Saturday, 15 June 2013


26th August to 2nd September 2012
I left Chester bound for Mull at 5am on 26th August 2012 and calling at Glasgow to pick up Pia and Kirstin, arriving there at 9.25am (without getting lost in the city).  At the back of 10am we were on our way to Oban and had a brief stop for coffee in Tyndrum.  At 1pm we were in Oban to do our big shop in Tesco and to fill up the car with fuel.  While waiting for the ferry to Mull we had fish and chips by the harbour only for our meal to be constantly attacked by seagulls.  We sailed at 4pm taking us three quarters of an hour to cross to Craignure.  It was then a 32 mile journey to Bunessan and to Traigh Mhor Cottage for the week, arriving at 6pm.
Our cottage, excellent in every way was on the sea front so it was a short walk to the headland point in the middle of Loch Na Lathaich (sea loch).  Here we were fortunate to see our first otter or was it a small seal?  Light was fading so it was difficult to be certain.  It was a delightful new quiet world for the three of us and a full week of discovery lay ahead.
After a long day (for me - I had driven 368 miles!) we all enjoyed a lovely evening meal.  We were all happy with the lovely cottage Kirstin had chosen with excellent facilities – I was given the best bedroom.
Monday 27th saw us wake up to a very wet morning but after breakfast we went on a 11km circular walk from the cottage round the peninsula to Carraig Chorrach and then onto Achnahard and into the main village of Bunessan before returning to the cottage for a light lunch.  Thereafter I went sea fishing for an hour but alas no luck.  One of the attractions of Mull and in particular Ross of Mull (where we were located) is the fantastic beaches.  In the late afternoon we were bound for Ardalanish Bay which turned out to be a lovely location.  We enjoyed a walk along the golden sands and we sat in the dunes just to enjoy the clarity and quietness of all our surroundings and all the bird activity on the tide line.  Having shopped at the nearby Organic Farm we were going to sample the local produce in our evening meal that evening.
Tuesday turned out a dry but breezy day and after debate around the breakfast table as what to do and I was out voted 2-1, we were bound for Iona which was a key location on our agenda.  We left at 9am for the short journey to Fionnphort, parking in the village car park and then taking the short ferry crossing at 9.55am to the Island.  Vehicular access is not allowed for non-residents.  The sound of Iona was indeed choppy to say the least but we stayed on deck to watch gannets all around us dive like white spears into the ocean.  They were catching fish being the master fishers they are.
We firstly visited the Nunnery ruins, with its tranquil cloister gardens which was established in 1203 as a Benedictine convent.  Then we visited the famous Iona Abbey and joined a tour to be shown round which we all very much enjoyed.  We had discussed walking round this small Island, renowned for its tranquillity and natural beauty and this we did reaching the north of the Island and looking across to Eilean Annraidh.  Coming across the west coast we passed over some lovely beeches.  Near Shian we cut inland and went over the Island’s golf course before climbing up to Loch Staoiheig.  From here we reached the wild pebble beach at Port an Fhir-Bhreige.  Massive waves rolled in from the Atlantic so we sat and watched with fascination.  It was then a walk back across small hills and moor land areas coming in at Sligneach.  We had coffee in the St Columbus Hotel where we met a very interesting Lady from Edinburgh who had been coming to the Island since she was a girl guide at the age of 14 years.  She is a member of the Iona Community and has a great liking for the Island.  At 6pm we were on the ferry once again on our way back to Mull.  We all had a most fantastic day which will never be forgotten. 
We were all looking forward to Kirstin’s organic beef which was being cooked in a slow cooker.  It turned out wonderful as was our pre dinner drinks on a bench outside the cottage.
