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  • A wee drive around Ireland | Expedia.com.au
    a four day whirlwind tour Dublin to Cork via Waterford Heading south out of Dublin our first stop was a mere 20 minutes away at the beautiful Powerscourt Estate Our first mistake was not allowing enough time to tour the gardens which includes the pet cemetery Italian Gardens the Japanese Gardens Triton Lake and the Tower Valley full of soaring trees planted up to 200 years ago Instead we sat on the veranda of the 800 year old manor and had cream tea Waterford A stop at Waterford was always on my to do list because I was keen to buy a piece of the famous Waterford crystal The factory is open for tours where we met crystal cutters who have spent eight years in training before earning their title Alas the crystal turned out to be a bit beyond my budget but I learned a lot about the art and now know why it s so spendy It was here our trusty GPS got us lost while trying to visit the mother of a friend from home Eventually after wanting to kick it in the plug hole we arrived for afternoon tea at 6pm Cork The fog was rolling in as we finally made our way to Cork for the night to our B B Gabriel House A B B is the perfect spot to experience a full Irish breakfast Expect white and black pudding not for me thanks eggs bacon and more Very full we headed off for Blarney Castle via a quick drive through the city Two nights here would be a great amount of time to browse the shops visit museums ring the bells at St Anne s Church shop at the English Market the oldest of its kind in Europe and have dinner at a traditional Irish pub Blarney is only 10km away so we kissed the stone on our way to Limerick via the Dingle Peninsula Limerick Sadly for the cute fishing village of Dingle about two hours drive away the weather made it impossible to see much more than the inside of a pub for lunch But I did meet a group from the US who were based here for their entire two week holiday such is its charm June through to September are the most popular times for a visit to Ireland by Expedia s Aussie travellers those rolling green hills get the least rain during summer Limerick is only an hour and a half from Cork or two hours from Dingle an easy day trip if you were to stop for a couple of nights in Dingle or Cork We stayed in the very central and stylish George Hotel Fans of author Frank McCourt can take an Angela s Ashes walking tour or there s shopping to be done and a good nightlife and pub scene Wander across to the Locke Bar for dinner with traditional Irish music in a cute pub on the edge of St George s Quay Galway

    Original URL path: http://blog.expedia.com.au/ireland-roadtrip/?destination=europe (2014-01-04)
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  • Backstage in the magical world of Harry Potter | Expedia.com.au
    double decker unloads wand carrying wizard hat wearing passengers This is the Warner Bros version of the Knight Bus Harry Potter s late night transport in the Prisoner of Azkaban the Order of the Phoenix and the Deathly Hallows Ok it s not the one from the movies More on that later Every day the bus ferries hundreds of muggles to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour The Making of Harry Potter On board the commentary gives us more insight into the world of Harry Potter than the cookie cutter streets of Watford any one of them could be Privet Drive When the bus stops we re definitely somewhere different This is where the magic happened for 10 long years the Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden was the base for much of the filming of the Harry Potter movies and is now open to the public Allotted in 15 minute time slots tickets sell out weeks in advance In summer last year you had just as much chance of scoring a seat at the Olympics If you miss your timeslot you might miss out altogether London is still one of the most popular European destinations for Expedia s Aussie Travellers It s busy year round but particularly in summer So get your act together early and book now Most Read 1 All Aboard the Sea Cabin fever is a term you definitely won t hear aboard the Allure 2 Listopedia Serious Are you serious about where you soak Hotel bath tubs are big 3 Listopedia Bucket Lists Want to suggest a Listopedia Bucket List topic Just let us know on Trending Topics Family Harry Potter London Tours Mr Weasley s flying car is suspended high above as we wait to enter the magical world of wizardry We walk past Harry s bite sized cupboard under the stairs watch a making of montage and hold our breath as nifty holograms of the three stars Daniel Radcliffe aka Harry Rupert Grint Ron and Emma Watson Hermione Granger push open the doors to Hogwarts Castle Warner Brother certainly knows how to make an entrance The Great Hall is a masterpiece yes there s only two long tables not four but each is laid with fantastical objects Water jugs with boar heads for spouts salt and pepper shakers shaped like bats This is just the beginning Inside the back lot there s hundreds of glass specimen bottles lining the walls of Snape s Potion Dungeon gravity defying desserts from the Yuletide feast piles of knick knacks from the Burrow Wigs warlocks wands and more wands A treasure trove of movie magic making Over three hours we unlock the secrets to broomstick flight find out how the giant spiders crawl on screen and marvel at the magic of goblin costume design We get our sugar fix with a foamy butterbeer think a super sweet ginger beer spider complete with foamy soft serve ice cream on top and meet up with the real Knight Bus Related Articles

