www.fredolsencruises.com 139HAVANA - IRAKLIONXXXHavana, CubaA beautifully preserved city, Havana retains all the vibrancy and fabulous architecture that come from its heritage as a Spanish colony. African influences, palm trees and a wonderful climate make this city visually beautiful. There are some quite superb buildings and peaceful shaded squares, especially in La Habana Vieja - Old Havana. Here is 500 years of colonial heritage, with perhaps the highest concentration of museums and galleries of any city in the world. The City Museum - Museo de la Ciudad - in an 18th century baroque palace, tells the fascinating story of Havana from its earliest days. On El Prado, one of the old town's main avenues, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is housed in two beautifully restored buildings. One has Cuban art, the other an international collection.The 8km-long seawall goes from Old Havana to the trendy suburb of Vedado. Parts of the wall are rather dilapidated, but currently under restoration. Vedado has art galleries, restaurants, cafés, and cabarets, as well small family shops.Havre St. Pierre, CanadaCalled Pointe-aux-Esquimau after the Inuit who were the first inhabitants, Havre St Pierre was settled by Acadians - French speaking American settlers - who had originally been deported from Savannah, Georgia. Local people still speak French with an Arcadian dialect, rather than the Quebecois French spoken elsewhere. One of the area's main attractions is the Mingan Archipelago which stretches almost 100km along the Gulf of St Lawrence. The islands have strangely eroded rock pillars topped by lichen and other vegetation. There are more than 200 species of seabird living here and schools of whales often visit, sometimes visible from the foreshore. Helsinki, FinlandThe Finnish capital since 1812, Helsinki was recreated by the tsars of Russia as a miniature St. Petersburg - during the Cold War it featured in many movies as a substitute Leningrad. Visitors can take their pick of an outstanding choice of museums, as well as admiring an enormous variety of church architecture, not to mention the neo-classical railway station and Senate Square. Surrounded by sea on three sides and with a beautiful archipelago forming the city centre, the city has a very special atmosphere. Many attractions are within walking distance of each other, such as the Stockmann department store, the Kiasma museum of modern art, and the Russian Orthodox Uspenskij Cathedral with its distinctive cupolas. The Suomenlinna sea fortress, dating from the 18th century, is a massive structure, and a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. And many locals claim that a visit to the Fazer café and confectioner is as important as a museum visit: the original art deco interior and solid marble floors are the perfect environment in which to enjoy the unique cakes, pastries and custards. Hobart, TasmaniaSettled in 1804, Hobart is the second-oldest city in Australia, after Sydney, and it has many well-preserved colonial buildings, especially around the picturesque harbour and in the narrow lanes of Battery Point. Many of the fine sandstone warehouses have been converted into cafés, galleries and artists' workshops. The Narryna Heritage Museum, telling the story of wealthy merchants who settled on the island. At the other end of the scale is the Female Factory Historic Sites, a former women's prison which operated as workshop until 1856, housing over a thousand women and children at any one time. More energetic visitors can climb the 259 steps of the Shot Tower for views out over the town and harbour. Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamSaigon - as Ho Chi Minh City was once known - is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, combining ancient pagodas, frantic markets, sleek skyscrapers, French colonial buildings and towering churches. For people of a certain generation, Vietnam is forever associated with the war that ended in 1974, and the War Remnants Museum has grim reminders of the conflict, while at the Reunification Palace there are reminders of the country's struggle over the past few decades. A longer view of the country's history is presented in the Vietnam History Museum. Ben Tanh Market can seem overwhelming at first, but it's definitely the place to shop for authentic local souvenirs: at the other extreme, the rather austere Notre Dame Cathedral is set in a peaceful garden. Holyhead, WalesIt's claimed that Holyhead was founded by St Cybi, a Breton priest who came here in the middle of the 6th century. Although it is best known as a busy ferry port, it has excellent fishing and sailing facilities, as well as good local beaches. Several prehistoric sites are nearby, including ancient burial chambers. The Maritime Museum, in the centre of town, has comprehensive information on more than a hundred shipwrecks that have occurred in the area around the island, including a range of artefacts recovered from the Irish Sea. The displays depict the maritime history of the town from the Iron Age to modern times. The South Stack Lighthouse outside the port has a long climb to the top, but the views are excellent. Honfleur, FranceHonfleur, with its pretty 17th century harbour, is one of Normandy's most charming ports, boasting some fascinating museums, churches and monuments. The Maisons Satie is the house where Honfleur's very own Erik Satie was born in 1866. He was a musician and painter - and visitors can wear helmets which play recordings of some of his compositions to augment the