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Off topic: Cities for Tourists
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:56
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jul 24, 2008

The recent wave of postings requesting tourist information (Trinidad, London and the like) has motivated me to make this posting. If you had to recommend *one* city for tourists to visit in your home country, what would it be and why?

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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:56
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Curitiba, Brazil Jul 24, 2008

I would definitely choose the city of Curitiba, in southern Brazil. It is a very clean and civilised city and even though it lacks the beauty of Rio or the sheer size of São Paulo, it has a lot to offer. It is particularly interesting for Europeans as there are lots of immigrants, and this is visible in many of the buildings and attractions of this great city (population about 1.5 million).

I would definitely start by taking the Tourist Line, a special bus for tourism that operates every day except Monday. Similar to those in other cities (e.g. London), it has several points where you can get off and board, you buy a card with 5 tickets, each time you board a ticket is then taken off - this means you can visit 4 sights on the tour (the whole tour has 23 stops and takes about two and a half hours). Of course you can stay on the bus if you prefer.

Next, you could hop over to Santa Felicidade to try the Rodízio de Massas, where the waiters bring round an endless succession of pasta until you burst - all for about the equivalent of 5 pounds or 10 dollars. There is a string of restaurants along Manoel Ribas Avenue. As you can imagine, this is a neighbourhood of Italian immigrants - ecco, mamma mia, in questa cittá te mangia bene! (Italian translators, please correct me if my Italian is wrong)

The highlight, however, is the train trip down to Morretes (Paranaguá on Sundays) - not to be missed! This is one of the best rail journeys in the whole world, and there is an English commentary which helps. The trip to Morretes lasts about three hours, through lush countryside and breathtaking scenery, and at Morretes you can wait for the return train, or take a van back to Curitiba, or enjoy the local cuisine (barreado - a dish based on beef and flour), or visit the neighbouring beaches. There are some inclusive packages available, for the train + beach tour by van + trip back to Curitiba by van.

[Edited at 2008-07-24 18:35]


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:56
French to Spanish
+ ...
Guanajuato, Mexico. Jul 24, 2008

Colonial, very typical, amigouuuu.
Mining city during 3 centuries, 3 D city: little streets, tunnels, brigdes... I always get lost.
Lots of students, huge festival (Cervantino), quite cosmopolitan, not too big.
NOT ONE traffic light, NOT ONE huge Mc'xxx sign, NOT ONE electrical/phone/TV cable on the streets.
And good friends over there.
Love it.


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Liliana Roman-Hamilton  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:56
English to Italian
my choice Jul 24, 2008

My home country is Italy, the city of my heart is Rome, despite the endless problems that afflict it (i.e. traffic, pollution, traffic, gypsies, traffic, lack of parking, traffic, graffitis everywhere....). So I would say Rome, but I'm biased here.
Yes, at times it's mobbed and overwhelmed with tourists, but the feeling you get when you are in the Colusseum, inside St. Peter's, in the Sistine Chapel or just holding hands with your better half at the Pincio Terrace, is simply priceless.

My second country is the US, I've been living in California for almost 6 years and there are so many wonderful places here (again, I'm biased, because it's the State that has welcomed me lovingly since my first visit). I'm not particularly fond of L.A., though, but I absolutely love the Central Coast of California (sorry, I go off topic here, because I don't choose a city): the whole coast from San Diego to San Francisco (following the Pacific Coast Highway, Route 1, not the Hwy 101) is truly amazing. The place I love, and where we stop each time we drive along this highway, is called Nepenthe ( www.nepenthebigsur.com ).


[Edited at 2008-07-24 18:56]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
I'll choose one Jul 24, 2008

For Central Coast California I'll choose Carmel, my birthplace. The natural beauty is incredible. But in the summer there is a lot of cloudiness; it's best in the fall.

But don't spend any money there, it's all overpriced.

Looking at the background in my photo gives you an idea.

