I am a Brit living, working and studying in the city and love it to bits. If I had my way I'd fly all my family and friends here tomorrow. The scenery, the people and the food are fantastic. If you are coming to Norway write me an email and I can give you some suggestions of what to do and where to do it. No probs.
This is a lovely hotel where you don't pay over the odds for the spectacular view of the Caldera.
It is one of the most spellbinding places I have ever stayed and a very romantic spot for couples.
Rooms have their own whitewashed patios outside, layered like massive steps cut into the cliff where you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine or two before heading into town for the evening. It is also just minutes from the action, yet off the beaten track enough to be quiet and private.
Fira 84700, Santorini
The Huka Jet is a 30 minute high speed jet boating experience that shows you the spectacular Huka Falls and whizzes you past cliffs at 80km per hour. It does a 360 degree spin, and, at times, you get so close to the cliff walls that you can almost feel them graze your ears!
Afterwards, lunch at the Huka Prawn Park right next to the Huka Jet is delicious.
Near Taupo - if you are staying in Taupo, a courtesy coach will pick you up from your accomodation. It costs NZ$79, which is a bit pricey, but a unique experience. Oh, and I advise you to book!
A series of seven picturesque waterfalls falling over 1500m with clear turquoise pools for swimming. Popular with locals and tourists, the lower pools can get quite busy, but paths and wooden footbridges lead up through the jungle to the quieter pools further up.
65km from Kanchanaburi - buses run daily and lots of guesthouses and travel agencies offer day trips. 200 baht National Park entry fee.
This building, with a mall inside, is the tallest building in Africa with a view deck and restaurant on the top floor. From the top you'll get a great view of Joburg, Soweto, the airport and Sandton. On a clear day you can also see Pretoria (about 30 miles away). Entrance fee to the top (50th floor) is R20.
Ride a bike? Melbourne now has a bike trail that goes from Mordialloc (20km SE of the CBD) up to Westgate Park (under the bridge) and beyond to Willamstown and Altona (west of the city). Enjoy the views while riding but stop at Cafe Racer in Beach Rd for an espresso or Half Moon Bay for a feed of fish'n'chips.
Around Port Phillip Bay from Mordialloc (catch the train there from the city) and ride back
More at Bicycle Victoria www.bv.com.au
Take the cable car to Sentosa for unrivalled views both of Sentosa Island and the huge shipping port. It also goes right over the top of the cruise ships that go in, so you can have a good snoop at the rooms!
Catch the cable car from the World Trade Centre.
Largest and last piece of original rainforest left on the island. Walk up the incredibly steep hill (mind the monkeys!) for a fantastic view from the top. Thick forest offers a respite from the high temperatures.
Bukit Timah Road; get the bus toward Malaysia (I think it's the 70 and/or 170), or a taxi.
Very well known hotel, very expensive to stay there but a must for anyone on a visit to Singapore is afternoon tea and a Singapore sling in the lobby area of the Raffles Hotel. It's one of those fantastic experiences and a defo must. Dress smartly.
Very local to city, just ask any locals who are very friendly to direct you.
Lovely shopping road during day but really comes to life at nightime. I arrived at one in morning but couldn't resist taking a stroll and was just mesmerised. Street stall atmosphere just out of this world - on my own and very safe even at that time.
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.
Cape Bridgewater, part of the Discovery Bay Coastal Park provides shelter for Victoria's largest colony of seals and just to the east, Bridgewater Bay.
Cape Bridgewater is a headland formed by volcanic action and exposed to all the forces of the ocean. Apart from the seal colony, there are blowholes and 'the petrified' forest to see.
The kiosk on the beach at Bridgewater Bay serves great fish and chips!
18km from Portland in the SW corner of Victoria. Get there via the Great Ocean Rd.
Pretty self explanatory really, runs along the beach. Best walked on the weekends when all manner of strange and fabulous people emerge, reminiscent of Glastonbury at times, but, you know, with fewer annoying middle class students. Watch out for various street entertainers including a guy who walks literally 6 inches behind you, imitating everything you do, to the amusement of everyone sitting in the cafes. Rollerblading or rollerskating along the sidewalk is best if you can manage it, or rent a cycle. Parking can be found at one of several large lots right next to the beach for around $10/day, park at Marina del Rey and walk up to Venice past Muscle Beach and the basketball courts for a longer stroll, stop at the Sidewalk cafe for a margarita before heading back or further north to Santa Monica.
