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Tagged With "UNESCO World Heritage Site"

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Re: Trains in Cuba

PHeymont ·
Great question...and possibly not an easy clear answer. Cuba's trains have generally been in poor shape in recent years as older equipment has run down and spares not available. However, according to Mark Smith (The Man in Seat 61), that's changing with the arrival of a fleet of new Chinese-built locomotives. On his site ( Seat61.com ) he has an extensive update of recent changes in schedules, routes and locations (that's important because Havana's main station is closed for a 3-year...
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Re: Trains in Cuba

Wilbur's Travels ·
Thanks for the info. I too love Mark's site. I will try my damnedest to do a train journey if I can so I can send you details. Wilbur.
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Re: Boston in the fall - suggestions please!

PHeymont ·
That's good news, Mac! OK...the leaves start turning first in the north, moving south as the weather changes...but timing is always tricky because it depends on each year's combination of temperature and humidity. Here's a link to a site I've found useful in the past...it's from Yankee magazine, and includes a live map of the progress of the leaves as well as itineraries and more. http://www.yankeefoliage.com/ We haven't had a good leaf-peeping piece on Gumbo yet, so I'm looking forward to...
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Re: Boston in the fall - suggestions please!

DrFumblefinger ·
Regarding hotels, Mac, I think I'd spend a few days in Boston to begin with, presuming that's where you are flying into. This will let you get over your jet lag and also give you a chance to see the state of the colors and plot out where you want to go. I would NOT go without having at least a night's reservation booked ahead because you'll waste too much time looking for a place to stay and will end up paying rack rate. Things will be busy and pretty filled up in the small towns of New...
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Re: Wonders of the Modern World

DrFumblefinger ·
The Soviets have never been completely transparent about Chernobyl, but this is the story as best as I was able to synthesize it: It seems that the alarm system was malfunctioning (going off all the time) so it was turned off by the tech monitoring the system. He had the fuel rods pulled out of their cooling chambers for maintenance work, was distracted (remember, the alarms are off), then by the time he focused back on the task at hand the rods had begun to melt and couldn't be reinserted...
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Re: Experience Lalgarh Palace with Palace on Wheels Train

Professorabe ·
Without doubt this mode of travel appeals to some people. However, on our travels through Rajasthan we encountered tour groups from the Palace on Wheels on a couple of occasions and felt that going by road, with a car and driver, suited us much better. You simply saw a hell of a lot more, had much more contact with the local people, and were not tied to any schedule. We stayed at the Laxmi Niwas Palace, which is part of the Lalgarh site, and it was very pleasant indeed. (Whilst there are...
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Re: What's the Best City in the World to Eat in?

PHeymont ·
I won't claim any city to be the best in the world—at least not until I have time to visit them all! I'm always skeptical anyway about "the best" "the most" and so forth. That said, I'll also add that the best is not always the most expensive or famous. And I'm pleased to see that he's not pushing posh places, but rather inexpensive curry houses and a 24-hour cafe. His point seems to be that London is the best city to eat in because it is, his opinion, the best city to BE in. So, I'll...
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Re: What's the Best City in the World to Eat in?

GarryRF ·
The Restaurants in London have Chefs and Staff from the country they represent. They're not 2nd or 3rd generation French or Indonesian people. They have mostly arrived in the UK after learning their trade. Even in Liverpool I can taste the authentic food of 30 or more countries, So in a Cosmopolitan Capital like London I'm sure I could eat genuine food from anywhere in the world !
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Re: How'd We Live Without Travel Apps?

