www.fredolsencruises.com 137CORINTO - FORT DE FRANCEXXXcongestion put paid to that. The small Archeological Museum is interesting for the collection of relics from the Temple of Artemis, the ruins of which are just south of the town. The Museum of Asian Art is also worth seeing, if only for the neoclassical building, which used to be the residence of the British High Commissioner. The museum has a unique collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelains, bronzes, prints, ceramics, sculpture and paintings.Corinto, NicaraguaNamed after the Greek city of Corinth, Corinto is a small port close to the fascinating city of Léon. Centred round the magnificent Cathedral of the Assumption and full of stunning colonial buildings, Léon was the capital of Nicaragua for over two centuries. The original city was established in 1523 at the foot of the Momotombo volcano. When the volcano erupted in 1610, the city was damaged beyond repair and abandoned - Léon was rebuilt in its present location. The ruins of old Léon - Léon Viejo -still exist. Among the buildings that can be identified are the plaza, main street, the cathedral, a fort and a few private homes.Dakar, SenegalDakar is noisy and excitable and at any time of the day or night visitors are likely to stumble across an arts festival, a market or impromptu live music. Ile de Gorée is worth visiting to see the UNESCO-listed House of Slaves Museum as well as the (rather run-down) colonial buildings, many of which now house craft-shops and small bars. The excellent Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noir Museum tells the story of West African culture using fabrics, masks, carvings, musical instruments and farm implements. More controversial is the African Renaissance Monument, a massive statue dedicated to the continent's emergence from European colonialism. It stands on top of a 100m hill and can be seen from almost everywhere in the city, although it is not liked by some local people. Darwin, AustraliaMost of the buildings in Darwin date from the 1970s, since the city was virtually destroyed by Cyclone Tracy at Christmas 1974. At the Northern Territory Museum, one of the main attractions is a virtual-reality recreation of the event. The Museum has much else of interest, including local wildlife and maritime activities. At Crocodylus Park, just outside the city, there are over 10,000 crocodiles, along with a museum packed with information about these fascinating reptiles. The city's George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens are a bit more peaceful and the Bicentennial Park, which runs along the waterfront and adjacent beach, offers shaded walks under tropical palms. Dubai, UAEEverything about Dubai seems to involve superlatives: the world's tallest building, the world's biggest hotel, the first underwater hotel, the most extensive shopping mall on Earth - including the biggest indoor ski-slope, with real snow - and the largest man-made islands. Yet for all its relentless modernity, the city retains very strong links with the past, with many ancient buildings and some of the world's grandest mosques, including the Grand Mosque, with a 70m minaret and the fine Jumeira Mosque. Visitors to each are welcome, providing dress codes are respected. The Dubai Museum, in the 1787 Al-Fahidi Fort, reveals what life was like in the desert village that was Dubai before oil was found. Alongside the Creek is the Bastakiya quarter, which dates from the late 19th century, but has been recently restored. The Gold Souk is an attraction for many visitors: Dubai is the world's biggest gold re-exporter and in the Gold Souk vendors from all over the world sell jewellery in yellow and white gold, as well as silver and gemstones.Dublin, IrelandFamously friendly, Dublin has traditional pubs and modern bars, thriving markets and elegant shops, superb open spaces and some of the finest public buildings in Europe. The oldest university in Ireland is Trinity College, founded in 1592: it spreads out over the centre of the city with gardens, a picturesque quadrangle and cobbled squares. Trinity is home to the Book of Kells, a remarkable hand-written manuscript of the four gospels. It is displayed in the Old Library, although crowds of visitors make it difficult to get close. The Chester Beatty Library, inside the grounds of Dublin Castle, has other early illuminated gospels and religious iconography from a range of cultures. The vast open spaces of Phoenix Park - over 700 hectares in all - are crossed by tree-lined avenues, with livestock grazing the meadows and deer roaming the wooded areas. The park is where the Irish President and the US Ambassador have their residences - and it's also home to Dublin Zoo.Dubrovnik, CroatiaMany visitors start with a walk round the walls of the old town, which extend almost 2km and are 25m high in places. A great way to appreciate the baroque buildings, as well as to enjoy views out over the blue Adriatic. At the head of the main street, the Stradun, at the Pile Gate is Onofrio fountain, built in 1438 so people coming into town could wash away any plague germs. Behind the fountain is the Dominican Monastery, built by the citizens of the town in 1301, which has an excellent collection of medieval art in the adjacent museum. Walk down the Stradun and squares open out, many of them with open-air bars and cafés, while every corner seems to have sculptures or fountains, bell towers or gardens. At the far end of the Stradun is the magnificent cathedral: originally Byzantine, it