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;
“Soy un indio, carajo!” (“I’m an indian, dammit!”). So declared Oswaldo Guayasamin, Ecuador’s most famous artist. Son of an indigenous father and mixed-race mother, this conflict influenced much of Guayasamin’s works and produced an artist of fiercely strong social conscience.
It’s hard to escape Guayasamin in Ecuador – every tourist stall flogs t-shirts bearing the image of his distinctive emaciated figures, with their oversized hands and eyes. But to really appreciate his genius, you need to visit the not one but two neighbouring museums dedicated to the maestro.
The Guayasamin Museum – located in the artist’s former house – is a peaceful spot in which to enjoy some of his most famous sequences. His depictions of grieving war-mothers and dodgy characters in the Pentagon are as relevant as ever.
The Chapel of Man is different. Built to the artist’s specifications but not completed before his death in 1999, it’s an impressive bunker-like building with a stunning view over the city. Its huge walls accommodate the larger paintings and quotes by the artist, who continued to rage against imperialism to the last. Powerful stuff.
Calle José Bosmediano 543, Barrio Bellavista, El Batán;
Corner of Mariano Calvache y Lorenzo Chavez, Bellavista, Quito;
Taxi up to Chapel of Man and walk down to museum is the easiest way;
tel: 593 2 2446455 / 2452938 / 2465265;
fax: 593 2 2446277;
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
The footbridge over the Genessee River at High Falls. Combines spectacular view with bird watching (attention falconists!) and adjacent High Falls historic district (Platt and Mill Streets).
Also recommended: the panoramic view from Cobb's Hill Reservoir, on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Highland Avenue; check out the large turtle in the reservoir too. Favourite spot for joggers.
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.
This is an old Roman fishing town that’s accessible by train from Marseilles. The station is at the top of a hill, and the walk down is superb – through a vineyard-lined road with views over the town and the sea. The town is very pleasant to wander around and is home to the wines which share its name. The best feature, however, lies in a boat trip around the bay; here you can see what are known as the Calanques. They are a series of mini fjords with rock formations of the most amazing shades and hues, set off by the blue of the sea and sky.
Take the coast road (GR98) east from Marseilles or the Marseilles – Toulon train
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.
By all means, take the boat trip out into the Golden Gate and under the bridge, but the best way to experience the bridge is on a bike. There are lots of bike hire shops down by Fisherman's Wharf - shop around, because some are cheaper than those nearest the waterfront. Some also offer a “Bike and Alcatraz" package, which may appeal if you can't get your hands on an Alcatraz ticket (they book up around a week in advance during summer). Maps, directions and ferry times provided by the bike shops.
The bike trail is almost entirely off the road and is a great way to see the Marina district and the waterfront. The bike lane on the bridge is separate from the traffic too, and the views of the bridge towers and the city are superb.
Coast down into Sausalito for lunch (a bit pricey - take a snack with you), then take the ferry back across to San Francisco. More superb city views, especially Coit Tower.
Chicago's finest 'pork project' in decades, it features surprising architecture and art that are all interactive in some way. In nice weather, you'll find dozens or hundreds of kids playing at Crown Fountain, with two towering digital screens showing the smiling faces of Chicagoans in slow-motion.
The city also offers free performances in the Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavillion. There's a bike centre to rent or stow a bike, a large garden, skating rink, restaurant and spectacular views of both the lake, and the most elegant stretch of Michigan Avenue.
My favorite part? The world's only Gehry bridge, which meanders like a lazy stream, and leaps across Columbus Avenue, tranporting you into another large park.
On Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe.
One block from the Loop, served by every elevated train in the city, numerous buses, and several underground garages; www.millenniumpark.org/
Nestled high in the hills, this is Ireland's highest pub. Great seafood, a scenic drive and heaps of good music.
Glencullen Cross, Glencullen; An irregular bus service leaves from the city centre; To drive head south for Enniskery and take the turnoff for Glencullen. The pub sits on right-hand side of road
This grand old public park, on the outskirts of Dublin's southern suburbs is a great way of escaping the mayhem, walking off that hangover and acts as a gateway to the beautiful Dublin and Wicklow hills. A wander through the Victorian grounds, forest, Saturday market and model railway for kids is extremely rewarding.
For one of the outstanding views of Dublin, follow the yellow marker posts for about an hour on a climb into the nearby woods. This view (on the Wicklow walkway) looks north taking in Dublin city, the bay and environs.
For even more stunning scenery follow the track for another hour up the hill and the city disappears to reveal open Irish hillsides and rolling forests. If you’re lucky, you will see some native deer and mountain goats.
Take the 48A bus from Dame Street (city centre near O'Connell Street) for 1/2 an hour, the last stop is Marley Park. To get to the viewing points follow the yellow markers in the main carpark. A map and information are also provided. For more details on the Wicklow way see www.wicklowway.com
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.
Swayambhunath is a Buddhist stupa atop a hill in the Kathmandu valley. It's best to get there before sunrise - you'll be unlikely to meet any other tourists, just crowds of Nepali and Tibetan people. Swayambhu is a hive of activity at this time, with chanting, meditation and worship playing alongside the pre-school karate class, police training up those steep steps, earnest young men doing their exercises, the games of the monkeys and dogs.
It's a wonderful place at any time, but I think you see it at its best and most natural at sunrise. Beautiful light for photography too, if that's your thing. And there's a lovely view across the Kathmandu valley. If you fancy a walk, there's a lovely peaceful monastery at the top of the next hill along.
It's an easy walk from the centre, but you could also take a bus from Sohrakhutte, or find a taxi. Ask to be dropped at the bottom of the steps, rather than at the top. Then walk up to the stupa
Head up to the Caravelle Hotel's rooftop bar in the evening and watch the sun set over Ho Chi Minh City.
Non-residents are welcome, although it's probably a good idea not to turn up in a scruffy T-shirt and shorts.
It's a five-star hotel, so expect to pay five-star prices, but it's worth it for the view.
19 Lam Son Square, District 1.
The Bridge Cafe is one of Manhattan's oldest boozers - and, thankfully, one of the least known. It sits beneath the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge and gives you good honest food and good draft beer at its long bar.
Walk down Water Street to get there - it's one of the city's last remaining cobble stoned streets and is a small shout away from the touristy South Street Seaport. Have a pint of Brooklyn Brewery white beer - made just across the East River - and then wobble up to the bridge, walk halfway across, turn around and take in Manhattan- it's just like the movies.
You'll never forget the view and to reacquaint yourself with the Bridge Cafe - right down below- totter back to the long bar for another Brooklyn.
279 Water Street, Manhattan; nearest subway: Chambers Street and City Hall
Groundbreaking architectural delight, it is located in a secluded part of Montjuic ideal for contemplating the colourful sculptures on the rooftop terrace with the Med in the background. The museum is basically a deconstruction of Miro’s creative DNA with temporary exhibitions by other artists.
Marques de Comillas, nearest metro: Paral.lel
A fine museum at the very top of the Vomero Hill (take one of the funicular railways from the city centre). After taking in the fabulous view visit the museum and monastery.
Here you'll find the museum of the history of Naples. There are also some spectacular 'presepi' (nativities) from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
San Martino, Vomero, Naples
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