Yet More Neighbourhoods of Copenhagen

One of the most attractive and interesting cities of Europe, Copenhagen gives much to its visitors. There are so many varied neighbourhoods that will allow exploration of different elements of the city. While most people will stay around its main district Indre By there is so much beyond that. Whether you want to soak in the opulence of Slotsholmen, see the bohemian Christiana, or explore the bohemian qualities of Nørrebro and Vesterbro the choice will be there for you. Yet more neighbourhoods of Copenhagen include.

Holmen and Islands Brygge

To the North of Christianshavn are two artistically oriented communities – Holmen and Islands Brygge. Holman’s was formerly a navel base that has been transformed into an artistic community which houses several artistic institutions such as the Danish Film School and the Danish National School of Theatre. Beyond art at Holman there still are remnants of the areas naval past as naval enthusiasts can visit Torpedo Hall and other naval sites.

Island Brygee is a small district to the south of Christianshavn that houses a variety of trendy galleries and restaurants. The area is considered a haven for up and coming artists to present their works.

Vesterbro

To the southwest of Indre By is Vesterbro. This area use to be the slum of Copenhagen, but in a true example of gentrification, it has become an up and coming spot for artists, students, and the yuppies that follow. Filled with a great variety of bars, ethnic restaurants, cafes and live music venues this area of Copenhagen is often compared to the East Village of New York City.

Nørrebro

To the North of Vesterbro is Norrebro an area that has large immigrant roots and is more ethnically diverse than anywhere in Copenhagen. Norreborro exudes both an exotic/Middle Eastern and a bohemian/ artistic feel at the same time. Home to a massive student population this district boosts a diverse night life and art scene. Filled with opportunities for fun, Norrebro also has Assistens Cemetery which is a resting place for several famous Danes including Soren Kirekengarden and Hans Christian Anderson.

frederiksberg-have-slotFrederiksberg

Frederiksberg is one of Copenhagen’s main residential and business areas and a place that is well regarded for its restaurants and bars. Having a large park, Frederiksberg Have, in its centre there are also plenty of other attractions including massive Frederiksberg Castle and Copenhagen Zoo – the latter of which is one of the world’s largest and best maintained zoos. If you are a beer lover the world famous Carlsberg Brewery is also located in this district too.

Osterbro

Osterbro is the largest of the cities districts. A rather well maintained and posh district it is mainly residential. Other than the Danish National Stadium and the wonderful Fælledparken – the largest park in the city and the host of many of the city’s festivals and events – there isn’t a lot of reason to come down to this part of town.

More Neighbourhoods of Copenhagen

Copenhagen is certainly an interesting place that has so much culture, architecture and varied activity for visitors to enjoy. No activity is better than wandering the different sections of the city, each of which offers up a unique experience to visitors. Different parts of Copenhagen highlight both the city’s wealthy and conversely its bohemian sides. Some more of the neighborhoods of Copenhagen include.

Langelinie

The northeastern corner of Frederiksstaden is an area called Langelinie. An upscale neighborhood, noted for its gourmet restaurants and posh boutiques. Langelinie is perhaps best known for having Hans Christian Anderson’s famous Little Mermaid Statue in it.

117386-004-60252B0D Rosenborg

To the Northwest of Frederiksstadenis is Rosenborg. Rosenborg is best known as home of the Rosenborg Castle; a castle which was built in the Dutch Renaissance style by the early 17th century king Christian IV who made it his royal residence. In modern times the castle is now open to the public to visit – giving access to its many halls and ballrooms as well as the King’s Garden – and is home to the Crown jewels.

Christianshavn

Christianshavn is the community built on the half moon shaped island that separates the Islands of Zealand and Amager. An area that has always been cheaper than other part of the city it draws artistic types and has been called by Danish writers the Amsterdam of Denmark. The name also sticks because of Christianshavn’s many canals that fill the area. Known for also having Renaissance-style architecture many people suggest taking a canal boat tour in order to best experience the district. A few of the landmarks that are in Christianshavn include the Danish Film Museum and the Our Savior’s Church.

