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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts from May, 2009

A to Z of Places to See (Cities T-Z)!

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York Manor - Indigo Goat

York Manor - Indigo Goat

T is for Tallinn, Estonia: Though it’s got one of the smallest populations of the EU nations, there’s still plenty to see in this Baltic city. Tour the area’s two well-preserved old towns, Toompea, and, well, Old Town. Estonia is also home to beautiful marshlands, forests, and hiking trails, visit Lahemaa National Park, and talk a walk around.

U is for Utrecht, Netherlands: Utrecht serves as the religious centre of the Netherlands, and home of the Archbishop of Utrecht. It is also the home of the Netherlands largest university (Utrecht University), and has a huge variety of museums for its tourists to choose from.

V is for Vienna, Austria: Though Vienna is Austria’s largest city, things here still move at a relaxed pace. Once you’ve toured the city’s highlights, visit a Viennese café for some of the city’s famous coffee. The city is also home to the Vienna Boys’ Choir, one of the most well-renowned in the world. continue reading

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A to Z of Places to See (Cities N-S)!

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Orlando Fireworks - d4rr3ll

Orlando Fireworks - d4rr3ll

N is for Nice, France: Ideally situated between vineyards, hills, and the hotspots of the French Riviera, Nice is, well, quite nice. With shopping, museums, Roman ruins, warm beaches, and plenty of nightlife, the city is a tourist’s paradise, without all of the crowds.

O is for Orlando, Florida: The ultimate family destination, Orlando is easy to navigate, and full of child-friendly destinations. Take the kids to Sea World or Universal Studios. Spend a day at the beach, and swim with the dolphins, or dine with a NASA astronaut. And, for kids of all ages, Walt Disney World is located just south of the city!

P is for Pamplona, Spain: In need of a little adrenaline boost? Come to Pamplona for the San Fermín festival. Running each summer from July 6-14, this festival hosts the “running of the bulls”. Though you can catch a bullfight almost anywhere in Spain, only in Pamplona do you actually get the chance to hop the fence and run along with them. Think you can handle it? continue reading

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A to Z of Places to See (Cities G-M)!

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Red Square, Moscow - yeowatzup

Red Square, Moscow - yeowatzup

G is for Galway, Ireland: If you’re looking for great tourism, go to Dublin, but for a real look at Irish culture, try the smaller, more Northern town of Galway. The city has been nicknamed “Croí Cultúrtha na hÉireann”, Ireland’s Cultural Heart, and is known best for throwing the Galway Arts Festival and Macnas Parade every July.

H is for Helsinki, Finland: Located on the shores of the Baltic Sea and is the Finish capital, and transportation hub of the country. Helsinki is an ideal place for walkers, bikers, and even paddlers, plus once you’ve spent a day out in the sun, you can relax in a traditional Baltic sauna.

I is for Istanbul, Turkey: As the second largest metropolitan area in Europe, there is no shortage of things to do in Istanbul. From belly dancing to St. Sophia’s Church, the Blue Mosque to the Topkapi Palace, there are plenty of reasons why Istanbul has been named as one of the EU’s “Capital of Culture” for 2010. continue reading

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A-to-Z of Places to See!

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Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland - conner395

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland - conner395

A is for Athens, Greece: Not only is Athens the largest city in Greece, but it’s one of the oldest in the world, with plenty of ancient monuments to show for it. An afternoon of sightseeing will undoubtedly take you to the Parthenon on the Acropolis; just don’t forget that there are canals, tombs, sanctuaries, and beaches to explore too!

B is for Berlin, Germany: Though once thought to be home to little more than war ruins, Berlin has become a thriving cultural city. Festivals take place throughout the year, and the city is home to the original technicolour Love Parade. Visit one of the many art museums or galleries around the city, take a historical tour, or see the famous Blue Man Group.

C is for Cádiz, Spain: Located at the very southernmost tip of Spain, Cádiz is home to some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches. Come for the Carnival of Cádiz, one of the world’s most famous fiestas, and once you’ve had enough song, music, and dance, it’s easy to take a day trip to Morocco via ferry or bus! continue reading

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Walking Cities Part 6: Paris

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If you’ve missed the introduction to this series, click here. For part 2, click here. For part 3, click here. For part 4, click here. For part 5, here!
City of Lights, indeed - Serge Melki

City of Lights, indeed - Serge Melki

You know a city is great when it’s hard to write an article about. Paris is packed with such a variety of museums, historical sites, restaurants, clubs, bars, activities and parks that it’s hard (near impossible!) to contain them all within a single article. Sometimes guided tours can be the only way to actually absorb all of the history and information going on around you and sometimes even those can be overwhelming.

