Travelog / Optional Experiences

FROM The man in the front seat / October 4, 2018

Zermatt & the Matterhorn

Population:    5800 Located in the German-speaking canton of Valais in Switzerland, the town of Zermatt lies at 1620m (5312ft) above sea-level and at the foot Switzerland’s highest peaks. Because of the town’s location, it is totally blocked off from automotive transport with the only way in being by train, or electric mini buses. Situated in south-west of the country, the town is only 10km (6.2mi) from the Theodul Pass which links Switzerland with Italy. The town sits in the Mattertal, or the Matter Valley, which is one of the lateral […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 14, 2018

Bernina Express, Switzerland

The Bernina Express is a train running from Chur via Davos, in Switzerland through, Poschiavo and into Tirano in Italy. It is an incredibly scenic journey passing through the Engadine Alps and is regarded as one of the most spectacular narrow-gauge railways in the world. This beauty was recognised by UNESCO in 2008 with a large part of the journey being declared a World Heritage Site. The journey is made up of two separate rail lines, the Albula Line and the Bernina Line which both hath their terminus in St. […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 14, 2018

The Great Synagogue, Budapest

The Great Synagogue, or the Dohány utcai zsinagóga, located in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. More than 3000 faithful can fit inside and it is richly decorated, both inside and out. The building was begun in 1854 and only took 5 years to complete, being opened in 1859. It is largely based on Islamic models from North Africa, and medieval Spain. The building’s architect was the Austrian, Ludwig Förster, who claimed that no distinctively Jewish architecture […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 14, 2018

Hvar Island, Croatia

Hvar Island is one of more than 1200 islands located of the coast of Croatia. It is approx. 68km (42.25mi) long and with a population of a little over 11,000 making it the 4thmost populated of the Croatian islands. The island is renowned for its natural beauty, fertile soil and natural springs, all of which make it one of the most visited places on the Dalmatian coast. The hillsides are covered with pine trees, vineyards, olive groves, fruit orchards as well as their beloved lavender fields, making it also one […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 14, 2018

Frederiksborg, North Zealand

Frederiksborg Castle is a royal residence built in the 17thcentury by Christian IV of Denmark and is the largest renaissance residence in Scandinavia. Frederiksborg was the first Danish castle to be built inland, all previous castles had been on the coast or close to ports, as the sea had been the principle means of travel. The castle was also the first to be built for purely recreational purposes, rather than for defence. Its completion lead to the rebuilding of roads from Copenhagen to aid in the kings travels along the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 8, 2018

Sanssouci Park, Berlin

Sanssouci Park is a large park surrounding the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, near Berlin. The palace and park were built as a summer palace by Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia. Whilst the palace is impressive, it is renowned for its park, which include numerous temples and other decorations. When the palace was completed a terraced vineyard was added to complete the structure. It was then decided to add a Baroque flower garden and lawns, flowerbeds as well as including trees and hedges. To improve the design more than […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 3, 2018

Palace of Culture & Science, Warsaw

Constructed in 1955, the building is the tallest in Poland and one of the tallest in Europe with a height of 237m (778ft). Although respected, the building is not like by all Varsoviansand as result has numerous nicknames. Pekin (because of its Polish abbreviation PKiN), and Pajac (which means “clown” … sounds similar to Pałac (palace) in Polish) the most common. It s also referred to as Stalin’s syringe, the Elephant in lacy underwear and the Russian wedding cake. History The building was originally known as the Josef Stalin Palace […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 3, 2018

Marchfelderhof, Deutsch-Wagram

In the middle of the Marchfeld plain in Deutsch-Wagram you will find the country inn, Marchfelderhof. History The 13thcentury village of Deutsch-Wagram was a small settlement that would make the headlines on several occasions. Due to its geographical location, the peasants of the Marchfeld had to fight troops who were invading from the east, this included Huns, Avars, Turks, Magyars along with the French and Swedes attacking from the west. There is also, not very far away, the location of the Battle of Jedenspeigen, where in 1278, the Hapsburg dynasty […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 20, 2018

Peter and Paul Fortress

The Peter & Paul Fortress, is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia. It was founded in 1703, by Peter the Great and is the oldest building in the city. History The building was founded in 1703, on the small Hare Island by the north bank of the Neva River. The origins of the building, stems from a war Peter was fighting with Sweden. He wanted to protect his capital from a feared Swedish counter attack. The building however was never needed, Peter defeated the Swedes before the structure could […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 20, 2018

Kotor

Population: 13,500 Located on the Gulf of Kotor, Kotor is, without doubt, one of the most impressive places in Montenegro. This fortified town, located at the foot of Mount Lovćen with its overhanging limestone cliffs, has become one of the most visited places on the Balkan coast. Location One of the most impressive things about Kotor, is its location. It is hidden in a secluded bay of the beautiful Gulf of Kotor. Not only Kotor, but the surrounding area also, has been fortified since the 6thcentury to prevent attacks from […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / March 31, 2018