Christiania

Perhaps the most iconic location of Copenhagen is Christiana, which is located just to the northeast of Christianshavn. Created as a hippy commune back in the 1970’s on an old military base Christania has long gone by its own rules. Cannabis is openly sold and smoked here and Christiana refuses to fulfill certain elements of Danish law like forcing people to pay the 25% national sales tax. Perhaps beyond rule breaking, Christiana shows visitors a wonderful splice of creativity and artistic openness. Well inside Christiana there are many great restaurant, galleries and arts and crafts markets to visit.

The Ultimate Guide to Abandoned Places

If you’re a budding urban explorer and love wandering around and taking photos of abandoned buildings, take a look below at some of the most interesting abandoned places in the world!

Chernobyl 

Chernobyl - 271

In 1986, a reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear plant exploded causing the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. The people of Chernobyl and the nearby city of Pripyat were quickly evacuated, and all that remains now is an eerie decaying time capsule of the 1980s. Pripyat includes some great locations such as schools, cinemas, swimming pools and infamous Ferris wheel. The area opened to tourists in 2002 and has become a popular destination for those wanting to see the reactor (from a safe 200 meter distance) and the abandoned city of Pripyat.

Nara Dreamland

Nara Dreamland was Japans answer to Disneyland. Built in 1961, this theme park closed its doors in 2006 due to declining number of visitors. Since that time Nara Dreamland has remained intact and untouched, but has quickly aged, becoming overgrown with vegetation and rusty. It is not legal to enter the site (the area is patrolled by guards) but that hasn’t stopped a number of explorers that have infiltrated the perimeter to take some fantastic atmospheric photographs.

Abandoned Military Hospital

This abandoned military hospital in Beelitz, Germany was originally intended to be a sanatorium. It then became a hospital for the Imperial German Army during the First World War, and housed Hitler when his leg was injured during the Battle of the Somme. In 2000 the majority of the hospital, including the surgery, the psychiatric ward, and rifle range, were abandoned. This haunting building has gone onto become the location for films and music videos.

Hashima Island

Hashima was originally a coal mining facility, and the island was populated between 1887 and 1974. Japan’s first concrete apartments were built here in 1916 for workers as the islands population reached 5,259 in 1959. However, due to the dependence on petroleum in the 60s, coalmines were shut down. Hashima was closed in 1974, and the concrete apartment buildings were left abandoned. Some of the buildings have collapsed but many still remain. An area of the island was opened to the public in 2009, and in 2013 an employee from Google was sent to take pictures in order to provide people with a panoramic interactive online experience of the island.

Submerged City

In order to visit this last location you will need to don your wetsuit and scuba gear. The submerged ancient cities of Shi Cheng and He Cheng were the result of a man made flood by the government to create a new reservoir after the completion of the Xin’an River hydroelectric station in 1959. The cities were rediscovered in 2001 when a diving club organised a trip there. Walls, buildings and beams are still intact but will not remain so forever.

We hope that these locations will inspire you to start packing up your lenses and planning your next trip today.

About the author: Milly Crowther is a freelance writer and photographer who blogs for Holiday Gems. For more travel tips, checkout the Holiday Gems Facebook page.

Caribbean Magic

If you’re after a luxury escape, what could be better than sailing around the Caribbean on a first-class cruise ship? Let’s be honest, when it comes to an unforgettable getaway, Caribbean cruises certainly rank highly in the ‘luxury’ stakes.

408220_10100814450756531_686433623_nSo how can you get your own bit of Caribbean magic? Your best bet is to get online and start searching for the Caribbean escape that best suits your wish-list. For instance, would you prefer a week’s holiday or a whole month? Have you always hankered after a trip to St Lucia, or Barbados, or would you settle for any Caribbean island? When can you travel? And, perhaps most importantly, how elastic is your holiday budget?

