Art of Bicycle Trips - Day Tours

Udaipur
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Art of Bicycle Trips - Day Tours, Udaipur, India
Guided Bicycle Tour, Lakecity Loop
After touring the palatial city of Udaipur, I wanted to see the villages in the surrounding area. The best way to do this was a 4 hour guided bicycle tour. I was nervous about riding a bike in the chaotic streets but the tour turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the trip. We met our guide Poonacha at 8AM and he was already outside the shop ready with our bikes. He gave us helmets and told us that it was only a 5 minute ride outside of Udaipur traffic. It was relaxing to ride past the lakes into the country side. Poonacha can accommodate serious cyclists or leisurely riders like us, setting the pace based on skill. Once he realized that we didn’t know how to shift our bicycle gears properly, he taught all three of us in easy to understand terms. We rode past cows and monkeys in front of a waterfall, Kingfisher birds, children carrying metal lunch pails walking through wheat fields on the way to school, and friendly villagers.
Guided Bicycle Tour, Lakecity Loop

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo

Lima
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Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Lima, Peru
Enjoying Art at Lima’s Contemporary Art Museum
MAC - Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Lima - is a small museum, but what it lacks in size, it has in style. There are usually four exhibits in three glass-enclosed areas, with beautiful views of the city and nature surrounding it. To bring the community to the museum, there are several activities such as guided visits for adults and kids, workshops, art classes and a variety of events at the museum’s park. At the park there are different types of performances for all ages, with a great vibe of mixing art and nature. There is always something going on every Sunday, from 3-6:30 PM, you just show up and enjoy.
Enjoying Art at Lima’s Contemporary Art Museum

Cupid's Span

San Francisco
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Cupid's Span, San Francisco, California
Modern Art in San Francisco, Inside and Out
From the soaring copper tower of the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum to the pillars of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco celebrates the artistic and architectural. Public sculptures line the waterfront and spike out of parks. Contemporary art museums like Yerba Buena Center for the Arts host avant-garde installations, while the alleys in the Mission District tell social tales across building facades. (SFMOMA, closed for renovation through early 2016, sent its collection "on the go," appearing throughout the city.) The Contemporary Jewish Museum, housed in a Daniel Libeskind building, hosts Judaic art installations and workshops while the Museum of African Diaspora shares how African art has influenced world art. Photo by Gavin Hellier/age fotostock
Modern Art in San Francisco, Inside and Out

The Barlow

Sebastopol
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The Barlow, Sebastopol, CaliforniaAfar-thumbnail
The Barlow: A Food-Lover's Barn in Sebastopol
The Barlow, a former apple-packing warehouse in Sebastopol, houses a brewery, wine-tasting rooms, galleries, and of course, restaurants.
The Barlow: A Food-Lover's Barn in Sebastopol

Mercado de Coyoacán

Mexico City
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Mercado de Coyoacán, Mexico City, MexicoAfar-thumbnail
Mexico City's Idyllic Mercado de Coyoacán
Located in southwest Mexico City, Mercado de Coyoacán has an orderly beauty and a slightly sleepy country-market vibe. The produce stands exhibit ingredients you won't see at most restaurants: piles of mamey, which resemble oblong cantaloupes and have fire-orange flesh that tastes like a cross between sweet potato and date, and aguacates criollos, avocados the size of jalapeños with skin so thin it's edible. Before you fill up on crab tostadas or enfrijoladas (tortillas in creamy bean sauce), visit El Charro for Manuel Ortiz Mendoza’s carnitas (long-simmered pork) dished onto a fresh corn tortilla. The market is just two blocks from the Museo Frida Kahlo on Ignacio Allende between Xicoténcatl and Malintzin, near the Parque Allende. Photo by Javier Sirvent. This appeared in the May 2014 issue
Mexico City's Idyllic Mercado de Coyoacán

