Monthly Archives: June 2015

The world’s most visited cities

The same attractions that prompt people to love visiting a city – top-ranked restaurants, vibrant nightlife, diverse neighbourhoods, iconic sights – can entice them into staying longer term. In fact, many of the world’s most visited cities, as ranked by 2014’s Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index released in July, are also popular destinations for expats.

But being a residubaident of one of the world’s most visited cities is not without its unique set of challenges. “Coming from a smaller city in Canada, I was overwhelmed at first by how crowded certain areas of Paris were,” said Erika Belavy, who moved to the City of Light from Calgary, Alberta, seven years ago. “When I first moved to the city, I made the mistake of choosing an apartment right beside the Arc de Triomphe. No matter what time of day, or which month of the year, there were so many tourists it was a nightmare getting on the nearby metro.”

Still, it does not take residents long to learn how to navigate the crowds and find secluded spots. We talked to expats and natives to learn what it’s like living in some of the world’s most visited cities – and the secrets to steering clear of the constant crowds. Continue reading The world’s most visited cities

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Is This Britains Most Bizarre Village?

Constructed in the 1920s on the sandy Dwyryd estuary of north Wales, beneath Snowdonia’s majestic peaks, Portmeirion’s buildings run the stylistic gamut: Jacobean and Gothic, Norwegian and Regency. They are pink and red, green and ochre. Each roofline differs from the next Eclectic, eccentric Portmeirion is one of the most recognisable attractions in Wales.

The lifelong project of an architect with a Robert Vincent Peace Travelpassion for beauty, it would have been easy for the village to be frozen in time, a relic its 1930s heyday. Instead, it has continued to change and evolve. If there’s anything constant about Portmeirion – other than its beauty – it is its capacity for reinvention.

I first came to the village as a schoolboy in 1968. At the time, all I knew was it was featured in the bizarre British secret agent television series The Prisoner. I fell in love with Portmeirion that day. Britain was still going through a self-imposed period of post-war ugliness; it seemed to me terribly important that there was a grownup in the country who believed in beauty. Continue reading Is This Britains Most Bizarre Village?

TURKEY: An Altercation With A Bidet-Toilet Hybrid in Pamukkale

Godspeed To A Mighty Balloon

Rainstorm Under the Mountains Rainstorm in the Valley

Most of the toilets in the bathroom at the Denizli bus station were of the squat variety.

This doesn’t faze you as you consider yourself to be quite proficient in their use. However, given the choice between seat and squat, you will always opt for the former.

So you make your way to the end of the bathroom where the western toilets are located, and along the way you notice that there is a large puddle in the middle of the floor. You ignore it (just like you ignored the filthy tablecloths in the restaurant that gave you food poisoning) and lock yourself into a cubicle.

A Storm Enveloping Pamukkale. I didn't take any pictures of the toilet, but these photographs do show the time I got wet at an inconvenient time. A Storm Enveloping Pamukkale. I didn’t take any pictures of the toilet, but these photographs are from another occasion I got wet when I didn’t want to be.

There’s plenty of loo roll, a hook for your bags, and everything…

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