We had allocated Wednesday 29th to do an Island tour and we did find that Mull was indeed a large Island.  Once again we were away at 9am and at Loch Beg we turned left onto the B8035 and stopped on the west side of Kilfinichen Bay to see if we could spot any otters.  Here we watched two peregrine falcons having a squabble on telegraph poles, 200 yards or so from us.  Before reaching Balnahard we spotted a sole eagle high above us.  Was it a golden or a sea eagle, we could not be sure?  At Scarisdale Point we stopped for a picnic lunch and here I picked some common periwinkles as a starter for our evening meal.  At Salen we stopped for coffee and cakes in a cafe.  It was then on to Tobbermory and a look round this lovely small town.  At Tort we had perhaps our best sighting of eagles.  Two golden eagles were hovering above us for a few minutes and we watched their every move.  They had appeared from nowhere and just as quickly these majestic birds vanished from site.  Calgary Bay was another place we wished to visit and here we stopped and walked on the beech.  It was busy with people and Pia decided to go for her annual Scottish swim.  She did ever so well swimming for half an hour or so and not feeling the cold.  From here the single track road twisted up and down, around blind corners but the good thing was that there was little traffic.  At Ballygown we stopped to watch red deer.  Two young deer some how or other had got caught on the opposite side of the fence from the rest of the small herd and were trying hard to rectify the situation.  Alas while watching we did not see this happen.
At the Sound of Ulva we looked across to the Isle of Ulva but alas not enough time to visit.   The road then winds its way along the north side of Loch na Keal until it meets the B8035 once again.  At 7.30pm we arrived safely back at our cottage for our evening meal and afterwards we watched the Olympics on TV.
The weather forecast had forecasted that Thursday 30th was to be a good sunny day and this turned out to be correct.  We had the ascent of Ben More 966m planned for today.  We were parking our car at Traigh Doire Dhubhaig at 10.30am and we were taking the recognised path past the dwelling house at Dhiseig to the top.  At times there were very strong winds and we had to be careful on the high ridges.  Two golden eagles again circled above us as we made our way to the top at1.45pm where we stopped in the stone shelter for a short lunch break.  It was then a scramble down a steep and rocky ridge and then up to A Chioch at 867m at 2.15pm.  It was our original intention to also climb Beinn Fhadar at 702m but by mutual consent we turned left and descended down Gleann na Beinne Fada and back to our start point at 5pm.  We were back to the cottage at 7pm and being a sunny evening we once again had pre dinner drinks in the garden.  Another glorious day and we were all to sleep well.
Friday was a wet day so we were all dressed in our waterproofs and boots and after doing a small shop in Bunessan we were on our way to Ardchiavaig and the beech at Port Uisken where once again I gathered common periwinkles but again failed to find the mussels I was looking for.
Alas Saturday came all too soon so the last day of our holidays.  After debate over breakfast as to which beech we went for, we decided to head for Pottie (1 & 2) where we would park the car and then walk to Toba.  Once there we would walk to Cut-a-Bhaile and reach the extensive bay at Bagh a’Chnoic Mhaoileanaich where I must have a chance of finding mussels.  It was also the opportunity to visit another small Island – Erraid – as the tide would be fully “out” as we reached it.  Walking along the water edge we spotted a number of what I call “mussel graveyards”.   On finding mussels in mussel beds, seagulls drop the shell in flight onto rocks 20/30ft beneath them which break the shell and they thus avail them selves with the desired and enjoyable contents.   Thus I knew mussel beds were around and it was just a case of finding them.   It did not take us long to find them and we left with a plastic bag full for our last evening meal.  We then crossed the narrow stretch of sand to Erraid and walked on its north shore.  It was then back to the main land and up a narrow track that took us to Knockvologan and back to Toba.  I walked back for the car while Pia and Kirstin walked to Fionnphort for coffee and here I would pick them up.  The skies above me were getting greyer and greyer as I reached the car and at the back of 3pm it got very wet and this set in for the rest of the afternoon/evening.
Pia took on the task of cooking the mussels after I had cleaned them.  We had cold white wine kept for the occasion which was also enjoyed.
Alas Sunday was to be the drive back to Glasgow (Kirstin and Pia were catching the 3pm train from central station to Euston) so it was time to do packing and leave the cottage for our early morning departure at 9am.  We all enjoyed a great time on Mull.  Memories and laughs will always be vivid.
May 2013


