85 Search Results for "secret"
- From: cosianatour
Hanoi cuisine is one of the most special culture feature which draws attention of tourists over the world. In addition to Pho - the most well-known dish, there are lots of other dishes, from luxurious to popular ones, which shouldn’t be missed. All of them help to build up a beloved image of Hanoi capital thousand years of civilization. This article will introduce the most famous dishes of Hanoi and best places for you to enjoy.1. Bun Oc (shellfish soup and vermicelli)Whoever has ever lived in Hanoi, especially woman, cannot forget the dish which has sourish flavor of vinegar, moreish and brittle flavor of snails, fried tofu, raw vegetables. It’s not hard to make the dish, but it is a secret to have a delicious bowl of Bun Oc.You can enjoy this dish in Bun Oc Ba Sau restaurant at 73A Mai Hac De (opens from morning to midday), Bun Oc Ba Luong in Khuong Thuong Street, Bun Oc Co Beo at No. 1 Hoe Nhai or one restaurant in Nguyen Cao market (No. 5 Dong Mac street, Dong Mac ward, Hai Ba Trung district).2. Nom Bo Kho (dried beef salad)The main ingredients of this dish are green papaya, dried beef, raw vegetables and sweet and sour sauce. It’s easy for you to find out restaurants having this dish. However; if you want to enjoy the most delicious Nom Bo Kho dish, you should visit Nom Hue restaurant in Ham Long Street (opposite to Ham Long church) with various kinds of salad such as dried beef salad (Nom Bo Kho), mixed salad ( Nom Thap Cam), beef tendon salad (Nom Gan Bo), etc; or Long Vi On restaurant ( Ong Tau Ao Den restaurant) at No. 23 Ho Hoan Kiem street.
3. Nem Tai Ba Hong (a dish made from pork’s ears brand-named “Mrs. Hong”)Nem tai is simply clean pork’s ears which is steamed and then sliced into thin pieces, mixed with powdered grilled rice. It is eaten with rice paper, fig leaves, salted fig, raw fresh vegetables and sweet and sour sauce. The dish has the crispy taste of pork’s ear, the buttery and strong taste of powdered grilled rice, the cool taste of herbs, and the sweet taste of the sauce. Visiting Hanoi, you should enjoy this dish at Nem Tai Ba Hong restaurant at 35 Hang Thung street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi.4. Chan Ga Nuong (Grilled chicken’s legs)In Hanoi, Ly Van Phuc street is the famous place for Chan Ga Nuong dish. Chicken’s wings and legs are grilled and eaten with sweet potato, honey marinated bread, cucumber vinegar salad, chili sauce. The tasty dish should be enjoyed in Ly Van Phuc street, especially at the final restaurant of the street, according to the gourmets’ suggest.5. Oc Luoc (boiled snails)In Hanoi, many Oc Luoc restaurants have the brand thank for its own unique sauce. Hanoi people often eat this dish wih chopped lemongrass and ginger, lemon leaves and sometimes with cucumber or jicama. To enjoy boiled sails dish, you can choose one of the restaurants located in Luong Dinh Cua street; at No 1 Dinh Liet; in Ham Long street (opposite to a church); Lan Binh restaurant at 18 Hang Be street or the one in Trai Gang market, etc. The restaurants often open from afternoon to midnight.6. Bun Cha (noodles and grilled meat)Bun Cha, the dish with its origin from Hanoi, nowadays appears in many other provinces and cities of Vietnam. Among many Hanoi’s delicious dishes, Bun cha’s taste seems easy to fit with any diner comes from everywhere. Bun Cha is served with a plate of white rice noodle (bún), a steamy broth and herbs, a bowl of special sweet and sour sauce. Traditionally, chả (the pork) is a marinated pork patty, but another type of chả (small pieces of fatty pork belly) also often accompany the patties. However, Bun Cha in Hanoi is more special because it’s eaten with “hung” – the famous herb of Lang village of Hanoi. Visiting Hanoi, you should come No.34 Hang Than to enjoy this dish.7. Trang Tien ice-creamEstablished in Vietnam’s subsidy period, Trang Tien ice – cream shop is located at 35 Trang Tien street, nearly Hoan Kiem lake – the center of Hanoi capital. Nowadays, it has become a culture feature of Hanoi. Unlike many kinds of industrial ice-cream, Trang Tien ice-cream has fresh, cold and sweet flavor. The shop is always crowded from morning to evening, even in winter days. This delicious ice cream is only VND 12.000 for ice cream cone and VND 8.000 for other types - so cheap!!!!8. La Vong fried fishCha Ca La Vong – one of top famous dishes of Hanoi that introduced in Vietnam tourism guidebooks, is the dish which you should not miss. The delicious dish is perfectly combined between Vietnam’s specific spices such as saffron, dill, shrimp sauce, fish sauce. Cha Ca dish consists of pieces of attractive tasty fried fish eaten with red chili, white rice noodle, and some herbs. There are a lot of Cha Ca restaurants in Hanoi, however, the oldest one is Cha ca La Vong restaurant located at No.14 Cha Ca street.9. Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)If any visitor, especially international visitor, is asked for the dish in Hanoi that he always remembers, it’s sure for “ Pho”. Unlike the dish in other places, Pho in Hanoi is not eaten with raw vegetables but its stock’s light sweet will bring the appetite for any diner. In Hanoi, there are many famous Pho restaurants including Pho Co Cu restaurant in Lieu Giai street; Pho Mau Dich in Ly Quoc Su street; Pho Thin in Lo Duc Street; Pho Suong in Dinh Liet Street, etc.10.Dishes from duckDishes made of duck are not much famous in Hanoi but they can show typical taste of Vietnam’s North. The dishes are not only snacks for men to eat with sips of alcohol, but also suitable for family gatherings. Recently Kim Ma street has become the center for a variety of duck dishes such as saute duck, sour bamboo duck hot pot, Steamed duck with dracontomelon fruits,etc.
