177 Chapters
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.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781628871265

5 The Best of the Outdoors

Sacha Heselstine FrommerMedia ePub

Relaxing in green Vondelpark.

Strolling in Vondelpark

Central Amsterdam is a densely packed city, but several vast parks provide tranquil refuges from the crowds of tourists if not the marauding cyclists. Of these, Oosterpark is the oldest, the Westerpark is a hive of music and concerts, and Sarphatipark is Amsterdam’s best-kept neighborhood secret, but the Vondelpark is the biggest and most loved. A step away from Museumplein, it encompasses 47 hectares (116 acres) of lawn set in an English-style park where manicured rose gardens and ponds are set amid trails for joggers, bikers, and in-line skaters. START: Tram 1, 2, 5, 7, or 10 to Leidseplein.

Vondelpark entrance.

Main Entrance. Enter the park through the main gates at 1e Constantijn Huygensstraat, less than a 10-minute walk from Leidseplein. The sculpture Maid of Amsterdam, a symbol of the city, sits over these gates. The park opened to the public in 1865. Jan David Zocher and Louis David Zocher (a father-and-son operation) landscaped what was then a much smaller space, using rose gardens, ponds, and pathways to create an English-style garden. Over the years, as the park grew to its present size, some 130 different species of trees were planted. The park is home to squirrels, rabbits, wading birds, and a colony of bright-green parakeets. Wherever you walk in the park, keep to your right to avoid zooming bikes.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781628870640

2. GERMANY ITINERARIES

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub

2

GERMANY ITINERARIES

Wondering where to go in Germany? That, of course, depends on what you want to see and do. But here are some ideas—some show off the highlights, others focus on a few regions, others cater to some special interests, whether that’s tasting wine or showing the kids medieval castles.

GERMAN HIGHLIGHTS IN 1 WEEK

This 7-day tour begins in Munich and ends in Berlin, showing off the best of southern and northern Germany and introducing the country’s two greatest cities, two of King Ludwig II’s castles, and a mighty river, the Rhine, as it flows past the lively city of Cologne. Our preferred mode of transport is train, a comfortable and efficient way to get anywhere you want to go in Germany.

Day 1: Munich

        Spend your first day in marvelous Munich (see chapter 6). Head first for Marienplatz, the city’s main square. You can go up to the top of the Rathaus tower for a bird’s-eye view, watch the Glockenspiel, and visit the nearby Frauenkirche, Munich’s largest church. Then walk over to the adjacent Viktualienmarkt, one of the greatest food markets in Europe. Browse around and find a place for lunch from among the dozens of possibilities in the area. Afterward, make your way to the Asamkirche for a glimpse of the rococo ornamentation for which southern Germany is famous. In the afternoon, choose a museum: If you’re an art lover, you may want to see the priceless collection of old masters at the Alte Pinakothek; if you’re interested in science and technology, make your way to the famous Deutsches Museum. If you’re in the mood for oom-pah-pah, have dinner at the fun-loving Hofbräuhaus am Platzl. Munich is one of Germany’s top cultural capitals, so you may want to end your evening at a concert or the opera.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781628871807

2 ICELAND IN CONTEXT

Nicholas Gill FrommerMedia ePub

2

Iceland in context

Tell friends you’re going to Iceland, and many will wonder whether they’d be able to place the little country on a map. Most people know only that it’s somewhere west of Europe—and close enough to clog the continent’s skies with ash should a volcano or two decide to awaken, as did Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 and Bárðarbunga in 2015.

Iceland, dangling from the Arctic Circle between Greenland and Norway like a prickly Christmas decoration, is indeed a land of volcanoes. Eruptions are rare (on a tourist scale if not on a planetary one) but evidence of the country’s volcanic history abounds in the landscape—from moss-covered lava fields stretching as far as the eye can see, to geysers and hot springs, to black beaches and basalt-lined bays, to the craters and volcanic mountains themselves (often teasingly hidden away under glaciers).

In some places, houses half-swallowed by lava have been preserved for show. The Westman Islands showcase a port extension created during a 1973 eruption (p. 228), when some quick-thinking locals decided to tame the lava stream, hosing it down from boats on one side so that it would flow into the sea to improve the shape of the existing harbor.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781628870725

8 PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO SPAIN

Patricia Harris FrommerMedia ePub

8

Planning Your Trip to Spain

Getting to Spain is relatively easy, especially for those who live in western Europe or in eastern North America. If all your documents are in order, you should clear Customs and Immigration smoothly. The staffs of entry ports into Spain often speak English, and they’ll usually speed you on your way.

Getting There

By Plane

From the U.S.See “Essentials” in Madrid (p. 45) and Barcelona (p. 154) chapters.

From CanadaAir Canada ( 888-247-2262; www.aircanada.com) flies from Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal to gateway cities in Europe, where code-share connections with Lufthansa continue to Madrid and Barcelona.

From the U.K.British Airways ( 0844-493-0787; www.britishairways.com) and Iberia ( 0870-609-0500 in London; www.iberia.com) are the two major carriers flying between London and Spain. The Midlands is served by flights from Manchester and Birmingham. British newspapers are filled with classified advertisements touting “slashed” fares to Spain. A travel agent can advise you on the best values at the intended time of your departure.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters