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ABC Cities Series

Amazing cities around the world…. Starting with G

Amazing cities starting with G

Take an adventure with Travelling King through this series, showing you all the wonderful cities of the world from A to Z. We have joined up with countless amazing Travel Bloggers throughout this series to come up with some great experiences about these cities. We will tell you why we love these cities, what we love doing and suggest a few places to stay.

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Granada, Nicaragua

Elizabeth from Temporary Provisions tells us about  Granada in Nicaragua.

One of the most visited places in Nicaragua, Granada is a beautiful town that offers the best of both city and nature. It’s filled with colonial architecture displaying one of the most beautiful urban color palettes in the world – buildings line the streets of the city painted in pastel pinks, blues, yellows, and purples with cream-colored columns, signs in retro fonts, and lush green courtyards with sunlight spilling onto shaded hammocks. Walking through Granada is a true pleasure. It’s littered with lively parks and squares, incredible old cathedrals, each one unique, distinctive from the more famous European cathedrals, and most offer the opportunity to climb up to the bell towers and rooftops for a one-of-a-kind view of the city and beyond. Do this at sunset for an unforgettable experience. Various streets around the city, like the tourist favorite La Caldaza, are lined with restaurants and bars with outdoor seating where people from around the world pass the time smoking a Nicaraguan cigar (just as good as Cubans!), drinking a Toña or Flor de Caña (the national rum, award-winning and so affordable), and watching the live entertainment throughout the streets, which are pedestrian-only.

Juxtaposed against city-life are the images of rows upon rows of vibrant green palm trees, a series of red and brown volcanoes, and the deep blue of the massive Lake Nicaragua. The landscape of Nicaragua is without a doubt one of the world’s most incredible. Within a short distance of the city there are infinite possibilities for exploring nature. Just along the city shores of Lake Nicaragua there are 365 isletas (little islands) that were created from a volcanic explosion ages ago, and you can explore the various islands by boat, kayak, or even stand-up paddle boarding, stopping for drinks and food at one of the several restaurants on various islands, watching out for monkeys and a huge variety of birds, and taking in the view of the mansions on some of the privately-owned islands. There are a number of nearby volcanoes that offer hikes (one even offers the chance to board back down the volcano!) and even views inside volcanic craters. Spend a day relaxing in a volcanic crater lake, horseback riding, or ziplining through the jungle – the options are endless.

Where to stay Granada:

Hostel Oasis
Aqua Wellness Resort

Glasgow (Scotland)

Sam Williamson from Aims Media Design Glasgow tells us about Glasgow

Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK. But despite it’s size, Glasgow feels like a tight-knit community. The city might not be associated with the same kind of glamor and beauty as the capital Edinburgh is, but there’s a popular saying here in Scotland: ‘Edinburgh may have got the looks, but Glasgow got the personality’.

A night out in Glasgow is arguably one of the best night outs in the UK. With such an eclectic mix of pubs, bars and clubs, you’ll never be struggling for choice. Whether you fancy a chilled out night listening to live acoustic music, or you fancy an underground rave with glow sticks and cheap drinks, Glasgow has something for everyone. I’m also a big football (soccer) fan, and the rivalry between Rangers and Celtic is one of the most heated and passionate in the world. If you get a chance to watch either of these teams play then I’d highly recommend it. Victor Valdes – one of the best goalkeepers to have ever played the sport – once described the atmosphere at Celtic Park as ‘the best he’d ever experienced’. Even if football isn’t your thing, it is still a great day out.
Weird facts and laws 
  • In 2014, Glasgow was voted the friendliest place in the UK. We’ve also won curry capital of the UK three times in our history, which reflects our diversity! 
Where to stay in Glasgow:

Gonder (Ethiopia)

Ken from Dodgy knees tells us about Gonder

Many still think of Ethiopia as the old stereotype of famine and despair. The current reality is that it is an amazing country with a rich history and a proud people.

The ancient hand hewn stone churches of Lalibela are one of the human created wonders of the world. Add to that a calendar and daily clock like no other; unique foods; the African Camelot – Gonder; a friendly and welcoming people and very few tourists, you’ve got a recipe for a fantastic trip.

