134 Telephone 01473 742424 or contact your travel agentBAHRAIN CITy - BRISBANECultures of the Adriaticalleys, the old town has some real architectural gems including the Valdecarzana and Camposagrado palaces and the 13th century church of Sabugo. Most of the more interesting places can be found in the triangular area between the three parks - Meanas, Muelle and Ferreria. Bahrain City, BahrainBahrain wears its 5,000-year-history with pride. The Bahrain National Museum has superb displays tracing this history, while the ancient burial mounds are a relic of times when this island was the biggest cemetery in the world. Al Khamis Mosque is one of the oldest in the world - it dates from around 700AD - while Arad Fort was left behind by Portuguese and Omani conquerors: it's recently been restored using traditional materials such as coral and timber. For more recent living history, visit the Muharraq Heritage Zone - one of the city's oldest quarters. There are lots of art galleries showcasing works by local and international talent, including several in the Adliya's district where there are also some excellent local restaurants. The Souq Almaqasees is an old-style market selling everything from old records and textiles to food and live chickens. Baie-Commeau, CanadaAlthough it grew on the back of aluminium and paper industries, Baie-Commeau retains a charming small-town feel. The older part of town - established in 1889 - is known as Vieux-Poste, and was formerly the village of Saint-Eugène-de-Manicouagan. There are a couple of interesting churches: the Anglican church of St Andrew is built of oak and boasts a couple of superb stained-glass windows, as does the Sainte-Amélie Church. The latter, built of pink granite, also has splendid frescos. Outside the town the Jardin des Glaciers is, a 40 km2 landscape shaped by the glaciers of the Laurentian ice sheet: on the banks of the St Lawrence, a World Biosphere Reserve provides insights into the geology and history of the region.Banjul, The GambiaWith its colourful market, busy harbour, quaint museum and curious mix of architecture, Banjul is full of interest. Albert Market dates back to the 19th century and sells everything from souvenirs to fresh fruit: there are also lots of stalls offering food and drinks, from which to watch the hustle and bustle. For a complete contrast, a visit to Arch 22 is recommended. At the top of Independence Drive, which is home to many government buildings, the Arch stands some 35m high and commemorates The Gambia's independence from the UK in 1965. Elsewhere, a journey out on the creeks of the River Gambia is a relaxing way to spend an hour or so.Barcelona, SpainThe Catalan capital has some of the most diverse architecture of any city in Europe. Barcelona's buildings have Roman, Frankish and Castilian influences and every style from gothic to Renaissance, to the sometimes disturbing confections of the city's favourite son, Antoni Gaudi. His most famous building is the unfinished Sagrada Família church, a strange, almost melting building that was started in 1884, but is likely to take many more years to complete. More traditional is Barcelona Cathedral, dating from the 13th century, which dominates the tightly packed medieval streets of the Old Quarter. Previously there was a Roman temple and a mosque on this site. For many visitors, La Rambla, a pedestrianised avenue heading down to the port, is the essence of Barcelona. There's everything here from flower stalls to street performers, art galleries to grand buildings: watch for the Academy of Science, with its 150-year-old clock in the form of a giant watch and the Palacio de Moya with its lavish wall-paintings. There are enough museums to occupy the visitor for a week or more. Among the best are the Fundació Joan Miró, which has wonderful views of the city from the roof XXXterrace; the Contemporary Arts Museum; and the Picasso Museum, with superb works from the early 20th century. Basseterre, St KittsEstablished by France during the early 17th century, Basseterre became part of the British Empire following the Napoleonic War, while keeping its French name. Today, it retains much of its Georgian architecture, including the domed Treasury Building on the waterfront, through which every commodity (especially sugar) used to leave St. Kitts. In the middle of town is the Circus, a roundabout built in the 19th century. In the centre is the green and bronze Berkeley Memorial Clock, a cast-iron tower with four clock faces. St. George's Anglican Church was originally built by the French - who called it Notre Dame - but it was destroyed several times before being rebuilt in its present form in 1869. Independence Square was created in the late 18th century: it was where council meetings - and slave auctions - were held. It was named in 1983 to mark the creation of the independent Federation of St. Kitts and NevisBay of Islands, New ZealandCaptain Cook, on his first visit here in 1769, chose the name because of the 150 or so islands dotted around its deep-blue waters. Russell was the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand and it was here that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maori people and the British in 1840. The Russell Museum has fascinating displays about the development of the Bay area, including the story of the "Girls' War" in 1830. This bloody conflict resulted from an argument between two Maori women over the affections of a local whaling captain. These days, Russell is a place to relax and enjoy some the best scenery in the world. Belfast, Northern IrelandIn recent years Belfast has moved