Last year I was touring a small brewery in Belgium when the tour guide asked everybody where they were from. A gentleman, probably in his 70’s, said “Czechoslovakia…I mean Czech Republic. Prague”. And this was 25 years after the Velvet Revolution.
It’s a country with a bit of an identity crisis, which is understandable given its history. Now the government wants to change its name, or at least the way it's referred to in English.
A new museum dedicated to Charlie Chaplin has just opened in his former home, on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. After the London-born Chaplin was banned from re-entering the United States in 1952, he settled in Switzerland, near the town of Vevey.
The growth in popularity of the Cinque Terre region of Italy, most of which can only be reached by boat or train, has put a strain on the local infrastructure. Locals, many of whom use the trains to commute to work in nearby cities, are frustrated by trains packed with cruise passengers and other tourists. Often there is nowhere to sit, and barely anywhere to stand.
To alleviate some of this strain the train operator has recently increased the number of local trains running between La Spezia and Levanto. Trains will now run at least every 30 minutes, a total of 44 trains per day in each direction, stopping at all of the Cinque Terre villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso).
Hotel am Dom ★★★
Goldgasse 17, 5020 Salzburg
Tel: (0)662-842-765, Fax: (0)662-842-76555
Just steps from the cathedral, the Hotel am Dom underwent a change of ownership and complete renovation in 2009 that changed it from a budget dive to a stylish boutique hotel. Each floor has a different theme, and rooms are nicely decorated in a modern design style. There are limited things you can do with an old building, though, so room sizes are still rather small and don't have much in the way of natural light.
Singles: €129, Doubles: €169 to €209, Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted.
Hotel Style: Boutique; 14 Rooms
Grades: A+ (Location), B (Property), B (Rooms).
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