To help answer these questions, visit a tour operator like Cruise Thomas Cook and use their search panel to get started. The great thing about Thomas Cook’s website is that you can browse cruise holidays across all the major Caribbean cruise operators – including Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises, Celebrity and more – and compare the price and offering of each. You can filter your holiday search results by the criteria that matters most to you, be it price, destination or departure date, and whittle down your options until you find a favourite.

So, if that’s got you thinking wistfully about Caribbean cruises, let’s take a look at some of the options. P&O offer a cracking 14-night voyage departing from Southampton, which takes in the delights of Antigua, St Kitts, Dominica and Barbados, as well as a stop at the beautiful Azores en route. The ever-popular Royal Caribbean International has a week-long trip to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, St Kitts, Aruba and Curacao, while Norwegian Cruise Lines focuses on a different part of the Caribbean coast – namely parts of Mexico, including Cozumel and Costa Maya, Belize and Roatan in Honduras, as well as the fascinating city of New Orleans in Louisiana.

So, which magical corner of the Caribbean takes your fancy?

More Things to see and do in Auckland

Auckland is a city that effortlessly combines nature, city life, and proximity to some great beaches. Opportunities are abound to enjoy the unique New Zealand topography and animals one day during your stay and to wander around stylish Queen Street in central Auckland the next. New Zealand is a nation that has much charm and provides a bit of everything to do catering to all interests. More things to see and do in Auckland include:

GibbonsWaitakereWaitakere Ranges 

Waiatarua | Auckland

 Options are limitless for hiking, fishing, surfing, bird watching inside the majestic and lovely Waitakere ranges. Around an hour away from central Auckland the ranges provide great opportunities to hike, fish, surf and bird watch all while being surrounded by picturesque nature. Noted both for its black sand shores such as Whatipu and its roaring waterfalls like Fairy Falls and Cascade Kauri the Waitakere Ranges has been hailed by other travelers as being just what New Zealand is about. The range is open to the public at all times and does not cost any type of entrance or usage fee.

Queen Street 

Queen Street | Auckland

A great way to connect with the more cosmopolitan elements of Auckland life is to take a trip down to Queen Street. Filled with notable stores like the Diamond Shop and Billabong as well as some of the iconic buildings of Auckland like the Bank of New Zealand Buildings and Auckland Town Hall this street is great for shopping and even just a walk along. Running parallel and one street back of Queen Street is High Street, which has a variety of different shopping options. Loaded with bars, cafes and clubs as well as some interesting galleries and book stores High Street is more alternative than Queen Street and worth a look too.

Auckland Zoo

Motions Road Western Springs | Auckland

The Auckland Zoo is a place that visitors can enjoy the opportunity to interact with authentic New Zealand animals as well as world wide exotic animals like hippos, lions and fur seals. A fascinating section of the zoo is the Te Wao Nui’s six habitats native to New Zealand. These habitats approximate different natural conditions in New Zealand and the animals that live within them. Be sure to check out “the Night” which is a cave that houses different nocturnal animals like the short tailed bat. Many tourists call the Auckland Zoo one of the highlights of their time in Auckland. Admission to the zoo is around $18 US dollars for adults and $9 US dollars for kids.

3 Places to Take Photos with a Llama

Ever since the famous Machu Picchu Llama photo (or Bossy Llama) went viral, people have been going crazy over llamas. So much so, that we’ve given them a world appreciation day – January 27th for those taking note. These furry creatures have been helping people with transportation for thousands of years and notably in the past few years, have been used as a form of therapy – who would have thought that the key to happiness is through the company of a llama? If meeting one is number one of your long list of priorities, then you’re in luck, here’s three of the best places to take a photo with a llama.

It looks like Julian Assange...

It looks like Julian Assange…

Take A Photo On A Trekking Tour

Get up close and personal with a llama on My Adventure Store’s Mount Salkantay Trek and The Inca Trail. Not only will you adventure into remote Andean reaches, sacred valleys and see the ruins of Sayacmarca, but you’ll also get to see llama’s in their element. In all seriousness, this trek was voted as one of the world’s greatest by National Geographic Adventure Travel and should be something everyone ticks off the bucket list. It’s a remarkable exploration that will test your body and spirit as you delve into the mystical history of the Inca’s.