away from the troubles of the past and become a modern, vibrant and stylish city. On and around Great Victoria Street there are some excellent restaurants and a wide choice of pubs, while close to Queen's University are the fascinating Botanical Gardens, which have been established for more than 180 years. The unique Palm House was one of the world's first cast-iron glass-houses and it houses a wide range of tropical plants, ranging from bananas to rubber. Alongside the Gardens is the Ulster Museum, housed in a beautiful Renaissance-style building, which tells Ireland's 9,000-year history through art, ceramics, costume, and archaeology, including prehistoric artefacts from local sites. On the northern edge of the city is the impressive hulk of Belfast Castle, standing 120m above the sea. Built in the mid-Victorian era, it offers wonderful views over the city and out towards the Irish Sea.Bergen, NorwayBergen was one of the great Hanseatic ports, and this maritime heritage is recalled by the 900-year-old Bryggen Wharf, with its splendid museum. The Bryggen is a delight to explore: its narrow streets climb away from the waterfront, lined by interesting shops, colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled stairways, with alleyways and tiny open spaces that beg to be explored. In summer months every spare corner seems to be filled with pots and containers overflowing with colourful flowers that fill the air with perfume. Bergen is framed by seven magnificent hills, the highest of which can be reached by a funicular railway. From the top there are spectacular views down to the harbourside, where cafés, bars and restaurants welcome visitors from around the world. Bergen was the home of Norway's most famous composer, Edvard Grieg, and the Troldhaugen is a museum devoted to his life and work, including an exhibition centre, shop and café. Boca do Valeria, Amazon, BrazilBoca da Valeria is one of thousands of tiny settlements in the Amazon basin: fewer than a hundred people live here in wooden stilt-houses, with a dirt path in front and the river behind. The community makes its living from the river and each house has a boat slung at the back. There's a single-room school, a small church and a communal manioc farm, all of which can be visited. On the waterfront, thatched-roof stalls sell hand-made crafts made by local people and those from neighbouring villages.Bora Bora, French PolynesiaAn authentic tropical paradise, Bora Bora has beautiful sandy beaches fringed by gently swaying palms. A clear blue lagoon surrounds the island, enclosed by a reef of coral motus - islets - while the extinct volcanoes of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia tower over the whole island. It's easy to see why this is the destination of choice for honeymoon couples from all over the world.The marine life in the lagoon, including turtles, sharks, rays and tropical fish, adds an extra dimension to snorkelling or scuba-diving. Bremerhaven, GermanyEstablished as the port for the city of Bremen, 60km away on the River Weser, Bremerhaven was once Germany's biggest port, and much of its history is related to its maritime past. The National German Maritime Museum is in the middle of the old harbour, with a unique collection of more than 500 model ships, including magnificent sailing ships, whalers and the oldest wooden merchant ship in the world. On the opposite side of the harbour is the submarine Wilhelm Bauer, dating from 1943. More than seven million people emigrated from Germany for the New World, leaving on ships from the port of Bremerhaven. The German Emigration Centre in the town is a cutting-edge museum that celebrates this mass movement through video and audio installations.Bridgetown, BarbadosThe capital of Barbados, Bridgetown was originally known as Indian Bridge after the bridge built over the river - the Careenage - by indigenous Indians. Chamberlain Bridge was built in 1872, after which the name of the town was changed. This was a swing bridge, changed to a lift bridge in 2006.The main thoroughfare is Broad Street, lined with banks and some duty free shops. Rather more interesting are Swan Street and Tudor Street which have smaller shops, as well as some pavement stalls. At the top of Broad Street are the old Parliament Buildings: the Barbados Parliament goes back to 1639 and is one of the oldest in the British Commonwealth. The west wing of the building houses the National Heroes Gallery and Museum of Parliament. Opposite is what used to be Trafalgar Square (now National Heroes Square) with its statue of Lord Nelson - erected before the one in London. Brisbane, AustraliaGreen and leafy Brisbane is a nature-lover's paradise. Roma Street Parkland, right in the heart of the city, is the world's biggest subtropical garden, with wonderful collections of Australian plants and shrubs and glorious peaceful walks. At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, visitors can cuddle a koala or hand-feed a kangaroo, while enjoying an enormous variety of wildlife, from lizards to the Tasmanian Devil. The Sanctuary is on the Brisbane River - alongside the river there are lovely parks and riverside walks. There are also interesting cafés, seafood restaurants and trendy shops selling antiques, crafts and textiles.When the stunning St. John's Anglican Cathedral was finished a couple of years ago, it became the last neo-Gothic cathedral to be completed anywhere in the world. It took over a hundred years, as stonemasons used traditional building techniques to finish the work. Brisbane City Hall was once the tallest