Costa Nova do Prado

Gafanha da Encarnação
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Costa Nova do Prado, Gafanha da Encarnação, Portugal
The beautiful stripped houses of Costa Nova
A short driving distance from Aveiro toward the ocean, you can discover a typical beach where the charm of many wooden houses with colorful strips is quite exceptional. If you can plan your visit, make sure not to miss the sunset or sunrise over Costa Nova, when the colors of the houses are dramatically showing. Beside the 'haystacks' (the name for these wooden stripped houses) Costa Nova is also one of the great Portuguese beaches for water sports, windsurfing and kitesurfing Walking along these colorful houses felt as walking in a movie set for an urban/UTOPIA location. Bring your camera to have some picture-perfect spots
The beautiful stripped houses of Costa Nova

Dandelion Chocolate

San Francisco
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Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco, California
Walking Tours of San Francisco
Ignore the double-decker buses that chug around the city and do what San Franciscan’s do to see the city: walk. San Francisco City Guides, a non-profit organization run by volunteers, leads over 200 tours throughout the city. For more specialized offerings, try the Victorian Home Walk Tour, that saunters block after block past the iconic Queen Anne mansions. Indulge your sweet tooth on the SF Chocolate Tour—the city is home to a number of artisanal chocolatiers. Walk and sample San Francisco’s gourmet heritage with Foodie Adventures tours through three tempting destinations: Mission District, Chinatown, and North Beach. If a bus tour is needed, try the unique Magic Bus tour through San Francisco’s hippie past. Photo by Kristen Fortier
Walking Tours of San Francisco

Aveiro

Aveiro
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Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
A moliceiros ride along Aveiro canals
Aveiro is known and nick named as the 'Portuguese Venice' thanks to its canals, bridges over the canals and the painted colorful moliceiros (boats) that replace the gondolas in Venice. The original usage of the moliceiro was to transfer the harvest of seaweed, which was the main source of fertilizing the farmland of Aveiro, but these days they are mostly touristic and used for boating rides along the canals. The moliceiros are known for their bold colors and humorous decorations (including nudity) that ridicule situations of everyday life. Even though it might be too touristy, sometimes it's fun to have a boat ride, especially before sunset.
A moliceiros ride along Aveiro canals

Rua Mateus Fernandes

Covilha
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Rua Mateus Fernandes, Covilha, Portugal
The New HandLab in Covilhã
This might be a good example of a new trend coming up in Portugal that supports young artists and creative people, and encourage growth of local business. Initiated by the current owner of what used to be a Wool Factory, the New Hand Lab is a space that fosters creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship through the materialization of ideas and products, with a focus on wool. Covilhã is located in the heart of Portugal, and was well known for its Wool factories. One of the factories is The Star Factory, owned by the family of Julius Alfonso, a factory that received rewards and recognition for its high end wool products. Today The Star Factory is the home for The New Hand Lab, a creative space that hosts creative people from various aspects; photography, painting, wool knitting, wool coloring, and fashion designers. The space welcomes new artists who share a desire to work and inspire others. The New HandLab contains the artists' working spaces, exhibit spaces, wool storages, offices, showroom, outdoors gardens, cafeteria and more. This is definitely a hub for creativity that brings people together.
The New HandLab in Covilhã

Medellin

Medellin
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Medellin, Medellin, Colombia
Let your hair down during the festive season
If you are lucky enough to be in Medellin for the festive season, you will not be left wanting for entertainment. During December the city is lit up with one of the most expansive light displays in South America known as El Alumbrado. One section of the river, which splits the city, is lavishly illuminated to a different theme each year and attracts hoards of starry-eyed visitors every night. Dozens of parks are also decorated, the main street La Playa downtown is festooned with lights, and live music performances are a regular occurrence. Also watch out for Día de las Velitas (Day of the little Candles) on December 7, when almost every street, doorstep and balcony is lit up by flickering flames.
Let your hair down during the festive season