- Blog post
- 3 months ago
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- Views: 36
- Since: 5 months ago
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- From: lelex26
alcobaça portugal:In the church are the tombs of King Peter I and his murdered mistress Inês de Castroand with it the story of the tragic liaison between Pedro and his ever-lasting love for Inês. Forced at an early age by royal duty he had to marry Constanza, the Infanta (Princess) of Castile. She died within a short time of the marriage ceremony and created the opportunity for Dom Pedro to escape with his true love and live in the city of Coimbra. King Afonso IV his father, believing that the family of Inês to be a threat to his own kingdom had her murdered. Shortly after the death of his father Dom Pedro declared that he had married Inês in a prior secret ceremony in Bragança, promptly taking revenge on the killers in a very gruesome manner and exhumed her body. He presented the embalmed corpse at court with a crown on her head and demanded that all his courtiers kneel and individually pay homage to her decomposed hand. Today, their ornate tombs face each other so that on Judgment Day his first sight would be of his beloved Inês.
- 5 months ago
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- From: VCBET
Stressed about the bad economy?. Be trapped in a crowded and noisy city?. Want to stay away from a boring life?. You need a vacation!.
Why not only get your very own photo of three of the last untouched corners of Vietnam, Pu Luong, Ba Be National Park and Ngoc Son Ngo Luong Natural Reserves, but also fulfill your responsibility to natural areas?.
Pu Luong Natural Reverse (Pù Luông) might suggest something of a secret garden of millions of years created by two mountains running parallely towards northwest-southeast. Instead of getting some sleep on a well-equipped and luxurious hotel, sleeping over at eco accommodation providers’ traditional houses should be thought of. It is absolutely true to note that none of travelers are not captivated by a 360-degree view over diversified natural landscapes when they climb to the highest point with the evaluation of 1700 m.
Moving on to the second must-see travel destination, Ngoc Son-Ngo Luong (Ngọc Sơn-Ngổ Lương), is located in the northern region of Vietnam with breakthtaking scenery. Easily accessible by car, great wildlife viewing is not out of travelers’ hands. It is for sure to say that you will have 24 amazing hours with a range of community-based activities such as rafting on charming rivers flowing through a forest, having the most memorable Thais-style dining experience rather than a nine-course tasting one with.
For sightseers, perhaps it is too enough to make them remember it over and over. So, how any travelers can explore part of Vietnam’s hidden beauty in terms of way which was is different from others?.
All you have to do is to join our tourism network_VCBET, Vietnam Community-Based Ecotourism Network, whereby you can get your responsible one-and-only trip done in relation to the local community. On the one hand, our carefully designed tourism products are good value for money as to participants. On the other hand, it is right your actions taken on minimizing the negative impact of tourism on where you had set your foot, providing direct financial benefits to hosts, and contributing to have a world of better tomorrow.
That’s exactly what our eco-tours and your journey ahead are all about.
And believe it or not, once you make a snap decision getting involved our eco-tours, you will have that “aha” moment…
To your enjoyment,
Vietnam Community-Based Ecotourism Network
Headquarters and Volunteer house: No 2, Cong Go Str., Dong Anh Dist., Hanoi, Vietnam
Office in Hanoi: MV-Space Building, No 14 Trung Yên 3 Str., Trung Yen New Urban, Cau Giay Dist., Hanoi, Vietnam
Office in Da Nang City: No 101 Pham Tu Str., Son Tra Dist., Da Nang City, Vietnam
TEL: (+84)4.6329 2996
Hotline: (+84)974 644 134 (Worldwide) | 0986 333 788 (Vietnam)
- Blog post
- 9 months ago
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- From: Bicycle_tours
Last September I joined a cycle tour in the Czech Republic. The tour took us from Prague in Central Bohemia to the rolling hills and charming medieval and Renaissance towns of South Bohemia and then through the gently-sloping vineyards of South Moravia. Some riders then cycled on to Vienna, whilst others chose to return to Prague. For many non-Czechs the countryside of the Czech Republic is unknown, secret, and undiscovered. This tour is a wonderful opportunity to discover what lies beyond Prague, a city that is deservedly visited by millions of people every year.
We were a very diverse group. Our party consisted of seven Australians, a British couple, a couple from Brazil, a New Zealander, an American, and our Czech guide, Jiri (George) and driver, Jindrich (Henry). And me – I’ve been living and working in Prague for six years, but I’ originally from London, UK. Age-wise, collectively we covered every decade from early thirties to (almost) seventy. As those who have been on tours like this before, there is a camaraderie amongst cyclists that transcends continents and ages.
Our First Day: Prague to Ceske Budejovice by mini-bus
Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov by bike
After collecting everybody from their hotels on a quiet and overcast Prague Sunday morning, we group of strangers, soon to become brave companions of the trail, gathered together in the cellar meeting room of the tour company to introduce ourselves and to receive a full briefing. We were given a detailed itinerary for each day, a safety briefing and a small glass of slivovice (a local plum brandy that some people quite like).