A visit to Ethiopia is very much about the culture and the history behind it.

If you have 10 days to two weeks a worthwhile circuit to do is start in Addis Ababa, the capital, travel to Lalibela the home of the amazing stone churches, then to Axum, the home of the Queen of Sheba, next to Gonder, the medieval capital of Ethiopia, and finish in Bahir Dar with a number of impressive monasteries on islands in Lake Tana (where you’ll also find Africa’s highest hippos).

Gonder was the capital of the empire controlled by Emperor Fasiladas from 1636 for over one hundred years, before it’s eventual decline. Today you can visit well preserved castles, palaces, gardens and much more. Gonder is a fascinating city which most people have never heard of.

Where to stay in Gonder

Goha Hotel

Guimaras (Philippines)

Oliver from PropertyAsia.ph tells us about Guimaras

A visit to Iloilo City in the Western Visayas region in the Philippines is not complete without visiting the nearby Guimaras Island. Get lost in its sparkly white sand beaches and jaw-dropping waterfalls.  Most importantly, take a bite of the world-famous Guimaras mango—one of the sweetest mangoes in the world.

The Guimaras mango, which is best enjoyed fresh—some prefer its dried variety—is grown in mango plantations that cover a vast area of almost 8,000 hectares. So imagine a sprawling, verdant landscape more than your eyes can see.

The island’s most popular destinations include the Trappist Monastery, where monks of the Cistercian Order live and are known for their strict rule of silence; the mysterious Guisi Lighthouse, which is considered the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines, and the Alubijod Beach, the central hub for all other island hopping destinations from Guimaras.

Weird Facts and Laws about Guimaras

Facts

      • The Trappist Monastery is the only men’s monastery in the Philippines.
      • The origin of the Guisi Lighthouse is unknown.
      • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows the entry of the Guimaras mangoes to the U.S.

Laws

      • The Republic Act No. 7586 proclaims the marine turtle sanctuary in Barangay Lawi, Jordan in Guimaras a protected area.

Where to stay in Guimaras

Costa Aguada Island Resort
Nagarao Island Resort

Girona (Spain)

How to travel to Girona. Marina and Andre, nomadic foodies, entrepreneurs and owners of Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours, share their insights about a world hidden gem close to the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenes mountains: Girona.

This ancient city boasts stunning medieval architecture in its center with a laid back atmosphere that the traveler enjoy in contrast to Barcelona bustling center. An early morning lonely walk through cobbled streets might make you feel like being in medieval days, that’s awesome. Moreover, Girona has a food and night scene that is worth the visit.

Home to famous Michelin-starred restaurants such as El Celler de Can Roca (among the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants) and La Massana, Girona has an amazing foodie scene where also mid-range restaurants and tapas bars play a terrific role. Just try Vintages or El Cau del Llop which base their cuisine on seasonal products, and do not miss Rocambolesc, the ice cream parlor by one of the Roca brothers. Worth to mention that top class wines are also produced in the nearby Emporda region.

As for the night scene, Girona is the place for the locals with a varied offer of bars and top music clubs where party-goers dance all night long from Monday to Saturday. We like to have a glimpse of the scene at Lola Café located at the Jewish Quarter with its 80s music, and Yeah for live Indie Music till veteran Nou Platea to wait for the sunrise.

Weird Facts and Laws about Girona

      • Every local who wants to return safe and healthy from a trip is obliged to kiss the female lion bum, as well as the visitors who would like to return

Where to Stay in Girona

AC Hotel Palau de Bellavista

Montjuic B&B

Bells Oficis

Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil (Ecuador)

Cori from Conference Designed tells us about Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil

In March of this year, mystep-father and I went to the Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil, Ecuador.  My stepfather is on a new mission with hisbucket list, and the Galapagos Islands were number one on the short list. And,lucky for me, my mother did not want to go, so I went along with him.

