Posts tagged ‘France’

April 8, 2020

How about those double decker buses!

Ok this is a novelty me think. Used to see them a lot in the movies and promotional tourist office advertising. Finally , saw the proliferation of tourist buses using the double decker style, and finally had a ride in London UK. Just for the memories but not my way of travel , my opinion.

Nevertheless, here is a bit of history and trips taken with them in London and a bit of history in Paris.  Hope you enjoy it

A double-decker bus is a two level bus. These buses are very popular all over the world, either for tourism often in a convertible version, or for public transport with a bodied roof, but the latter use is less common. Among the most famous are those from London UK

The bright red London double-decker buses are among the most iconic symbols of London and England. The most common are the Routemaster type. These buses have the particularity of requiring two employees, a driver and a controller in uniform, responsible for issuing and punching tickets. A mirror periscope allows the driver to keep an eye on the passengers on the upper deck. They are also equipped with a cord to ring the driver to stop, as well as a rear platform that allows passengers in a hurry to jump on the sidewalk at their own risk. They were In circulation since 1956, they ceased their service in 2005. The Routemasters were gradually replaced from the 1970s onwards by more and more modern models of double-decker buses having nothing to do with the Routemaster. These new buses no longer have the rear platform open for safety reasons. Double-decker buses were replaced on many lines by Mercedes Citaro articulated buses in the 2000s. The govt in turn replaced these articulated buses by a new model of double-decker buses in neo-retro style evoking the Routemaster. They are more accessible for strollers and wheelchairs, with a hybrid motor and see the return of the open platform at the rear.

The company that started all this the LGOC (London General Omnibus Company) started using motorized omnibuses in 1902, and manufactured them on their own in 1909. In London, a completely different model was put in place; the Transport Act led to the privatization of London buses, as well as the creation of a competing subsidiary of London Transport called London Buses, which however had responsibilities only in the choice of service levels, routes, frequencies, and tariffs, in partnership with the public service which managed the service proper.   This scheme is still in place today, and London buses compete with many private companies. In 2000, with the formation of the Greater London Autorithy, responsibility for London Buses shifted from the state-owned London Regional Transport company to a branch of the City of London, Transport for London. However, in December 2016, the new mayor of London Sadiq Khan decided that the orders would be stopped after only 805 copies delivered. they manage a total bus fleet of around 9,300 vehicles operating across 675 routes; the current managing entity is the London Bus Services Ltd.

The double decker bus, I have ridden on these areas mainly along Gloucester and Knightbridge (these area came on business trips)  to Earls Court (this area I have stayed with the family). Just for the experience only. The area is shown here: Travel Planner London on the double decker bus areas

london

london

london

And to trace any journey see the the official page here: Official Transport London

For the historical anecdote, let me give you a briefer on the Paris double decker history.

In 1853 in Paris, the first two-story bus, the Imperial bus, was invented. The first regular bus line was the AM line, which went from Montmartre to Saint-Germain-des-Prés on June 11, 1906. Soon, six lines were operated and 151 Brillié-Schneider P2s double decker buses crossed Paris, on the lines: C , departing from Porte de Neuilly to Palais-Royal, June 20, 1906 J, departing from Montmartre to Place Saint-Michel, November 1, 1906 I, departing from Place Pigalle to Halle-au-Vin, January 20, 1907 AL, which went from Porte d’Asnières to Gare Montparnasse, March 24, 1907 H, which went from Avenue de Clichy to Odéon, and A that went from Gobelins to Notre-Dame de Lorette, June 30, 1907.

In 1910, one of these vehicles overturned in the Place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) which caused the General Bus Company to challenge the double decker bus operation , the CGO then decided to suppress the imperial buses in 1911, and installed new rear axle and axle entry boxes, these buses taking the Brillé-Schneider P3 designation.   It took 1966 for the RATP to regain the experience of the double decker imperial bus in Paris, two lines were chosen: line 94 which went from Montparnasse Station to Levallois-Perret and line 53 which went from Opera to Porte d’Asnières. But for various reasons this formula was permanently abandoned at the RATP in 1977, this type of bus is not well suited to Parisian streets lined with trees. Since 1977, there is no longer any Parisian line using Imperial buses as a public transport. However, since 2001, four special lines, consisting of a fleet of imperial buses exclusively, and operated solely for tourist purposes by the RATP and Cityrama, have been put into service, the Paris L’OpenTour lines. The The Paris OpenTour, often abbreviated to the OpenTour, is a regular double decker bus line established on May 19, 1998 with a tourist vocation. Imperial buses run through four circuits allowing for the service of, among others, Notre-Dame, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées and the Montparnasse district. Of course these are tourist buses and never taken them. And voilà not even a photo!!

