Carlson Wagonlit Travelscope 's Blog

With quality point-and-shoot cameras available nowadays for under $100, there is so much to choose from, and not a whole lot of difference between most of them. 

Sometimes though, something new comes onto the market that shakes things up. The Olympus TG-610 camera does just that.

Shockproof. Waterproof. Imagine!

This is great not only for all you adventure travelers, but also for anyone with kids. Or if you're like me, just clumsy. 

Abi King of InsideTheTravelLab.com did an entire write-up on the camera, which I recommend you check out!

 

At the top of my travel itinerary for Summer 2012 is Portugal. This amazing, diverse country is still a bit off the beaten path in Europe, meaning opportunities for great deals and a special experience. 

Seriously - I cannot recommend this country enough. The food is to die for, the landscapes are breathtaking, and the cities are steeped in history but offer a modern edge.

For some more information on this amazing country, check out this article by Cheska Bennett - she did an interview with Portugal Tourism on Top Insider Travel Tips. There's a lot of great info here, so be sure to check it out if you're even remotely interested in a trip to Portugal. 

If you want to learn more about Portugal or start to plan your trip, contact us!

That hour could mean everything. It could mean the difference between calmly making your way through security and to your terminal, and a Home Alone style mad-dash through the airport, possibly resulting in a kid or two being left behind. 

Try to think ahead about your trip: are you going to be doing a lot of walking? Are the public transportation options easy and accessible? What is the weather like?

As Juno points out on her travel blog, Runaway Juno, "everything will take longer than you thought." Because you're in a new place and unfamiliar with your surroundings, give yourself some cushion. Even just walking to your hotel you might get distracted by the fascinating sites and miss your hotel check-in. 

(Check out her full article for more tips!)

At Travelscope, we want your trip to be easy and breezy, and giving yourself an extra hour definitely helps. But we also know that by planning and booking with us, not only do we can take care of all of the arrangements, but we're here to help at any point during your trip if you get stuck.

A very Happy New Years from all of us at Carlson Wagonlit Travelscope!

 

One important and fun attraction in Rome is the Appian Way, one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic that today is a free tourist attraction. 

After the first 3 miles traffic is quite light, and ruins can be explored in relative safety. 

Be sure to check out the Church of Domine Quo Vadis, the three catacombs and the Roman baths of Capo di Bove.

And as always, for a trip you'll never foget, contact us as Carlson Wagonlit Travelscope for all of your travel needs. 

Whenever I meet a very well-seasoned traveler - the kind who's had to order extra pages for their passport - I'm filled with much admiration. 

Almost always, they're super friendly and laid-back, with many stories to tell and few complaints. 

Anyone who's done some traveling knows about its ups and downs. It's a constant learning process, which is why I think these seasoned globetrotters are so easy-going. 

They developed and then relied on a personal travel philosophy - a set of self-regulated principles - to guide them through the good times and the occasional bad.

Now, I'm not quite the world traveler I aspire to be, but I've traveled enough to have made some mistakes, learned from them and created my own rules to enable me to travel better, smarter and stress-free.

These are the rules that work for me. They are constantly evolving with every new trip, and they inspire me to be a better traveler. 

I don't expect that you'll share all my rules. Instead, I hope that they inspire you to articular your own personal philosophy that you can take with you on your next trip.

Here are the 10 rules I travel by. 

1) I'm game, for just about everything. I can be shy around new people but when I travel I make myself go up and talk to locals and fellow travelers to ask questions or make conversation. I try new foods, drinks, ways of life. I try to always say yes and seize every moment and opportunity.

2) I'm a positive ambassador for my country.

3) I'm flexible. I never get too attached to plans and I'm okay with letting them go if life interferes. I don't let surprises and changes affect my attitude and try to see everything that happens as part of the adventure. 

4) I use the language. In many places there are enough English-speakers to depend on everyone else's language skills, rather than struggle with learning and practicing the local tongue. Even if it's only a couple of phrases, I give it a shot and don't stress about sounding stupid. 

5) I approximate a realistic budget for my trip - and stick to it.

6) I buy only practical souvenirs (duh, right?)

Once during a trip to the Andes mountains, I discovered dozens of vendors selling amazing artisan pottery and ceramics in all shapes and sizes. Against my better judgment I scooped up a few pieces to take home as souvenirs and gifts. Mind you however, I was backpacking at the time, and had months ahead of me on this trip with little spare room in my bags. Needless to say, most of those beautiful clay pieces came home in, well, pieces. Never again.

7) I trust myself and follow my instincts. 

8) I know when to give my body a break and not push myself too hard (that museum will be there tomorrow). 

