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Host Bonjour

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About Host Bonjour

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    Cruise Critic Host

About Me

  • Location
    NYC region
  • Interests
    Travel, film, mixed media painting, photography
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Love mew places, some old favorites & going home.

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  1. !Hola! After a wonderful run at about 22 pages, it seems the right time to begin a new chapter of Palma de Mallorca DIY topic, with thanks to everyone, especially roger b, for making it such a wonderful part of the Spain community. I have closed that thread to new posts but it remains viewable to anyone as a valuable source of information for trip planning or if you wish to review any of the posts you have made to the topic in the past. Having fewer pages will make it more amenable to searches for new and repeat visitors alike, rather than a place where only new posts will get added on to the existing topic, making it a valuable source of information for visitors to the Spain message board. In the new thread, please continue to adhere to the forum T.O.S., as everyone here has always done, and focus your wonderful contributions on the do-it-yourself topics of interest that have made the original compilation such a rousing success. Examples of DIY inquiries/discussions are, but not limited to: Arranging transportation to/from, or while in port Restaurants Accommodations What to see or do while in port Beaches HoHo buses and ordinary buses And....other pertinent DIY inquiries This is definitely NOT the place to ask about tours, guides, etc. as that takes us outside the realm of DIY. Best answer to someone posting such a question (or a review we don't see and remove; remember you can always alert us for prompt removal!) is to refer them to a topic that might answer the question they have asked about a tour, or kindly suggest starting a new topic, so that this topic adheres to its mission. Thanks in advance everyone for making Palma de Mallorca 2.0 the success we know it will be. πŸ™‚
  2. FYI, just another thought but I concur with the glorious table linens and ceramics in the South of France, they are beautiful and I wanted everything. If you are someone or know someone who enjoys perfumes or eau de colognes/toilettes (there's a difference) you might also enjoy shopping for some very lovely and distinct fragrances not otherwise available in the U.S. as some brands/designers simply do not export here. Also, you won't be terribly far from Grasse, the epicenter of all things perfume in the world, where people come to learn the trade and some of the most wonderful oils are found. Just something to think about if you enjoy these things. I always found that with fragrance, whenever I used one that I bought from France or anywhere that I traveled to, it reminded me of that place with particular detail. Another thing that I have always enjoyed bringing home from trips is local artwork–small drawings or paintings by local artists or even nice print reproductions of other work like a photograph you might find particularly beautiful and would be a great reminder of your journey or meaningful to someone you know. It's often not too hard to transport if it's small as it can be packed flat or, alternatively, placed in a round tube and carried or shipped home. With both art/photographs (even quality postcards suffice, the kind found in book shops, art stores, stationary supplies etc) and fragrance, these souvenirs serve as lasting, and repeat reminders of wonderful trips rather than traditional items. My other go-to is the fridge magnet (or other steel space that it'll stick to!) but again, I look for magnets that have some thought put into the design, or go to the extreme end and get something so tacky it's funny!! Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time in Marseille and St. Tropez! πŸ™‚
  3. Yes!! Two very iconic bridges in renowned places, I'm almost certain I have done the same thing when discussing Italy, and I begin to think of being there, kind of forgetting what I'm saying, as I imagine in my mind being back there. That....and I read a lot of posts on the boards, this is one of our busiest port boards, and so factor in some human error, it's one of the reasons I often lurk in the background and pop in when it seems like we have an urgent situation (not often) or, I might be able to help, but that's usually already happening. πŸ™‚ Everyone on this board is always on it. However, with the shopping queries, I'm not usually going to sit out those... πŸ˜‰ ...unless it's for....?? I don't know. If I can stuff it in my bag and it's Italian, I'll buy it.🀣
  4. Host Bonjour

    Is Hong Kong safe?

