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4 DUBLIN

Jewers, Jack FrommerMedia ePub

4

Dublin

For such an ancient town, Dublin is doing a pretty good job of not showing its age. Despite its stony gray appearance, the Irish capital is actually one of Europe’s most youthful cities, with the average age of its population somewhere around 36 years old. It’s growing rapidly, too—a full 50% more people now call Dublin home than did in the year 2000, and almost a third of Ireland’s entire population now lives in the greater Dublin area. This is by far Ireland’s most cosmopolitan city, and its most diverse; at times it feels more like a modern European city than it does the Irish capital. Edgy bars and cafes buzz alongside pubs that have stood for centuries, and chic boutiques are snuggled into the medieval precincts of the old city. It’s yours to discover afresh—and even if you think you know what to expect, you’re almost certain to be surprised by what you find.

Essentials

Arriving

By Plane    Aer Lingus (www.aerlingus.com;  081/836-5000), Ireland’s national airline, operates regular, direct, scheduled flights between Dublin International Airport and numerous cities worldwide. Direct routes from the United States include Boston, Chicago (O’Hare), New York (JFK), Orlando, and San Francisco. American Airlines (www.aa.com;  1800/433-7300), Delta (www.delta.com;  800/241-4141), and United (www.united.com;  1800/864-8331) all fly direct to Dublin from at least one of those same cities. From Canada, direct flights are operated by Air Canada (www.aircanada.com;  1888/247-2262). From Australia, Qantas (www.qantas.com;  13-13-13 from within Australia) flies to Dublin with a change in London or Dubai. Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.co.nz;  080/0737-000) flies to Dublin, changing in San Francisco or Los Angeles and then London. Most major European airlines have direct flights to Dublin.

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5. The Great Outdoors

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub

Berlin’s biggest outdoor playground is a vast swathe of greenery studded with lakes and canals. You’ll find some quiet corners, but most of Tiergarten hums with activity, from picnicking families to rollerblading teenagers. Footpaths weave through woodlands where Prussian princes once went hunting, affording snapshot glimpses of the Siegessäule (Victory Colum). START: S-Bahn to Tiergarten.

 

Landwehrkanal. Begin your stroll on the grassy banks of the Landwehrkanal, Berlin’s main canal. Running parallel to the water, the tree-fringed Gartenufer skirts the zoo (Go to Page) and offers a sneak preview of its inhabitants. Peek through the fence to spy hyenas, storks, and llamas. Cross the bridge to reach the serene rose gardens. 30 min. S-Bahn: Tiergarten.

Neuer See. A few paces away is the lake, mirroring a copse of oak, ash, and maple trees. When the sun’s out, the best way to appreciate it is by hiring a rowing boat (5€ for 30 minutes). 45 min.

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3 THE LAY OF THE LAND

Ames, Paul FrommerMedia ePub

3

The Lay of the Land

Portugal is a roughly drawn rectangle on Europe’s southwestern seaboard. It’s about 550km (350 miles) from north to south, 200km (110 miles) from east to west. To the north and east it’s bordered by Spain. On the south and west it’s bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. There are two Atlantic island groups, Madeira lying off the coast of Morocco and the nine Azores islands, halfway to Boston.

As a general rule, the landscape north of the River Tagus is hilly and often rugged, while the south has softly rolling plains. Over 80% of Portugal’s 10.5 million people live in districts bordering the ocean, while the interior is often scarcely populated.

Within that general picture, the regions vary greatly. The Algarve occupies the southern coastal strip. Separated from the rest of the country by low forested hills, it basks in a Mediterranean-type climate that facilitates the growth of orange, lemon, fig, and almond trees and draws tourists to its sheltered, south-facing beaches.

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5 EXPLORING NEW YORK CITY

Pauline Frommer FrommerMedia ePub

5

Exploring New York City

Ask New Yorkers about their feelings for their city, and they will often respond, “There’s just one New York.” By that they mean: one city so full—of museums (more than 40 major ones); historical sites; world-famous institutions; parks; zoos; universities; lectures; concerts and recitals; theaters for opera, musicals, drama, and dance; architectural highlights; presidents’ homes; and kooky galleries—that its diversions are limitless, and you will never be bored. If you had the speed and stamina of a Usain Bolt, you would still be hard-pressed to cover all of the attractions in several months of touring.

Because your own time is more limited than that, I’m confining my coverage to two categories of sights in this chapter: First, the city’s “iconic” attractions, by which I mean the places universally associated with Gotham—the headliners that make the city so massively popular. These include the major museums (the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney, just to name two); the great historical and architectural sites (including Grand Central Station and the Brooklyn Bridge); and, in a category all its own, New York’s most sobering site: the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

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9 THE DOWNEAST COAST

Brian Kevin FrommerMedia ePub

9

The Downeast Coast

The term Downeast, as in “Downeast Maine,” comes from the days when ships were still powered by sail. East Coast ships heading north and east along this coastline had strong prevailing winds at their backs—making it an easy “downhill” run to the farthest eastern ports. (Returning took more skill and determination.)

Today it’s a rare traveler who gets Downeast to explore the rugged coastline of Washington County. Very few tourists venture beyond the turnoff to Mount Desert Isle, discouraged by a lack of services and high-marquee attractions. Yet Downeast Maine does have appeal—so long as you’re not looking for luxury. There’s an authenticity here that’s been lost in much of the rest of Maine. Many longtime visitors say this is how all of Maine used to look in the 1940s and 1950s, when writers and artists first arrived in earnest. Thai food, the New York Times, and designer coffee have yet to make serious inroads into Washington County, where a rugged, hardscrabble way of life and tough interdependence among neighbors still predominates. And yet, just when you think you have the Downeast coast pegged, you encounter some oddball little pocket of artsy wonder or creative-class entrepreneurship with a salty tinge.

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