Author Archives: Paul - GetAway Travel Service

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

A cool way to start a travel bucket list is to pick some World Heritage Sites. World Heritage Sites are sites or areas that are recognized for their cultural significance and natural beauty, or both. There is a rigorous vetting process done by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that is done before a site can be included on the World Heritage Site registry.  

Bath, England

At GetAway Travel, we like to include UNESCO sites in our group adventures and we can certainly help you tailor a trip to include some World Heritage Sites. 

 First, a bit of background 

 UNESCO was founded in 1945 and it’s an arm of the United Nations. The idea behind designating places or areas as World Heritage Sites is that there are natural and man-made wonders that are simply so fabulous they could never be re-created and thus, they need to be preserved. 

The World Heritage Sites list was set up in 1972 and there are more than 1,000 sites from all around the world on the list. They are sites of such natural beauty and cultural significance that they are considered a world asset — a valuable contribution to world culture. 

San Gimignano, Italy

Here’s a sense of what’s on the list 

 Some of civilization’s earliest creations are on the World Heritage Sites list, like the rock engravings on the Great Plains, Buddhist cave art and the Giza Pyramids as well as the Great Sphinx of Giza. A designation as a UNESCO site or area helps support the natural integrity of historic sites. It acknowledges that history belongs to all the people of the world and we need to embrace and maintain every bit that remains. Many of the UNESCO sites are considered at risk, either by natural disasters or armed conflicts. 

Bruges, Belgium

World temperature fluctuations threaten some of the World Heritage sites like Machu Picchu, the Great Barrier Reef and Glacier Bay in Alaska. 

Some of the World Heritage Sites are areas considered worthy of global appreciation like the Alto Douro wine region of Portugal, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, the banks of the River Seine, the canals in Venice or Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. 

To make it on the list, areas or sites must meet strict criteria, but that also means there are fascinating places that everyone would find interesting — from archeological ruins to ancient monasteries to volcanoes and animal sanctuaries. 

Dolomites

Don’t neglect the smaller sites 

 There are sites that you just know are World Heritage Sites, like the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty, but some of the lesser-known sites are very interesting and offer a quirky glimpse into history. There’s the Rietveld Schroder House in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Dutch socialite Truus Schroder-Schrader commissioned a home from Gerrit Rietveld and he wanted it to leave a lasting impression. With its explosion of primary colors and asymmetrical shapes, it certainly does leave a lasting impression. 

The agave fields in Tequila, Mexico are on the site registry. Agave plants have grown there since the 16th century and supply the tequila distilleries that dot the area.

German shoe factory owner Carl Benscheidt was a man before his time. He commissioned a huge concrete block and glass factory that he wanted employees to be proud of and like working in. The masterful stone and glass structure stands in Alfield, Germany.  

Bordeaux, France

 GetAway can help with your get away 

 If you want to start including UNESCO sites in your travel itinerary, GetAway Travel can help with that. Your travel advisor can help set up travel plans that, if you wish, have you visiting sites not at peak times so you can avoid crowds, Perhaps you would like a tour set up so you can hit the ground running? We’re here for you. Visiting World Heritage Sites helps you embrace world and historic culture. As always, when you are a visitor to any area, we remind you to be respectful of the sites and the environment that surrounds them.

Florence, Italy

Let’s start planning your adventure!

We can be reached at:  (262) 538-2140, e-mail: sue@getaway.travel or getaway.travel@outlook.com

 

Fabulous scenery, wine and history along the Douro 

If you are looking for a river cruise with a little different feel, consider a cruise down the Douro (pronounced Daw-row) River in Portugal. The experienced travel advisors at GetAway Travel are ready to book your dream cruise on the Douro or arrange your memorable travel experience. 

Cruises on the Douro begin and end from Porto, Portugal and they offer a fabulous snapshot of the Alto Douro wine region — and much more! 

 Porto may seem familiar 

 Porto is Portugal’s second largest city. More than 2,000 years old, it has an ambiance that reminds many of San Francisco. 

It has hilly countrysides, trams and when the fog rolls in off of the Atlantic Ocean over the lively streetscapes, it sure seems like the city by the bay. 

