It's an amazing place and well worth the walk around.
The entry fee gets you in and you pay extra to go the Armoury and Treasury sections but well worth it. Free is the view of the Bosphorus from the rear battlements of the palace. Along with the mosques, the spice market and the grand bazaar, Topkapi is a must see in Istanbul . I was amazed!
close to Sirkeet railway station
and a short walk away from the Grand Bazaar, St Sophia, Sultanahmet mosque
and the Hippodrome
Situated on a hill in one of the nicest parts of London is the Royal Observatory. I like it because of the view across the Thames (fantastic and free); it’s not jammed in like lots of things in London (the Aussie in me wants big spaces) and for something different, you can stand in both halves of the world at the same time . How so? By straddling the line at 0 degrees longitude at the Observatory ( which means, you stand in two hemispheres at once).
The National Maritime Museum is close by (at the bottom of the hill, on the edge of the park) and is also worth a look, as is the Queen’s House. The Observatory is part of the Greenwich World Heritage site.
Greenwich Park, London;
Access from Greenwich station is best (carparking is limited);
Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum: www.rog.nmm.ac.uk
Greenwich Park: www.royalparks.gov.uk/parks/greenwich_park/
Along with the road along the Amalfi coast and the highway from LA to San Francisco, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria is one of the world's best coastal drives.
Starting at Torquay (SW of Melbourne) it travels nearly all the way to the Sth Australian border. Driving along it, you discover the breath-taking coastline of south-west Victoria by travelling on one of the world's most scenic roads through an extended area that includes the world-famous Twelve Apostles, the Otways rainforest, Bells Beach, and the Surf Coast.
The road goes thru Lorne and Apollo Bay, the coastal cities of Warrnambool and Portland, and through the historic villages of Port Campbell and Port Fairy. The road itself was built by returned WW1 diggers and a memorial dedicates the road to these soldiers
It starts at Torquay..an hours drive SW of Melbourne
Melbournians are sports mad and every major sports event is in Melbourne. The Melbourne Cup is Australia's premier horse racing event (it so important, we have a public holiday for it). The Australian F1 Grand Prix is held at Albert Park, 1km from the centre of Melbourne.
The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Moto GP) is held at Phillip Island. The Australian Tennis Open is one of the legs of the prestigious 'Grand Slam' of Tennis. The Australian Surf Championships are at Bells Beach.
The Australian Open is golf at its best. The Australian Gliding Championship is held at the Benalla Gliding Centre (2hrs north of Melbourne). The Australian Rules Grand Final takes place at the MCG, the home of Australia's own game. The Boxing Day Test, the traditional start to a Test series against Australia's old foe, England, is held at the MCG and The Melbourne Marathon is Australia's longest running road marathon.
And coming shortly, The Commonwealth Games!
Block Arcade is an old shopping arcade tucked away in the inner part of Melbourne. It has been refurbished and all its 19th century fittings restored. It originally was a place to shop but these days also has the obligatory cluster of cafes (lots of them!)
Melbourne city centre, between Collins St and Little Collins St (a short walk from Flinders St station);
The sunsets viewed from Santorini are reputed to be the best in the world. I won't argue with that...and I have seen lots of sunsets around the world. The best places to see them are Oia (which is very crowded), Thira (also crowded with tourists), Ammoudi and the edge of the caldera between the port of Santorini and Thira. Just pull off the road (we hired a car to drive around) and watch the spectacle ...awesome.
Melbourne's zoo is one of the oldest in the world, and today sets standards with its range of specific animal enclosures and education programs. Nearly all of the animals live in habitats that mirror their natural environment: rainforests for the gorillas, wetlands for the wading birds, native grasslands for the wallabies. A great place to visit, only a short tram trip from the middle of Melbourne
Parkville, VIC 3052
As in olden days, you can sit outside in the park and read and listen to the orators in the forecourt or inside, where the reading room takes you back to early last century. Quaint and quiet and a great place to while away a few hours. I recommend the tour to discover the history and facilities offered by the institution.
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne,
corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets;
The Portsea Hotel (aka the Portsea pub) has one of the best outlooks of any pub in the world. It’s a favourite of those who live in Portsea, as well as those visiting. Drives to the Mornington Peninsula end at the pub, motorcyclists arrange their rides to end at the pub. The views are awesome, and the food and service are very good. Eat in the restaurant or outside in the beer garden. They also offer accommodation.
3749 Point Nepean Rd (Nepean Hwy), Portsea. It’s on the right-hand (beach) side as you enter Portsea.
tel: (03) 59842213
Beach road starts at Port Melbourne (with its pubs, bars and bistros) and hugs the edge of Port Phillip bay
all the way south to Frankston some 45 km away. Along the way you have the beaches of Albert Park (home of the Australian F1 Grand Prix) and Middle PArk with joggers and walkers on the Esplanade, St Kilda with Luna Park and the 'Espy' pub through Elwood and onto Brighton with its bathing huts, public saltwater baths and "Royal'Yacht Club.
Onto Hampton with its strip shopping centre of antiques, clothing stores and eateries and Sandringham. Ricketts Point with its marine park and the only 19th-century iron clad battleship breakwater in the world, this twisting two lane road continues on thru the straighter stretches of Beaumaris and Parkdale (with their lifesavig clubs) to Mordialloc... and on further Chelsea, Carrum, Seaford, Edithvale and places for a decent feed of fish'n'chips and a sit on the sand.
... and finally Frankston. This road is home to hundreds of pushbike riders especially on fine weekends, to motorcyclists enjoying the curves slowly and to car drivers cruising.