28th June to 2nd July 2012
“An Exciting Destination”
Gordon Clements had done over 30 year’s service with The Group (“TG”) and wanted to celebrate with a City Break.  Stuart Middleton and I had both previously worked for TG so the offer to join him was readily accepted and after due discussion on a number of Cities Berlin was the city we all agreed on.  After much hotel research we settled on the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin, Alexanderplatzlt (4*) right in the centre of the city and it turned out a great place to stay.
The number of days you spend on holiday in a particular place needs to be carefully thought about and to me it is essential that you do some research on what you want to do, sightseeing, where to stay and the choice of restaurants and other attractions.  I was charged with this research and the Agenda (not cast in stone) is an addendum to this overview, thus ensuring we had options for an active day, every day.
Views on the City and our activities
We found Berlin just a magic city and we all had a wonderful time in all that we did and saw.
We enjoyed good short flights from Manchester to  Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and used the Airport train on both occasions which was fast and efficient taking us into Alexanderplatzlt where our hotel was located.  The weather was also good which permitted us to go sightseeing/carry out activities each day.  We opted to purchase the Berlin Pass which we found to be of good value but before purchasing this make sure you are able to take advantage of what it offers.
The highlight for us was the Fat Tire Bike Tour of the city.  Our brief half day to Potsdam was enjoyable but if you go you do need a whole day there.  Visiting The Berliner Dom (the dramatic Cathedral) and going onto the rooftop was fascinating with spectacular views across the city.  We made a couple of visits to Checkpoint Charlie, saw the remains of the Berlin Wall, visited Hitler’s Bunker and paid our respects at the Jewish Memorial.  On a sunny afternoon we enjoyed a cruise on the River Spree.
We ate out for breakfast each morning and tried out the cafes detailed in the Agenda and found these very good.  We ate at a variety of restaurants and in particular found Monsieur Vuong (Vietnamese) Alte Schonhauser Strasse 46, 10119 Berlin-Mitte, a busy and enjoyable restaurant.
I would recommend a visit to the city if you have not been and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
July 2012
(See below)
 Berlin Visit
28th June to   2nd July 2012 (4 nights)
“An Exciting Destination”
Berlin is seen as a City of surprises and contrasts – of old and new, of east and west, of city and countryside.  It is the capital of Europe’s most powerful country and is one of the most dynamic cities in Europe.  This exuberant and exciting City is perhaps best covered from a central location which will have good transport links (tube, city rail, bus & tram) thus maximizing our ability to see its main attractions.  With this in mind we have settled after much research for the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin, AlexanderplatzIt (4*).  Berlin is a City perhaps beyond our imagination as to diversity.  It is a 24-hour city, and you’ll never be short of something to do.  The variety of bars and restaurants is one of the city’s great strengths and its legendary, pretty much non-stop, nightlife is another.
On any holiday you go on it is important that you have an Agenda for what you want to do and achieve.  It is of course flexible.
These have been put in place with Easy Jet at a cost of £332.78 (£110.93 each).
Berlin Pass
We have looked into this and we can gain the pass ahead of arriving in Berlin so it makes sense we purchase it for the savings involved and the great convenience.  E225.35 (£62.66 each). 
We want to maximize our sightseeing time in the City and this listing seeks to identify key attractions. 
  • Unter den Linden – premier boulevard
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Unesco - Museum Island (excellent collection of museums and galleries – Pergamon (No 1 attraction), Altes, Bode, Neues and Alte Nationalgalerie)
  • Interior of the Sony Centre
  • Fernsehturn - Panoramastrasse 1A – eastern bloc relic has the best views over the city
·       Holocaust Memorial by architect Peter Eisenman
  • Arched bridge and The Berliner Dom (Cathedral) over the East Berlin canal
·       The Wall
·       Checkpoint Charlie
  • The Reichstag – Platz der Republik
·       Trendy Hackescher Market Area
·       Chamisso Quarter
·       Jewish Memorial
·       Victoria Park. Victoria is the highest elevation of Berlin, affording a most magnificent 360 degree views overlooking the entire City
·       Boat cruise on River Spree.  Four operators offer circular tours, usually lasting 3/4hrs but passengers can hop on and off at landing stages en route