FlashFlyer ·
A lot to be said for what might be the ultimate travel app category: Maps and GPS. I know people have their favorites (Google's not the only one, according to my wife...) but almost everyone uses some version on their phone or tablet. Another good one is local transit. Most big cities have a route-finder on their transit site, but you have to find it. But Google Maps and HopStop and some others have transit info for most big cities. One downside: Apple is as bad as Google about business;...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Travel Rob ·
Hi Hank, I've actually found the UK a pretty reasonable destination in recent years, especially outside of London.(My budget was way under yours for a month long trip to Europe last June.)A lot of museums are free. Transportation costs within the country can be reasonable too.Not only do they have advance cheap train tickets but they have bus and budget air choices.And of course there are some good budget hotel chains as well, such as Travelodge and the Tune Hotel Have fun and keep watching...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

GarryRF ·
Staying in the UK is no more expensive than being a tourist in the USA. You wont get a month in London. Same as me travelling from the UK to New York. Silly Prices ! So decide on what you want to do over here and start planning, Have a look at the YHA web site. Youth Hostels Association. Forget the Youth reference. My Kids aren't Youths anymore. And I use them too! They are used by Travellers like yourself - and me - across Europe. They are Family groups and Ramblers ( Countryside Walkers)...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

GarryRF ·
Starting to get things planned now Hank ! You have the choice of flying into Edinburgh in Scotland. Manchester in the North of England. Or Gatwick / Heathrow which both serve the London area in the South of England. You can get a Train to Paris to end your tour with a few days of Culture in a foreign language ! Fly back to the US from Paris will save you hundreds of Dollars because you wont pay the UK "Departure Tax" but not vital ! Liverpool is less than an hour on the Train from...
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Re: Renting an apartment in Europe

JohnT ·
Hi Dreamer I can only tell you about my experiences... 1) How long? It depends. Apartment rental have been around in Europe for a long time. It used to be mostly for a week from Saturday to Saturday, but mostly anything goes now. 2) Buyer beware - It will be up to you to research the neighbourhood. You can do that many ways. Perhaps the easiest is using google streetmaps 3) There is no one way to check in. Sometimes you meet the owner or manager and they will give you the key. Sometimes...
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Re: Renting an apartment in Europe

PHeymont ·
AirBnb, and the other major rental agencies, have cancellation policies upfront that give you some choice. AirBnb has several levels ...one allows you to cancel almost up to the last minute, others have shorter deadlines. An advantage of using an agency that works this way...pretty much like a hotel booking site...is that the intermediary is holding your deposit and that can save hassles. Obviously, rules about dissatisfaction vary also, but usually if it can't be ironed out, you'll get at...
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Re: Share Your Budget Tablet and Laptop Picks

DrFumblefinger ·
If you want something a little larger and with a keyboard and good computing power, there's a new bunch of chromebooks coming out for the holiday season. PC World recently featured one in the $200 price range, weighing on 1.25 kg. Here's that link.
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Re: Doctor List for Traveling

Former Member ·
Thanks, PortMoresby. No, I'm not worried about seeing a doctor. I'm more worried about getting my cousins off my back. Someone else told me that there's an organization that puts out a list of English-speaking doctors all over the world--do you know anything about that? Thanks again...
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Re: Doctor List for Traveling

PHeymont ·
Here's another resource that might help you: The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers. It's a non-profit, it's been around a long time, and you can join for free. IAMAT provides a directory of doctors around the world who speak fluent English and have been checked out by the organization for standards and certification. You can read more about them and join here: http://www.iamat.org/
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Re: Doctor List for Traveling

Mac ·
SueZee, wherever you travel in the world your hotel will find you a suitable doctor who will speak enough English for your needs - just like Dr.F says - and Italy will have plenty. Don't bother with lists as they will always be out of date by the time you might want to use them, plus it will no doubt not list a great doc that the hotel knows is just around the corner! At the worst the hotel will have an English speaking staff member sit with you to help translate. Conversely, I do think that...
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Re: Hi Everybody! I'm new here.

GarryRF ·
Hi Ted. Its always good to hear that my Blogs are of interest ! I'm in England and there's a few others scattered around the World too ! Never heard SoCal before - so I'll guess. "It never rains in SoCal" - just when I'm there. Pleased to meet you.
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Re: Welcome to The Golden State.

