Moored at Williamstown, Melbourne Seaplanes offers various flights in and around Melbourne and the bay. I did the Coast/Dandenong Ranges flight and it was great. Smooth and with great visibility at 2500ft, the seaplane offers a different view of Melbourne. Highly recommended.
Williamstown foreshore, moored next to HMAS Castlemaine at the jetty.
Tel: 9397 5388 or 0418 688388 (mobile phone);
The heart of Tallinn's Old Town is the Raekoja plats, or Old Town Square. Surrounded by elegant pastel hued buildings and the creamy limestone facade of the Town Hall, the square has been used as a marketplace, meeting place and also a place of execution.
It is still somewhere to meet up, perhaps in one of the restaurants that overlook it or, during the warmer months, one of the outdoor cafes that are set up on its cobblestones. There is also a reminder of its commercial past with handicraft stalls during summer and its Christmas Market. Indeed you get the sense that this is not a square that has been frozen in aspic - beautiful but untouchable - but a place that is still much in use by locals and visitors alike. There is also an intimate feel about the square, but without it seeming small, and an openness about it without it feeling bare and exposed.
As an introduction to Tallinn's Old Town you can't do worse, and as a place to visit in and for itself you can't do worse either.
These gardens are a haven of peace in the centre of the Estrela district with excellent views of the Tejo river and the Ponte 25 de Abril.
Tram 28 goes from the Praça do Comércio to the Basilica da Estrela. From there it is only a 5 minute walk.
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;
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
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.
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.
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
A magical seafood restaurant perched on the cliff side at Cala D'Hort beach in the south.
Overlooking the breathtaking Es Vedra island, the paella is the business and the view at sunset is a suitably fitting dessert.
tel: 626 494 537
This is a stronghold, latterly used as a villa, built on a hillside overlooking the city and surrounding countryside. The chief reason for coming here is for the views, including the classic one of the Duomo dominated cityscape. On the way up you can see the house where Galileo lived and the Porta San Giorgio, the oldest surviving city gate, built in 1260.
Go up the Costa di San Giorgio (near the south end of the Ponte Vecchio) then turn right through the old city gate
If you go in October or November, take a boat ride in the early morning from Lido back into Venice and watch the light of the water play with the spires and domes. If it's been foggy - all the better. Venice will appear out of the mirage.
Take Tram D to Nusstodorf. Walk up across the hill to Kahlenberg through lanes fringed by vineyards and wine gardens, where people go in the autumn to drink the new wine. Once you enter the Vienna Woods, you will see violets, aconites and celandine among the trees if you go in the spring. It was at Kahlenberg that the Polish king John Sobieski said mass before leading his army down to defeat the Turks in 1683. Sit on the terrace of the hotel for coffee and strudel and look at the fantastic view of Vienna, the River Danube and the Danube Canal.
If the fug of central Athens is getting to you then try this little stroll for a head-clearing day. Catch the metro down to Piraeus, soak up the hustle and bustle of the big ferry port for a full five minutes before quickly heading off round the peninsula towards the quieter and more upmarket Zea Marina for a trendy coffee overlooking the yachts and fishing boats.
Then continue strolling round the bay, stopping to admire the coastal views of the seaside districts of Athens (Glyfada, Vouliagmeni) until you reach the mikrolimano (little harbour). Sadly all the traditional fishing boats have mostly disappeared but in their place is a superb range of seafood eateries and coffee bars, where anybody who is anybody can be seen hanging out with their parea (groups of friends).
As the sun begins to sink down you can then complete the loop by walking to the metro station at Faliro (past the stadium of Olympiakos football team) and hopping off again at Thisseio station to catch a moonlit stroll around the Acropolis and sip raki in Monastiraki until the sun comes up again. Bliss.
All stations are on the Greek metro map (green line) - Piraeus is the terminus so you can't miss it. Zea Marina can be found by following the brown cultural signs for Piraeus museum
Not far from Salzburg is the village of Hallstadt, nestled in the Austrian lake district. It is situated in picture perfect scenery, a simple but beautiful place with views over lake Hallstadt.
A must-do is a trip on the funicular up to the entrance of the salt mines followed by a tour of the mines. Getting dressed in miners gear is a laugh. Beware that cars are restricted in Hallstadt (car parking is outside).
Hallstadt, near Salzburg Austria
Providing breathtaking panoramic views over the wonderful mountains in Salzburg, it winds its way up the mountain and at every turn of the road there is another gorgeous view.
At its end, the highlight of the road is waiting for you: the 3,798 metre Großglockner - Austria’s highest mountain - and the largest glacier in Austria, the Pasterze.
The monument itself is not the attraction, but the fact that you can go to the observation room at the top by lift makes it worthy of mention. The views of both the city and the bay are quite spectacular from here – but I wouldn’t recommend it for sufferers of either vertigo or claustrophobia.
Placa del Portal de la Pau (at the bottom of La Rambla)
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