Loch Ness is truly an amazing place and a must for every Highland visitor. The amazing blue colours are truly spectacular, and keep on changing with the day, and you might just end up watching Nessie the monster, who seems to be asleep every time I’ve been there. It’s truly a romantic place and you can even take a boat ride on the Loch through Jacobite Cruises.
For a spectacular view of Loch Ness, visit Urquhart Castle, situated on the banks of the Loch. Its visitor centre is new and really good, and the castle (now ruins) provides an excellent spot for pictures.
Try catching these places on a nice sunny morning, otherwise you might miss all the beauty of the mist. Private tours are available (specialised and affordable) but you can always join in on the regular day trips from Inverness city centre. If you are a bike freak, hire a bike from hotels or local shops. Loch Ness is one place you will never forget.
Loch Ness is approximately 1 Hr drive by car from Inverness and Urquhart Caslte is just on the way there. Buses depart from outside the tourist office in Inverness;
View the Alhambra from the plaza beside Granada's Mosque. This is the only place to truly give a feel of what the Alhambra and Granada were like before the massive and extremely ugly building boom got underway some years ago.
The right time of day is at sunset when the Alhambra is tastefully floodlit. Afterwards casually make your way down through the barrio visiting the numerous Flamenco bars.
Numerous tourist buses go to Sacromonte barrio from the centre of Granada.
On Rechtsrheinisch, which is on right side of the river, is a beach bar called Shark Island. There's also a beach by the Rheinterrasse called KM689, and a new one in Cologne's central shopping area. The Sky Beach is on the top floor of the Kaufhof carpark: sand, cocktails and a great view!
Resting against the beach logs on this Kitsilano neighbourhood beach and watching the sunset, you will experience all the quintessential elements of Vancouver at once. The beach, a view of the mountains, the ocean air, and a purely laid-back West Coast vibe. To make it even better, stroll along barefoot with a specialty coffee or smoothie from any of the local cafes and take in dinner at the Naam restaurant a couple of blocks away, where the service is so refreshingly unhurried it IS the evening's entertainment. Namaste!
Naam restaurant: 2724 West Fourth Avenue, Kitsilano;
tel: 738 7151;
The stuttgart television tower was the first tower of its kind in the world and has recently been completely refitted. It is the unofficial symbol of the city, as you can see it from almost anywhere. For details and a webcam see the website, which is in German and English. The view from the top is great.
Jahnstraße 120 (U-Bahn station: Waldau);
tel: 0711 23 2597
Worth the trip alone. The Pacific beaches are stunning and Tofino is a great little town - posh-hippy, laid back, with great restaurants. The Rainforest Cafe offers sublime high quality food. Walk through the temperate rainforests and the cathedrals of tall cedars and pines. You will probably see bears on your way too. In Tofino try the Wolf House bed and breakfast, a really great bed and breakfast with lots of character.
Tofino is on Vancouver Island;
Rainforest Cafe: 250 725 2215;
Wolf House: 250 725-2330
Cycle around Stanley Park, then take a small ferry to Granville Island and then go along Kitsilano beaches - totem poles, wildlife and great views looking back at the skyline and the mountains.
Cycle hire shops can be found along Denman/Robson Street area. For details see: englishbay.com/?category=recreation
This 12th century Citadel is constructed on an artificial hill very close to where Old and New Rhine meet in the middle of the oldest part of the city.
Having lived close to Leiden for many years, I never knew it was there until I found it one day. Since then, every time I visit Leiden, I go up to "de Burcht" to enjoy the views and the tranquility that surrounds it.
Going south on the Breestraat, go left after city-hall, cross the New Rhine and walk straight into the Burgsteeg, at the end of it go left and there it is.
The Grouse Grind is a fairly intense hike up Grouse Mountain, one of three mountains on the North Shore. It's a rewarding hike, and you can further reward yourself with a pint at the top and a Gondola ride back down the mountain if you don't feel like trudging back down.
Several S-Bahn (a suburban rail network complementing the U-Bahn) routes run parallel throught the city centre. It's a cheap way of sightseeing and a good way of getting a feel for the city and the lie of the land.
