"We never have snow in September!" our hotel clerk said in disbelief. We'd driven up from Mammoth Lakes the night before on what started out as a beautiful day but by the time we got to Tahoe the clouds were ominous. By morning the snow was fall ...

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With a break in some home town responsibilities, we threw some stuff in the car and headed off to Mammoth Mountain for a quick getaway, and boy what a spectacular getaway it was! Twin Lakes Vista It's a long drive from San Diego - about 7 hours ...

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On a road trip to southern Oregon and northern California the plan was to make our way slowly back to San Diego along the scenic California coast, stopping for a few days here and there to sightsee plus do one of our favorite things – hiking – t ...

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What do you do if you want to enjoy more of the wildly scenic Rogue River besides Jet boats and kayaking? Drive and explore! This 77 mile drive takes you on a loop drive with stops for fun, history, and downright terrific scenery. You can do thi ...

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Why Death Valley - again? - Excellent question! We'd seen a lot of sights, and even did a quick hike, on an excursion out and back from Las Vegas just last December. But I didn't get to see the sand dunes or do any star gazing in the dark night ...

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Death Valley - an evocative name for the hottest, driest and lowest of the U.S. National Parks and of course I wanted to see it. With a week in Las Vegas we decided we'd just do the 2 hour drive there and back - and the driving around Death Vall ...

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Las Vegas - 24/7 sparkle, glitz, and glitter and a terrific place to spend the Christmas holiday - even if you (shhh!) don't gamble. This year we had a chance to see how the casinos decked the halls with even more sparkle with some gorgeous Holi ...

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Giant wall murals and colorful graffiti, Berlin is famous for it's street art in every part of the city. The easiest murals to see are on a 1.3 kilometer section of the Berlin Wall along the Spree river called the East Side Gallery, the largest ...

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Fascinating Split, a big vibrant city – but why is it fascinating? The layers of civilization that are right before your eyes. The ancient Roman blocks, basements, and walls of Diocletian’s Palace re-purposed in the dark Middle Ages – ...

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I love re-visiting a favorite city through features on my Instagram account Travelknowing, where I originally posted this series on Split, exploring more of the fascinating details that I didn't get to in my original blog post. Split's a terrifi ...

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With 7 nights in Split we had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful weather in Split's huge park playground - the Marjan Peninsula. You can walk up Marjan Hill from Split's Old Town but if you want to go up and down and all around the best way i ...

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"Oh, this is nothing!" our waiter told us, "In the summer there'll be six of them out there!" We were at the beach café at beautiful Sveti Jakov (Saint Jacob) beach and remarking on the one cruise ship we could see anchored in the Adriatic...but ...

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Kotor is a beautiful and tiny medieval town at the end of the stunning Bay of Kotor. The town itself is delightful, but what about captivating? For me, it was the sight of those fantastic defensive walls that zigzag up and down the steep mountai ...

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"Go early!" Our apartment host urged as we talked about a popular drive from Kotor to Cetinje. "You don't want to be on the road between 10 and 4, there's just too much traffic." I'd heard about this drive before - spectacular views from a tiny ...

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"The war threw my country back 300 years". Very matter-of-fact, our guide told us his stories of living through the Siege of Mostar and the war that destroyed most of the city, and yes, of the bitterness that still lies beneath the surface for t ...

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23 years after the war that destroyed most of the city, Mostar is a popular day trip destination with tour buses dropping off their groups for a few hours to walk across the restored Old Bridge, wander the narrow streets and shop in the colorful ...

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The historical center of Dalmatia, Zadar isn't a delightful medieval town, it was bombed and mostly destroyed in World War II. What you see today is a mix, ancient Roman Ruins and relics, historic palaces and churches, and big blocky Communist e ...

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I’d booked a Superior Double room for 2 nights well in advance and from the pics I’d seen, I wasn’t expecting a lot. Then I entered room 201 and just said WOW! The fixtures such as the bathroom fittings and the closets are the original, but the ...

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Wooden walkways wind directly over rushing water next to cascading waterfalls as you descend from the Upper Lakes to Lower Lakes at Croatia's Plitvice National Park. Once you've walked the miles of delightful wooden walkways and paths in this UN ...

