Travel Talk on Twitter Weekly Round Up: Family Travel 25/10/2011
This week’s Travel Talk on Twitter (#TTOT) was all about “Family Travel”. Since we don’t have any kids it sure brought back a lot of memories about all the journeys I went on with my family. I miss heading to the beach bach (holiday house for non-Kiwi speakers) or overseas to Australia or the Pacific Islands once a year for our school holidays. Life seemed a lot easier then. However, I still don’t know how my parents coped with 3 boys but they must have been trying times for sure!
Anyway check out what I thought were a few of my favourite answers to this weeks Questions and make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you can join in next week!
Q1 Which destination would you suggest to travel with your family -why? via @BackPackerSteve
@HostelBookers A1 It depends where you live, travelling too far with young children can be difficult so try and find somewhere nice, closer to home. #TTOT
@onlyapartmentsI A1 #TTOT where kids can learn and have fun, so any city with facilities and activities suited for them .. Berlin, Barcelona, Paris…
@25travels A1: I think ANYWHERE in the world is fine – it’s all about the attitude and openness to doing things #TTOT
@our_oyster A1 – beach destinations are good for family travel – less stress and more bonding time! #ttot
@roniweiss A1. Depends on your family, right? Going to the grocery store would be too much with some members of mine. #ttot
@Nomad_Student A1. I’ve really enjoyed exploring the U.S.’ National Parks with my family throughout my life – something for everyone, of any age. #TTOT
Q2 What kind of travel/destination would you never do with family? via @himalfootsteps
@journeytom: A2 to be honest i would travel anywhere with my family old and young as long as it was reasonably safe #ttot
@plushostels: A2 #ttot. Full moon party in Thailand. Never doing that again with children, almost lost one last time 🙂
@MyDestination: A2 Possibly not to PAMPLONA for the bull run…..#TTOT
@Boz23 #TTOT A2 – Disneyland – they’re all whining and crying by the end of the day. Happiest place on earth? Yeah right!
@fourjandals: A2 – Amsterdam Red Light District? #TTOT
There were also a few calls against Ibiza (hmmm no idea why…):
@Travel4Press A2. Ibiza!! The thought of my parents raving it up there gives me the chills! #TTOT
Q3 What is your best childhood family travel memory? via @lucy_c_b
@petebouch A3 #TTOT 2yrs spent with family cruising the canals of N.France, Belgium & Holland on a home built 60 ft catamaran #ttot
@fourjandals A3 Love those old school videos from Family Holidays – Parents film EVERYTHING #TTOT
@TurquoiseUK A3 – Trying to surf across the hotel swimming pool on a lilo! Endless entertainment! #ttot
@kpouwer A3 #TTOT long walks on the beach to a sweet shop… I clearly didn’t understand bribery and my mum clearly got my love of sweets.
@Travel4Press A3. Riding an elephant in India & then the elephant in front pee’d… it was like Niagara Falls! #TTOT
Q4 To what extent do you involve the children in the planning of a trip? via @SophieR
@idealcruising: A4 – I got told I was going to disney land, I woke up with my appendix out #TTOT
@PLUSHOSTELS #ttot A4: Kids let us go on the trips we never went on. #greatexcuse.
@Jake_Ivo A4 Depending on the age, children should be considered but not consulted. #TTOT
@toffeebugs: A4: children are the reason for the trip so they are the bosses! #TTOT #travel
@LewisLCHOLIDAYS: A4- Whoever’s paying makes the decision and unless you were Richie Rich… you had zero input. #TTOT
@lowcostholidays A4: When your kids work in travel – you have to get them involved a little bit *family discount thank you ver much*!! #TTOT
Q5 What’s in your in-flight survival kit? via @galavantingmama
@nankichawla: A5. My parents used to give my sister a sip of #brandy to make her stop screaming on planes. It worked! #ttot
@eezeerhotel A5. Cross words / Sudoku/ Pencil/ Crisps & Chocolates & a pillow 🙂#TTOT
@constancehotels A5: Love how chocolate and sweets keep coming up – bribery is obviously key to good in flight behavior! 😉 #TTOT
@HostelBookers A5 I mostly end up next to a kid so bringing along an extra bag of goodies helps u distract them from annoying u #ttot
@banbarkawi A5. iPod, book, passport. It used to be discman, homework, stickerbook. #TTOT
@Nomad_Student A5. Used to be two good books & a journal, now it’s iPod, Kindle & journal. With family, a deck of cards is included. #TTOT
I think the best answer of the day was in response to Question 2 about where NOT to take your family:
@beforeiam35: A2: Stop worrying too much. You children will be thankful in the future! #TTOT
It is so true. Some of my greatest memories are of experiences when our family trips turned to custard or something horrible happened. It allows you to look back on them and laugh with your family at those dreaded reunions in years to come.
