I love visiting local markets. I try to make a point of seeing one every trip if possible. Sometimes you can pick up great gifts from these (eg. tea, spices). Another place I like to visit when I can is the local library. The quality of a library tells me a lot about a people and the values they and their government have.
For another urban perspective, from Pheymont's details to the photographs of Michael Wolf's Hong Kong, large scale " Architecture of Density ", currently at Flowers Gallery, London. Don't neglect to click on "#39" on the gallery page for more images.
Unbelievable density...unimaginable to me to live in such a tight space. It started a discussion here at home on the viability of cities, whether we could, with Marge Piercy, look forward to a future where cities do not exist—or to a future where, free of some of the economic and political structures of today, we could guarantee cities that are a pleasure to live in. In the meantime...I wish I could be in London to see these pictures at gallery size.
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...
Well, I said so much about Iceland, I decided to leave the rest for another post. Getting from Barcelona (or Madrid) to Lisbon: the only practical way is to fly. Train takes too long for this one, and costs more! From Barcelona to Lisbon, flights on Vueling, Iberia, TAP, etc. run from $35 one-way to about $80 before you hit the high-priced ones. I just looked in May; Vueling and Iberia have $68 in the morning and $35 at 7:30 pm. Madrid-Lisbon, there's a $40 mid-day flight, but most other...
PHeymont has given you some excellent advice, Travel Luver. By all means, spend some time in Iceland. If you can fit it into your trip, 4 days would be my minimum stay here. As Paul pointed out so well, Iceland is unique. It is also very sparsely populated, with only 300,000 people on the island and two thirds of those living in Reykjavik. And it is a newly form volcanic land with tons of glaciers, waterfalls, and geothermal events. So by all means, see it. When you land at Keflavik airport...
Hey, I don't know if anyone mentioned it, but no matter how cold it is, they keep the outdoor pools open in Iceland with underground hot water. We went to the Blue Lagoon in February, and it was funny...usually people get OUT of a pool because they are getting cold, but there we stayed IN to keep warm!
Originally Posted by voyager: Hot springs are to die for. You always see pictures of the Blue Lagoon. Are there other places to go for a warm swim in Iceland ? There are lots of places to go for geothermal swims in Iceland, Voyager. Almost every small city and town has a public geothermal pool. The most famous is the Blue Lagoon, but it's also quite pricy, especially if you go for a family. This website gives you some idea of all the pools you can access in Iceland. Here's that link.
Well, thanks everyone. You've been great and this has all been very helpful. So yes, I will go to Iceland for 4 days. I will base myself at a hostel in Reykjavik (all I can afford), and I'll do 2 day trip tours, still researching which ones but those recommended look great. And I love hot springs, so I plan to soak the evenings away after enjoying the "youth scene" over there. I need to check out a good Icelandic beer. Any recommendations. And I will visit Iceland at the of my trip, rather...
You're most welcome, Travel Luver! Give the VIKING beer a try -- it's pretty good. And made with that great Icelandic water that has a unique taste (and pleasant at that). Also be sure to try their Coca Cola, made with Icelandic water and sugar (not corn syrup as in North America) -- definitely a better product.
Another part of the agreement is of interest to US travelers. We can only spend 90 days in the Schengen country for every 180 day period,without having to contend with Visas . I haven't heard too much about the consequences of overstaying the 90 days ,until I saw this comment online about getting a $500 fine for overstaying. http://www.latimes.com/travel/...-20150405-story.html More info on the 90/180 day rule http://www.latimes.com/travel/...20150329-story.html#
I don't share the nostalgia for border crossings, having experienced some of the worst crossings in the world in the late 80's And while Schengen said it wiped out land borders for travelers throughout most of Europe, I've still experienced controls in those countries . On one such occasion ,I took a bus from Brussels to Paris and the bus was stopped twice in France. ID was checked and people questioned. Even bags were inspected for people from Romania and Bulgaria.
Interesting, given the history of prejudice against Romany, that those countries were singled out. At the time they were not yet Schengen members, either, although they are now in the process of joining, leaving only Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and UK out among EU members. The non-EU members of Schengen are Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
From a historic perspective, I think it's still a little early to know if this was all good for Europe or not. The border crossings are definitely easier and faster, and I, too, miss the passport stamps no longer on my pages. For me the greatest convenience is the common currency -- not having to change money so often, usually at a loss. Of course, some would argue that the Euro is the greatest weakness of the EU (will it survive?), so I'm not sure in the long run how this will all play out.
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