Great 24 hour cafe on Manhattan Beach Blvd just 2 blocks from the ocean. One of the few places around the area to be open 24 hours. Their sandwiches are great, burgers tasty, but the best thing on the menu is their french onion soup with a chunk of baguette dunked in it and a slice of mozzarella melted over the top. Get the blackberry lemonade too. Good people watching from the (heated) terrace.
1138 Highland Ave (Cross Street: Manhattan Beach Boulevard)
Manhattan Beach 310 545-8511
As a denizen and big fan of this crazy, mixed-up city, may I recommend:
Yuca Taco Stand www.ericgarcetti.org/blog/000039.php
and there's a lady from Oaxaca who has a cart (the one under the blue umbrella, usually) on Echo Park Boulevard just south of Sunset Blvd., between Sunset and Echo Park Lake, Wednesdays thru Saturdays from noon until 5:30--she's illegal (so no links here) and delicious!
Traditional blue corn quesadillas with huitlacoche (an earthy black fungus paste that grows on ears of corn), squash blossoms, and other wonderful things to put in, pickled cactus to put on top--$3! Sometimes she doesn't show because she's afraid of the policia, but she's worth taking your chances. Yum.
Both of these places are on the eastern side of town, the far more interesting half. While here, work up your appetite and get a taste of local life by taking a hike in either Griffith Park (www.ci.la.ca.us/RAP/dos/parks/griffithPK/griffith.htm) or Elysian Park (www.laparks.org/dos/parks/facility/elysianPk.htm). Views from both.
The best thing to do in Rotterdam is leave the railway station, get the no.5 tram down to the river where the SPIDO harbour cruises start from, well worth the hour and a half that it'll take. When you come back, go back east a bit along the riverfront and get one of the classic polished wooden watertaxis to the old Holland America Line HQ on the south bank, now the Hotel New York with a busy bar/restaurant. The 30s style boat costs nearly nothing and was the highlight of my trip.
A fish'n'chip joint par excellence! Situated on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), you sit at tables overlooking the ocean eating superb freshly-cooked fish and seafood from an extensive menu. Line up at the cooking shack, choose your food, and it is cooked to order. Those in the know bring their own plates and cutlery, wine etc. Watch the sun set over the Pacific, it's magical - or go anytime for a cheap delicious meal.
PCH (Highway 1), Malibu.
The Galway City Museum can be found behind the Spanish Arch overlooking Galway Bay and the Claddagh. The view of the Claddagh, the oldest part of Galway, and the River Corrib flowing into the Bay is excellent.
The original folk museum that was opened in 1976 was replaced by a light airy glass, concrete and stone building that provides a place to relax and view artefacts, paintings and sculpture. And it's only five minutes stroll to Tigh Neachtain and The Quays, two excellent local bars.
Opening Hours: Summer (June to September), Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm
Winter (October to May), Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm
Telephone: (091) 532 460 or from outside Ireland + 353 91 532 460
The hill temple at Pimbura is not a particularly impressive structure, more a ramshackle collection of shrines and associated outbuildings spread out on the top of a ridge. In fact the nearer you get to the temple, the more you feel like you are in Nepal rather than Sri Lanka, but the setting, the atmosphere and the fact that you are almost certainly the only visitor makes up for any shortfall in the architecture. You need to explore this place and just when you think you have seen it all there is yet another path to something else.
The views from the top are magnificent, which means it is quite a climb (but I am fat and 40 and I made it ok) so you will need good shoes and plenty of water and do not go too late in the day, the track is steep, rocky and unlit. For the naturalists amongst you there are birds, bats and even monkeys. There is only one monk in residence, he will be surprised to see you and will no doubt welcome your generous donation.
You can take the train from Colombo to Aluthgama and then take the bus to Agalawatta via Matugama. From Agalawatta pick up the Horana bus or a three wheeler (approx Rs150). There is only one road worthy of the name running through Pimbura, the track to the temple leads off to the left (if you are travelling north) just past the district hospital, ask anyone. There is an alternative route up and down the hill so you can make a round trip. There is another temple in Pimbura (which is not on a hill).
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