Anyway I hope you will join in next week when it is all about “Customs from around the World”. If you want to learn more then feel free to go and check out the #TTOT Facebook Page.
One final thing, we are not the brains behind #TTOT, we just love being a part of such an awesome travel community each week.
Top 5 Historical Landmarks of Portugal
Top 5 Historical Landmarks of Portugal
Portugal is a hive of culture, history, and architecture and is home to fifteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you plan a holiday to Portugal to discover some of its glorious histories, look through our top five Portuguese historical landmarks.
This beautiful monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça is a prime example of early Gothic architecture. The sanctuary is home to the ornate tombs of Ines de Castro and King Pedro I. There is a tragic love story associated with the burials. Ines de Castro was assassinated in 1355, and the king ordered his tomb to be placed next to hers so that he could face the woman he loved on the day of resurrection. They are considered to be the most beautiful medieval tombs in Portugal. There are also living quarters, including a refectory, dormitory, kitchen, and cloisters that have been inhabited by monks for 800 years.
Convent of Christ
The Convent of Christ is a beautiful roman catholic building located in Tomar. It was initially a stronghold for the Order of the Knights Templar. The building houses impressive art and examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, and Renaissance architecture. The walls inside are exquisitely decorated with paintings, carved stone sculptures, and a window depicting symbols and motifs. This site has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.
Évora is a Portuguese city home to several historical sights, some over two thousand years old. The Cathedral of Évora is considered one of Portugal’s most important gothic monuments. Moorish palaces and courtyards, a renaissance fountain built-in 1559, and a one-of-a-kind Roman temple have become the city’s most famous landmarks. It is not surprising that Évorahas is classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Belém Tower was built to be a fortress in 1515 to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor. The tower is constructed from lioz limestone that is local to Lisbon. It is considered one of the prominent examples of the late gothic Manueline style. There is a drawbridge, spaces for cannons, turrets, and arches that have been decorated with images of animals, plants, and royal coats of arms. Inside there are statues, pillars, and gargoyle facets. UNESCO has listed the tower as a World Heritage monument.
Jerónimos Monastery is considered one of the most beautiful monasteries in Portugal and Europe. Located in Lisbon, the monastery has various entrances that have been decorated with carved figures, gables, and pinnacles. There is a 16th Century Portuguese sculpture of Our Lady of Belém in the central doorway, a figure of Prince Henry the Navigator in the center of the monastery, and a statue of King Manuel I. The monastery has been classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
We hope this has inspired you to start planning your trip to Portugal today.
Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar
Find out why Sand boarding, Diving and Safaris through the desert are included in the Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar.
Qatar is a country of reinvention. Shimmering towerblocks rise against a desert horizon, and maze-like souks thrive next to 21st-century shopping palaces. It’s also one of the more accessible countries of the Arab Gulf, with a welcoming reputation towards visitors and plenty of attractions to keep them coming. Some of the best holiday activities you’ll find in Qatar are the adventurous kind. And these are the top 5 outdoor adventure activities in Qatar.
Top 5 Outdoor Adventure Activities in Qatar
The Gulf Sea is famed for its crystal waters and the exuberant marine life which lurks just beneath the surface. Messaid is a good jumping-off point where you’ll find angelfish and barracuda, while those intrigued by underwater wrecks will love the Hall Island dive site at Al-Sharqi, where bright clownfish circle the abandoned boat.
Many of the sports here have been adapted from colder climates, so instead of skiing down a mountain piste, try Khor Al Adaid beach to glide down the impressive dunes on a sand-board. Alternatively, race your blo-kart along the sands of Al Wakrah, south of capital Doha, to experience the thrill of wind-sailing on dry land.
The ancient carvings of Al Jassasiya lie to the north near Al Shamal, amid a truly remote landscape of village ruins and limestone. Hire a 4×4 of your own and make the journey to see the 900 petroglyphs which riddle the rocks here. The carvings denote flowers, animals, fleets of shows, or traditional Arab boats, and to this day, their origins remain a mystery.
When the time comes for a more relaxed excursion, you can do no better than a sunset cruise onboard a wooden dhow as you drift past the super-modern Doha seafront of Al-Corniche and the old harbor at Al Khor. If you’re still hankering after some adventure, rent a smaller vessel and go for a fishing trip the following day.
