291 Chapters
Medium 9781907099229

HIGHLANDS AND WESTERN ISLES

Michelin Michelin ePub

HIGHLANDS AND WESTERN ISLES

If there was only one region that could fly the flag for Scotland abroad, then it would probably be the Highlands. It not only boasts Scotland’s most awe-inspiring landscapes of dark lochs and snow-capped peaks, but also some of the most remote and extensive wilderness in Europe. There is island romance, on Skye and in the Hebrides, history aplenty (Glencoe, Bonnie Prince Charlie, standing stones), legends (Nessie), wildlife (dolphins, whales, eagles and deer), and a whole host of sporting opportunities in both summer and winter.

Highlights

1 Sailing Loch Ness

2 Driving the Road to the Isles with views of Ben Nevis

3 Walking in the footsteps of Macbeth at Cawdor Castle

4 Or in those of the Queen Mother at the Castle of Mey

5 Getting close to dolphins on a trip from Cromarty Harbour

The Great Glen: Around Inverness and Fort William

The gateway to the north is Inverness where Loch Ness, with or without its monster, is the star. Nearby, the very names Culloden and Cawdor Castle are powerful siren calls. Some 70mi/113km southwest along the Great Glen, the area of Fort William, Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis styles itself the outdoor capital of Britain, offering hill walking, ice climbing, skiing, snowboarding, canyoning, canoeing, paragliding and mountain biking. It peaks in every sense at Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain while a few miles south, the landscapes Glencoe – perhaps the most infamous name in Scottish history – are equally awe inspiring. From Fort William, the Road to the Isles and the Ardnamurchan Peninsula – wild, and sometimes desolate, but always spectacular – are driving highlights. True romantics eschew the new bridge and take the “bonnie boat ... over the sea to Skye”. Colourful Portree and the beautiful Trotternish Peninsula are the highlights for many visitors while the ever-changing weather and the jagged Cuillins offer challenges to walkers and climbers alike.

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Medium 9782067182042

The Great Outdoors

Michelin Michelin ePub

Woodland Park Zoo aaa

Phinney Ave. N. t 206-684-4800. www.zoo.org. Open May–Sept daily 9:30am–6pm. Rest of the year daily 9:30am–4pm. $17.75, $11.75 children.

Covering 92 acres, this world-class zoo is highly acclaimed for its conservation ethic (the zoo is home to 35 endangered species) and naturalistic habitats. It offers dynamic glimpses of 1,100 animals engaged in natural behavior: grizzly bears fish for trout in a stream on the Northern Trail, orangutans shimmy up trees in Trail of Vines, zebras dash about in African Savanna, and jaguars peer warily from behind a kapok tree in Jaguar Cove.

Pacific Science Centeraa

200 Second Ave. N. t 206-443-2001. www.pacificsciencecenter.org. Open year-round Mon–Fri 9:45am–5pm (til 6pm Sat–Sun). Closed Tue Sept–May. $16, $11 children (ages 6-15).

Pacific Science Center
©John Keatley/Pacific Science Center

Grizzly bear, Woodland Park Zoo
©Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

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Medium 9782067182042

Vancouver

Michelin Michelin ePub

Open year-round daily. Visitor center at 3029 Spirit Lake Hwy., Toutle; t 360-274-0962; www.parks.wa.gov/stewardship/mountsthelens; open May–mid-Sept daily 9am–5pm, rest of the year 4pm; closed major holidays. t 360-449-7800. www.fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens. $5.

One of the world’s most famous volcanoes, Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980 with the intensity of 500 atomic bombs, destroying its northern flank and blasting away more than 1,300ft of elevation. In 1982 the US Congress declared Mount St. Helens a National Volcanic Monument. Today the eviscerated mountain, surrounded by a 172sq-mi preserve, is a leading visitor attraction.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
©MountStHelens.com

Practical Information

When to Go

July is the best time to see flower-filled alpine meadows at Mt. Rainier, but any summer day through September offers the best opportunity for clear weather and great views at both Rainier and Mount St. Helens. Summertime frequently brings fog to the Washington coast, so the best times to visit are the shoulder seasons or winter-storm season.

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Medium 9781907099427

Historic Sites

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City Hallaa

In City Hall Park, bounded by Broadway, Park Row, Lafayette & Chambers Sts. Visit by guided tour only (see sidebar). R train to City Hall.

New York’s second official city hall, inaugurated in 1812, was designed by Joseph F. Mangin and John McComb Jr., who shared a prize of $350 for their efforts. Atop the graceful cupola is ”Justice” with her scales; out front stands a statue of patriot Nathan Hale, who famously said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” before being hanged by the British in 1776. Abraham Lincoln’s body lay in state here in April 1865, when 120,000 New Yorkers paid their respects.

Visiting City Hall

City Hall is only open to the public via the free, one-hour guided tours held Wednesday at noon, departing from the NYC Information Kiosk at the south end of City Hall Park (Broadway at Barclay).

City Hall was half brownstone, not by design but by political penny-pinching, until 1956. Today it hosts welcoming ceremonies for visiting dignitaries and is the end point of ticker-tape parades.

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Medium 9782067197558

The Baltic Coast and Inland

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The Baltic Coast and Inland

 Lübeck

 Kiel

 Schleswig

 Wismar

 Rostock

 Stralsund

 Rügen Island

 Greifswald

 Usedom Island

 Neubrandenburg

 Schwerin

 Mecklenburg Lake District

Schloss Schwerin, Schlossgarten

© Gabriele Bröcker/Staatliches Museum Schwerin

The Baltic Coast and Inland

Germany’s Baltic coast stretches for 2 247km/1 396mi between Denmark and Poland across the Länder (states) of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Thinly populated, the region is rarely overrun with tourists, although its seaside resorts have been a favourite with German holidaymakers since the 19C. Families especially value the shallow and calm waters, wide sandy beaches and relaxing ambience. Hanseatic towns like Lübeck, Stralsund and Wismar are not only picturesque reminders of the region’s former power but are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Fans of the offbeat can delve into Viking history in Schleswig, climb aboard a World War II submarine near Kiel or ride a historic train in Bad Doberan.

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