·       Tiergarten – Berlin’s answer to Central Park
  • Day trip – Potsdam, (30mins on S-Bahn) location of Frederick the Great’s palace and gardens. Rent a bike to see round the area.  Potsdam is Berlin’s Versailles. Sanssouci – a landscaped park is a must.  Hollandisches Viertel or Dutch Quarter is the most attractive part.
·       Peruse the flea markets (Trodelmarkt am Arkonaplatz  Sun 10am- 4pm - is one of the best.)
·       Prenzlauer Berg – well balanced mix of cafes, better restaurants and late-night nightlife
·       Stasi Museum
·       Olympic Stadium
·       Schloss Charlottenburg
·       Anne Frank Centre
·       Segway Tour -  Segway telephone number:  +49 30 24 04 79 91, or from inside Germany: 030 24 04 79 91

Eating in Berlin’s restaurants is inexpensive by international standards.  A 15% service charge is added.  Italian, Greek, Turkish (Kreuzberg) and Asian restaurants provide the best bargains while traditional German places tend to be pricey and their food served is heavy and old-fashioned – dumplings, roast pork, sauerkraut and the like.  Wines mainly white but a good red is Spatburgunder – similar to Pinot Noir.
  • Chai Yo Thai, Number 1 on Trip  In Kreuzberg area
95A Skalitzer Strasse, Berlin, Germany  030 6951 5260
  • Das Original   Vietnamese No 3 on Trip  In Geisbergstrasse 12/ Ecke Ansbacher Str., 10777 Berlin, Germany 030 - 23 62 60 90
  • Fassbender-Rausch - Café style but serves dinners, and ranked 4 on Trip
Charlottenstrasse 60, Berlin, Germany 30 20 45 84 43
  • Marjellchen - Top rated German restaurant and rated 6th of over 1400 on Trip in Berlin
Mommsenstrasse 9, 10629 Berlin, Germany 030-8832676.
Microbreweries and beer gardens
The house beers in these places are generally top quality.  Beer gardens are popular particularly along the shores of the city’s lakes in Kopenick and Zehlendorf.
  • Brauhaus Georgbrau – Spreeufer 4
  • Brauhaus Mitte – Karl-Liebknecht-Str 13 (all the trappings of a Bavarian Beer Hall)


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Chicago, Illinois – “Simply Magnificient”

This world class city is a great city to explore and enjoy
 Monday 9th to Monday 16th2012
For many a year I have wanted to go to the “Windy City” (so named after the city’s history of bellicose “windy” politicos, notorious for spinning a line) and in July 2012 my wish came true.  It is one of America’s great lifestyle cities and the birth place of skyscrapers.
Temps were wonderful at an average high of 84F/average low of 63F.  Summer colour can be seen all over the city.
One afternoon there was a thunder storm and guess what - no waterproofs!
Over 44 million fellow visitors flock to the city annually seduced by its pioneering architecture, world class museums and galleries, vibrant nightlife, Michigan Avenue shops and the bustle of the Loop.  The Loop (the birth place of the skyscraper in 1885) – the City’s central business district and “heart” is Chicago at its most iconic.  The City covers some 228sq. miles of which 5% is devoted to parkland.  It has a population of just below 3 million.
It’s not possible to see everything and to do everything that Chicago has to offer in one trip but to make sure that I maximised what I did, I came up with an “Agenda” to be a flexible guide and not to be cast in stone.

I landed at O’Hare International Airport (3 domestic terminals (1/3) and 1 international terminal (5) a very busy location on the City’s northwest side, about 17 miles outside the city centre.  Travel options into the city centre are:
·         (CTA) Blue Line El Train runs 24hrs and costs $2.75 one way - say 45 minutes.  The station is under the main parking garage, a short walk from most of the terminals.  Follow the signs marked – “City Transport”.
o   Ventura card soon to be coming
·         Airport shuttle dropping you off at your hotel for around $27.
·         Taxis are your most expensive option and you are at the whim of the traffic, so $45 upwards.

I was so lucky in sitting beside Maina Bagwanadee on the flight, (she hails from the city) not only did she review my Agenda and made changes, she suggested restaurants and areas of the city to visit; she also took me to the CTA and advised me where to get off for my hotel.  A massive thank you from me.

Who do you fly with and from where?

Virgin had a sale on and was the cheapest option from Heathrow, London.  The alternative was out of Manchester with US carriers.  I wanted a direct flight and have always wanted to fly with Virgin – this was the opportunity!!   Airbus with 312 passengers plus 16 staff on the way out (7hr flight) at a height of 38,000ft.  Both flights were so relaxing with this carrier.

The Hotel

My hotel - W Chicago Lakeside, 644 N Lake Shore Drive at E Ontario St   A lake front location with rooftop bar – Whisky Sky.  It had a gym and small swimming pool so this permitted daily exercise.  As well the hotel has its own restaurants and bars.  Thus a wonderful base (well located) to have in the city.  One negative was the busy dual carriageway (Lake Shore Drive) between the hotel and the lake.  The plus was the cerulean blue of Lake Michigan dotted with white sailboats, whitecaps glinting in the sun and lots of people enjoying the lake’s special and inviting shoreline.

