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Travel quiz: August edition

 

Aerial of pedestrians at Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock Which bustling capital city was once known as Edo? Find out in our quiz © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Do you know which country the archipelago of Zanzibar belongs to? Or which US state has orange juice as its official beverage? Test your knowledge of travel trivia with the August edition of our monthly travel quiz, based around stories featuring in this month?s Lonely Planet magazine. Can you score 100%?

TAKE THE QUIZ

Desperate for more travel trivia? Have a go at last month?s quiz.

Find quizzes just like this, plus plenty of travel inspiration and planning tips in Lonely Planet's UK magazine.

Pathfinder pics: family adventures in Zambia and Tanzania

 

Lonely Planet Pathfinder Jenny Lynn of Travelynn Family recently spent four months exploring sub-Saharan Africa with her young family. Of all the countries they visited, Zambia and Tanzania stood out as real highlights of the trip ? here's why.

People raised their eyebrows when we told them we were going to borrow our friend's Land Rover Defender and travel around Africa with our two boys (aged 2 and 4). Many warned us of the corruption, the terrible roads, the poverty, the malaria... surely Africa just isn't a place to travel with kids!?

After four months traversing the sub-Saharan continent, I can honestly say that Africa is a pretty awesome playground for little ones. From running down sand dunes, to spotting elephants and lions on a self-drive safari; jumping in waves crashing onto pristine beaches, to being thrilled by the sheer thundering force of Victoria Falls ? all the while camping under the stars in a roof-tent every night; Africa offers the ultimate adventure, even with young kids in tow, and truly stole our hearts.

Zambia and Tanzania were probably the most challenging countries due to their size, and a bias towards luxury travellers (which we are unfortunately not). In addition, our visit to Tanzania coincided with the worst rains in over a decade, making some roads impassable. However, our efforts were rewarded with epic family memories that will be treasured for the rest of our lives.

Mount Kilimanjaro

My four-year-old instantly recognised Mt Kilimanjaro from The Lion King; its snow-capped peak rising majestically from the expansive plains below. Although tempting, we thought a climb to the summit would be a bit much for little legs. Instead, we enjoyed some lovely short walks through banana and sunflower plantations in the foothills around Marangu, which offers picture-postcard views on a clear day.

Elephants in Tarangire National Park

The Serengeti may be Tanzania's big ticket attraction, but the extortionate park fees deterred us. Instead, we visited nearby Tarangire National Park, where we camped overnight (the distant roars of lions ensured we slept with one eye open). We seemingly had the entire park to ourselves and spent the day watching hundreds of elephants roam freely across the open Savannah, dotted with baobab trees.

Camping every night

We loved camping each night under the African stars, reliving our day's adventures around the campfire before retiring to our roof-tents. Often we would be the only ones staying at a campsite.

Lonely Planet ebooks

The Lonely Planet guidebooks were invaluable to our overland travels through Africa, particularly with finding the best campsites after a long day on the road. As we were travelling through lots of different countries we opted for the ebooks, which we downloaded onto our phone and tablet for quick and easy access.

The roads

We experienced some terrible road conditions throughout Tanzania and Zambia; potholes, police checks, washed out roads, corrugated roads. However, this was our favourite type of road. A long stretch of dirt track passing through villages. And as we barely passed another vehicle, for lunch and comfort breaks we would just pull over to the side.

Victoria Falls

Nothing quite prepares you for the thundering immensity of Victoria Falls. If you're visiting after the rains, like us, prepare to get absolutely drenched and pack a spare change of clothes for the kids in a waterproof bag! Your voices will be drowned out by the sheer volume of water, so hold on tight to your little ones. Children under 6 are free, which is always a nice bonus for young families.

Get endless family travel ideas and inspiration from Lonely Planet Kids.

In the studio with Alice Bowsher, illustrator for Everyday Adventures

 

Alice painting with ink in her studio © Alice Bowsher Alice painting with ink in her studio © Alice Bowsher

Our latest title, Everyday Adventures, contains a series of fun challenges and activities to try in your hometown such as a zero budget day out and following your senses. We chatted with the illustrator Alice Bowsher on how she created the fun, doodle-style drawings that accompany each activity and the personal challenges that come with illustrating an entire book.

Tell us about the brief

The brief was to create illustrations that bring the Everyday Adventures tasks and challenges to life. I read through all of the challenges and came up with sketches for each whilst keeping it fun and simple!

How did you make a start?

I started by drawing quick sketches using a fine liner pen. I start all of my roughs this way as it's a quick and easy way to get ideas on paper. I only sketched one or two roughs for each task and once they were approved I painted them using brush and ink and then scanned them into Photoshop to neaten them up before sending the final image.

