Rising to 1123m and more than 300m above Zakopane, Gubalówka offers magnificent views of Zakopane itself, the Tatra mountains, the Podhale region and the Beskid mountains beyond it.
During the spring and summer months, Gubalówka is a great starting place for a Zakopane visit. Offering a few kilometres of hiking trails, breathtaking views, as well as eating establishments, you can easily spend a day here exploring the native beauty.
Several gentle and rough hiking trails starting in Zakopane will get you to the top of Gubalówka. Alternatively, for 10 months of the year (except May & October) there is a rail line to the top from the market in Zakopane.
Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea) and Czarny Staw (Black Pond) are the most popular tourist attractions on the Polish side of the High Tatra mountains, but go after July when the foreign tourists have gone and the breathtaking views of domineering Mount Rysy and the peace of both of the lakes are yours alone. It's a shame though that all you can do is admire the lakes instead of swimming in them but make the most of the fresh air!
Morskie Oko and Czarny Staw both lie within the Tatra National Park. A bus from Zakopane to the Slovakian border at Łysa Polana will get you to Polana Palenica car park, from there the local Górale inhabitants will take you up the 1440m climb to the lakes in their horse drawn carriages for 35 złoty each in 1 hr 45 mins, otherwise it takes 2 hours to cover the whole 9km on foot (but the path is concreted). Note that there is a 2 złoty entrance fee to enter the national park.
The stunning Las Islas Cies in Galicia is an uninhabited and pristine national park with loads of wildlife and a perfect crescent of soft pale sand, backed by small dunes sheltering a calm lagoon of crystal-clear (but freezing) sea.
The water is turquoise and the sand fine and white.
The only place to stay on the island is an idyllic campsite shaded by pine trees. It has a decent shop, bar and cafe and, this being Spain, even a proper restaurant that serves great seafood.
The park is open to the public only in summer.
00 34 986 43 83 58, campingislascies.com, open Easter week and June to September.
Hidden away from the seagulls and sound lies a little courtyard where virginia creeper meet sparrows and butterflies - Libra Court, the cheeky jewel on Sidmouth's crown.
If you fancy a wander around artist studios, a nibble on chunky farmhouse bread, or just to sit and watch the buzz do its buzzing, hop off the seafront, go straight on down the highstreet, take a right, then nip left.
Life has a rather colourful palette in Libra Court.
Libra Court, Fore Street, Sidmouth, Devon
Devon is famous for its cream teas and this place serves the finest ones in the land. Organic scones, made in an ancient mill surounded by Devonish countryside which is a perfect excuse to walk off the cream.
Village of Otterton, Devon, just off B3178 in between Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth
A decision to restore the city of Munich was taken after wartime bombing and so, unlike Frankfurt, for example, which is almost brand new, or Berlin, which is an extraordinary mix of old and new, Munich has regained the main elements of its prewar appearance. The result restores a city whose inhabitants, including its rulers, were in love with Italy and Ancient Greece. Koenigsplatz is one good place to see the epic scale of this phenomenon, where two major classical museums face one another across a vast grassy square, separated by a monumental gate, again in a classical style. What might have been grandiose is saved by the presence, in good weather, of children playing, and students from the nearby university sitting around, chatting, and generally enjoying the sunshine.
U2 to Koenigsplatz from Hauptbahnhof.
This tower's history goes back to 340 BC. It is in the middle of Bosphorus, and it has recently been renovated. It has 5 floors, top floor being the bar, and you get a free soft drink here, which is included in your ticket from the shore.
You can get the best scenery for the Bosphorus from this floor. Don't forget you are in the middle of Asia and Europe here. Ground floor is a very good restaurant, although prices are above the Turkish average, you're guaranteed to have good food here.