was rebuilt as a Romanesque church in the Middle Ages and again in the baroque style following an earthquake in 1667. Dundee, ScotlandDundee has a rich and varied heritage that includes children's comics, marmalade, jute and polar exploration. City Square is overlooked by a bronze statue of Desperate Dan, the much-loved character from The Dandy comic, published in the city for over 70 years. Dundee Marmalade is still enjoyed all over the world, although to find out what made the city rich, visit the Verdant Works museum. This restored jute mill has working machines and interactive displays telling the rise - and fall - of the product used in everything from ropes to sacking. At Discovery Point, you can see the restored Royal Research Ship Discovery, built in Dundee in 1900: the Visitor Centre has a vivid exhibition about polar exploration.Durban, South AfricaA busy and exciting city, Durban has something for everyone. City Hall - an exact replica of the one in Belfast, Northern Ireland - houses the city's Natural Science Museum, as well as the Durban Art Gallery, which has the finest collection of traditional and contemporary Africana art in the country. Elsewhere, the Old Court House, dating from 1866 and the oldest public building in Durban, is a glorious example of the Natal Verandah style. It is home to the local-history museum.Wilson's Wharf, on the Victoria Embankment, has superb harbour views, and offers a mix of fast-food stores, interesting cafés and bars, fine restaurants, and friendly pubs. For peace and natural beauty, Durban's parks are delightfully calm: the Botanical Gardens have walks among trees, palms and colourful flowerbeds. Or just relax on the city's sun-soaked beaches and watch the world go by. Eidfjord, Hardangerfjord, NorwayThe land around Eidfjord has evidence of some of the oldest settlements in Norway. There are burial mounds from the Iron Age and about 350 Viking graves on the Hæreid plateau, about 20 minutes' walk away. This is also the gateway to the Hardangervidda National Park, where over 20,000 wild reindeer roam free; it's thought they were hunted here as far back as the Stone Age. Today the reindeer are joined by horses, goats and sheep, along with an enormous range of birds, from snowy owls to eagles. The Hardangervidda Naturscenter in Eidfjord has audio-visual presentations and displays about the park, its flora and fauna.Worth seeing is Eidfjord Old Church, a stone building dating from 1309 - it was allegedly built by a domineering local woman, Rike-Ragna, to atone for her many sins. With a couple of hours to spare, the spectacular Voringfossen waterfall, about 20km away, is an amazing sight, situated at the end of the Hardangerfjord power station.Ferrol, SpainIt was from Ferrol that the Spanish Armada was launched in 1588, the defeat of which was an iconic event in British history. The town was also the birthplace of General Franco, the former Spanish dictator. The grid-pattern of streets gathered around the town hall makes it easy to explore, and there are some interesting little squares, with pleasant open-air cafés. Ferrol is also ideal for day-trips to Santiago de Compostela or into the Galician countryside.Flåm, Sognefjord, NorwayFlåm is a tiny village on the banks of the Aurlandsfjord, one of the branches of the beautiful Sognefjord - the longest and deepest fjord in Europe. The setting is utterly spectacular. A stroll along the waterside, past orchards and hamlets, cottages and farmland, helps to explain why this area is so enduringly popular with visitors. Back in the village, the pretty church with its traditionally decorated walls, is one of the oldest in Norway.In recent years the Flåm Railway has become a major attraction. Finished in 1944, it climbs over 20km and almost a thousand metres through magnificent scenery, in and out of mountains, past waterfalls and ravines, pausing at the beautiful Kjosfossen waterfall for a photo opportunity. Down in the village, the Flåmsbana Museum tells the story of the railway's design and construction.Florø, NorwayEstablished in 1860, Florø is a charming little town, despite the presence here of some fairly major industries, including shipbuilding, fish-processing and a support base for the North Sea oil industry. The main street, Strandgata, is close to the Cruise Terminal and has some delightful restaurants and cafés. The Coastal Museum recreates a coastal village with old boat houses and fishermen's cottages, along with several old boats. There's also an interesting section in the Museum about North Sea oil. For something completely different, visit Florø's lighthouses, the largest of which is still manned. Fort de France, MartiniqueThe largest city on the island of Martinique, Fort-de-France is surrounded by steep green hills into which are tucked houses in a bewildering array of shapes and sizes. In the centre many major buildings are made out of iron. These include the extraordinary Cathédrale St-Louis, which was largely rebuilt in 1978 in the style of a 19th century predecessor and the Schoelcher Library, built for the 1889 Paris World Fair and shipped to the island piece by piece. There are a couple of interesting museums in the town. The Regional Ethnography Museum has displays on the sugar-cane industry which sustained the islands and on the slaves who worked in the plantations. The Museum of Archaeology - exploring the island's pre-Colombian past - stands in front of La Savane gardens. This delightful open space has tree-