The first day in Guayaquil weenjoyed the luxury of laziness, taking a few naps and resting from the priorday’s travel. We were planning to go out on a walking excursion, but it wasraining, heavily at times, so we were forced by nature to take up residence inthe concierge lounge (which was well-worth the fee for a night to camp-out, andhave access to snacks, bottled waters and juices (and rich South American coffee) all day.

The second day, we venturedinto the heart of the city and walked a few miles on the Malecon 2000, afantastic riverside park with museums, restaurants, playgrounds, tall ships, amagnificent Moorish clock tower (yes, in the heart of Ecuador, resides aMoorish tower). The highlight of the walk was seeing the large and magnificentCatholic cathedral, highlighted by Iguana park. Hundreds of critters, varyingsizes and colors roamed freely in the park, at home with the locals, tourists,and turtles.

Pre-dawn, the following morning, we flew to the Galapagos Islands, about 500 miles west of mainlandEcuador, where we boarded the national Geographic Endeavor for our weeklongsail. Not your typical cruise, the Endeavor is rustic but classily appointed.The food was very good (we thought that the buffet breakfasts and lunches wereexceptionally good and the plated dinners were a bit more boring and not asgood (in quality) as we had hoped. However, one does not travel to far WestEcuador on a small ship for the food. The highlight, of course, was theanimals, in their natural habitat. Beautiful birds – three types of boobies,frigates, and many more), sea lions, extensive marine wildlife and of course,iguanas.

I did not even like lizardsor ever gave them much thought prior to going to the Galapagos. I now have asecret crush on those Galapagos iguanas. They won my heart. Who knew?

Each day we had activitychoices – hiking, beach, kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming. There was not adull moment – I did not even get though my second magazine, with all theactivity, and by the time your head hit the bed each night, exhaustion tookover and sleep came quickly. As did the 6:00am alarm.

Most memorable – Definitely the animals – swimming with sharks, giant sea turtles, and a plethora ofdelightful and colorful fish – almost made me turn from being a long-timepescatarian to a full-time vegetarian.

Weird Facts and Laws about Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil

      • Not a law, buta strange superstition in Ecuador – rub an egg over a person’sface and body to keep away evil spirits.

Where to stay in Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil

Angermeyer Waterfront Inn
Iguana Crossing
Hilton Guayaquil

Granada Spain

Nicola from Spain Holiday tells us about Granada

The cultural city of Granada is situated in the eastern region of Andalucia, in southern Spain. Its characterised by it scenic diversity, architectural beauty and a rich and distinguished history.

Granada was the last Moorish stronghold to fall to the Christians and still retains many vestiges of its Arab heritage, in particular its royal palace, La Alhambra.

The Alhambra Palace
The jewel in the crown of Granada is the architecturally magnificent Alhambra Palace. It is the most visited tourist attraction in Spain, one of the most revered examples of Islamic architecture in the world and is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Alhambra consists of a series of palaces and gardens, which were built in the 14th century for the Moorish dynasty. From the entrance of the Puertas de Granadas, to the Generalife summer palace, Court of the Lions, the Sala de los Abencerrajes, and the later Spanish renaissance Palace of Charles V, the architecture is stunning and well worth a visit.

About town
The Albaicin neighbourhood stands on a hill facing the Alhambra. The neighbourhood is a wonderful maze of narrow streets and alleys, with its whitewashed houses and hidden inner gardens and courts. Reaching the top of the Albaicin, you come to the Plaza de San Nicolas, where you can enjoy a magnificent view to the Alhambra Palace.

Towards the north of the city, is the neighbourhood of Sacromonte Hill, which is famous for its cave dwellings, which are still inhabited

Local gastronomy has a strong Moorish influence.  Also, there is a great variety of tapas to try with most tapas bars giving a free tapa with every drink.

Weird fact and outlandish Laws

      • Granada’s city symbol is the pomegranate which is fitting considering that “granada” in Spanish means ‘pomegranate.’
      • Granada is a chosen location for Hollywood films with over 212 films made in the past century.
      • There are hidden gardens throughout the city.

Where to stay in Granada:

Santa Isabel la Real
Gar-Anat Hotel Boutique

Video © All rights reserved Spain-Holiday.com

Video of Granada:

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this article 🙂

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Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!