Don’t Travel Far With Your Local Llama Farm Retreat

For something exceptionally unique, why not indulge in a luxury cottage retreat while taking a llama for a daily walk? Don’t think that this exists? Well Daybro Cottages and Llama Walks prove all the disbelievers wrong. The cottages reside in the hinterland of Dayboro, Queensland and each room overlooks large fields where the llamas are free to roam. At certain points of the year, Dayboro Cottages allow the public to take some of their fuzzy llama’s for a walk through surrounding bushland where you’ll learn about the history of llama’s and have a spot of afternoon tea.

Why Have A Photo With A Llama When You Could Have Lunch With A Llama

Wild Earth Llama Adventures in Taos, New Mexico offer custom designed llama treks and gourmet lunch day hikes for llama enthusiast of all ages and fitness levels. Both fun and educational, their treks venture into untouched wilderness areas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Rio Grande Gorge. With your belongings strapped to your llama, your guides will take you through America’s remaining ancient forests until you reach the base camp in the heart of the forest. From there you will set out on daily hikes to discover transparent lakes, climb up mountain peaks and spend time relaxing around the campfire. If you’re after a quick llama fix, they also offer single day escapes with a gentle Llama trail that will allow you to enjoy the backcountry before feasting on a native cuisine.

There’s Always Photoshop…..

Llama’s aren’t the easiest animal to find, they’re mysterious mammals who love to frolic in the wild. So for this, there’s always Photoshop.

Have you had an unforgettable Llama experience? Tell us in the comments below.

Melbourne’s International Eats

11242_824714973001_1857862_nThere’s no reason to assume that Melbourne, the capital of Australia’s Victoria province and that country’s cultural mecca, would be one of the best places in the world to experience a variety of international foods, but then, there’s no reason not to. So with that in mind, and having resolved to book a Melbourne hostel through HostelBookers.com, read on about the great culinary diversity of the city.

Southeast Asian Cuisine

Australia lies in close proximity to Southeast Asia, and so it should not be a surprise that there are many restaurants specializing in that region’s gastronomy. Melbourne is a metropolis that attracts international students, and likewise has the cheap eats that suit their homesickness. Indonesian cuisine is a particularly interesting example of a unique thing that is hard to come by in other Western nations. Make your way to the district known as Prahan, and on Commercial Road you’ll find a restaurant called Blok M, which garners the most praise. Some other Indonesian restaurant names to look out for are Nelayan, Bali Bagus and Agung.

Malay food, and that of Singapore, can also be found in great abundance in Melbourne. Laksa and prawn noodles, if you’ve had them before, will surely draw you back; you will find them served at restaurants such as those along Little Bourke Street and at the newest joint to join the ranks of Malay establishments, Petaling Street, which you’ll find in the Boxhill neighborhood.

Middle East cuisine

Although not as widely represented as Southeastern fare, and precisely because there are more residents from those longitudes, Middle Eastern food can be found in Melbourne as well. Once in the city, make your way to Brunswick, or to Coburg, which are the neighborhoods were this cuisine is mostly concentrated. Half Moon Café has been highly recommended; you’ll find it on Sydney Road.

Chinese cuisine

If you’re a world traveler, then you will know that one of the most intriguing measures of a place is by what extent local options have affected the Chinese food produced there. Everywhere Chinese food is slightly different, and that of Melbourne is no exception. In the city center, there’s a dedicated and historical Chinatown where you can meander to your heart’s content, and learn in the process that the Cantonese food is more widely represented than northern Chinese dishes.

African cuisine

Melbourne might not have a whole lot to choose from when it concerns African varieties, but Ethiopian is there, and Eritrean, its neighbor, as well. You’ll have to travel a bit to find the cafes in Footscray or Flemington, but they’re authentic and in fact serve a mostly African clientele.