displays. Honfleur attracted many of the Impressionists and the Musée Eugène Boudin has an attractive collection of paintings, including work by Boudin. The Musée du Vieux Honfleur has interesting collections of old furniture, lace, embroidery and farm equipment representing life in bygone Normandy.Sainte-Catherine church is an interesting wooden construction built by ships' carpenters around 1500: the marine influence can be seen in the two parallel vaults in the shape of an upturned hull. NaturoSpace, on the edge of the town near the coast, is a giant greenhouse full of tropical plants and butterflies.Hong KongA teeming, pulsating city with over seven million people packed into less than 1,000 square kilometres, Hong Kong is like no other place on Earth. It's not just the towering skyscrapers and the chic shopping centres, the world's largest system of interconnected escalators or the technology paradise of Kowloon. There are stylish restaurants and friendly cafés, fashionable bars and fast-food courts. There are places of tranquility like the superb Zoological and Botanical Gardens and the leafy Victoria Peak with views out over the entire city, and there are amusement parks such as Ocean Park and Disneyland. There are Taoist temples, Buddhist shrines, mosques and churches. And there are perhaps a dozen world-class museums covering subjects as diverse as coastal defence, medical science, space exploration and modern art. For something completely different, there's the Star Ferry, plying its way between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, giving the clearest insight into the daily life of the local residents.Honningsvag (North Cape), NorwayThe world's most northerly village, Honningsvag was completely destroyed during the Second World War, but rapidly rebuilt. Now this beautiful little fishing port, with distinctive pastel-shaded buildings, attracts tourists from all over the world. The gateway to the North Cape, usually considered to be the "top of Europe", Honningsvag is framed by rugged mountains and the grey Arctic Ocean. On the North Cape, the North Cape Hall is a visitor centre offering wide-screen film presentations about the four seasons at the Cape, along with exhibitions, a panoramic window on to the Arctic Ocean. In the Kompasset restaurant, good food can be savoured while enjoying fabulous sea views: the Grotten Bar is a huge cave, cut into the face of the Cape cliff, in which to enjoy a coffee and freshly baked waffles.Ibiza, SpainAlthough it has a reputation as the clubbing capital of Europe, the island - especially the town itself - is really beautiful. Over thousands of years, Phoenicians and Carthigans, Greeks and Turks, Moors and Britons have come here and left their mark. The island's capital - Eivissa in Catalan - has a superb Old Town, with 16th century walls surrounding tightly packed cobbled streets. The main entrance is the Portal de Tablas, which passes into a courtyard leading to the main square. Take any of the streets off the square and find wonderful restaurants, tiny boutiques and family-owned cafés and bars. The castle complex has several museums, including a fascinating room that was only discovered in 2002 and was found to be full of ancient ceramics. From the castle battlements there are great views out over the town, as well as to the 13th century Cathedral of Santa María.The Can Marça Caves is a complex of ancient caverns which were once used by smugglers: stalagmites and stalactites decorate the caves. In the Archaeological Museum there are displays, including information about a Carthagean burial site next to the Museum. For more recent artefacts, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a small but interesting collection of work by contemporary artists.Ilhabela, BrazilThe volcanic island of Ilhabela - Portuguese for "beautiful island" - is popular for watersports, including sailing, snorkelling and free diving. The island itself is mountainous, with peaks reaching almost 1,400m and covered in dense forest. There are well-signposted hiking trails through the trees and the chance to see some of the 350 waterfalls that tumble down to the sea. There are also more than 40 superb beaches on which to relax and enjoy the tropical sunshine and deep blue ocean. The main town, Vila Ilhabela, has some delightful Portuguese colonial buildings, as well as friendly bars and cafés.IJmuiden (for tours to Amsterdam), NetherlandsPlease refer to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Invergordon, ScotlandInvergordon was formerly known as Inverbreakie. The earliest mention of this settlement is of a castle which existed here around 700 years ago. The natural harbour has been used to export local produce for centuries and was a naval base through to the 1950s. The Scotland Naval Museum and Heritage Centre in the town tells the story of the port's long association with the Navy. There's also an 18-hole golf course at the western end of the town with fabulous views of the Cromarty Firth and of the mountains to the West. Iraklion, GreeceAs with many Greek cities, Iraklion's history is part and parcel of daily life: the central square is dominated by a fountain built by the Venetian governor in 1628 and the town hall dates from the same time. Visitors can walk round the old city walls, ending up at a bastion overlooking the old harbour. Not to be missed is the Minoan city being excavated at Knossos, 5km south
