2696 Chapters
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Medium 9782067182042

The Great Outdoors

Michelin Michelin ePub

Point Defiance Park a

5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. t 253-305-1000. www.metroparkstacoma.org. Open daily half hour before dawn–half hour after dusk.

At 702 acres, Point Defiance Park is one of the largest city parks in the nation. It has plenty of places to enjoy the out-of-doors, whether hiking through the park’s dense stands of old-growth Douglas-fir forest; watching bald eagles dive for salmon in the tidal rapids below 250ft cliffs; beachcombing at Owen’s Beach or strolling through the rose, dahlia or Japanese gardens. The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquariuma sits near the park’s entrance, and the Fort Nisqually Living History Museumaa is located on a 5mi forested loop drive that offers viewing opportunities of raccoons as they scamper along the road shoulder, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and waterway. Outside the park’s entrance is a Washington State Ferries dock for ferries bound for nearby, rural Vashon Island.

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Medium 9781628872620

3 COSTA RICA IN CONTEXT

Karl Kahler FrommerMedia ePub

3

Costa Rica in Context

Pura Vida! (Pure Life!) is Costa Rica’s unofficial national slogan, and in many ways it defines the country. You’ll hear it exclaimed, proclaimed, and simply stated by Ticos (slang for Costa Ricans) from all walks of life, from children to octogenarians. It can be used as a cheer after your favorite soccer team scores a goal, or as a descriptive response when someone asks you, “¿Cómo estás?” (“How are you?”). It is symbolic of the easygoing nature of this country’s people, politics, and personality.

Costa Rica itself is a mostly rural country with vast areas of protected tropical forests. It is one of the biologically richest places on earth, with a wealth of flora and fauna that attracts and captivates biologists, photographers, ecotourists, and casual visitors alike.

Costa Rica Today

Costa Rica has a population of a little more than 5 million people, more than half of whom live in the urban Central Valley. Some 94 percent of the population is of Spanish or other European descent, and it is not unusual to see fair-skinned and blond Costa Ricans. This is largely because the small indigenous population here when the first Spaniards arrived was quickly reduced by war and disease. Some indigenous populations still remain, primarily on reservations around the country; the principal tribes include the Bribri, Cabécar, Boruca, and Guaymí. On the Caribbean coast, there is a substantial population of English-speaking black Creoles who came in the late–19th and early–20th centuries from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands as railroad builders and banana workers. Racial tension isn’t palpable, but it exists, perhaps more out of historical ignorance rather than articulated prejudice.

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Medium 9781628870268

4. The Best Shopping

Joseph Fullman FrommerMedia ePub

Shopping Best Bets

 

Best Time to Shop

During the August and January citywide, month-long sales

Best Shot at Last Season’s Designer Threads

Pandora, 16–22 Cheval Place (Go to page)

Best High-End Jewelry

Ritz Fine Jewellery, 150 Piccadilly (Go to page)

Best Fun & Vintage Jewelry

Hirst Antiques, 59 Pembridge Rd. (Go to page)

Best Sugar Rush

Artisan du Chocolat, 89 Lower Sloane St. (Go to page)

Best Children’s Toy Store

Honey Jam, 2 Blenheim Crescent. (Go to page)

Best Place to Score Stuff from Other People’s Attics

Grays Antique Market, 58 Davies St. (Go to page)

Best Foot Forward

The Natural Shoe Store, 13 Neal St. (Go to page)

Best Place to Find Out Where You Are

Stanfords, 12–14 Long Acre (Go to page)

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Medium 9781907099526

Languedoc-Roussillon Tarn Gorges

Michelin Michelin ePub

LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON TARN

Languedoc-Roussillon follows the arc of the coastal plain from the mighty Rhône to the massive barrier of the Pyrénées. Adjoining the Languedoc-Roussillon on its western edge, the Midi-Pyrénées stretches from the mountains of the south to the Massif Central in the north. It is a hugely diverse area, ranging from seaside resorts to mountain villages and rural hamlets, not to mention some large towns and cities in both regions.

Highlights

1 The magnificent meander of the Cirque de Navacelles

2 Fortified Templar settlement on the Causses: La Couvertoirade

3 Restored Medieval walled city of Carcassonne

4 The last stronghold of the Cathars: Château de Montségur

5 Abbey on an eagle’s eyrie: St-Martin-du-Canigou

Geography – Along the southern edge of the Massif Central stretch the Grands Causses, whose corniche roads offer unforgettable views. The Cévennes to the east consist of granite summits and deep, narrow valleys that merge with the scrubby garrigues. The plains of Lower Languedoc and Roussillon are bordered by a chain of brackish lakes, separated from the Mediterranean by sandy bars. The south of the region is dominated by the Pyrénées mountain range. To the west the Garonne flows through the heartland of the Midi-Pyrénées, and, to the north, the Lot meanders through the wine region of Cahors.