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A wonderful tangle of tiny streets, busy in the daytime and delightfully quiet at night, it's hard to imagine a more romantic medieval town than Rovinj. The picturesque town rising dramatically from the sea started out as an island, defended by ...

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The most fun you can have on two wheels in Rovinj is biking the fabulous Forest Park Golden Cape. This beautiful park started out as the vision of Johann Georg Hütterott to create the health club resort Cap Aureo (Golden Cape) back in the 19th c ...

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Pretty, petite and pastel, Piran is a wonderful place to do...relaxing. The sights don't take that long - you can wander the picturesque streets, climb the bell tower, walk the town walls and still have plenty of time for idling by the sea. Pira ...

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A great 3 nights at Vila Piranesi – the location can’t be beat and our “Comfort One Bedroom Apartment with Sea View” (Booking.com) was just that – comfortable with a terrific view of the harbor. Our apartment #526 had a window facing the harbor ...

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Lake Bled is less than an hour from Ljubljana and many people visit as a day trip. But staying 3 nights is a better strategy to really enjoy this beautiful area. Top Experiences Never ending views from the walk circling Lake Bled Hiking up path ...

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Ljubljana makes a terrific base for day trips to see some famous caves, castles and medieval towns. We took 3 days of our week long stay to see Predjama Castle, Postojna Cave, Škocjan Cave and the medieval town of Škofja Loka - all about an hour ...

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Most people give Ljubljana just a couple of nights and then move on to their next destination. While it's true that you can do the most popular tourist activities in 1 super speedy or 2 leisurely days, Ljubljana makes a terrific base for day tri ...

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Fabulous Vienna! I feel lucky to have visited Vienna - the cosmopolitan capital city of Austria - three times. It's a city with great museums, architecture and plenty of history to keep you busy - all in a walkable historic core. Knowing some fr ...

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Beautiful, grand Vienna - a city with great museums, architecture and plenty of history to keep you busy, all in a walkable historic center. Last year we focused on audio guide walks around the city, learning fascinating facts and discovering ob ...

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Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Germany 60 Nights in 6 Countries Getting There and Back Again Into Vienna, out of Berlin Getting the flights in and out is the start of all of my itineraries. After that, it's ...

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MOBILE PASSPORT Officially authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection The Mobile Passport app is the replacement for the blue customs form you must submit to US Customs when entering the United States from a different country. If you are f ...

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Madrid, Spain I love Madrid - the world class museums, architecture, pretty plazas, terrific social lifestyle, friendly people, and of course - the amazing food. In our 7 Nights in Madrid we made nearly nightly forays to Calle de Cava Baja for a ...

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Pasajes San Juan/Donibane, Basque Country, Spain Pasajes San Juan, known as Donibane in Basque, is a small traditional Basque village located in the bay of Pasajes. With one tiny main street, the village is famous for its architecture of old hou ...

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Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain A fabulous building of contemporary architecture, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is itself a work of art and a must-see sight in the Basque Country of Spain. But you can't just see it from the outside, you have to see ...

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Seville, Andalusia, Spain One of the most famous bell towers in the world, the Giralda was originally a minaret during the Almohad period in the late 12th century. The minaret was converted to a bell tower after the Christian reconquest and adde ...

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Tossa de Mar, Catalonia, Spain A drive up the slow coast route of the fabulously scenic wild coast of Spain was one of the things I just had to do in our 4 days on the Costa Brava. A quick stop at Tossa de Mar with it's pretty, long crescent bea ...

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Portlligat, Catalonia, Spain I'd never known much about Salvador Dali...then I watched a DVD "The Dali Dimension: Decoding the Mind of a Genius." Wow, he was really interesting! He read and conversed about physics, science, and psychoanalysis. K ...

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Sa Riera, Catalonia, Spain The first walk on this wildly windy day on the Costa Brava was from the picturesque fishing village of Sa Riera, up a well maintained footpath around the craggy rocks. Views north from the path high above the crashing ...

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Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain With only 4 nights in Barcelona, why go to Montserrat? Normally I wouldn't venture out of a city on such a short stay, but we'd been to Barcelona before and this part of our 10 Days in Barcelona, Costa Brava and Madr ...

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Parque Natural de Carreiron, Illa de Arousa, Galicia, Spain The serene Parque Natural de Carreirón occupies the entire southern tip of the island Illa de Arousa in the heart of the Ria de Arousa. The park is a protected intertidal wetland, impor ...

