7 Reviews & Articles
Nov 13, 2008
Oct 24, 2008
Countries See cities
See countries Cities
Andorra: Andorra la Vella
Czech Republic: Prague
Greece: Nisos Tinos
Italy: San Gimignano
United Kingdom: Brighton
United Kingdom: Dover
United Kingdom: London
United Kingdom: Oxford
United States: Albuquerque
United States: Atlanta
United States: Breckenridge
United States: Charleston
United States: Denver
United States: Hilo
United States: Honolulu
United States: Houston
United States: Kahului
United States: Las Vegas
United States: Los Angeles
United States: Mariposa
United States: Miami
United States: Napa
United States: New Orleans
United States: Oil City
United States: Portland
United States: Reno
United States: Salt Lake City
United States: San Francisco
United States: Seattle
United States: Tahoe Vista
United States: Washington
United States: Winter Park
United States: Yosemite Village
Australia: Airlie Beach
Australia: Magnetic Island
Australia: Port Hedland
New Zealand: Christchurch
New Zealand: Greymouth
New Zealand: Hokitika
New Zealand: Pembroke
New Zealand: Queenstown
New Zealand: Te Anau
Sandy has been to 94 cities and 21 countries and counting...
Worldly: is a globetrotter
Danger: flirts with danger
Roughing it: is happy with a roof and running water
Shrewdness: is immune to thieves and outbargain touts
Off the beaten track: occasionally strays off track
Depth of Knowledge: knows a lot & has written a bunch
Overall TravelCred score:
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Munich, Bayern Region, Germany
Added Oct 25, 2008
I should say in my review of Hofbrauhaus that I do not like beer, I am not fond of Munich, or Munchen the locals call it, and I am also not a lover of Oompah Bands.
However, having said all that, the Hofbrauhaus wears an important mantle in Germany, and for the tourist trap that it has become, it meets expectations. Plump frauleins clasp as many as 8 steins in each of their meaty hands and steer confidently between large tables crammed with tourists eating wursts and swaying to the loud brass band.
It is an icon, and worth a visit, but if you don't like beer and don't like wurst, it is an exercise in anthropology only.
Oh, and I have been to its 'twin' in Las Vegas, which was decidedly lacking in any kind of atmosphere. The schnitzel was excellent, but for a complete German beer hall experience, my pick would be the one in Munich! Vegas has better things to offer.
Prague, Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic
Added Oct 25, 2008
On my third tour as a Tour Manager, working for Contiki Europe, I got my second taste of Prague, and had two full days to explore a city I grew to love passionately in a short time. I returned to the castle first; Hradcany Castle overlooks the entire city. Its cathedral is St Vitus’s, a mammoth Gothic structure, imposing and eerie-looking from the outside. I was lingering just inside the doorway, taking it all in, when a girl’s choir began singing Christian hymns – in a cappella and in English. Visiting from South Carolina, the young women sounded like angels. It was the perfect accompaniment, as I searched the cathedral for its treasures. It was said that Lucifer, unable to cross the cathedral’s threshold, stamped his foot in anger and left an impression in the stone floor. I scoured the entrance, but the floor was smooth.
The treasure did come, however, when sometime later I found myself lost on the other side of the castle. I entered a cavernous hall – Vladislav Hall - through a 16 foot door: large planks of wood, rough-sawn but smoothed by centuries of hands and bound by clunky wrought iron. I was alone! That in itself was a rarity – to be alone in a public place in Europe. I pushed the door shut behind me so I could truly savor the solitude. I looked up at the amazing ceiling, curved and peaking at an apex. Huge beams, seemingly the same ones used to create the door, reached upwards from the floor. The floor! Each piece, not quite perfect, but it all fit together like a giant’s jigsaw puzzle.
The hall was where the Royal Court was held, but as I stood alone characters moved and spoke before me. Characters from a play I had read months before – a Greek tragedy. But there, playing out in my mind, the powers of the Gods became the Black magic of wizards and witches. The heroine dragged by her hair across the floor to an altar at the far end of the room. There, the villain king cut out her tongue to silence her, so she could not declare that he raped her. His courtiers bore witness, but no one dared aid our lady as she slumped in a pool of her own blood, wide-eyed and silent. The king stood panting, glowering over her with beads of sweat trailing down his face. He turned to the onlookers, his glare challenging them to question him. In return they stood silently, stunned.
The images were vivid. The hall, gutted of its fixtures, showed me this scene, played out just for me. It is actually happening while I stand here. It may have been steeped in history, but that day the place was alive with fiction. My love affair with the city had gone beyond flirtation. This was serious. I was transfixed. There and then I made a promise to return, to spend more than a couple of days there.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Added Oct 25, 2008
I have lived on the coast in Sydney for six years, and I love it. Standing at a point in Maroubra, I can look north and see all the way to Bondi. The cliffs dotted with houses that seem to cling for dear life, and the half-moon white beaches make it one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world - and I have seen many.
Doing a 'coastal walk' is something locals and visitors alike love to indulge in. The paths wind and climb along cliffs, through a beautiful cemetery and, pass by each of the beaches: Long, narrow Tamarama, broad and busy Bondi, and the unusual Clovelly, more of an inlet with great snorkeling and a quiet cove of white sand. Stunning.
San Francisco, California, United States
Added Oct 24, 2008
The Bridge Coming from Sydney, another city where the bridge is a draw card, I was looking forward to seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in the flesh, or the steel as t were. We started to walk along the coast from Fisherman’s Wharf, a pathway that took us up steep hills, and along grey sandy ‘beaches’. When it became apparent that my boyfriend, Ben, thought we were walking all the way to the bridge (about 11 miles), and I thought we were just walking to where we could see it, we had a minor tetchy moment, and then hopped a cab.
This was of great relief to me, as I was fighting jet lag and the wind was doing my head (and eyes) in. The cab took us the eight miles remaining, and we were deposited at the lookout area. They have really spent some money here! I am sure at one time, this was just a semi-industrial lump of dirt that just happened to be under one of the world’s most famous bridges. Today it is a landscaped parkland with pathways and lookouts. The Bridge itself is stunning. It is long, proud and bright burnt orange. Yep, it deserves all the hype.
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