Search Results for Category: Europe

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Visit York, England

images Rick Steves. my travel hero, notes that York and Bath are his two favorite cities outside of London in the UK.  Having paid a visit to Bath with my family, senior travelers, get your coffee and let’s go explore York together.

York, rich in ancient history, romantic ambience and fun activities makes the perfect holiday destination for senior travelers. Renowned for its exquisite architecture and tangle of quaint cobbled streets, York is a flourishing city, just two hours by train from London.

York lies in the Vale of York, a flat area of fertile arable land bordered by the Pennines, the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds. The city was built at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss on a terminal moraine left by the last Ice Age.

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Seniors Seek Out The Shambles

The first mention of York by this name is dated to circa 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in Northumberland. The medieval city walls are a highlight for visitors, along with York Minster, the cathedral of York.

Seniors will enjoy the National Railroad Museum, the York Castle Museum, and The Shambles, York’s most famous street that is lined with timber-framed buildings housing a range of touristy shops, some dating back as far as the fourteenth century.

It was once known as The Great Flesh Shambles, probably from the Anglo-Saxon Fleshammels (literally ‘flesh-shelves’), the word for the shelves that butchers used to display their meat. As recently as 1872 twenty-five butchers’ shops were located along the street, but now none remain.

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 Seniors Find Historic Walled City

York is a historic walled city at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The municipality is the traditional county town of Yorkshire to which it gives its name. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events in England throughout much of its two millennia of existence.

The city offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural and sporting activities making it a popular tourist destination.

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The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained.

TripAdvisor notes nearly 200 things for seniors to see and do in York. You will not be disappointed in the least as it is one of the top tourist cities in the UK along with London and Bath. -jeb

 

 

SENIORS ENJOY ANOTHER DAY IN BATH


Seniors Visit The Roman Baths

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I’m one of those who would love to travel back in time for a day…or two. These seniors visited the Roman Baths in Bath, England.

Listening to the guided information plus using our imagination was perhaps a bit like walking back in time, back 2,000 years when the Romans built and used one of the finest spas of the ancient world. To reach the level of the Roman Baths, required descending 4 meters below the current street level.

With the use of audioguides, we followed the path through the extensive Roman ruins, listening to the story and marveling at the site. It was amazing to learn that the hot thermal waters continue to flow just as they did 2000 years ago.

 Seniors Walk To The Royal Crescent

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Another walk back in time for these seniors would be to meet Beau Nash, the man called Bath’s ‘Master of Ceremonies’ in the 1700′s.

As we were told on our walk to The Royal Crescent this man single handedly determined who could stop and stay in Bath and who had to move on, thereby creating an aristocratic destination for the wealthy of England.

The next walk back in time would be to Number 1 Royal Crescent, during the 19 years that Henry Sanford occupied it. The Royal Crescent was built, we were told, by Bath businessmen to rent to the wealthy English who came for a season to gamble, to play and to display their wealth.  “Bath became the Las Vegas of England in the mid 1700′s” we were told.

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Number 1 Royal Crescent was recently restored to it’s former beauty and grandeur and we found ourselves glued to the story told by the guides in each room of the house.

Jane Austin, 17th Century Condos And Bath Stone

The Circus is a circle of Georgian buildings, beautifully designed.  We were awed by the continuity of the stone in Bath…it’s all the same soft yellowish color.

In the center of the Circus are 5 or 6 very old, very big trees.  And on top of the circle of buildings is chimney after chimney after chimney. Then down Gay Street sits The Royal Crescent…a row of 18th century condos, all uniquely connected, forming a crescent shape.

One very interesting fact: the front of these amazing buildings is uniform and beautifully designed by the architect.  However, the back of the buildings was finished by someone else…anyone else…and any which way!

Royal Crescent Hotel Garden and jeb

Royal Crescent Hotel Garden and jeb

The Royal Crescent Hotel allowed us to walk through to the gardens behind.  This grand hotel occupies a part of the Royal Crescent and is truly elegant.