The official Open Tour bus webpage: Official Open Tour Paris

Tourist office of Paris on the double decker bus: Tourist office of Paris on the double decker Open Tour

And there is the bif of history of the double decker buses in London and Paris. My ride was uneventful along Gloucester Road and Knightbridge areas and just like a regular bus line. I think they have a place for tourist reason and tradition. Hope you have tried them and enjoy them as well.

For now, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 7, 2020

Shopping Cidade do Porto!

And here I am again, continuing my souvenirs of travels, all wonderful and bring many nice periods of my life. One of them was visiting Porto, Portugal. Always heard of Porto and love the drink, and finally was there. I have several posts but feels they have been too general, therefore, let me tell you about the Shopping Cidade do Porto!

Shopping Cidade do Porto, also known as Shopping do Bom Sucesso, is a commercial area located in the Boavista area, in Porto. It is located opposite the Mercado do Bom Sucesso (see previous post) and the Galeria Península.

porto

Shopping Cidade do Porto was built in the first half of the 90s, and has more than 15,000 m² of leasable area spread over four floors which were given the name Piso Lazer (-1), Bom Sucesso (0 ), Gonçalo Sampaio (1) and Mouzinho de Albuquerque (2). The structure of the building comprises a wide central span, in one corner of which is a panoramic elevator. On the underground floors there are 560 paid parking spaces. It has last count 112 stores and two food courts, one on floor -1 and another on floor 2 Among the approximately 20 restaurants and cafes are represented.  The Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso is attach (see previous post).

porto

The shopping Cidade do Porto , is just around the corner from the hotel I was staying, and you have several high end stores here. It has been preserved by modifiying several aspects of it after its construction in the 1990’s. You have now several stores and restaurants such as Pizza Hut ,McDonald’s etc  It’s an alternative to kill some time in the city. a pleasant airy way to shop too and seek Portuguese products.  The anecdote here is that one of Spain nicest supermarkets has a branch here Froiz you can see the sign in the last picture. Webpage in Porto: Froiz Porto

porto

The area is full of architecture stunning buildings and monuments to see as shown some in my previous posts. The area is boavista in Porto, Portugal. And this is the Shopping Cidade do Porto or City of Porto mall! Hope you enjoy it

porto

Here is their official webpage: Official Shopping Cidade do Porto mall

The tourist office of Porto has some more in English: Tourist office of Porto on Shopping Cidade do Porto

And there you go an all around visit to the wonderful inner city of Porto, hope you do come and even away from the drink porto! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 7, 2020

Praça de Mouzinho de Alburquerque,Porto!

And here I am again, continuing my souvenirs of travels, all wonderful and bring many nice periods of my life. One of them was visiting Porto, Portugal. Always heard of Porto and love the drink, and finally was there. I have several posts but feels they have been too general, therefore, let me tell you about the Praça de Mouzinho de Alburquerque.

As I wandered around the Rotunda da Boavista, you can see the wonderful Obelisk of the Portuguese fight vs the French imperial invaders ::) It is ,also call by locals the square or Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque.  It is 45 meters or 148 feet high and highly decorated on four sides with events in the history of Portugal.

porto

Mouzinho de Alburquerque was a Portuguese cavalry officer. He was famous for his capture of Emperor Gungunhana at Chaimite in 1895 and for pacifying Mozambique.

Since 1876, Praça da Boavista has housed the São Miguel fair that, from Cordoaria, had been transferred there. The decision to garden the square and to erect an obelisk commemorating the Peninsular War in its center was taken a few years before the establishment of the Republic of Portugal. The Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War, became the identifying and structural element of this square.

porto

At the end of the 20C, Rotunda hosted the Porto Book Fair for several years and was an important hub of the Sanjoaninas Festivals. In the center of the square is the Rotunda da Boavista Garden, in a circular shape, which develops around the imposing Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War. In the garden, liquidambars, oaks, linden trees, tulips and some palm trees deserve special attention.

porto

This is an unofficial webpage local Porto but has a nice presentation on the Praça de Mouzinho de Alburquerque in English: The Local Porto webpage on the square

A very nice area for a walk and plenty of nice architecture all around it including other monuments mentioned in previous posts about Porto, Portugal. Hope you enjoy the walk.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 7, 2020

The Mercado de Bom Sucesso at Porto!

