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Visiting at any time is extraordinary — but will be an especially amazing time to go. And nationwide, the football World Cup is going to be a chance for the country to celebrate, swagger and demonstrate the tremendous warmth of Russian hospitality. The staging will be loaded with political significance — one of the state-of-the-art stadiums is in Volgograd, the city that, as Stalingrad, turned the tide of the Second World War; another is in Kaliningrad, the strange enclave between Poland and Lithuania. But the opening game and final will be at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, so visitors will naturally gravitate there.

Red Square remains an awe-inspiring highlight, but public spaces like Gorky Park have been given family-friendly makeovers. While the need for Russian visas remains a frustrating obstacle for travellers World Cup ticket holders will be spared this , Uber and Airbnb have made visiting much easier — and the food is good. Marcel Theroux has travelled widely in the former Soviet Union. His latest is The Secret Books.

1. Themed cafes

It could never be argued that, even on the vast tapestry of the United States, Nashville is a hidden jewel. But, much like the objects of unreciprocated desire beseeched in melody by its legions of country singers, the city has often been, for all its attractiveness, hard to reach. That will change on May 4 — at least for travellers from the UK — when British Airways starts a non-stop service to the Tennessee capital from Heathrow.

Scheduled to fly five times a week, this nine-hour connection will be the first direct air link between Britain and Nashville since an American Airlines flight from Gatwick ceased operations in This musical playground — which has framed the musings of stars from Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift — has not been entirely inaccessible in the intervening 22 years. But it has always required a change of plane in another American metropolis.

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As well they might. If the enormous Country Music Hall of Fame countrymusichalloffame. Chris Leadbeater is a travel writer and specialist on America who has visited 35 of its 50 states — including Tennessee and its capital, Nashville. The Fleming thefleming.

A boutique abode in a shadowy Wan Chai side street, its 66 rooms sport a cool, cleverly done Star Ferry theme, with forest-green walls, luxuriant dark woods and flashes of brass. In summer, Rosewood rosewood. Knock-out vistas are guaranteed. The Murray marcopolohotels. Lee Cobaj was raised in Hong Kong and returned to live in the territory three years ago. She specialises in writing about luxury travel around Asia. Sports-mad Australia will welcome some 6, athletes and team officials from 70 countries for the 21st Commonwealth Games in April.

While some matches will take place on the beaches, there is plenty of space to find a patch of sand for yourself, take a surfing lesson, hire a sailboard or kayak and hit the water. She divides her time between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Sure, you will see plenty of coach tours flocking to the Spanish Riding School, and excited tourists bumping along the cobbled streets of the old town in open horse-drawn carriages.

Meanwhile, head for the main museum, the Kunsthistorisches, and you will be able to walk in without queuing. This despite that fact that it has one of the great collections of Old Masters in Europe. It easily rivals the Prado, the National Gallery, the Hermitage and the Louvre and yet it gets barely a 10th as many visitors. These are reasons enough to visit in any year, but in the city is celebrating the centenaries of the deaths of three of its greatest and most appealing artists — Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Koloman Moser — and its finest architect, the modernist, Otto Wagner.

A whole succession of exhibitions and events are planned throughout the year. Cultural specialist Martin Randall martinrandall. To book an independent trip see our guide to the best hotels. Nick Trend is the chief culture editor for Telegraph Travel. He first went to Vienna in and has been visiting regularly ever since. Ski resorts are becoming ever-more innovative in their quest to attract families. US resort Steamboat in Colorado steamboat. The sleds carry two people, allowing children to ride with an adult, and include reassuring safety measures such as seat belts and an automatic braking system.

For a different kind of high, the resort has also built a new 40ft 12m climbing wall in the base area. There are three routes, ranging from beginner to expert. It too will operate year round. Price includes direct flights with BA to Denver and transfers. Henry Druce has been writing exclusively about skiing and snowboarding for 20 years.

Get off the beaten path.

He loves discovering new resorts. While the north of the peninsula has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in recent years, its southern half is poised to steal the show in , with the opening act launching from the ski slopes, as it opens its doors to host the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang February Its ancient roster includes 12 Unesco sites that chart a fascinating 5,year history, from palaces, tombs and villages to the unsung Jeju Island, with its dramatic landscape of volcanic rock formations, waterfalls and the finest lava cave system in the world.

Valid for travel dates between January 11 and April 30 A long Atlantic littoral cedes to woods and undulating farmland untroubled by mountains or great rivers. No drama, then. Not now. But years ago, it was here that local peasants, furious at Republican excesses, revolted. Following the exceptional story around this deep green land is riveting. But, on a summer break, you need light as well as shade. The cyclists then pursue the coast south, as you should, too. For day two, the Tour swings inland. Follow it again, into the boscage pastureland. The story is told in the outstanding museum at Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne.