[Editado a las 2008-07-24 20:33]


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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
Salto, Uruguay Jul 24, 2008

I'd like to make an "unexpected" recommendation, a bit like Paul did.

Salto is in the north of the country, and receives many regional visitors since it is so close to Argentina, Brazil and even Paraguay. But it's not the top priority in tourist guides, possibly due to the distance from the capital city and from the coast and the beaches. However, I think it's well worth the trip.

This city, which is fiercely proud of its distinctive personality, was wealthy a long time before other provincial cities. So, besides kilometers of parkland along the Rio Uruguay, the international hydroelectric dam and bridge, in the city itself you can find an extraordinary collection of art nouveau and art deco buildings. Plus possibly the greatest concentration of work by Engineer/Constructor Eladio Dieste who made amazing brick vaults that seem to float.

http://www.mtop.gub.uy/salasaez/fotosdieste.htm#terminal

A few minutes out of the city: orange groves, thermal baths and great places for birdwatching!



Lucía


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 02:56
English to Russian
+ ...
Does my suggestion have to be from my home country? Jul 24, 2008

I hope not... because I want to suggest Salvador, Bahia, Brazil... the place that stole my heart...

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:56
English to Dutch
+ ...
My hometown Jul 24, 2008

I live in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, and it's just a wonderful city.
Smallish, about 130.000 inhabitants, but it does have some culturally interesting locations.

The Palace Het Loo used to be the summer residence for the Dutch royal family and is for the greater part restored to its historical beauty.

We also have De Apenheul, a zoo specialised in monkeys, apes, and primates. World renowned, or so I'm told. Don't go there if you don't like monkeys - in some parts of the park, they are running loose and will jump all over you. In fact, at the entrance, you are given a 'monkey bag' to put your foods and valuables in for protection.

In the summer time, on certain days of the week, you can take a ride on a real, authentic steam powered railway train.

And there is the Kröller Müller museum of modern art, including a park with statues and installations.

The landscape surrounding the city is absolutely wonderful. The region is called Veluwe, it has forests and heather and some really nice villages.

Also, I could give you the names of two of the best ice cream parlors in the whole country, both within bicycling distance of my home.

Hmmm, sounds like I should take some time off to enjoy all this once again


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Tatiana Lammers  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Velikiy Novgorod, Russia Jul 24, 2008

My home city is the oldest city in Russia. The first mentioning of it was found in the cronicals in 859.
In 2009 Velikiy Novgorod will celebrate it's 150-th Anniversary.
It's a very beautiful city with numerous museums and churches, conviniently cituated in the North-West of Russia between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

http://www.novgorod.ru/eng/info/cityguide/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velikiy_Novgorod

http://eng.tourism.velikiynovgorod.ru

great pictures can be viewed here: http://travel.webshots.com/album/553999039QqJxAa

For many centuries Veliky Novgorod has been a link between medieval Europe and Old Russia, a kind of “door” to Europe, a centre of international integration and trade. A Hanseatic League of New Time, based on traditions of Medieval Hansa, a prototype of present-day united European market, appeared in 1980. Nowadays the Hanseatic League of New Time unites more then 160 cities from 15 European countries.

As keeping culture of the past is a priority aim of the New Hanseatic League, in 1999 - during the time of serious economic crisis in Russia - the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Cathedral on Yaroslav Courtyard was sponsored by Hansa. Upstairs by the very entrance to the cathedral you can read the names of Hansa cities, sponsoring urgent and prompt restoring of the cathedral

Annually Hansa Days forum take place in one of Hansa cities. Participating cities present their culture and traditions through medieval market with arts and crafts, traditional cuisine and performances.

In Veliky Novgorod Hansa days are taking place on June 18-21, 2009 when the city is celebrating its 1150th anniversary. Representatives of more than 100 European cities are gathering together for a few days in Veliky Novgorod to present their traditions in music, arts and crafts, national cuisine, dancing, songs and rites and find possibilities of cooperation in economics, politics and culture.