No proper French film (er…American film set in France) ends without a scene of its main character strolling through the Champs-Élysées. And this, I suggest, is what you do too. Of course, when I go (which is quite soon, yay!) I’ll be spending plenty of my time in museums, shops, and cafés, but a trip to Paris would hardly be complete without this well-captured stroll along the promenade. How often do you get the chance to wander through a 17th century garden-turned-walkway in the “city of light”? I am still a tourist after all. continue reading

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Walking Cities Part 5: New Orleans

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If you’ve missed the introduction to this series, click here. For part 2, click here. For part 3, click here. For part 4, click here.

Jackson Square, the French Quarter - paparutzi

Jackson Square, the French Quarter - paparutzi

New Orleans may not be one of the typical “Top 5” tourist destinations, but its status as one of the states’ most underrated vacation spots makes it all the more interesting to visit. Don’t expect to find the star maps, tourist crowds, and “authentic” souvenir shops of other popular destinations, this city has a cool, cozy vibe all its own (which, to be honest, can sometimes be a bit hard to find in the states!).

Famous for its music scene, Mardi Gras celebration (February 7th-24th), fantastic nighttime scene, and great flea markets and antique shopping, New Orleans is a vibrant city with loads to explore. Due to a difficult history, and most recently, of course, to the plague of catastrophic hurricanes, New Orleans is also a city that is constantly changing. Repairing, reworking, and rebuilding has become the a part of the fiber of the city, and the city’s ability to recover is a thing to behold (or, even, get involved with). continue reading

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Walking Cities Part 4: Rome

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If you’ve missed the introduction to this series, click here. For part 2, click here. For part 3, click here.

Colosseum - David Paul Ohmer

Colosseum - David Paul Ohmer

The Times calls Rome a destination that “revolves around activities not passivities”, which makes it the perfect destination for one intent on perambulation. “The Italian spirit makes dining round-table, rough n tumble sport, hugging and kissing in the piazza, all as natural as laughing”, essentially, if you’re going to go to Rome, embrace it, the Italian way. continue reading

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Walking Cities Part 3: New York City

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If you’ve missed the introduction to this series, click here. For part 2, click here.

Times Square - kennymatic

Times Square - kennymatic

Being the most densely populated city in the United States may make the Big Apple a little crowded, but it also makes it easy to get around. No sprawling suburban landscapes here, folks, there isn’t space! Home to many a famous landmark, everything from Wall Street to the Broadway stage, you’ll run out of tread on your sneakers before you run out of things to see and do in this city!

Making it even easier, New York is famous for its fantastic walking tours. Though the city may be small, it’s much easier to navigate your way through the skyscrapers with a little help from a trained tour guide. Luckily for you, no matter what your passion, there’s a tour to suit every taste! continue reading

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Walking Cities Part 2: Barcelona

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If you’ve missed the introduction to this series, click here.

Sagrada Familia, Gaudi - jurvetson

Sagrada Familia, Gaudi - jurvetson

There is plenty to explore in Barcelona, a city notorious for its relaxed pace of life. Things work on a slower timetable here, great for a walk about! Take your time, you have all day! (Literally, dinner often doesn’t start here until 10 or 11pm, and nightclubs usually don’t begin filling up until around 2am). There’s plenty to do and see, and in recent years, Barcelona has become quite the multicultural hotbed. The area is home to a high population of immigrants, which means not only interesting people, but amazing international food, and a rich collection of books, art, and shopping. Cafés (yum, churros and chocolate!), galleries and parks (with lots of famous street art) galore!

As the home of nine UNESCO World Heritage sites (seven of which were designed by the famous Antoni Gaudí) there are plenty destinations for you to check out on that slow ramble around the city. continue reading

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Yes, I Know How to Walk.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in London (well, hopefully there’s been more than one) it’s how to walk…Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “she seriously doesn’t know how to walk?!”

Stop worrying.

I’m not talking about one foot in front of the other, step by step, here to there walking. No, I’m talking about some serious perambulation (aka touristy walking around as much of a city as you can get your hands on). Hey, we’re tourists, and we don’t want to sit in the back of a taxicab, we want to explore!

Ready to take a ramble? - borkur.net

Ready to take a ramble? - borkur.net

In Davis we bike or bus, and usually it’s just to get from destination to destination. If we really want to walk, we take a hike, and if we really need to get somewhere, we take a car. But here in London, we literally walk everywhere. We walk to the store, we walk to class, we walk to work, we walk to think, we walk to explore, and we get lost and we walk. The first few weeks we here, most of our conversations ended with, “ugh, my feet are tiiiiiiired”, (and this was especially true when we couldn’t seem to figure out the night bus schedule). continue reading

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