PortMoresby ·
Currently estimated at 32,00 acres in size, the Butte Fire is now burning 1 mile from Mokelumne Hill. While I have no doubt the tiny town will be saved, your best view of it at the moment may be here , on TravelGumbo. More details on the CalFire site.
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Re: Air Miles vs Low Fare Airline

Travel Rob ·
We flew Norwegian in May, Orlando-Oslo and were really impressed. The 787 made such a difference and we arrived feeling fresh. The moister air, bigger windows and lighting made a world of difference in how we felt post trip. We brought a decent sized carry-on and personal bag each for free too. As far other extra fees, we didn't pay any. They charge for food or drinks, but we just bought those at the airport. And I think they also charge for blankets, but we brought jackets to cover with and...
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Re: Air Miles vs Low Fare Airline

PortMoresby ·
This is sounding very promising, Rob. I can think of no reason to pay more money to pay with miles than for a ticket on Norwegian. I have enough miles to go around the world and only the first leg (or last, depending) is more expensive using miles. It makes no sense. So you were able to carry on your main bag plus a smaller one? I'm speaking of the limits for discounted coach tickets (aka "steerage").
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Re: Air Miles vs Low Fare Airline

Travel Rob ·
The carry-on limits are posted on the site. Still we were a little worried but there were no problems. We each took a carry-on and a personal bag on for free. A note that my same carry-on was too big for Air China so Norwegian had decent limits.
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Re: Picturing Dolls in Different Places?

PortMoresby ·
Google search: http://tinyurl.com/m5nug46 http://twentytwowords.com/arti...nd-them-13-pictures/ http://the-design-ark.com/2013...real-world-settings/ http://designyoutrust.com/2012...and-painted-figures/ http://the-design-ark.com/2013...real-world-settings/
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Re: Help with mobile phone for Morocco

PortMoresby ·
While I haven't been to Morocco for over 2 years, phone service for locals in non-industrialized nations all over the world tends to be cheap phone, available locally, with prepaid sim cards that you reload. It depends a great deal on what services your friend wants and can they, for instance, do without data and use the wifi in their accommodations or will they go to pieces without having it all, all the time. If that's the case, I can't help and will be expensive, all things relative, I...
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Re: Help with mobile phone for Morocco

PortMoresby ·
One more thought. Think long term. If you're likely to travel again and might need a phone again, buying one will be even more cost effective. And buying one after you arrive will be least expensive. Phone service in the US is notoriously expensive. People in developing countries all have mobile phones because of the lack of infrastructure for land lines. So low-income working people all over the world rely on cell service and it must be cheap. So doing as the locals do when you travel...
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Re: GPS v. Sicily = WTF

GarryRF ·
Since I downloaded the US Maps to my UK TomTom I've had great fun ! I love exploring the single track roads through villages and one horse towns! Exploring is great fun - getting lost is a pain. GPS opens up a whole new world to the Tourist !
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Re: GPS v. Sicily = WTF

PHeymont ·
Originally Posted by GarryRF: Exploring is great fun - getting lost is a pain. GPS opens up a whole new world to the Tourist ! Sometimes getting lost is the beginning of the fun...but it's nice to know the way back!
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Re: London- multiple questions

PHeymont ·
I can only help with one of the questions...but GarryRF, one of the TG Gurus, lives in Liverpool and can certainly help with that part. For Stonehenge without a car, there are really two main options. There are a number of tour operators who run coach tours from London to the site; or you can take a train from London to Salisbury and take a bus from the station to the Stonehenge visitor center. The visitor center is new since I was there; it's about 10 minutes by shuttle from the stones...
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Re: How to Irk the Brits

GarryRF ·
The first thing that surprises me on this blog is how eager people are to believe any of the pure drivel that film makers produce. Yahoo send a team to London to be controversial. That's the script. They don't want to tell a story of people who are just like the folks you left behind in America. No. That's not going to grab anyone's attention. PHeymont has lived in both countries and knowingly avoids such divisive journalism. Wherever you travel in the world you find people who are giving ,...
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Re: How do occupy your time while flying?

