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Europe



History and culture abound and mixed with the avant-garde, Europe is an exciting family destination. Share your adventures.

 
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EuropeOld Town of Kerkira, Corfu, Greece

HCWT 07.19.2013 15:27 0 0

 

Enjoy a stroll through the old town of Kerkira in Corfu, Greece

Take in a popular Mediterranean pastime... an evening stroll through the Old town of Kerkira, on the Island of Corfu, Greece. Starting at dusk when the swallows fill the sky, all ages take to the tree-lined walkway stretching along Venetian colonnades and arches. Evenings cool the town, fill the restaurants and bring children’s laughter to the streets as kids typically stay up late.  Perched high above the Adriatic Sea near Krini are the ruins of the Byzantine fortress, Angelokastro. Even greater views can be seen from the Byzantine Monastery of Palaiokastritsa that overlooks rocky bays filled with blue-green waters. Other favorite family outings are building sand castles at Arilas beach with its great sand and pedal-boating about the waters off Agios Georgios Beach.

Find more information at http://www.corfuweb.gr/

 
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EuropeRelive Spain’s Moorish and Christian Heritage at Petrer.

HCWT 05.24.2013 16:24 0 0

 

Relive Spain’s Moorish and Christian Heritage at Petrer.

We found the streets of the town filled with crowds of men, women and children dressed in the costumes of past eras in Spanish history.  The sound of gunfire echoed through the streets and led us to one of the main thoroughfares.  Here, an episode of the Moorish-Christian wars was being re-enacted.  The Moorish army moved up the street firing muskets and cannons, with real gunpowder, while in the distance.

The Moorish garments are elaborate and a favorite in the parade.

The Moorish garments are elaborate and a favorite in the paradence we saw the Spanish were retreating.

    The colourful scene amazed us all. “Look! Arabs from history! The Emir!” Leila exclaimed as the Moorish legions marched before us, each group led by a richly dressed Emir.
    “Magnifico!  Magnifico!” Muna pointed to the emirs while we talked to a Spaniard standing by her side.  “Come tomorrow morning, you’ll see the grandeur of Spain’s Moorish civilization,” the man advised in passable English.
    “Son Uds. ingleses (Are you English)?”  A young man asked us. Muna answered: “No somos canadienses pero nuestra origin es árabe (we are Canadians but our origin is Arab).”  “Arabe!  Arabe!  Bienvenides! Bienvenides!”  The young man was excited. “Come with me!”

Read more at Spain's Moorish-Christian Festival.

 
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EuropeAmsterdam - A Netherlands family adventure.

HCWT 08.31.2012 14:29 0 0

 
Amsterdam -  an ideal family adventure destination.

Explore Holland and the Netherlands with the kids.

    Amsterdam is often overlooked when considering a family vacation destination. It is thought of as a city with more adult sights and entertainment. But after a holiday in Netherlands’ capital city of Amsterdam last summer with my friend Char and her children,  Lev and Reece,  I not only was amazed at the variety of child-friendly activities, but impressed with Amsterdam’s educational attractions, including museums, arts, events, zoos, and parks.

On the Museum Trail

Amsterdam is a city full of history, culture and art. I found that you must plan your museum visits around the children’s ages. Lev and Reece enjoyed many of the exhibits in the museums we visited, but after a while, they were easily distracted. I first was discouraged, but then delighted in discovering what the kids found entertaining and what exhibits kept their attention. 


Kids love the Nemo Museum. Plan plenty of time for this attraction.

NEMO Museum - The NEMO Science Museum offers interactive exhibitions such as a giant humanoid robot, Elektra, who explains electricity, along with a variety of loud, bright and wonderful gadgets and exhibits to attract and engage all kids young and old.


Read more of Family Adventures in Amsterdam.

 
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EuropeExtreme Sports in the Scotland Highlands

HCWT 07.22.2012 20:40 0 0

 

Scotland Highlands – The Ultimate Family Outdoor Sports Adventure.

The Highlands offer the best of outdoor sports adventures - from the white-knuckle activities like white-water rafting, canyoning, and wind karting to the gentler gate of hiking, fishing, cycling and whale-watching.

You can book a single sport activity to a full week of sports adventures at several multi-activity centres located throughout the Highlands.  Popular family sport adventures include hiking, fishing, scrambling, climbing, canoeing, sea-kayaking, gorge-walking, wild camping, white-water rafting, cycling, skiing, mountain biking, quad biking, jeep safaris, 4 x 4 driving, horse and pony riding, abseiling, canyoning, paintball, archery, wind karting -  the family activities The beauty of the Highlands, Lost Valley.are endless

The Multi-Activity Centres can help with accommodations from self-catering, B&B’s and hotels providing a variety of opportunities to meet fellow families and swap your adThe Three Sisters in Scotland Highlandsventures of the day. Accommodations at or close to the multi-activity centres provide an early start and late finish to the day, with the benefit of participating in more activities at a fixed price for the duration of your stay.Self-catering offer private family rooms with shared public areas.

 

Read more of this adventure at Scotland Extreme Sports Family Adventure...

 
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EuropeLondon & Paris - Mom & Daughter Travel Adventure

HCWT 04.23.2012 19:34 0 0

 

London & Paris

Mom & Daughter Travel Adventure

    Westminster Abbey was next on our mom & daughter travel adventure list, which was within walking distance. Westminster Abbey www.west minster-abbey.org is not only a beautiful church but we learned that it’s the site of all royal coronations. The royal coronation chair is on display, and although most of the past royalty are buried in tombs below the Abbey, the tomb of Queen Elizabeth I can be viewed here.