But what Porto and the area are famous for is Port wine, a wine fortified with brandy. 

The city is surrounded by lush vineyards and quintas. Quintas are estates where grapes are grown and wine is processed. 

Although the area is renowned for Port wine, it also produces some fabulous reds and whites.  

Traditionally, the wine was floated down the Douro River in flat-bottomed boats to be stored in cellars in and around Porto. 

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Alaska rich in scenery, culture and history

How was your June this year? If it was ho-hum, at GetAway Travel, we’ve got plans in the works to give you a humdinger of a June in 2022. Thinking about our Alaska cruise is just what you need to keep moving forward and anticipating the future. Alaska is not just salmon and snow — it’s breathtaking scenery, fabulous shopping and food, history that will keep anyone interested and Native American culture. 

Glacier

Let’s talk about Canada 

 Wait, we were talking about Alaska! Most Alaska cruises start out in Canada so it’s a nice vacation bonus to spend a bit of time there. A number of the cruise lines use terminals in Vancouver so an extra day before you board ship gives you some great opportunities. You’ll think you are in Australia when you first arrive at the waterfront because the distinctive sail-like repeating roofs on Canada Place mimic the Sydney Opera House. The convention center usually houses art and cultural exhibits and at dusk the sails are awash in different vibrant colors that change in animated sequences. 

There’s great shopping not far from the waterfront, plenty of beaches, the Vancouver Aquarium, take a tram ride to the summit of Grouse Mountain or visit the acclaimed Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC

 On to Alaska 

You are going to cruise on what is called the Inside Passage. It is deep enough for cruise ships to sail close to the coast line to give you a great scenic snapshot of the country side. GetAway Travel’s cruise in June means daylight of about 17 hours and temperatures in the high 60s during the day. But, fair warning, it can get as warm as 80 degrees, it’s cool on the glaciers and in the evening the temps can drop into the mid-40s. 

Although we said Alaska isn’t all salmon, remember fish exporting is big deal so stopping in Ketchikan means a possible tour of one of the historic canneries. 

Although Ketchikan has the informal title of salmon capital of the world, original Norwegian settlers to the area made their money halibut fishing. Downtown shops feature the work of local artisans including the fabulous totem poles of one the Tlingit (pronounced Klinkit) one of three native tribes that call Alaska home.  Continue reading

Beaune France – wine and oh, so much more!

Beaune, (pronounced bone), is south of Dijon, Burgundy’s capital city, but it is considered the capital of burgundy wines. If you are interested in wine, food, France, culture and tradition, then consider the river cruise GetAway Travel has planned for November of 2022. It will be a great way to tour and understand all things wine since you will be accompanied by experts from Spring City Wine House. https://getaway.travel/unique-getaways/spring-city-wine-house-burgundy-river-cruise/ 

Sue – ready for wine in Beaune

 Beaune is renowned for wine, but also for food, the architectural excellence and cultural significance of Hospice du Beaune, museums, markets and a family run mustard mill. 

 First, let’s talk wine 

 The vineyards around Beaune produce some of the world’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Joseph Drouhin, Louis Jadot, Bouchard Pere et fils, are a few of the well-known vintners that allow tours. An optional city tour is included in your tour package and you can always consult your travel advisor at GetAway Travel for more specific information. Five of the greatest vineyards in the region are in the Beaune area and you can tour on foot, in vehicle, by horse and carriage, on a bike and even on a Segway if you like! 

The original ramparts built to protect Beaune still exist and you can stroll on the ramparts to some of the vineyards. 

There are independent wine shops and cellars throughout the town. 

Wine cellar in Beaune

 Hospice du Beaune 

 You can’t talk about Beaune and wine without mentioning the Hospice du Beaune. Home of an annual wine auction that draws celebrities and cash, the auction which began after 1457, still benefits area charities. 

Hospice du Beaune

Built in 1443, the Hospice du Beaune was established to care for the infirm who could not afford health care. In 1457 a local vineyard owner donated a bottle of wine to be sold to start a fund to care for the infirm in perpetuity. Now, Christies runs the auction each year. 

formerly hanging in the hospital, but now in the museum for Hospice du Beaune

But even if you aren’t attending the auction, the gothic hospital is considered one of the finest monuments in the country and a site that should not be missed. The complex with its bright, mosaic tiled roofs is a glorious sight in the sunlight. 