And here I am again, continuing my souvenirs of travels, all wonderful and bring many nice periods of my life. One of them was visiting Porto, Portugal. Always heard of Porto and love the drink, and finally was there. I have several posts but feels they have been too general, therefore, let me tell you about the Mercado de Bom Sucesso.

The highlight of my stayed in this area, was the Mercado de Bom Sucesso market. This is just turning right from hotel on about 100 meters, excellent ambiance, great food, and friendly staffs with full of locals.

porto

I went here for a tour walk around one night as had friends picking me up, and then came back to eat a wonderful seafood rice and scallops on shell with a good local red wine for less than 14€ , this was at the Mariscaria Bom Sucesso. More of it here:  http://www.mercadobomsucesso.pt/portfolio/mariscaria-bom-sucesso-2/

porto

The Bom Sucesso market was completely renovated and reopened in June 2013. Architecture and stands mixing tradition and modernity. To see, there reigns a different atmosphere than in other markets. There are classic fresh products (fish, meat, vegetables) but there is also a section with gastronomic products only Portuguese and a restaurant area. Emphasis is placed on promoting the made in Portugal.

porto

Of course, the market is more than just restaurant, bars and seafood stands, there is also some shopping stores and souvenirs of local craft inside. Worth a visit on any given day/night.

porto

The official webpage of the Mercado de Bom Sucesso :Mercado Bom Sucesso Porto

The tourist visit Porto webpage in English on the Mercado de Bom Sucesso: Tourist office Porto on the Mercado Bom Sucesso

This was really nice worth a stop day or night , shopping or eating. I prefer the eating and drinking delicious Portuguese wines. Really the area was tops see my other posts, recommended. Really enjoyed the Mercado de Bom Sucesso at Porto.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

April 6, 2020

A Chapel of Bom Sucesso, Porto!

And here I am again, continuing my souvenirs of travels, all wonderful and bring many nice periods of my life. One of them was visiting Porto, Portugal. Always heard of Porto and love the drink, and finally was there. I have several posts but feels they have been too general, therefore, let me tell you about the Capela de Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso or Chapel of Our Lady of Success.

In the back of the shopping center (see later post) , there is a nice small Chapel, Capela de Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso, it dates from  1748, last renovated in 2005. It is done in a rectangular shape with two story façade. Stone staircase that give access to the balcony. Neo Classical in the façade with a portal with tympanum curved interrupted by windows. The Quinta do Bom Sucesso House and Chapel set is one of the few examples of 18C farm houses still in Porto, located close to the Rotunda da Boavista, in the city of Porto.

porto

The Quinta de Bom Sucesso was an old rural property on the outskirts of Porto. In the 18C and 19C, the area was still a relatively small city, and was surrounded by rural properties, belonging to the large families in Porto. This farm was built at the end of the 18C by António de Almeida Saraiva. This was one of the many wealthy merchants and bourgeois in the city, who used the country property for leisure. He built a nice house, with simple and slightly rural design and lines, and next to it, forming an L with the house, a baroque chapel, with a more elaborate design, which he dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso. He christened the farm as Quinta do Bom Sucesso. The chapel gained faithfuls, and according to the Parish Memories of 1758 , the chapel already had some devotees who came from the city of Porto to the chapel to pray and pray to the image of Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso . Today, the lands occupied by Quinta, formerly cultivated, are under the tar and cement of the streets and buildings of the urban Porto of our time, and the old property left the farmhouse and the chapel. These were in turn incorporated into the glass skyscrapers of Shopping Cidade do Porto. They are restored, they have kept their original exterior. The house is now a restaurant-bar; the Chapel was reopened for worship, in the care of the Missionaries of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity.

porto

The Cultural Heritage of Portugal on the Chapel House in Portuguese: Cultural Heritage of Portugal on the Chapel House of Porto

The Credit Agricole restaurant bar at the House in Portuguese: Casa Agricola restaurant at the House of Bom Sucesso

porto

This is a very nice monument in the middle of high rise buildings and blends well with the modernity of them . Hope you enjoy as it is a wonderful area to be at and I was just around the corner. Hope you enjoy the Capela de Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso and the restaurant too!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 6, 2020

The museums of Trier!!

