Rome wasn't built in a day and seeing it in 24 hours is nearly impossible…unless you run. Well, lace up your sneakers and run, tourist, run. Guides from a company called Sightjogging will provide you with a tour that’s sprinkled with sweat and historical details. The tours are attracting fitness friends while baffling Romans who prefer a slower-paced life. Our reporter Nancy Greenleese went the extra mile to bring us this story.
A top attraction In the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, is the famous red light district. But the district may not be around much longer. The city council has announced plans to clean up Amsterdam's image, and a third of the window brothels are to be closed. So Instead of prostitutes, windows will display the wares of upmarket shops. Sex workers fear that they'll be driven onto the streets and some say Amsterdam's reputation as a liberal and tolerant city is also threatened.
But if the Blue Train isn’t your idea of a holiday outing – you might be thumbing through a stack of charter travel brochures – that’s a typical thing for a Swede to do – and this time of year – they’re all off looking for a bit of sun. But how do the Swedes behave when they’re far from home? Do Sweden’s restrictive alcohol laws encourage liquor-fuelled benders abroad? Radio Sweden’s George Wood asked Lisa Lenneman from one of Sweden’s largest tour operators.
If you want to be treated like royalty – you might consider a trip to Krakow. A new tram service has begun running there, but it’s not a line for regular commuters. The most important question on that route is – do you take sugar with yours? It’s a café tram – a new way to see Kraków from renovated comfort complete with all the mod-cons. Tea or coffee, the choice is yours and an espresso was the choice of John Beauchamp on a trip outside Polish Radio’s studios.
Poland adored Pope John Paul II while he was alive. But now that he’s gone, they’re finding new ways to hold onto him. Visitors to Poland can now follow the tracks John Paul made in his homeland - 21st century style.Two years after the death of the Polish Pope, pilgrims are now following his tracks on a special train which takes them from Krakow to Wadowice - the Pope's birthplace - and back.
Next time you get sick how would you like to recuperate in a Spanish health spa, all expenses paid? Well as if Scandinavia wasn’t Eutopian enough already, Norway does exactly this, if your condition requires it. The Norwegian public health system now sends the sick, elderly and disabled on holidays to Spain as part of their medical treatment. Thousands of Norwegians are visiting rehabilitation centres run by Norwegian health associations along Spain’s Mediterranean coast.
British men are content to self-medicate when in need of relaxation and for large numbers of them on stag-weekends that means picking up a cheap flight to Krakow in Poland! The beer’s cheap, the hotels are cheap, and, until recently at least, the local population greeted them warmly. To give the uninitiated an idea of what the British stag weekend is – groups of up to 20 or so men, usually friends and relatives of the one getting married, go away for the weekend to celebrate the groom’s last days of bachelor life. Such weekends often get so beer-soaked that in Prague, another popular cheap booze destination, the British embassy plans to issue 20,000 beer-mats warning that under Czech law you could spend a couple of days in jail for being drunk and disorderly. But there seems little doubt that Krakowites are having their patience tested by brash, boozy Brits.
Legend has it the Swedes can give the Brits a run for their beer money. When they travel many Swedes make use of their country’s charter travel industry. It’s one of the few ways to swap the rain and snow for a bit of sun. Add to that Sweden’s restrictive laws on alcohol and you’re left with the motivation for many Swedes to see holidays as opportunities for liquor-fuelled fun in the sun.
Like us here at Network Europe you’ve no doubt often wondered what Serbs do when they go to Paris for the weekend. For Network Europe Anastup Roy discovered that like the Brits they come in search of their own culture, it just involves being more sober.
We Head to the southern Polish city of Krakow, for a tour of the Kazimierz district, a Jewish quarter from late-medieval times... Most of the sixty thousand Jews who lived there before World War Two were murdered by the Nazis. Small wonder that the city’s Jewish past was in danger of being consigned to oblivion.
Bulgaria has become a haven for tourists who come to enjoy the beautiful seaside and the pleasant climate. But now, they also come for relatively cheap and good quality dental care. Radio Bulgaria's Veneta Nikolova reports on the teeth-tourists.
These days you have to be prepared to torture your car on Romania's countryside dirt roads, if you're looking for the proverbial, untainted Romanian hospitality. Radio Romania International's Iulian Muresan made that sacrifice for Network Europe. And he filed this report from somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains, in central Romania.
Growing numbers of Britons and Germans take advantage of Poland's expanding private health sector to have their teeth fixed cheaply, or to perform cosmetic surgery. 'This medical tourism has taken off in a big way in the historic city of Krakow, which is a destination of many low cost airlines. Radio Polonia's John Beauchamp reports from Krakow. This report is by John Beauchamp.
Spanish authorities are demanding help from the European Union, saying they’re overwhelmed with the 20,000 African migrants who’ve reached the shores of the Spanish-owned Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco this year. Those who’ve survived the perilous trip in crowded, open-top fishing boats are seeking employment in Europe in a bid to flee poverty in countries such as Senegal, Mali, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. But on another European island, a very different kind of African migration has been established for about ten years. For about seven months out of the year, Senegalese beach vendors comb the beaches of Sardinia, selling clothing and accessories to sunbathing tourists, and sending their earnings back home.
Taking off for your summer holidays abroad, it would probably not cross your mind that you could end up on the street - begging for money and food. Yet in Stockholm this seems to be the case... Volunteers who work with homeless people in Stockholm say the problem has become worse this summer, also because of the number of foreign tourists who are finding themselves sleeping rough in the city. They claim embassy staff aren't always doing enough to help people who get robbed of their cash and passports leaving them stuck in Sweden with no other choice but to beg for money and food.
Well, having to sleep outside could also become a problem in Southern Europe. Every summer, hundreds of thousands of North Africans living all over Europe head back south to spend their month-long European vacations in their native countries. Many go by car, which creates an enormous logistical problem when they arrive on the Straits of Gibraltar.
Figures released this week show that France has consolidated its place as the world’s top tourist destination. Seventy six million people visited the country last year, this figure shows a slight rise on the previous year, largely due to an increase in the number of tourists from China. But why is France so attractive?
Sighisoara a small town in the heart of Transylvania is one of Europe's best preserved medieval fortresses attracting many tourists - especially during summer. The annual Medieval Festival is perhaps one of the best times to visit - and to enjoy three days of historic celebrations, open air theaters, folk concerts and knight parades.
Tickets for the World Cup aren't the easiest to get a hold of and they aren't all that cheap. And then there are travel expenses, hotels and food that football fans have to finance. The Swedes have come up with a clever idea. Hoards of football fans there are planning on caravaning around Germany during the World Cup. It's certainly a good way to get to the various games which are being held in 12 different cities, as Radio Sweden discovers.
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