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Parador of Baiona, Galicia, Spain Who doesn't like a fort? The medieval Monterreal Fortress turned modern Parador wasn't originally on our leisurely driving tour south of Pontevedra. A stop at a cafe in Cangas looking out over the Ria de Vigo de ...

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Sa Tuna, Costa Brava, Spain On this wildly windy day the Costa Brava, or Wild Coast, lived up to it's name. We walked the delightful coastal footpath from the small rocky beach called Aiguafreda to the charming village of Sa Tuna. The historic p ...

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Covadonga, Asturias, Spain The beautiful glacial lakes of Covadonga are in the Picos de Europa range, and hiking around them was high on my list of things to do in our 3 night stay in Cangas de Onis. With a day of great weather before us we pack ...

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Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain A forest of more than 850 columns of granite, jasper and marble with tiered arches are the first astounding sight of the interior of the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. The original mosque was built around 785 and became f ...

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Girona (Gerona), Catalonia, Spain The medieval Roman walls in Girona are a wonderful (and free) way to see the old walled quarter of Girona, with panoramic views of the city and countryside and peeks down into the courtyards, backyards and parks ...

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Ribadesella, Asturias, Spain A walk out the Camino a La Guia on the bluff separating the estuary and town from the sea had beautiful views of Ribadesella. Our visit to pretty Ribadesella was impromptu, the morning in Cangas de Onis looked like i ...

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The Ravine "El Tajo" of Ronda, Andalusia, Spain The famous Andalusian white hill town of Ronda perches on its mountaintop high above a deep gorge called The Tajo (The Ravine). The town is split in two parts by the gorge and connected by three br ...

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San Sebastián or Donostia, Basque Country, Spain As if the world class cuisine weren't reason enough to go to San Sebastian, the gorgeous setting of the Bahia de la Concha puts this destination in Northern Spain over the top. An easy climb on pa ...

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Biking the Moderns in the Movie Colony, Sunrise Park and Sunmore Neighborhoods Another day, another bike ride to see some fabulous and famous Mid-Century Modern architecture in that mecca of modern called Palm Springs. This 7 mile jaunt takes yo ...

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The Palace and Fortress of Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia, Spain The floodlit Alhambra from the terrace in front of the Iglesia de San Nicolás in the Albaicin district. Watching the sun set and the fortress floodlights rise is a magical moment i ...

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The Fabulous Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Palm Springs Flashback to Palm Springs in the 40's, 50's and 60's and what do you find? A playground for movie stars and hundreds of homes, offices and other buildings in an architectural style now ...

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A Trip Through an Alien Robot Santaland in Palm Springs If you've grown up celebrating Christmas, you know that a favorite holiday tradition is driving through decorated neighborhoods to look at the Christmas lights. Well, hold on to your Santa ...

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Desert Hiking Among Joshua Trees and Giant Boulders Twisty, spiky, weird looking Joshua Trees. Giant boulders. Inhospitable desert.  A beautiful day in December is a great time to visit and see the fascinating and strange landscap ...

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Hiking in November in Sedona - sound cold? Maybe a little on the chilly side a couple of days but despite rain, hail and snow we had some terrific hikes. One day at the beginning of the week we were wearing shorts and just a few days later we we ...

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Playing in San Diego Like a Local Biking Mission Beach to La Jolla Beach boardwalks, beautiful neighborhoods, and gorgeous views - this bike route from Mission Beach to La Jolla is only about 8 miles (16 round trip) but you'll want to allow plen ...

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One of my favorite fun and free activities on the Las Vegas Strip is casino trekking - in and out of a series of casinos to check out the sights and themes plus log some exercise time. Mandalay Bay to the MGM Grand and Back Start at the elegant ...

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MHL Micro USB to HDMI 1080p HDTV Cable Adapter Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5 So, you have a big data plan on your Samsung Galaxy phone - did you know you can watch your favorite Netflix shows on it? But even better, you can connect your phone to a b ...

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Less than an hour drive away from Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Würzburg is just that much closer to the Frankfurt airport where we ended our European trip. It's an historic city with plenty of sights to pack in the last 2 days, and a terrific end i ...