Ok so usually when in Trier, Germany we go for the foodies and the old monuments in the oldest city in Germany. However, looking at the architecture of these monument we came into two we were nicely told worth to look into it. Of course, not seeing them all, but some and will have the will to come back and look for them more carefully. You like museums? These are worth the detour in lovely Trier our favorite city in Germany!

As to museums ,there are some nice ones as said, let me tell you a bit on them ok. The archeological museum and most important in Germany on the Roman period call in German Rheiniches Landesmuseum; and the City museum of Trier with a model of the medieval city or in German, Stadtmuseum Simeonstiff. 

The City Museum Simeonstift or Stadtsmuseum in Trier shows art and cultural treasures from the Middle Ages to well into the 21C. The exhibition is founded on a collection of valuable donations made by well-known citizens of the city. The artefacts on display are divided into a variety of sections, including paintings, sculptures, arts and crafts, Coptic textiles, furniture and small Oriental plastic art forms. The focal point of the permanent exhibition revolves around the history of the city of Trier. Regularly changing special exhibitions are dedicated to Trier’s native artists or to topics associated with the city. The collection is housed in the Roman building of the Collegiate of St. Simeon, which originates from the 11C and is directly adjacent to the Porta Nigra. Also worthy of note is the building itself, which boasts one of the oldest and rarely preserved two-story cloisters.

Trier

The approximately 900 objects in the collection exhibition can be seen on 1000 m² of exhibition space. Models, interactive areas and a broad multimedia range of around 40 media presentations in the form of films, picture sequences and listening stations complete the visit. Visitors can discover the collection with free audio guides in different languages or organize a rally for children.

Tourist office of Trier on the City Museum in English: Tourist office city museum of Trier

The Archeological museum is a must; call locally the Rheinisches Landesmuseum was founded in 1877 as the Provincial Museum of the Prussian Rhine Province. In 1885–89 a proper museum building was built at the edge of the palace garden of the Electoral Palace (Kurfürstliche -see post) , just outside the Roman wall.   In 1904 the building was enlarged with three wings, and again in 1925–26, the south wing was replaced by a new office wing. In 1945 around 80% of the building was destroyed by bombs (WWII). The rebuilding campaign was finished in 1958. In the 1980s a new section was added.

Trier

The Rheinisches Landesmuseum is one of the most significant archaeological museums in Germany, and is also one of the most important museums of Roman antiquity in Europe. The collection covers 200,000 years, from the Stone Age, the Romans and Franconians, to the Baroque period. Around 4,500 objects here tell the story of the region.

Trier

Not only does the museum hold the largest collection of mosaics north of the Alps, but the largest hoard of Roman gold from Imperial times is also on display, with other coins in the museum’s coin cabinet. Another highlight is the gigantic stone sepulchres from Neumagen. The collection is focused on the Roman period, as Trier and the surrounding region acquired their greatest significance during this era. Augusta Treverorum, or Trier the oldest city founded in Germany, rose at this time from being a civil administrative centre to become the Imperial residence of the Late Roman Empire. This evolution is illustrated by the objects in the museum, making the museum a great addition to visiting the Roman buildings in Trier.

The official webpage of the archeological museum of TrierOfficial Archeological Museum of Trier

There you go two nice architecturally nice monuments and museums to boot in inner city Trier. A wonderful combination not to missed. And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

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April 6, 2020

The Baths of Trier, Germany!

So let’s switch over to the neighbor and visit again my favorite city of Germany. Not only was the second city ever visited there it was the first one with the family and came back several times afterward; see my other posts on the oldest city in Germany, Trier!

However, as with so much to write in my Europe, often do so briefly and leave many places out or little shown me think. One of these was the Roman baths of Trier. This blog tells a bit more on them and we like it; hope you enjoy it too.

There are two major ones and we visited one but will give you both here, the Barbara and the Imperial baths of Trier. We visited the Imperial or Kaiserthermen. The Barbara baths have been closed to the public for a while now.

The imperial thermal baths of Trier (Kaiserthermen) are the remains of Roman public baths, impressive ruins still visible today. It seems that the thermal baths have never been put into service The preserved apses still present their Roman apparatus of white stones and red bricks which besides its solidity has a great aesthetic value.

