Discussion in 'Community' started by Forostar, Oct 25, 2013.
I've not travelled much, so can only claim:
Belgium (Bruges, Brussels)
France (Paris, Brittany)
UK (where I live)
I'd call Delhi quite a bit of travelling.
I suppose so
By "not much travelling", I meant "averaging one overseas journey every four years." But, yes, Delhi was an exciting travel experience. And the only time I'm likely to ever stay in a Hilton.
In spite of a strong desire to see most of Europe and some other areas in person, I have never left my country. I have been to the West coast three times with the family (driving through Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and finally arriving at BC). Then we drove to the East coast, through Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and finally crossing the massive bridge to Prince Edward Island. The only province I've missed is Newfoundland - and the territories, of course. Sad to say, besides a couple of interesting locations, these trips were fairly dull.
IF the opportunity were to strike to go travelling, I know precisely where I'd be going:
-First, to Northern Ireland, where my ancestors came from. I discovered my great great grandparents' marriage certificate a few years back - married on the grounds of Carrickfergus castle, not far from Belfast.
-Russia - I've had a strong interest in the culture for years, and would like to experience it in person.
-South Korea, since my wife and I have a lot of interest in the daily life, services and products there, it'd be great to spend a month or so immersed in it.
Alas, we have quite a number of commitments that keep us at home most of the time. But in the future, perhaps.
Iceland - 2 layovers in Reykjavik
Denmark - Copenhagen
Sweden - Malmo, Falkenberg, and Laholm.
Any no-go-zones in Malmö?
It seems like a very nice city.
Rosengård is probably the most notorious area in the whole of Sweden, so yes.
Ever since my first post here two years ago, four new countries have been added to the list: The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Poland. I've been to Bulgaria six times since June 2014.
I've been to Italy (mainland, Sardinia & Sicily), England, Scotland, Norway, Cyprus and the Canary Islands.
Updated mine. Lost count on how many times I've been to Croatia.
No trips to Montenegro that you've forced yourself to forget?
I'm pretty satisfied with the number 3, wouldn't want to ruin it.
I just saw this now - what people in Sweden consider dangerous is what I consider not a bad neighbourhood and I live in Canada. Imagine how it compares to places like Detroit?
Been in any of these?
Kotor, Montenegro, no. 1 city in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel,2016! @Night Prowler
Top 10 Cities
1. Kotor, Montenegro
Hemmed in on all sides by dramatic folds of rock, it’s nigh-on impossible to take a photo in Kotor where looming mountains aren’t loitering in a corner of the frame. It’s got to be said that it’s a picture-perfect visage from virtually every angle. Beyond its historical city walls is the much-loved Bay of Kotor, gorgeous and about as fjordlike as the Mediterranean can get without qualifying as a legitimate fjord.
But what lies within is just as memorable: a living, breathing town where locals catch up over strong coffee at pavement cafes on cobbled squares, queue for warm bread at the bakers and get their shoes repaired at the traditional cobblers. Here in Kotor’s maze of alleyways and church-fronted plazas there’s just one thing to do: get lost and experience local life.
Forget restaurants – the flavours of Kotor are brought to life in its shops and local produce market, cloistered within the walls of the Stari Grad (Old Town). Here you can sample cheeses smoked with walnuts or pistachios, dollops of golden honey and meaty hams, then seek out enthusiastic locals in tiny wine shops to recommend stonking good reds bottled on their doorstep.
Kotor is often called a ‘mini Dubrovnik’, but that hardly does it justice. In fact, as its big brother in Croatia becomes more and more beholden to hordes of cruise ship tourists, that moniker feels more like a disservice. In reality the comparison is most likely a crystal ball for it seems as though more and more southern Europe cruises want to stop at Kotor’s diminutive port. But with such a stunning sapphire bay, it’s no surprise that everyone wants a piece of the action.
Thankfully, the hordes of now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t tourists that flit on and off the boats have yet to leave a permanent mark on this quaint town. Cruise souvenir shops are in short supply and within the fortified walls, Kotor’s Stari Grad still has the air of a comfy home. How long this charmed life will continue is anyone’s guess, but if Dubrovnik is anything to go by, the clock is ticking.
It’s a 1200m hike up the town fortifications’ crumbling steps to get to the lookout point on St John’s Hill. Only sections of the original wall remain climbable; make it up to the teeny church dangling cliffside and you’ll be greeted with sweeping views of the bay.
Exploring the bay and its romantic villages by boat, it’s easy to see why Romans built their villas here and Venetians graced its shores with palazzos. Floating in the centre is Our-Lady-of-the-Rocks – a 15th-century island, home to a frescoed church and an ice-cream pitstop.
Twenty-five hairpin bends curling up the back road to Mt Lovćen have got to be one of the best drives on the planet. Prepare to pull over many times, because from up here the bayside panorama just gets better with every turn.
Most bizarre sight
Clinging to the rock face like a brooding bony dragon’s tail, no guidebook can prepare you for that first neck-craning glimpse of Kotor’s fortifications, which began creeping almost vertically up the Lovćen massif behind town in the 9th century. Take that, Escher.
Venetian, Austrian and Yugoslav rule have all contributed to a truckload of treasure that still resides in Kotor’s dens of antiquities. Fine Balkan rugs, delicate Mediterranean laces, Art Nouveau pots and historical garb all vie for space in the town’s kooky antiques shops, tucked behind unmarked doors in hidden lanes and squares.
2. Quito, Ecuador
3. Dublin, Ireland
4. George Town, Malaysia
5. Rotterdam, Netherlands
Futuristic architecture, inspired initiatives such as inner-city canal surfing, a proliferation of art, and a surge of drinking, dining and nightlife venues make Rotterdam one of Europe’s most exhilarating cities right now.