A suggested route could be from Warschauer Strasse in the East to Zoologischer Garten in the West. This takes in some of Berlin's most famous addresses, including Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse and Hackescher Markt. There are also 'panoramic' S-Bahn trips in specially adapted trains giving even better views (www.s-bahn-berlin.de).
S-Bahn routes S5, S7/S75 and S9 all run along the above route.
In a city which has mirrored the history of the 20th century very closely, the Reichstag is one of the most poignant symbols of the mix of politics, history and architecture in Berlin.
It was badly damaged in the war and the Berlin Wall ran along the back of it. The new cupola, designed by Norman Foster, offers fantastic views over the city, but get there early - there are always long queues.
Right in the centre, just north of the Brandenburg gate. Bus 100 (which is a good route for sightseeing) passes by it; the nearest S-bahn station is Unter den Linden
The world's longest (and highest!) suspension bridge, over a river at the foot of Grouse mountain. Get the SeaBus from the Waterfront Station, and then a bus towards Grouse Mountain (a two zone ticket will cover the whole journey). There are great filmset-like views from the bridge itself, plus a network of platforms linking huge pine trees once you reach the other side. Keep your ticket for a discount on entry to Grouse Mountain. Get the SeaBus back to downtown Vancouver in the evening for fantastic views of the skyline as the sun sets.
The best place in North America to grab an all-over tan and partake in Amsterdam-style smoking.
Trail 6 from the University of British Columbia. Ask anybody how to get there. Locals, police, politicians, artists and visiting Americans all know how to get there.
If you want to see artists and bourgeousie come together in what used to be a down and out area, try Main st/Mt. Pleasant. There's a cluster of hipsters, boutiques, coffee shops and ethnic restaurants that give the atmosphere of the way Vancouver once was: countercultural.
Main St. spans from our 'skid row' area on Hastings up to an Indian district. There's everything in between, including expensive character homes.
In the heart of China Town there is an oasis. The Chinese gardens are the biggest replica outside of China (I think) and are beautifully kept.
In the summer you can see turtles floating in the ponds and the flowers are stunning.
The guided tours are free and really interesting.
Well worth popping into especially if you happen to be in China town.
578 Carrall Street;
tel: 604 662 3207;
Don't limit your stay in Vancouver to just seeing Vancouver. The dormitory town of North Vancouver is separated from Vancouver by the Burrard Inlet and your choice of one of two road bridges (we like it that way).
The best way to get there from downtown Vancouver is by taking the Seabus from Waterfront Station in Gastown (a 15 minute ferry ride costing $3.25 and is valid on all buses for 90 minutes). You arrive at Lonsdale Quay, a smaller version of Granville Island, but this is just the jumping off point for a whole range of activities. You can use your ferry ticket to take a bus to Grouse Mountain & take the cable car up to see the bears they have there. You can take a different bus to Lynn Valley & hike through forested trails. You can take yet another bus and browse the Persian stores on Lonsdale Avenue & end up at Brazza's (19th and Lonsdale) for a Cappucino and a gelato. The more energetic of you can take a bus to Lighthouse park in West Vancouver. A 30 minute hike through ancient forest rewards you with a view over the waters at the edge of Howe Sound, to downtown Vancouver.
If you are really committed to do something extensive like visit Whistler, then you probably have to drive. Take the Lions' Gate bridge from downtown Vancouver and follow the highway & signs there (don't forget to gasp in admiration at the North Shore mountains as you cross the bridge). You must appoint a designated driver who will watch the treacherous highway 99 (Sea to Sky Highway) while everyone else oohs and ahhs at the view up Howe Sound to the glaciers at the top.
I live in North Vancouver & I think it represents the more natural side of the city.
Take the Seabus (www.translink.bc.ca/Transportation_Services/SeaBus). Driving to North Vancouver requires an understanding of the local drivers - something even the local drivers don't have.
A special coffee bar in a town full of coffee bars. What makes this place on Granville Island so special is the view of the North Shore mountains and the water of False Creek leading out under Burrard Street bridge. Commercial and pleasure boats are always going by, heading off into Howe Sound and beyond. A truly relaxing way to enjoy a great cup of coffee.
2698 West 4th Avenue (west end of the Granville Island market, close by the water);
tel: 604 688 1173
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