Discoveryouritaly

Perugia
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Discoveryouritaly, Perugia, Italy
“Assisi-Montefalco-Spoleto - UNESCO World Heritage Sites” tour
With this organized tour you can enjoy art, history, food, wine and the beautiful countryside of Umbria, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Assisi and Spoleto with a professional tour guide that will help you to enjoy these amazing places. From the world-famous town of Assisi to the spectacular city of Spoleto, passing from the beautiful village of Montefalco, famous for the typical “Sagrantino” wine and its stunning views. The tour includes lunch and wine tasting at one of the most beautiful wineries of Umbria, where you have the chance to learn the secrets of wine-making and walk through the vineyards. This tour is the best way to discover some of the most amazing highlights of this sensational region and enjoy its food and wines, in the relaxing atmosphere that made of Umbria the region of the “art of living”.
“Assisi-Montefalco-Spoleto - UNESCO World Heritage Sites” tour

Discoveryouritaly

Perugia
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Discoveryouritaly, Perugia, Italy
Lake Trasimeno and Isola Maggiore Tour
This tour is the best way to discover the biggest lake of Central Italy and its most interesting island, a hidden paradise in the heart of the national park, where an ancient village of fishermen, rich in art and history is set. A short ferry ride from the beautiful village of Passignano takes you to Isola Maggiore, a small hill that emerges from the green-blue waters of the lake, where nature and human activities lived in perfect harmony for centuries; even St. Francis was enchanted by this inspiring place. The tour includes a tasting of typical food and wine, in a lovely local cafè with garden overlooking the lake. It’s not just a simple tour, it’s an unforgettable experience in the atmosphere and the beauty of Lake Trasimeno.
Lake Trasimeno and Isola Maggiore Tour

California Academy of Sciences

San Francisco
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California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California
San Francisco's Museums
San Francisco’s museums bring in some of the finest exhibitions in the world. They also offer something a little extra to the in-the-know visitor. Friday Nights at the de Young feature performances, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. Just across the park is the Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences with its impressive natural exhibits and the famous “NightLife at the Academy” events on Thursday nights (shown). The area near Third and Mission streets is a burgeoning arts district, with several museums and a roster of nightly events within a five-minute walk: the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, and the Museum of the African Diaspora. Photo courtesy of Tim Williamson/California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco's Museums

Hakone

Hakone
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Hakone, Hakone, Japan
Sunset over Mount Fuji
On my first night in Hakone, I was walking from the hotel into another part of town when I saw the sun setting over Mount Fuji in the far distance. Fortunately, I had my tripod with me and quickly set up for the shot. As I watched the sun setting over the mountain, I was struck by how calm the scene was; the only sounds, that of the waves lapping at the shore and the occasional knocking together of boats; the only motion, that of the clouds rolling over the mountains.
Sunset over Mount Fuji

Union Square

San Francisco
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Union Square, San Francisco, California
Into San Francisco’s Heart
One glance at San Francisco spreading out from the top of one of the city's seven hills, and you're done for. Start exploring: The city is a peninsula and all paths lead out from Union Square, the heart of downtown. Follow one of the many public transportation routes (called MUNI) to the unique neighborhoods to find the pulse of the city. Head towards the waterfront through the posh Marina, delve into the colorful and diverse Mission District, or relive the summer of love in Haight Ashbury. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association
Into San Francisco’s Heart

Alamo Square

San Francisco
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Alamo Square, San Francisco, California
San Francisco: Sea, Sky, and Sights
The Golden Gate Bridge spans almost two miles across the San Francisco Bay. Walking or biking its length—ideally on a sunny day—is a must-do activity. Along San Francisco’s waterfront, visitors walk along Fisherman’s Wharf, eating steaming clam chowder out of sourdough bread bowls and hearing the sea lions squawk. Downtown, families ride original cable car trolleys over Nob Hill before venturing through the Dragon Gate in Chinatown or down the very Italian Columbus Avenue in North Beach. From the hills, get a glimpse of iconic buildings like the Transamerica Pyramid in the Financial District or the Victorian homes near Alamo Square known as the Painted Ladies (shown). Photo by Nikhilesh Haval/age fotostock
San Francisco: Sea, Sky, and Sights