Angelacave ·
I am an obsessive looker out of the window! Seeing other planes is a comfort, hey we're not alone up here, watching for the first, faint glimmer of dawn on a night flight, being amazed at how big- and empty- some parts of the world are. By the time I have figured it all out it is 'trays up, lights on and let's et ready to land time!
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Re: Airbnb Questions

PortMoresby ·
1. "...is payment for Airbnb places always processed in the US even for stays overseas?" Airbnb processes reservations for guests in their own currency, pays out in the currency of the host. So you, in the US, will always pay in US dollars, a UK resident will pay in £s, etc. The host posts prices in their home currency and when a guest in another country logs in and searches/books, the price is converted by the website at the current exchange rate and they always see the rate in their own...
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Re: Liverpool and Manchester

GarryRF ·
Trains run every hour between the two Cities Paul. You need to add Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and the Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King. We have two.The Anglican one was the worlds largest - but I think St Johns in NY had to beat it. Speke Hall. Chester. Here's a list to peruse at your leisure. Meanwhile I'll put a reserved in my diary. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/A...seyside_England.html Liverpool Cathedral 360' tour: http://www.liverpoolcathedral360.com/tour/ Liverpool World Museum
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Re: Liverpool and Manchester

Travel Rob ·
I stuck to Garry's recommendations for Liverpool both visits and was not disappointed. And to have GarryRF and Mrs. GarryRF on my second visit show me around Liverpool and the surrounding area was really cool! All the museums are wonderful in Liverpool. The Walker Art Gallery is one my favorites in Europe http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/ and the Emigrants to a New World gallery at the Merryside Maritime museum gives an interesting look at those leaving Europe.
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Re: All of Europes countries rated - Food for thought

PHeymont ·
Well, if anyone looking for a place to go tried to use that list, I think they'd be disappointed. It's mostly a compilation of sophomore snark and one-liners...not to mention one-sided, treating Austria as if it were nothing but a place to ski, for example. The broader problem, I think, is the idea that everything can, or should be, ranked. I'd much rather have a list of "Ten restaurants I enjoyed" than one of the "Ten best restaurants in the world."
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Re: Around the World in...10 low-cost airlines

Travel Rob ·
I didn't go around the world last summer, but I did take an array of budget flights, buses, trains and ferries on a two month trip. Norwegian was my favorite budget airline I took. I also enjoyed the Rail and Sail package from Virgin Trains to Dublin from England.
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

DrFumblefinger ·
I never trusted travel agents before the freedom of the internet gave us access to cost information, and I would need a great excuse to trust them now. Online travel purchasing gives us the freedom to have price information come directly to us, rather than to a middle man who may or may not have our best interests in mind. So flights I'll buy either through Expedia or from the airline directly (esp if they are having a "sale"). Rooms I almost get through booking.com, my favorite site because...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

PHeymont ·
I'd definitely agree about booking.com They generally seem to have a much deeper inventory than Expedia, including the small local hotels I like. I also appreciate the fact that most of the bookings don't expect me to pay in advance and allow free cancellation. Often, too, the price I pay through booking.com with those privileges is the same that Expedia offers as a "special" that must be pre-paid! I would also be less than honest if I didn't mention that TravelGumbo receives a small but...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

TravelGirlJenn ·
Interesting topic and rather timely as I am in the midst of finalizing my plans for my upcoming trip. Hotels: This upcoming trip the first I've used Booking.com. I have used a variety of sources in the past (i.e. Travelocity, Expedia, etc.) and have also found that booking directly through the hotel is sometimes cheaper...sometimes. But, I love the option to be able to change or cancel my reservation, if needed. Flights: I prefer to book directly through the airline. Have never used a...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