Then it was outside to hitch up the bike trailers to the mini-buses, check on helmets and water-bottles, and on to Ceske Budejovice. After a two and a half hour drive, we parked up in the city centre and everyone was allocated their bikes for the week. The bikes are already pre-selected for individual size, weight and experience by the company. Some people had brought their own pedals and these were quickly fitted by the ever-helpful staff.
Ceske Budejovice is of course the home of the Czech Republic’s second most famous beer, Budvar or Budweiser. It is an old town with a lot of green spaces and a very large Renaissance square, where we took the first of many group photographs.
We made our way through the town and down to the River Vltava (Moldau), the same river that runs through Prague. It was a great way to start, riding along the flat cycle path following the river to test out the comfort and settings of our bikes. After a while, we reached a rocky outcrop – our first hill! After climbing above the river, we coasted down a winding forest path to the small settlement and large monastery of Zlata Koruna (Golden Crown) founded in 1263. Here was a chance to stock up on a well-deserved bowl of soup and plate of sausage.
After suitable refreshment, the last stage of the day’s short ride was down to the fairy-tale chocolate-box town of Cesky Krumlov, dominated by the second-largest castle in the country built on sheer rocks which rise up from the river. It is spectacularly beautiful and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. George gave us a tour of the town, but sadly it was raining quite hard at this stage, so we were very glad to arrive at our hotel. The luggage had already been delivered to our rooms and we had time to freshen-up before dinner.
Dinner was in a lovely medieval restaurant where the food was prepared on an open fire. We sat at long wooden tables and had a chance to get to know each other better. However, what really bonded our group together was the next stop in a lovely crowded pub with a piano player who took requests. I’d like to think that our lusty singing of old standards was enjoyed by the locals as much as it was by us.
Kilometres cycled: 27
Second Day:Cesky Krumlov to Trebon
After a fine and hearty breakfast, we gathered in the courtyard of the hotel to reacquaint ourselves with our bikes and make some final adjustments to them. And so we set off. It’s a long climb out of the valley of Cesky Krumlov, nestled on a bend of the river, where in high summer canoeing and rafting are very popular. We rode along paved cycle tracks and forest paths before stopping at a village restaurant for lunch. It was quite a strenuous day’s cycling and some of our valiant company took respite in the mini-bus for the more hill sections. The mini-bus is never far-away and is stocked up with water, fruit and energy bars.
I should add that the day was quite testing; not only because of the distance and terrain, but it was also quite cold and raining, so it did test the morale of the group. However, the week’s forecast was good and the outlook was for sunny weather. Some of us rode the mini-bus into Trebon, while others pressed on through the mud and rain to arrive later.
After a welcome shower, we met for a meal in the hotel restaurant, which was served with élan and charm by our hosts. Some opted to take a walk around the town afterwards to take in the Renaissance square, the Marian column, the charming castle and a local hostelry to taste the renowned local brew.
Kilometres cycled: 61
Third Day: Trebon to Telc
Trebon has been the centre of the Czech fish industry for five centuries. Over this time many fish-ponds and man-made lakes have been developed to produce carp and other fish. Carp is a traditional Christmas meal in the Czech Republic. It is a flatter area of South Bohemia, so a good chance to get in some faster cycling along paved forest paths. It was raining lightly and misty but this added to the mystique of riding through the dark, silent pine forests of Central Europe. All very atmospheric, all very Brothers Grimm.
After about 25 kilometres we left the woods and the land began to undulate through fields. We met up with Henry and the mini-bus for snacks and refreshments, and to mend a couple of punctures.
We pushed on through the rain. This was the most gruelling day, the furthest to cycle, nearly 80 kilometres and the second two-thirds were fairly hilly. We stopped for lunch at a country pub-restaurant, but otherwise it was head-down and concentrate on getting to Telc and South Moravia.
The town of Telc is another UNESCO World Heritage site. It has a breath-takingly beautiful and extensive square, consisting entirely of Renaissance buildings from the 16th century, decorated in the typical brightly-coloured and sgraffitoed style of the time. It’s a great photo opportunity.
We stayed in a very fine hotel not far from the main square, which had been a large farm and dairy complex. The tasteful reconstruction provided spacious rooms and a fine restaurant which served an excellent and well-deserved dinner.
We were all pretty tired after this day, but we went to bed knowing that the following days would be sunny with temperatures rising to 25 degrees Celsius. Indian summer weather!
Kilometres cycled: 78
Fourth Day: Telc – Vranov
This was a shorter day than the day before but we had some hilly country to tackle as we followed the spectacular rocky and wooded valley of the Dyje river, which flows into the Danube.
By mid-morning the sun had begun to shine and the temperature to rise. We rode through sun-dappled forests and fields and stopped at a large 17th century convent complex, where we stocked up on snacks and looked around the old buildings perched on top of a hill with lovely views of the Moravian landscape we were to cycle through.
In the afternoon, after lunch in a country village restaurant where some of our party were brave enough to assay the delicacies of the bull, we cycled through deeply-forested paths with short steep climbs and satisfyingly long downhill runs.
We passed the 11th century castle Bitov, high on an outcrop of the river, and climbed up to take a short tour of the castle. It was extended during the 15th to 17th centuries and had a fine library and impressive collection of hunting weapons: bows, crossbows and guns.
A short distance away is another castle called Zornstein (Angry Rock). This is a quite different structure to Bitov, having been abandoned in the Middle Ages and largely derelict. It is however an impressive ruin of medieval fortifications. There were fine views to be enjoyed from this historic vantage point over the blue skies and green forests of the winding valley of the River Dyje.