The Netherlands' second-biggest metropolis, on the vast Nieuwe Maas river, is a veritable open-air gallery of modern, postmodern and contemporary construction. It’s a remarkable feat for a city largely razed to the ground by WWII bombers. Rebuilding has continued unabated ever since with ingenuity and vision.
Eye-popping recent openings include the Markthal Rotterdam, the country’s inaugural indoor food market. Its extraordinary inverted-U-shaped design incorporates glass-walled apartments arcing over the food hall’s fantastical 40m-high fruit- and vegetable-muraled ceiling and scores of artisan stalls and eateries.
Other striking skyline additions include the glitzy ‘vertical city’, De Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ largest building, designed by Pritzker-winning Rotterdam architect Rem Koolhaas. Dramatic views from its hotel, cocktail-bar terrace and restaurant take in the Erasmusbrug – the swooping white cable-stayed bridge dubbed ‘De Zwaan’ (The Swan).
Among Rotterdam’s innovative redevelopments is Station Hofplein – the former station of the disused Hofpleinlijn railway, whose viaduct arches are transforming into cultural and creative spaces. Openings here have so far included cutting-edge restaurants, boutiques and a jazz club. Station Hofplein is connected to the city centre by the wooden Luchtsingel (‘air canal’) footbridge over the train tracks, which was propelled by crowdfunding (selling inscribed planks). One section of the bridge skewers studio-hub Schieblock, topped by the pioneering DakAkker harvestable roof, producing fruit, vegetables and honey.
Early 2016 sees the Museum Rotterdam open inside the ‘cloud-like’ Rem Koolhaas-designed Timmerhuis, showcasing Rotterdam’s past, present and future.
And from late 2016, Europe’s busiest port – already on the Paris–Amsterdam high-speed rail line – will become more accessible than ever when direct Eurostar services linking London with Amsterdam stop at the stunning new skylit, stainless steel-encased Rotterdam Centraal train station.
Explore Rotterdam’s seafaring heritage at maritime museums or on a harbour cruise past its shipyards’ colossal cranes and containers.
Delve into historical neighbourhoods that escaped wartime destruction, such as charming gabled-and-windmilled Delfshaven (the America-bound Pilgrims prayed at the church next door to Delfshaven’s wonderful canal-side brewery, Stadsbrouwerij De Pelgrim).
Encounter exceptional art at the masterpiece-filled Museum Boijmans van Beuningen; the Kunsthal Rotterdam’s diverse exhibitions; and attention-grabbing sculptures throughout the city’s streets and squares.
Hit pumpin’ clubs such as the 6000-capacity Maassilo, inside a century-old grain silo.
Surf’s up! From 2016, surfers, bodyboarders, stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers can take a wild 14-second ride on a naturally purified, barrelling 1.5m-high wave in the city-centre Steigersgracht canal (its water-level beach-house cafe provides up-close views of the action). Locals voted for it in a municipal ‘city initiative’ competition; profits are directed into similar projects.
Staying dry. Efforts to make the city – which lies below sea level – fully climate-proof by 2035 include water plazas that double as playgrounds, car park water storage tanks and environmentally sustainable floating houses.
Most bizarre sight
Mind-bending late 20th-century icons include the Overblaak development’s surreal ‘forest’ of 45-degree-tilted, hexagonal-pylon-mounted cube-shaped apartments (one’s now a museum, another a Stayokay backpacker hostel).
Brand-name shops line the bustling, outdoor, semi-subterranean Beurstraverse (nicknamed De Koopgoot, ‘buying trench’); alternative options congregate on and around Meent. For made-in-Rotterdam fashion, homewares, books and more, browse concept shop Groos (revived local slang for ‘pride’).
Classic place to stay
A photo finish between Art Nouveau showpiece Hotel New York (the Holland-America passenger ship line’s former HQ, with timber-panelled suites in its old boardrooms) and artist-designed King Kong Hostel (a vintage- and industrial-furniture-filled haven on Witte de Withstraat, the city’s coolest street). Both, in their own way, reflect Rotterdam’s irrepressible spirit.
6. Mumbai, India
7. Fremantle, Australia
8. Manchester, UK
9. Nashville, Tennessee
I have been in Rotterdam and Rome. Only drove near (under) Manchester on the way to Wales.
Rome, possibly my favourite place in the world. Manchester?? Yes, been there a good many times. Got a lot going on in terms of culture, and interesting industrial era history, but I'm slightly surprised it's in there, given that it's not exactly exotic or glamorous.
I forgot San Marino...
Perhaps because the bus-ride up to the City of San Marino still is the closest I've come to Indy 500... I was genuinely afraid. The driver was behind schedule and we were pressed against the windows in the narrow turns. You should know that this road is also a quite steep climb, and the view outside the window wasn't exactly your typical side of the road ditch, but rather a view of nothing, and then a few houses in a valley far below.
I do not travel all that much, however I have visited France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Austria, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Slovakia, Monaco and Poland. I definitely have to improve on that; I would love to see the countries in the north (particularily Sweden and Finland) and I definitely should visit Scotland, England and Ireland. Japan and New Zealand are also on my list, however it's way too expensive for me as of now.
My secret dream is to visit Antarctica once.
Cities of notice I have visited and definitely long to see again: Paris, Barcelona, Marseille, Nice, Saint Tropez.
I'd call that a lot. Admittedly, I'm one of those who'd rather go back to where I've been before than visit a new place (I've been to Sardinia 8 times).
Separate names with a comma.