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since 10/09/2006


The Venetian Fortezza, Rethymnon, Crete 09/11/2006

The Venetian Fortezza

The Venetian Fortezza, Rethymnon, Crete Description --------------- - The construction of the Rethymno fortress (or Fortezza), by the Venetians, started about 1571 and continued until about 1600. It was built for the protection of the local inhabitants from the Turkish threat, i.e. the usual reason a castle is built on a Greek island. It is appears to be star shaped, with three gates and six bastions, and dominate the town below. In the middle is the church of St Nicolas which was turned into the Mosque of the Sultan Ibrahim Han by the Turks during their occupation of the island of Crete. There were the Commander' s house, the Counsellor' s house, barracks, stables, ammunition - storehouses, a cistern and houses which were later destroyed and are just ruins now. There does not seem to have been any systematic excavation on the site. There is evidence of the odd excavation and some attempts to reconstruct some of the buildings. The views from the top, of the town, the harbour and the surrounding area are fantastic and are worth the trip on there own. If you like wandering around old ruins then this is for you, if you prefer your history with lots of signs and detailed information you will be disappointed. Outside of the Fortezza is a small archaeological museum that is well worth a visit. Getting There --------------- ---- Follow the brown signs from the Old Town below and walk up the hill, be warned it is a bit of a climb up the hill Advice --------- Pick a cool time of day ...

Victoria Peak (Tai Ping Shan), Hong Kong 07/11/2006

On Top Of The World - Well Hong Kong Actually

Victoria Peak (Tai Ping Shan), Hong Kong Description --------------- - Above Hong Kong Island, on the 'back of the Dragon', Victoria Peak is one Hong Kong's top visitor attractions. Ut provides magnificent harbour and city views, either by day or by night. The Peak Tram --------------- ------ This is the only true way to travel up to the peak. This is a funicular railway that carves a steep swathe up the mountainside. The tram has been in operation since 1888, try to get seats on the right-hand side for the journey upward, the only way to describe the views from here is "awesome". What's There --------------- ---- The Peak offers an assortment of dining and shopping delights, a new viewing terrace and a Madame Tussauds waxworks. But be warned, this is a tourist trap so don't expect any bargains or even anything reasonably priced. The Peak Walk --------------- ------ For the best views, walk around The Peak and take in the spectacular Hong Kong skyline, the world-famous Victoria Harbour, Kowloon and some of the outlying islands. There are a number of viewing platforms around the peak and once away from the Tram exit the crowds will thin out. Downsides --------------- The only thing to really be aware of is that, obviously, the quality of the view is dependent on the weather conditions. On cloudy days you are not going to get the magnificent views. Also the queues for the Peak tram can mean a bit of a wait. Directions -------------- Take bus no. 15C at Central Star Ferry Pier to Garden Road ...

Tai-Pan - James Clavell 07/11/2006

Hong Kong - A Worthless Piece Of Rock!

Tai-Pan - James Clavell Having just picked this book up for the first time in about ten years, and then being unable to put it down again, I felt compelled to write this review. Tai-Pan is a novel about western traders in the Far East who move to Hong Kong in 1841 following Britain's victory in the first Opium War and the seizure of the island for the British Empire. The island is largely uninhabited and the terrain unfriendly, but it has a large natural port that various trading companies believe will be useful for the import of merchandise to be traded on mainland China, a highly lucrative market. This opinion is not held by all traders, or even both the British government. The book features a wealth of characters but the main protagonists are Dirk Struan and Tyler Brock heads of the two most powerful trading companies in Asia. Struan and Brock are former shipmates and their rocky relationship as seamen initiated an intense business competition to become the trading company in Asia. Both men seek to destroy each other in matters of business and personal affairs. Struan is referred throughout the novel as "Tai-Pan" (which author Clavell translates as "Supreme Leader" indicating his position as head of the largest and most profitable of all the trading companies operating in Asia. Brock, owner of the second largest of the trading companies, constantly vies to destroy Struan's company and reputation in an attempt to become the new "Tai-Pan". Whilst all this is going on you have the ...

