The World Class Traveler

The World Class Traveler

Friday, October 30, 2015

Avoca House

Because I had such a wonderful stay at the Avoca House when I first arrived in Dublin, I decided to stay again upon my return to Dublin at the end of my tour of Ireland!

Why you might ask?

Well, besides the fact that the Avoca House is only one mile to Dublin city center and near the Airport, Audrey & Jack are amazing hosts that made me feel so welcomed and comfortable!

This luxurious bed and breakfast offers great accommodations.  All the rooms include private bathrooms, that have everything you need such as hairdryers and toiletries.  Avoca House caters for the guest’s every need.

You will be happy to know that all the rooms in Avoca House also include a TV and video recorder, as well as tea and coffee facilities.

My room had a queen size bed, but there are several choices if you are traveling with more people. You can even choose a triple room!
A marvelous breakfast is included with your stay of fresh fruit, cereals, yogurts, smoked salmon or the famous "Irish Breakfast" is also available.  I chose the traditional Irish Breakfast that included Sausages, rashers, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns (potato cakes), beans, white pudding.
Brown bread/ toast.

So if you find yourself in Dublin, I highly recommend the Avoca House for your stay!

Tell Audrey & Jack, Carla's Got the Travel Bug sent you!!

Alexanderplatz Is The Place To Stay In Berlin

Excellent view of the hotel and the TV tower at night with all the glimmering lights

As I got off the bus, which was very convenient as it stopped right in front of my hotel, there was a very tall building that looked like a round world globe with a long antenna sticking out of it. I soon learned that this was the famous "TV Tower", one of Berlin's hottest attractions. I later heard that people spend hours in line to go up to the top to view the city.

As I checked into the hotel, I didn't know what to expect. The Front Desk Attendant informed me that they had reserved a room for me on the top floor of the building. What she failed to mention was how special this room was. In my suspense, I couldn't wait to see the room. As I got off of the elevator and approached my room I opened the door. I couldn't believe my eyes. The room and views were amazing. The TV Tower was right in front of me. This is an attraction that is a must. Get a first class ticket to one of Berlin's hottest attractions and definitely stay at the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz. Beautiful views in the day and amazing lights at night.

The hotel staff is always available to answer any questions and to make suggestions of how to enjoy their wonderful city. Their goal is to assist in ensuring their guests the best possible experience and they do a great job.
The hotel serves a very nice variety of breakfast favorites such as cold cuts, eggs, bacon, sausage, pastries, etc. It is located on the second floor. There is a small business center that can handle printing and faxing documents There is also a separate Concierge that will guide you anywhere you would like to go.
This hotel room is identical to the room I was lucky enough to stay in. If you look straight out of the window, this is the view you will wake up to in the morning and go to sleep to at night.

Separated Shower and Toilet facilities with cute little glass doors

I would like to mention the unbelievable views from the Panorama Rooftop Terrace.  There is a small charge to access the terrace, but well worth the money.  You won't be sorry.

Again, the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz is the place to stay if you are looking for something special. Enjoy your stay and the view!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Eat The World in Berlin

I decided to do something a little different as a tourist in Berlin.  And when I heard about "Eat The World Tours", I thought, it can't get any more different than that!!

I mean think about it.  You get to stroll with an experienced guide telling you all about the area while stopping in little cafe's and tasting a vast array of foods!

Eat The World has several tours to choose from.  I chose the Berlin Neukölln-Tour.  And as you continue reading, you will understand why!

On this particular tour, as we made our way through a cute little area of Berlin, my guide led me to 7 different eateries.  I'm going to share with you a few of those stops.

So come stroll with me through these beautiful streets of Berlin and see what I had to eat!

Café Botanico is situated in a lovely garden setting that we were able to wander through.

I love a good Risotto, so I was happy to discover that I would be tasting a creamy seasonal wild herb/wild vegetable risotto!

Rixbox I think is appropriately named as it looks just like a box sitting out on the square with some outdoor seating.

This is where I tried their smoked pork sandwich with sauerkraut and mustard, served with potato wedges.

Okay, this isn't food, but I just thought this guy was adorable!
This is a Buddy Bear.
 Buddy Bears are a series of painted, life-size fiberglass bear sculptures originally developed in Berlin.  As cheerful ambassadors for Berlin, Buddy Bears have a presence on every continent 

Okay, back to the food!

The O S'kitchen was my absolute favorite stop on this tour!

Here I was served Homemade falafel with Arabic yogurt dip. 

Well as you might guess, I'm STUFFED!!!
But what a great way to see Berlin and try all the different flavors of this city!  So if you find yourself in Berlin and you would like to try something a bit different, Please consider Eat The World, and eat your way through the streets of Berlin!  Oh and tell them "Carla's Got The Travel Bug" sent you!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Tour of Dresden

Dresden is one of the cultural centers of Germany and a city so rich in history that I decided if I was going to even begin to understand this city, I would need an experienced tour guide!  And boy did I find a good one!