140 Telephone 01473 742424 or contact your travel agentISAFJORDUR - KOTA KINABALUof the city. The well-preserved ruins include palaces, villas and temples: the Archaeological Museum has a fabulous collection of Minoan artefacts. The Ethnographic Museum of Crete is also interesting for its excellent collection of Cretan artefacts. Isafjordur, IcelandPerched on a sand-spit jutting out into an inlet on one of northwest Iceland's deepest fjords, Isafjordur has a fine natural harbour which has made this one of the country's main fishing and trading centres for over 250 years. Set against a backdrop of steep mountains, the town has some of the best preserved timber buildings in Iceland, and the streets that straddle the sand-spit have warm cafés and charming family-owned restaurants, many serving delicious locally-caught fish. Over recent years, Isafjordur has held a couple of annual music festivals, and many musicians of all kinds have made the town their home: impromptu street performances are a highlight of summer days. Also of interest is the Ósvör museum, which recreates a 19th century fishing station, and the Westfjords Heritage Museum, offering a fascinating insight into the lives of local fishermen over the years. Istanbul, TurkeyFor over a thousand years Constantinople was the centre of the Byzantine Empire. After the name was changed to Istanbul it was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 500 years. The city is a unique mix of Europe and Asia, with mosques and churches, museums and palaces, the Great Bazaar, noisy cafés and chic restaurants. The Old City - also known as the Historic Peninsula - is an open-air museum combining Roman, Greek Orthodox and Islamic buildings, and some of the most magnificent displays of wealth in Europe. The 16th century Blue Mosque gets its name from the 20,000 blue tiles used in its construction, although the colour actually changes during the day - it's sometimes yellow or red. Nearby the Topkapi Palace, once the home of the Sultan and his 5,000 family members and servants, is now home to several museums of Ottoman history. Among other wonderful buildings is the Hagia Sophia, a unique mix of Christianity and Islam: a church with minarets and a mosque with pictures of the Virgin Mary. Of the dozens of museums in the city, one of the best is the Archaeology Museum. The biggest in Turkey, it traces the history of the city back to 6000BC. Kalundborg, DenmarkHoejby, Kalundborg's historic quarter, is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Denmark, with many buildings dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Esbern Snare, step-brother of the Danish king, laid out the streets back in the 10th century, alongside the castle that protected the natural harbour. To begin with, houses were crammed within the protecting walls, but in later centuries the town spread to outlying areas. In addition to exploring the charming streets of Hoejby, don't miss the delightful Birkegårdens, which are flower-filled for most of the year. Katakolon, GreeceKatakolon is just a short distance from ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games were held in 776BC. The Olympic torch is still lit here, at the Temple of Hera, and it's still possible to walk through the arched gateway of the original stadium. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia tells the story of the Games, as well as displaying carvings and statues from the Temple of Zeus. Close by Katakolon is the Mercouri Vineyard, with modern production facilities masked by Italianate buildings - including a private chapel - beautiful gardens complete with peacocks, and a visitor centre housing a collection of antique tools and equipment.XXXKiel, GermanyKiel is a long-established maritime city, a position it has maintained in part at least because of its location at the eastern end of the Kiel Canal. Opened in 1895 to link the Baltic and North Seas, this is the busiest man-made waterway in the world. But Kiel is much more than a seaport: as a university town, it has a very youthful feel. The town was almost completely rebuilt following the Second World War, with broad boulevards and wide squares around which are dotted open-air cafés, bars and restaurants. The viewing platform on top of the 107m tower of the Rathaus or city hall provides spectacular views, while another popular sightseeing spot is the Hindenburg Embankment alongside the waterfront. This is very popular as a vantage point during Kiel Week, when the town hosts the internationally famous Regatta. Key West, Florida, USAThe southernmost city in continental USA, Key West is the biggest of the Florida Keys, a chain of islands that stretches out into the western Caribbean. Compact - the size of New York's Central Park - and relaxed, it is a lovely city that is worth exploring away from the port area. For such a small town, there is a surprising number of museums, including Robert Frost Cottage, the Lighthouse Museum, the Shipwreck Historeum, the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum and the Oldest House, which houses the Wrecker's Museum. One of Key West's most famous residents was Ernest Hemingway and his home - where he wrote novels in the 1930s - is now a museum. Another is the Little White House, where President Harry S. Truman spent winters during his term in office.The Aquarium has been open since the 1930s and provides an excellent opportunity to experience the indigenous marine life of the Florida Keys. The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is worth seeing, as is the quirky Key West Cemetery. Here the tombs are stacked on top of one another, since the rocky ground made it impossible for early