My favorite destinations

Provence

Provence

I have visited the Roman Nimes, red rocks of Roussillon, the lively harbor of Marseille, romantic Montpellier, the Roman theatre at Orange, looming Gordes on a rock, and the former pope's residence of Avignon.

Elbrus area at the border between Europe and Asia

During student's summer 1978, I spent three weeks in the Caucasian region for roadmaking in Kislovodsk. Afterwards we had three holiday weeks to visit Moscow, St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Riga, and Tallinn.

London

London and its surrounding

I got my first impression from the British Isles when flying in 1991 to Manchester (to attend a conference in Springfields) via London. When approaching Heathrow, Windsor was directly below. In 1994, I spent a holiday week, living in Knightsbridge near Hyde Park, beautiful. Besides the many MUSTs (Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, British Museum, Tower, again Windsor, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, Picadilly Circus, Madame Tussaud's) I remember one day when going (by foot) through the Docklands to Greenwich with its observatory, museums and Cutty Sark sailing ship. Excursions led to Oxford (by train) and by bus to Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover. Another day, visiting botanic Kew Gardens was really worth time. The same year, I had to/could attend as substitute a conference in York. Afterwards I spent - to reduce flight costs - the weekend in London again. Otherwise I had missed the flight. I experienced a strike for the first time, when sitting in the train towards London. The hotel near Picadilly was interesting too. They tried to have not got my (discount) in advance booking, of course offering generously another room, and during the night there were at least 5 wrong fire alarms. Besides, I made excursions of one day each by train to Brighton and Cambridge. An extended business trip to the South Bank in 1996 , that time approaching Heathrow parallely river Thames vis-a-vis Houses of Parliament, allowed me to make a weekend excursion to Salisbury, Stonehenge and Bath. And it was for the first time that I had to escape a railway station because of a bombing alarm.

Taormina

Taormina/Sicily

I visited this beautiful location on Sicily/Italy in December 2001. My hotel, situated at Corso Umberto, let me look up to Mount Etna from breakfast room, the other window let me look down to the sea - what a contrast! This highest of all active European vulcanos was rarely to be seen that time, unfortunately, because of rainy weather. Corso Umberto belongs to the Roman "Via Valeria", connecting Messina and Catania at east coast. Without car, it appeared to be difficult to organise trips personally. Organised journeys by bus were cancelled without exception, because of lack of interest (only few tourists being there). But there were two alternatives: going by foot uphill and downhill (same level nearly not possible), or to use public bus. My recommendations: Greek theatre, gardens of Miss Florence Trevelyan (many exotic trees) in Taormina, going uphill to Castelmola (531 m) and Castello Saraceno (398 m) by foot, downhill to the marvellous island "Isola Bella" and to the sea resort Spisone. Really nice, but a little bit demanding for physical constitution. Public bus is a really cheap way of transportation there: Giardini-Naxos, Messina, Catania, old Greek Syracusa, all of them reachable for little money, in short time and by trips offering marvellous views.