DrFumblefinger ·
Hi TravelGirlJenn, I've used Expedia to buy tickets a number of times, only once or twice with Priceline, never with Kayak. The big advantage is that you get to see often hundreds of competitive prices, not just the few the airline sites directly show you. And often they are cheaper than directly buying from the airline. Whether or not you can pick your seat in advance is completely up to the airline, not to the online travel site (eg. Expedia). Some airlines (eg. United, Alaska) do let you...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

PHeymont ·
A reminder I used to post on other sites...when you book through an agency, with OTA or brick-and-mortar, the next step is to ask them for the airline locator number (that 6-digit string that goes on your reservation). With that code, go to the airline's site and search for your reservation...doesn't matter if you didn't book it with them directly, you'll be able to find it with the code and your name. If not, call the airline! The reason for all this is to make sure that the agency did its...
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Re: Tough Trains

DrFumblefinger ·
In contrast to "Tough Trains", Fodors just put out a slide-show of some of the greatest train rides in the world. How many have you been on? Here's that link .
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Re: A kind word for Booking.com

DrFumblefinger ·
That's good to know. Many companies don't understand how important good customer service is. Booking.com is my preferred hotel booking site when I travel abroad because they do such a good job describing the accommodations. You'll pretty much know exactly what kind of room to expect. Also, if you are a frequent user you qualify for your their "genius" discounts from select hotels -- an extra 10% off. Nice! For example, when we visited Palermo, we stayed at a top quality hotel with excellent...
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Re: A kind word for Booking.com

PHeymont ·
Another thing I like about booking.com is that the site only accepts reviews from those who have actually stayed...you don't get a link to review until you've been.
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Re: Is a stopover in Iceland worthwhile

PHeymont ·
A lot of questions! Let me try a few answers... Absolutely I'd say stop in Iceland. Every place in the world is unique, but Iceland is more so, geographically, in climate, and in history. Half a week (or even a week) won't do more than scratch the surface, but you'll be able to visit incredible waterfalls, climb on glaciers, see evidence of recent volcanic activity, and realize that under it all is a huge pool of thermally heated water that provides over 70% of the nation's energy. If that...
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Re: Visiting great places -- before they're gone

DrFumblefinger ·
A followup to this thread, Conde Naste has a nicely illustrated list of some of the more endangered of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here's that link .
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Re: Just wondering....

DrFumblefinger ·
Hi PortMoresby, and welcome! We are a new website, and it takes a while for the search engines to detect traffic patterns. Yahoo, it seems, is quicker than Google. But no worries about that. This will change with time and traffic. We came up with the name TravelGumbo independently of the other website. We see this site as an interesting mix of travel tidbits and photos -- like a good Gumbo should be. We own the domain www.travelgumbo.com and have a trademark pending for the name TravelGumbo.
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Re: Just wondering....

DrFumblefinger ·
We developed the concept for this website over many months, and we are TravelGumbo, not Travel Gumbo. There is a difference. The other is a personal diary-type of site that, so far as I can tell, has not been active for over a year. This website is very different in its scope and content. We are not in the same business. Nothing has been copied here except by consent of our contributors.
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Re: California road trip ideas

Theodore Behr ·
Hi Mrs. Briggs! What sorta stuff do you like to see? Nature? Mountains? Desert? Wine areas? Big cities? California has it all. Would help to know this to give you better advice. Whatever you decide, its a great place to go. One of the best in the world. Look forward to hearing from you.
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Re: Visiting great places -- before they're gone

GarryRF ·
When I first visited Cuba back in the 90's it was a different Country to the one today. No TV's - Radio - Phones and many had no electric ! The Cuban Government asked visitors not to show the locals photos of our 3 cars - 2 houses and 14 acres of land by the beach. And how we had a Colour TV in every room. It upsets them. Not surprising really - and quite cruel ! Now its Air Con and fast catching up with the World ! The people are now free to leave and travel. They watch American Satellite...
 
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