Were there any challenges?

It was an extremely smooth project actually ? the only challenge was that there were so many illustrations. Organisation is not one of my strong points, so this project taught me the importance of having a good filing system... Very boring, but very important!

What?s the one item in your studio you can?t live without?

My books. I know that's not strictly one item but a collection of books counts as one item, right? My books are a great reference and often save me from getting stuck in an internet black hole watching hamsters eat tiny meals. My favourites (books ? not hamsters) are currently The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, Brands with Character and A Smile In The Mind.

How did you get into illustrating books?

By accident! I've always liked drawing for myself but never really thought it could be a viable career choice. I thought I would work in fashion but ended up studying Fine Art at Bath Spa University. As soon as the course started I realised it wasn?t going to work out for me so I switched to Graphic Communication, where I muddled my way through type and font projects for a year until we started working on image-based work. I had a great tutor who spotted my drawings in the margins of pages and encouraged me to draw for projects and that's where it all started. I love illustrating books, they are always my favourite projects to work on.

Alice's illustrations

Expedition to K2 grid-reference rough sketch
Expedition to K2 grid-reference final version
Puppy pursuit rough sketch
Urban zen final version
Fly by night final version
Plastic challenge rough sketch
Food quest rough sketch
Commute tourism rough sketch

Wonderings: where will you find your best food experience?

 

Illustration of a traveller looking out of a train window at a lake with mountains and forest in the background © Joe Davis / Lonely Planet Wonderings: rambles through and reflections on travel... this month, James Kay chews over what makes a great food experience © Joe Davis / Lonely Planet

The stupas strung with prayer flags, snow-streaked slopes of the mountains and thin air of the Kunzum La pass stole our breath away ? literally, given the altitude of over 15,000ft ? but it also stimulated our appetite.

Halfway through the slow, winding descent into Lahaul, India, our guide stopped his battered Land Rover at a mud-brick house topped with rusty sheets of corrugated steel. Filled with the scent of spices sizzling in ghee, this rustic abode doubled as a roadside restaurant ? or, at least, the only place for miles around serving food to passersby.

The menu was familiar: dal, versions of which we?d eaten perhaps a dozen times on the Kinnaur-Spiti loop, a detour en route to our destination, Ladakh. Remarkably, the dish never palled on the palate ? and this particular example, served as we sat on a threadbare sofa in the cook?s front room, remains arguably the best food experience of my travels to date.

?Arguably? is important in that sentence; ranking the best food experiences we?ve had on our adventures is a regular pastime in our house, as it is in the homes of many other people, I imagine. And with good reason. Food, as is often said, reflects culture ? so no wonder it?s such an important part of a trip for anyone with a genuine interest in the people they meet and the places they go.

Simply dal-icious

Eating dal in India features on Lonely Planet?s Ultimate Eatlist, a rundown of the world?s top 500 food experiences, so it?s not just me who has found greatness in this humble dish (globetrotting foodies from far and wide nominated their favourite experiences, which were ranked by a panel of experts).

You won?t find any of the world?s 50 best restaurants in the list, however terrific they are; in fact, in some ways, these experiences occupy the other end of a culinary spectrum that does not run from good to bad, but from formal to informal, stage-managed to spontaneous, and repeatable to unpredictable.

Daal Makhani in a kadhai serving dish on a blue background © DipaliS / Getty Images Dal: what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavour © DipaliS / Getty Images

For all the flair and skill on display, there is, indeed there has to be, a uniformity about restaurants reaching for a Michelin star; without it, such a rating system could not exist. Few, if any, punters would pay the premium for haute cuisine without a guarantee of quality, which is what such awards represent.

And then, of course, there is the social dimension. You?re far less likely to chat with a stranger at the next table in a place where you reserved a seat weeks or months in advance, but you have plenty of opportunity for such casual interaction while queuing for a popular street stall or fabled food truck.

Upwardly mobile

Grass-roots eating experiences like these often turn out to be the proving grounds for the Next Big Thing. They test dishes that sometimes catch on, evolve into staples of a local, regional or national cuisine, and are then transformed, deconstructed ? or, if you?re cynical, merely repackaged ? for the enjoyment of fine diners. Think of the upward mobility of tapas, ceviche, bibimbap.

Michelin acknowledges as much by awarding an increasing number of Bib Gourmands ? accolades which recognise places selling good food at keen prices ? to street stalls. And you can also see how one end of the spectrum influences the other in that hallowed haunt of foodies, San Sebastián.