9) I know when I can keep going. 

10) I'm grateful. To be able to explore the world is a privilege, and for that reason alone I try to make every day meaningful in one way or another.

I like my rules and they have helped me a great deal during my travels because they remind me that I can do anything. 

I hope for you they are a model to be able to develop your own personal travel philosophy. We would love to hear them! Please share in the comments.

(This article was inspired by Craig Ballantyne's The 12 Rules I Live By (What Are Yours) - check it out!

Bodrum's acclaimed landmark. Throughout six centuries the building has been destroyed and rebuilt, and served as a military garrison, a compound enclosing a tiny village, and even as a fortress prison. Today it houses one of the finest museums of nautical archaeology in the world, and for visitors is a fascinating trip through the past into the worlds of ancient mariners shipwrecked on Anatolian shores or to the medieval Age of Knights who built this castle from stones that once were part of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Known as one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World, the Mauseloum was built by Artemisia, the sister and the wife of King Mausolos, B.C. 355. Destroyed later either in war or an earthquake, the ruins were then used in building of the Halikarnassus Castle, ruled by the Christian crusaders from the Knights Hospitaller. The building has a rich, complex history; there are layers of previous Carian, Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk construction, and a distinct aura of its former Crusader occupants: the Knights Hospitaller of St. John.

Later traces of Shakespeare, the royal arms of France, and German architectural handiwork linger on, while its role as a prison for freedom fighters stays quiet in the shadows.

The castle officially became a museum in 1961. The first exhibition included amphorae brought by Bodrum sponge divers as well as items recovered during the exploratory dives during the ’50s. Today the museum sets out (and accomplishes) being a “living museum,” attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, and earning international recognition in the form of the Museum of the Year Award.

The museum explains the history behind the mausoleum and includes several galleries and old documents with explanations in English and Turkish. There are also some pleasant and shady gardens at the Bodrum museum, where you can relax in the fragrance of flowers and the gentle Aegean breeze.

Note: All sections of the museum are closed on Mondays.

Bodrum Castle & Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaelogy

(For admission to the museum in its entirety)

Hours: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4:30pm

Admission: 10 YTL (about $7 USD/CAD)

Carian Princess Hall

An extraordinary display of artifacts from the Hecatomnid dynasty (ca.392 B.C.): a burial chamber, sarcophagus, funereal wine decanter, and a well-preserved interred female skeleton covered in gold. 

Hours: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4:30pm

Admission: 5 YTL

Glass Wreck Hall

An excavated Medieval shipwreck at Serce Limani, a natural harbour on the southern Turkish Coast, which yielded what is presently the most closely-dated single assemblage of Islamic ceramic, metal and glass wares in existence. Also known as the Uluburun Ship Wreck, it is one of the earliest and richest wrecks yet discovered, with excavated items date back to the Bronze Age. 

Hours: 9am-12pm, 2pm-4:30pm

Admission: 5 TRY

Mausoleum (of Halicarnassus)

Just a short walk uphill from the marina, you can see the foundations of the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. 

Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm

Admission: 8YTL

Myndos Gate and Ottoman Tour (Free) 

Also included in the museum are the considerable Amphoras Exhibition and the Galley Slave Exhibit, the Dungeon from when the Castle was used as a prison. 

Museum Website for more more detailed information regarding the museum's history and many exhibits. 

Address: Bodrum Castle, Dr. Alim Bey Cd, Bodrum 48400, Turkey

Bonus!

Travelscope is here to help. We can make your dream trip to beautiful and exotic Turkey a reality. Just contact us for more information. 

A video by Karli Davis. Watch this family hit up some of San Diego's best attractions and get some ideas for your next trip!

If you're planning a trip to Sydney, make some time to check out historic and lovely Elizabeth Bay! A cool and easy neighborhood, with little pocket parks, art-deco and Spanish-inspired architecture, chic boutiques and fantastic coffee and food.

The Elizabeth Bay neighborhood is located 3km East of the Sydney central business district. Go to see the many gorgeous historical homes, including the Elizabeth Bay House, and Boomerang, perhaps the best surviving suburban estate of its period on the harbor foreshores. 

Visit the Arthur McElhone Reserve on Billyard Ave, a pretty park with spectacular harbor views, and Beare Park on Esplanade Road, for more views and a children's playground. 

Eat

Lizzy Bay Gourmet Café

Delicious, modern Australian home-cookin'

Address: Ground Level, Elizabeth Bay Road

Telephone: (02) 9357-7630

Kujin Japanese Cuisine

Japanese Izakaya style teppanyaki, okonomiyaki, original home-made noodles, yakitori, and plenty more. 