From Zornstein, it was a short ride down to the river and along the bank to Vranov.
Kilometres cycled: 44
Fifth Day: Vranov to Znojmo
This was also a shorter day in terms of distance, but again there were some tricky hills and off-road forest tracks to be negotiated.
However, we did have the chance to tour the castle which sits upon a rocky crag that dominates the small town. The castle was modified extensively in the Baroque style in the 18th century and so offered a completely different style to the previous day’s visits. It really was a most impressive place giving an insight into the opulent way of life of the aristocracy during Hapsburg rule.
After the informative tour, we saddled up again and rode out of Vranov towards the major wine-producing town of Znojmo. This was another enjoyable day during which we mostly followed the border between the Czech Republic and Austria. The trails pass through forest and paved tracks in an area which had been off-limits for forty years during the days of the Iron Curtain. The natural habitat is therefore unspoiled.
The last section of the ride was quite taxing as we had to climb up away from the border towards Znojmo, situated on a steep hill above the river Dyje. It is a impressive sight with several ancient spires and towers rising above the houses perched on the hillside.
After the steep ascent, we were pleased to arrive at the hotel, beautifully modernised with glass staircases, large rooms and comfortable beds.
Kilometres cycled: 40
Sixth Day: Znojmo to Mikulov
For me this was the finest day for cycling. The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny, and the terrain was gentle passing through undulating wine-growing lowlands.
We had a long lunch at a traditional pub-restaurant and passed by the only section of preserved pre-1989 defences with fences, originally electrified, tank defences and a cleared, and previously mined, dead zone. It was quite creepy to see the physical embodiment of the ‘Iron Curtain’ and difficult nowadays to understand how peoples could have been so brutally divided after the Second World War.
About 15 kilometres before Mikulov we stopped at a small wine-cellar, little more than an underground shelter, where the proprietor talked us through his current production and we tasted Burcak, the deceptively first fermentation of the grape juice. It was interesting to see the small scale of the production, but it is clear the the best of the wine never reaches the export market.
Feeling refreshed, we pushed on through the glorious afternoon sunshine to Mikulov which we could see jutting out of the surrounding plains from far away. We had our farewell dinner in a restaurant adjacent to the hotel and then repired to a wine bar for prize-giving and valedictions.
Kilometres cycled: 70
Seventh Day: Mikulov to Vienna
Mikulov to Vratice – Lednice area
Mikulov is a charming small town with a population of about 8,000 which was at one time a major centre of Jewish trade and scholarship. It is very interesting and thought-provoking to walk through its square with its pretty church and then through the adjacent Jewish quarter with its 15th century synagogue.
After breakfast, our fellowship was broken. Eight of our party had planned to end their tour in Vienna and they set off with George guiding. After a day’s ride they were driven the remainder of the distance to Vienna and delivered to their hotels by the ever-reliable Henry.
The rest of us spent an enjoyable day riding a circular route from Mikulov to Valtice and Lednice. This area is another UNESCO World Heritage site and is thought of as the most architecturally valuable region in the country. This was a great day’s cycling to end the tour. We cycled along deserted roads to Valtice through the heart of Moravia’s prime wine region. We paused in Valtice to have a look at the impressive chateau and then pressed on to Lednice. The route took us through the forested parklands of the Lichtenstein family which are studded with ostentatious monuments including the Temple of the Three Graces and a shrine to the patron saint of hunters, Saint Hubert. After lunch in Lednice, we went to walk around the glory of the neo-Gothic chateau.
Then it was back to Mikulov along a series of ribbon lakes following the border to meet up with the driver, Tonda, who drove us back to Prague and delivered us to our hotels, safe, sound and tired after a most enjoyable cycle tour through some of the finest countryside and towns that the Czech Republic has to offer.
Kilometres cycled: 47
Total kilometres over the week: 367
Guided Group Tour by: www.bicycle-tours.cz
- Blog post
- 9 months ago
- Views: 70
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- From: msmarls
Love beautiful tropical white sandy beaches with crystal clear warm water and hardly anyone there? Ever been to Palawan in The Philippines? No? Better hurry-the secret is getting out and everyone's learning that, as their new tourism slogan says, it's more fun in the Philippines.
- 11 months ago
- Views: 797
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- From: activetravelasia
Once a year, with his wife's blessing, Lau Minh Pao gets to have a guilt-free tryst with his ex.
Their rendezvous' have played out more like strolls down memory lane than salacious flings, but they are part of a treasured tradition in this mountainous corner of northern Vietnam that may challenge some more linear concepts of love.
"In the past, we were lovers, but we couldn't get married because we were far apart," Pao simply as he waited for his date on a dark night in the village of Khau Vai in Ha Giang province.
Now when they meet, he said, "we pour our hearts out about the time when we were in love." They are not alone.
For two days each year, on the 26th and 27th of the third month of the lunar calendar, the tiny village of Khau Vai, strung along a saddle in the lush hills near China, is transformed into a "love market."
For nearly a hundred years, the Khau Vai love market (Ha Giang province) as been known as a lovers' rendezvous. This is no ordinary farmer's market. Flirting, courting and, hopefully, canoodling are the order of the day. Hundreds of members of Giay, Nung, Tay, Dzao, San Chi, Lo Lo and Hmong hill tribes trek in from across the mountainous districts of the Dong Van Plateau and as far away as nearby Cao Bang province, some travel days to attend
Legend has it the market dates back to 1919. Legend has it an ethnic Giay girl from Ha Giang province fell in love with an ethnic Nung boy from the neighboring province of Cao Bang.The girl was so beautiful that her tribe did not want to let her marry a man from another tribe and a bloody conflict ensued between the two tribes. Watching tragedy unfold before them, the two lovers sorrowfully decided to part ways to avoid further bloodshed and to restore peace.