Eating pinxtos in its backstreet bars is, in Lonely Planet?s estimation, the world?s best food experience. And you can bet your bottom dollar ? or euro, perhaps ? that these simple snacks are getting a molecular gastronomic makeover at some of the city's upscale eateries such as Mugaritz and Arzak, both of which feature among the world?s top 50 restaurants.

I?d love to sample the bold creations on offer there, should I ever get sufficiently organised to snag a table and save enough cash to pay the bill. In the meantime, however, it?s heartening to know that the best food experiences are anything but exclusive. In fact, you might find one in the most democratic of surroundings ? a locals? favourite, a street corner or a roadside shack.

FREE mini-guides: Rome, Austin and Chicago

 

Lonely Planet Magazine's Fall issue is out now! © Lonely Planet Lonely Planet Magazine's Fall issue is out now! © Lonely Planet

The fall edition of Lonely Planet Magazine (US) is now on news-stands nationwide! Find the perfect barbecued ribs in Memphis, make the most of $150 in Miami or venture to the likes of Borneo or Varanasi ? all within 116 colorful pages.

Every issue of Lonely Planet magazine includes cut-out-and-keep destination guides to inspire and inform your next trip. Here you can download our latest selection, focused on the cities of Rome, Austin and Chicago, for free!

A girl wearing sunglasses eats gelato from a cone in Rome © TravnikovStudio / Shutterstock When in Rome... eat as much gelato as humanly possible © TravnikovStudio / Shutterstock

Savor the flavors of Rome

The Eternal City?s streets and piazzas teem with trattorias, ristorantes, pizzerias and wine bars. Eat and drink your way around Rome, and if you feel overwhelmed by the choices, make use of the menu decoder in this guide.

> Download free PDF

Austin at night © SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images Explore Austin's nightlife with our free mini-guide © SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

Good times in Austin

A big city with a small-town heart, the Texas capital is packed with great music, culinary prowess and a sociable streak that?s impossible to resist. Check out these places where Austinites go to unwind.

> Download free PDF

A deep-dish pizza in Chicago © Sergii Koval / Alamy Stock Photo There's more to Chicago than deep-dish pizza, but it's worth a try anyhow © Sergii Koval / Alamy Stock Photo

Food & drink in Chicago

There?s more to Chicago cuisine than hot dogs and deep-dish pizza. In fact, the Windy City is one of America?s best ? if not the best ? food cities right now. After you?ve had your fill of Chicago?s signature specialties, try out some of the city?s most exciting restaurants and bars.

> Download free PDF

Find Lonely Planet Magazine (US) on US news-stands, digitally on iTunes, Nook and Kindle, or subscribe from anywhere at lonelyplanet.com/usmagazine.

UK resident? We also have a UK magazine. Learn more about it at lonelyplanet.com/magazine.

Best foot forward: our Epic Hikes competition winners

 

A copy of Lonely Planet's Epic Hikes of the World © Lonely Planet You came, you hiked, you shared on Instagram © Lonely Planet

Our latest competition called for intrepid ramblers to share their epic hikes with us on Instagram. Entrants had the chance to win a bundle of goodies from Duluth Pack and Hydro Flask, as well as a copy of our new book, Epic Hikes of the World.

Five first-prize winners

Sunrise at Torres del Paine, Chile

A post shared by Louise Spink (@luluspinkles) on

Palisade Head, Minnesota, USA

Untersberg, Austria

A post shared by ola.ventures (@ola.ventures) on

Pacific Northwest, USA

Alaska, USA

A post shared by ??? (@nevygirl) on

Follow @lonelyplanet for more Instagram inspiration.

Just back from: Venice

 

Claire and family enjoying their Venice explorations Claire and family enjoying their Venice explorations © Claire Richardson

Claire Richardson, Picture Editor for Lonely Planet Traveller magazine, recently returned from a trip to Venice, Italy.

Tell us more? My family and I were in Venice celebrating my mother-in-law?s birthday. It was my first time visiting in over 10 years and there was so much to see and rediscover. As it was a short weekend break, we decided to stay centrally in the San Marco district, in-between two of its most famous sites ? the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco.

In a nutshell? Venice is a remarkable city, built on over 100 small islands within a lagoon in the Adriatic sea, in the north-eastern corner of Italy. There are no roads, only waterways and people have to get around on foot or by boat. You may have seen Venice a thousand times on a postcard, but the warren of streets, canals and marble facades never ceases to surprise you.