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a perfectly preserved walled medieval town, and a day trip or overnight stop for MILLIONS of tourists. I was braced for selfie stick toting pushy tour groups but - surprise! - it wasn't like that. In fact, it was very ...

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One of the reasons I wanted to come to Bavaria was to see the famous castles of King Ludwig II, the tragically romantic recluse, mad fairy tale king of Bavaria. We toured all of King Ludwig's castles and one fascinating ruin where he wanted to b ...

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Fairytale Castles, Gorgeous Gorges, Ruins and More in Beautiful Bavaria Beautiful Bavaria, Awesome Austria - the Alpine scenery in this part of the world is just a make-your-eyes-hurt kind of pretty. Lucky us to be on a holiday here! This part o ...

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I been to Vienna 3 times and loved that city and, hearing that Salzburg was totally different, I wasn't sure I'd like it. But despite a very wet welcome I instantly loved this compact beautiful city. What's more, Salzburg was a great base for te ...

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Big on Charm...and Tourists A little town BIG on charm, many people make a visit to Český Krumlov a day trip from Prague or just an overnight stop. Sure you can see the famous castle and maybe a couple of other sites in a day but to really enjoy ...

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1.5 hours drive from Vienna, Krems is a nice town to visit and a great base for sightseeing in the Wachau Valley. Top Experiences Melk Abbey (Stift Melk) - it's Big, it's beautiful, it's unforgettable Driving up one side of the Danube from Krems ...

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Cosmopolitan Vienna After our first visit to Vienna I knew I'd be back to see more of this cosmopolitan capital city. This time I was looking forward to doing things we didn't get to our first visit - relaxing in some of the grand cafés, visitin ...

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What do you think of when you hear Budapest? Ruin pubs and parties? The famous Hungarian spas? The magnificent Parliament building on the Danube? The horrors of 2 terror regimes? One of the series I posted on my Instagram account Travelknowing, ...

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We left Tarcal with the GPS navigating us to the Hortobágy National Park Visitor Center. When I'd checked Google maps the drive would take about 1 hour 45 minutes through Tokaj on Route 38, but our Garmin Nuvi GPS had a different plan. We follow ...

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Hungarians love their bathhouses and a country break to a hotel that has it's own spa sounded like a perfect plan for our break from cities. We stayed in 2 different spa hotels, the first in Tarcal in the wine country region near Tokaj, and the ...

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Eger is a pretty, historic town an hour and half drive north east from Budapest, a perfect place for a country break. Eger is well known in Hungary for it's greatest hero István Dobó who successfully defended the town from the invading Ottoman a ...

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Cafés, City Walks, and a Whole Lot of Fascinating History Budapest is a beautiful city with lots of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, grand cafés and of course it's famous for thermal hot springs and ruin pubs. But what makes Budapest fascinating? To ...

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Pintxos, Tapas, City Treks and Late Nights Don't you love going back to a much admired city? You're not in a hurry to see the Top 10 because you've already done that. This year our destination was Hungary, Austria and Germany but we started with ...

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Spain, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, and Germany A "bucket list" wish of mine was to spend a couple of months in Europe. The last two years we've managed 6 weeks at a time, but - hard to believe but true! - we STILL had too little time. 8 we ...

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A Lightweight Packable Daypack This lightweight travel daypack does what it's designed for - those hiking day trips out and about where you need something to put your stuff like your hoodie or extra layer, your sandwich, and a couple of other th ...

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eBags Laptop Backpack Terrific bag - big enough for all your tech accessories PLUS a change of clothes, overnight kit, and your 3-1-1 liquids bag. Great features like lots of organizer compartments and zip pockets, a front zip for getting to you ...

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Road Trip! Using Google Maps with Your Garmin GPS A lot of people use their cell phone map feature to guide them from point A to point B - terrific IF you know how to look up/spell/pronounce point B! I love using the Garmin GPS for several reaso ...

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Scope Creep - we've all done it Biggest problem planning a trip? Scope creep - trying to pack too much in on one trip. It's the thinking "I'm here already, I might as well go..." Sure, it's tempting, but we've found having more days in one place ...

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Keep Your Pearly Whites Sparkling While Traveling Miss your Sonicare toothbrush while traveling? I sure did! But this little battery operated toothbrush works great - a lot better than me brushing my own dentes. It comes with the AAA battery and ...

