Originally Posted by Ron B.: My recent, free Air France ticket - LA to Paris to Barcelona and then Venice to Paris to LA the tax was $577.97. That's a lot of travel, Ron, but it certainly makes one relook at the definition of "free".
I'm not a big fan of macarons (sorry, world!) but among them my favorites are coffee and Fruits Rouges. I noticed recently that there is a caramel with sea salt one now available...will report on that in July.
What's also interesting about the information is that it's from hotels.com which says in the first line it's helping us find "the best cities around the world". I'm not sure I buy the premise that popular is best. Another index I also find VERY interesting, in the quest to locate interesting places for longer stays on a budget, is the cost of living index for places around the world. While visitor costs and resident costs are not the same, still, it's an interesting tool and also gives us...
That's a great point! I never like "best" lists, anyway...and like to stray into any place that looks good and take a chance on whether it's "Zagat-quality." The cost of living is interesting, too, especially for travelers on tight budgets; my experience in Portugal last summer (see BLOG here on TravelGumbo) has sent a couple of younger colleagues off to plan Portugal trips instead of more expensive parts of Europe.
T&N, you make an interesting point about the air circulation and coolness of Eiffel's building. These days we are constantly reading about advances in "green design," intended to reduce excess energy use. Ironic how well some of those principles of making life bearable were known so long ago by those who didn't have the option of mechanical air-conditioning! Another example is in today's blog about Gaudi's Casa Battlo in Barcelona, which uses an open well through the center of the...
You wonder how many times Monet actually used these gardens as inspiration for his art -- likely hundreds. Perhaps his most spectacular pieces are the huge canvases he painted on display in Paris' Orangeria museum. These were the works of an old man loosing his eyesight to cataracts, but are truly spectacular!
Definitely hundreds! In fact, for the last 40 years of his life, he painted almost nowhere else. He even created a floating studio on a small boat so he could paint within his waters, and nearby on the Seine.
The Canal St.-Martin area is also good for food. One of the best-regarded new bakeries, Des Idees et du Pain is on its edge, and there's a great twice-a-week open-air market between the point where it goes underground and Bastille.
One thing that's very interesting about the open air markets there is after the markets close. The Roma gather up all that's left behind and divide it up amongst the community. Quite a sight, and I was really amazed at just how much is left
I'm really excited part of the focus of these guides is back to budget travel.And budget travel is more than about saving money. I think during the Wiley ownership days of Frommers, they tried to be all things to all people,and had too many destination guides. More focused, quality ,and passion, is just what the Guidebooks need.
That's a great review Paul, and I'm delighted to see Frommers guides back in the hands of the Frommers. I like their simple "Day By Day" series and this reboot of their guidebooks sounds very helpful and useful. I still like to travel with a guidebook in hand (though I research the trip beforehand). Thanks for the thoughtful review.
What great news to hear that a publisher recognizes the need for practical budget travel information. I can spend ages on the Internet trying to work out a basic trip scheme. When a location is new to me, I need that overview in hand. It does me no good to read that the Paris' Luxembourg gardens are wonderful when I am trying to work out how long I can afford to be in Paris. It does me no good to know that there are marvelous chambre d'hotes in the Ile de Cite when what I need is a couple of...
I told Pauline Frommer that I was disappointed with the Frommers' England Guide. She said I'd be Happy with the new Frommers' London (not England) so I wait with baited breath for a read of the new issue.
I think the series will improve, GarryRF. Unlike Wiley's and Google, who really are just business guys who weren't passionate about travel, Pauline and Arthur do care about the experience. The quality of a guidebook depends largely on the author/researcher, but good editorial direction is very important. Passion about something matters. Clearly you have it about your home and your travels. We hope our readers find this website has it, too. We love travel related stuff!
A review for London ? Haven't been there for 40 years Paul. Really don't like big Cities and the "too busy to care attitude of people who live there" It's just my personal opinion. On the Tube Train into London people don't make eye-contact or talk to strangers. Here in Liverpool you'll be in conversation with 3 or 4 strangers and share a few laughs on the journey ! Someone falls on the street here ( and most of Northern England ) and folks rush to help. London they step over you. Rant over...
I know Paul - I'm just being a bad traveller ! It's like folks go to France and complain that Parisians don't smile! But they do when they know you! I just find big cities much the same. Like Havana is the same as any other overgrown City in the Caribbean! Crumbling Spanish Architecture. Dominican Republic is another good example. I must be getting Claustrophobic Paul ! Give me the wide open spaces of Delaware State Park and I'm in heaven. Some days I have the whole Park to myself. Solitude...
Over the years I've posted many Budget Travel ideas to the Fommers Site. But they were all ripped apart by people who've never tried them or would even consider them. So I'm pleased to see the focus has been brought back to Europe on $5 a day - and up !
Like GarryRF, I'd rather be in wide open places. But that said, I do love snippets of big cities. A week at a time is about enough to satisfy my need for hustle and bustle for awhile. I know others can't live without the constant adrenaline rush of a city. The beauty of a free world is that everyone can pick what they want.
I imagine this is a tough one to formulate - to make it possible to be guessed/known by someone but difficult enough to be fun. Maybe the balance for those who have gotten one right is to wait until the last day to post and then, as you say DrF, only if we don't know.
My inclination is that if some one knows, they shouldn't hold back, but post. Some will be easy, some will be tougher. But making the brain work is the fun part. PHeymont is sort of running these, as much as anyone runs anything here. We'll see what his take is.
In a way, most of the places in the world worth visiting have some history of being "dirty, industrial" places--that's where people cluster and societies are forged. The ancient cities of the Middle East and Greece, and Rome itself were like that! We recently visited the excavated Roman city under central Barcelona, and were surprised to see how much of the area in the center of the ancient city was given over to commercial laundry, large-scale dye works and industrial-scale wine-making. The...
I may not be much help, because we tend to send postcards to the grandchildren from each city, with notes about what we've seen and think they would be interested in, and to avoid filling the suitcase with physical items. But for those few things we do buy, we usually go to the market! One of our travel rituals, on the first day when we stock the apartment, is to look for a local preserve or jam that we don't see at home (skyberries in Stockholm, for instance). Once we've found one we really...
Great thing about Europe, especially for travelers, are the many options they have for getting around. Train is often the best option for those going from the heart of one city to the heart of another. I'm glad to her this route is now open to people.
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