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Posts Tagged "city"

Six Cycle Friendly Cities of Europe

Six Cycle Friendly Cities of Europe

On Yer Bike; On two Wheels Cycling is a popular, affordable and environmentally friendly way to see a city. In many European cities, it is positively encouraged. City planners are realising the benefits of cycling as a mode of transport and are providing cycle-paths, plenty of parking for bicycles, automated bike hire facilities, smartphone apps and bike-friendly public transport. Not all cities are equal in their provision of cycle-friendly facilities. Many provide facilities aimed solely at the commuter and not the visitor. I have picked out several of Europe’s cities that are best explored on two wheels. Each of the six have excellent facilities and infrastructure specifically aimed at the cyclist. Copenhagen The Danish capital has been at the forefront of making a city cycle-friendly. They have been so successful at it that the word, “Copenhagenization”, defined as urban planning…

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Travel Quiz: Statues

Travel Quiz: Statues

In which cities will you find these statues? As a traveller, how well do you know the world’s cities? Do you know them well enough to be able to identify them by their statues? In this quiz, try to identify 13 different cities by their statues. Once you have identified the city click on the photo to reveal the answer. Keep a record of your score as you go along. How well did you do? Anything over 10 is good. 13 is excellent – you are a veteran traveller and know your cities well.

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Review: Four Corners Cafe

Review: Four Corners Cafe

Four Corners Cafe was one of those finds you always dream of coming across in a serendipitous way. I had arrived at Waterloo Station more than an hour and a half before a scheduled meeting at The Sea Life London Aquarium and was looking for somewhere to settle down and get an hours work done. Out came my go to coffee app, Best Coffee (£). I discovered that there was an independent coffee bar a few hundred metres away. Using the map on the app I was able to find Four Corners Cafe easily. My route from near the London Eye did take me through what looked like London’s street art gallery – the long dark passage under the tracks out of Waterloo Station. Like many London cafes, they cater for cyclists in addition to walk-in customers. The first indication…

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European city breaks off the beaten track for 2017

European city breaks off the beaten track for 2017

London, Paris, Vienna, Venice and Florence, cities of the Grand Tour have always been popular and remain so to day despite the hordes of tourists and the high prices. Then there are the trending, or trendy, cities like Reykjavik, Tallinn, Barcelona, Prague and Amsterdam. Below are six cities I would recommend for 2017. I have included three or four highlights in each case but there is much more to see in all of them. Cologne Cologne sits on the banks of the Rhine and is dominated by its cathedral or Dom. At one point its soaring spires made it the tallest building in the world. After only nine years it was locked off the top spot by a tower of girders built by one Gustav Eiffel. The cathedral is said to house the relics of the magi who visited the…

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Thames River Walk – Westminster to Tate Modern

Thames River Walk – Westminster to Tate Modern

I had arrived in London’s Waterloo Station several hours early, fully intending to head underground and resurface at one of the many museums London has to offer. Then I noticed the rare sight of a warm, clear and sun-filled vista beyond the station. The River Thames was a silver streak glinting in the afternoon sunshine. “Why,” I thought, “spend time in a museum when I could be enjoying a stroll along the River Thames.” Putting thoughts into action I left Waterloo Station and headed for Westminster Bridge. I would follow a section of the Queen’s Walk; a promenade along the south bank of the River Thames. It was created for the Silver Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II and runs from Lambeth Bridge to Tower Bridge. Westminster Bridge to the Hungerford Bridge I have always liked Westminster Bridge because of its iconic…

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Quiz: Domes of Europe

Quiz: Domes of Europe

This month’s travel quiz from Travel Unpacked focuses on Europe and the domes that grace many of its city’s skylines. Domes first made their appearance in architecture of places of worship and palaces. Today they can be found over sporting venues, government buildings and entertainment centres. Many are iconic and instantly recognisable others are less well known but all those featured in the quiz feature proud in their city’s skyline. Test your knowledge of the domes of Europe in the quiz below. Then challenge your friends to equal or beat your score. How did you do? Which did you find the easiest? Which one was most difficult? Share your score in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this quiz you may enjoy last month’s Bridges Quiz or the Landscapes and Natural Features Quiz. Next month there will be another travel…

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Lyon: My top 10 reasons to visit

Lyon: My top 10 reasons to visit

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, fly daily from my home city of Southampton to Lyon in France. Lyon is a city I have come to love and the fact that it is now connected by air without having to go through London and Paris means I will probably visit more often. They say Paris is the heart of France and Lyon is the stomach. Lyon is awash with restaurants with many holding Michelin stars. Certainly Lyon is the gastro-capital of France. However, there is more to Lyon than food as you will see from the list below. They are not ranked but rather listed according to approximate geographical location. 1. The Fourviere Basilica The Fourviere Basilica, perched high above the city on Fourviere Hill is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of Lyon. It is fortress on the outside and…

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Sunset over Valletta

Sunset over Valletta

Having been distracted by Mint, a coffee bar in Sliema, we did not arrive in Valletta till mid afternoon. Being November we knew that our daylight hours were limited but this was only a preliminary wander to recconoitre Malta’s capital. From the ferry we climbed up to Republic Street, the main thoroughfare through Valletta. We wandered from square to square exploring but could not find the definitive view of the Grand Harbour the subject of so many photographs. A quick look at the map and we realised that the walled city of Valletta was on a peninsula between two harbours. Having discovered this we headed down the other side towards Victoria Gate. As we did so we were greeted by the instantly recognisable vista of Malta’s Grand Harbour. The best place to view the Grand Harbour is from the battlements…

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9 European cities for 2016

9 European cities for 2016

As a travel writer I am willing to travel to most cities of the world. However, I do have a wish list of places I would like to visit or revisit in 2016. The emphasis is on the word wish and not all wishes come true. That said however, here is my wish list of European cities for 2016. Ljubljana First is Slovenia’s boutique capital Ljubljana. I first visited this city in 1992 and immediately fell in love with it. Since that time I have visited a further three times and watched it metamorphose from a Soviet era regional city into a vibrant capital. Its cafe lined streets and riverbank, hilltop castle and the distinctive architecture of Slovene architect Pletničk are the draw. It’s the people, the events like the Ljubljana Jazz Festival and the cafe culture I want to experience…

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Malta: 8 Valletta Experiences

Malta: 8 Valletta Experiences

Back in the 1950s a young newly wed and her naval officer husband moved to the Island of Malta and immediately fell in love with the place. They settled in a quiet suburb of the capital Valletta and stayed for nearly three years. This year that same couple returned for a few days to the city they called home as a monarch and her consort. This time round it was not a navy wife following her officer husband to his posting but the naval officer husband (retired) following his wife as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. In November 2015 I arrived in Malta and, like the Queen, immediately fell in love with the island. Two things are certain: I will not be returning as monarch and I will not wait as long to return. I will write about several aspects of…

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