1192 Chapters
Medium 9781628871166

1 The Best of Croatia

Jane Foster FrommerMedia ePub

1

The Best of Croatia

Until recently, Croatia’s tourist season ran from July through August, and belonged almost exclusively to Europeans, who clogged border crossings in their annual migration to the country’s endless coastline and clear blue sea. Finally, however, the rest of the world has discovered Croatia’s charms: its wealth of Roman ruins, medieval hilltop castles, and staggering cache of natural wonders. Even though the summer season now runs longer and the crowds are larger and more diverse, it is still possible to find a secluded pebble cove, or a family-run winery where time seems to have stood still. Every town and village has at least one restaurant where the locals hang out and where the slice of life you get with your meal is the best dessert there is. When all the big modern hotels are filled, there is always a room waiting in a private home where the landlord welcomes you like a long-lost friend.

This chapter is a “road map,” directing you to some of my favorites. I know you’ll add to the list when you find some of your own.

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Medium 9781628872989

8 SAN FRANCISCO

Avital Binshtock Andrews FrommerMedia ePub

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge from Marshall Beach.

The Best of San Francisco in One Day

San Francisco has earned its reputation as America’s most beautiful city. This first full-day tour introduces you to its four famous neighborhoods: Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, and Chinatown. After getting to Fisherman’s Wharf, you can do the rest on foot—but public transportation options are listed just in case. START: BART/Muni: Powell or Montgomery. Bus: 2, 3, 4, or 38 to Powell St.; 30 or 45 to Geary St. Cable car: Powell lines.

❶ ★★ Union Square. Start your tour at this lively urban square, named for a series of uproarious pro-Union demonstrations staged here on the eve of the Civil War. In 2002, a $25-million restoration replaced stretches of lawn with a 245-foot-long (74m) granite floor and scattered greenery, turning it into a welcoming and memorable plaza. All that remains from the old square is the 90-foot (27m) Victory tower, dedicated by Theodore Roosevelt after the Spanish-American War. In winter, the square gets decked out with thousands of twinkling adornments, including a colossal Christmas tree.  30 min.; best before 9am. Btw. Post, Geary, Stockton & Powell sts. BART: Powell or Montgomery. Bus: 2, 3, 4, or 38 to Powell St.; 30 or 45 to Geary St. Cable car: Powell lines.

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Medium 9781628870725

6 BARCELONA

Patricia Harris FrommerMedia ePub

6

Barcelona

The Catalan language has a verb that must have been invented for Barcelona. “Badar” translates (more or less) as to walk around with your mouth wide open in astonishment. You’ll be doing a lot of that in Barcelona. The city’s artists have always had a fantastical vision—from the gargoyles along the roofline of the cathedral, to Antoni Gaudí’s armored warrior chimneys on La Pedrera, to the surreal amoeboid sculptures of Joan Miró. (They’re on a roof, too.)

Barcelona really is an original, with a unique history, language, gastronomy, and sense of style. When Madrid was still a dusty fortress village on the Río Manzanares, Barcelona was a force to be reckoned with on the Mediterranean. It has been at the intersection of cultures—Iberian, Roman, Visigothic, Moorish, French, and Aragonese—for 2,000 years. Today it is the capital of the autonomous region of Catalunya, forever chafing to leave the federal fold of Spain but enjoying near-country status within the European Union.

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Medium 9781628872521

4 AUCKLAND

Diana Balham FrommerMedia ePub

4

Auckland

This is it: our biggish, brashest, and really quite cosmo-politan center, the City of Sails, where you can almost always see the Sky Tower, even when you’re wandering in the Waitakere ranges or sipping a pinot gris on Waiheke Island. And you can quite possibly see the sea: Auckland sprawls its way around two glorious harbors—the Waitemata and the Manukau—and its residents keenly identify with all things watery. Aucklanders tend to be laid-back, but this is a city that is going places. Hey, it’s not New York, but we love it here.

Essentials

Getting There & Arrival

By Plane    Auckland Airport (www.aucklandairport.co.nz;  0800/247-767 in NZ or 09/275-0789) is 21km (14 miles) south of the city beside the Manukau Harbour. It’s about 30 minutes from the CBD when traffic is flowing normally. The Jean Batten International Terminal has a huge shopping area with around 100 retail outlets, including convenience stores and pharmacies. Two competing duty-free agencies, LS Travel Retail Pacific and Aer Rianta, have good deals on fashion, fragrances, and the usual stuff. They are open for all incoming and outgoing flights. There’s an arrival pickup service, which means you can leave your duty-free goods at the airport and pick them up when you fly out.

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Medium 9781628872866

10 PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO GREECE

Stephen Brewer FrommerMedia ePub

10

Planning Your Trip to GREECE

News and images coming out of Greece over the past few years have been unsettling, at best. The country’s finances, economy, government, and society all appear to be in turmoil. And yet, you’ll notice that tourism numbers remain high—in fact, there’s been a significant increase—and for a very good reason. A visit to Greece should be an occasion for sheer enjoyment, even exultation. All it takes is a bit of planning to make the visit all the smoother and more pleasant.

This chapter provides planning tools and other resources to help you get around and get the most out of your time in Greece. First and foremost, it’s important to keep in mind that while Athens goes full-tilt 12 months a year, the time slot for enjoying island life is relatively short, from May to mid-October. Obviously, you can visit the islands outside of those times. Crete, especially, with its big cities of Iraklion and Chania, gets some wintertime visitors. But for the most part, islands are geared to warm weather, and most hotels and restaurants close up tight from fall to late spring.

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