The Charm of Chester, England

Chester is a quaint city located along the River Dee. Chester was originally founded as a Roman fort and the Roman walls still surround the city today. Chester is a perfect place for a weekend trip with plenty of great restaurants, pubs, and shopping. The Chester Racecourse another major tourist attraction sure to provide an entertaining afternoon! It takes just under four hours to travel from London to Chester by car, but you can also get there by bus or train.

Streets of Chester

Streets of Chester

 Where to stay

Holiday Inn Express – Racecourse

This hotel is conveniently located near the city center, and directly next to the Chester Racecourse. The rooms are clean and nicely sized, and they provide a great breakfast!

Chester Grosvenor and Spa

Chester Grosvenor is a very classy hotel located by the Eastgate Clock and several other main attractions. This hotel is a perfect example of the charm Chester possesses!

 Bars and Restaurants

Fiesta Havana

Fiesta Havana is a restaurant and bar with delicious tapas and margaritas, and has a very unique atmosphere. The restaurant has brick walls and leather furniture, and is a wonderful place to go at any time of the day.

What to do

Roman walls

The original Roman walls encloses Chester, stretching the distance of about two miles. You can walk the walls, providing a great way to tour the city. There are canals and parks scattered throughout the city, a long with a Roman amphitheater where events and performances are still held. A guided tour is another great way to see the city!

Guided City Tour

Guided City Tour

Racecourse

The Chester Racecourse is known as the Roodee and is the oldest racecourse in England that is still in use. Tickets to the races can be as low as 8 euros, which makes the races accessible no matter what your budget! Restaurant 1539, overlooking the course, is an award-winning restaurant with a truly delicious menu!

Check out Adventurous Kate’s blog about Chester. She shares great advice and information about the city. Nigel Thomas documented his trip mostly through pictures, which will help you get a feel for the charm Chester has to offer!

Until next week,

Megan

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The Road Less Traveled

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Interlaken is a breathtaking city in Switzerland located between two lakes and surrounded by the Swiss Alps. The town offers numerous outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, and paragliding, just to name a few! Interlaken has fresh air, incredibly clean drinking water, and friendly residents wanting to share their beautiful home with you! Traveling to this city is definitely bucket-list worthy.

Accommodations 

Balmer’s Herberge

As the oldest hostel in Switzerland, Balmer’s is full of authentic Swiss charm while still providing an awesome place to stay. They are located near tons of local shops and restaurants, and the staff is extremely helpful with organizing excursions. The main nightclub in Interlaken, Metro Bar, is also located at Balmer’s underground.

Backpacker’s Villa Sonnenhof

Located near Interlaken’s city park, Backpacker’s Villa is another great hostel to stay at while in town. This hostel provides a quieter atmosphere, while still centrally located.

 Where to Eat

Coop Supermarket

Located down the street from Balmer’s, the Co-Op is the perfect place to pick up a few snacks or meals as an alternative to eating out. The hostels give travelers the option of using their kitchen to avoid pricey meals, making the Co-Op a great place to stock up on supplies.

Truly Asia

With outdoor and indoor dining, this restaurant provides several options (Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese) for anyone craving Asian food!

The 3 Tells Irish Pub

Less than a five-minute walk from Balmer’s, serving authentic Irish food.

Hotel Tell

Serves traditional Swiss dishes, including the Swiss National Dish, Rosti.

Utopia Wraps

Opened by an American who married a Swiss, this place serves delicious, healthy wraps and bagels with Philadelphia cream cheese!

What to See and Do

The Lakes

Interlaken, which translates to “between two lakes” in German, is sandwiched between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Lake Brienz, which is about a 15-minute walk from Balmer’s and the city park, has unbelievable turquoise colored water.

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Hiking

Harder Klum

This hike is NOT a walk in the park, but the views are spectacular and well worth it. Be sure to wear hiking-friendly shoes and bring a bottle of water!

Extreme sportsAlpin Raft

Interlaken is the perfect place for anyone seeking adventure! Alpin Raft offers numerous options that are all sure to get your heart racing. Activities include: Skydiving, paragliding, canyon jump, ropes courses, canyoning, hang gliding, and ice climbing

Visit this blog, written by a college student who studied abroad, offering advice on lodging, food, and other activities! Another great blog, written by Jackie Cooke,  also shares valuable information about Interlaken.

Check back next Tuesday for a post about Chester, England!

Megan

Back in Old Napoli…or Capri, That’s Amore!

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Capri is a beautiful island off the Almafi Coast of Italy. It truly is a unique place to visit and definitely worth traveling to! The island of Capri is an upscale destination with luxury shops and restaurants, and is commonly visited by celebrities and royalty, such as Beyonce and Charlotte Casiraghi. The island is famous for their custom made sandals, which are still made by authentic shoemakers there today. The tradition of artisan-made perfume dates back to the 15th Century, and still remains a popular business on the island. Reached by a ferry or private boat, a day trip is a perfect opportunity to see the sights of Capri. Check out this Capri site for more information on transportation and activities.

What to Do

The Blue Grotto

This sea cave is on the coast of Capri and can be reached by taking a small boat for around 15 Euro. A breathtaking blue reflection is created with the sunlight peaking through both the seawater and cave entrance. If you’re lucky, your tour guide may even let you take a swim!