Ideon Hotel, Rethymnon 06/11/2006

Clean, Friendly & Ideally located Hotel

Ideon Hotel, Rethymnon The Hotel Ideon is located overlooking the Cretan Sea and surrounded by the old Turkish/Venetian town, with its monuments, Fortress and its Venetian Port all within a few minutes walk. It is also within easy reach of the commercial and cosmopolitan centre of the town, including its excellent, long sandy beach. There are approximately 80 rooms in the main building each equipped with shower, balcony, a/c, heating, safe deposit box, TV, radio, direct dial telephone. I believe there are also several apartments attached to the hotel. The bathrooms are a bit on the small side, room for one at a time only, but I have found this to be the norm throughout Greece. Also, again as is to be expected in Greece, there can be a shortage of hot water a peak times; this was too much of a problem given the hot weather we experienced. We were fortunate to have a sea view on both our visits and I would definitely advise paying the extra for one of the room. The only drawbacks to the rooms on the from is they overlook the busy port road which, twice a day, is full of lorries taking good to and from the Athens ferry. The noise is easily shut out if you close the balcony doors. Also, there are several bars that along the road that get very lively, on a weekend, with mainly young Greek people enjoying themselves. Again you can shut the noise out, or have a glass of ouzo on the balcony and just enjoy people having fun. The hotel has a very friendly reception service, a restaurant buffet ...

K+K Hotel Fenix, Prague 06/11/2006

Nice Hotel Shame About The Neighbours

K+K Hotel Fenix, Prague Address: Ve Smečkách 30, 110 00 Prague 1 Tel.: 00420-2250 12 000 Fax: 00420-2222 12 141 Email: Website: This hotel is located just off of Wenceslas Square in central Prague and is approximately 25 minutes drive from Prague airport. The airport bus, which links the airport to the metro system at Dejvická, minibuses and taxis are available for transfer from the airport to the centre of Prague. The metro station closest to the hotel is Muzeum. The hotel itself is bright, very modern and absolutely spotless; the rooms are comfortable and well furnished with all the basics that one needs. Some may consider the rooms a bit on the small size, but I had a single room and there was enough room for me, and I'm not a small guy; anyway I never plan to spend a lot of time in a hotel room so how much space do you need. The rooms all have tea/coffee making facilities, mini bar, phone, high speed internet access, safe and cable/satellite TV. The lobby is, I believe, a Wi-Fi zone and there are two computer terminals located just off of the lobby that are free to use for guests. Breakfast is superb; the buffet has just about everything that you could think of having for breakfast, including Champagne (always a bonus). I can definitely recommend it after a late night enjoying the delights of Prague's nightlife; don't worry you will see people at breakfast who look far worse than you do! The hotel seems to ... 05/11/2006

The Good & The Bad Sides Of PABO.COM is a site for adults. Pabo sell sexy underwear, sex toys and all the other aids you may require to brighten up your sex life. Every aspect of sexual intercourse appears to be catered for, toys for her, toys for him, sexy clothes, condoms, flavoured gels and even adult DVD's. Everything seems to be at competitive prices. The site is easy to navigate and it has a basket which you can use to place your order in. I placed an order for four items, paid online and within a few hours received an order confirmation email. So far so good! 28 days later I emailed Pabo, through their site, to find out why I had not received my order. two days later I got a reply informing me that the goods had been posted and would be with me within two weeks. Sure enough two weeks later a parcel turned up which contained three of the four items and a note saying the fourth item would be sent separately. One week later I emailed them again asking when my last item would be delivered, again two days later, I was informed that it was out of stock and would be sent as soon as they had it, I'm still waiting. It has now been nine weeks since I first placed my order. Also, when I placed the order the website promised some free jewellery, strangely enough there is no mention of this in any of their communications to me and when I mention it to them it is ignored. The Pabo experience could be greatly improved with some sort of order tracking and better communications from ...

Hong Kong 29/09/2006

Wanchai Nightlife

Hong Kong Wanchai is the less crowded, slightly down market version of Lan Kwai Fong. The once infamous red light area of Hong Kong is now the second most popular area for drinking and clubbing on Hong Kong. Wanchai is full of restaurants, bars and clubs. You can find somewhere to match your taste or mood if you look around, whether you want a crowded music bar with a live band, a nightclub or a small quiet bar. The girlie go-go bars can make you slightly worried but to be honest only guys in groups or on their own get hassled to go in (and this can be fun!), if you're a couple they'll just smile as you go past. Some of the bars and clubs do have a high percentage of female customers compared to males but again you are not hassled unless you show some interest, as Kenny Everett it's all done "In the Best Possible Taste"! Service in all the bars I've used is very good, but one piece of advice, most of the staff are from the Philippines and they get paid a pittance, if you want excellent service (even at the busy times) then tip them on a regular basis, it doesn't have to be much! Wanchai may not be to everyone's taste and some of the bars may not be family friendly (most of the restaurants are), but I can recommend for a good night out, whether your male or female, single, in a group or a couple. Some of my favourite places in Wanchai: Delaney's - Irish bar, good value food The Bridge - English Pub type bar, open 24 hours, food available The Old China Hand - ...