Address: Shop 1, 41b Elizabeth Bay Road

Telephone: (02) 9331-6077

Veloce Deli Cafe

Unpretentious and yummy, with a wide range of food. The best coffee in Sydney! 

Address: Shop 17/8, Greenknowe Ave

Telephone: (02) 8354-1899

Gazebo Wine Garden

An excellent wine list, quality service, and a romantic atmosphere.

Address: Ground Level, 2 Elizabeth Bay Road

Phone: (02) 9357-5333

Cafe Two Ants

Hole in the wall, with the best steak sandwich in Sydney. Modest but fresh menu. Delicious coffee.

Address: 70 Elizabeth Bay Road

Telephone: (02) 9326-9015

Bonus!

How fun does a trip to Sydney sound? This is just the beginning of all of the things you can do in this amazing city. We can help you plan and book your trip so you have a perfect travel experience. Just contact us for more info!

 

Check out this article by Paris-based writer, Agnes Poirier, who has a great list of offbeat ways to explore the City of Lights. 

 

(an excerpt)

Rollerblade by Night

"It started one evening in 1993, and there were only 12 of them. The Friday night rollermaniacs are now a few thousand and have made their nightly apparition on the Paris boulevards an event worth experiencing. In 1998, the French police even had to create the world's first rollerblading force, to monitor those wild rides. Who says Paris doesn't rock? If you subscribe to the association Pari Roller, you'll even get insured in case of accident. Otherwise, just join the rolling bandwagon. 
• place Raoul Dautry, 15th. Métro: Montparnasse Bienvenue. Every Fri, 10pm-1am, (except if it rains). pari-roller.com"

Venice the city is a museum - considered one of the most beautiful in the world, the sights and structures are awe-inspiring and a testament to Italy's rich culture and history. However for organized collections of Venetian art, check out some of these museums and follow some of these tips.

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Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

Doge’s Palace is an architectural masterpiece, a relic of a bygone society that now acts as its greatest exhibition. The palace is distinguished by its elaborate interior and exterior, with a spectacular 500-year-old roof structure, grand halls, and priceless paintings by Venetian masters such as Titian and Tintoretto.

This palatial Gothic structure is the former residence of Doge, a one-time ruler of Venice and served as the headquarters of the Venetian Republic. Since 1923 the Doge’s Palace has been a top Venetian museum.

Take the Secret Itineraries Guided Tour (€16) to walk around hidden passageways, prisons (including Casanova’s jail), an interrogation room, and the infamous Bridge of Sighs - built in 1600 from limestone, the bridge would lead prisoners from the examining rooms to their cells.

Hours: Daily 9am-6pm 
Admission: €14 
Address: San Marco Square 1, Venice 
How to Get There 
Tel: (0039) 041-2715-911 

Museo Civico Correr

Also located in Piazza San Marco, Museo Civico Correr is dedicated to Venice’s civic history. The collection includes pieces donated by Venetian aristocrat Teodoro Correr, including paintings, drawings, copperplates, coins, seals, and classical antiquities. One particular exhibit at the Museum is a parade of fine, marble sculptures by Antonio Canova.

The Museum originally served as the Church of San Geminiano, and was later converted into a residence for the new sovereign, Napoleon; hence the creation of the Napoleonic Wing. The Venetian painter Giuseppe Borsato worked on the decoration of the interiors, producing a personal and very careful interpretation of the Empire style. The building has maintained many of the distinctive features of the Napoleonic and Hapsburg periods; Neo-Classical influence in architecture, decor, frescoes and furnishings make it an important record of the culture and style of a period. The Museum is a expression of the refinements of French taste with the traditions of Italian art.

Hours: April-October 10am-7pm; November-March 10am-5pm 
Admission is included with that of Doge’s Palace. 
Address: San Marco 52 
How to Get There 
Tel: +39041 2405211 

Museo Fortuny

Another large Gothic structure, Museo Fortuny was formally a palazzo, and later converted into an atelier of photography, stage-design, textile-design and painting by Mariano Fortuny. The building housed his eclectic work, artistic inspiration, and personal art collection, and was donated by his wife in 1956.

The Museum embodies the artist’s idiosyncrasies, combining ‘full’ spaces, e.g. the first floor salone overflowing with paintings, fabrics, and Fortuny’s famous lamps, with more ‘open’ spaces, like the light and space of the second floor. What is really unique about this Museum is the excellently intact library that integrates pieces by Fortuny with those of contemporary artists from very different backgrounds.

