Possibly one of the greatest beaches in Australia. One of the only beaches I have been on where you have to wear sunglasses to look down as well as up! The white silica sand stretching along the coast makes for an awesome sight. Of course, unlike some places, you won't be alone but the beach is big enough to find your own quiet spot. There is no shade of any kind so make sure you dress appropriately and take lots of sun block!
The beach can be reached either from nearby Hamilton Island or even from Airlie Beach on the mainland. Both of these places are a little bit too swamped by tourism in my opinion so you should really only go for the Whitehaven experience.
Remember to make sure you take only photos and leave only footprints as this place is truly unspoilt by the modern world.
Google map: tinyurl.com/npam7x
One of the best views in Lisbon. The newly renovated gardens have two levels with views across to Castelo de Sao Jorge, the Tagus, Alfama, Rossio, Avenida de Liberdade etc. It's an oasis of calm which is lit up by the sunset each evening.
An azulejo (tile) map shows you what's what.
Rua Sao Pedro de Alcantara (at the top of the Elavador da Gloria)
The best way to see the "Green Coast" of Northern Spain is on foot. Walk between historic villages along ancient pathways, discovering an unspoilt coastline and pristine mountain views. You'll find great family-run hotels and wonderful local restaurants. It's possible to arrange a self-guided holiday where your luggage is transported from one hotel to the next.
This sprawling 400 hectares of bushland is only five minutes away from the city centre and is a great place for a bush walk or barbecue. There are guided tours through the botanical gardens, filled with exotic birds and wild flowers, but it’s more fun to make your own trail up to the State War Memorial, for picture-perfect snaps of the Swan River. Climb further up the DNA tower for a 360 degree view of the city, and take a tram back to the bottom is you’re feeling weary.
On the slopes of Black Mountain are the Australian National Botanic gardens. They are home to a variety of Australian habitats from temperate rainforest to desert plants. Admission is free (although there is a charge for parking). There are great views across the city.
There are also free guided walks twice a day.
This is the absolutely ideal place - as originally recommended by the Guardian. Perfect and funky attention to detail, great and helpful service, the right balance of privacy and community if you want it, easy access to the best of both worlds - old and new city; stunning views, no traffic noise as it's in the middle of the UNESCO world heritage pedestrian zone of the Arab old city, the Albaicin. And it turns out to be the absolute cheapest option in town - if there are more than two of you travelling together, it even works out cheaper than a bunk in a backpackers dorm. So with the individual kitchen in each apartment this is an ideal budget location, too. Or use it as a hotel, don't even bother cooking, and dine out in style in the fab tapas bars and restaurants all around.
Lovely B&B near Point Reyes which is a little way out of San Francsico (oh ok, about an hour's drive) but worth it for the absolutely stunning views.
The Inn looks like a giant treehouse and set in a forest it feels like one. Big open fire, huge windows and fantastic breakfasts. I stayed in the Lupine room which was beautiful - slanted ceilings, peaceful and the sort of place you felt the impulse to write a best-selling novel in!
No, not cheap - if you want that stay in a crusty motel. But a real experience.
I have never in my life had such a great view eating dinner like I had at this restaurant, located on the 65th floor of the State tower on Silom Rd. Just the view is worth the trip to this restaurant. The service was poor for such a high end place, not rude, but just not attentive given the fame that this restaurant has gathered in the world since it's opening. The food has everything you could think of, fresh seafood, great steaks, and a dessert table to die for.
A live band with a soul singer was a pleasant touch as we ate and afterwards she came down and introduced herself and spoke to us for a couple of minutes. Afterwards stick around and have drinks at the ultra cool bar, drinks run from 200 bahts (about $5 US dollars) to 20,000 bahts about $500 US dollars for Cristal Champagne. If it wasn't for the poor table serivce this place would get a 10 out of 10 but I'll give it nine out of 10.
Address: 1055/111 State Tower Bangkok, Silom Road
hone: (02) 6249555
Palaphita is a very pleasant restaurant with a splendid view of Lagoa (a big lagoon in the middle of the city). I suggest you go around dusk, for the view of the sun setting behing the hills is simply breathtaking!
Avenida Epitacio Pessoa 20, Lagoa
Phone: 55 21 22270837
Uluru is undoubtedly a priority on every travellers list when they visit Australia. Although spectacular in its own way Uluru's beauty is eclipsed by nearby King's Canyon in the Watarrka national park. This ancient canyon created by a pre-historic inland sea allows breathtaking views over the Watarrka national park. The scenery is much more varied than at Uluru and the red domes against the azure sky are a visual treat. The walk around the rim of the canyon takes three hours - but is pleasant with lots of variation in incline and scenery. Halfway through the walk you come across the garden of eden which is a permanent waterhole. It's safe to swim here and the experience of swimming in this waterhole surrounded by sheer red cliffs with the sky above is amazing. Sunrise is the best time to visit the canyon when temperatures are bearable and the flies are few in number. Take plenty of water, sun screen and insect repellent. Nearby Kings Canyon Resort offers accomodation and there is a camp site nearby as well.
From Uluru airport Kings Canyon is a 400 km drive (takes about 3-4 hours as the roads are desserted). The drive is well signposted. Kings Canyon can also be reached from Alice Springs. For accomodation see the resort website - www.kingscanyonresort.com.au
A real hidden gem of a hotel sitting on the edge of Scotland's only lake - the rest are lochs. Newly refurbished in a low key New England style, the views are to die for, the service is friendly but unobtrusive and the food is exceptional. It's only an hour from Scotland's big cities but you truly feel like a million miles away. The setting has incredible feeling of peace and tranquility about it that revives the soul and feeds the spirit (or perhaps that's the great whisky collection!)