Jana, a local of Dresden, runs a company for private tours for 10 years now.  Discover Dresden is her company, and she offers a variety of tours.  I took two tours during my time in Dresden, the "Outer New Town", a special district in Dresden, and the "Baroque New Town".  When Jana came to meet me at my hotel, she began the tour right in the Westin lobby! As we made our way through the lobby to the backside of the hotel, I had no idea what I was about to witness!  We walked down the stairs and she took me by the Elbe River, and there was the Old Town right in front of my eyes!   I couldn't believe this picturesque view that was right in front of me.  I looked at her and said, "Jana is this for real?" Needless to say, I chose the best hotel for this area! 

As we went on the tour she explained to me about the convention center and a mosque-like building which started as a cigarette factory about 100 years ago.  Now it has been turned into an office building.  When the factory was still open it was the main source of where the cigarettes where made and produced in Dresden.

As you look at the Elbe River there is a boat coming by which she explained is like a Mississippi paddle steamer.  Here though they have the wheels on the sides of the boat and travel up and down the river for sightseeing tours or day trips.

So moving on, as we walked down the streets,  Jana explained to me that some of the buildings survived WWII and that they were abandoned during communism.  Architects and property owners have spent lots of money and time since the re-unification to bring back old glory.  A few buildings though still could use some fixing up.
We walked down little courtyards that give Dresden's Baroque New Town areas character and life.  We enjoyed passing by cute little stores and shops!
Jana took me to the new town of Dresden where in the center are two fountains that break up each side of the street. This area was built based on it being used for cars to go in many different directions, so as you see trams and cars and bicycles have many ways to go. It is said that this particular area is one of the busiest streets for cars and transportation driving by in all of Dresden.


The statutes on top of the fountains on each side have meaning.  One side is a group of women and the other side is a group of men (Need explanation)

Jana took me to a cute little museum. This museum was based on Erich Kastner, the unknown famous author, who created children's books.
Although Germans like to think that Kästner is internationally popular, the fact that he is known at all in the English-speaking world is largely due to one person... Walt Disney. Two of Erich Kästner's humorous tales for children—Emil und die Detektive and Das doppelte Lottchen—attracted Disney's attention. In the 1960s the Disney studios turned these two books into the films "Emil and the Detectives" (1964) and "The Parent Trap" (1961, 1998) respectively.

Erich Kastner, German author, poet, novelist

Augustus the Strong was responsible for several of the city's famous baroque buildings, including the Zwinger Palace.  During his reign Dresden became an important cultural center, nicknamed Florence at the Elbe. When he died in 1733 his son Augustus III decided to erect a gilded equestrian statue in honor of his illustrious father.
Goldener Reiter (Golden Rider)
Theaterplatz is a beautiful square framed by some of the city's most important landmarks such as the Zwinger Palace, the Hofkirche and the Semper Opera House.
Originally the Zwinger Palace had only three wings, the courtyard opened up towards the Elbe river. After the completion of the Semper Opera House in 1841 Gottfried Semper closed the courtyard by adding a gallery in Renaissance style.  Construction of this new wing, now know as the Semperbau, started in 1847.
Zwinger Palace

Semper Opera House
The Zwinger Palace is Dresden's most famous landmark. This baroque complex of pavilions and galleries was - like many of the city's most prominent buildings - commissioned by Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony.

Near the Rampart pavillon is the Nymphenbad, a small enclosed courtyard with a baroque fountain featuring numerous statues of nymphs and tritons.
For almost fifty years, the Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) was nothing more than a pile of rubble, the result of a 1945 bombardment. Since its reconstruction in the 1990s the majestic dome of the Frauenkirche once again dominates the cityscape of Dresden.
Inside of Frauenkirche

Dreikönigskirche (Church of the Three Magi), originally built in the fifteenth century and rebuilt in the late 1980s after it was destroyed during the Second World War.


The tour took me across the Elbe River where I learned about the Royal Palace.

For centuries the Residenzschloss - the royal palace in Dresden - served as the seat of government for the Saxon Rulers of the Wettin family.

The vast palace is located in the heart of historic Dresden and comprises a number of wings and structures that were built over a span of several centuries.
Like all landmarks in Dresden, the Royal Palace was destroyed in 1945. For more than forty years the building stood in ruins, with only the Georgenbau rebuilt between 1962 and 1969. Reconstruction of the whole Residenzschloss started in 1985 with the intention to recreate it as a cultural and museum complex. It was mostly completed in 2006, just in time for the city's 800 year anniversary.


Well as you can see, Dresden is not only an amazing place to visit, but is also very rich in history.

Procession of Princes
And remember, if you find yourself in this beautiful city, make sure to see it with "Discover Dresden Tours" and tell Jana that "Carla's Got The Travel Bug" sent you!!