Hours: Daily 10am-6pm 
Admission: €9 
Address: San Marco 3958 - Campo San Beneto 
How to Get There 
Tel: 848082000 (from Italy); +3904142730892 (from abroad) 

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum is among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. The Museum offers a personal collection of modern art collected by American socialite, Peggy Guggenheim, located in her former home, Palazzo Venier die Leoni on the Grant Canal in Venice. She was married to modern artist Max Ernst, and funded a number of his contemporaries. Included in the galleries are a sculpture garden and works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Tanguy, Duchamp, Pollock, Dali, and Mondrian.

Admission: €12 
Hours: Closed Tuesdays. Wednesday - Monday 10am-6pm 
Address: Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Located on the Dorsoduro region of Venice, to the east of the Accademia bridge, on the southern side of the Grand Canal) 
Tel: +39.041.2405.411

Museums Pass & San Marco Square Pass

The Passes include prepaid entrance and allow you to skip the line at all sites.

San Marco Square Pass 
This pass includes the Doge’s PalaceMuseo CorrerArchaeological Museumsand the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. This pass is ideal for the traveler who only has a day or two to spend in Venice. $35/per person

Museums Pass 
This pass is the best for the traveler who has more time to explore Venice’s treasures, giving access to 11 different museums in the city. The pass includes all of the San Marco Museums plus the Murano Glass FactoryBurano Lace FactoryCa’RezzonicoPalazzo MocenigoCarlo Goldini’s houseCa’ Pesaro and the Museum of Natural History. $45/per person 


Here is a map of the museums of St. Mark’s Square.

Remember!

If you want to add Venice to your travel itinerary we can help you plan and book the perfect trip for your budget and interests. Just contact us for more info!

But of course you will be sampling more sushi than you'd ever imagine while visiting Tokyo - it's as delicious as it is ubiquitous. 

However, even if you're on a budget, splurging at one of the city's top sushi restaurants is well worth the hit your wallet might take. Take a trip to the famous fish market Tsukiji in central Tokyo.

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Tsukiji’s restaurants can be found in alleys of Building 6, reached by walking in from the main entrance and turning right at the central square. These restaurants are stocked with fresh fish from the nearby fish market. After a long, jet-lagged night (or a night of partying) a sushi breakfast will do you right.

Arrive early!! Like 6am early. Get there on the first train or before to avoid waiting for up to 2 hours for a place at the sushi bar. Weekends are busier. Smaller groups are more quickly served. Lines are (surprisingly) very orderly, probably thanks to the appointed line monitors. If you’re with other people, have one person wait while the other does some exploring and/or shopping around the area.

Both of these restaurants serve fresh, never frozen, fish. Leave the soy sauce at home.

Daiwa Sushi 
This sushi spot is larger so you might get seated more quickly. Order the omakase (7 pieces & 1 roll) or the yummy, soft anago (conger eel). About $40 for 10 pieces of sushi. 
Hours: 5:30am-1:30pm 
Tel: 03-3547-6807

Sushidai 
The food here is so good. Try everything: octopus, tuna, baby squid, salmon, even a freshly cooked egg. Every piece of sushi is professionally served one by one, each with its own taste and texture. Chefs are super nice. Expect to pay upwards of $30 
Hours: 5am-2pm; Closed Wednesday if the market is closed 
Tel: 03-3547-6797

Bonus!

Are you ready for the adventure of the lifetime? Want to visit Tokyo but don't know where to start? Contact one of our experienced travel consultants and we can help you plan the perfect trip. 

Many people assume that having kids pulls the cord on your travel lifestyle. Meg Nesterov, for Gadling Travel, disagrees.

In her recent article, Knocked up abroad: planning travel with a baby, she argues that “with enough planning and the right attitude, it’s not as hard as you might think.”

The post is full of great insights and tips for new parents who want to stay on the road. Both parents and baby can survive these trips and even have fun.

Here’s an excerpt:

Schedule travel around baby:

“Babies are adaptable, but when it comes to travel, especially flying, make it as easy on yourself as possible. My baby generally wakes up early to eat, then goes back to sleep for a few hours, and sleeps through most of the night. Therefore, I’ve tried to book flights for early in the morning or overnight so she’s awake as little as possible. In the six flights we took to and from the US and domestically, the only one we had any trouble with was a 45-minute Boston to New York flight in the early evening, when she tends to be cranky. It’s hard to comfort a baby when you’re standing in line or getting ready to board a flight, so if your baby is already asleep at the airport, that’s half the battle. There used to be nothing I hated more than getting to the airport at the crack of dawn, but traveling with a sleeping, and more importantly, quiet baby is worth getting up early.”

What do YOU think?

Do you like to travel with your baby or child?