Looking through the columns of the Piazza towards St Mark's Basilica and the Campanile Looking through the columns of the piazza towards St Mark's Basilica and the Campanile © Claire Richardson

You?d be a muppet to miss? The stunning Piazza San Marco. It?s worth getting there early to soak up the sights before the crowds show up. There?s nothing quite like walking between the piazza columns, and gazing upon the domes of St Mark's Basilica for the first, or the hundredth time; the gold leaf glinting in the sunlight and the Campanile towering above you, where Galileo once stood peering through his telescope. If you?re there in the evening, the piazza fills with classical melodies as musicians take to the floor.

If you do one thing? Get lost! I know it?s a cliché but it really is the best way to explore Venice. It?s a maze of tight alleys and small bridges leading you back and forth over canals as gondolas glide beneath. I loved slowly meandering along the narrow passageways, browsing in shop windows. You can get wonderfully disorientated, but look up and helpful Venetians have put up various signs directing you to either the Rialto or Piazza San Marco ? so you're never truly lost.

The front of a gondola facing the Rialto Bridge Let go of any 'tourist cliche' worries and enjoy your gondola ride through the canals © Claire Richardson

Fave activity? One of the highlights of our trip was taking a sunset gondola ride. It may seem like a very touristy thing to do, but it gives you a wonderful perspective of the city from the water that you can't get from walking. Venice really starts to make sense as you bob slowly along the canals, following watery routes traders and their goods have navigated for generations.

We floated under the magnificent Rialto Bridge whilst taking in the sights of the Grand Canal before heading into the warren of narrow waterways. The Gondoliers will regale you with the history of Venice and facts about their gondolas as you drift along ? you may even be treated to a song or two!

Good grub? I went on a mission in search of cicchetti, traditional Venetian tapas while I was in Venice. I'd read about these tasty small snacks that locals tend to have mid-morning or in the early evening with a glass of local wine. They cost between ?1- ?2.50 each and are served throughout the day at traditional bacari (wine bars). Common examples are polpette (Italian meatballs) and baccalà (creamed cod) on bite-size crostini.

Watch the interview

Want more behind-the-scenes adventures? Find out what Associate Product Director Angela Tinson got up to on her recent trip to Nepal.

FREE mini-guides: County Kerry, Lisbon and Florida Keys

 

Lonely Planet Magazine's September issue is out now! © Lonely Planet

The September issue of Lonely Planet Magazine (UK) is out now! And it is packed with potential trip ideas and inspiration, including 40 bucket-list experiences, a Great Escape to Ibiza and the ultimate wildlife spectacle: East Africa?s Great Migration.

Get a slice of the action with our free mini-guides, available to download right here.

The River Loe winds through the steep valley of the Gap of Dunloe © Joe Dunckley / Shutterstock The River Loe winds through the steep valley of the Gap of Dunloe © Joe Dunckley / Shutterstock

Best of County Kerry

For a taste of iconic Ireland, County Kerry has surf-pounded sea cliffs, emerald-green farmland and wild countryside. Also try out our day-trip guide to the Gap of Dunloe, exploring by bike, boat or horse-drawn cart.

> Download free PDF

Fado singer Ana Moura in Bacalhau de Molho restaurant, Lisbon © OSOMEDIA Fado singer Ana Moura in Bacalhau de Molho restaurant, Lisbon © OSOMEDIA

Bars in Lisbon

Cobbled, red-tiled Lisbon is home to an ever-thriving bar scene: from rooftop bars to underground speakeasies, this list navigates the Portuguese capital?s best spots to enjoy a couple of drinks.

> Download free PDF

Get outdoors in the Florida Keys © Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet Get outdoors in the Florida Keys © Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

Outdoors in the Florida Keys

Sandbar islands, turquoise water and deep green mangroves: the Florida Keys is ideally equipped for wonderful outdoor experiences. This guide picks out the best activities at the Sunshine State?s south tip.

> Download free PDF

Want more freebies? Check out last month?s mini-guides.

Find Lonely Planet Magazine in UK shops and newsagents, digitally on iTunes, Google Play and Zinio, or subscribe from anywhere at lonelyplanet.com/magazine.

US resident? We also have a US magazine. Learn more about it at lonelyplanet.com/usmagazine

Pathfinders: video of the month, July 2018

 

Green rice terraces, with Fansipan Mountain in the background © Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty Images. Green rice terraces, with Fansipan Mountain in the background © Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty Images.

Every month, we curate the best blog posts, videos and Instagrams from our Lonely Planet Pathfinders. This month we?ve got a double instalment of their best videos, as we feature our top picks from June and July.

First up is Daniel Clarke of Dan Flying Solo, who takes us on a trip to Mauritius.