Antarctica

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Antarctica, Antarctica
Polar Snowshoeing
A popular activity at snowy resorts around the world, snowshoeing also offers you the opportunity to strap in and cover some ground in Antarctica. Several adventure tour companies include an afternoon or full-day outing on snowshoes, giving guests the chance to enjoy the continent in a more active way. Snowshoeing may not be the fastest method to get around, but it will provide you with unique access to areas that few others have seen, as well as ample time to take some photos along the way.
Polar Snowshoeing

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

Punta de Mita
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The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Punta de Mita, Mexico
Beach time Punta Mita
Feel the quiet - love the beach at Punta Mita. Is it time for a margarita?
Beach time Punta Mita

The Old Vic Tunnels

London
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The Old Vic Tunnels, London, United Kingdom
A (Sort of) Rebel with a Cause
Set beneath Waterloo Station, the Old Vic Tunnels (also known as the Waterloo Graffiti Tunnels) is an authorized public canvas for artists to frame their work. Adjoining what was once an underground venue of the same name – where movie screenings and concerts took place – this is a scene that has a rebellious quality to it, even though all art that shies away from hate or propaganda is perfectly legal. Find your own space to paint, or try your best to maintain an easygoing smirk as you look over the view. This can be a tough place to find, but keep your cool, man. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the station, exiting toward Waterloo Road, on Leake Street.
A (Sort of) Rebel with a Cause

Ottoman Hammam

Kyparissia
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Ottoman Hammam, Kyparissia, Greece
Arkitextures of Ottoman Kyparissia
Centuries of history are hidden deep within the Peloponnese. Kyparissia lies 62 km west of Kalamata (of olive fame) and rarely becomes part of the tourist's itinerary. The city boasts the architectural history of the Franko and Turkokratias, time periods often eclipsed by Greece's Classical past. This small hammam (or Ottoman bath house) lies below the Frankish fort, a short (uphill) walk above the town proper. Some terracotta water pipes are visible in this building, making it a perfect opportunity to investigate bath technology. Unlike touristic parts of Greece, where a security guard watches over the guests, this structure can be explored at will. With so much freedom comes the responsibility not to damage the structures, so refrain from littering and other destructive behavior. Kyparissia is a beautiful beach town - go to get a fantastic Mediterranean tan, stay for the adventure.
Arkitextures of Ottoman Kyparissia

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Los Angeles
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Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, California
LA's Best Park is a Cemetary
Hollywood Forever Cemetary was founded back in 1889. Since then, it's been home to some of Hollywood's greatest stars: Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, even Toto from the Wizard of Oz. But Hollywood Forever isn't special just because of its inhabitants. The park is one of the largest cultural venues in the area, hosting everything from magical concerts to outdoor movies during the summer months. In one of the most popular events, the Dia De Los Muertos Festival, hundreds of skull-painted people flock to the park to view the sensitive and extravagant exhibits commemorating those who've passed, constructed by their loved ones. The combination of Tim Burton-like production and filial love is truly affecting. Additionally, the marble mausoleums are worth wandering through for both the artistry of the space and the reminder of the impermanence of life. Research shows that people become uniformly happier when meditating upon the existence of death. Why not take advantage of that information while taking in some beautiful green scenery?
LA's Best Park is a Cemetary