    Original URL path: http://blog.expedia.com.au/behind-the-scenes-the-magical-world-of-harry-potter/?destination=europe (2014-01-04)
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  • A Barcelona Short Break | Expedia.com.au
    city planners There don t seem to be any rules to his gravity defying whimsical designs which are photogenic from any angle Gaudi s most famous piece of work is the Sagrada Familia Catholic church still unfinished and now classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site His apartment blocks Casa Mila and Casa Batllo look like gingerbread houses with curving rooftops and twisted metal embellishments Park Guell s curving mosaics and dramatic staircases are the perfect foreground to fantastic city views You could easily spend your weekend on a photo shoot with the city playing willing model showing her good side around every turn Or you could get cultural and go to the MNAC Museum National Art de Catalunya for your fill of Romanesque Gothic Baroque and Renaissance art Happily it s also home to a sought after terrace bar with great views of the city Most Read 1 All Aboard the Sea Cabin fever is a term you definitely won t hear aboard the Allure 2 Listopedia Serious Are you serious about where you soak Hotel bath tubs are big 3 Listopedia Bucket Lists Want to suggest a Listopedia Bucket List topic Just let us know on Trending Topics Barcelona Culture Food Sights Spain And since you re in Barcelona you should visit the small Picasso Museum The famous artist moved here with his family in 1895 before his art became blockbuster stuff You ll see his classic portraits and landscape work as well as nudey rudey sketches and ceramic pick up a postcard or two to say you ve been there done that Head back to Las Ramblas for the night This is where first timers should have a few tapas to fuel the evening s fire But for a more local experience the Gothic Quarter Barri Gòtic

    Original URL path: http://blog.expedia.com.au/salud-barcelonas-best-spots-for-people-watching/?destination=europe (2014-01-04)
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  • Hogmanay Edinburgh New Years Eve | Expedia.com.au
    the correct way Every year on the 31 st December the city of Edinburgh shuts down the CBD for a massive street party The party complete with concerts dancing and fireworks is a limited number ticketed affair and is usually sold out well in advance thanks to the popularity of the celebration If squashing in with hundreds of thousands of other people while fireworks light up one of the most beautiful skylines in the world is your thing I recommend you sign up on the official Hogmanay site here and buy tickets as soon as they re available It s a good idea to book your accommodation well in advance too Christmas and New Years Eve are busy times Check out Expedia s Top Trending Edinburgh Hotels for a few options Most Read 1 All Aboard the Sea Cabin fever is a term you definitely won t hear aboard the Allure 2 Listopedia Serious Are you serious about where you soak Hotel bath tubs are big 3 Listopedia Bucket Lists Want to suggest a Listopedia Bucket List topic Just let us know on Trending Topics Edinburgh New Year s Eve But if big crowds aren t your thing and they weren t mine when I visited Edinburgh there s definitely different ways to spend the festival Here s a couple of things you might want to consider instead of the street party First of all it s important to remember that Hogmanay to the Scots is at least a four day event Rather than scrambling for New Year s Eve tickets take advantage of the celebrations on the 30 th December and the first two days of January The Edinburgh wheel a huge Ferris Wheel set up each year on Princes Street is a great way to see the city