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Ma.Elena Carrión de Medina  Identity Verified
Ecuador
Local time: 04:56
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cuenca, Ecuador Jul 24, 2008

Cuenca is a beautiful city, chosen as one of the World Heritage Sites due to its architecture, warm-hearted inhabitants, its historical background, its museums and sites filled with a mixture of the Inca and Spanish cultures. It also has the Cajas National Park which has been assigned as a World Natural Heritage Site due to its beauty and the diversity of flora and fauna.

Generally speaking, it is a city that offers a lot for the tourists, to the point that many decide to stay and establish themselves here.

You can see more about my city at www.cuencaecuador.com.ec .....you´ll love it as much as I do!!


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:56
English
+ ...
Kyoto Jul 25, 2008

I highly recommend Kyoto. An ancient, historical city with lots to offer. Incredible natural beauty, fantastic architecture, numerous temples and shrines, many well-known historical sites and quite a few world class museums. Here are a few:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinkaku-ji

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fushimi_Inari-taisha

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryōan-ji

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiyomizu-dera

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkaku-ji


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katsura_Imperial_Villa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heian_Jingū

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_National_Museum


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Jack Qin  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 17:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
Guilin, China Jul 25, 2008

Guilin in subtropical south China has the reputation of having the country's most beautiful scenery. It has been eulogised in innumerable literary works, paintings and inscriptions since its founding during the Qin Dynasty.

Characteristic of Guiliin is its oddly-shaped solitary hills rising out of the flat ground, invarious shapes said to resemble buns, saw-teeth, bamboo shoots, camels... There is not only a good view of the hills, but also a good view of the river...


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Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 12:56
English to Greek
+ ...
Greece: Corfu, Lefkada, Cyclades Jul 25, 2008

A typical tourist destination for the last 30 years, an island in the north-western extremity of Greece, recently a UNESCO town, which offers a large range of options: many great beaches, modern accommodation facilities, untouched nature, a history of 2500 years to explore, a variety of sports activities to choose from, cultural events throughout the year (like a brass band festival every August, for instance...), no matter your preferences, Corfu can accommodate every taste. It is large enough to suit the needs of all age groups, couples and families, tired workers seeking peace and quiet and eager party-goers, without having ones disturb the others...

Another option is the island of Lefkada, again in western Greece. The most amazing blue beaches I have ever seen... The first time I went there, I couldn't believe my eyes...

And, of course, some of the islands of the Aegean sea, of the Greek archipel of Cyclades, have touched my heart with their simplicity and pride: a piece of rock coming out of the sea, where people have managed to create the first civilisation in the Mediterranean, which keep a unique style, with blue and white dominating everywhere... Visit Paros, you will remeber it forever!


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Assimina Vavoula
Greece
Local time: 12:56
Member (2005)
French to Greek
+ ...
Greece: Zakynthos and Sporades Jul 25, 2008

Zante the third in size of the islands of the Ionian Sea, the green island of poetry, of song and love, the native land of D. Solomos, the writer of the Greek National Anthem but also that of St. Dennis, the Patron Saint. Rich in beauty and tradition, both historical and cultural, Zante is the "ideal" of any traveler with an exploring mind.
... When the ferry arrives at the port, especially at dusk, it feels as though you enter the port of Venice. On the one side you will see the lit church bells of the St. Dennis Cathedral and on the other side the picturesque Main Town with the snake like road to the hill of Bohali (2km) and the Venetian Fortress(3km). The view of the port and the town from above is simply breathtaking. Smugglers Cove also known as Navagio has to be the most famous beach on the island if not in Greece. On the North West of the island over 20 years ago a coaster carrying contraband cigarettes was wrecked and washed on the beach that formed smugglers cove. The sandy and pebbly beach is only accessible by boat. You should visit the Blue Cavesm accessible by boats. Greece is the only European country where the logger headed turtles (Caretta, Caretta) nest and Zante is the most important nesting area in the Mediterranean.