But to keep their love alive they made a secret pact to meet once a year on the 27th day of the third lunar month in Khau Vai. Thereafter, the hill village became known as a meeting place for all of those in love.
Young, dreamy singles trek to Khau Vai in hopes of finding a first love. Wayward lovers come to escape their families. Older generations might hope to bump into an old flame. Married men and women often return to the love market to rendezvous with former lovers, and they are allowed to meet again without jealousy from their spouses during this one event of the year.
- Blog post
- 11 months ago
- Views: 48
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- From: egypttravel@cc
Egypt ; The Land of Pharaohs, cradle of civilizations, legends and mysteries. Legends of Pharaohs & The Nile Tour offers you an unforgettable experience to the ancient wonders of Egypt discovering the legendary sites of the Pyramids.
- 1 year ago
- Views: 290
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- From: hoosierfan1997
Set between two major mountain ranges, the Olympics and the Cascades, with the Puget Sound's fjord-like waters to the west and massive Lake Washington to the east, Seattle has one of the most dramatic settings of any city in the country.
The frequent moody cloud cover can hide those jagged mountains but on clear days 14,411-foot (4297 meter) Mount Rainier can be seen from the city. Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a short stay in the northwestern U.S. city.
6 p.m. - If the clouds have lifted even a bit, there's no better place to watch the sunset over Elliott Bay than from the Seattle Art Museum's nine-acre Olympic Sculpture Park on the downtown waterfront. Besides wandering about the 20 sculptures from major artists like Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson and Richard Serra, you can enjoy further views of the changeable bay by strolling along the paved trail through nearby Myrtle Edwards Park.
7 p.m. - Head up to the Capitol Hill neighborhood and start the weekend with cocktails at Tavern Law, named by GQ Magazine as one of the 25 best bars in America.
There are plenty of handcrafted cocktails to enjoy in the Prohibition-era surroundings, but celebrate the start of your getaway with a custom champagne cocktail. Peruse the menu. The oxtail banh mi sandwich, based on Vietnamese tradition, will give you a taste of the Pacific Rim influence that figures in so many Seattle menus.
9 p.m. - Seattle takes its jazz seriously and there's no better spot than Dimitriou's Jazz Alley downtown to hear it. With any luck, a musician like Grammy Award-winning Arturo Sandoval will be holding court. Or maybe you'll catch the funky horn-driven Tower of Power.
9 a.m. - Fortify yourself for the day ahead with one of the best Mexican breakfasts anywhere at Senor Moose in the lively Ballard neighborhood. The crowded restaurant offers breakfast specialties culled from regions throughout Mexico. Try the outstanding huevos motuleos with black beans inspired by the Yucatan breakfast staple. Even though it's early, go ahead and get an order of the flawless guacamole and chips. It's surprisingly good with a cup of Senor Moose's strong coffee.
11 a.m. - Get a sense of Ballard's historic status as Seattle's Scandinavian neighborhood at the Nordic Heritage Museum and at stops such as the shop Scandinavian Specialties, where you can pick up house-made cured meats, homemade Swedish meatballs and a bowl of traditional yellow split pea soup.
Ballard also has a lively shopping scene. Â KAVU, a local Seattle clothing and gear company, offers the quintessential Northwest look, with hip interpretations of outdoorsy style clothes. Stop at The Secret Garden Bookshop which has a carefully chosen selection of books for children and adults. For lunch, head to the nearby Ray's Boathouse Cafe with views for which Seattle is famous, along with the seafood.
3 p.m. - Spend the next two hours absorbing more of Asia's influence on Seattle at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The museum, which is situated in lovely Volunteer Park, showcases exquisite art from various centuries and numerous counties in Asia.
5 p.m. - Continue your exploration of Seattle's hot cocktail scene at the Zig Zag Cafe tucked away behind the Pike Place Market. Try the One Legged Duck, a blend of Rye Whiskey, Dubonnet, Mandarine Napoleon and Fernet Branca. Order a plate of marinated olives to go with it, or try the cheese plate. Much of the food on the menu is sourced at the Pike Place Market.
7 p.m. - Since you're already at Pike Place, head to Matt's in the Market on the third floor of the Corner Market Building, where the food matches the view. Meat lovers can try the Pork Belly Confit with kimchi broth. For those who prefer seafood try the clams with chorizo and cava or order anything with Dungeness crab or perhaps some oysters on the half shell. For a larger plate try the seafood stew.
9 p.m. - For a great evening head to the Triple Door in the heart of downtown Seattle, which offers music ranging from pop chanteuse crooners to Apple Jam, a group presenting a critically praised tribute to the Beatles. A great wine list is available, along with excellent cocktails and Southeast Asian inspired plates. The satays are a perennial favorite.
10 a.m. - For brunch try Salty's at Alki in West Seattle. It can be crowded, but the views and lavish assortment of Northwest foods on offer more than make up for it, including piles of Dungeness crab and smoked salmon, along with brunch staples like Eggs Benedict and Belgian waffles. Afterwards walk for miles along the waterfront through Alki, Seattle's premiere people watching neighborhood and beach scene. Seals often pop their heads up here, and you'll see ferries chugging off to local islands.