?Mauritius surprised me in so many ways; the island has so much more than just beautiful beaches to offer. From lush hiking routes that lead to hidden waterfalls, to fascinating tea plantations and fun rum distilleries, Mauritius blew me away!?

So many reasons to visit Mauritius - Dan Flying Solo

Why we like it: It?s great to see a destination challenging perspectives and Dan?s action-packed video certainly shows viewers just how much there is to do and see in Mauritius beyond the beaches. Dan has creatively pieced together a wide variety of footage in this montage (we can only imagine the reels of footage he returned home with!) creating one fast-paced, exciting look at this inviting island.

Next up is Mark Hadj Hamou with a cinematic montage of Vietnam.

?It?s about the journey, not the destination ? a saying that has never rung truer for me than when I was travelling through Vietnam. My trusty road warrior Charlie and I embarked on a 5500km drive through the country, covering its lush countryside, iconic sights and lively cities. We had the ride of a lifetime.?

The great ride, Vietnam - Mark Hadj Hamou

Why we like it: From big landscapes and sweeping drone footage to a timelapse of the bustling cityscape, this video paints a vivid picture of Vietnam. Mark has also found some exciting creative ways to transition from segment to segment, such as the animated Vietnamese dong note coming alive (at 01:36) which helps guide the viewer through each part of his trip.

Keep your eyes peeled on our Thorn Tree forum where we?ll post the next submission call-out. Find out what else our Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to by checking out the Pathfinders video playlist and don?t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Your best Trips: Mexico, Romania, Peru, Tunisia and more

 

We at Lonely Planet love that our fans and followers are as itchy-footed as we are ? and often jaw-droppingly well travelled. So what to do once the latest jaunt is over? Share it with your fellow community of globetrotters of course!

Here are some of the best stories from our Trips app to inspire your next adventure.

Bringing new meaning to a ?breathtaking view? © Girl Gone Abroad Bringing new meaning to a ?breathtaking view? © Girl Gone Abroad

Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Lauren Carey, aka Girl Gone Abroad, shares her experience of the high-altitude Rainbow Mountain trek in Peru.

Need to see it to believe it? See Lauren?s Trip.

Fascinating ruins of temples and palaces at Orchha © Ashray Sachdeva Fascinating ruins of temples and palaces at Orchha © Ashray Sachdeva

Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

Driving around 500km from New Delhi, Ashray Sachdeva discovers a lesser-known highlight of India.

Intrigued? See Ashray?s Trip.

Romania is full of hidden surprises © Jorge Oliveira Romania is full of hidden surprises © Jorge Oliveira

Road trip in Romania

Providing a step-by-step guide to exploring Romania by car, Jorge Oliveira packed a lot in to his trip!

Ready to get behind the wheel? See Jorge?s Trip.

Stand in awe of Mayan ruins in Mexico © Kevin Willems Stand in awe of Mayan ruins in Mexico © Kevin Willems

Mexico: in the footsteps of the Maya

The Yucatán Peninsula is packed with historical sites and pristine beaches. Kevin Willems shares his favourite bits.

Want to retrace his steps? See Kevin?s Trip.

One of many epic views to be found in Canada © Matt Stone One of many epic views to be found in Canada © Matt Stone

From Whitehorse, YT to Vancouver, BC

Hot springs, lake views, bear spotting? Matt Stone recalls an RV road trip in Canada.

Love getting into the wild? See Matt?s Trip.

A snap taken on the road while authoring for Lonely Planet?s new update © Lauren Keith A snap taken on the road while authoring for Lonely Planet?s new update © Lauren Keith

Road-tripping around Tunisia?s Cap Bon

Lonely Planet?s destination editor for the Middle East and North Africa Lauren Keith is just back from a stint authoring in Tunisia ? here?s what she got up to.

Want a sneak peek at the life of a travel writer? See Lauren?s Trip.

Can you spot the walkers? © Michael Kragelund Can you spot the walkers? © Michael Kragelund

Hiking in Greenland

A hike in Greenland reveals glaciers, fjords and phenomenal scenery to Michael Kragelund.

Think ice looks nice? See Michael?s Trip.

One of many beautiful beaches in Rio de Janeiro © Caroline Feital One of many beautiful beaches in Rio de Janeiro © Caroline Feital

Exploring Brazil: Região dos Lagos

There?s more to Rio?s beaches than Copacabana. Caroline Feital investigates...

Like sun, sea and sand? See Caroline?s Trip.

Want to get involved? Explore every day with Trips by Lonely Planet. Share your trip with us on Twitter with the hashtag #lptrips.

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