    Let us know how your experience was when you return, first of all hopefully that you really enjoyed Hong Kong, it's wonderful, and that your visit was more or less unaffected...of if it was, how so. Hopefully, all will be well and you'll have an exciting trip!! πŸ™‚
  5. No, I looked at the map incorrectly. I do make mistakes sometimes...I read a lot of posts and have the best intentions always. Sincere apologies to OP, I hadn't at all meant to lead you astray in Venice, or anyone, anywhere. And thank you to cruisemom for helping to ensure all was clear. πŸ™‚ Many, many helpful threads here on this Italy board re: getting to/from the cruise port and points in Venice, whether it's a hotel or a particular sightseeing destination. And the people mover is mentioned frequently here on the boards, it's one of the most popular questions for transiting in Venice. Definitely recommend a search of the boards for these posts, (and many others!) to collect some of that wonderful information for your trip. Have fun as you continue making your plans! πŸ™‚
  6. I spent six weeks in Verona a few years ago, it's heavenly. You don't need an excursion or tour to explore Verona, it's quite manageable on your own but if you have some particular interest in mind, there are things to look deeper into such as Arena de Verona, an ancient arena in the main square, Piazza di Bra, that is still used in season for a busy and wonderful schedule of open air concerts and shows, including opera. The people in Verona are wonderful and you would feel so very welcome. Have dinner at Osteria Casa Vino, a cozy place with delicious food on a tiny cobblestone alley -Vicolo Morette 8- everything home made of course, dine indoors our outside under umbrellas. It was my favorite from the entire time I was there, I would go back, along with a place that made crepe like things and a pizza place...I have to look up the name, it was packed with locals. As mentioned above, Lago di Garda, extremely popular and lovely. There is a thread in here, from last year I believe, extensive and well written by a German traveler who included great details and photos from her visit to Garda, so definitely do a search for that on our board here. Trieste I'm also longing to visit, and the dolomites region. I heard Padua and Vicenza were also awesome too while I was in Verona. You've got lots of incredible options! Here are a few photos, the last one I ought to have edited better but I could not see the thumbnail well enough in my photo gallery to realize it needed to be edited. Second one is just a small vicolo off Via Mazzetti, there's a caffe bar on the left that was a local hangout which was cool, even in the day time, sort of an intellectual but not snooty place, just good stuff to eat and chill out, chat etc. After that is just some pics from Piazza d'Erbe which is on the other end of Via Mazzetti leading to Piazza di Bra. Piazza d'Erbe is close to where the 'Giulietta's balcony' is that was often so packed it was difficult for people to get in/out of. It's a very small space beneath the 'balcony' and I have no idea how long it takes to wait to up into the balcony. You can tell it's newer and not matching in age to all the buildings around it and then see all the many, many souvenirs on sale touting Giulietta and Romeo. Shouldn't it be more for Shakespeare? Anyway... There you go. Definitely do go look for the Lago di Garda thread πŸ™‚
  7. Adding in the replies from another member's similar question which I think might also be helpful. It started with questions for shopping only in Rome, but can be applied to some other cities as well in terms of general categories. There are definitley specific regional specialties, these are best found looking in smaller shops, markets away from the larger, main, glitzy shopping avenue or square and going to more ordinary places. Ask around and get recommendations for where people working in your hotel, or restaurant workers, etc. would go, things like that. Or do the best thing...just wander πŸ˜‰
  8. If you are arriving by train, it might make sense to stay at a hotel in/near the Grand Canal or thereabouts, as it's where much of the main sightseeing is, Piazza San Marco, the basilica, Doges Palace, Bridge of Sighs, and just walking around the Grand Canal which will be much quieter at night than in the day, so head for the quieter, back canals in the day after you've visited a few places. Then yes, in the morning it's probably easy to catch a vaporetto or water taxi in the morning to the cruise terminal. The waterways will be quiet and lovely, might make for some incredible photo opportunities on the way there. It's not the same as worrying about street traffic, say, in London or New York City, and getting to the pier from the hotel via train, taxi, or airport, or some combination thereof. Also, no schlepping once you arrive. You can check right into your hotel (or drop off your luggage) and get out into Venice. Believe me, once you cross the lagoon on the train and come into Venice, you won't want to wait by having to go to Piazzale Roma, check in, then have to come all the way back over to where you were to begin exploring the city. As to where to stay, of course there are many recommendations here on our message boards for your to search through from our members. And you'll surely get input from others here too. Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time! πŸ™‚
