London Archives - Amazing Journeys
Wanderlust Blog

Posts Tagged ‘London’

Here at Amazing Journeys, we're lucky have the best jobs in the world—and we think our good fortune is worth sharing. So, when your next journey seems like a distant dream, take a few minutes to explore our WANDERLUST blog—it's chock full of engaging tales and helpful tips from our travels around the world. Check out the most recent entry (at the top) or search by your preferred criteria. Consider it motivation for your next embarkation.

Border

Summer Time – Amazing Times

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Summertime conjures up an innate desire in all of us to do something different than we do during the three other seasons. Likely this premise dates back to our youth when summer vacation was the end result…the reward…the yearning of every student each and every school year. As adults we never really shed that urge; to “vacate” somewhere during the summer.

For many of our Amazing Journeys friends who live in New York, that means buying into a share at Fire Island for weekends of beach time, party time and time with friends. For teachers, it means that the job breaks for 2 months and its time to get out of dodge (our friend Bob C from Toronto and Maris J from New York–both teachers–actually spend more of their time in foreign countries than at home during their summer breaks. “School’s out, pack my bags and see ya at Labor Day!” are their summer time mottos). For others, its simply that the weather is nice and the desire to get out of the house–way out of the house–is what they’ve been waiting for. The “summer vacation” impression is so deeply rooted in our souls from days gone by in our youth, we almost have no choice but to succumb to that urge and take that break.

Knowing that the summer is an important travel season to so many people, Amazing Journeys plans 2-3 impressive, destination-oriented and very well attended vacations annually at this time. After a very successful and mesmerizing tour of the Canadian Rockies in July, we just returned home from an amazingly fun and memorable tour through England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France. 98 passengers from 20 cities and 6 countries shared some special times throughout the British Isles, partaking in their choice of 24 different private tours throughout the two weeks around the towns and scores of relaxing enjoyable activities aboard our Princess Cruises floating hotel.

The town of Edinburgh, Scotland was a favorite of many as we joined the locals in celebrating the annual Fringe Festival and Royal Military Tattoo performance. With hundreds of festive street entertainers, musical performances, local fare, medieval castles and the absolutely incredible theatrical concert of the Military Tattoo celebrating the Scottish heritage, our time in Edinburgh is a memory never to be forgotten.

A few of the other many highlights throughout our tour of the British Isles included:

 * A tour of the Guinness Storehouse factory in Dublin

 * Entrance into the Eiffel Tower in Paris

 * A visit to the Royal Suites in Buckingham Palace in London (where Kate’s wedding dress was on display),

 * A speed boat ride on Loch Ness (with many claims of seeing glimpses of Nessie),

 * A tour to the Beaches of Normandy and commentary on the incredible story of D-Day,

 * Tours of ancient medieval castles dating back to the 12th century-including the fortress and surrounding land that inspired the film Braveheart and a most meaningful “Political Tour” of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Our two-part journey took us on a guided tour through the Protestant neighborhood with commentary on that point of view, followed by a separate guide leading us through the Catholic neighborhood sharing that viewpoint. Each neighborhood was separated by a wall that, while not monitoring who could cross, was a clear divide between who was welcome where.

Ahh…summer. Its been a great season of travel at Amazing Journeys. And, we’re not done yet. In just over a week we have one last summer getaway with over 40 eager travelers joining us on our 5-night cruise to Bermuda.

Its been a summer of amazingly fun times here at Amazing Journeys, with much more to come. Even though summer is a popular travel season, any season is travel season at Amazing Journeys. Travel in the fall with us to French Polynesia or the Music Cities of the south. Travel in the winter with us on a New Year’s Caribbean cruise or to India. Travel with us in the spring to China or Spain. Or…if you are the quintessential summer traveler, join us in 2012 in Alaska or on a cruise in the Black Sea to Turkey, the Ukraine, Romania and Greece.

Wherever and whenever you want to go, Amazing Journeys will be there for you with a great group of Jewish single travelers, value-added vacation packages, exclusive touring, carefree travel planning and the greatest team of group leaders in the industry.

Make some plans today!