Postiano

Population 3900 General Positano, is a small village located on the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. Without doubt, it is the most impressive and photogenic of the coast’s villages. The houses, steeply stacked on its near vertical streets, are painted in wonderful colours such as peach and pink and covered with terracotta tiles. Its streets a lined with elegant hotels, fashionable cafes and a plethora of small shops and stalls selling Positano fashions, including their famed Positano Linen. History Positano, was once part of the great Amalfi republic and as […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / February 7, 2018

Wieliczka Salt Mines, Krakow

Located in the southern Polish town of Wieliczka, the Wieliczka Salt mine was opened in the 13th century and run continuously until 2007. Not only is it one of the world’s oldest salt mines, it is also one of the world’s largest. Today the mine is one of Poland’s Pomniki historii (Historic Monuments) and is noted for its 4 chapels, carved out by the miners over the centuries. The mine itself reaches a depth of 326m (1075ft) and is over 287km (180mi) in length. History Rock salt was discovered in […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / February 5, 2018

Cascais – home of the rich & famous

Population 207,000 General The beautiful Portuguese seaside town of Cascais is located 30km north-west of Lisbon. This once small fishing village gained its fame in the late 19th century when the Portuguese royal family decided to frequent the town. Today Cascais, and the municipality it is in, is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal on of the principle towns on the Estoril Coast, or the Portuguese Riviera. History Cascais has been inhabited since Palaeolithic time when people used the natural caves along the coast to deposit their dead. Not […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / July 6, 2017

Glendalough & the Wicklow Mountains

Glendalough is a glacial valley located in Co. Wicklow which is not only home to the 6th century monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin, but also home to some of the most impressive scenery on the east coast. The Wicklow Mountains The Wicklow Mountains are the largest area of continuous mountains in Ireland, covering an area of 500km2 (190mi2) above 300m (980ft) above sea level. Lugnaquilla, is the highest peak in the range at 925m (3035ft) and in total 39 peaks are over 600m (2000ft). Glendalough Three holy men, Eoghan, […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / March 28, 2017

Palace of Queluz

Located in the town of Queluz, this wonderful 18th century palace was the last of the great rococo places to be built in Europe. In 1794, the palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent and his family, and remained so until the Royal Family fled to Brazil in 1807 following the French Invasion of Portugal. From 1826, the palace slowly fell out of favour with the Portuguese Royal Family an in 1908 it became the property of the state. A fire in 1934 saw the palace extensively […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 11, 2016

Saint-Jean-de-Luz

General Located at the mouth of the river Nivelle, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is one of the most visited place in the French Basque Country with it hugging one side of a sheltered bay. Throughout its history its beauty has attracted Kings and nobles with the highlight being the marriage of Louis XIV of France to Maria-Theresa in 1660. History Saint-Jean has been documented since the 11th century with its sailors hunting Whales off the coast of Labrador in Newfoundland. By the 15 century they had taken control of the cod fisheries which […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 11, 2016

Rias Baixas (Santiago de Compostela)

General The Rias Baixas (Lower Inlets) is a series of four estuaries located in the south-western corner of Galicia and are the grandest and most spectacular of all the inlets that indent the Galician coast. Well known for their spectacular views, beautiful beaches and some wonderful low-key resorts the Rias Baixas is slowly becoming one of the most visited regions in Galicia . The area is also known for providing some of Spain’s most fertile fishing grounds and as a result producing some of the finest seafood in the country. […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 8, 2016

Plaza de América (Seville)

General Plaza America is located in the Parque Maria Luisa (Maria Luis Park) and is flanked by three wonderful buildings; the Museum of Popular Arts, the Archaeological Museum and the Royal Pavillion, which together form Plaza America. History The three buildings, along with the square at the centre, were contructed by Anibel Gonzalez and all built between 1913-1916 for the Ibero-American Fair of 1929. Each building was constructed in a different architectural style that have appeared throughout Spanish history. Highlights Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares (Museum of Popular Arts) […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 8, 2016

The Royal Chapel (Granada)

General Granada’s most outstanding Christian building is not the cathedral, like in many other Spanish cities, it the Capilla Real (The Royal Chapel). Built in an elaborate Gothic style by the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Ferdinand, who wanted to buried on the sight of their greatest victory…The Battle of Granada. History The Nasid dynasty of Granada was the last Mulism domination of Spain to fall to the Reconquista (Reconquest) and it did so in 1492 at the Battle of Granada. In 1504, the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel & Ferdinand, decided that […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 6, 2016

The Albaicin (Granada)

General A must for any visit to Granada, the district is also known as the Albayzin and is the old Muslim district located facing in the Alhambra across the river Darro. Muslim fortifications, houses and fountain still remain as well as many of the Albayzin’s churches and cármenes (large walled villas with gardens) incorporate Islamic remains. The district still maintains its narrow streets and intricate network and as a consequence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984 along with the Alhambra Palace. History The name is derived […]

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