Japantown

San Francisco
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Japantown, San Francisco, California
San Francisco's International Flavor
Travel around the world within San Francisco's city limits. Stroll the streets of downtown's Chinatown, starting at Grant Street, for trinkets and windows full of jade jewelry. (Though the outer avenues—in the Richmond and Sunset districts—are the best places for a variety of Asian cuisine.) In Japantown, visit the Peace Pagoda (shown), ramen shops, and the popular Kinokuniya Bookstore. The North Beach neighborhood is San Francisco’s Little Italy (as well as its red-light district), with cafes lining the wide, neon-lit sidewalks and espressos served around the clock. In the Outer Richmond, try the Russian Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery Store; alternatively, relax at the Archimedes Banya in the Dogpatch neighborhood. Photo courtesy of Scott Chernis/San Francisco Travel Association
San Francisco's International Flavor

Inverie

Knoydart
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Inverie, Knoydart, United KingdomAfar-thumbnail
Explore the Knoydart Peninsula
You’ll explore the Knoydart Peninsula’s mountain passes and Small Isles on this 42-mile, eight- day guided hike, which includes sampling some of Scotland’s finest cuisine at a boat-in lodge. From $1,796. This appeared in the March/April issue 2014 issue. Photo by Michael Turek.
Explore the Knoydart Peninsula

Papago International Resort

Chishang Township
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Papago International Resort, Chishang Township, Taiwan
Bicycling in Chishang
There are few places in the world where you can so quickly and completely be enfolded in the tender embrace of nature than in Taiwan. From rock climbing to jungle treks, there are active pursuits for everyone, but one of the most scenic is a rice paddy bike ride in Chishang. The southeastern Taiwan city of Chishang, known around the country for its rice production, sits in the Eastern Rift Valley, a long, fertile plain flanked by the Central Mountain Range to the west and the Coastal Mountain Range to the east. These geographical facts don’t prepare the visitor for the shear beauty of the seemingly endless fields of rice, through which bike trails have been created. Just rent a bike at your hotel and follow the well-marked paths for a 10-kilometer ride the likes of which you’ve never before experienced. From workers toiling in the fields to quiet moments of introspection in front of a lotus-filled pond, this natural experience isn’t just reinvigorating for your body, but is a much-needed wake up for your soul as well. AFAR Ambasador Matt Long traveled to Taiwan as a guest of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.
Bicycling in Chishang

Piazza del Duomo

Milan
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Piazza del Duomo, Milan, Italy
Vintage Trams
Part of Milan's charm is thanks to the lovely yellow vintage trams that criss-cross the city. Wooden benches, brass details and utter cuteness, these trams are incredibly usefully, connecting Milan's neighborhoods and sites together in the public transport system.
Vintage Trams

Death Valley National Park

Inyo County
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Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California
Artists Palette
If you visit Death Valley I strongly recommend going on this little 8 mile long drive through the canyon and see Artists Palette. The drive itself is insanely beautiful. It looks almost like they cut through the rock to build the winding road. It's a one way road so stopping on a side and admiring is ok to do. Trust me, that is all you will be doing while doing this drive. Once at the Artists Palette you will understand why this name. The rock formations are very colorful. People around but not crowds. No wifi in Death Valley so nobody will disturb you from this awesome experience.
Artists Palette

Singel

Amsterdam
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Singel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Stranded at Schipol ... Not a Problem
Missing an intercontinental flight back to Shanghai is not that bad when flying KLM. With almost 20 hours to spare and your luggage out of sight, the chance to see and enjoy downtown Amsterdam is an opportunity you do not turn your back on. - KLM provides an acceptable hotel accommodation at the nearby Hotel ibis Amsterdam Airport. It includes meals. - There are free shuttles from the airport to hotel. But if you are not the patient-type, gather a few of your co-stranded passengers, get a taxi to your hotel, and split the bill. It costs about 25euros one-way. - Do not sulk at your plight by staying at the hotel. From the airport to Amsterdam Centraal, the train costs just 4euros one-way. - From Centraal, Dam Square is just a few steps away. From there you can lose yourself in the city’s matrix of alleys, and de-stress along the canal-side cafes. Smell the air :) This is one of those rare, beautiful moments, when something bad, actually turns unexpectedly good. ENJOY!
Stranded at Schipol ... Not a Problem
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