Getting Around

The public transport system is extensive and the service remarkably efficient -  The Chicago Transit Authority’s subway and elevated train system (better know as the El) runs on eight lines and are colour coded.  You can purchase Visitor Passes which permit unlimited travel for a set number of days.  3 days $14.  You can buy passes at the airport on arrival.  Buses also accept Transit Cards and Visitor Passes as well as coins and bills. 
Also check out the Ventra, which is soon to replace the Chicago card.
Activities/Sightseeing (Delectable Options) (This is not in any order of preference.)
I was on the go early every day and got back to the hotel late.  I must have covered miles in all that I did and saw and here are a few of the activities that were excellent:-
·          Chicago City Centre Tour – best experienced on a boat (Chicago Architectural Foundation’s Cruises being best.  Here it is the architectural river cruise – tickets at the base of the stairs at the southeast corner of Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive where all cruises depart.)
·          Visit Millennium Park (a project to celebrate the 21st Century) and The Bean – bounded by Randolph St, Monroe St, Michigan Avenue & Columbus Drive. Must.
·         Navy Pier – 600 E Grand Avenue - is a bustling recreational and cultural centre (3,000ft long & 400ft wide). Must.
·          Historic Water Tower – North Michigan Avenue - one of the city’s most familiar and treasured landmarks which was built between 1867 and 1869 and survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  It witnessed the city’s survival and rebirth and is a continuing inspiration for generations of Chicagoans.  It was so special to look up at this unique building.
·       Art Institute of Chicago – 111 S Michigan Avenue - one of the top museums in the world.
·       Harold Washington Library Centre – 400 S State St - largest library in the world. Go all      the       way up to the winter garden, very pretty and not expected
·       The Shedd Aquarium – 1200 S Lake Shore Dr - largest indoor aquarium in the world.        Explore an exotic world with some 20,000 animals.  I found this visit fascinating as I did the       “Girl with the Dolphin Tattoo” and walked there and back from my hotel. Must.
·       Sears Tower – 233 S Wacker Dr.  103rd floor Observatory (1,451ft) – tallest building in      the       US – western edge of Loop (enter on Jackson St). (Now called the Willis Tower.)    Well     worth the money spent to get to the Skydeck and then onto one of the Ledges –   dare walk on   Air? - $17.50.   You also have a “360” view of the city far below.  It is    fascinating to watch    the busy roads teeming with cars and with the clarity on the day you          were able to see          four surrounding states.  Must.
·       The Lakeside Path (20miles+) – explore the shores of Lake Michigan (3rd largest of great             lakes & 5th largest freshwater lake in the world) by walking or renting a bike.  I looked a    couple of times at hiring a bike but alas never found the time to do this despite having my       cycle shorts.  However I did walk sections of the path as well as numerous miles   each day in     the city.
·       North Avenue Beach (City’s most popular) or Oak St Beach.
·       Chicago History Museum – 1601 N Clark St.
·       Chicago Culture Centre – 77E Randolph St.
·       Lincoln Park (1,200acres!) and Zoo (free).
·       Cocktails at the Signature Room – John Hancock Tower.  Again I visited the tower which             was a short distance from the hotel but did not go to the top as I did the Willis Tower the    day      before.
·        The Historic Maxwell St. Market;
·       Adler Planetarium
·      Segway Tour – again I did not find the time to participate but saw lots of people enjoying   themselves on this special tour round the city.
·       Tourist Office – 1st Fl of the Chicago Cultural Centre  Good     information and helpful staff.
·       Within the Cultural Center in the Preston Bradley Hall see the 38-foot Tiffany glass dome
     thought to be the largest Tiffany dome in the world.
·       State Street – still prime retail and entertainment corridors.
·       Michigan Avenue – shopping and very busy.
·       Dan Ryan Expressway – busiest roadway.
·       Chicago Country Musical (early July) in Grant Park.
·       Rock Around the Block (mid July) Lakeview.
·       Chicago Folk and Roots Festival (mid July) Welles Park.
Dining out is a huge part of the city’s culture; there are over 7,300 restaurants.  In July you need to know you’re A-B-C’s!  (Alfresco, Brunch & Cocktails).  More relaxed and down-to-earth than in other major cities, something that is reflected in the proliferation of reasonably priced restaurants.  Portions are generous so when asked – do you want the full portion or half – when in doubt go for the half?  Most visitors stay in the River North/Magnificent Mile area.  Wandering away from the loop will generally result in a more unique dinning experience and an “adventure”.  Rush St., Halsted St in Lincoln Park and Wrigleville are recommended.
The diversity of what you can eat is massive:-
·      Italian – beef joints
·      Steak houses
·      Tapas bars
·      Burger places
·      Barbecue and rib joints
·      Pizza (deep-dish pizzas)
·      Hot dogs
·      Meat-free
·      Mexican
·      Cheap-but-terrific ethnic restaurants
·      Old-school delicatessens
·      Funky neighbourhood bistros
·      Popcorn shops.  Garrett popcorn shop – 26 W Randolph St
     (Caramel-and-cheese popcorns!)
·      Doughnuts – Doughnutsvault  (401 N. Franklin St)– yum!
·      Relaxed weekend brunches.
·      Sushi
There are soooooooo many wonderful restaurants in Chicago – it’s a food-lover’s dream so you will have no difficulty finding a place to eat.
·         Restaurants I tried and liked were Maggiano’s (Little Italy)  516 North Clark St. – wonderful food,  Su Casa (Mexican), here the margaritas were intoxicating!! and Timothy O’Toole’s.  Attempts to have a meal at the Frontera Grill – 445 N Clark St (said to be best Mexican food in US) failed as there was always a queue and thus a long waiting time.