I was expecting to see where Jane Austin lived when we stopped at that museum. Her family home was actually across town.  A stop in a local pub for tea for me and a beer for jeb concluded our day.

to be continued…

jeannine

 

 

Filed under : Europe, Family Travel

THESE SENIORS TRAVEL TO ENGLAND


These Seniors Fell In Love With Bath

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These seniors had the sheer pleasure of accompanying our daughter to England for a two day class she participated in outside the beautiful, historical, intriguing city of Bath.  While she was ‘in class’, her parents walked the streets of England’s only World Heritage City.

We settled ourselves into Henrietta House’s Garden Suite, a lovely, charming and totally comfortable Bed and Breakfast. Then we headed off for the afternoon at the Thermae Spa. With two large baths to choose between, one indoors and the other out, plus 4 steam rooms each with different aromas we kept ourselves moving between the steam rooms and the water.

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My favorites were the Eucalyptus Steam Room and the Lemon and Ginger Steam Room It was the perfect way to balance the activity and stress of the first two days in London, jet lag and a not particularly comfortable hotel room.

These Seniors Love The English Countryside

The ride to Bath on the Express train was enjoyable. For this senior, it was the first return to England after about 45 years and coming from the Arizona desert, the green and lush of the English countryside was pure delight to our eyes.

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We discovered Bath to be a walking city filled with tearooms, coffee shops, very old, historic buildings, a beautiful Abbey, church spires, restaurants and more restaurants all with the River Avon running through it.  Young people, elderly, a medieval city restored, history and more history, oozing charm and beauty and very friendly, helpful residents.

I was especially enamored with names and chimneys: Quiet Street, Gay Street, Corn Street, Stall Street, Jolly’s, Slug & Lettuce, Pig & Fiddle, Vinegar Hill.  And the rows and rows of chimneys.

Tea Time And Dinner Time

Karen and her dad

Karen and her dad

We could make ‘Tea Time’ any time of the day.  And our first “Tea” was at Jolly’s….we found it in the back of a department store.  This senior had never experienced an  English Tea. Not only the tea, but everything that went with it…oh my…little sandwiches and sweets.

For whatever reason, it didn’t interfere with our dinner that evening, well at least not completely. Our hosts at the Henrietta House suggested we go to Clayton’s Kitchen for dinner, and we were not disappointed.  jeb ordered guinea fowl and Karen and I each dined on a salad: roasted goat cheese over squash and greens and for Karen, beet, feta salad.

Of course we walked everywhere, entranced with the history, the architecture, the cobblestone streets, the chimneys, the big, old Plane trees, the old historic buildings. The tearooms, the coffee shops, and the restaurants.  The museums, the Roman Baths, the Abbey. And friendly, helpful residents.

…to be continued,

jeannine

 

 

 

 

Filed under : Europe, Family Travel

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Discover An Historic Adventure In York

maxresdefaultYork, seniors learn, is a walled city in northeast England that was founded by the ancient Romans. Its huge 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster, has medieval stained glass and 2 functioning bell towers.

The city walls form a walkway on both sides of the River Ouse. The Monk Bar gate houses an exhibition tracing the life of 15th-century Plantagenet King Richard III.

Rich in ancient history, romantic ambience and fun activities, York is the perfect holiday destination for senior travelers. So get your coffee and let’s explore York this morning. Renowned for its exquisite architecture, tangle of quaint cobbled streets, iconic York Minster and wealth of visitor attractions, York is a flourishing city, just two hours by train from London.

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Search out The Shambles, a medieval street in York as well as the Mansion House that is home to the Lord Mayor of York. It is historic and beautiful.

The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jórvík.

Seniors Awed By Beautiful Gothic Cathedral

LonelyPlanet notes that seniors will discover history at every turn and nowhere in northern England says ‘medieval’ quite like York, a city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth that has lost little of its pre-industrial lustre.