  9. HI Terry, Thanks so much for your reply!! So this is the sequence I see in your original post, with Full Story At link coming ahead your sign off, then the blog post link, then a heads up to click open to the beautiful gallery of photographs. But the image on display in the post is a Getty Image and it needs to be credited as a Getty Image or removed and replaced by one of your incredible photographs from a trip to Copenhagen as they are Getty-worthy. πŸ˜‰ Readers of the Telegraph article will see the image once they click on the link as it leads the story, but I can understand your enthusiasm to share it separately, as it IS spectacular. If you choose to keep it that way, please just add text stating that it is a Getty Image as it represents a commercial transaction between Getty and the Telegraph and we did not pay for the photograph. I know you mean well, but if the photo ends up everywhere on Instagram and Getty tracked it down, Fair Use wouldn't apply here. Thanks so much in advance for helping, and for always contributing lovely photographs and great resources for everyone, they're greatly appreciated as you know. πŸ™‚
  10. I am still not over my Swiss Army knife being confiscated at JFK. I bought in Switzerland, (Rapperswil), and used all the time, but it was confiscated, which I get, because check-in regs were tightened after the Boston Marathon bombing it was in my carry on, obviously I should have known better having zero degrees of separation from the 9/11 experience, and it was only 2003. On the largest of the tools it was stamped with the name of the town, Rapperswil, on the blade, along with the Victorinox emblem. I've checked other Swiss Army knives and don't tend to see them stamped...but it was just a wonderful reminder of a very lovely Swiss town and my first ever trip to Europe that I did mostly all on my own, by rail. It was a long trip and it covered a lot of miles and so it began, collecting small but practical things I could use (including art) that would not only be functional, but create permanent memories. I keep thinking of ordering another Swiss Army knife from Switzerland but....it's not the same. I still have memories and photos and a Rapperswil decal. Loooove the idea of the ceramic cabinet/drawer pulls because yes, all those gorgeous creations can be expensive and/or difficult to transport although as you did, having them shipped works and then, the VAT comes off! (If it crosses the price threshold which, it could if it's worth buying and shipping home πŸ˜‰ ) I have done this in bulk with Manuel Canovas candles in Paris. Worked out to costing even a little less w/o the VAT, than if I bought them here since I bought quite a few and shipped them home. Gotta keep that name in mind for gloves. Thanks everyone!!
  11. Oh yes, Anthony Bourdain did Rome and Sicily, which I think was the last in the latest season we saw and included Francis Ford Coppola's villa (and Coppola). Did he go to Naples? I can't recall. I know he went to France a number of times and his San Sebastian episode was memorable but so many were, as I learned among other things, that the eyeballs of creatures were desirable to eat, evidently. But then where food is viewed by so many cultures in a way that's obviously different than western, and particularly, U.S. culture, just about any part of the animal is desirable when it comes to being considered food. Andrew Zimmern has also done some wonderful food travel shows. His Faroe Islands episode, among others was a thrill for me, and I am sure he's done Italy too. I must go in search of. Trouble is, even with subscriptions, access can be limited to much of these programs hence, if we share, we can fill in gaps for the what's missing/waiting for them to release whatever while we're in between travels. Thanks for the recommendations. πŸ™‚
  12. https://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/corfu/city-sightseeing-corfu-hop-on-hop-off-bus-tour_26741 I think this is what you are looking for, run by the company that operates HoHo's in other popular places. The link goes to a map and lists popular stops which include places on your list. The boarding spot is 300 meters away from the cruise port, easy to reach. πŸ™‚ Enjoy the day in Corfu!!