Funicular Railway

The Funicular is the fastest way to get from the Marina Grande port to the center of Capri, where most of the shops and restaurants are located. The ride up offers incredible views of the Mediterranean and Tyrrhenian Seas, as well as the island itself. Single tickets can be purchased for only 2 Euro!

What to Drink

Limoncello and the “Specialty”

Limoncello is a popular liquor on the island, made with the lemons produced on the island. Another must-have drink, without alcohol, is called the “specialty,” which is a blend of lemon and orange juice. The drink is extremely refreshing on hot Capri days and is simply irresistible!

Capri is a beautiful destination with a plethora of handmade goods and drinks that can only be found on this small island. A day trip is a prefect length of time to spend exploring and enjoying the island’s treasures. Check out this blog on Capri written by Cynthia, who urges readers to indulge in life!

Good luck planning your next trip!

Megan

More Fish and Chips Please!

The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher

Traveling to Ireland this past summer, I found it hard to leave after spending three jam-packed days there. Dublin, the capitol, is an amazing city with so much to offer for every type of traveler. Visiting the beautiful countryside, however, is a must do while in Ireland. The food, Guinness, and people alone will be enough to make you want to extend your trip!

Where To Stay

Abigail’s Hostel

Great place to stay on a budget-friendly trip. It’s centrally located in the popular area of Temple Bar, overlooking the River Liffey. The staff is friendly, rooms are clean, and wifi is free. Breakfast is included and bathrooms are located within the rooms!

Abbey’s Court

Located across the river from Abigail’s Hostel, Abbey’s Court is a colorful place to stay. The staff is equally as friendly, and they also provide a complementary breakfast.

Where To Eat

Leo Burrdock’s (Temple Bar location)

One cannot go to Dublin without making a visit to Leo Burrdock’s! Famous for their fish and chips, you’ll find yourself having to try it more than once. The guys that work there are so friendly and love sharing their celebrated food with foreigners!

Quay’s Pub

Quay’s Pub is a quintessential Irish pub located in Temple Bar with great live music!

What To See

Trinity College

The main attraction at Trinity College is hands down the Book of Kells Exhibition. The campus itself is also a great place to spend an afternoon or few hours. Check out Susan Byron’s blog for more of Ireland’s hidden gems.

Cliffs of Moher, the Burren

The Burren is located in County Clare and offers stunning landscapes specific to the Irish countryside. The Cliffs of Moher are an unbelievable natural wonder and present breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Guinness Storehouse

Visiting the Guinness Factory is a great way to learn about the history and creation of the famous Irish Stout. The tour is done at your leisure and includes food and drink samples, as well as a beer when you complete your visit. The Gravity Bar is the located at the top of the Storehouse and offers unbeatable views of Dublin.

Jameson Distillery

The Jameson Distillery offers a theatrical tour of how Jameson became the household name it is today. They offer a whiskey tasting at the end as well.

Until next week!                                                                                                                           Megan

Traveling to Malta

Malta, Malta, Malta

Mellieha Bay Beach

Malta is a lively and colorful island located in the Mediterranean Sea and definitely worth a trip! Although the whole island is full of rich culture and sightseeing, my trip to Malta was concentrated in the St. Julian’s area of the island. Here’s what you’ll need to know!

How to Get There:

One word: Ryanair. Ryanair provides cheap flights for travelers from a variety of airports. When making travel plans, being flexible is the best way to ensure you get the lowest air fare. Plan ahead!

Places to stay:

Highgate Apartments: Provides a very spacious place to rest. I stayed there with a group of 5 of us and found it more than enough space for a 3-day holiday. The apartments have very little amenities compared to a hotel, but does have a kitchen and massive living space with a gorgeous balcony views. The overall price for two nights was only $170 (US dollars).

St. Julian’s Bay Hotel: This hotel is located in the same building where the apartments are. The staff was extremely friendly, helping us figure out the bus system and recommending places to eat! When checking out, they let us store our luggage in their luggage room. I never saw the inside of their rooms, but the staff was so friendly that I would definitely look into staying there on my next trip to Malta.

Beaches:

The best beaches in Malta are located in Mellieha Bay and Golden Bay. Staying in Sliema and Valletta are a far commute, especially if you’re looking to maximize your beach time during your trip. The area of St. Julian’s provides a quicker commute to the beach areas via bus for around only 3 euro.

Mellieha Bay: The beach here is beautiful! Accessible by bus, the beach has umbrellas for 5 euro or space to use your own towel. The water is so unbelievably clear you’ll think your swimming in a pool!

Nightlife:

Paceville is an area with a very lively nightlife. You’ll find bars, clubs, and hookah lounges offering both inside and outside spaces all within a small area.

Bars and Clubs:

Footloose: DJ played great dance music all night, and almost always crowded by 12 a.m.

Plush: Enticed by the 2-1 drink special, Plush was a great place to order a drink. They also had a DJ that played great music and had a variety of people, both local and foreign.

Bellini Bar: Stay away! They are long walk from Paceville and serve poorly made drinks.

To find more information on the lively island of Malta, check out their official site:

Visit Malta 

Here’s another great blog that acts as an online community city with information specifically for tourists:

Malta