Trier

The site was built around the year 300 AD as a monumental complex dedicated to the emperor Constance Chlore and his son Constantine, who had made Trier their residence In accordance with Roman standards for such important public baths, they were fitted with numerous underground galleries for heating and draining water. The diameter of the masonry dome which overhangs the tepidarium reaches 16.45 meters.  After the transfer of the palace of Constantine to Constantinople these buildings remained disused, until the Valentinian emperor converted them into barracks in 360 AD. This new barracks could receive between 800 and 1,000 men of the mounted guard of Valentinien Only remained the primitive caldarium (hot bath), that is to say the eastern hall with its three apses and its entrance, a basilica with columns later used as a court.

Trier

Later, the building was integrated as a fortified gate (Stadttor) in the medieval ramparts, one of the windows of the southern apse spanning the passage inside the city. It was only in 1808, when the old fortifications were demolished, that we fell on the foundations of the ancient baths, much larger than this gate.  Between 2005 and 2006, a reception hall for tourists and visitors was built at the site of the ruins to the north; it is also used for the seasonal entertainment that the site hosts , especially concerts and antique shows. The large palaestra or open-air gymnasium in the western part of the thermal baths, is today as a grassy area open to the public, still dotted with the ruins of the western part of the thermal baths, high in places of almost a meter. This palæstra occasionally hosts fairgrounds for the annual spectacle “Bread and games” or for other events, while the rest of the time city dwellers engage in various games and sporting activities. Today, you can visit the remains of the hall and the few underground galleries that have been cleared.

The tourist office of Trier on the Imperial Bath in English: Tourist office of Trier on the Imperial baths

The Center of Antiquities on the Imperial Bath in English: The Center of Antiquities on the Imperial baths

The Barbara’s thermal baths are the largest Roman thermal baths north of the Alps. Barbara’s baths were built in the 2C BC. When they were built, these baths probably extended over 172 × 240 meters. It is no longer possible today to recognize the initial hold of the building, because it served for centuries as a stone quarry for the houses and churches of the city before being finally mined with explosives .

The Barbara baths covered an area of 42,000 square meters, making them almost the size of six football fields. Here in the oldest public baths in the city, guests were offered wellness and relaxation at the highest level. In several baths some of them heated, and a swimming pool guests could spend time in an oasis of wellness with an adjoining cultural center, libraries, restaurants, shops and beauty salons.  The floor plan of the thermal baths is based on a North African model. Findings have shown that the thermal baths were richly fitted with marble and contained niches designed in the form of marine grottos. The facilities were used into the 5C, after which the baths were plundered for building stones. The baths were broken up and dismantled to make way for the creation of the suburb of Trier St. Barbara, which was named after a monastery that once stood on the site.

Only the foundations and the subterranean service tunnels have survived, but the technical details of the sewer systems, the furnaces, the pools, and the heating system can be studied better than in the other baths of Trier. Since 2000, the site has been closed to the public to carry out the preservation of the ruins. From 2009, a new presentation of the site will be offered to visitors. For preservation, the baths are closed to visitors as of 2014.

The tourist office of Trier on the Barbara Baths in English: Tourist office of Trier on the Barbara baths

The Center of Antiquities on the Barbara baths in English: The Center of Antiquities on the Barbara baths

So there you go finally shown these marvels in a beautiful city of Trier. Do not forget to visit the Imperial bath a wonderful area of history and ancient architecture. Hope you enjoy the tour of Trier and its baths.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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April 3, 2020

Stop at Hong Kong!

Ok talking about airports, well been to a few. Some been not too long but are very memorable for x reasons, and I thought rather than just barely mentioned them in my blog giving it a bit more credit in a single post. This is the case of the Hong Kong International Airport. Here is all about it!

I first flew with Cathay Pacific for the first time; and it was a nice ride indeed. This is the airline of Hong Kong and I was going to the airport there for connection to a final destination. The Hong Kong International Airport was my first time too, but as connections were made tight, really had no time to see Hong Kong. Even if passed twice by it on two different trips! This will be for another time. OF course, with the times that will be a bit further away.

The Hong Kong International Airport is the airport of Hong Kong, about 30 km from the city center. Inaugurated on July 6, 1998, to replace the former Kai Tak International Airport. The current airport has become a major global center for freight transport, a connecting platform for passengers and a gateway to destinations in mainland China, east and southeast Asia. it is the first platform for the companies Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, but also for smaller companies like Hong Kong Express or Hong Kong Airlines. It also houses the Hong Kong Government Flying Service aircraft.