There are frequent boats from Uskudar, Salacak, it takes aroung3 minutes, but you can also take the boat from Ortakoy (though as not frequent as from Uskudar)
The department of the Alpes Maritimes is in the south east corner of France and boasts such famous names as Nice, Antibes and Cannes. These names conjure up images of glitz, beaches and everything synonymous with the Riviera jet set, bikinis and painted toe nails. However did you know that just an hour and a half inland, life is very different, a landscape of quiet forests and deep gorges? So near but yet so far from the busy coastal strip, the rural way of life still prevails, eggs and goats’ cheese are sold direct from the farm, roads are single track and you are very likely to meet a flock of transhumance sheep coming the other way.
There is an impressive network of paths for walking (including the GR4 and GR510), whose gentle gradients date back to the time when all forms of commerce passed along these remote paths on the back of a donkey. The paths are well sign posted, free of litter, well maintained, they take you through abandoned olive groves, across Napoleonic bridges, to hamlets that roads have yet to reach, lavender and thyme grow wild everywhere and it is rare to meet another soul. The area is made up of many folded ridges giving wonderful ridge walks too with views south to the Mediterranean or north to the jagged peaks of the Mercantour National park.
The area is heavily wooded so there are lots of forestry tracks to explore by foot, by mountain bike or on horseback. Roads such as the one linking St Auban and Aiglun are narrow and wind through stunningly precipitous scenery, ideal for cyclists, with excellent surfaces, very little traffic and a good sprinkling of cols. The roads circumnavigate the abundant gorges which have made the area a base for canyoning and rock climbing. You can don a wetsuit and helmet and follow your guide down one of the numerous canyons, abseiling and crossing wire bridges, jumping into pools several metres below you.
The Alpes Maritimes boasts 300 sunny days per year but if you do fancy a day indoors why not go round one of the many show caves that this limestone area has to offer, or if you want more of an adrenaline rush there is the world's first ever under ground via ferrata and a forest of adventure where you can literally go on a tree top walk and slide down a 470m zip wire.
If you are not scared of heights, there is plenty of opportunity to try paragliding at one of the many flying schools or take a tandem ride to get the best view of the area. This rural corner of the Alpes Maritimes is littered with time forgotten villages, where narrow streets disappear off between closely huddled old stone houses, wandering around these quiet little streets it is so difficult to believe that the busy Mediterranean coast is only just down the road. The area has many wonderful little restaurants and auberges, serving real French food to a clientele that is by and large local.
If you would like to know more about the Alpes Maritimes inland from the busy Cote d’Azur have a look at the website www.pottyplace.com. The site has been written by a Scottish couple who live in the Alpes Maritimes.
With apologies to Julie Andrews, as far as mountain climbing for beginners goes there's nun better than Skiddaw with its natural route clearly visible.
It's a steep climb, but persistence will deliver some amazing views. There are no ropes, pickaxes or on-all-fours required, although be prepared for a slight feeling of shame as runners often jog past.
Take a child and pretend you are going at their pace.
Follow the signposts on the A591 and you'll soon be on the simplest way up Skiddaw.
Want to see Germany and not stay in the major cities? Fly into Frankfurt, get a car and then start the journey along the Romantic Road as it meanders through Bavaria.
Really want to do it slowly? Ride a bike and when you tire, jump on a bus. The German countryside offers lots and the small towns have plenty of B&Bs for overnight stays. The road itself is busy in summer (as expected) but outside the summer season, the drive itself is relaxing.
The road officially goes between Würzburg and Füssen before ending up at King Ludwig's famous crazy castles.
Don't forget to visit all the other castles along the way.
Between Würzburg and Füssen
Germany (arrive via Frankfurt)
If you don't want to pay the 3.50 euros to walk along the city walls, then stand at the western end of Puente Romántico for a breathtaking view of the city walls and the cathedral.
West of Puerta del Puente - a good 30 min walk from the cathedral.
To fully appreciate the beauty of Baeza there is a short but illuminating walk to be done. Walk through the Puerta de Jaén off the Plaza de Leones, go along the Paseo Muralles (following the route of the old city walls) around the edge of Baeza. From this street there are fantastic views of the surrounding plains and the mountains of Cazorla national park. Cut back to the Plaza Mayor via the stone-walled arched alleyways which hide behind the Cathedral.