Breakfasts were excellent with such exciting and extensive menus.   I ate in a few and liked them all but I would mention Yolk at 355 E. Ohio Street –  Also West Egg Café at 620 N Fairbanks Ct ( At E. Ontario St).  Perfect place for breakfast in the heart of the city.  Excellent quality and spotless service at good prices.  What a great way to make a start to the day!
(Tipping – 15% - 18/20% for excellent service – calculate tip before sales tax of 9.75%)
I enjoyed a visit to Fox & Obel on 401 East Illinois – such interesting quality food and drinks.  The location is recognised as the best gourmet market in the city and well worth a visit.
Drinking in Chicago remains a serious pursuit – you’ll find more sports bars than in New York and Los Angeles combined.  Also popular are the city’s beer gardens.
The bar scene tends to be quiet early in the week, picking up on Wednesday and through the weekend.  Beers tasted were Goose Island (312 & Honker’s Ale), O’Toole’s Amber Ale, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Tyranena Bitter Woman (IPA) and Old Style, a lager brewed in Milwaukee.
My favourite bar was Timothy O’Toole’s,  a quality Irish sports pub (45 TVs) with a restaurant menu.
Here I met Joe Beck from Cincinnati who was on business in the city and we shared a number of pints one evening.  Thank goodness it was not too far back to my hotel!
Another favourite place was the Hard Rock Café at 63 West Ontario, a large interior on different levels with a great atmosphere and good choice of real ales.
(Tip 1$ for round of drinks.)
Chicago has one of the best music scenes in the US. The city’s musical identity is rooted in the blues.
·         Buddy Guy’s Legends – 754 S Wabash Ave
·         House of Blues – 329 N Dearborn St
·         Premier Jazz Club – Green Mill Tavern – 4802 N Broadway, Uptown
·         Excalibur – 632 N Dearborn St – is perhaps the most mainstream club in the city.
Other Information
  • Dial 911 for emergencies
  • Dial 311 (event info)
  • Get “Chicago on the go” – available on the App Store.
  • – packed to the brim with everything you could possibly need to book your trip to the city.
  •  City of Chicago – Official Homepage
  • Pick up the free Chicago Reader and the New City – lots of up-to-date information.
  •  - entertainment details.
  • The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 burned for 36hrs destroying most of the buildings in downtown Chicago, all of which were made of wood.  In 1874 a bylaw prohibited the building of wooden structures downtown.
  • Chicago prides itself on being one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the US.
  • Al Capone (1899-1947) – the city’s reputation for lawlessness was secured in the 1920s.
  • Hot Tix - 72 E Randolph St– a ticket agency provides half price tickets for theatres on the day of performances.
  • Chicago is on Central Standard Time (one hr behind Eastern Central Time and 6 hrs behind Greenwich Mean Time.)  2nd Sunday in March clocks are set 1 hr ahead and ends on the 1st Sunday in November when clocks are set back 1 hr.
  • International direct dial 01144 for UK.
Just a wonderful city that I will never ever forget.  Ever wonder where the wonder has gone?  My advice is go to Chicago and wonder; you can only be fulfilled.  I was.
Almost a year on it is so enjoyable to remember all that I did, all that I saw, all that I wondered about and I would love to go back again but with so many cities around the world still to be seen, the opportunity to do so, alas is remote.
April 2013

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