The airport was erected on a large artificial island called Huan Fu Zu, built from the mountainous islands of Chep Lap Kok and Lam Chau which were razed to the ground and joined together in part by their own embankments. It is connected to the north coast of Lantau Island near the historic village of Tung Chung, now in a new city. The construction of the new airport was part of a larger program which also included the construction of a new road and a railway connecting the city to the airport and comprising many bridges and tunnels. The airport is managed by the Airport Authority, which is controlled by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The airport has two parallel runways, each 3,800 meters long and 60 meters wide. The southern runway belongs to the “Category II Precision Approach”, while the northern runway belongs to the higher category (“Category IIIA”), which allows pilots to land with only 200 meters of visibility.

The Hong Kong International Airport has a total of 90 boarding gates,with 77 jet bridge gates (1–12, 23–36, 40–50, 60–71, 201–219, 501–506, 508–510) and 12 virtual gates (228–230, 511–513, 520–525) which are used as assembly points for passengers, who are then ferried to the aircraft by apron buses. Of the 66 jet bridges, five (Gates 5,23,60,62,64) are capable of handling the Airbus A380. Besides T2, the SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course has been opened in 2007 whereas the second airport hotel, the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel; and a permanent cross-boundary ferry terminal, the Skypier, began operations in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Development around T2 also includes the AsiaWorld-Expo which has started operation in late 2005. A second passenger concourse, the North Satellite Concourse (NSC), opened in 2010, followed by the Midfield Concourse in December 2015.

hong kong

Hong kong

Terminal 1 of the Hong Kong International Airport is the third largest airport passenger terminal building in the world. Terminal 2 together with the SkyPlaza, opened on 28 February 2007 along with the opening of the Airport Station’s Platform 3. It is only a check-in and processing facility for departing passengers with no gates or arrival facilities (passengers are transported underground to gates at Terminal 1) So far most low-cost carriers and some full-service carriers have relocated their check-in operations to T2. A two-storey North Satellite Concourse (NSC), this concourse was designed for narrow-body aircraft and is equipped with 10 jet bridges. There is a shuttle bus service between the NSC and Terminal 1 every four minutes. The midfield area is located to the west of Terminal 1 between the two existing runways This includes 20 aircraft parking stands, three of these are wide enough to serve the Airbus A380.   Passengers reach the concourse through an extension of the underground automated people mover On 31 March 2016, the Concourse was officially inaugurated.

hong kong

hong kong

The Hong Kong International Airport is renowned for its quality among tour operators and passengers. It is one of the three world airports to have received the 5 stars of the classification made by Skytrax. The airport is accessible with the Hong Kong Metro Airport station on the Airport Express line. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge arrives in Hong Kong near the airport island.

Hong Kong

On 2 July 1998, Air Force One, carrying United States President Bill Clinton, landed at the new airport and became the first foreign visitor to arrive at the new airport.

The official webpage of HKIA here: Official Hong Kong International Airport

The Airport Express Services here: Official Metro Airport Express Services

The Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao BridgeHong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge

The tourist office of Hong KongTourist office of Hong Kong

There you go all you need for a wonderful stop over or longer stay. I have done the first one;looking forward to do the second one. Enjoy the Hong Kong International Airport

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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April 2, 2020

My airports in Indonesia!

So this is a strategic post lol!!! I have been thru too many airports in my last 20 years to last me for the rest of my lifetime! I do not look at them as tourist attractions but a necessary step to tourism. As Indonesia is a country of many islands and vast distances the use of airplane is a must.

Let me tell you briefly on my airports in Indonesia! Oh yes all coming from my belle France! However, plenty of domestic flights once there!

My main point of entry was the Jakarta International Airport (Soekarno-Hatta) is the main airport serving the greater Jakarta area on the island of Java. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu, who also designed Paris-Charles de Gaulle (Roissy) airport. The Soekarno-Hatta airport was Inaugurated in 1985, it was named after Soekarno, first president of the Republic of Indonesia, and Hatta, first vice-president. They were the ones who proclaimed the independence of the country in 1945.   Jakarta International Airport has 150 check-in counters, 30 baggage carousels and 42 gates. Each sub-terminal has 25 check-in counters, 5 baggage carrousels and 7 gates.

jakarta

Terminal 1 accommodates domestic flights, except for Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia, NAM Air and Sriwijaya Air. Terminal 2 accommodates all international flights other than those of SkyTeam companies, as well as domestic flights of Indonesia AirAsia, NAM Air and Sriwijaya Air. Terminal 3 accommodates all Garuda Indonesia flights as well as those of SkyTeam companies. A shuttle system connects the 3 terminals.