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Medium 9781609520786

19. In Search of Lost Shadows

Peter Wortsman Travelers' Tales ePub

IT WAS A SUNNY SATURDAY, A WELCOME RELIEF AFTER a long gray winter. I drove with a friend out to Kunersdorf, a sleepy village an hour east of Berlin’s urban sprawl, though infinitely farther in heartfelt time and space, where the scattered ruins of disaffected factories give way to wide open fields.

A castle once stood here belonging to a certain Count von Itzenplitz, a name with a comic fairy tale ring, like Rumpelstilzchen, Rapunzel, and Rotkäppchen (Red Riding Hood). Leveled by the winds of war, the erstwhile structure’s phantomlike presence is still implied by the oddly shaped gap between the trees and the duck pond. It was here, while tending the von Itzenplitz’s garden and herbarium, that the poet and botanist Adelbert von Chamisso (1781-1838), a French émigré who fled Berlin to escape conflicting loyalties and the warring forces of his day, composed a fairy tale about a man who barters his shadow to the devil for a bottomless sack of gold, and is thereafter doomed to wander shadowless through life.

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Medium 9781628871807

10 THE INTERIOR

Nicholas Gill FrommerMedia ePub

10

The Interior

Almost a third of Iceland is covered by highland plateaus blanketed with volcanic gravel, and punctuated only by glacial rivers, scattered mountains and lakes, smatterings of vegetation, and perhaps a stray boulder. Amid this pristine desert wasteland, visitors often pose for pictures next to directional signs at road junctions. The signs seem to point nowhere, and, in the photo, the visitor invariably grins at the absurdity—and otherworldly beauty—of the scene. The Apollo astronauts came to Iceland’s interior to train, and until tourism reaches the moon, this place may be the closest substitute.

Known as the hálendið, or highlands in Icelandic, the interior is often described as Europe’s last great untouched wilderness. This is somewhat misleading, as much of the land was vegetated before settlers and their voracious sheep first arrived.

Early settlers often traversed the interior for parliamentary meetings at Þingvellir, but many routes were closed when temperatures cooled in the 13th century and, with the advent of the ring road and interior flights centuries later, were never resurrected. In popular mythology, the interior became a refuge for outlaws and outcasts, much like the Wild West in the American imagination.

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Medium 9781628873856

The Savvy Traveler

Olson Donald; Olson Donald FrommerMedia ePub

Biking in Portland.

Before You Go

Tourist Offices

The Travel Portland Visitor Information Center in Pioneer Courthouse Square downtown (701 SW 6th Ave.; ☎ 503/275-8355 or 877/678-5263; www.travelportland.com) is open Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm, and Sunday 10am to 2pm from May through October. For destinations outside the city, contact the Oregon Tourism Commission, 670 Hawthorne St. SE, Suite 240, Salem, OR 97301 (☎ 800/547-7842; www.traveloregon.com).

The Best Times to Go

Summer—defined locally as beginning on July 5, when the clouds generally retreat—is gorgeous in Portland. Sunshine replaces drizzle, lawns go from deep green to dry brown, and temperatures are warm, but usually not uncomfortably so. (That said, there have been temperature spikes into the 100s in recent years.) From June through September, it’s highly advisable to book hotel and car reservations ahead of time—as far ahead as possible for weekends, holidays, and events like the Rose Festival. Spring and fall are more of a crapshoot, weather-wise, but you might hit a week or even two of sunshine, and gardens in Portland are at their lushest. Prices fall and reservations open up in these seasons, and even more so in the winter, except for the holidays. Winters are generally mild but gray and wet, and a few days of snow is not uncommon. But the snow, of course, is what skiers want when they head to nearby Mt. Hood.

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Medium 9781628873122

15 HAMBURG & THE NORTH

Stephen Brewer FrommerMedia ePub

HafenCity, Hamburg’s showcase for postmodern architecture.

Every nation seems to have a north–south divide, and Germany is no exception. Travel up here from even northerly Berlin and you’ll notice a difference—the salt-tinged breezes off the North Sea, the distinctive brick-gabled houses favored by Hanseatic merchants and seafarers, a preference for herring and other fish, the long winter nights and long summer days, the palpable presence of Scandinavia. Hamburg is dynamic, energetic, and cosmopolitan, showing off its Hanseatic heritage in atmospheric warehouse districts and a still-thriving port. Lübeck and Lüneburg, meanwhile, preserve the past with their lanes of gabled houses, the realms of merchants who made fortunes off of Lüneburg’s salt and Lübeck’s trading clout. The island of Sylt is another sort of place altogether, a fragile strip of sand where endless beaches and tidal flats are a cherished getaway.

