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60 second interview: Where in the world did you go Francisco?

This week for our very special Where in the world did you go feature we have Francisco from São Paulo, giving his views on his 5 day trip to Berlin.

Hello Francisco, where did you go last weekend?

Hello Not Just a Holiday, thanks for the call! Last month I had the pleasure of going to Berlin!

And why did you choose Berlin?

Ha, where to start? To be honest, I went because a couple of my good friends had booked to go so it was a good opportunity to join them. Berlin has sounded very interesting for me because of historical reasons,  for it’s reputation for music so I was really curious. I am also always really interested in discovering new cultures and I wanted to see how life is in Germany, which is a country I have never been to.

Where did you stay?

I stayed in a hostel in the centre of Berlin called Pegasus.  There are lots of hostels in Berlin but this seemed fine to me. That was €14 a night, which is good value.

How much do you think the whole trip cost?

Well I bought my air ticket quite late so that brought the price up a bit and paid for an expensive taxi ($35) to and from the airport. I think I spent €300 for the whole trip. Prices are quite similar to somewhere like London but there are good low cost restaurants.

What are your top recommendations from your trip?

I went to some great clubs – very different from London where I am living.  You go out quite late, around midnight, but the clubs stay open until 8am in the morning.  One of the best clubs was the Sage Club, which is next to the tube station HeinrichHeineStraße.  As I remember it there are lots of clubs you can walk to in that area  There is also some great, busy restaurants there.

Apart from that just walking around in Berlin you get to see some really interesting things – there are lots of little free museums and shows. The Holocaust Museum was sad but very interesting and the cross-roads that was occupied by four different countries after the World War II was worth going to as well.

What would you advise to avoid?

Everything on the trip was perfect really, I enjoyed it and loved the city.

And finally, where are going next?

I hope to be going to Italy next and definitely Rome.

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Favourite travel experiences of the week #12

There has been so much in the way of interesting travel stories this week, we were not quite sure what would make our top 5.  Two things that we had to show you were a couple of YouTube classics we stumbled across, one showing an antelope levelling a cyclist (what an endorsement for cycle helmets!) and one of our favourite ever time lapse videos, showing the growth of a quite spectacular beard whilst on a world trip!

After you have enjoyed viewing those check out best travel stories and features of the week, in no particular order:

1) You wait ages for a decent travel feature from little-known Papua New Guinea and then what do you know, two come along at once.  The Guardian has a nice angle with a kayak trip on the Tigak islands. Looks great!

2) Who doesn’t like a good old fashioned 10 top list? We do, and we certainly like the Lonely Planet’s top 10 things to do in Cabo San Lucas, one of the Latin America’s hippest destinations.

3) Want to experience a long travel trip but have a small child? One of our favourite blogs Almost Fearless shows you how its done, South East Asia style.

4) If you have got some time to kill (as this one has a lot of posts!) then we can definitely recommend the Life is a Wheel blog, following Bruce Weber’s bike ride across North America.

5) What did we say about top 10 lists – here is another one giving you some tips for your next trip to Paris.

Lovers Beach ( Cabo San Lucas )

Lovers Beach ( Cabo San Lucas )

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To Ski or Not To Ski – That is the question!

Ski's up!We know it’s only just the beginning of October, but as the nights draw in and the weather gets chilly, we can’t help but start thinking about a winter getaway.

Speaking personally, whenever I get the chance, the highlight of my year is hitting the glorious snowy slopes for a long weekend, or if I’m lucky, a whole week – pure, snowy bliss!

Over the years of going skiing I have found that different destinations can provide a ski trip that differs greatly and have a particular strong point.  Therefore, I have put together a mini-guide on where you should be heading to this Winter depending on your preference:

Good night life
If its après ski you’re after, somewhere like Val d’Isère, France is where you should head.  The skiing is great throughout the season, although very busy in peak times, but après ski is one of the best. There is a surplus of bars, restaurants and clubs and they’re all open until the early hours. This is a ski hard –party hard destination.

Beautiful scenery
If it’s all about the scenery somewhere like Zell am See, Austria might be more your thing. The views are spectacular, and the slopes are less crowded – especially higher up. The best thing about Zel em Zee is that you can ski there all year – the glacier has snow in and out of season. In season the snow is amazing and the views magnificent.

First time on the slopes
If this year will be your first time, you’re probably best heading to somewhere like Les Arc, France. There is a range of nursery, green, red and black slopes that make this a great place to learn to ski and the après ski isn’t half bad.

Night Skiing
Les Arc also offered the best night skiing! At the top of the mountain, after fondue, too much wine, and some stomping on the tables in your ski boots, they let you ski down the mountain in the dark and behind your now foggy (beer) goggles! Although possibly not the safest thing to do – an amazing experience. Perhaps something for the last day of your holiday – just in case!

Whatever you go for, all the destinations have one thing in common – some great skiing opportunities. Have a great trip!

Anne Harris

Ski Jump!