Only a few traffic lights along the whole stretch can break the journey... and the view is fantastic, and free!
Starts at Port Melbourne, 1½km SW of Melbourne CBD where Bay Street meets the beach.
Melbourne is one of the few cities left in the world with its original tram network and we are lucky to have some of the original tram cars (modernized for safety and comfort) turned into high-class travelling restaurants. These dark burgundy coloured trams can be seen negotiating the roads of Melbourne at lunch times and dinner times daily.
They present a very high level of dining with the only restriction being the number of choices for each course (the kitchen and the cooking facilities on board are restricted in size obviously).
You travel behind tinted glass sightseeing Melbourne whilst enjoying your meal with a glass of wine. A booking is essential.
The trams leave and return to the terminus in South Melbourne opp. the western end of the Crown Casino, cnr Clarendon and Normandy Sts Southbank
Melbourne sits on a great bay and having a meal as the sun descends in the west across the water is a great dining experience. There are many places especially on the eastern side, from the bistros, pubs and restaurants of the peninsula towns of Portsea and Sorrento or Mornington to the elegant dining of Donovans at St Kilda, Sails on the Bay at Elwood, the restored Brighton Baths or Windows by the Bay at Mordialloc.
Closer to town at Port Melbourne, the London or Graham are not to be missed. Eat out at the St Kilda Pier or sit in the Espy and have a beer. The view from Number 1 Fitzroy St is worth cost of the dining experience.
South-east of the CBD... along the shoreline of Port Philip Bay
Ramsay St..famous for the site of Neighbours .. the Aussie sitcom/drama
It's actually not known as Ramsay St, its actual title is Pin Oak Crt and it's in the Melbourne suburb of Sth Vermont and yes .. you can go and have a look when there is no filming.
Ramsay St ...aka Pin Oak Crt is accessible only by car off Springvale Rd Sth Vermont
instructions and details -
Dining in Grossi Florentino's Tuscan mural room shows that special-occasion dining in Melbourne is alive and well. The dining room has high, decorated plaster ceilings, chandeliers, dark wood panelling and the murals. Service is a delight from the black dressed waiters with their long white aprons.
Guy Grossi's menu whatever the season is magnificient... and in our case we walked away with a copy of the book on the restaurant... autographed by Guy Grossi himself.
All in all, a memorable dining experience.
And a final note - all this from an establishment that has been there since the early 1900s, which makes it even more amazing!
Address: 80 Bourke St, City 3000
Phone: 9662 1811
Dining at the upstairs restaurant at the Middle Brighton Baths is a quality experience, with MBB splashed on the glassware and tableware. Our lunch experience was a terrific way to spend a Sunday afternoon on a fine, clear but cool winters day. The food is fab, the service and attention from the young staff terrific and the view... even better. Sunday lunch is a'la carte or a fixed price affair (3 courses and a glass of wine for $30) there were quite a few families there.
For something less ritzy try the downstairs cafe where you can eat inside or outside on the balcony overlooking the baths.
251 The Esplanade, Brighton;
tel: 9539 7008 (upstairs restaurant); 9539 7004 (downstairs café)
Every Sunday the handicraft market is held on the (upper) Esplanade at St Kilda... this being the extension of the famous Acland Street. Melbourne has lots of weekend markets from Red hill to the Queen Vic (not forgetting all the suburban ones) but for position and variety, the Esplanade ones is tops.
The (upper) Esplanade St Kilda between Acland St and Fitzroy St, a short walk along Fitzroy St from the light rail station
Melbourne, the culture capital of Australia, has a regular international film festival showing 300 films and over 100 shorts over 19 days at 5 or 6 different theatres. The film offerings are amazing - just go.
Various venues. For more information see www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au/2006Festival
A great local cafe and bar with inside and outside eating areas, a very modern menu and a great wine list. Drop in for a latte and cake or have a full meal. An afternoon next to the fire here is a lazy way to while away a Sunday. The locals (including me) love it because it’s also 'kid friendly'. Babyccino anyone?
382 Hampton St, Hampton 3188;
tel: 9521 0547;
The old port of Santorini originally could only be reached by the long winding set of steps down from Thira. All 888 of them, or 588, but lots! The locals came up with an easy way for seafarers to go up to the town of Fira: use mules to carry people up and down. Today the tourist and charter boats bring tourists in who ride the mules up to Fira for their short stay on Santorini.
One can get to the old port (it is worth a visit) by walking down (which we did). The choice is then to either take a mule ride back up or take its modern equivalent, the cable car. We chose the cable car for the views, speed and smoothness. Both the mules and the cable car cost. One can also think about walking back up... but I recommend against it.
Follow the signs to the steps or the cable car station in Fira. The cable car is 3.50 euro per person each way;
Do you like Mykonos, but want to avoid the crowds? Try Agios Stefanos for somewhere a bit quieter than Mykonos town. It’s a small beach area about 4kms north of the main town with a selection of accommodation styles (from the Kastro Hotel to Mamas Pension), its own general store and some very good beachfront bars and restaurants.
A good way to spend some time is to walk from Ag Stefanos to Mykonos for a long lunch and then walk back to Ag Stefanos for dinner overlooking the beach
Catch a bus from the airport (we did) to your accommodation. Taxis are also available to get around the island.
Hotel Kastro: tel: 2289 023176
Mamas Pension: 401 St. Stefanos Beach; tel: (0030) 22890 23262; email: email@example.com; www.mammas.coo.gr
General information: www.travel-to-mykonos.com/place.php?place_id=10
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