Arriving over the rim of the old volcano from Christchurch, the beautiful town of Akaroa is seen hugging the bay of the inlet.
The French feel of the town is evident in the street names. This is a great place to use as a base for boat trips, walking on the Banks peninsula or enjoying a relaxing time sitting and looking around at the fantastic views all around.
Plenty of places to eat and stay at a reasonable cost to suit all types of tourist.
South of Christchurch on South Island.
If you are planning on staying a little further out of Hvar centre and renting a scooter or car to get into town or see more of the island, be aware that there only seems to be one company that rents them and it's very expensive!
We were shocked to pay £32 a day for a banged-up old scooter which could hardly make it up the hills (we paid £7 a day last year in Greece). Cars were £56 a day.
Having said that, it is worth it for at least a day, to visit some of the beaches, and to take the old road via Brusje on the way home, gorgeous view from top of Hvar looking out towards Brac as the sun sets.
Rent scooters from the bus station at Hvar
It's a restaurant. Just a few minutes from Paris, you can eat in the beautiful gardens of Chez Clément, and look at the wonderful view, near the river, surrounded by exquisite scenery. The prices are reasonable, about 25 euros for a 3 course meal.
Chez Clément Bougival, 15 bis quai Rennequin Sualem 78380 Bougival
The best part of Atlanta is all the neighbourhoods. I recommend funky little Five Points and East Atlanta, the boho chic Virginnia Highlands, the cottages of Grant Park, the Victorians of Inman Park, the 1920s grandeur of Ansley Park, and yuppie Decatur.
Atlanta is becoming a mini-LA, with cities within a city, and looking better every year.
You'll need a car to get around but the neighbourhoods are really not that far apart. Most of these neighborhoods are off Midtown.
If you like the Magpie in Whitby (and let's face it, everyone who's been there does) the Mermaid does the same top-class fish and chips with style.
Choose from the old favourites (cod, haddock, scampi) or from the blackboard of current fresh fish. Plus, you get a great view.
1 The Strand, Saundersfoot.
Walk up Mount Kenya from the north, starting at Timau. It is a longer route than the popular one starting from Naro Moru, in the west, but one avoids the horror of the vertical bog.
It is through moorland and steady slopes. The views are superb and few other walkers are seen. It took us three days to go up and two to come down, sleeping in bunkhouses.
One ends up at the Lenana summit if a walker, however proper mountaineers can go a little higher to Batian or Nelion summits.
For variety, one can descend via the eastern side of the mountain on the Chogoria route through moorland then grassland and finally forest. Watch out for buffalo.
Most of the reputable tour operators could organise this safari. In the ten years living in Kenya this was the most memorable safari - although there were many others almost as good. It is a wonderful country.
For a trip on the Seine at a fraction of the cost of Bateaux-Mouches, buy a day (or longer) ticket for the Bato-bus.
There are eight stops on both banks of the river, and you can get on and off as you fancy. All the stops are alongside tourist attractions, such as Notre Dame or the Eifel Tower, and there is a useful little outline map of the major sights to be seen from the boat when you buy your ticket.
It is not only a splendid way of seeing some of the main attractions of the city, is is a delightful way of getting about from one end of Paris to the other.
Eight stops from the Eifel Tower to the Botanic Gardens, including Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame, etc. There is a web-site.
The overnight train from Nairobi to Mombasa is one of the world’s classic rail journeys as well as a rare colonial gem.
An old diesel pulls out of both stations simultaneously at 7pm and dinner is served immediately — the waiters trying not to spatter soup on their tunics, or you. The rattling of the carriage rocked me to sleep immediately, but make sure you wake early for sunset to see animals on the savannah if you’re coming up to Nairobi or the Manugu plains as you descend to the coast and Mombasa.
After the cool of Nairobi and the highlands, when you disembark in humid, tropical Mombasa it feels like you’ve arrived in a different country.
Most backpackers in east Africa want to bag Kilimanjaro, so Mount Kenya feels more off the beaten path, and is cheaper to climb too.
As it’s on the equator but rises to 5,199m in effect you go through several climate zones in a couple of days and see plants straight out of Day of the Triffids that only exist here, like the “water-holding cabbage”. From the top you can see for miles over much of Kenya. Take all your hiking gear with you as it can be hard to find there and take plenty of warm clothes and a good sleeping bag — it’s freezing at night.
Persuade a taxi driver to take you up into the Ngong Hills. The view over the Rift Valley is exactly as it should be - stupendous. The land simply drops away and the sight of the vast valley made me feel as though I was on the edge of the world.
On the way you can take in the tranquil house of Karen Blixen (Out of Africa).
About an hour south of Mombasa is Diani beach, with the usual white sand, clear water and palm trees.
Forty Thieves bar/restaurant is a popular haunt that opens right on to the beach and at night is an amazing place to sit and watch the ocean.
Food is good, particularly the crab. There is music later in the evenings and a pool table but there are quiet corners and comfy sofas to sit back on and enjoy where you are. Locals and tourists alike go there which tells you something.
About an hour from Mombasa, this community- owned sanctuary has one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa.
Tourism is still developing here so you won't meet hordes of vehicles on your game drives. At the main gate you can also make and buy elephant dung paper. Traveller's Camp has just been refurbished and affords some spectacular views. A truly beautiful place.
Villeneuve lez Avignon really should be visited by anyone intending to spend more than a day in Avignon. Some 10 minutes' drive to the other side of the Rhone is this superbly preserved late medieval village with great views across to the Palais des Papes.
Apart from the Chartreuse, fort, abbey gardens and village square, there's a great restaurant in a hotel next to the church. Very good food in menus costing around 70€.The sommelier is happy to recommend wines at anything from 20€ up.
Le Prieuré, 7 pl du Chapitre, Villeneuve des Avignon. 04 90 15 90 15
It is a beautiful retreat set way up in the cedar forests above Lake Naivasha. Luxury camping. Scrummy Italian food cooked to perfection. Impeccable service. Gorgeous cottages with beds and furniture handcrafted from fallen cedar. Horseriding, trekking, hot spring plunge pool, forest walks. Highly recommend it.
A great little restaurant with fantastic views and great ambience, as well as good food! Less well-known (and less expensive!) than its big brother on Porthminster but up there with it.
Don't miss the Chocolate Train! Departs from Montreux in the morning and meanders its way up through the mountains, with great views of Lake Geneva and some truly Sound-of-Music scenery.
You travel first-class in some wonderfully restored Belle Epoque railway carriages before stopping at the Gruyere fromagerie, where there's time to explore the mountain village of the same name and have a spot of lunch.
After lunch, it's back on the train to the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory. It's just like you would imagine a Swiss chocolate factory to be: set in the mountains, with as much chocolate as you can eat!
The day finishes with a scenic ride back down to Montreux. Wonderful scenery, cheese and chocolate - what more could you want? Apart, perhaps, from some local wine pressed from the grapes of the numerous vines covering the mountainside. Advance booking recommended!
Use the Eurostar deal with Belgian Railways to travel on from Brussels at no extra cost.
Take the Luxembourg bound train to Libramont and then the bus number 8 to Bouillon on the River Semois. Stay at the Hotel Panorama overlooking river, town, castle and hills.
Listen to the town carillon play the Ode to Joy. The walking in the river valley and on wooded hills is wonderful and the food in the town is excellent. Return, if you can, on bus 45 to Bertrix for spectacular views of the Semois, tiny villages and the hills. Take the train from Bertrix to Libramont and then back to Brussels.
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