Glasgow is Scotland’s Modern-day Gem

139399257Glasgow and Edinbugh. The two are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Though Glasgow is just 45 miles away from Scotland’s other popular urban destination, it has a mind of its own. Before some renewal projects occurred, it used to be quite gritty, while Edinburgh was quintessential fairytale Great Britain, with its castle on the hill, charming homes, and pretty side streets.

Glasgow, however, never really had that charm. But it has something different. A sort of joie de vivre. A true urban excitement evident in the crowded streets, music-filled “style” bars, and plentiful art galleries. And for the past 20 years or so, it’s really come to the attention of those who love cities, and travel publications keep placing it on their lists of great cultural towns and the like. It’s easy to see why! Glasgow is a true modern city with everything you’d expect to find there, sans the trappings of Edinburgh or even London. (more…)

Verona is Italy’s “City of Love”

120781298Say “Verona” and most thoughts turn to those two star-crossed lovers made famous in Shakespeare’s heart-wrenching tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. The pair certainly saw to it that the city’s name was forever linked with romance, but – truth is – Verona is romantic for lots of other reasons. Perhaps it’s the inviting architecture, the cozy restaurants, the pretty gardens, the fine collection of antique stores, or even those little cookies they sell in the bakeries, known as “Juliet’s Kisses.”

Whatever the reason, it seems that even modern-day travelers think this city of about a quarter-million residents is well-worth visiting, and it’s proximity to Venice makes it easy to reach, even if you only planned on exploring the “Big Three”.

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Summer is Ideal for a Historic Cruise along the Rhine River

159269858If you like the idea of being shipboard during all or part of your European vacation but prefer intimate experiences to that provided by those humungous new ships that accommodate 3,000+ passengers, perhaps it’s time to investigate the idea of booking a river cruise.  Such cruises provide luxurious accommodations, exemplary service, and – usually – like-minded passengers, all aboard a vessel that gets up close-and-personal with the sights along the way.

While there are many options for river cruises in Europe, one of the loveliest routes available takes passengers along the spectacular Rhine River, past mid-sized cities and small towns in Switzerland, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Rhine River cruises are among the most popular offered by companies such as Viking and Avalon, and you’ll find that the journey is enjoyable from spring through autumn, offering amazing scenery from the time the buds first appear until the trees begin to turn the colors of fall.

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Discover the Natural Beauty of the Dalmatian Coast

164386052Mention “The Riviera” and most people’s thoughts immediately turn to France and maybe Italy. But there’s a part of the world that many travelers and travel experts are dubbing “The New Riviera”, a lovely spot on the Adriatic Sea that offers the same natural beauty as places like Nice or Sanremo but at only a fraction of the cost and without all the trappings. That place is Croatia’s marvelous Dalmatian Coast.

Particularly, the Lower Dalmatian Coast has been dubbed by Croatia’s clever marketers as “The Mediterranean as it Once Was”, and that slogan happens to be very attractive to travelers that remember the Riviera of yesteryear. Now, they can experience it all once again with a trip to that thin strip of land that runs between Split and Dubrovnik, offering beach lovers plenty of room to sit and soak up the sun but also providing a look at historic towns and sights, wonderful examples of notable architecture, good food, natural attractions, and much more.  (more…)

Norway’s Best Fjords Will Make You Ooh and Aah

160424720Norway, in general, is a beautiful country. It’s lush and green and is truly a photographer’s dream. No matter where you travel, you’ll find spectacular scenery as well as plenty of man-made attractions and locals who are happy to welcome you into their midst.

Most travelers, however, head to Norway to explore the fjords, which can be done on land or via a fjord cruise. Whichever way you choose, you’ll no doubt be awed by what you see. These natural formations are among the most spectacular sights in the world and there’s no doubt you’ll want to spend as much time as possible visiting as many of them as you can squeeze into your itinerary. Here’s our list of some of the most notable.  (more…)

The Alsace-Lorraine Region is a Wonderful Mix of French and German Culture and Charm

 

121974854Though the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine long suffered through ownership disputes between Germany and France, today the region, known by its combined names – Alsace-Lorraine – is a peaceful area, now under French control, that offers the visitor much to see, from UNESCO World Heritage Sites to castles and cathedrals to a wine road that provides guests a close look at the vintages of the region.

These days, most people will tell you that Lorraine appears to be more French while her sister region is certainly more German in character. Nonetheless, each has notable sights that are a joy to explore as you meander through this lovely area in the northeastern portion of the country.  (more…)

Madrid’s Top 5 Luxury Hotel Experiences

 

137471752The third-largest city in the European Union – trumped only by London and Berlin – Madrid has long been a popular tourist destination with individuals from the United States and elsewhere. Home to about 3 million residents, this capital city of Spain is a true melting pot – with immigrants from Latin America, Europe, Asia, North Africa and West Africa making up about 20 percent of the population.

Blessed with a moderate Mediterranean climate (the winters are chilly due to the city’s altitude), Madrid is pleasant any time of the year but a true joy to explore in the spring and fall, when the average temperatures land at about 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Those are great times of year to enjoy both indoor and outdoor Madrid, including a wealth of wonderful museums and architectural masterpieces, as well as beautiful parks and gardens. (more…)

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