  13. Always love the history πŸ˜„ And I knew how St. Peter's came to be named St. Peter's...lots of religion and theology classes though I cannot ever, and wouldn't ever try with the history πŸ˜‰ I didn't stay there long...well yes, there's the crusades and people dying in the name of religion and war forever. It just wasn't always in an arena, that's kind of my point. And there are other places in the world with bloody histories on its land for money or religion, often both, (near where I live, how Wall Street got its name). But we change, or make progress hopefully, try to do better, because...progress? Plus, looking at some of the fashion from Rome 2,000 years ago, I see some things that would not past muster at St. Peter's today but to be fair, the church didn't exist yet. I'm not going to stop wondering why. Maybe it's too meta, and wondering is often not popular.
  14. Fair enough. And again, I agree with abiding by every and any law. I was clearly not suggesting violating any rule, requirement, or law anywhere. And expecting to gain admittance to a privately owned place, well that's not legal either, it would be trespassing, or...worse. When Notre Dame was on fire, people of all faiths from all around the world were sad because it is a place that has welcomed people for centuries no matter who they are or where they are from. It is a safe place. It touched everyone. Save for waiting online, and security, it is not a challenge to enter. The same at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Reims Cathedral, and now it seems too, in Spain, churches all over England and Scotland, buddhist shrines in Hong Kong and China - I did ask if it was ok to enter. My questions weren't why not me, or why not let's protest. It's just why now, still. I get that there are particular moments, like Mass, when if that's what they want, ok. But otherwise, in face of teaching tenets that are meant to be accepting and tolerant of one another, why turn anyone away due to their knees or shoulders. But it's not illegal to wear shorts or skirts or sleeveless tops in Italy. To this end, the Dalai Llama would be refused because his robe exposes one shoulder and yet, the Dalai Llama has been photographed with Francis dressed in his usual way, as it ought to be. The Dalai Llama is infinitely holier than I could ever aim to be and he got in. All I'm saying is I wish it was about how we conduct ourselves rather than what we look like. Enough of that already. I understand and hear the points about the significance of these places and it is not lost on me. It's not about causing any disruption. There's too much of that...that's exactly the point. Why, of all places, here? I appreciate what everyone is saying and I thank you all so much.
  15. Were you inquiring as to whether you had enough time to do the walking? That's what I got from your post and I thought it should be ok as long as you keep in mind the time wherever you are; so easy to get distracted by what one sees while walking in Paris but then...I wander and linger. You've got a train to catch at 6:00/18:00 and having also taken Eurostar to London, don't want to miss it. It's a cool journey. Keep in mind you can always hop on the mΓ©tro to save time from anywhere in the city, a station is usually always nearby and it gets you where you need to go quickly. But you want to get to Gare du Nord ahead of time to check in especially...well who knows at this point what is going to happen with Britain and the EU. Probably another extension at this point but you'll still need to go through security which also means showing your passport these days. I can't think of a time I ever felt unsafe in Paris, even when walking alone by myself at night, going back into the 90s when some of the arrondissments hadn't been gentrified and the city had a few edgy areas. That said, I understand everything is relevant and no one should ever place themselves in a situation where they do not feel comfortable. Coming from NYC, in the not so pretty years, I have my street sense but I also don't take unreasonable risks. It's always sensible to be on alert in any busy area, anywhere. Mind that your backpacks are zipped, sealed, secure etc., know which general direction you need to go upon arrival into the station, of course Eurostar isn't on an ordinary track with all the other trains, and has its own sort of terminal, for lack of a better term. Maybe set a series of timers on your phone to keep yourself on pace throughout the day and then you'll know when/where/how to make the decision to make your way to the station. MΓ©tro can sometimes be easiest going to any of les gares, if only because they are hectic and busy outside and the mΓ©tro gets you past all that and inside the station. It's how I've gone to every station, Montparnasse, Lyon, l'Est, St. Lazare or was it Austerlitz or both....anyway, it's always easy. No wait, I think I walked into Montparnasse...it's just sort of there. Don't do what you don't feel comfortable with. But as far as time, you have enough time for walking Arc to Eiffel to Gare. Whatever you decide, have a wonderful interlude in Paris and then, enjoy London and your Eurostar ride.
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