Destinations

 
  • Hotel Pullman Eiffel Tower

    #2 Posted : Monday, August 20, 2018 8:52:47 AM

     

    I was on the Rendezvous on the Seine sailing 3 years ago. I arrived early and did just that. My room wasn't ready, but they took my luggage and I went sightseeing for several hours. This is a wonderful trip, enjoy!


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  • EDINBURGH

    #1 Posted : Monday, August 20, 2018 5:32:22 AM

     

    I just returned from a trip that included visiting Edinburgh. I hadn't been there for over forty years and so apart from remembering looking and seeing that iconic view of the castle, I could not remember much else. We stayed in a very cheap hotel because we were travelling with a large group of friends, many of whom are young and short on funds. If you want to look up the hotel and see how minuscule the rooms are, it was called the Haymarket Hub, a modern hotel with basic, basic rooms. There was literally only room for a full size bed, on each side of the bed there was about eighteen inches before you hit the wall. And at the end of the bed maybe one foot before you hit the wall/television on the wall, no chair, no closet. A modern but small bathroom, very like the one on our recent Tauck Iceland tour new ship, but ergonomically superior, more shelf space and two people could be in the room at once, not so on the ship. The room was clean, bed comfortable, we had a great view, there was good A/C, internet and the use of a free iPhone while you were staying there, awesome. You got a voucher for breakfast at the adjoining restaurant/bar which was good. We found the hotel absolutely fine, all we did was sleep there. But of course, there is always someone in your group to complain, this time, a newish couple to our group, who if they had done their research, would have known about the hotel limitations. Instead they continued the 'Typical American stereotype' that so many British people see and hate Americans for it, they complained bitterly and were given a disability access room which of course was bigger. I felt ashamed to identify as an American and later apologized to the reception for them. Now to Edinburgh. We arrived late on a Thursday afternoon, so we really only had time to walk into the city and see what it was all about. We wanted to see how long it would take us to walk to Holyrood Palace as we intended to be there before it opened the following day. About forty mins of brisk walking. At this time of year, Edinburgh hosts the Edinburgh Tattoo and the Edinburgh Fringe ( look these up for details) so Edinburgh had thousands and thousands of people on the streets, I can only compare it to New York and London during the holidays and maybe the worst of the cities we visited in India for crowds, and oh yes, Disney at a very busy time of year. Not only that, it was not just concentrated in one area, but all over the place. This made walking around very challenging. There are lots of cobbled roads that are pedestrian only at this time of year, we tried to walk on the sidewalks because that was kinder on the feet, but sometimes it proved impossible. We then had two full days, so we had planned in advance to see Holyrood House and the Royal Yacht Britannia and we had tickets for the Tattoo, seeing anything else would be a bonus this visit. Food, there are eateries all over, no need to book, just go with the flow and find somewhere when you are hungry.. Holyrood Palace, we arrived at opening time, 9-30am, it soon got busy. We chose the Royal ticket which included a guided tour of the gardens, the self guided tour of the house with free audio guide and the Queens gallery which had a wonderful Canaletto exhibit. We took our time and ate in the very good cafe and of course I can never resist any Royal gift shop. Tickets for those over sixty are a little cheaper, woo hoo! There is a steep walk back up the Royal Mile from the palace. We found an area on the right hand side not far up, through an arch, selling street foods and crafts, the food was very good, there was entertainment and I bought an unusual handbraided necklace from a vendor. The street was teaming with people. There were people constantly giving you flyers for the hundreds of Fringe offerings around the city, you definitely don't need to prebook any Fringe events, and you must allow time to find the sometimes remote venues for them, buy the tickets there and fight your way through the crowds. We went to one show, it was quite a trek to find it, but it was excellent. We watched several excellent street performers, they expect payment, they deserved it and you should give generously, maybe five pounds each or more, a street performers performance could last even an hour. There were excellent human statues of all kinds, very elaborately dressed. There were stand up comedy shows, even Trump lookalikes-- we took a picture of one guy who looked very like him, dressed like him down to the waist and then bright pink tights with a leash that had a Melania Woman look alike on the end. The scenery of these examples were all over the Royal mile area. The opportunity to people watch is endless. There appear to be hundreds of stores selling everything tartan and Scottish, choose your price point. By the time we got to the castle area, late afternoon, it was already roped off ready for the Tattoo performance. Same the next day, we never got to go to the castle! But we had been before and Mr B remembered the endless displays of weapons and armor, it was not top of our wish list this visit. We ate dinner at a pop up outdoor Tapas restaurant. The following day our priority was to visit the Royal Yacht Brittania. We knew this gets very crowded so again we wanted to be there before it opened at 9-30am. It is in an adjoining town called Leith, we took an Uber for time management, it was 12 pounds. Ubers are very easy to get in the city. The Yacht is located at a specially built Ocean terminal. The drivers know where to drop you off. You go in to what looks like the opening of a Mall, there are stores, and then you go up to the ticket office, free audio guide and go onto the Yacht. Start at the top, exit each deck off the boat, go down stairs and then on to the yacht again at the next lower level. There is an excellent cafe on board and a gift shop later. It got busy very quickly. Excellent. Reduced admission for over 60's. Average time spent there apparently 11/2 hours, we took longer, especially as we ate there too. We then took an Uber to the Royal Botanic gardens which are excellent. The greenhouses, ten of them alone, dwarf the celebrated Longwood Gardens near where we live. The outside displays are less formal but wonderful. There is a cafe and an excellent restaurant where there is table service. We had a delicious very late lunch there. We could have walked back to the city from there but I was on a mission to go to my favourite store and buy some of the essentials of life to take back to the US. Our Tattoo tickets were for the 7-30pm Saturday performance. I believe they've cost around fifty pounds, that is what the organizer of our tour bought. We were in section 4 row Y, high up but excellent viewing. The lines to get in are long, very crowded. We got there in line about 6-45pm and we were in our seats in plenty of time before the show began. There was an announcer who constantly made a running commentary before and during the show. He sounded so like Jeremy Irons, but we did not buy the program so don't know who it was. The show was wonderful. We had had reservations about this show, remembering seeing it on TV many years ago, all just marching military, but it has changed. Even those who had seen it before in our group years ago, thought so. There were groups from several countries, including dancers. There were two groups from the US, excellent of course. Everyone in our group agreed the Swiss drummers and flag bearers were the best. The show runs 90 mins. Usual times are 9pm, but Saturday has a 7-30pm show and a 10-30pm show. A show has never been cancelled, wrap up in layers, no umbrellas allowed. The organizers dismiss the audience in a controlled orderly fashion, there is no dash for the exit allowed. We have to come again, so much to see, but I would never come at this time of year again, I think June is the best time tosee Scotland having lived there in the seventies. Things on our wish list-- gin and whisky tasting, Camera Obscura Museum, Museum of Scotland etc etc


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  • Travelling Solo

    #21 Posted : Monday, August 20, 2018 3:32:53 AM

     

    Travelling is always the best part in my life and in fact because of travelling i can keep my mind stable & happy because i believe travelling has that power to deal with the things, understand people better and live in circumstances. Solo travelling made me learn many things practically that are very important for women to know. As i heard people saying that travelling along would be boring but i say that travelling solo is the biggest part to know yourself and find yourself in the crowd. It is a way to make yourself stronger day by day. Because of this only i started living my life. And in part of my trips, i want to give credit to the travel portals which always come up with the discounts and offers to reduce my spending cost which helps me to save on my next trip instead of spending all my budget on one. Solo travelling is the best!!


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