    Original URL path: http://blog.expedia.com.au/hogmanay-new-years-eve-in-edinburgh/?destination=europe (2014-01-04)
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  • The best little shops in Paris | Expedia.com.au
    work I don t mind if a painting was done by a four year old as long as it speaks to me of the place I bought it So you can imagine my delight when I was wandering along the banks of the River Seine right at the Pont Neuf near Notre Dame Cathedral and I discovered the bouquinistes This little 3km section of the Seine river walk is an institution in Paris and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site It s the Portobello Rd of Paris a treasure trove of vendors selling antique books prints and paintings Bouquinistes used book sellers have been plying their trade along this portion of the Seine since the 16 th century Their little green kiosks just two metres long by one metre wide are fixed to the stone walls and have played a big part in local history From distributing Protestant propaganda to hiding messages in their books during the World Wars they re your ordinary bookstore Most Read 1 All Aboard the Sea Cabin fever is a term you definitely won t hear aboard the Allure 2 Listopedia Serious Are you serious about where you soak Hotel bath tubs are big 3 Listopedia Bucket Lists Want to suggest a Listopedia Bucket List topic Just let us know on Trending Topics Culture France Paris Shopping Today it s not uncommon to pick up rare leather bound books with engravings dating from the late nineteenth century If you re a collector of antique books or etchings take your time These vendors gather their wares from surrounding flea markets antique shows and deceased estates so you might find something truly amazing Sadly there s still touristy tat like magnets and postcards the city government granted them permission to sell as times have become tough

    Original URL path: http://blog.expedia.com.au/the-best-little-shops-in-paris/?destination=europe (2014-01-04)
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  • London Markets | Expedia.com.au
    this narrow East End street Running from the boathouses lining Regent s Canal to the historic London Fields Park you ll find bookshops antiques and vintage clothing stalls not to mention some of the finest cakes the city has to offer The insanely pretty cupcakes from Violet are a real highlight and sell out fast Dine from one of the Vietnamese banh mi vans grab Mexican at The Taco Stand or tuck into a blue cheese topped burger from Lucky Chip just around the corner at spin off Netil Market If you want a really authentic East End experience order hot jellied eels from F Cooke s Pie Mash Shop which first started trading in 1900 Most Read 1 All Aboard the Sea Cabin fever is a term you definitely won t hear aboard the Allure 2 Listopedia Serious Are you serious about where you soak Hotel bath tubs are big 3 Listopedia Bucket Lists Want to suggest a Listopedia Bucket List topic Just let us know on Trending Topics England Foodie London Markets Camden Market Chalk Farm Road Nearest tube Chalk Farm and Camden Town Most stalls and shops open daily 10am 6pm Punk rock rave music and Camden go hand in hand and the area has long held a reputation for being home to alternative London It has one of the hippest high streets in London with rows of multicoloured shops decorated with large scale artworks and the multiple markets are equally cool First stop is Stables Market a labyrinthine nest of cobblestone paths leading through brick archways to a host of antique retro fashion and furniture stalls Why the name The market was once the site of a hospital for the horses who used to pull canal barges nearby Camden Lock is home to a market of its own with lots of alfresco food stalls Today Proud gallery is one of the newer occupants of the 200 year old building it s a great venue for live music and art exhibitions When it comes to food head to West Yard for When Mac Met Chees e As the name suggests this stall only sells variations on the classic American dish Our favourite is cheesy green afro which consists of vintage Stilton mozzarella and broccoli If that s not for you head to nearby Inverness Street Market for crepes at Artisans Crepier Brick Lane Market Whitechapel East End Nearest tube Aldgate East Open Saturday 11am 6pm and Sunday 10am 5pm Head east and you ll find another market saturated area at your fingertips First stop for food has to be The Old Boiler House at The Old Truman Brewery it s easy to spot just look for the tall red brick chimney Built in the 1830s it s now home to Brick Lane s buzzing food hall From vegan West African food to Japanese okonomiyaki the stalls regularly rotate so there s no guessing what you might find Just around the corner on Hanbury Street is the Sunday

    Original URL path: http://blog.expedia.com.au/london-markets/?destination=europe (2014-01-04)
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