1 p.m. - Seattle is a book lover's town, and readers have many fine bookstores to visit. Seattle Mystery Bookshop in historic Pioneer Square is one of the best and offers both new and used books. Passionate, friendly staff can help you find the perfect read.
For an excellent general selection, Elliott Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill has the goods, many with staff recommendations, plus a great selection of unique cards. It's easy to lose yourself in the stacks, so keep an eye on the clock if you need catch a flight.
With booming family-friendly popularity, Seattle is an urban playground with wide open appeal for outdoor lovers. If you enjoy tall emerald forests and city parks, stunning views of distant snow-capped mountains and miles of Puget-Sound open water, you'll love Seattle. While many know Seattle as the rain capital, Seattleites boast their city actually gets less annual rain than New York or Miami. A little drizzle is no reason to miss out on exploring -- especially in summer.
Most city attractions for kids are clustered at Seattle Center, a 74-acre downtown venue with the Space Needle, Children's Museum, Children's Theatre, Pacific Science Center, Experience Music Project and an indoor-outdoor amusement park. Large event fests are here; make sure to bring strollers for the little ones.
· Pike Place Market. The nine-acre Market, which opened on August 17, 1907 according to its website (http://www.pikeplacemarket.com) is can't- miss for all ages as the city's heart and soul. The Market is a free National Historic District with more than 250 businesses, 100 farmers, 200 arts and craftspeople and open daily. Arrive at 10 a.m. to beat crowds. Mondays and Tuesdays are best for crafts; Wednesday-Sundays showcase amazing fresh produce. Kids love their photo with Rachel, the iconic life-sized bronze piggy. She's under the central Market clock by Pike Place Fish, where singing fishmongers throw fish.
· Space Needle. This symbol of the 1962 World's Fair has an observation tower ("O Deck") at 520 feet high. Kids love scoping out Mount Rainier on free telescopes. SkyQ's interactive experience, with five touch-screen kiosks, entertains all. An often-crowded gift shop sells noteworthy souvenirs. Kids 3 and under free; kids ages 4-13 pay $9, ages 14-64 pay $16 and people over 65 years old pay $14.
· Seattle Aquarium. While gazing into a 120,000-gallon aquarium, kids of all ages are astonished as they also see colorful salmon, rockfish, sea anemones and native Washington marine life. Also, there's storytelling for the youngest. On the waterfront at Pier 59, down a flight of stairs from Pike Place Market. It gets crowded, so arrive at 9:30 a.m. Kids ages 3 and under are admitted for free. Admission for youth (ages 4-12) is $10.50, and admission for adults is $16.
· Pacific Science Center. This hands-on, six-acre facility is great for elementary-aged kids, with interactive exhibits and live science demonstrations. A tropical butterfly area is popular for all ages. Also, IMax movies, laser tag and the Planetarium offer an educational, yet fun way of showing kids information. Prices range from $17-$23 for adults and $10-$13 for kids.
· Woodland Park Zoo. Its naturalistic settings rank the 92-acre Woodland Park among the country's top zoos with appeal to all animal lovers. Chilean flamingos, an African savanna, tropical rain forest, and covered activities such as parakeets feeding provide a full day's entertainment. Bring dollar bills for rides on an old-fashioned carousel (merry-go-round). Admission depends on the time of year. Kids under age 2 are admitted for free; admission for adults (October-April) is $11 and $16.50 during summer months. Admission for kids ages 3 through 12 is $11 during summer months and $8 the rest of the year. Be sure to rent a wagon (near admission entrance).
· Experience Music Project Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. One of the world's largest collections of memorabilia from Seattle icon Jimi Hendrix. EMPSFM appeals to rockers, high school teens and parents who remember Hendrix. It celebrates American popular music genres. Also, a SpinKids Station amuses young kids. Kids ages 4 and under are admitted for free. Admission for youth (ages 5-17) is $12, and admission for adults is $15.
· Tillicum Village & Tours. For a memorable four-hour evening, take a late afternoon cruise to scenic Blake Island State Park, birthplace of Chief Seattle, for a Northwest Coast Native American dance presentation. An all-you-can-eat traditional salmon bake dinner is yummy. Board from downtown waterfront's Pier 55. Kids under 4, free; kids aged 5-12 pay $30 and adults pay $79.95.
· Bainbridge Island. Board a downtown Seattle walk-on ferry (about $7 roundtrip, no reservations) at downtown's Pier 52 for a 35-minute ride to charming 28-square-mile Bainbridge Island. It's a fun day trip for the family. Enjoy ice cream, coffees, lunch or picnic. Bring a stroller.
· Olympic Sculpture Park. This free, downtown nine-acre sculpture park is a great spot to view Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains scenery. A z-shaped path rambles among permanent and rotating sculptures. Great for a picnic lunch with treats picked up from shops at nearby Pike Place Market.
· Alki Beach Park. Kids love this true sandy free beach park, with a 2.5-mile pedestrian walkway. It's where the first white settlers arrived in Seattle in 1851. Catch a Metro Bus (Route 56) a block from Pike Place Market. Water temps average 46 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit.
· University District Farmers market. Washington's largest "farmer's only" market is also Seattle's oldest market, taking place every Saturday throughout the year. Sample local farm foods and watch chef demonstrations. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. near University of Washington.
· Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Kids love watching salmon climb up a fish ladder or catching a glimpse of a sea lion from a viewing window. Also known as the Ballard Locks, the locks raise and lower boats between fresh and salt water.