European cuisine

The city center boasts a whole street dedicated to Greek food, called Lonsdale, and plenty of suburbs have Greek restaurants. If you weren’t expecting it, Melbourne has a large Italian population as well, and the myriad of Italian restaurants, mostly offering up dishes from the south of that country, is spread all over the city. More focused are the communities where you’ll find Polish fare, in Richmond, and Kosher establishments in Caufield.


11242_824714982981_4858647_n
There are many more cuisines to be found in Melbourne, from Indian and Japanese to Thai and American, French and Irish. Australian food, if you’re tired of the international fare, mostly means meat pies or costly kangaroo steaks that you find in the chic joints. Like most contemporary, global-class Western cities, Melbourne’s native fare usually means fusion-design-concept restaurants and eateries that take a little from everywhere and nowhere. In that respect, there’s one more reason that Melbourne is truly gastronomically international.

Different Things to do in Auckland

Auckland is a world class city that is surrounded by New Zealand’s great nature and fantastic beaches.  Whether you are a city slicker that likes visiting galleries, dining in fine restaurants and people watching in great cafes or a lover of nature in all her glory there is something for everyone to enjoy during their stay in Auckland. A few different things to do in Auckland include:

Bethells Beach 

Bethells Beach | Auckland

If you’re a lover of sand and surf a trip to Bethells Beach while in Auckland is definitely a must! A beach that has been described as both isolated – from the usual throngs of beach goers – and wild –  as there is little shade and the winds and huge waves off the ocean hit the beach unabated – New Zealanders rate Bethells Beach as one of the best in their country. Decorated naturally with dark sands people enjoy this beach for the chances to swim, surf (with the previously mentioned strong winds) trail walk and even paraglide. Surrounding the beach are a variety of resorts and the restaurants and bars that service them. Bethell’s Beach is about 30 kilometers from Auckland and takes less than an hour to get there.

One_Tree_Hill,_AucklandCornwall Park 

1051 One Tree Hill | Auckland

Auckland’s own answer to New York’s Central Park is Cornwall Park. Much like the nation itself, Cornwall Park is a fusion of cultures as Japanese cherry blossoms and magnolias sit next to New Zealand Purri trees. There are fantastic vantage points in the park to look over the city and enjoy splendid views. Other amenities in the park include the observatory, a kid’s animal farm, a park restaurant, and great walking trails to use.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki 

Corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets | Auckland

Any art lover coming through Auckland simply must spend some time in the Auckland Art Gallery. The gallery is composed of two sepperate buildings, seen by many as architectural pieces of art themselves, that house more than 15,000 pieces of art spanning from the 12th century to the present. The art pieces that draw the most attention are the fantastic Mari – the originally native population of New Zealand – works of art. C.F. Goldie and Gottfried Lindauer portraits of Maori chiefs are of particular acclaim and interest. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. and, except for special exhibits, admission is free.

5 Challenges to Accomplish for the Lone Traveller

You’ve done the contiki tours, backpacked with the lads, relaxed on an exotic island with the girls and relaxed on a couple’s weekend away. Now it’s time to start your solo adventure. While it can be daunting for anyone to venture out of their comfort zone, voyaging alone forces you into situations that will make you learn more about yourself and help you grow. You’ll learn to rely on your instincts, build self-confidence and see and do things that you may have never done if you were with someone else. As with any expedition, there will be challenges that you’ll need to overcome, here are some of the most common ones from experienced solo travellers.

Like me!

Like me!

Meeting New People

The fear of never meeting anyone whilst travelling is a thought that crosses everyone’s mind. It’s worse for those who are naturally reserved. Trust me, I know. So how do you actually get out there and ‘meet people.’ For one, you can stay in the local backpackers in a shared room, automatically forcing you to be around people. Or you could sign up with a local tour group. Even tour specialists like Cruiseabout Australi have solo cruises just so you can be forced into bonding with other lonlies.

