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  • Brussels Guide | Belgium Travel | Rough Guides
    elite whose high spending kept hundreds of workers in employment Brussels also benefited from the digging of the Willebroek Canal which linked it to the sea for the first time in its history in 1561 By the 1580s the Habsburgs had lost control of the northern part of the Low Countries now the Netherlands and Brussels was confirmed as the capital of the remainder the Spanish Netherlands broadly modern Belgium Brussels prospered more than the rest of the country but it was always prey to the dynastic squabbling between France and Spain in 1695 for example Louis XIV bombarded Brussels for 36 hours merely to teach his rivals a lesson though the guilds those associations of skilled merchants and workers who were crucial to the economy of Brussels rebuilt their devastated city in double time and it s this version of the Grand Place that survives today In 1700 Charles II the last of the Spanish Habsburgs died without issue The ensuing War of the Spanish Succession dragged on for over a decade but eventually the Spanish Netherlands were passed to the Austrian Habsburgs who ruled as had their predecessors through a governor based in Brussels It was during this period as capital of the Austrian Netherlands 1713 94 that most of the monumental buildings of the Upper Town were constructed and its Neoclassical avenues and boulevards laid out grand extravagance in the context of an increasingly industrialized city crammed with a desperately poor working class The French Revolutionary army brushed the Austrians aside at the Battle of Fleurus in 1794 and the Austrian Netherlands promptly became a département of France This lasted until the defeat of Napoleon when under the terms of the Congress of Vienna which ended hostilities the great powers decided to absorb the country into the new Kingdom of the Netherlands ruled by the Dutch King William I Brussels took turns with The Hague as the capital but the experiment was short lived and in 1830 a Brussels led rebellion removed the Dutch and led to the creation of an independent Belgium with Brussels as capital The nineteenth century was a period of modernization and expansion during which the city achieved all the attributes of a modern European capital under the guidance of Burgomaster Anspach and King Léopold II New boulevards were built the free university was founded the Senne which by then had become an open sewer was covered over in the city centre many slum areas were cleared and a series of grand buildings were erected The whole enterprise culminated in the golden jubilee exhibition celebrating the founding of the Belgium state in the newly inaugurated Parc du Cinquantenaire Following the German occupation of Belgium in World War II the modernization of Brussels has proceeded inexorably with many major development projects not least the new métro system refashioning the city and reflecting its elevated status as the headquarters of both NATO and the EU Read More More about Belgium Features Where Next Check out Bruges Book a hostel in Belgium Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Explore The Grand Place The Lower Town The Upper Town East of the centre the EU quarter and Le Cinquantenaire South of the centre St Gilles avenue Louise and Ixelles North of the centre Jette Laeken and Heysel Around Brussels Waterloo Find out more Bilingual Brussels Bilingual Brussels As a cumbersome compromise between Belgium s French and Flemish speaking communities Brussels is the country s only officially bilingual region This means that every instance of the written word from road signs and street names to the Yellow Pages has by law to appear in both languages Visitors soon adjust though on arrival the names of the main train stations can be confusing but for simplicity we ve used the French version of street names sights etc Train station names Train station names When you first arrive the city s bilingual signage can be very confusing especially with regard to the names of the three main train stations Bruxelles Nord in Flemish Brussel Noord Bruxelles Centrale Brussel Centraal and most bewildering of the lot Bruxelles Midi Brussel Zuid To add to the puzzle each of the three adjoins a métro station respectively the Gare du Nord Noordstation Gare Centrale Centraal Station and Gare du Midi Zuidstation The Brussels Card The Brussels Card The good value Brussels Card w www brusselscard be provides free access to most of the city s key museums unlimited travel on the STIB public transport network and discounts of up to 25 percent at specified restaurants and bars There are three versions 24hr 24 48hr 34 and 72hr 40 and each is valid from the first time it is used rather than the day of issue The card is on sale online via the website and at both main tourist offices there are no concessionary rates for seniors or children It s issued with a booklet detailing all the concessions and discounts Guided tours Guided tours Guided tours are big business in Brussels everything from a quick stroll or bus ride round the city centre to themed visits is on offer and both Brussels International tourist offices have the details of and take bookings for about twenty operators As a general rule the more predictable tours can be booked on the day while the more exotic need to be booked ahead of time either direct with the company concerned or with the tourist office who normally require at least two weeks advance notice Among the many more straightforward options Brussels City Tours rue de la Colline 8 w www brussels city tours com operates the Visit Brussels Line a hop on hop off bus service which loops round the city visiting twelve of its principal sights More promising is ARAU Atelier de Recherche et d Action Urbaines blvd Adolphe Max 55 t 02 219 33 45 w www arau org a heritage action group which provides tours exploring the city s architectural