The New York Times Top 10 Places To Go This Year

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Wanna get away?  Whether you’re a world adventurer or feel safer and more content staying closer to home, the world–or the United States–is your oyster.  The New York Times recently issued their Top places to see and you might be surprised that while several are exotic and requiring great traveling distance (as they say, ‘the greatest treasures are the one’s longest sought’), some are closer than you think.  I’ve added an eleventh – my personal favorite and always a Top Place to visit….even more than once.  (I’m actually headed there for the 14th time later this week…)

#1  Santiago, Chile:   Less than a year after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake wreaked havoc in Chile, its capital, Santiago, has largely recovered, the economy continues to grow, and tourism is in an upswing.

#2   San Juan Islands, Washington State:  what brings tourists out are the landscapes. On islands from Shaw to Decatur, pastoral hills give way to broody forests and scrappy escarpments that overlook fjordlike inlets. Areas are protected from logging or unruly development, and in turn provide fresh terrain for the public to explore.

#3   Koh Samui, Thailand:  A toned-down version of Phuket, heavy on wellness and food Koh Samui is Thailand’s third-largest island. But the 95-square-mile tropical gem in the southern Gulf of Thailand, whose white sand beaches, abundant coral reefs and seas of palm trees were once a backpackers’ secret, has emerged as the stylish luxury alternative to crowded Phuket.

#4  Iceland:  Where a country’s hardships are a visitor’s gain, Iceland’s economic crash has had an upside, at least for tourists. After the devaluation of the krona that followed the country’s 2008 financial crisis, the breathtakingly beautiful island is a lot more affordable. While traditionally a must-see for nature tourists — who come for thermal springs, glaciers, volcanic landscapes and the Northern Lights — Iceland is now emerging as a cultural phenom.

#5  Milan, Italy: A reborn cathedral joins fashion-forward galleries and hotels. Compared with the Italian troika of tourism — Florence, Venice and Rome — Milan is often an afterthought. But with novel, eye-catching design emerging around the city, that should soon change as the city’s collection of 20th-century art is now showcased at the Museo del Novecento, which opened in December in the restored Palazzo dell’Arengario…plus, outside the historic center former factories have been transformed into design studios, old warehouses have been repurposed as unconventional art venues, and galleries are packed with avant-garde works.

#6 Republic of Georgia:  Ski buffs don’t usually think of Soviet Georgia when planning their next backcountry outing. But ambitious plans in the Caucasus are trying to change that fast. Tucked between the Black and Caspian seas and smattered with mountains, Georgia has the kind of terrain adventurous skiers yearn for: peaks reaching 16,000 feet, deep valleys and largely untouched slopes.

#7  London:  There is never a bad time to go to London, but this year may be better than most: the 2012 Summer Olympic Games has prompted the construction of 12,000 hotel rooms, and several hotels that have been around for a while are burnishing their appeal with notable new restaurants. (NOTE: Join Amazing Journeys in August for our Jewish Singles Cruise from London through the British Isles)

#8:  Loreto, Mexico:  Long known for sport fishing, Loreto, on Baja California Sur’s eastern coast, is poised to become one of Mexico’s next luxury destinations.  Recently, Villa Group Resorts, one of Mexico’s largest privately owned hotel groups, opened a $60 million Villa del Palmar resort with three restaurants, a 20,000-square-foot turtle-shaped pool and 150 suites from $250 to $1,500 a night. The resort is the first phase of an 1,800-acre development, Danzante Ba. It will add seven resort hotels, restaurants and a Rees Jones golf course.

#9  Park City, Utah:  Many film aficionados have been lured to Park City for the annual Sundance festival, missing the slopes entirely, which is a shame. This year, new hotels, expanded terrain and events at area ski resorts make on-mountain exploration imperative.

#10  Cali, Colombia: Cafe culture is on the rise while salsa fuels the night life; Cali has always felt like the grittier stepsister of Medellín, but tucked amid the colonial homes of the barrios of San Antonio or Granada are a number of new jewelry boutiques, low-key cafes and salsotecas teeming with crowds as sexy as any in South America.

#11: Alaska:  Few places on earth conjure up a better collection of natural beauty, peace on earth, adventure for any level, unpredictable arrays of wildlife, majestic mountains, uncharted territory, imposing glaciers and a culture that reigns more with the land it inhabits, than the people who govern. Its a place you have to see to believe…but where you have to experience again and again to quench your yearning for more.