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A magnificent circuit of 13th-century walls enclose a medieval spider’s web of narrow streets. At its heart lies the immense, awe-inspiring York Minster, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world.

In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading center. Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes.

 Seniors Awed Even By Train Station

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York lies at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in town. If you arrive by train, you will discover that even the station in York is awesome. The University of York has a building unlike any other you have ever seen. I know that my wife and I would enjoy an evening at York’s Grand Opera House.

Seniors can enjoy a High Tea at Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms.  TripAdvisor has over 300 things for you to see and do in York. Explore their site as you will also find lodging, restaurants and even vacation rentals.

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The city offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural and sporting activities making it a popular tourist destination for millions.

You will find York England to be an adventure.  Enjoy all that this historic city has to offer. -jeb

Filed under : Editors Choice, Europe

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Spend Time In Ljubljana

logo-en Seniors, have you heard of Ljubljana (pronounced [ljuˈbljàːna])? Me either, until recently when I read that this is where Donald Trump’s wife Melania spent her youth.

This capital has transformed from gray and drab with very little nightlife, into a picturesque and lively city full of restaurants, cafés, and nightclubs filled with tourists from across the globe.

Do you have your coffee?  I’ve got mine. Let’s go to Slovenia.

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One of the first impressions you will get is that it is an exceptionally young city. Ljubljana is home to over 50,000 students, who give it a special vibe. The symbol of the city is the Ljubljana Dragon.

 Seniors Enjoy This People-Friendly City

With approximately 280,000 inhabitants, Ljubljana is classified as the only Slovenian large town.  As its inhabitants and numerous visitors will tell you, Ljubljana is, indeed, a people-friendly city. Ljubljana offers everything a metropolis does yet preserves its small-town friendliness.

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Situated at the middle of a trade route between the northern Adriatic Sea and the Danube region, Ljubljana was the historical capital of Carniola, a Slovene-inhabited part of the Habsburg Monarchy, and it has been the cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative center of independent Slovenia since 1991.

Ljubljana, Slovenia is dominated with a huge majestic castle on a hill near the River Ljubljana that splits the town into two parts, like Buda and Pest. The city’s traditional color is green and the castle is illuminated at night all in green.

Seniors Enjoy City Of Wine And Vine

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In Ljubljana the old meets the new and it seems that history has spent all of the settlement’s five millennia preparing it to become the nation’s capital. It has managed to retain traces from all periods of its rich history.

 Senior oenophiles, Ljubljana did not earn the label of “the city of wine and vine” for nothing. In the past it was the wine-trading center of the region and grapevines were planted on the slopes leading up to the present-day castle by the inhabitants of the Roman settlement of Emona.

Strolling along Ljubljanica River is the Tromostovje Triple Bridge with small dragonlike statues on its side that connects two parts of the center. Seniors can visit Prešelen Square, Ljubljana’s most popular meeting point with the Franciscan Church of Annunciation on popular Čop Street, one of the main shopping areas in the city.

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Home to numerous theaters, museums and galleries,  Ljubljanica boasts one of the oldest philharmonic orchestras in the world. Seniors can fully relax in Tivoli Park or in the Town Square, then ride on a funicular to the top of Castle Hill, often labeled a “must see and do.”

TripAdvisor notes that Slovenia, wedged between Austria and Italy, is a perfect blend of German, Mediterranean, and Slovenian culture. Old Town tops TripAdvisor’s list and the Triple Bridge follows right behind. Enjoy scenic Slovenia and spend time getting acquainted with Ljubljana. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Head for Southern Italy-The “Toe”

_63397070_091012_italy_reggio_calabriaReggio di Calabria, commonly known as Reggio Calabria or simply Reggio, is the biggest city and the most populated commune of Calabria, Southern Italy. Senior friends, get your coffee, we’re going to the “toe” of the Italian Peninsula to Reggio Calabria, situated on the slopes of the Aspromonte, a long, craggy mountain range that runs up through the center of the region.