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/belgium/brussels/ (2016-02-16)
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  • 8 Unusual Things To Do In Ontario, Canada | Rough Guides
    of the deceased animal in front of their business Cheers 2 Lace up your blue suede shoes for the biggest Elvis Festival on Earth Situated on the unlikely banks of Georgian Bay the ski resort town of Collingwood hosts an Elvis fest to end all Elvis fests every summer Impersonators with greasy pompadours and overwhelming sideburns flock here from around the globe with hopes of being crowned the next King of Rock N Roll Every venue in downtown Collingwood plus the nearby hot spot of Blue Mountain resort is practically crawling with Elvises Whether the impersonators are bang on or hilariously missing the mark they re a lot of fun to gawk at Collingwood Elvis Festival by Jay Morrison CC license 3 Trim a few years off of your life with Dangerous Dan s Colossal Colon Clogger If gorging on local fast food is your idea of a holiday then don t miss Dangerous Dan s named after owner James grandfather a wrestler notorious for his unhealthy diet The Toronto restaurant is famous for its Quadruple C Combo a 24oz burger served with a quarter pound of cheese a quarter pound of bacon two fried eggs a side of poutine and a large milkshake Be sure to leave room for a Double D cup dessert to hammer the final nail in your food coma coffin Eat at your own risk 4 Get sleepy in a tepee on Manitoulin Island On beautiful Manitoulin Island s M Chigeeng Reserve lies a forest ringed campground with tepees wigwams and a native longhouse Here at the Great Spirit Circle Trail glampers can get back to nature in a luxury enhanced tepees Whether you want to hike canoe forage on a medicine walk or take on a horseback tour into the Manitoulin wilderness this is a wonderful way to learn a bit about the rich cultures of Canada s Aboriginal peoples 5 Channel your inner lumberjack The West Coast Lumberjacks didn t win Canada s Got Talent for nothing Showcasing thrilling exhibitions of wood wizardry such as log rolling chainsaw carving and axe throwing they keep all audiences enthralled with superhuman skills Catch a performance at Wonderland Amusement Park just outside of Toronto during the summer months or at the Ontario Lumberjack Competition at Brechin in June Feeling inspired Channel your inner lumberjack at BATL Toronto s very own axe throwing range Axe throwing at BATL by Tibor Kovacs CC license 6 Retrace the footsteps of a prepubescent Justin Bieber in his hometown of Stratford 150km east of Toronto is the pretty little theatre town of Stratford the site of Justin Bieber s nativity Yes musical superstar Bieber s talent was birthed and nurtured in this very place For hardcore Beliebers sitting on the steps of the Avon Theatre where Justin used to busk will no doubt be a holy pilgrimage of sorts This self guided tour also features the pizza parlour where Bieber has been known to give autographs and the City Hall where

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/8-unusual-things-to-do-in-ontario-canada/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Things not to miss in Iceland | Photo Gallery | Rough Guides
    Introduction Albania Austria Belgium Bosnia Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark England Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Iceland Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Scotland Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Wales See all destinations Iceland Overview Introduction Fact file Where to go When to go Getting there Getting around Accommodation Food and drink The media Festivals Sports and outdoor activities Travel

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/iceland/things-miss/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Things not to miss in Myanmar (Burma) | Photo Gallery | Rough Guides
    Follow Us Facebook Twitter Newsletter Log in Asia Introduction China Cambodia India Indonesia Japan Laos Malaysia Nepal Myanmar Burma Philippines Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand Vietnam See all destinations Myanmar Burma Overview Introduction Fact file Where to go When to go Getting there Getting around Accommodation Food and drink Culture and etiquette Sports and activities Festivals Travel essentials Inspiration Things not to miss Features Gallery Explore Yangon Rangoon

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/myanmar-burma/things-not-to-miss/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Things not to miss in Jamaica | Photo Gallery | Rough Guides
    Follow Us Facebook Twitter Newsletter Log in Central America the Caribbean Introduction Belize Cuba Jamaica Costa Rica Dominican Republic Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama Puerto Rico See all destinations Jamaica Overview Introduction Fact file Where to go When to go Getting there Getting around Accommodation Food and drink The media Festivals Sports and outdoor activities Culture and etiquette Shopping Travel essentials Inspiration Things not to miss Itineraries Features Gallery Explore Kingston