settlers to dig graves. It's something of a tradition to have irreverent and funny epitaphs: one of the most famous is "I told you I was sick!"Kingstown, St VincentFrench settlers moved here in the 1720s to take advantage of the deep natural harbour and over the years Kingstown has grown into the centre of St Vincent's agricultural industry. Overlooking the western part of the town is Berkshire Hill and Fort Charlotte, which is reached by a viaduct. One curiosity is that its guns point inland: it was felt that the seaward side could take care of itself. The old barracks now house a museum. The Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 1765. Captain Bligh (of the Mutiny on the Bounty) brought breadfruit seeds here in the late 18th century. Along the waterfront and in the town's pretty squares there are always plenty of places to relax, from family cafés to restaurants serving fresh fish and vegetables: watch out for lambi - conch - which is a local speciality.Kirkwall, Orkney Isles, ScotlandKirkwall feels more Scandinavian than Scottish: in fact the name comes from the Norse for "Church Bay". The church in question is the 11th century Church of Saint Olaf of Norway. St Magnus Cathedral in the town was founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson by the Norseman Earl (later Saint) Rögnvald Kali. The Cathedral has been restored over recent years and the work is still continuing. It's well worth visiting, as are the nearby ruins of the former Bishop's Palace, dating from the middle of the 12th century, and Earl's Palace, said to have been the finest Renaissance building in Scotland. Kirkwall has two excellent museums as well: Tankerness House, a beautifully preserved 16th century town-house, has historical collections of major importance; while the Orkney Wireless Museum has comprehensive displays about the history of radio.Klaipeda, LithuaniaAlthough its origins can be traced back to medieval times, Klaipeda was virtually destroyed in the Second World War - it had a population of just six in 1945. The part of the Old Town that survived includes a single tower of its once-famous castle, housing the Klaipeda Castle Museum which tells the story of the town and the castle. It's just one of several slightly quirky museums in the town. Others include the Lithuanian Maritime Museum and Aquarium, a Museum of Clocks - from water clocks to quartz watches - a Regional History Museum, and a Blacksmith's Museum. All are well worth seeing, although the local cafés, selling hot chocolate and freshly made cakes, should not be missed either. Komodo, IndonesiaThe beautiful hilly islands of Komodo and its neighbour, Rinca, form the basis of the Komodo National Park. This was established in 1980 to protect the habitat of the unique Komodo Dragon, the world's largest lizard, which grows to more than 3m in length. After the National Park was established, its remit was extended to protect the entire ecosystem, which supports other rare animals, including the Timor deer. The surrounding seas have extensive coral reefs, mangrove swamps and sea-grass beds which are home to thousands of fish species, as well as sharks, dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles and several types of whale. The park has been a World Heritage Site for the past 25 years. In order to protect the fragile ecosystem, visits to the island are strictly controlled. Guests will only be able to go ashore on organised tours, which have limited capacity.Koper, SloveniaKoper traces its origins to the Roman town of Caprea. It was renamed Capo d'Istria when it joined Venice in 1278. The old city dates from this era and part of the ancient walls remain, including the Muda Gate, which was once the only way into the town by land. There are many fine buildings in the old quarter, including the Cathedral of the Assumption which was built in the 12th century. The main façade was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, while the interior was redecorated in the 19th century. The largest church building in Slovenia, the Cathedral dominates the central square in the old town. On the south side of the Koper Square is the Praetorian Palace, from the 15th century. It has recently been fully restored and houses the local tourist office - with its exterior stairway and elevated wings it is a fine example of Venetian Gothic. There are several attractive buildings in Carpaccio Square, named after the Venetian painter of the same name. In the middle is Saint Justina's column, which recalls the local people who rose up against the Turks in 1571 .Kota Kinabalu, MalaysiaThe capital of Sabah province on the island of Borneo, Kota Kinabalu has become increasingly popular in recent years as a base for exploring the lush rain forest and in particular the magnificent Mount Kinabalu. At more than 4,000m, this is the highest peak on the island dominating the city skyline. It has over 800 species of orchid and more than 600 ferns. The city has some interesting buildings, including the century-old Atkinson Clock Tower, which is built on a hill beside Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. It gives great views of all the main sights, including the nearby Sabah State Mosque, with its delicate grey walls and glittering domes. The State Museum combines a museum, botanical garden, zoo and a recreated Sabah village - all in the one place. Nearby is the Centre for Science and Technology and Sabah Art, with a building inspired by traditional longhouses. The six galleries have rich collections of local tribal artefacts.