As far as Sporades Islands are concerned, Sporades are a group of islands in the east coast of Greece. There are a number of islands in this group and only 3
of them ( the biggest ones) are habited, Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos. All of islands are known for their beauty, green nature and their amazing beaches. Skopelos is known for its beautiful beaches with their clean crystalline waters, surrounded by pine trees forests and also for the charming capital, built amphitheatrically in the heart of a bay, composed of whitewashed houses with tiled roofs in narrow alleys and stairs. Skopelos is the island where the movie "Mamma mia" (Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan & Colin Firth) was shot. Skopelos's claim to fame was that it is Greece's greenest island. Skiathos is a very green island covered by a thick pine forest and considered as a protected environment. The Greek island of Skiathos is very popular and can get really crowded during July and August by people attracted by the wonderful long and golden sandy beaches of the island which are boarded by trees and have crystal-clear waters. It is a well-organised island and has all the tourist facilities needed. Alonissos is an authentic Greek island mostly known for it incredible natural beauty and its amazing beach with their emerald crystal waters. The waters of the island are considered as the cleanest in the Aegean Sea and have been declared a marine park because they are a breeding ground for rare species of monk seal, the Monachus Monachus.

I love these places... They are unique but Greece is a unique country... There are places known for their incredible natural beauty...


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Assimina Vavoula
Greece
Local time: 12:56
Member (2005)
French to Greek
+ ...
Greece: Zakynthos and Sporades Jul 25, 2008

Zante the third in size of the islands of the Ionian Sea, the green island of poetry, of song and love, the native land of D. Solomos, the writer of the Greek National Anthem but also that of St. Dennis, the Patron Saint. Rich in beauty and tradition, both historical and cultural, Zante is the "ideal" of any traveler with an exploring mind.
... When the ferry arrives at the port, especially at dusk, it feels as though you enter the port of Venice. On the one side you will see the lit church bells of the St. Dennis Cathedral and on the other side the picturesque Main Town with the snake like road to the hill of Bohali (2km) and the Venetian Fortress(3km). The view of the port and the town from above is simply breathtaking. Smugglers Cove also known as Navagio has to be the most famous beach on the island if not in Greece. On the North West of the island over 20 years ago a coaster carrying contraband cigarettes was wrecked and washed on the beach that formed smugglers cove. The sandy and pebbly beach is only accessible by boat. You should visit the Blue Cavesm accessible by boats. Greece is the only European country where the logger headed turtles (Caretta, Caretta) nest and Zante is the most important nesting area in the Mediterranean.

As far as Sporades Islands are concerned, Sporades are a group of islands in the east coast of Greece. There are a number of islands in this group and only 3 of them ( the biggest ones) are habited, Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos. All of islands are known for their beauty, green nature and their amazing beaches. Skopelos is known for its beautiful beaches with their clean crystalline waters, surrounded by pine trees forests and also for the charming capital, built amphitheatrically in the heart of a bay, composed of whitewashed houses with tiled roofs in narrow alleys and stairs. Skopelos is the island where the movie "Mamma mia" (Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan & Colin Firth) was shot. Skopelos's claim to fame was that it is Greece's greenest island. Skiathos is a very green island covered by a thick pine forest and considered as a protected environment. The Greek island of Skiathos is very popular and can get really crowded during July and August by people attracted by the wonderful long and golden sandy beaches of the island which are boarded by trees and have crystal-clear waters. It is a well-organised island and has all the tourist facilities needed. Alonissos is an authentic Greek island mostly known for it incredible natural beauty and its amazing beach with their emerald crystal waters. The waters of the island are considered as the cleanest in the Aegean Sea and have been declared a marine park because they are a breeding ground for rare species of monk seal, the Monachus Monachus.

I love these places... They are unique but Greece is a unique country... There are places known for their incredible natural beauty...


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