Les Paquis is one of the smartest parts of Geneva as it's right next to Lake Geneva and has some trendy (ie expensive) shops as well as some cheaper souvenir shops.
There are shady little squares and swish mansions and is a good part of the city to see on your way back to Cornavin train station.
Beware of pickpockets though!
Les Paquis is on the Rive Droite side of Lake Geneva and is west of Quai Wilson
For a comprehensive tour of Geneva I recommend this route:
From Cornavin train station, go down Rue du Mont Blanc and cross the river Rhône via the Pont Mont Blanc, stopping to admire superb views of Lake Geneva, St Peter's Cathedral, Ile Rousseau and Pont des Bergues.
Once across Pont Mont Blanc, walk alongside the Rhône river via the embankment to see Port St Gervais and enter the shopping district of Geneva.
Walk along Rue de la Conféderation, Rue de la Croix d'or and Rue du Rhône.
Turn off Rue de la Conféderation at Place Madelaine and walk up into the old city to Place Bourg Four (good cheap cafés here) and climb Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville to look at the murals depicting the history of Geneva and the cannons.
Enter Cours St Pierre and visit St Peter's Cathedral. Then descend back to the shopping district and head to the Jardin Anglais to see the famous Jet d'eau and flower clock.
Walk alongside Lake Geneva (Rive Gauche) - for children there is a beach on this side of the lake.
Go through the Jardin Anglais, go across Pont Mont Blanc and walk alongside lake Geneva (Rive Droite) stopping to admire views of Mont Blanc across the lake and see the Brunswick monument.
Return to Cornavin train station via Les Paquis district (to the west of Quai Wilson). Go up Rue de Lausanne and follow signs to Cornavin train station.
A full day trip from Valparaiso is the hike up Cerro la Campana. Darwin made the trip up in 1834 and declared it one of the highlights of his journey. It's a 3-4 hour, reasonably tough but non-technical hike up to the top where you will be rewarded with incredible views of the Andes (including Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas) on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Quite spectacular.
Take 2-3 litres of water, some snacks, and get there early - 9am at the latest to ensure you're first to the top. Around 8.30am the ranger will turn up and sign you in. You cannot start the climb after 10am.
Sector Granizo just past Olmue, 45 minutes drive from Valparaiso
More info and photos: corrugatedcity.blogspot.com/2008/04/cerro-la-campana-ii.html and corrugatedcity.blogspot.com/2008/04/cerro-la-campana.html
If you want a real sense of Valparaiso's international roots, visit the three cemeteries on Cerro Panteon - Number 1, 2 and the Dissidents' Cemetery are full of British, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and other nationalities' tombs... all with beautiful sea views. A fascinating look at the history of South America's most unique city.
Cerro Panteon - from plaza Anibal Pinto take Subida Cumming and walk up.
More info: corrugatedcity.blogspot.com/search/label/Cemeteries
When heading north out of Kerikeri most people will turn off to visit or camp at Matauri Bay. This place is fantastic for swimming, fishing, walking and diving amongst other activities. But make sure you follow the road around to the next bay for a visit. Te Ngaere Bay is a quieter and more secluded area which has lots to offer. There's easy access for boats so it's a great place to go fishing, kids will enjoy the rock pools for exploring and the beach is perfect for swimming. Allow a full day to properly enjoy the surroundings.
The Kai Iwi Lakes in the Taharoa Domain reserve are an absolute gem. The area itself feels like you're off the beaten track but it's not too far north from Dargaville township. Perfect for a day- or week-long trip. The campsite has great basic facilities but can get busy in summer so book ahead. The freshwater lakes are perfect for any watersports and there are great walking tracks around the area too.
Possibly the dirtiest city in Western Europe, Naples is, in spite of this (or maybe because of?), an absolutely fantastic place. To see the best of the city, wander the Centro Storico and the Spaccanapoli, a dense, heaving, noisy hive of life.
Abandoned churches give on to grand, dilapidated squares; buildings lean over narrow alleyways, almost obscuring the light, while down below, eerie, flickering saints and virgins peer out of their alcoves. Totally unique.
Stretching from the Porta Capuana (in the east) to the Piazza Dante (in the west.
This large area of parkland and forest stretches from the eastern edge of Chamonix up to the Argentière valley. It's a peaceful haven for family picnics and strolls. It's a popular spot for hikers and cyclists as they continue towards Argentière and Vallorcine. You can also watch the paragliders take off and land on the parkland which surrounds Lac du Bouchet, there is also a fountain just beside the main road from which you can sample free and fresh-tasting mountain water.