Hamburg

285km (177 miles) northwest of Berlin

Hamburg’s is a tale of two cities…or three, or four. Germany’s second largest city, after Berlin, and Europe’s second-largest port, after Rotterdam, Hamburg has so many facets that visitors can step into one fascinating cityscape after another. The copper-roofed tower of old baroque Hauptkirche St. Michael’s rises next to glass and steel office buildings. The port, with its wharfs, cranes, dry docks, and a flotilla of ships coming and going day and night, rambles along the banks of the Elbe River as far as the eye can see. A maze of canals laces through Speicherstadt, lined with sturdy brick warehouses where Hamburg merchants once stashed carpets, tea, and the other lucre of trade. These days boldly designed high-rise corporate headquarters—Hamburg is a media capital and industrial center—are the powerhouses of wealth and influence. Elegant 19th-century facades along the shores of the Alster, the shimmering lake at Hamburg’s center, and Jugenstil (art nouveau) villas scream bourgeois comforts; smart-phone-toting Armani-clad execs carry on the legacy of the burghers who thrived after Friedrich Barbarossa declared the city a free port in 1193. Then there’s Hamburg’s underbelly—the infamous Reeperbahn, the sleazy avenue where “Hiya sailor” is the anthem of easy virtue. The stag partiers and other denizens of the night who dip into this slice of lowlife are onto something—Hamburg might be business-minded, even stuffy in places, but it can also be a lot of fun, whatever your notion of a good time is. That might also mean gazing at an Expressionist canvas in the Kunsthalle, or watching Hamburgers haggle over the price of cod at the Fischmarkt, or cruising past architectural stunners in HafenCity, a brand new waterfront quarter. As you get to know Hamburg, you will be surprised at just how easy it is to succumb to this city’s charms—and how various they are.

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Medium 9781628873146

2 SUGGESTED HAWAI'I ITINERARIES

Martha Cheng FrommerMedia ePub

Surfer in Waikīkī.

For most people, the fetching dollops of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are a dream destination—but getting to this remote region can seem daunting. So once you finally arrive, you’ll want to make the most of your time. In this chapter we’ve built five 1-week itineraries for O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, and Kaua‘i, each designed to hit the highlights and provide a revealing window into the real Hawai‘i.

You can follow these itineraries to the letter or use them to build your own personalized trip. Whatever you do, don’t max out your days. This is Hawai‘i, after all—save time to smell the perfume of plumeria, listen to wind rustling through a bamboo forest, and feel the caress of the Pacific.

A Week on O‘ahu

O‘ahu is so stunning that the ali‘i, the kings of Hawai‘i, made it the capital of the island nation. Below, we presume that you’ll be staying in Waikīkī; if your hotel is in another location, factor in extra time for traveling.

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Medium 9781556500626

WHAT TO TAKE

Vivien Lougheed Hunter Publishing ePub

You must have a valid passport that will be good for six months after your entry into the country. No visas are required for citizens coming from Canada, the United States, England, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and Uruguay for stays of up to 30 days. If your visit exceeds one month, a stay permit must be obtained from the Immigration Authorities at the airport. 

Everyone entering Belize must apply for a travel permit, given free of charge at the border or port of entry. If you arrive by plane, the application form is distributed prior to landing. You will be returned a portion of the form to carry with you. This tiny piece of paper must be submitted to the border guard on your departure. Loss of the paper could cost you in time and headaches. 

The border guards will usually give a visitor a 30-day visa with no problems, but not always. On my last visit, I was given 10 days and when I explained that I needed 30, they said I would have to pay the US$25 to extend my visit. I spoke with Gareth Murillo, the Assistant Director of Immigration in Belmopan, and he smiled and said, "The guards can make this decision and if you want to stay you will have to pay the extra money for a visa extension. I later learned that overstaying your visa could cost US $1,000. 

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Medium 9781628871142

10 CANNES & AROUND

Tristan Rutherford FrommerMedia ePub

10

Cannes & Around

Cannes

905km (561 miles) S of Paris; 163km (101 miles) E of Marseille; 26km (16 miles) SW of Nice

When Coco Chanel came here and got a suntan, returning to Paris bronzed, she shocked the milk-white society ladies—who quickly began to copy her. Today the bronzed bodies, clad in nearly nonexistent swimsuits, line the beaches of this chic resort and continue the late fashion designer’s example. A block back from the famed promenade de la Croisette are the boutiques, bars, and bistros that make Cannes the Riviera’s capital of cool.

Essentials

ArrivingBy train, Cannes is 10 minutes from Antibes, 30 minutes from Nice, and 45 minutes from Monaco. The TGV from Paris reaches Cannes in an incredibly scenic 5 hours. The one-way fare from Paris is 45€ to 129€, although advance purchase bargains can be has for as low as 26€. For rail information and schedules, visit www.voyages-sncf.com or call ✆ 36-35. Lignes d’Azur (www.lignesdazur.com; ✆ 08-10-06-10-06) provides bus service from Cannes’ Gare Routière (place Bernard Cornut Gentille) to Antibes every 20 minutes during the day (trip time: 25 min.). The one-way fare is 1.50€.