Or try vendee-gites. Anthony Peregrine left Lancashire for Languedoc 30 years ago and has reported from many parts of France ever since. Isolated from the rest of the world, miles off the coast of Ecuador, species have floundered and flourished, with only the fittest surviving. Nature is left largely to its own devices, although a helping hand has been given in the form of legal protection to preserve this paradise as a wildlife idyll.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Galapagos being managed as a national park and 40 years since it was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. But one of the most dramatic examples of evolution on the islands famously explored by Charles Darwin has been the growth of a local community, which is now very much part of the tourism picture.

In the past decade, the Ecuadorian government has encouraged visitors to spend more time on the inhabited islands Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana with improved ferry services and the addition of small hotels, lodges and a safari camp.

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In , the park authority also granted day trips to Espanola, the breeding ground for waved albatross, previously accessible only to cruisers. The benefits of staying put are plenty: rise at dawn to find marine iguanas basking in the surf, share sun loungers with curious sea lions, and watch moonlight paint black beaches silver. A day Galapagos island-hopping holiday with Journey Latin America ; journeylatinamerica. Sarah Marshall is a regular contributor to the Telegraph Travel pages.

She combines travel stories with wildlife adventures. In the glory days of its 17th-century Golden Age, Amsterdam was the hub of world trade. Gold poured into its coffers, paying for magnificent buildings, new infrastructure and great art. Along came rowdy tavern life, too, in a red-light district dating back to medieval times. Successive centuries added layers of innovation and new style, with our own era seeing a wave of bravura architecture and a culinary explosion.

The big news is that the long-awaited direct London-Amsterdam train service is set to arrive at last. Not having to change trains in Brussels will cut the journey down to a smooth four hours. Awaiting arrivals is the spanking new Hotel TwentySeven: just 16 super-opulent suites, a hip cocktail bar and the Bougainville restaurant with starred chef Pascal Jalhay.

Around the corner, the recently opened Mad Fox has just picked up an award for best club in the Netherlands. The show runs until May 27 and has six Rembrandts and rare, delicately painted nudes by Gerard Dou. Eurostar will begin a trial direct London-Amsterdam service early in the year and the route is due to be fully operational by the spring. Fares have yet to be announced; eurostar. V iew our best Holland holidays. Most Latin American countries are being rediscovered by a new generation of modern conquistadors, but none match Nicaragua for dash when it comes to reinvention.

Exploring North Jeju in a Day

Nicaragua offers regional variations of what its better-known neighbours do well: world-class coffee, rum and cigars; cone-shaped volcanoes for hiking up and boarding down; lush rainforests aflutter with butterflies, birds and monkeys; superb surf and dive spots. We did manage to get a couple of good shots without getting photobombed.

The jagged coastline and rock shapes are result of erosion by the sea and wind over the years. Many guests suited business men and young couples chose to reserve tables by the window — to enjoy a cup of coffee or desert. We were hungry and indulged in King Prawn pasta and burgers instead. These women have quite an extraordinary ability to hold their breath underwater for 2 or 3 minutes. Many of them sell their catch abalones, shellfish, seaweed along the rocky bed of the sea.

The modern building is surrounded by art exhibits, a clear pond, and trees. Noisy ravens crackled in the background and soft sounds of music from the neighbouring Love Land trickled in. However, Love Land has its fair share of elderly tourist groups, happy to pose with the exhibits, or flaunt the unfazed look. I was asked to double as photographer on multiple occasions.

And I found people watching, more interesting, than the exhibits themselves. In the background, the Beatles and Beejees tried to croon some real love into the air. Personally, I was disappointed. The underground shopping centre also serves as an underpass is perfect to get good deals on clothes or shoes. What a wonderful guide to Jeju Cheryl. You certainly explored a lot in a day and brought all of its colour to life. Glad you liked reading it, Miriam. We did north this in bits and pieces as Basil had to break our holiday and mix it with work.

Thanks so much for your comment! It feels so good to be appreciated! I love the wonder lusting attitude that you and Basil have. It shines through in all of your posts. Thanks so much, Miriam. I had to tell you about this incident.

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Basil rarely reads my posts, probably just glances through the photos and reads some comments. I must thank Basil for a lot of our travels. Have a super weekend, Miriam! Always feels good to connect with you! You obviously make a great team. Sometimes I wish my husband was more involved in my blog. Enjoy your weekend my friend xo. I said no one will expect anything from you and they would love to hear your side of the story. Hope you had a nice weekend yourself. Ours was packed and really needed some time out today.

Oh, absolutely.

exploring hongdae, pretty cafes, and more shopping! - korea vlog

Convince him Cheryl! Sounds as though you had a busy weekend. Hopefully the week ahead is not so crazy but happy and relaxed. Take care.

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Thanks for your interest, Miriam. My friends and family are pretty pleased with it. I had a couple of friends move there recently so it is on the list.

Ice Gallery

Thanks for the post. That love museum looks hilarious. We found the east and south more appealing fantastic forest, cycling, walking, and oreum trails. The trick is to escape the peak season. We got lucky with the weather good sunshine and since everyone else was probably enjoying fall in the mainland mountains , many places were pretty empty.

Glad you enjoyed reading this post! Thanks for your comment, Jeff! The rest of the trip had a lot of walking and hiking.