Westminster Abbey is the site of all royal coronations.4Westminster Abbey is the site of all royal coronations.4

    It was after 1 p.m. when we again boarded the Big Bus and drShakespeare’s Globe Theatre was one of our favorite visits.5ove past Waterloo Train Station on the way to St. Paul's Cathedral www.stpauls.co.uk. We walked across Millennium Bridge to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre www.shakespeares-globe.org. The original Globe Theatre burned down in 1613 during a Shakespeare play. But in 1995, a reconstructed theatre built to the same specifications

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was one of our favorite visits.5

opened in approximately the same location. Performances are held throughout the year.  
   Alyx was particularly interested in the theatre because she was studying both Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre in her English class at high school. We found the theatre very interesting and one of our favorite visits.

Read more about Alyx's Sweet "16" trip to London and Paris.

Find more articles to England and France:

Jaunts around England and Scotland

On the Road about France

Britian's Countryside and Wales

England's Nursery Rhymes

Grandkids in Paris

Our First Home Exchange

Barge the Canals of Europe

 
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EuropeScotland Family Hike Adventure and Harry Potter

HCWT 03.18.2012 19:04 0 0

 

Scotland Highland Family Travel Adventure

Scotland offers families fantastic hiking with moderate treks that are ideal for young kids like our Sarah, Luke, and Peter. Michael scoped out a "Harry Potter" - inspired romp, a scenic path that encircled a viaduct and went up through the hills. The scenic path led up through the hills and lakes were nestled in the distant mountains. We trekked up and down through calf-high grass, with the viaduct in and out of view, until we finally navigated just below it.

Because the ground was also quite boggy, the five of us emerged wet and muddy and we
realized that our hiking gear was woefully inadequate. British hikers equipped with wellies (waterproof boots) and ski-like walking poles merrily passed by us by as we slogged along the route. We took plenty of photos of the viaduct and reenacted the scene from "Harry Potter".   

On the way back to the car park we came across a farmer who gleefully recounted the “Harry Potter” film crew filming the characters Harry and Ron flying a small automobile over the viaduct around which we had hiked that afternoon. The farmer also pointed out that the film’s special effects team had turned his barn into a rather large rhododendron bush.

Read more at Mary Beth's Scotland Travel Adventure

 
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EuropeContis-Plage, France - Seaside camping travel adventure

HCWT 02.20.2012 18:33 0 0

 

Beach and Camp travel adventure at Lous-Seurrots.

We enjoyed a stay at the small seaside town of Contis-Plage in France, about halfway between Bordeaux and the Spanish border.  The seaside town is in an area called Les Landes, which has grown out of what is essentially reclaimed land. It’s a little-known area, and very surprising. Although the Landaise landscape is  like that of western Oregon, mostly evergreen trees, the architecture is a fascinating mix of Tudor and Disney kitsch, with most unusual houses popping up out of the clearings in the forests.

We reached Contis-Plage and checked in at the Lous-Seurrots Campground, where we had booked a chalet. The chalet, which sleeps six but is very comfortable for 4. The campground was not a Eurocamp full of English people, but a French campground, with mostly French, Germans, and Dutch visitors. It’s exceptionally well run and we found continental Europeans to be great campers - very respectful of others.

The campsite provides loads of activities, including four swimming pools. The restaurant next to the swimming pool has hot frites, the kids' favorite after a couple of hours in the water. You can find chalets and mobile homes for rent, and a large tent area. There is a shop on site providing most essentials, including fresh bread and pastries all day.

Contis is basically a surfing town with long, sandy beaches, which are great for flying kites, surfing, or swimming – but the surf can get pretty rough, so watch out for safe-bathing markers. The town also offers canoeing, bike riding through the woods, and fishing. There’s also a miniature golf course. The town offers tours of a spectacular lighthouse.

Read more at Jaunts about France & Wales. 

 
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EuropeJaunts about Northern Italy

HCWT 01.27.2012 16:58 0 0

 

NORTH to the LAKES and MALCESINE

   After a two-hour drive on the autostrada we crested Passo S. Giovanni and enjoyed our first scenic view of Lake Garda, our home for the next week. The town of Malcesine, located lakeside and at the foot of Monte Baldo, was chosen to cater to son Duncan chases the waves on the shore of Lake Garda.Morgan's love of going up and down mountains.

   I found the Villa Stellina apartments online and our host, Signora Franca Zeni, welcomed us to her family run complex, which consists of three apartments. Each offers underground parking, lakeside views, and access to the above-ground swimming pool and barbecue facilities. For just Euro 92 per night, plus Euro 36 for final cleaning costs, we enjoyed basic but comfortable accommodations just a ten minute walk from the center of town, the cable car, and Lake Garda. We thought it a great deal and perfect for our two active boys. Lake Garda is so popular with German-speaking tourists that most restaurant menus in Malcesine are in both Italian and German. The cable TV channels were almost entirely German.

   Lake Garda is probably best known as a world class wind-surfing and sailing destination because of the predictable winds. The surfers and sailors appear in the early morning and late afternoon when the winds are strongest and the surfing at its most challenging. It was thrilling for the boys and Andrew and I too watched as they spun and raced on the crests of the waves with the winds.

Read more at Jaunts about Northern Italy.

 
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