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Medium 9781628872064

7 OLD WESSEX: THE BEST OF HAMPSHIRE, WILTSHIRE, DORSET & SOMERSET

Stephen Brewer FrommerMedia ePub

Stonehenge, Britain’s most important prehistoric monument.

The Regency charms of Bath, the prehistoric mysteries of Stonehenge, and the monumental architecture of Salisbury: These are all found in England’s oldest counties. The kingdom of Wessex, England’s precursor, was ruled from Winchester. A tour of this part of southern England leads you gently from London’s coattails to the rural peace of tiny villages and serene, idyllic isolation.

Regal Bath achieved fame and fortune twice in its history, first as a spa in Roman times, then thanks to the Georgian builders of the elegant Royal Crescent. That most English of traditions, afternoon tea has been big in Bath for centuries, and is paired here with a Sally Lunn or Bath bun. Avebury and Stonehenge date back to prehistoric times, long before the Romans invaded Britain. Cathedrals in the small cities of Salisbury and Wells are as close to the Gothic ideal as you’ll find in England, and the fan vaults at Sherborne Abbey showcase medieval architectural genius.

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Medium 9781628870725

5 SIDE TRIPS FROM MADRID

Patricia Harris FrommerMedia ePub

5

Side Trips from Madrid

Madrid is surrounded by legendary cities whose names echo down the ages in story and song. These were the frontier fortresses in the prolonged battle between the cross and the crescent for the body and soul of Iberia. As you approach these central Spanish cities, imagine that you are leading an invading army. After a long march across a flat plain with no place to hide, you finally reach the outskirts of Toledo, Cuenca, Segovia, Ávila, or Zamora. (Unfortified Salamanca is another story.) You crane your neck to look up at the walled fortress city high on the hill. Its defenders have been watching your approach for days, and their swords are ready. . . . It is the tale of central Spain written over and over—only the names of the invaders and defenders changed.

Whoever seized the plains of La Mancha or the hilltop cities always acted audaciously. Roman engineers channeled water from distant mountains to make Segovia bloom. Centuries later, a string of rulers named Alfonso and Sancho and Fernando plotted power in the name of a Christian god and fortified every high spot, giving the region its enduring name, Castilla, or land of castles. They carried the battle of the Reconquista from castle to castle across the searing center of the Iberian peninsula, mustering the military might, religious fervor, and brilliant scholarship that made them the most powerful rulers in this corner of Europe—and ultimately kings of Spain.

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Medium 9781628873221

8 TEL AVIV

Anthony Grant FrommerMedia ePub

8

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv has become one of the hottest travel destinations on the planet, with rave reviews from travel magazines, TV pundits, and good old-fashioned word of mouth. “Best for Style,” “Best Urban Beaches,” “Best Gay Destination,” “Best Foodie Scene,” and “Best Nightlife”—these are just a few of the accolades heaped on the city. It’s not exotic or charismatic, like Jerusalem. Nor is it a magnificent world capital, like Paris. It’s not even picturesque, like Amsterdam. But the lively, creative spirit of the people of Tel Aviv, mixed with miles of easy-going beaches and Mediterranean surf, make this a city with real personality.

That being said, Tel Aviv is everything Jerusalem is not. The city was founded much later, in 1909, to be exact, along a gorgeous strip of beach on the Mediterranean. Known as the “White City” for its trove of original Bauhaus architecture, Tel Aviv has no holy sites and until its founding, it had no history. What it does have is oyster bars, nightclubs, samba sessions on the beach on summer evenings, and miles and miles of massive medium-rise apartment buildings. In summer, the heat and humidity can put New Orleans to shame, but a short walk or bus ride can always get you to the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean.

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Medium 9781628871227

9 CHICAGO AFTER DARK

Kate Silver FrommerMedia ePub

9

Chicago After Dark

For many Chicago visitors (and residents), the daytime touring/shopping/eating is just a way of making time pass until dark, when the city really comes to life. Theater, classical music, rock concerts, dance, improv, cocktail lounges, dive bars—you name it, Chicago has it. Although the city harbors its share of see-and-be-seen nightspots, Chicagoans in general are not obsessed with getting into the latest hot club. For the most part, chilling out with friends at a neighborhood bar is the evening activity of choice. To join the locals, you only have to pick a residential area and wander—it won’t be long before you’ll come across a tavern filled with neighborhood regulars and friendly bartenders.

Performing Arts

Theater

Over the years, as Broadway produced bloated, big-budget musicals with plenty of special effects but little soul, Chicago theater troupes gained respect for their risk-taking and no-holds-barred emotional style. With more than 200 theaters, Chicago might have dozens of productions playing on any given weekend.

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