The pharmacy, chapel, wine cellars and, of course the vineyards, can be toured. More than 20 prestigious winemakers tend the vineyards around the Hospice du Beaune. 

 Food, shopping, museums and more 

 On Saturdays, Beaune is home to two huge markets. In the downtown area, you can find culinary wonders including meat, cheese and produce. The regional cheeses are fabulous, there’s Chaource, Espoisses and Delice de Pommard which is a light, creamy cheese rolled in mustard seeds. A second market a short walk from the town square specializes in antiques including books, glassware, vases and clothing. 

Market day in Beaune – Olives

You likely will experience some of the local cuisine from the river cruise chefs, perhaps Boeuf Bourguignon or Escargots a La Bourguignon. And no doubt the local mushrooms and truffles will find a place in one or two meals. 

Beaune market

In addition to the historical displays at the Hospice du Beaune, there is a wine museum in town, and the Dalineum is a museum dedicated to the works of Salvador Dali. The venerable Theatre de Verdure is now a spectacular public garden and sample a variety of mustards after taking a tour of the Fallot Mustard Mill. It offers an historic perspective on mustard production and the evolution of the condiment. 

Beaune market – a foodies delight

There are a number of public parks suitable for picnics and the Parc de La Bouzaire has its own lake and a small animal farm as well as a cafe. The Cote Plage beach features grassy access to the water and four natural pools. 

One of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture dating back to the 12th Century is the Basilica of Notre Dame in Beaune. Tour the old cloisters and St. Leger Chapel. There are stunning stained-glass windows and five intricate tapestries woven in the 1500s that chronicle the life of the Virgin Mary. 

Wine, food, architecture, culture and ambiance — Beaune has it all and you can experience it first-hand on the GetAway Travel river cruise planned for November 2022.  

As always, we can be reached at:  (262) 538-2140

e-mail: sue@getaway.travel or getaway.travel@outlook.com

 

Experience culture up close and personal on a river cruise

Travelers are finding river cruises more and more attractive because they offer a great immersive experience into the local culture. GetAway Travel offers a great group trip on one of the industry’s premier river cruise lines. There’s more information here — https://getaway.travel/unique-getaways/spring-city-wine-house-burgundy-river-cruise

AmaCello

This river cruise slated for 2022 takes you through some prime wine country in France. You can sit on the deck in your recliner and catch some sun with vineyards and great cities and villages rolling by like a travel movie.

Entertaining, relaxing and intimate

If you haven’t taken a river cruise, at GetAway Travel we can whole-heartedly recommend one, because we’ve taken many. There’s a lot to like about a river cruise and a lot to enjoy!

There is a smaller group of people on board the ship and you can make new friends. Everyone gets a room with a view. Because you are traveling on a river, there are no buffeting waves like you’d experience on the ocean.  And everything is just a short walk from your cabin.

Wi-Fi is free so you can share your experiences real time with family and friends.

Once you dock, no pressure

Once you dock, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the city with plenty to do and see.

Excursions are included in the cruise package and you can pick your activity level. Choose a tour with an activity level that is gentle, regular or active. Do you want to take a walking tour with a guide? You get your own personal headset and it’s a local guide with plenty of local insight into the area and the culture.

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Did you need a reason to go to Lyon France? OK, well here’s a few.

Lyon, France is one large UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a very large renaissance era old town and Roman ruins.   The city was founded 2,000 years where the Rhône and Saône Rivers meet. 

Lyon built its fortune on the silk trade.  During the 16th century it was estimated that there were at least 180,000 looms in the city.

The Fourvière Basilica is a magnificent church, ever visible on the hill to west of the city.  In December, the famous Fête des Lumières takes place in praise of the Virgin Mary, to whom the Basilica is dedicated, for protecting the city from the bubonic plague in the 17th century.

On the left bank of the Saône is the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, which even after 2000 years is still being used as a performance venue.

At the Lyon Cathedral, many of the stain glassed windows you see are from the 1300’s.  They were taken down and packed away during WWII to save them from bomb damage.  