www.fredolsencruises.com 135BUENOS AIRES - CASTRIESXXXbuilding in town and still offers excellent views from the top of the 90m-high clock tower. At time of going to press it was unclear what the long term effects of the January 2011 floods were. It is hoped all the city's facilities will return to normal as quickly as possible.Buenos Aires, ArgentinaStretched out along the Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires is the first sight of Argentina for many people - and what a sight it is. Enticing and exciting, the city has a complex cultural heritage drawn from half a dozen European countries, with architecture and an urban landscape to match. There is no main focal point, although for local people the heart of the country itself is the Pirámide de Mayo in the Plaza de Mayo. Built to celebrate the revolution of 1810 which gave Argentina independence, the original pyramid is hidden inside the current brick structure. Leading away from the Plaza is the Avenida de Mayo, a magnificent 19th century boulevard lined with wonderful buildings, many of which are now shops, galleries and museums. Along the avenue and in many of its side-streets are coffee houses, jazz clubs, tango bars and restaurants to suit every taste. Cadiz, SpainStanding on a peninsula, Cadiz is almost entirely surrounded by water, with a history dominated by the sea: as a Phoenician trading post, a Roman port and the launchpad for Spain's exploration of the New World in the 15th and 16th centuries. The old town is Moorish in style, with cobbled streets and small squares lined with whitewashed houses. Over all looms the golden-tiled dome of the Cathedral Nueva. Built with riches from South America, the Cathedral has breathtaking treasures, some in a museum inside the building, including the Custodia del Millón, a Eucharist set supposedly made with a million precious stones. The Fine Arts & Archaeology Museum and the Municipal History Museum are both interesting. In the former are fascinating collections of glassware, paintings and puppets, while in the Municipal History Museum is an ivory and mahogany model of the city made in 1779. And, as with all Mediterranean cities, there is always time to relax and watch the world. The seaside promenades are beautifully landscaped and lined with bars and cafés: in the summer, there are open air concerts under the palms. Cagliari, Sardinia, ItalyThe capital of Sardinia, Cagliari was an important port for both the Phoenicians and Romans, who built a magnificent amphitheatre here in the second century. Very well preserved, it is still possible to walk through the underground passages used by the gladiators and to see the pit for the wild animals that they fought. The old town still has many fine medieval buildings, as well as several ancient churches. The Basilica di San Saturnino is one of the oldest churches on the island; it was built before the sixth century, and possibly much earlier. Unfortunately, it was partly demolished in the 1660s to provide materials for the Cattedrale di Santa Maria. The Cathedral itself was begun in the 13th century, combining Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It has the graves of almost 300 Christian martyrs, as well the baroque tomb of Martin II of Aragon. The National Archaeological Museum, on the edge of the old town, has artefacts from throughout Sardinia's history, including bronzes from the Nuraghics who lived on the island about 3,500 years ago. Just outside the Museum is the Torre di San Pancrazio, a defensive tower built in 1305. From the top there are panoramic views of the city and the bay.Cairns, AustraliaPeople used to come to Cairns in search of gold. Now they come to experience some of the world's most stunning natural attractions, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. The Great Barrier Reef can be explored on tour boats leaving from the port area. An exciting way to see the rainforest is to take the Kuranda Scenic Railway - it goes north from the city, over bridges and through tunnels carved from the cliff-face - to the village of Kuranda. From there, the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway goes on a 7.5km trip, carrying passengers in glass-sided gondolas above the rainforest canopy, with a couple of stops en route to explore the forest floor.The focal point of Cairns itself is the Esplanade, a two kilometre boulevard along the shore with cafés, bars, piazzas and many of Cairns' fine historic buildings. It is also worth taking a look at the Tanks Art Centre and the nearby Flecker Botanical Gardens.Callao (for tours to Lima), PeruPeru's foremost port, Callao has long been an important commercial centre and it retains many fine colonial mansions, with elaborately carved balconies. The Real Felipe fortress is a huge building that was built to defend the city from pirates: it also played an important role in Peru's war of independence. La Punta, the area around the port, was once home to Lima's aristocracy. It has many stately houses and a wonderful seafront promenade with some delightful cafés in which to relax and enjoy the views. There are two excellent museums in the town. The Military Museum has important artefacts, including old weaponry, while the Navy Museum is devoted to the country's naval heritage. Çanakkale, TurkeyÇanakkale is at the narrow entrance to the Çanakkale Strait, also known as the Dardanelles, linking the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean. The area has been the scene of terrible conflicts through the ages, from the Trojan Wars - Homeric Troy is thought to be close by at Truva - to the Gallipoli Landings in the First World War. The hauntingly beautiful Gelibolu Peninsula Historical National Park has war graves and memorials to the half-million men on both sides who died in that conflict. In the town is an excellent archaeological museum with ceramics, furniture, burial artefacts, jewellery and sculpture from throughout the local area. There are fascinating displays of findings from recent excavations at the site of Troy, along with material from Hellenic tumulus dating back over 2,500 years.Cape Town, South AfricaOne of the most beautiful cities in Africa, Cape Town is dominated by the 1000m tall mass of Table Mountain, which offers a home to more than 9,000 different species of wildlife. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is a great way to get to the top, to enjoy wonderful views out over the city and the ocean beyond. The cosmopolitan style of the city is best shown through its architectural heritage, with everything from Cape Dutch homes to neo-Gothic churches, Muslim mosques to Georgian and Victorian colonial buildings. There's much to see here, such as thousands of marine creatures in the excellent Two Oceans Aquarium, the Castle of Good Hope - a 17th century fortress which is the oldest building in the country - and the Gold of Africa Museum, based in an 18th century townhouse. And not to be missed is Robben Island (pre-booking tickets is strongly recommended) which has been a fishing base, whaling station, hospital, barracks, and - infamously - a penal colony. Since 1997, when the Robben Island Museum was officially opened by its most famous political prisoner, Nelson Mandela, the island has become a symbol of reconciliation.Cartagena, ColombiaThis was the site of the oldest settlement in South America, with archaeological evidence dating from around 7000BC. What is now Cartagena is friendly, vibrant and very cosmopolitan. There's much to see here, starting with the 500-year-old forts which, with the remaining sections of the city walls, are reminders of when this was an important Spanish colony. The walls surround the old town, with a main entrance through the Clock Tower Building. The oldest part is around Trinidad. There are several fine churches here, including Iglesia de San Pedro Claver - named after South America's first saint - and the Cathedral, near Plaza de Bolivar.The Palace of Inquisition, in Plaza de Bolivar, is where the Spanish Inquisition was conducted locally. It's now a wonderful museum of the city's history. Also dating from Spanish times is the Castillo de San Felipe, a 1657 fortress built to defend the city against pirates. Nearby is La Popa Hill, with fine views of Cartagena and the port. Cartagena, SpainCartagena was originally built on five small hills: in Roman times, they surrounded a bay which has now dried up. The old town was carefully planned within city walls and includes a natural harbour that is watched over by the medieval Castillio de la Concepcion, from which there are superb views. Cartagena has been an important port for 2,000 years and it still has a substantial naval shipyard. Although many of the buildings from Roman Cartagena have disappeared, there are some important sites, including the amphitheatre that's under the bullring built in 1854. A Roman theatre, dating from around 100BC, was found in 1987 during excavations near the ruins of the 13th century Cathedral of Santa Maria, which was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. For a quirky treat, see the Museum of Carriages and Motorcycles, which has one of the biggest collections of motorbikes in Spain.Casablanca, MoroccoThe biggest city in Morocco - and with chic bars and a wide choice of stylish restaurants - Casablanca sometimes has a southern European feel. The Old Medina is small, but the crowded streets and tiny, overcrowded shops are worth exploring. The art-deco Ville Nouvelle - a legacy from France - is very attractive: look for the enchanting Rialto Cinema. Equally fascinating is the Jewish Museum, the only one of its kind in the Islamic world. It has excellent displays showing Morocco's ancient synagogues, cemeteries and other Jewish landmarks.Dominating the whole city is the breathtaking Hassan II Mosque. Built on a rocky outcrop of reclaimed land, it can accommodate over 25,000 worshippers inside - and another 80,000 in the courtyard. The 210m minaret is the tallest in the world: from the top a laser beam points the way to Mecca at night. Guided tours can be made of the vast interior, with its glass floor and marble walls.Castellón, SpainThe medieval part of Castellón is an absolute delight, with fine houses, elegant squares and the air suffused with the smell of the oranges that grow all over this part of Spain. The municipal museum is known as the Museo de la Naranja - the Orange Museum - telling the story of the fruit and its cultivation from the 17th century onwards. The Castellón Fine Arts Museum has several fine collections, including over a thousand ceramic pieces. The Cathedral of Santa María de la Asunción dates from 1939, a replacement for one destroyed in the Civil War, although the octagonal bell-tower, separate from the main body, was built in the 16th century. Castries, St LuciaThe bustling capital of St Lucia is easy to walk round and has plenty to see. The centre of town is Derek Walcott Square, named after the Nobel Laureate who was born on the island. In the centre is a 400-year-old samaan tree, in front of the uniquely decorated Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1897. There's a lively market in Jeremie Street selling everything from fresh fruit to wooden and leather products.