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Vegas, Baby, Vegas I'd never been much of a Las Vegas fan, but a winter getaway after being around home for the holidays sounded like a terrific break. What do you do when you don't gamble? Hiking in the Red Rocks A half hour drive from Vegas an ...

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Sedona, Arizona Let's go hiking! With a little advance planning we managed to get a timeshare exchange into Sedona Springs Resort the second week of November. Luck was with us and the weather cooperated - beautiful days with temperatures just co ...

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Flying into Orly, out of CDG An easy 2 hour flight from Porto to Orly airport and the last 5 nights of our trip - Paris! The original concept was for 7 nights, but that time had to get squeezed to 5. Too bad, but we'd been to Paris once before a ...

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From Northwest Spain to Porto After 18 nights in the Basque country, the Picos and Galicia, we dropped our little 4 door VW Polo off in Porto. The car return in Porto was super easy, parked on the street right out front of the Europcar office on ...

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Pretty Pontevedra Hotel Apartamentos Dabarca, 3 nights in a 1 bedroom apartment, an easy walk to the old town - Basically a good stay. Tip: The TV channels are Spanish dubbed over English, but on some channels you can use the remote to change th ...

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Spritual Santiago de Compostela Catedral Suites Santiago, 3 nights in an attic apartment on Fonte de Santo Antonio - Beautiful, modern, quiet and a terrific location. It's a little over a 4 hour drive from Cangas de Onis to Santiago de Compostel ...

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Cangas de Onis The nice day we started with in Fuente dé became overcast and cool as we rolled into Cangas de Onis. It was like a ghost town, the deserted streets and gray skies contributing to an overall bleak first impression. I thought "What ...

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One of the things we love to do on a trip is get out in nature, and a hike at the glacial Covadonga Lakes with stunning views of the snow capped Picos de Europa makes a great destination for an afternoon of easy hiking with fantastic views. Traf ...

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Fuente Dé Parador de Fuente Dé, An overnight in a spacious room with a view and a little balcony, the rate included breakfast. We loved it, if staying another night had been an option for us we would have. Tip: Ask for tickets to the funicular w ...

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On our Costa Brava trip we had Basque style tapas - called pintxos - many times in Barcelona and Girona so of course we HAD to go to San Sebastián (Donostia in the Basque language). San Sebastián is renown as the culinary capital of the world an ...

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I don't really like one night stops, but the drive from Pinhão Portugal to San Sebastián was too long for a relaxing trip. The 4 hour drive from Pinhão in the Douro Valley to Valladolid Spain was a perfect overnight. View my map of Northwest Spa ...

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Driving from Pinhao Portugal around Northwest Spain and back to Porto On our Costa Brava trip last year we had Basque style tapas - pintxos - many times in Barcelona and Girona so of course we HAD to go to San Sebastián. It's no problem driving ...

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Relaxing Pinhão - Pinhão (PEE-now) CS Vintage House Hotel, 2 nights in a room with a balcony and view - RELAX. The Douro Valley is a very relaxing place, and 2 nights in Pinhão was a great change of pace. We loved the stay at this hotel - a balc ...

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Lovely, Lively Coimbra Coimbra (KWEEM-brah) Best Western Hotel D. Luis, 2 nights in a room with a view - Basic, Comfortable, and Quiet. An easy drive up the empty toll road from Évora and in 2.5 hours we were in Coimbra. The Best Western hotel o ...

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Beautifully Preserved Medieval Évora Albergaria do Calvário, 2 nights in a superior room just inside the walls of Évora. Easy to see why this is #1 on TripAdvisor - Everything was a YES, the way a hotel should be run! We got into Évora about 1:0 ...

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2 Drives from Lisbon, South for the Scenery and North for the Monumental Monasteries Picking up the Europcar rental was easy from the Tivoli Hotel downtown location. I'd timed the pick up for after visiting the Gulbenkian, a 25 minute walk downh ...

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Flying into Lisbon, out of Porto Easy enough flights - 16-17 hours including 2 connections and we were in Lisbon! This trip was heavy on the driving, on Day 7 we picked up a rental car that we had for the next 28 days - driving around Portugal a ...