Outlying Islands (Hong Kong) 29/09/2006

Lamma Island, Peace & Tranquility

Outlying Islands (Hong Kong) Lamma Island is located at the southwest of Hong Kong Island. Lamma is, in contrast to Hong Kong Island, peaceful and tranquil, with relatively natural scenery. Buildings higher than three storeys are not allowed and there are no roads and therefore no cars. Diminutive fire trucks, ambulances and the rather distinctive open-backed delivery are the only motorised transport found, and these infrequently. The community's only transport means is by foot or bicycle. This also makes the island popular with hikers and cyclists from all over the world, one of the island's most popular walks, and apparently easiest walks, is from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan. Lamma provides an alternative to the hectic life in the city. Property values and rental costs are also very cheap compared with those of Hong Kong consequently there is a significant expatriate community on the Island of various nationalities. The different communities live together quite peacefully and successfully. One friend of mine has likened Lamma to a "hippie's paradise" and in some ways it has got that sort of ambience. There are regular ferry services to Yung Shue Wan from the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier No. 4 in Central on Hong Kong Island. It takes about 20 minutes by fast ferry, and 30 minutes by regular ferry, to get between Yung Shue Wan and Central. Yung Shue Wan is the most populated area on Lamma Island. Here can be found seafood restaurants, vegetarian restaurants, oriental restaurants, pubs, ...

General: Hong Kong 29/09/2006

Hong Kong, Everyone Should Go Once In Their Life

General: Hong Kong The first time I went on holiday to Hong Kong I was 13 years old and i immediately fell in love with this lively, vibrant city. The bright lights, the endless choice in shopping and the exception food all helped to colour my judgement. 25 years later I went back there to work, fully expecting to hate the city with it's crowds and looking at it with an adults eyes. I even believed that it would have changed greatly because it was not under British colonial rule. How wrong I was! Within 36 hours of landing there I was back in love with the city, my only regret was that I was there to work. 18 months later I finally got back there on holiday, it was my 40th birthday and I wanted to celebrate somewhere different. As soon as I arrived I felt at home. During my ten day stay I did all the tourist things; rode on trams, visited Victoria peak, went to the beach, shopping, street markets, went to as many different restaurants and bars as I could possibly manage. All this was done on my own but not once did I feel alone. I enjoyed it so much I went back the following year and am going again next year. Hong Kong is also the safe place I have ever been in the world. I have been known to be wandering the streets, winding my way back to my hotel at 2:00am and have never once felt uncomfortable or threatened. I have several female friends out there who all say how safe they feel, they never worry about being attacked. I'm not going to sit here listing everything you can do in ...

The Charterhouse, Hong Kong 29/09/2006

Charterhouse Hotel, Wanchai, Hong Kong

The Charterhouse, Hong Kong The Charterhouse is a smart hotel conveniently located between two busy shopping and business districts, Wanchai and Causeway Bay. The location, in the heart of Hong Kong, allows easy access to all other areas by various means of transport such as the MTR subway, Airport Express railway, buses, taxis and ferries, all of which are reachable within a short distance. Some approximate travel times: Causeway Bay MTR subway station - 5 minutes Times Square shopping mall - 5 minutes Happy Valley horse racing course - 5 minutes Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 5 minutes - 15 minutes Victoria Park - 15 minutes Hong Kong International Airport - 40 minutes It has 277 well appointed, if slightly small, guest bedrooms that are tastefully decorated. The hotel's has what I believe is known as a "neo-classical" feel and has a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere about it. Below the hotel is Champs Bar, where you can enjoy a selection of beverages and snacks, served by friendly staff, with live Sports entertainment available on several TV screens. Hotel facilities available: Fitness centre Tour and sightseeing arrangements Airport transportation arrangements Laundry services Shuttle bus to Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and Star Ferry Terminal in Central Foreign currencies exchange service Concierge service Broadband internet access 24 hours manager on duty This hotel is now my number one choice for accommodation when stopping ...
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