jakarta

Taxi counters are located on the Arrivals level after customs and outside at the taxi stand. Several Taxi companies operate at Jakarta airport, including Blue Bird, Silver Bird, Golden Bird and Gamya. Blue Bird taxis are blue and provide basic taxi service from a reliable company. Silver Bird taxis are black and provide premium taxi service at slightly higher rates. Golden Bird is a limousine service.

jakarta

The official airport webpage is here: Soekarno-Hatta Airport at Jakarta

Additional helpful webpage is the tourist office of Jakarta in English: Tourist office of Jakarta

The Surabaya Juanda International Airport serves Surabaya, East Java and surrounding areas. It is my second most used airport in Indonesia. It is located in the kabupaten ,department of Sidoarjo, 20 km south of Surabaya. Open December 7, 1964 as an air and naval base, December 24, 1990, Juanda Airport obtains the status of international airport, after the opening of an international terminal.

surabaya

surabaya

The Surabaya Airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 is split into a couple of sections: section 1A and section 1B. The Level 1 is the Arrivals level, where check-in counters and baggage claim area are located. Level 2 is for Departures, where the boarding area is located. Find in this level access to boarding gates 1 to 6 ,and 7 to 12.   There are lounges close to gates 2, 8 and 11.   Terminal 2, handles international flights and some domestic services of Garuda and Indonesia Air Asia. Terminal 2 is the newest one and opened in 2014. It is located at the east side of Terminal 1. The Ground level This is the Check-in area and the Arrivals level. It has a boarding lounge at west and the Arrivals facilities plus the baggage claim can be found at east.   Find also here transportation options (bus, taxi, shuttle, car rental). Upper level: This is the Departures area, split into the Domestic and International departures.   Access to boarding gates 1 to 9 from a single point. Mezzanine level Find in this level the airport lounges. Taxi ranks are properly located outside Arrivals of both terminals, after the baggage claim area.   In order to take a taxi at Surabaya Airport, passengers should purchase a taxi coupon from the transportation counter. Blue Bird and Orenz Taxi.

surabaya

The Surabaya Juanda airport webpage in English here: Surabaya Juanda airport

A very nice experience for me was to go inland into Yogyakarta and Ngoro, etc towns.

The Yogyakarta Adisutjipto International Airport is the airport of the city of Yogyakarta. The airport was inaugurated as international in 2004. Adisucipto airport also houses an Indonesian air force base. Adisutjipto will be gradually replaced by the new international airport of Yogyakarta in the kabupaten of Kulon Progo. Airport taxis are available on the arrivals level. Taxi rate is fixed depending on the distance. Purchase a fixed price taxi coupon from the Transportation counter and proceed to the taxi stand outside.

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The Adisutjipto airport webpage is here in English: Adisutjipto Yogyakarta airport

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yogyakarta

The new airport Yogyakarta International Airport or Kulon Progo International Airport, is in the district of Temon, kabupaten of Kulon Progo, which serves the special territory of Yogyakarta in Java, The airport was inaugurated on May 6, 2019. This one I have not try yet.

The new Yogyakarta airport webpage in English here: Yogyakarta airport

And there you go a nice way to move about in Indonesia using various airlines most of the time Garuda Indonesia; sriwijaya airline; and Wings, etc. The tourist office of Indonesia in English for reference here: Tourist office of Indonesia

sidoarjo

Now you all set to enjoy this exotic beautiful country in Asia. Lots of memory of my 8 trips there in the last 9 years! And lots of good friends still in touch. Hopefully, will have other opportunities to be back soon. IN the meantime, get to know the airports of Indonesia, you will needed.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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April 2, 2020

Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria!

A few years back I had the opportunity to do a consulting job for an important fuel company base in the south of France. The mission was carried out in Lagos ,Nigeria for several months. I lived in Ikoyi a district of Lagos. I have told before the historical part and the restaurants and hotels of the area but and again, missed telling you about my residence. Well now is time to tell you all about it ok. Hope you enjoy the off the beaten path trip at Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria.

