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Melanie Marcus′s Wishlist
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Glaubenbielen Pass, 6074 Giswil, Switzerland
High in the Emmental Alps, off the Glaubenbielen Pass, Rita and Wisi Enz run a small summer farm called Egghüttä. It’s a modest affair surrounded by clichés: towering peaks and lazy cows. I wandered in and Rita fed me a cheesy noodle dish called ...
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Località Bagni di Petriolo, 58045 Pari, Civitella Paganico GR, Italy
Relax in the warm volcanic water emerging from deep underground. These natural spas were known by the Romans, who came here for their yearly health retreat.
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Myrdal, Norway
Few countries can rival Norway for dramatic, jaw-dropping scenery. This view was captured on board the scenic Bergen Railway on a "Norway in a Nutshell" tour that took in the breathtaking Flåm Railway, the Aurlandsfjord, the narrow Nærøyfjord and...
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Undredal, Norway
Undredal is a sleepy village nestled in a valley in Western Norway. It is famous for its brown goat cheese, or "gjetost," which is produced by eight farms using traditional methods. Undredal welcomes tourists and is accessible by an access road...
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Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
This castle was erected with an ancient ring-fort, around the early part of the 13th century. It became a strategic fortress during the following turbulent years. It was the property of the Earls of Kildare for nearly 300 years until the rebellion...
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Av. del Paraŀlel, 164, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
While in Barcelona for the 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Circuito de Catalunya in Montmelo, my wife and I had the wonderful privilege and experience to eat at Ferran and Albert Adria's Tickets. Words can not describe the how much we enjoyed...
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1112 k, Pilestræde 29, 1112 København, Denmark
This is my favorite design shop in Copenhagen. Dedicated to contemporary Danish design, Hay occupies a historic building overlooking the car-free Strøget district. You’ll find furniture and accessories inspired by midcentury design and pieces by...
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Tesselschadestraat 1E, 1054 ET Amsterdam, Netherlands
When in Amsterdam, do as the Dutch do and rent a bike. There are half a million bikes in the city, so be sure to look both ways before crossing the street! Bike rates average 12 Euro/day or 50 Euro/week. Mike's Bike Tours...
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Lake Geneva
With well over a thousand lakes, Switzerland is blessed with its fair share of stunning bodies of water. The most extensive, however, is Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Léman), where you can bask in seductive views and amazing sunsets....
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Sils im Engadin/Segl, Switzerland
“Philosophy, as I have so far understood and lived it, means living voluntarily among ice and high mountains—seeking out everything strange and questionable in existence...” Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, famously spent a long period...
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Bahnhofstrasse 25, 7002 Chur, Switzerland
I didn’t even realize that the Bernina Express scenic train journey was on the UNESCO World Heritage list until I arrived at the small northern Italian town of Tirano to start the trip. There are several different routes from which travelers may...
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Gimmelwald, 3826 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Gimmelwald is a tiny farm community in the mountains above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Hiking from here begins on nearly vertical trails along grassy pastureland. I've never hiked in a more beautiful place than this, where the view across the narrow...
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Piz Gloria, 3825 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
From the Lauterbrunnen Valley south of Interlaken, you can take a series of cable cars up to the peak of the Schilthorn, across from the Jungfrau massif in the Bernese Alps. Silent, effortless, costly, and worth every Swiss Franc, you float up...
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Rivaz, Switzerland
Lavaux in Vaud, Switzerland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to 830 hectares of vineyards just 20 minutes by train from Lausanne. Slanted dramatically, these fields stretch about 30 km along the banks of Lake Geneva producing mostly Chasselas...
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Foroglio, 6690 Cevio, Switzerland
Alpine valley restaurants offer some great opportunities for intimate dining, none more so than in the Bavona Valley, where La Froda restaurant brings a new meaning to "candlelit dinner." Set in the only valley in Switzerland with no electricity,...
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Verbier, 1936 Bagnes, Switzerland
The charming Swiss village of Verbier is a breeding ground for fearless, thrill-seeking mountain bikers. Be warned, though: Even a rockstar mountain biker from Colorado or Utah will feel like he needs training wheels when he tackles these...
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Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard, 1946 Bourg-Saint-Pierre, Switzerland
Up until 2004, Switzerland’s iconic furry friends—St. Bernard dogs—were bred at this monastery and hospice. While the canines have been relocated, the Great St. Bernard Hospice, which sits on a barren, treeless plane at 8,100...
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3910 Saas-Grund, Switzerland
If mountain biking sounds a bit too extreme take to the trails on a monster scooter. The scooter version of a Big Wheels, it has extra large tires that provides stability but still allows you to pick up speed and brake like a mountain bike. From...
