Packie’s Food and Wine in Kenmare Bay, Ireland

For a small Irish town made up of little more than two streets Kenmare has a surprising number of award winning restaurants and Packie’s is no exception. Local chef Martin Hallissey has created a fine dining experience without losing any of that Irish charm or hospitality. The menu focuses heavily on produce from the local region – scallops, mussels and prawns from Kenmare Bay as well as locally caught sea fish feature heavily...

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Christmas in Cardiff, Wales

Every winter, the lawn outside Cardiff’s City Hall is transformed into a large ice rink as part of the city’s “Winter Wonderland.” Children and adults alike can skate to the sounds of DJs and live bands, within view of the city’s picturesque civic center.  Those not so confident on two blades can enjoy ice sculptors, festive games (with the essential fake snow) and fairground rides or simply relax in the rink-side café...

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Buen Provecho Ecuador

Meals in Ecuador often consist of set menus known as almuerzos (al-mur-zoes) lunches and meriendas (merry-en-das) dinners, which usually consist of a soup, main course (usually meat) and a dessert. These usually cost just one or two dollars. Soups are without doubt Ecuador’s specialty. They are always hearty, usually including vegetables, potatoes and a small amount of meat or fish. Soups vary as much by region as the person who...

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The Center of the Earth, Quito

Standing 20KM north of Quito the Mitad del Mundo is a thirty-meter tall, stone clad monument, topped by a 4.5-meter diameter globe weighing five tonnes. A white line, representing the Equator line runs through the monument and dissects its East and West face. A sign on the line proudly announces “Equator: Latitude 0’0’0′” Finding the exact equator was the subject of many studies, the most notable of which...

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Lonesome George- the World’s Rarest Animal

The fragility of the natural world in Ecuador (and around the world) can be summed up in just one word: George! George, or Lonesome George as he is more commonly known has come to be an unwitting star in the Galapagos Islands as a symbol for conservationists and naturalists the world over. Lonesome George is a Giant Tortoise from the small island of Pinta in the north of the archipelago. Found by explorers in 1971 He was alone on the...

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The Abbey of Mont St Michel

Just a few meters from the island’s small port, a one-roomed chapel rests next to the water. Crusted by barnacles and battered by decades of weather, a small statue of a bishop stands proudly on the roof. The chapel is one of the simplest rooms on the island; no ornate decoration or elaborate architecture has been used to create this small space, its size has dictated that four stone walls and a simple roof is all that’s needed. An...

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Paris on Two Wheels

There is something romantic about the idea of a meeting under the Eiffel Tower. In this case, however, my meeting was with a blond haired Californian named Kyle and there were over a dozen other strangers also meeting him. Kyle was also carrying a large sign saying ‘Bike Tour Meeting Point,’ which would dispel anyone’s final thoughts that this may be some kind of romantic encounter. Kyle was the tour guide for the morning and after a...

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The Empire of the Dead

‘Stop, here is the Empire of the Dead’. A sign warns as you enter the chamber. If you dare pass, as your eyes adjust to the light you might notice the rippling of the walls to the left and right. It is only as you become fully used to the dim light do you notice the skulls imbedded in the stone work, and that the stone work is not stone at all, but hundreds upon hundreds of bones, piled one on top of another, reaching almost to eye...

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Paris on a Budget

Like any large city, Paris is expensive and like for any visitor, the daily expenses add up. Below are a few practical suggestions, for every budget, on how to make the most of your money; however long your visit. Choosing the right travel Pass Paris’s array of metro options can seem daunting at first glance, but for visitors they basically boil down to two choices: taking a ticket for a single trip or buying a pass for one, or...

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Paris Museums

Paris has some of the best museums in the world, but not all of them have to cost you a fortune. All national museums are free on the first Sunday of each month ( but expect long queues) and if you’re under 25 you can enter the Louvre for free every Friday night (after 6pm) for free. Many other museums offer free entry at various times and there are over a dozen free museums which are well worth checking out. Some of the most popular...

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