This stupendous church has a peaceful atmosphere with its low columns and gold altar. Sometimes the priests will allow you to climb up to the 42 metre tower to see the views of the town.
Abbey church is located within the original city walls and a 15 min walk from the bus station.
The Roman citadelle is open from 9.30am-11.30am and 2pm-5.30pm (6pm in July and August). The citadelle is an extremely rare example of Romanesque palatial architecture and is a powerful symbol of the power of the Adhémar de Monteil family.
The views from the towers take in the Alps to the east and the flatter valley of the Rhone river to the north and to the south.
Accordion music, fountains and a cheery greeting of “Bonjour” from the hotel staff and you have to be in Paris. Or do you?! Well, you could also be in the Paris Hotel Las Vegas and, of course, you can’t have Paris without the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas is not quite as tall as the original, in fact it is exactly half the size, however it has been reproduced with a superb eye for detail. An elevator whisks you to the observation deck, 460 feet above the Strip. The lift attendant was extremely friendly and informative. I can’t remember exactly how much he told us it cost to build the tower but it was in the millions of dollars range. However he also told us that they had recouped all the building costs in about six months of opening.
The views across Las Vegas are fantastic, taking in a 360 degree panorama that includes the Strip, the city and the mountains in the distance. In the evening it also allows wonderful views across to the Bellagio fountain display.
The observation deck is quite small (holding about 30 to 40 people at a time) so you may have to queue to get in and, needless to say, it is not for those at all nervous of heights.
Paris, Las Vegas, 3655 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Unassuming pub at the top of the hill in Arundel with lovely rooms. One of the doubles has views of the cathedral and the pub is very near the 14th century parish church and the castle. The ensuite rooms are very comfortably decorated and have TV, cd player etc. The pub itself is a local boozer - nothing too classy - but the accommodation is quite unexpected, and very reasonable. Decent English breakfast in the morning, and the service is straightforwardly helpful.
St Mary's Gate Inn
Tel: (0)1903 883145
If you are staying in BA for more than 4 days, use one of them to go to Colonia in Urugauy. You catch a ferry that takes you up the River Plate. It takes about 90 minutes.
Colonia is a World Heritage listed town and you can see why as soon as you get there. Cobbled street, picture perfect houses and a natty little light house to climb.
For lunch go to the yatch club and get a table outside. Sit back and enjoy whatever Chef recommends.
Colonia could easilly be the most charming town in the world I can't recommend it enough.
Most tourists to the Cape only stick with the tried and tested routes and experiences. !Khwa ttu is one of the very few GENUINE San Bushmen-led initiatives in southern Africa. It's set on stunning hillside overlooking the coast and Table Mountain and here you can meet the San, learn about hunting, gathering, tracking, take a trailer ride, see all of the amazing game and other animals, go on hikes, enjoy the restaurant or stay in their amazinginly peaceful accommodation (cottage or tents). There is a museum, art gallery, training centre, conference facilities and shop too.
I recommend it because I lived and worked with the San in southern Africa until recently and this is the BEST thing I have seen out there, that really, practically helps the San and teaches tourists about some of the real issues still alive in South Africa today...
What's more it's as cheap as chips if you are coming from Europe!
www.khwattu.org email - email@example.com
It's just 70 km drive north of Cape Town - takes 40 minutes and just a short drive from the historic village of Darling and the beautiful beaches of Yzerfontein.
Catch the boat for a view of the city from the Singapore River - have a complete round trip or get off and have a walk.
From Boat Quay, after you've eaten at one of the many outdoor eateries - steer clear of the Chilli crab.
The Villa Gaia Hotel is situated in the historic center of Taormina, just 30 meters from the Duomo, and offers a magnificent view of the crystal-clear blue waters of the Ionian Sea! I've been here with my wife and had a very pleasent stay.
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