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Furka Pass, 3999 Obergoms, Switzerland
The Furka Pass is the fourth highest in Switzerland and links the cantons of Uri and Valais. Its well-preserved winding roads coupled with stunning mountainous views make it a driver’s paradise. Various pull-over spots are situated along the pass...
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Rte de la Croix-de-Coeur 28, 1918 Riddes, Switzerland
While Switzerland’s luxurious, modern cities exemplify its affluence, it’s high up in the mountains where the country’s traditions lie. To experience authentic Alpine life, travel up to La Tzoumaz in Valais and hike the senses...
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For blissful trails sounded only by the dongs of cow bells and surrounded by imposing iconic mountains, head to Villars-sur-Ollon in the Vaud Alps. This typical Swiss town, a bustling ski resort during the winter, offers several stunning summer...
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Professor Tulpplein 1, 1018 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
An Old World grande dame of the 19th-century tradition, the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam presides over the Amstel River from its waterfront perch at the eastern edge of the original city. An imposing example of a Dutch take on French...
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Tržiště 9, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana, Czechia
Prague’s deep-rooted, centuries-old relationship with music – surviving both occupation by the Germans then the Communists – is reflected Aria Hotel Prague, where all of the 51 rooms are named after famous composers or musicians,...
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Landstraßer Gürtel 5, 1030 Wien, Austria
This place is almost too cool for Vienna, but based on the reviews it's a much needed breath of fresh air in this fairly stuffy imperial capital that is finally channeling its "inner Berlin." I like it.
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Pfingstweidstrasse 102, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
The 25hours brand is known for its playful take on the hotel experience, and this Zurich establishment follows suit. With an interior concocted by local designer Alfredo Häberli, the space features the usual mix of colorful, offbeat...
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Ul. Pera Čingrije 7, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
We were in awe when we looked off our balcony at Hotel Bellevue in Dubrovnik, Croatia...and saw this! The clean, clear waters of the Adriatic and Miramar Bay are mesmerizing and just the right temperature to cool you off after a day of...
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Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
A Georgian grand dame just off St. Stephens Green in downtown Dublin, the Merrion has been around in one form or another since 1760, when it was a set of four stately homes owned by English nobility. Today, it is elegance incarnate. An excellent...
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Nordnesparken, 5005 Bergen, Norway
It was August, so it seemed a perfectly sensible idea. I'm in Norway, land of the fjords—let's go for a splash in one! Bergen has a lovely little lido that offers you just that opportunity. Sure, you can swim in its heated outdoor pool, but the...
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Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
It's an unforgettable experience: Getting up at the crack of dawn in mid-winter, walking through the large municipal park on the Pest side of town, checking in to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath (mostly with Hungarian pensioners because tourists...
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Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary
An edgy crowd gathers at Szimpla Kert, a wacky ruin pub in the old Jewish Quarter. On entering, you’ll be overwhelmed by the maze of rooms, where you might find recycled computer monitors, towering piles of books, hookah pipes, or live...
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English Market, Grand Parade, Centre, Cork, Ireland
The English Market is Ireland's most famous covered food market, and is heaven for anyone who loves food. You can wander the market and ogle the fresh fish piled up in shining stacks, or the colorful iced pastries, or the sausages or the cheese or...
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11 Place Antonin Poncet, 69002 Lyon, France
$$$$
How is it possible to combine the savoir-faire of a Michelin-starred chef, the conviviality of the typical French brasseries, and a check that won't require you to remortgage your house? While this would be called pretty much impossible anywhere...
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Antibes, France
This was a great little market in Antibes with lots of fresh produce. Antibes is a great spot to go and look at the superyachts down at the dock. Huge boats. Close to the market as well is the "Absinthes Bar," which is a must-visit for an amazing...
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Pont d'Avignon, Boulevard de la Ligne, 84000 Avignon, France
Both our kids learnt this song in their Montessori class - well - one of their teacher's was French. A very cute song and ever since we became familiar with it we were itching to visit the bridge in Avignon. During our trip to Provence it was the...
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You'll have never seen a place more green. Hundreds of shades of it, with waterfalls and babbling brooks. Gleninchaquin is something out of a dream—yet it's the beautiful reality in Southwest Ireland. This family-owned park, overseen by Donal and...
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Utah, USA
As its biblical name implies, Zion National Park has the appeal of a place out of time. Established on November 19, 1919, the canyon and its surrounding landscape feel like a natural temple, full of arches, hoodoos, and imposing walls, some of...
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Fjærland, Norway
The Flatbreen hike in Norway is officially in the running for "Best Day Hike in the World," in my book. You'll gain 3,100 feet in elevation on the way up these stunning, glaciated valleys and mountain passes. Depending on your pace and the...
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To get a better understanding of the city and for some incredible views, be sure to walk the walls of the Dubrovnik old town. For a modest fee, anyone can climb the ancient stairs and circumnavigate the town, seeing life from the rooftops. The...