Staying Safe

Being a nomad means that you are free to follow your own schedule, however, you won’t be as safe as you would being in a group. I’m not trying to put fear in your mind, I know you’ve heard the horror stories, but sticking to basic safety guidelines – the same as you would at home – will lessen your chance of finding yourself in a risky situation. It’s important to prepare and research the safe and not so safe places that you are travelling to before you go (websites like Trip Advisor will help you with this.) Along with this, you should always stick to well-lit public places, avoid showing flashy jewellery or wads of cash, be aware of common pickpocket tricks and be alert to your surroundings. If it’s within your means, complete a short self-defence class, the knowledge will stay with you for life.

Eating Alone

Table for one anyone? There will be nights where you may not meet anyone and eating alone in the only option. Eating alone can be uncomfortable and you’ll often sit there thinking Yes, I know I’m eating alone, stop staring now! The best way to overcome this, is just to do it once. As soon as you brave this fear, you’ll realize that you were being silly and it’s not as scary as you originally thought. If you get bored you can always take a book or a notepad along with you. The most important thing to equip yourself with is an air of self-confidence. Yeah, that’s right you’re eating alone and you don’t care!

Taking Photos Of Yourself

You’re discovering the sights of the city and you’re surrounded by beautiful monuments. What better time to get a picture of yourself with these stunning mountains. Oh wait, you’re by yourself and the selfie pic just isn’t going to fit everything in. Your first option is to find someone trustworthy to take the photo for you. Emma Higgens, Gotta Keep Movin’ travel blogger, recommends purchasing an XShot camera extender; a nifty, lightweight and inexpensive piece of gear that you can attach to your camera so that you can take photos of yourself and your surroundings with ease.

Watching Your Luggage

This challenge normally occurs when you’re moving from one place to another whilst waiting for your train or bus. All your luggage is with you, but what if nature calls? You’ve generally got three options in this situation, you can leave your luggage where it is (I can already hear the no’s), ask someone to watch it or take it all with you. Firstly, let’s assess your situation. Are you currently with other backpackers? If so, then it should be fine to leave your larger luggage and take a smaller bag containing your valuables with you. If you are by yourself, I would recommend the third option, while it might be time consuming and impractical, lugging your luggage around with you is a better alternative to having it stolen at the bus station.

Do you have anything to add to the list? Tell us about your travel challenges below.

The Manchester Science Festival 2013


If you’re a geeky traveller and in Manchester from late October to early November, then you’re in for a treat. The Manchester Science Festival 2013 is taking place and offers you the opportunity to play, create and experiment with over 100 different events including hands on activities and experiments. If you’re travelling with the kids, then this event is perfect for you as many of the things to do are suitable for people of all ages.

13761_10151571475386679_232418613_nFor the true geeks out there, you should take a visit to the Digital Retro display. Here you’ll get a chance to relive the early days of home computing where you’ll be able to get hands on with classic machines from Sinclair, Acorn, Apple and Commodore. There is a retro game challenge for those wishing to take part where the winner is the person that scores the highest on one of the retro games within a specific time. You’ll also get the opportunity to compare the computers of yesterday with more contemporary devices, such as the Raspberry Pi.

We all love a bit of TV and probably don’t like to admit how much time we spend sitting in front of one. Take a look at the Television Showcase if you get the opportunity during the Manchester Science Festival and you’ll be able to see how far televisions have come; from the grainy, black and white images of the early twentieth century to the 3D TVs of today.

Even more so than the TV, we probably don’t want to admit how much time we spend on our mobile phones. Find out how science has shaped the way we communicate at the From Semaphore to Smartphone display and learn what people did before mobile phones. You’ll also learn how telephones work and how radio enables global communication.

As well as technology, there are numerous displays covering a huge range of topics such as evolution, astronomy and chemistry. If you cannot find something you’re interested in at the Manchester Science Festival, then you cannot call yourself a geek.

If you haven’t booked a hotel to stay yet, then take a look at Ibis, where you can book a hotel online. They currently have a number of hotels in Manchester available from late October to early November.