The third economic center of mainland Southern Italy, the city proper has a population of more than 200,000 inhabitants spread over 236 square kilometres (91 sq mi), while the fast-growing urban area numbers 260,000 inhabitants.

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Reggio Calabria is famous worldwide for the Riace Bronzes, hosted since 1981 in its Archaeological Museum, established in 1882, while the Cathedral dates back to its founding by Saint Paul. The Bronzi di Riace are two famous full-size Greek bronze sculptures of nude bearded warriors, cast about 460–430 BCE, that were discovered by chance in 1972 in the waters of Riace Marina.

Seniors Enjoy Old City In Heart Of Mediterranean

Reggio Calabria is the oldest city in the region, and despite its ancient foundation – Ρηγιον was an important and flourishing colony of Magna Graecia – it has a modern urban system, set up after the catastrophic earthquake on 28 December 1908, which destroyed most of the city.

Province of Reggio Calabria has the highest population density in the Region. It is located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, between the seaside and the mountains of a land rich in flavors and colors. In the southwest, senior visitors can look out at Sicily, just 2 miles away across the Strait of Messina.

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TripAdvisor suggests seniors not miss Lungomare Falcomatàone one of the most famous streets of Reggio Calabria. Meandering along Lungomare Falcomata, you’ll see why Gabriele D’Annunzio famously called it “the most beautiful kilometer of Italy.”

This walkway on the Strait of Messina is lined with tropical plants and ancient monuments, including the Greek Walls, Roman thermal baths, and the Cippo.

 City Of Bronzes, Bergamot And Fatamorgana Intrigue Seniors

1024px-reggio_calabria-tapis_roulant_di_via_giudeccaI’d want to a be sure and visit the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia, housing an archaeological collection from sites in Magna Graecia. Reggio has commonly used popular nicknames: The “city of Bronzes”, for the Riace bronzes which are testimonials of its Greek origins; the “city of bergamot”, which is exclusively cultivated in the region; and the “city of Fatamorgana”, an optical phenomenon visible in Italy only from the Reggio seaside.

Lonely Planet notes that despite struggles with civic corruption and infiltration from the ‘ndrangheta (Calabrian mafia), Reggio has bravely attempted to improve its image in recent years with plans to rehabilitate its port and waterfront (as yet unrealized).

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Fortunately, there’s no need to rehabilitate the food. Reggio hides some of Calabria’s best salt-of-the-earth restaurants. Senior visitors can work up an appetite by hiking in the nearby Parco Nazionale dell’Aspromonte, or exploring the coastline at nearby seaside escapes along the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Head For Deutschland

wurzburg_square_car_magnet_3_x_3Been to Germany yet? Stopped in Würzburg? Senior friends, today we are paying a visit  to that city in Germany’s Bavaria region, known for lavish baroque and rococo architecture.

Also known for its numerous wine bars, cellars and wineries, Würzburg is the center of the Franconian wine country, with its distinctive bocksbeutel, bottles with flattened round shapes.

The population of Würzburg runs right at 125,000 inhabitants who are surrounded by scenic hills and beautiful old historic buildings all along the river Main.

The Official Homepage for Würzburg can fill senior visitors in on what to see and do. The Must Sees from the ‘Visitors’  site on this page include the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Residence Palace, a Towering Fortress and an old bridge. The Christmas Market in Wurzburg is world famous as is Dirk Nowitzki, one of my favorite NBA basketball players with the Dallas Mavericks who was born in Wurzburg.

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Senior Oenophiles Enjoy German Wine

Würzburg is located on both sides of the river Main but the main body of the town is on the eastern (right) bank of the river. For senior oenophiles, Würzburg is the capital of the German wine region Franconia which is famous for its mineralic dry white wines especially from the Silvaner grape.

The Würzburger Hofbräu brewery locally produces a well-known pilsner beer that might go well in this town along with the oldest Pizzeria in Germany. The University of Würzburg (official name Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg) was founded in 1402 and is one of the oldest universities in Germany.

