The Malecon boardwalk is a 1.5 mile delight in so many different ways as to make any number of hours pass quickly.
I love Venice, Italy. And, I love to save money in Venice. I have been lucky enough to spend a month at a time in this dreamlike city four times in the last decade. And, I return as often as possible. This weekend, I head back again to the city of boats and bells. I can’t think of another place I would rather spend time than in Venice. The entire city is a piece of art and a symbol of endurance. It was the home of the longest lasting empire in history, the first assembly line, the first electricity in Italy, and its treasures and islands fascinate and inspire tourists, scholars, artists, writers, and poets.
Spring is in the air. If you have a yen for traveling, this is one of the best times to go — especially if you are headed to Springtime Europe. In the spring, the fields of France are ablaze with daisies and poppies. Holland is a riot of tulips and crocuses. Italy’s hillsides are covered with the pastel blossoms of pears, cherries and oranges. And alpine snows melt to reveal lush green pastures.
San Juan, the capital, melds the bustle of a large American city with the grace of its Spanish heritage along with colorful Caribbean touches. It has its share – and more – of shops, restaurants, bars and night clubs. Plus, its environmental diversity is echoed throughout Puerto Rico, a destination which many people visit in search of sun, sand and sipping rum drinks. But as anyone familiar with the island knows, there’s more – a lot more – to enjoy.
I grew up in Europe and lived there for about 22 years. During that time, I was a student, a freelance journalist, started a business, and traveled extensively. As can be seen by my short resumé, I never lived the rich life. But, I did get to enjoy the everyday life that many of my richest friends have not experienced. The following short tips have been developed personally over time. These suggestions require a money-saving mindset and they open up interactions with local residents that spending major sums of money prevents.
Most people coming to Nevis envision living by the following five rules: 1. Pack several books. 2. Take a deep breath, exhale, relax. 3. Order a rum drink. 4. Try to forget what’s happening in the rest of the world. 5. Repeat. But, be open to my own Rule No. 6. Be prepared to have a hell of a lot of fun!
There are many different ways to approach sightseeing. Some pore over guidebooks, searching for star-rated sights and planning their every move; others seem lackadaisical and wait for others to do the planning for them. For a Monday in Dublin, I took the random approach by walking out of my hotel door and deciding to take what came to me as I wandered across the city.
Spain can surprise even seasoned travelers. The cultures of the Roman Empire, the medieval Arabs and the Celtic world are still wonderfully evident in Spain — if you look. The government has spent millions restoring crumbling monasteries and castles to create lodging for visitors. The mountains have snowcapped peaks within sight of cities where the temperature can register 90 degrees. And, the restaurants offer much more than paella and sangria.
My aunt and I spent a wonderful two-week sightseeing vacation in Switzerland. The trip was a package tour that allowed us to experience the Alps by rail, and was my aunt’s treat as her gift to me for my birthday. I am a train travel devotee and have traveled extensively throughout North America on trains, but this was my first opportunity to ride intercity and regional trains in Europe.
Train travel in Europe is a bargain and, best of all, it’s easy — No need to adjust to driving a reverse standard on the opposite side of the road. No hassles about parking. No reason to stop for bathroom or fuel breaks. No need to break the bank with a rental car and petrol.