.
Ask a cab driver, preferably one that has been recommended by your hotel or hostel, to drop you off at a panorama point that he knows and recommends. This should be about halfway up the mountain, between central La Paz and the city of El Alto at the top
As well as the usual Jinshanling or Simatai Great Wall tours, you can also explore other parts which are completely unrestored. Beijing Leo Hostel run a tour/hike to Secret Shen Shui Hu for 100rmb.
It should be noted that you're not always following the path of the wall itself, and if you want to get the 'classic' wall experience (and photos) take another tour instead of, or as well as, this one. On the other hand, you will definitely avoid crowds and hawkers.
Beijing Leo Hostel, Guang Ju Yuan, 52, Da Zha Lan Xi Jie, Qianmen
If this was in Washington DC, 10 million tourists would see it, but because it's hidden away in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park, it's almost forgotten. 11,000 American Revolutionary War soldiers and sailors are buried in this hill overlooking the old Brooklyn Navy Yard (actually Wallabout Bay where "Breucklen" was founded in 1624).
They died on the Royal Navy's prison ships between 1775 and 1783 - an atrocity of astounding proportions considering the American population at the time. The hill is topped by the world's tallest doric column with a lantern atop that once had an eternal flame, and an incredible stone staircase leads up to it from Myrtle Avenue. All designed by legendary architect Stanford White.
For a great tour take the B,D,M,R, or Q to Dekalb Avenue in Brooklyn. Have lunch at Juniors on the corner of Flatbush Avenue. Check out (if open) the auditorium/arena of Long Island University (across Flatbush Ave from Juniors), once the Brooklyn Paramount of early Rock 'n Roll fame. Then go up the Dekalb Avenue hill to Fort Greene Park (many of the blocks to your right are historic landmarks for the 1840s brownstones).
Fort Greene Park, designed by Frederick Olmstead (Central Park, Prospect Park) will be on your left. It was the site of a Revolutionary War fort (part of The Battle of Long Island), walk up to the monument. The view of Manhattan from here is spectacular. You'll be confused about direction because here the East River will be directly north of you, and the city skyline will seem like its wrapping around you.
Tourists will want to avoid the housing project directly below, but when you're done, go back down Dekalb Avenue, have Cheesecake at Juniors, and maybe walk through downtown Brooklyn and over to Brooklyn Heights and watch the sunset from The Promenade.
Dekalb Avenue opposite South Oxford Street, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. D,M,N,Q,R,B to Dekalb Avenue Station at Flatbush Avenue
This beautiful conservation park is only an hour-and-a-half’s drive south of Adelaide. There’s great camping facilities and lovely walks down to impressive beaches (no surf though). The best bits are the kangaroos resting under the trees on a sunny day, and the views of Kangaroo Island. Lovely - well worth a visit.
As you sit in the cafe in Union Square, you'll see that there are glass-fronted lifts running up the outside of the Westin St Francis hotel on the west side of the square. Stride through the lobby with an air of confidence and take the lift to the 12th floor, where there are great views of the city skyline (Coit Tower, TransAmerica pyramid), and of Union Square far below.
Amazing bridge over the Danube, with a 'flying saucer' type building on top of the suspension tower. Have a walk over and you can go up the lift in the left leg of the tower to the viewing platform on the roof of the saucer or the UFO restaurant/bar inside. Really spectacular architecture, great views of the city, the huge Petrzalka housing development and the castle and parliament on the opposite bank of the river.
You can't miss it - it's a bridge over the Danube.
A huge titanium arch, built to commemorate friendship between the Ukrainian and Russian people – it may have outstayed its welcome. Beneath it stand two beefy looking statues representing each country. It’s in Khreschatyk Park, on top of a hill which has excellent panoramic views across the city that certainly make the walk worthwhile.
This hill, which your Angkor Wat guide will know, and be able to take you to, is the perfect way to round off a trip to this amazing temple comlex, by watching the sun set over the whole Angkor Site. The climb is hard going, but well worth it, although you can ride an elephant to the top for about $15. There are loads of people there, but this adds to the atmosphere, rather than ruining it. There is usually someone selling cold beers as well, and it would be rude not to!
Your guide will take you.
Literally the best restaraunt/bar you will find in Tokyo (nay the world), and it's on the 42nd floor atop of the Mori Atago building.
Great atmosphere and the best view of Tokyo you'll get over Lobster (recommend at night).
Atago Green Hills, Kamiyacho
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