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Flying into Lisbon, out of Porto Easy enough flights - 16-17 hours including 2 connections and we were in Lisbon! This trip was heavy on the driving, on Day 7 we picked up a rental car that we had for the next 28 days - driving around Portugal a ...

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6 weeks - Flying into Lisbon, out of Paris Why is this topic called "How to Eat Your Way Through.." ? Well, this trip was a LOT about food, fabulous food, wonderful pastries in Portugal but mostly the fantastic gastronomic pleasures we knew we w ...

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Saving time and money - We plan our own trips, so this means researching where we are going to stay, what the price is, and booking it in advance. T-Mobile Welcome to Portugal Unlimited Text and Web THE TOP TIP - Unlimited Text and Data Plan wit ...

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I'd never used a travel packing list and we'd always managed to travel with just carry on bags. BUT we'd never been on a 6 week trip with both of our laptops. So in 2013, I started with the Rick Steve's packing list and customized for this multi ...

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The flight from Israel to BCN wasn't the best schedule, there were better connections and shorter travel times, but NOT using super saver miles AND arriving in the afternoon. But now we were in Spain! and the start of the last part of our 6 week ...

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A 1 hour flight from Prague to Vienna, then a 3.5 hour flight from Vienna to Ben Gurion airport and...we were in ISRAEL! The first 3 nights were in Tel Aviv, followed by a week in Jerusalem, and then a 9 day driving itinerary south to Masada and ...

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Art Nouveau, Baroque, Gothic, Cubic...you can find marvelous examples of all these architectural styles and more in magical Prague. Old Town Square In this photo series, I focus on this beautiful and fascinating capital of the Czech Republic, st ...

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Magical Prague Our first night we got right into the swing of Prague with Czech microbrewery samples at the Beer Museum (no, it's not a museum - it's a pub!), a first visit to the Old Town Square, and down to the Charles Bridge. Sandeman's Free ...

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Vienna Vienna is a wonderful city to visit, easy to walk everywhere, plenty of pedestrian streets - we could easily have spent 10 days here. I can't imagine how people visit in only a couple of days, we did a lot in 6 and barely scratched the su ...

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6 weeks in 2013 - Flying into Vienna, out of Madrid 41 nights This seems odd - going to Israel by first flying into Vienna. The original concept was a couple of weeks in Israel followed by a couple of weeks in Spain, using award miles for busine ...

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Flying into Rome, out of Milan Some travel plans you just have to make far in advance - it 's a long flight to Italy from California and we wanted to use airline award miles to fly business class. Tip: American Airlines releases award seats 331 ...

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"If there is only one reason to go to Spain, it is the tapas" (Julia Child) Best things about the trip The people were genuinely warm and friendly, each hotel we stayed at was a great place at a great price, and the food and sights were fantasti ...

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This was a fast week, our self-guided tour of Mayan sites inland on the Yucatan peninsula. Among the sites on the "Puuc Route" are the major site Uxmal and smaller sites like Labna and Kabah. But even before the "Hilly Route" there are a lot of ...

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The Puuc Route (Hilly Route) in the Yucatan ...

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Best things about the trip Very friendly people Interesting and very walkable city, nighttime was great for walking Worst things about the trip Weather got a little cold and rainy. Amsterdam Room 112 Hotel Amsterdam Working a trade show brought ...

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Best things about the trip Every destination was terrific to visit - Paris, Normandy, Loire Valley, The Alps, Arles, Cannes, Nice, Menton, Portofino, Milan Worst things about the trip Not having an exit strategy was the worst part of the trip. W ...

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On our trip to France we visited Normandy and the sites from Operation Overlord. Steve's dad, Sam Rosenbaum was a medic in Company B, 104th Medical Battalion, 29th Infantry Division that landed at Omaha beach D-Day. Sam didn't like to talk about ...

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Best things about the trip Unexpected surprise - we loved Rome! Memorable, fun, and unique experience buying leather jackets in Florence Impromptu opera while having dinner in Florence Worst things about the trip Restaurants closed during the ho ...

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A trip back in time, the Grand Canal in 1998! Our introduction to Venice was in 1998 when we strolled out of the Santa Lucia train station to the Vaporetto (bus boat) stop outside and hopped on to see the magic that is Venice from the Grand Cana ...

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