Much of the inland desert in Qatar remains inaccessible on foot, but fortunately, that’s where a 4×4 comes in very handy for a safari trip you won’t easily forget. There are numerous options available from Doha, including day-long excursions, bumping, and rolling to the inland sea at Khor Al Adaid. Or make the trip at dusk for a spot of star-gazing before you settle in Bedouin-style tents for the night.
Most activities can be arranged via a tour company. Although cash has been the predominant payment method in Qatar, this is beginning to change, which is good news for tourists since HSBC offers protection against loss or theft. If you’re planning on taking part in several activities, it can be handy to have some plastic on you to avoid expensive traveler’s cheques, plus credit cards from HSBC and other familiar providers also enable easy access to money at the ATMs. However, it’s wise to exercise caution, using only official bank machines here and sticking with local currency at the market and in smaller shops.
There’s no doubt that Qatar offers some world-class cultural attractions beyond the more energetic highlights, and while you’re in the country, set aside some time for the historic Al Zubarah fort or browse the recreated 19th-century Souk-Waqif, in Doha.
This country has been undervalued in the past but is now coming to the world’s attention. With its desert adventures, ancient sites, and thriving culture, this attention is thoroughly deserved.
This is a travel feature by world traveler, Jose Capelo. He loves exploring the top 5 outdoor adventure activities in Qatar and has spent many trips exploring the wild deserts of Qatar.
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
Bondi is well known for sun, surf, and fun, but what can you do if you find yourself there in the colder months from June to August? Here are a few suggestions for things to do in Sydney’s most popular suburb when the temperature drops.
8 Things to do in Bondi in Winter
1. Go on an art tour
If the weather doesn’t allow for the typical outdoorsy activities Bondi is known for, a tour of some of its first-rate art galleries can be a great way to spend an afternoon. Don’t miss the Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, dedicated to promoting Indigenous art, and the Bondi Art Lounge, where you can view works from local artists or even take a beginner class and create a masterpiece of your own.
2. Take a hike
In crisp cool temperatures, a hike along the coastal cliffs with a view of the gorgeous Pacific Ocean below can’t be beaten. One of the most popular hikes is the Bondi to Coogee Walk, which is 6 km and takes you through Sydney’s eastern suburbs and past plenty of cafes, restaurants, and kiosks where you can stop to rest and take in the sights.
3. Head to Bondi Icebergs for some winter swimming
Even during winter, swimming is not entirely out of the question in Bondi. The Oceanside pool at Bondi Icebergs Club is open year-round, and the winter swims every Sunday from May to September have become a time-honored tradition. Although club members must complete at least three winter swims a year to retain their lofty membership title, non-members who are up for the challenge can pay a one-time fee to use the pool and sauna.
4. Strap on your skates and visit the only beachside skating rink in Australia
If winter swimming is a step too far for you, why not skate instead? Bondi has Australia’s only beachside ice rink, and the ocean view in the background makes for a striking contrast. The ice rink is open from June 27 to July 13, and aside from hosting skating sessions that are open to the public, it also features spectacular ice shows from Stars On Ice.
5. Settle in for brunch at one of Bondi’s decadent cafes
Winter wouldn’t be the same without a few indulgences, and after all your skating and hiking, you’ve probably earned a hearty brunch anyway. Fortunately, Bondi is full of great brunch options, from Trio Café with delicacies like poached eggs with truffle oil and char-grilled halloumi; to the rustic Brown Sugar, where you can indulge in classic comfort food like buttermilk pancakes and English muffins with bacon.
6. Join a cooking class, dodge ball game, or salsa lesson
During the winter, it may seem like most people have gone off to hibernate, but if you know where to look, you can still find plenty of social things to do. Start by checking out the Bondi community page on Gumtree. You can find like-minded individuals to explore the area with or even join a group for fun activities like hiking, biking, or cooking.
7. Score some vintage fashion at Bondi Markets
The Bondi Markets, held every Sunday on Bondi Beach, are known in Sydney for being the best place to shop for vintage clothing and accessories and hip new fashions from emerging designers. Aside from style, you can also shop for art, furniture, flowers, books, local produce, and delicious street eats. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a great place to do some people-watching and see the Bondi locals in their element.
8. Stop by the Bondi Pavilion
The Bondi Pavilion is one of the suburb’s oldest landmarks dating back to 1928 when it first opened, featuring grand dining rooms, a lounge, a ballroom, and the Turkish and Hot Sea Water Baths. Today, it’s used as an art and cultural center and is home to a theatre group, recording studio, and art gallery. There’s always something going on here, from pottery classes to festivals to open-air cinemas, so check it out if you have a chance.
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We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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