138 Telephone 01473 742424 or contact your travel agentFORTALEzA - HAMILTON ISLANDCultures of the Adriaticshaded walks and formal floral displays, surrounded by charming bars, cafés and some chic boutiques. Fortaleza, BrazilOne of Brazil's biggest but least famous cities, Fortaleza has developed into a major tourist centre, with the spectacular beaches becoming a magnet for both Brazilian and international tourists. But this is not just a beach restort. The excellent Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura includes museums, cinemas, theatres, galleries, a planetarium and cafés in an extensive complex linked by elevated walkways. The Parque Ecológico do Côco was established to protect the mangrove forest alongside the Rio Côco. The Memorial da Cultura Cearense is one of several excellent museums in the town. It is dedicated to the culture of the Ceará region, of which Fortaleza is the capital, with displays about the local cowboys and the Padre Cícero cult. Praia do Futuro is the city's most popular beach - 5km of soft rolling sands.Funchal, MaderiaFunchal has a magnificent natural harbour protected by hills that rise up over 1,200m. Compact enough to be explored by foot, it offers plenty to see. The central point is the Sé Cathedral, completed in 1517, which retains several original features. However, many of its treasures can now be seen in Funchal's museums, notably the Sacred Art Museum, which has major collections of religious art, sculpture and jewellery. Also worth a visit are two museums devoted to products which made Funchal wealthy: the City of Sugar Museum and the Madeira Wine Institute Museum. With rich volcanic soil and a magnificent climate, Funchal has many stunning gardens. The Monte Palace Tropical Garden has exotic plants from all over the world, as well as those from ancient forests native to the islands. Equally impressive is the Jardin Botanico, high in the hills. It can easily be reached by the magnificent Botanical Gardens cable car, which gives wonderful views over the city.Fujairah, UAEThe only one of the seven United Arab Emirates on the Gulf of Oman, Fujairah is mountainous, unlike the desert Emirates on the Persian Gulf, resulting in rainfall that is higher than in the rest of the UAE; the fertile coastal area is given over to farmland. The local souk is open daily. Unlike many, it mainly sells goods for local residents, such as plants, spices and textiles, rather than tourist goods and souvenirs. Along the Corniche there is a smaller evening souk which sells generic goods and copies of branded items such as perfumes, watches and clothing.Galveston (for tours to Houston), USAAlthough Galveston is often seen as just a port city providing access to Houston, its historic downtown area, The Strand, has been sympathetically restored over the past 20 years. The museums, fine buildings and 50km of beaches are a delight to visit. Houston, USAHouston itself is full of surprises. Famous as a focus of the oil and gas industry - and for the Johnson Space Centre - it's also home to museums, galleries, concerts, sports and a fabulous choice of restaurants and bistros. The Johnson Space Centre is a unique opportunity to see how astronauts train for missions, to touch a moon rock and to find out how to land a space shuttle. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a multi-faceted complex that includes a planetarium, exhibitions, Imax theatre, the Cullen House of Gems and Minerals, the Wiess Energy Hall and a butterfly centre. Gaspé, CanadaThe French explorer Jacques Cartier landed here in 1534, claiming it for the King of France (although he thought he had landed in Asia) and so Gaspé lays claim to being the birthplace of Canada. Since Cartier, the area has attracted people from all over Europe, XXXand this rich heritage is celebrated with a signposted walking tour through the town which remains French-speaking to this day. The local tourist office provides audio guides and there are several explanatory display boards dotted through the walk. It's also worth travelling out to La Gaspésie, the headland jutting into the St Lawrence, where shipwrecks punctuate the coast and the cliffs are scarred by glacial markings.Getxo (for tours to Bilbao) SpainBilbao was established in 1300, set into a loop of the Nervión River, so that water protects it on three sides. The Old Quarter is small, but it's the place to find the city's more interesting bars and cafés - and to see the delightful Plaza Nueva, which is enclosed by 64 elegant arches. There's a flea market here every Sunday. Within the Old Quarter are ancient churches, notably the Iglesia de San Nicolás and the Basílica de Begoña, which has huge religious paintings by Luca Giordano. The Catedral de Santiago, dating from the 14th century but with a mid-Victorian façade, is nearby. For many, the main attraction is the Guggenheim Museum. This stunning creation of tumbling cubes and sensuous curves, covered in titanium squares like the scales of a fish, shocked local people when it was first built. However, although they still call it "The Beast", most have come to love the building for its homage to the city's maritime heritage - and its symbolism of Bilbao's regeneration.GibraltarThe Rock of Gibraltar is a giant limestone mass rising 425m out of the sea. Gibraltar is almost more British than the UK: policemen in familiar uniforms, red phone boxes and pillar boxes, and shops that could have come from any British high street. But this tiny country also shows traces of a long heritage dating back to its origins as