Relaxing, leafy historic neighbourhood of small parks and restored late Victorian/early 20th century houses, all intriguingly different and painted funky colours, right next to the U.S. Capitol. Plus a great open-air flea and gourmet food market.
Walk due East from the Capitol down East Capitol Street to Lincoln Park (great statue of Lincoln emancipating the slaves) and take North Carolina Ave. down to Eastern Market. Or get the Metro (Blue/Orange Lines) to Eastern Market. Check it out on www.easternmarket.net
It is the undiscovered sister of Ha Long Bay. We sailed through its green waters and looming limestone karsts and saw only a handful of boats - all local fishing boats. If you want to sail on unpolluted waters and avoid touts book a trip through Ethnic Travel. They can arrange a homestay on quiet Van Don island where you cycle from the port. We had a boat between five passengers and was served delicious freshly cooked food on board.
Relaxed, leafy neighborhood of charmingly restored Victorian houses, all intriguingly different from each other. Certified historic distict, if that helps. I live here, and I love it. Magnificent views of the Capitol
Go to the U.S. Capitol and walk due East down East Capitol Street as far as Lincoln Park. Then turn down N. Carolina Ave. towards the Eastern Market on 7th St. (Open air, genteelly boho). Or get the Metro to Eastern Market (Blue/Orange lines)
Off the beaten track, but easy to get to - an unbeatable combination!
The Moorish "white villages" that nestle in spectacular scenery up in the mountains of the western Axarquia, are actually only a short drive from the almost deserted Mediterranean coves east of Nerja. The best of both worlds! The village of Cutar is a tangle of white-washed alleys and doorways. We've been there 3 years running now, sitting on the balcony watching swifts and kestrels hawking below us. It's genuinely untouched, with the dry river bed in the valley still being used by locals as their preferred route to the nearest (small) town.
We stay at a little one bedroom finca on the edge of the village which is charming and has hosts who are knowledgable & welcoming, but don't get in the way. The walking around there is just great - and many local customs survive & flourish, from village celebrations like the Verdialis to the spectacular Santa Semana processions in the city of Velez Malaga half an hour away. Strongly recommended!
A very stylish hotel if you're willing to splash out. Think white box with glass walls inside the shell of an ancient farmhouse. Not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but you're in a glorious clifftop location with amazing grounds. There is a great pool and outdoor hot-tubs with views over the sea. The breakfast is amazing and the dinner tasty though not exactly value for money.
Carretera Artà-Canyamel Km 8
Finca Torre Canyamel
T. 0034 971 81 61 10
F. 0034 971 81 61 11
Jebl Qasioun (Mount Qasioun) is the hill pushing up the northern half of Damascus.
Going up there just before sunset gives an incredible view of the whole city. Look straight ahead, and you see the new city, with the imposing Four Seasons hotel. And to the left, the tightly packed streets of the Old City - with the Umayed Mosque at its heart.
Stroll along the mountain road, or have a coffee in one of the many restaurants or roadside vans selling drinks (all of these places charge a lot more than in the city down below).
Take a taxi up - it's a very very long walk, along an anonymous highway, with no houses.
Taxis cost about 300L from Hamidiyeh, or to save money, take the Bab Touma-Muhajireen serveece bus (10 lira) and get off at Muhajireen. From there a taxi costs 75-100L.
Syria News Wire - newsfromsyria.com
Chicago, my home town!
The highlights from my point of view, in no particular order:
Lake Michigan (including the Outer Drive and the many parks along it), ethnic foods and neighbourhoods, Hyde Park (yeah, yeah, we stole the name) and University of Chicago area, music of all kinds, architecture.
For many area and architecture tours, including the very popular Chicago River Cruise (seasonal, of course – brrrr!), and for architecture information, see the Chicago Architecture Foundation which has an office at 224 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s downtown (not technically in Chicago’s famous Loop which is defined by the elevated train tracks downtown). They are in the Santa Fe building; while in the downtown area see the Rookery (in both it and the Santa Fe building be sure to see the lobby areas inside), Monadnock Building, Carson Pirie, Scott Building.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation 'tour' pages will give you plenty of ideas for visits and their tours are high quality and reasonably priced.
I cannot recommend the Caribbean city of Cartagena, on the north coast of Colombia, enough. I went for two weeks with my girlfriend and we never wanted to leave. Within the fortified old city are charming cobbled streets lined with immaculate Spanish colonial architecture, statues of fallen heroes and smiling people talking in the squares. Overhead will be baroque church steeples and domes, punctuated with colour spilling out from window flower boxes. There are superb restaurants offering fine seafood and other local specialities, a thriving, but not intimidating, nightlife and the full spectrum of accomodation, all enclosed within the walls. And the sun will be shining, but not so that you have to stay indoors, and advantage of the gentle Caribbean breeze.
Outside the old city are the white sands, green waters and palm trees the area is worshipped for. Take a boat trip to the offshore islands and see the island you'll both buy when you win the lotto! It is remarkably safe, and don't assume you will be queuing the entire time either - this is no Disneyland - you can have sweet little restaurant all to yourselves, or a park with a fountain, or a stroll atop the city wall, so romance is hard to avoid. However, if you feel like a film and a pizza, just grab a cab over to the new city and send an email home while you're at it. Definitely a winner - the most romantic place in the world.
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