The best areas are east of city center at Ikoyi (where I lived), and Victoria Island. The district of Lagos Island is the business area with an artificial island named Eko Atlantic City. I must tell you that even thus I was not there as a tourist and not many sites that can be tourist oriented at least at that time, I enjoyed very much the stay  ,travel all over even further away from Lagos and made many friends still in contact as much as this week, the reason to do this post. Friends forever, and they know my blog!

First, a bit about the district of Ikoyi.

Ikoyi is the most affluent neighborhood of Lagos, located in Eti-Osa Local Government Area.It lies to the northeast of Obalende and adjoins Lagos Island to the west, and at the edge of the Lagos Lagoon. Popular with the extreme upper class residents of Nigerian society, Ikoyi is arguably one of the wealthiest communities within Nigeria.

The area that makes up Ikoyi was originally a continuous land mass with Lagos Island, until it was separated from by a narrow waterway that was dug by the British colonial government. This canal has now been built over or filled so that the island is fused with Lagos Island once again.  During the colonial era, the island was developed as a residential cantonment for the expatriate British community and still retains many of the large colonial residences built between 1900 and 1950. Upmarket residential properties continued to be built after the colonial period, and the Island and its Dodan Barracks became the residence of some of Nigeria’s military rulers

One of the main attractions in Ikoyi is Awolowo Road, which is a high street lined with upscale shops and boutiques. Due to its proximity to Victoria Island and Lagos Island, much of Lagos’s business tourism is centred on Ikoyi, which has a mix of excellent 4-star hotels. The area is now home to several large luxury apartments,estates, and upscale office developments. Lagos Preparatory School (13+), regarded as Africa’s most highly accredited British School, is located in Ikoyi . The Lagos Jet Ski Riders Club, an elite club for the wealthiest of Nigerians is located in Ikoyi. Also, the Ikoyi Golf Club.

Bourdillon Road, Alexander Road and Gerrard Road, is a long stretch of road, that is considered to be the most prestigious not only in Lagos, but in Nigeria. Ikoyi includes the newer suburbs of Banana Island, Parkview Estate, Dolphin Estate and other luxurious blocks of flats that are springing up.

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The Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge,wonderful to ride it over and more beautiful spots on that side;  is a 1.36 km cable-stayed bridge in Lagos State. It links the Phase 1 area of Lekki, with Ikoyi district of Lagos. The bridge was commissioned on the 29th of May 2013. The bridge is the first cable-stayed bridge to be built in Nigeria. The bridge has a 9-meters headroom above water level in order to allow for the flow of maritime traffic.   Tourists and other visitors also find this bridge as one of the places to visit and the bridge is the most photographed place in Lagos . The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg went on a morning run on the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge on his visit to Lagos.

And now for my accommodations at Somerset Court, Ikoyi!

I stayed in a very nice compound, Osborne Foreshore Estates, call Somerset Court ,very well protected as it is the home of many armed forces personnel. The place is at  Ikoji, one of the nicest districts of Lagos, very nice with all amenities including a pool, billiard room,bar, restaurant, sports TV all over, exercise room, and very friendly staff.

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Somerset Court is a top class luxury hotel situated at No 2, Asejire Close, Osborne Phase 1, Ikoyi, Lagos. It’s a tourist favorite due to its proximity to a lot of business outlet and also Ikoyi Golf Club among other leisure centres.

Somerset Court has rooms with classy and home feel with designs incorporating modern furnishing. Room categories include Executive Room and Suite. Some rooms have a view overlooking the city. Each room features a spacious bathroom, king-sized beds, cable connected LCD TV sets, refrigerators and air conditioners. A number of facilities are available, these include free WiFi, a swimming pool, a body spa, a restaurant and a bar. Guests at this hotel will have more time to enjoy their stay at the hotel. The hotel offers additional services on request such as 24-hour front desk, shuttle service, Concierge service, Luggage storage, Express check-in/check-out, Cleaning services, Room service, Free Parking Space, Ironing service, Car Rental, Dry cleaning/Laundry service and business center. All was wonderful!

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Some assorted webpages to help you plan your trip here and know more about Ikoyi are

The Private Property guide on IkoyiPrivate Property on Ikoyi Lagos

A New York Times magazine article on Ikoyi that i found very informative. New York Time magazine on Ikoyi

And a very good local youtube video on Ikoyi  area of Lagos ,enjoy it

I like to again thanks all the staff at Somerset Court for a memorable stay and many nice souvenirs that won’t be forgotten. In the meantime, hope one day to return as really enjoyed my stay in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. Hope you enjoy the tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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