· Downtown parking is expensive and is challenging to find. Keep it simple -- walk, ride Metro Buses or take a cab.
· One-way streets and steady construction can cause direction confusion; ask for directions.
· The city's scenic waterfront-area hills are steep. Pack each family member's most comfortable shoes.
· At dusk, avoid historic Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market areas (hangouts for rowdy, alcohol-slugging vagrants).
· During late spring and summer, throngs of visitors and cruise passengers frequent popular spots; arrive early in the morning. Arrange a meeting place if family members get separated.
· Summer air conditioning is scarce, so plan accordingly. November kicks off the cool rainy season. In winter, dusk arrives come late afternoon.
Other things things you should know
· Seattle's Visitor Center and Concierge Services have free bookings and reservations for dining, tours, and transportation. Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Washington State Convention & Trade Center's Upper Pike Street lobby, 7th and Pike streets. 206-461-5800.
· Most top children's attractions are conveniently located near Seattle Center, a 74-acre urban park, including the Space Needle, the modernistic 1962 World's Fair landmark.
· Seattle's climate is refreshing from July through September. Pack a light jacket or sweater, but most humidity-free temps range from 50s Fahrenheit to the 80s.
· Dressy attire not required. Seattle is casual and laid-back, with layered comfort a fashion standard.\
· Multiple public parks, with green space for running and hiking (some with beaches) offer kid-friendly places for dissipating energy.
· Caught in a downpour? Cool weather? The towering, downtown flagship REI, billed as the world's premier outdoor gear store, has a 65-foot freestanding indoor climbing wall. (Residents typically shun umbrellas).
· At Pike Place Information Booth, corner of Pike Street and 1st Avenue, buy half-priced concert and play tickets for day of performance.
· While walking downtown, have kids look for Seattle's iconic bronze pigs. Take pictures.
· During the winter, rent a car for the day and take the kids skiing. Crystal Mountain has the state's highest vertical drop, along with scenic chairlift rides, hiking trails and biking trails (www.skicrystal.com). Also, the Summit at Snoqualmie has easy accessibility and lessons, both skiing and snowboarding, for adults and kids (www.summitatsnoqualmie.com).
· Plan picnics after visits to the Pike Place Market area. Fresh fruits, cheese, meats and sweet treat food choices are abundant. Don't miss Beecher's for cheese near the market; kids love the homemade mac and cheese on a cool day.
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A slice of pizza heaven? Um, no, not so much. I was compelled, COMPELLED I say, to eat there. My inner 13 year old girl had to dine at the namesake of my beloved childhood chick flick and find out if the magic really is in the secret sauce. It’s not. And there’s no need to keep this sauce a secret, truly. Tell folks and let them help you make it better.
Now, if you do want a slice of heaven, go to Galla’s pizza in Atlanta. That sauce is so good I want to wear it as perfume.
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- 2 years ago
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The little lighthouse that was almost lost. This little gem was scheduled to be torn down, when a man from Saugatuck, Michigan bought it and moved it to his property along the bay in Saugatuck. It has been rebuilt/redone and looks GREAT. What a little beauty !
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- From: suzitvlldy
Thinking of Switzerland in the winter as only snow -filled, is something of a misnomer. Yes the Alps in all their majestic glory with most cities and towns are steeped in snow. However; areas such as the deep valleys get very little snow and some not at all. For those who want to visit the snow, but not be “in” it all the time, this country allows them to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Switzerland being such a compact country makes visiting all areas easily accessible. No matter where you go however, you are always surrounded by the Alps in all their magnificence.
So much to see and so little time is how I would describe Switzerland. For history buffs, you have over 100 castles/chateaus and ancient ruins.
One such place is the Chateau du Gruyere which is actually a castle with a very small medieval town “attached” to it. Sitting high upon a hill over -looking a beautiful valley, it’s something you might imagine a fairy-tale castle looking like with its turrets and cobblestone paths. Built in 1270, it houses some impressive pieces of art and furniture, and offers guests a short film about its history. If you are a history buff and love architecture, this is a dream of a building. The little village just outside the gates is very pretty with its cobblestone streets and fountains. It houses mostly restaurants which all seem to have a fantastic view of the countryside and of course your ever-present gift shops. There is a very “unusual” museum and bar located just outside the gates of the chateau. The museum showcases a variety of creatures in a mythical-magical universe by artist HR Giger. The Ginger Bar opposite the museum represents the artist’s most beautiful works of art in its seating. So while enjoying that pint, you’re sitting on a work of art! Open year round. Christmas at the Castle is from November 19 to January 8 which will showcase nativity scenes from Austria and South Tyrol.
Located down the hill from the Chateau du Gruyere is, you guessed it, La Maison Du Gruyere cheese dairy. For cheese lovers, (of which I am one) there are several dairies which not only show you how this delectable morsel is made but some even allow you to make your own to be consumed on site or shipped home at a later date once it’s aged. Emmentaler or Swiss cheese is of course the most well-known and widely used in fondues. This particular dairy however makes the Gruyere or soft cheese. I thought it was unique in that as soon as you walk in the door, you can see the storage and aging of all the cheese before you even walk on the tour. The tour demonstrates how the cheese is made and processed. Afterwards, you have the opportunity to taste the cheese and of course buy some. The dairy houses a restaurant and menu that caters to all food types. It also has a very well stocked and varied gift store. Can you ever have enough cheese to eat?