Calpe, a Phoenician trading centre. A stroll round the walls of the old city - built by the Moors - provides more insights into Gibraltar's history. A cable car climbs up from Main Street to the Upper Rock Nature Reserve where visitors can see the Barbary Apes. From here, the Great Siege Tunnels can be visited: these were cut into the Rock to house cannons that protected Gibraltar over the centuries. In the centre of town are the Gibraltar Museum, covering the history of the Rock from pre-historic times, the impressive Roman Catholic Cathedral, in a converted mosque, and the Anglican Cathedral overlooking the harbour. Goa, IndiaWith a unique mix of Indian and Portuguese influences, Goa is both a classic beach resort and a sightseeing delight. Most of the interesting buildings are grouped close together. The Arch of the Viceroys was built in 1597 to commemorate Vasco da Gama's arrival in India, while the nearby Church of St. Cajetan is modelled on St. Peter's in Rome. Opposite the magnificent Sé Cathedral, which is bigger than any church in Portugal itself, is the Basilica of Bom. Here the remains of Francis Xavier, a founder of the Jesuit order and patron saint of Goa, lie in a silver casket next to the altar. There are several interesting museums in Goa, including the museum of archaeology, which has collections of manuscripts, coins and other artefacts from its history. Gozo, MaltaGozo is said to be Ogygia in Homer's Odyssey, the mythical home of the nymph Calypso. It's been inhabited for about 7,000 years, and in the Ggantija temples and the nearby Xaghra stone circle there are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. The story of prehistoric Gozo is told in the Museum of Archaeology, in the Citadel of Victoria, Gozo's capital. Ta' Kola windmill, built in 1725, is close to the Ggantija Temples and has a folklore museum. Travelling around the island, visitors can see an astonishing number of churches, including one in the village of Xewkija with a capacity of 3,000 - more than the population of the village itself - and a dome larger than St. Paul's. Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos IslandsWith sun-drenched beaches and a beautiful sea, Grand Turk is a haven for both swimmers and those who just want to sunbathe. Cockburn Town is the historic centre of the island, an unspoilt place where donkeys still wander round the streets. The heart of the town, along the waterfront, has buildings that are two centuries old, with bleached wood and limestone facades and gardens filled with fragrant bougainvillea. The Turks & Caicos National Museum is housed in Guinep House, built with timbers salvaged from ships wrecked on the offshore reefs. The highlight is the remains of a Spanish sailing ship that sank in the shallow offshore waters some time in the early 16th century. It was excavated in the 1980s and displays include artefacts used by the sailors. The museum also has exhibits about the islands' ancient salt industry and the people who lived here before the time of Columbus.Halifax, Nova Scotia, CanadaCanada's most visited national historic site is the massive star-shaped fort, the Citadel, which sits at the top of Halifax's central hill. First constructed in 1749, the latest version was finished in 1856. The museum in the fort tells its fascinating story, and the views from the walls are truly spectacular. Halifax Public Gardens provide a delightfully peaceful way to cross the city on foot - a complete contrast to the busy refurbished waterfront. Down there, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a real must-see, with a range of outstanding exhibits from the story of Samuel Cunard to the artefacts from various local shipwrecks and a poignant display about the loss of the Titanic. Hamburg, GermanyA city of huge contrasts, Hamburg was virtually rebuilt after the Second World War, although there are still a few historic buildings. The fine baroque church of St Michaelis has a famous dome of hammered-copper: take the lift to the top (or climb the 450 steps!) for wonderful views over the city and the River Elbe. The 14th century Gothic church of St Jacobi, which was restored in the 1950s, has some excellent medieval art, as well as one of the largest baroque organs in the world.In the centre of the town, the beautiful Lake Alster is an oasis of oak, lime and chestnut trees, with delightful walks among the flowerbeds and statues. For those who prefer shopping, the Lange Reihe has everything from chic boutiques to international brands, while at the other extreme is the Reeperbahn - one of the most famous streets in Germany - with everything from red-light shops to theatres and clubs. The Museum of History tells the story of Hamburg from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, with different rooms about the harbour, culture and social life. Art lovers will enjoy the Museum of Art, which has work by modern artists, as well as by German painters throughout history. Hamilton Island, AustraliaOne of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is ideally situated right in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, with crystalline blue water, lovely beaches and magnificent corals. As well as giving the best possible opportunity to explore the reef, the island offers a huge range of activities. Watersports include waterskiing, sailing and fishing trips, and there is a go-kart track, shooting range, mini-golf, driving range and a wildlife sanctuary where visitors can cuddle koalas or stroke baby crocodiles.