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/central-america-and-the-caribbean/jamaica/things-miss/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The North Guide | Canada Travel | Rough Guides
    of Dawson the Dempster Highway is the only road in Canada to cross the Arctic Circle offering a direct approach to the northern tundra and to several remote communities in the Northwest Territories The Yukon s other major road is the short spur linking the Alaskan port of Skagway to Whitehorse which shadows the Chilkoot Trail a popular long distance footpath If you re planning a wilderness trip in the Yukon pick up a copy of Into the Yukon Wilderness at any tourist office or download a copy at w env env gov yk ca publications maps documents intothe yukonwilderness pdf Combining coastal ferries with the Chilkoot Trail makes an especially fine itinerary Following the old gold rush trail the route begins at Skagway reached by ferry from Prince Rupert then follows the Chilkoot to Whitehorse before heading north to Dawson City From there you could continue up the Dempster Highway or travel on the equally majestic Top of the World Highway into the heart of Alaska Alternatively many people coming up from Skagway or plying the mainland routes from BC head to Alaska directly on the Alaska Hwy to enjoy views of the extraordinary and largely inaccessible mountain vastness of Kluane National Park which contains Canada s highest peaks and most extensive glacial wilderness If the Yukon is the far North at its most accessible the Northwest Territories NWT is the region at its most uncompromising Just three roads nibble at the edges of this almost unimaginably vast area which occupies a third of Canada s landmass about the size of India but contains only forty one thousand people almost half of whom live in or around Yellowknife the territories colourful capital Unless you re taking the adventurous and rewarding Dempster Highway from Dawson City across the tundra to Inuvik Yellowknife will probably feature on any trip to the NWT as it s the hub of the expensive given the remoteness of the region flight network servicing the area s widely dispersed communities Otherwise most visitors come to the NWT to fish canoe hunt hike watch wildlife or to experience the aboriginal cultures and ethereal landscapes After years of negotiations the Inuit of the eastern NWT finally realized their dream of administering their land with the creation of Nunavut on April 1 1999 This effectively split the former NWT into two distinct regions with the eastern half being renamed Nunavut literally Our Land Nunavut and the old western NWT issue their own tourist material pick up or download a copy of their respective Explore Nunavut and the Spectacular NWT Explorers Guide brochures which summarize accommodation options airline connections many of the available tours costing anything from 50 to 5000 plus and the plethora of outfitters who provide the equipment and backup essential for any but the most superficial trip to the region Read More More about Canada Itineraries Features Where Next Check out Toronto Book a hostel in Canada Travel Offers Travel insurance Hotels Hostels Car hire Tours Explore

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/north-america/canada/north/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Eastern Slovenia Guide | Slovenia Travel | Rough Guides
    go Getting there Getting around Accommodation Food and drink Culture and etiquette Sports and outdoor activities Travel essentials Inspiration Things not to miss Features Gallery Explore Ljubljana Southwest Slovenia Northwest Slovenia Eastern Slovenia Shop Ebooks Travel Insurance Hostels Eastern Slovenia Introduction Maribor Ptuj See all destinations Slovenia Eastern Slovenia Show Related Guides Hide Related Guides Rough Guides Snapshot Belgium Brussels View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Scotland Edinburgh View Guide The Rough Guide to The Italian Lakes View Guide The Rough Guide to Naples the Amalfi Coast View Guide The Rough Guide to Crete View Guide The Rough Guide to Iceland View Guide Istria Rough Guides Snapshot Croatia View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Spain Catalunya View Guide The Rough Guide to Ireland View Guide Pocket Rough Guide Venice View Guide The lush landscapes to the east of Ljubljana where many of the country s most reputable vineyards are concentrated are generally less explored by travellers But as host to Slovenia s second city Maribor and oldest settlement Ptuj which lie on the main routes to Austria and Hungary respectively the region can reward the passing visitor with its rich historical heritage traditional culture and fine wine Read More More about Slovenia

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/slovenia/eastern-slovenia/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Zona Norte Guide | Costa Rica Travel | Rough Guides
    consisting of independent minded farmers and Nicaraguan refugees Neither group journeys to the Valle Central very often and many here have a special allegiance to and pride in their region indeed the far north which for years was mauled by fighting in the Nicaraguan civil war feels more like Nicaragua than Costa Rica Topographically the Zona Norte separates neatly into two broad river drained plains llanuras stretching all the way to the Río San Juan on the Nicaraguan Costa Rican border in the west the Llanura de Guatusos is dominated by Volcán Arenal while to the east the Llanura de San Carlos features the tropical jungles of the Sarapiquí region Less obviously picturesque than many parts of the country it nonetheless has a distinctive appeal with lazy rivers snaking across steaming plains and flop eared cattle originally imported from India languishing beneath riverside trees Most visitors use the flourishing town of La Fortuna as a gateway to the active Volcán Arenal which looms over the eastern end of Laguna de Arenal The multitude of activities on offer here makes it the most popular destination in the Zona Norte though the Sarapiquí region with its tropical forest eco lodges and the research stations of La Selva and Rara Avis also draws significant numbers of visitors The regional capital San Carlos lies between the two though devoid of actual sights its easy going nature and the fact that it s a transport hub for the region make it a decent place to stop off en route In the north the remote flatlands are home to the increasingly accessible wetlands of the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Caño Negro home to an extraordinary number of migratory and indigenous birds Few visitors venture any further though a steady trickle passes through the small border town of Los Chiles en route to Nicaragua One of the prime agricultural areas in the country the Zona Norte is carpeted with vast banana pineapple and sugar cane plantations this is the home of TicoFrut Costa Rica s major domestic fruit grower and expansive dairy cattle farms The worst excesses of slash and burn deforestation are all too visible from the roadsides and riverbanks with the matchstick corpses of once tall hardwoods scattered over stump scarred fields patrolled by a few cattle Legal and illegal logging over the last two decades has cleared more than seventy percent of the region s original forest making the creation of the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Mixto Maquenque in June 2005 which helps link protected areas in Nicaragua with the Valle Central all the more essential The Zona Norte s climate is hot and wet more so in the east than in the west near Guanacaste where there is a dry season You ll be drenched by regular downpours but the rain always makes for an enjoyable respite from the heat Although many roads in the region are seriously potholed getting around is easy enough and there s a good bus network

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/central-america-and-the-caribbean/costa-rica/zona-norte/ (2016-02-16)
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