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The folks at TripAdvisor have 65 things to see and do in Würzburg. Unlike the Munich Residence, which evolved over some five hundred years and thus incorporates the styles of quite different periods, the Würzburg Residence was built in its entirety, with short interruptions, almost within a single generation.

Seniors Also Enjoy The Architecture

The interior of the residence holds the masterworks of Baroque/Rococo or Neoclassical architecture and art, including the grand staircase, the chapel, and the Imperial Hall. The building was reportedly called the “largest parsonage in Europe” by Napoleon.

 Seniors, enjoy your visit to Würzburg. Gute Reise. -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors visit the Kingdom of Northumbria

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Get your coffee senior friends we’re going to northern England this morning to the Kingdom of Northumbria. This medieval Anglian kingdom in what is now northern England and south-east Scotland,  subsequently became an earldom in a unified English kingdom. To the east is the North Sea coastline with a 64-mile (103 km) long distance path.

The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom’s territory, the Humber estuary. Northumbria during its “golden age” was the most important center of religious learning and arts in the British Isles.

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Initially the kingdom was evangelized by Irish monks from the Celtic Church, based at Iona in modern Scotland, which led to a flowering of monastic life. The land north of the Tweed was finally ceded to Scotland in 1018 as a result of the battle of Carham.

 Seniors Visit A Land Of Castles

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Apart from standard English, Northumbria has a series of closely related but distinctive dialects, descended from the early Germanic languages of the Angles, of which 80% of its vocabulary is derived, and Vikings with a few Celtic and Latin loanwords.

The Northumbria landscape is dominated by castles, rolling hills, wildlife, mansions, and of course beautiful sunsets. Alchetron notes that the area once formed part of the Roman Empire; later, as Northumberland, it witnessed much conflict between England and Scotland.

Northumberland is often called the “cradle of Christianity” in England. Bamburgh is the historic capital of Northumberland, an area abounding in history.

Seniors Enjoy Northumbria’s Traditions

northumberlandNorthumberland has traditions senior visitors will not find elsewhere in England, like the rapper sword dance, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Clog dance and the Northumbrian smallpipe, a sweet chamber instrument, quite unlike the Scottish bagpipe.

Northumberland also has its own tartan or check, sometimes referred to in Scotland as the Shepherds Tartan. Traditional Northumberland music sounds similar to Lowland Scottish music, reflecting the strong historical links between Northumbria and the Lowlands of Scotland.

Senior visitors will find the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, with over 27,000 students. Wikitravel relates that Northumbria contains one of the most picturesque and untouched stretches of coastline in the United Kingdom; with rolling hills and low mountains in the sparsely populated interior.

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Northumberland feels a world away from London and the south of England in terms of its ruggedness, sense of remoteness, its culture and its geography. It has a distinctly more Scottish feel to it than English and at its closest point is a mere one hour from the Scottish capital.

As per usual, TripAdvisor can easily overload your planned itinerary with 217 things to see and do in the area. Senior travelers, grab a map of England, find Northumbria and visit with your travel agent.   -jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Seniors Enjoy Menton, France

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It is only a hop, skip and jump from Monaco and a must visit once you are on the French Riviera. Get your coffee senior friends, let’s go to Menton France today. Situated on the French Riviera, along the Franco-Italian border, it is nicknamed La Perle de la France (the Perle of France) with 316 days of sunshine a year.

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Menton is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. Italian influences in the city are clearly visible, from the architecture, which is similar to the Italian towns of Cinque Terre, to the waiters who prefer to talk to each other in Italian.

Surrounding the once summer residence of the Princes of Monaco, the gardens of the “Palais Carnolès” contain the largest and most extensive fruit collection in Europe. Senior visitors will discover 400 specimens from about 100 different species : orange trees, grapefruit trees, clementine trees, mandarin trees, citron trees, kumquats.

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Seniors Enjoy City Of Citruses

In French, the name Menton means “chin” and, senior visitors, you will have to keep your chin up here as the steep cobblestone streets are loaded with steps and alleyways.  The Menton beach is pretty cool too, so be sure to bring along a bathing suit.