Roughly, 40 minutes away from Gruyere, is the city of Broc. (Interesting the closer you get to the border of France, the more everyone speaks French). What makes this city so special? Chocolate! From the minute you step out of your vehicle, the scent of chocolate permeates the air! Cailler Chocolate Factory has to be one of the more interesting chocolate factories in Switzerland. I have to admit this was one of my favourite places. Definitely entertaining from the minute you walk inside and take the “Disneyland” tour of how chocolate originated in Europe. You walk thru several rooms starting with the origin of where cocoa beans came from and how they were discovered. Each room is decorated and animated along with a commentary which can be done in a variety of languages. I happen to be with a group of Americans so English was the language used. At the end of the “animation” tour, you find yourself in the actual factory where the candy is being made. I found it interesting that the chocolate is laid out in long rows and then a “guillotine” is used to cut into pieces. Then each piece is individually wrapped. To think that machinery now does the work that used to be done by hand! (Reminds me of one of my favourite “I Love Lucy” episodes where Lucy and Ethel are working at a candy factory wrapping chocolate and how things go horribly wrong). Technology. Gotta love it! As you wind up your tour, the piece de la resistance! Chocolate. Lots of it. Yours for the tasting! That saying “kid in a candy store” comes to mind immediately. I found it hard not sample each and every one. In addition to the tour and all the chocolate, Cailler’s offers daily chocolate cooking classes on how to make chocolate and create your own delectable treat. Can’t beat that! As you exit out of the building, with chocolate in hand, you can’t help but feel extremely fulfilled.
My cable ride up to the top of Schilthorn was breath-taking along with being one of the most thrilling “rides” I had ever been on. It takes 4 cable car rides to get to the top, the 1st one being the most dare I say, scariest? Yours truly is definitely not afraid of heights but traveling up in almost a vertical position you try not to think about the fact that you are suspended on only 2 cables. After white-knuckling it and looking at the passing scenery with only one eye open, you reach the 1st summit. After what you just experience, the remaining 3 cable car rides to the top, will seem like a piece of cake! Ah! you’ve made it to the top! You feel like a pro! That is, until you have to go back down again. But for now, your mind is taking in the spectacular views of the Alps and watching some of the fearless skiers skiing down the slopes. On a very clear day, I am told you can see the Black Forest of Germany. Unfortunately, not on the day I was there. Although a beautiful sunny day, in the distance clouds were forming. Not to worry. Time out for a bite to eat or to warm up with cup of hot chocolate in the revolving Piz Gloria Restaurant most popularly known as the “James Bond” restaurant. (Think 007 in Her Majesty’s Secret Service) The restaurant revolves around in a slow motion which I am told would take approximately an hour for a complete 360 degree turn. I actually timed it. It was closer to 40 minutes. Not a problem. It’s just nice to watch the different mountain ranges go by. Refreshed and sated, it’s time to gather that courage for that ride back down the mountain. On the 3rd cable car down, I got off and stopped in the small village of Murren. Car-free and only reachable by cable car, it is filled with quaint shops, walking trails and restaurants. Very popular with the ski crowd especially during the winter season, it has your typical Swiss Chalets style hotels. It also offers some incredible views of Schilthorn, the surrounding mountains and the beautiful valleys below. Ok, time for that final decent down. I have to admit it wasn’t as bad as going up. This time I decided to be brave and kept my eyes open and stood right against the window. I even took a picture of the decent all the while still white-knuckling it. Once I reached the bottom and was on level ground, I almost jumped up and down and yelled “I did it”! I didn’t really, but felt like it!
Driving back to Interlaken, (about 15 minutes) it was almost anti-climatic. After something so thrilling, back to this quiet but very quaint little town. Located on the river surrounded by the Alps, it has to be one of the most picturesque places to see. Very walk-able and very well laid-out with signs posting everything you want to see. It’s impossible to get lost here. Plenty of restaurants and hotels along with a bit of shopping, it has an ambiance all its own. Strolling along the park located in the middle of the city, I noticed a crowd gathering but couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. That’s when I noticed that everyone was looking up! It’s then I recalled a conversation with one of the cable car operators (which by way is a great way to pass the time as you are trying not look down during your decent) who informed me that most of the operators never take the cable cars down to go home. They “paraglide” down the mountain. Can you believe it? I thought he was joking! But he wasn’t! Looking up from the park, I saw about 20 different Para glider’s starting to land in the centre of the park! Apparently this is a usual afternoon thing. They jump off the top of the mountain, land in the park, quietly pack up their canopy and then walk home. This isn’t just for people that work and don’t want to drive, it’s a major tourist attraction as well. If so inclined, you too can jump off of a mountain and glide down to the valley by yourself or in tandem. Well, at least there is no rush hour traffic!
My Swiss experience would not be complete without experiencing what the Swiss are known for world-wide: Cheese Fondues. I found such a place to try this experience in a restaurant called Restaurant Laterne. Frequented mostly by locals, it’s in a residential neighbourhood of Interlaken. The outside looks your typical Swiss Chalet and the ambiance inside is exactly what you would expect a Swiss restaurant to look like with its wooden chairs and tables. Family owned and operated, the food is homemade with several types of fondues, veal, pork, cabbage, potatoes and plenty of it. The fondue is really a meal in itself, but trying other things as well is all part of the experience. I can guarantee you won’t go hungry here. The staff is friendly and very accommodating and the prices are well within reason.
Would I go back and visit Switzerland in the winter? In a heartbeat.
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