From Chamonix train station go straight ahead down Avenue Michel Croz, then at the end of this road turn right onto Rue Whymper. Go straight across the roundabout. Pass the library on your right-hand side and keep going straight for about 500m and Lac du Bouchet is on your left-hand side.
If you've got some time to spare between excursions in this trendy tourist boom town, and don't fancy the huge new casino, a walk down to the nature reserve on the shore of the immense milky blue Lago Argentino is well worthwhile.
There are hawks skimming the reed tops, flamingos, all sorts of ducks and waders, geese and other water fowl. It's run by a small volunteer group and welcomes visitors as it holds out against the enveloping town. On the way back have a delicious local 'calafate' berry ice cream on the main street for a perfect afternoon.
North of Ave del Liberador on 9 Julio, and over the river to the lakeside
A self-catering annexe apartment for two, within easy walking distance of the train. You can take a bike, hire a canoe, or visit the alternative and wacky town of Totnes where Riverford Farm foods originated. Everything is organic and green. Little riverside allows you to go for a wild swim in the river right outside the door! Hire a canoe and go shopping down the river or to the pub. Great cafes and pub grub.
Near the sea and near the moors - fantastic situation for everything. Great carbon-free getaway for two.
Phone John & Debbie Carnegie on: 01803/866257.
The Osteria Piazzetta Cattedrale is a romantic little restaurant in the old town of Ostuni being opposite the beautiful cathedral. There is a really nice walk up the hill to get there through some little whitewashed streets.
This restaurant was top class, with delicious antipasto, amongst other dishes, really friendly service, nice decor with murano glass chandeliers and also very small and cosy, so perhaps it would be a good idea to make a reservation first. One of the best restaurants in Ostuni.
Via Arcidiacono Trinchera, N. 7, Ostuni
The St Laurent bridge connects the city centre of Grenoble to La Tronche - Grenoble's oldest district. This iron chain bridge is closed to cars and is a great place to take pictures of the famous "Bulles".
It's also the starting point for those who choose to take the arduous 45 minute walk up to La Bastille.
Follow the "Telepherique" signs, go past the cable car station, walk beside the Isere river for about 15 minutes and you'll see the bridge in front of you.
The main reason for taking the cable car up to La Bastille is to take in the 360° view of Grenoble's wide boulevards and motorways as well as the Dauphine Alps which encircle the whole city from the roof of the Terrase restaurant. If you're lucky and it's a clear day you can see Mont Blanc. I saw it and it looked so close!
The views are breathtaking and only from La Bastille can you appreciate the immense size of Grenoble.
Best of all the views are free!
For even better views there is a path which you can walk up which goes up from behind the fortress to the top of the mountain which it sits on.
Just take the cable car from Grenoble city centre up to La Bastille and follow the path behind the Terrasse restaurant to climb the stairs up to the roof.
Daily tours run by local volunteer enthusiasts from the South Beach architectural preservation society. Excellent on history of art deco buildings and styles, visits to some buildings and gives a great intro to SoBe.
Ocean Drive, South Beach
If you enjoy street art, then take a walk around the area of the old town known as Barrio del Carmen.
The area is a well lived in and slightly scruffy old quarter of the city and the centre of the nightlife in Valencia. There is a lot of development going on and round each building plot you find cement walls, usually covered by some great street art. Take your time to wander round the area in the day, you'll find some nice street art round every corner.
You can see my review and photos on my blog;
There are lots of photos of Valencia street art on the Flickr Valencia graffiti pool.
If you get tired of the medieval buildings and coloured houses of old Annecy, check out the art deco architecture on Avenue d'Albigny which runs right beside lake Annecy - don't miss the 'post box' house.
Avenue d'Albigny stretches from the town hall hugging lake Annecy as far as Annecy-le-Vieux, it's just a 20 min walk from the Palais de l'ile and 10 mins from the town hall.
A campsite/hostel for nature lovers. Perfect place to start nature walks all over the Tayrona park and its surroundings.
2 km from the main entrance you find a sign Castilletes on your right-hand side. After 200 metres you get to the beach where the campsite is located. On request they supply good information on the park and its surroundings through email.
See their website: www.campingtayrona.com
You can't go to Annecy and not see its most famous sight - its lake, it's framed by towering mountains on the south side and green hills on the Annecy side, there are plenty of boats which go around the lake but it's far better to walk and take as many photos as you can.
You can't miss Lake Annecy - just follow 'Le Lac' signs from the train station
This is an interesting walk or cycle ride to do, especially in the evening, when the blue walkway lights are on. The blue promenade is a lovely way to bring together all the little harbours around the centre of the city.
From Badedammen all the way to Bjergsted, approximately three km. Here is a free (non-commericial) map: www.stavanger-guide.no/maps/maps_english/city.pdf
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