Often referred to as the “City of Citruses,” the city has committed to encouraging landowners and farmers to replant lemon trees, orange trees, mandarin trees and other such as kumquats.

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The “Menton Lemon”, which has a very specific taste and unique qualities, is in the process of being labelled. In February every year the world famous Lemon Festival is held. In this way, the city pays homage to the golden fruit, which is the symbol of the city.

Seniors Find ‘A Get-Away Place’

Menton is what I call one of those “get-away places,” where seniors can enjoy a leisurely stroll almost anywhere in this “little known corner” of France. With a population of 30,000, Menton is famous for its gardens.

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I have always been impressed with the colors of Menton that fit together like an interesting jig saw puzzle: muted shades of ochre, pink and gold. TripAdvisor suggests the Old Chateau Cemetery, then the Basilica Saint Michel and the Botanical Garden.

I would also add the new Musée Jean Cocteau, Menton’s adopted artist, writer and film-maker, located in the Bastion of the port of Menton. Try to time your visit in August and take in the Menton Music Festival then dine in the Michelin Starred Mirazur Restaurant.

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The town is full of old buildings, beautifully restored. A good example are the colorful buildings around the Place Ardoino, including the Hotel de Ville. The old town, le Vieux Menton, has an active pedestrian area, full of shops of all sorts and terrace cafés – although the rest of the town doesn’t really lack for these amenities either.

So, the next time you visit Nice or Monaco, slip over to Menton for a fun time. -jeb

SENIOR MEN TRAVEL


Senior Single Men Seek Travel Tours

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USA Today recently wrote that Seniors who love to travel have many options for exploring the world, even by themselves. Several companies offer trips geared toward senior single travelers.

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Special features like a slower pace, tours that aren’t too physically taxing, and social gatherings like nightly dinners and dances with other tourists near the same age make the tour attractive to senior single men.

From Mediterranean cruises to escorted treks through South America, travel opportunities for single seniors cover a broad range.

Senior single men, Vacations To Go offers a cruise for singles. Each year, they  select several itineraries in different regions of the world, on various cruise ships, and negotiate an extremely low rate for single customers.

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Trained hosts from their headquarters organize get-togethers, cocktail parties, dinner seating and more, allowing individuals or friends to travel as part of a large and fun-loving group of singles.

 Senior Single Men Enjoy Road Scholar

Road Scholar is a premier program with many solo travelers. I have had the pleasure of serving as a Tour Group Leader with this organization and they are first class. They are trusted and well known for offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere for couples and solo participants alike. The atmosphere you’ll find is of learning in the company of a small group of individual friends, rather than traveling with a collection of couples.

land-ho-2-1 If you are single and over 50, traveling by yourself may seem daunting. If Cancun was the go-to destination when you were 20, it may not be your scene anymore.

At Stitch, they have scoured the globe for the 5 best travel destinations for singles over 50 that will give you the best opportunity to enjoy your travel.

 Tips For Senior Solo Travel

Allianz features 11 Secrets for Successful Senior Singles Travel.  Looking for a travel companion who shares your love of river cruising, fine wine and Paris flea markets? Look in the mirror. Traveling solo might seem daunting, but it’s easier — and more rewarding — than you think. These 11 tips for senior singles travel can help you create the perfect solo vacation.

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About Travel has an article called Tours and Cruises for Single Seniors. They list several companies and organizations that provide single seniors tour information. This is one of the best sites I have found that addresses the topic and provides so much help. So “O Solo Mio” and get going.

Lastly, Fodor’s has a link on Single Senior Citizen Travel with comments made by single folks who experienced solo travel. This blog is simply a step in helping you to make some choices on your own.

Talk with your travel agent who is experienced in travel for those who prefer to travel alone, but not be alone on the trip. Enjoy making your plans, and better yet, enjoy your solo adventure wherever you choose to go. -jeb

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