177 Chapters
Medium 9781628871807

6 WEST ICELAND

Nicholas Gill FrommerMedia ePub

6

West Iceland

A breathtaking combination of rugged peaks, ambling waterfalls, and the Snæfellsjökull glacier growing in magnificence as it ducks in and out of sight along the coast-hugging road, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula feels worlds away from Reykjavík despite being a short drive. Opening up more and more to the rest of the country, thanks to improved roads and tunnels, the Westfjords, just across the bay, are a still-undiscovered natural wonder, a place where stony mountains and narrow inlets hide isolated farms and fishing villages that have changed little in decades. The area comprises a tenth of Iceland’s landmass and a third of its coastline, and round every bend is some new variation on how mountains can tumble to the sea. Fjord after fjord provides a calming contrast, stretching out to the distant Atlantic horizon.

On a clear day, the glacier-topped Snæfellsjökull stratovolcano, the same one that contained a passage into the planet’s core in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, is visible from Reykjavík. Visitors arriving at Keflavík airport should scan the northern horizon as they head toward Reykjavík, because for most this is the closest they will come to witnessing Iceland’s beautiful western corner.

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Medium 9781628870640

3. GERMANY IN CONTEXT

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub

3

GERMANY IN CONTEXT

Every country and every culture offers a unique opportunity—and sometimes a challenge—to enlarge one’s personal experience and understanding of the world. Germany is no exception. The more you know about German life and German culture, the more enjoyable and rewarding your trip to Germany will be. This chapter provides useful background information to help you plan your trip and understand the country. Check out the major festivals and events to find out what’s going on when. A section on German history arranges the country’s long and complicated past into a concise, easy-to-digest chronology. We cross-reference highlights of German art and architecture to specific cities and sites to help you place these works in context, and introduce the best of German food, beer. Finally, we provide suggestions for other books and movies that deal with all aspects of German life.

WHEN TO GO

Peak travel months in Germany are May through October, with another boost in December when the Christmas markets are held and skiers head to the Bavarian Alps.

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Medium 9781628870640

10. PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO GERMANY

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub

10

PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO GERMANY

Germans are famously organized, and travelers will be wise to follow their example in doing a little advance planning for a trip to Germany, from how to get there and around to where to stay.

GETTING THERE

By Plane

Lufthansa ( 800/645-3880 in the U.S., 800/563-5954 in Canada, or 01805/805805 in Germany; www.lufthansa.com) operates the most frequent service from North America, with service from almost 20 cities. Given the quality of the fleet and service, as well as timeliness, a flight on Lufthansa is a good kickoff to a trip to Germany.

American Airlines ( 800/443-7300; www.aa.com) flies nonstop from Chicago, Dallas, and other U.S. hubs to Frankfurt daily, and American’s flights connect easily with ongoing flights to many other German cities on Lufthansa or British Airways. Delta Airlines ( 800/241-4141; www.delta.com) offers daily nonstop service to Frankfurt from Atlanta, Cincinnati, and New York’s JFK; nonstop to Munich from Atlanta; nonstop to Berlin from JFK; and connecting service to Hamburg. United Airlines ( 800/538-2929; www.united.com) offers daily nonstops from Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago to Frankfurt and Munich. Air Berlin ( (866/266-5588; www.airberlin.com) flies from Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and other U.S. cities to Berlin.

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Medium 9781628872064

9 THE COTSWOLDS

Stephen Brewer FrommerMedia ePub

Arlington Row, Bibury, one of England’s most-photographed locales.

These rolling limestone hills, steep escarpments, and meandering streams might just be the prettiest stretch of England. Medieval wool traders accented the scenery with beautiful villages of golden limestone, and beginning in the 19th century, appreciative artists and other aesthetically minded spirits put on another layer of veneer when they restored fine old manor houses and planted colorful gardens.

Most of the Cotswolds is farmland and protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, keeping a lot of 21st-century encroachments at bay. Maybe the best thing the region offers is a chance to slow down a bit—settle onto the banks of a gurgling stream, enjoy a pint in front of a cracking pub hearth, pick through fresh produce at a country market, or just drift off to sleep in a four-poster bed in a creaky, centuries-old inn. It says a lot about the pace of life in the Cotswolds that this is prime walking country, and the region’s rambling paths are among England’s most popular hiking routes.

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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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