The word “FUN” is found in Funicular.  This one will take you from the river to the top of the Fourvière hill.

This is really just a small bit of highlights you’ll enjoy in Lyon.  

To see them all – why not join us in November of 2022 on our exclusive Spring City Wine House Burgundy & Provence River Cruise.  Lyon is just one of the many stops during our week that you will enjoy.

See our web page for more details

Here is how accessible the city is from a River Cruise – parked right in the heart of the old town area – amazing!  We look forward to seeing YOU in Lyon.

World of Travel Opening Up – Again

If travel were a toddler, it would be past the toddling stage and into elementary school. In some cases, even into junior high. The pent-up quest for adventure means as travel restrictions ease up, access to prime locations and tours are booking up.

To keep the toddler analogy going, it’s time to start planning for that “college” vacation. GetAway Travel is ready to tailor a vacation to your needs.  For more ideas –  take a look at our fabulous selection of 2022 group tours on our website.

Confusing restrictions and requirements

Sure, there seems to be a lot more rules governing when you can get to a location and what you need, but that’s where a good travel agency is important. We stay on top of those rules and restrictions for you.

Which country needs a test 24 hours before, seven days before, do you need a vaccination passport, is there a quarantine period, a limit on stays and what documentation is required?

We can help with all those questions.

And, as time goes by, more and more countries are relaxing and streamlining their requirements. That’s another reason why you should be planning your trip for the end of 2021, but probably into 2022 right now.

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A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! 

Wow! – What a year it has been!  Never in our lifetimes has the whole world faced such challenges as it has in 2020.   Like many industries, the world of travel was absolutely turned upside down, with every possible facet feeling the effects of shelteringinplace and closed borders.  Much of the world is still closed to us now, but that will eventually change as we move through 2021.  The desire for new experiences motivates us even now to look into the future with great anticipation of our next great travel adventure. 

Here’s a great quote from travel writer Bill Bryson –

 

 “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” 

Unfortunately, much of this year has been Groundhog Day – over and over again with the scenery rarely changing, as we patiently and hopefully – safely wait for our next opportunity to experience everyday things as if for the first time.  

Many of us have had more than our share of challenges and tragedies in 2020.   We’re not complaining though as we’ve also had more than our share of blessings this year!   

The travel business is still in a severe downturn, yet we remain steadfast in our resolve to go beyond our current circumstances and get to a brighter future.  We are look forward to the great reward that travel truly is and we know you are doing the same.  Despite the obstacles, we remain open, available, willing and more than excited to help you plan your next great adventure.    

We know many of you are waiting for the world to return to normal before making plans.  We get it.  Don’t forget though that travel brings joys before during and after your trip.  The joy of sharing travel memories with friends and loved ones, the great joy of the journey itself and the joy of anticipation from planning your next great trip. 

When you’re ready again to take that first step – planning – give us a call, we’re here for you – same as we’ve been for the last 21 years. 

 

 

Queensland, Australia – Virtual Vacation Thursday – June 18, 2020

Queensland calls itself the ‘Sunshine State’, and enjoys semi-tropical weather, thousands of miles of beaches, and an easy going life-style. Queensland occupies approximately 25% of of Australia, so there’s lots of space for you to explore. In the north the tropical region has rain-forests, gorges, islands, and massive rivers which cut access to many places after rains. In the south, the climate is more moderate with cooler nights and clearer days. It is divided east-west by the Great Dividing Range which closely follows the coastline. West of the range the ‘Outback’ is cattle country with sparse vegetation and in the more remote areas nights will be below zero in winter and days can reach over 100° in summer. The region features some of Australia’s most iconic tour attractions including the Great Barrier Reef and the Gold Coast.

You have 3 options for this virtual vacation join one or join them all – click on the links below to register.  You will be asked for your Travel Advisors Name (Sue Adams) and Agency (GetAway Travel LLC) when registering.

 “The Fun is the Planning. So Join in and Let the Fun Begin!”

pexels-photo-2292976

  SESSION 1

10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET 

SESSION 2

12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET

SESSION 3

2pm PT, 3pm MT, 4pm CT, 5pm ET

 

We look forward to “seeing” you in Queensland!