HI-Ottawa Jail hostel, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The Hl-Ottawa Jail hostel is located in the former prison of Carleton County (1862-1972). This is the only hostel of its kind in North America. The original architecture has been preserved with its walls made of stone and brick and cells were transformed into dormitories. This prison was considered one of the most haunted buildings in Canada. The building is conveniently located in the city center, just steps from Parliament Hill, the National Gallery of Canada, the Byward Market, shops, cafes, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in short everything a tourist wants to know while in town. The night comes accompanied with a delicious continental breakfast: fair trade coffee, tea, juice, fruit and bagel baked in the region, eggs, milk and cereals. Of course, you have wi-fi.

Tips

Do not miss the tour of the prison offered free with your stay every day at 11:00. If you arrive by car, there is a paid parking at $12.00 per day. The inn offers holidays with a lot of emotions, weekly activities, guided tours and evenings at the bar. If you want to have new experiences and meet other travelers, you will have the opportunity to share your cell-room with other tourists.

The Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve is a region located to the south of mainland Portugal having Faro as the administrative capital. The river Guadaiana separates it from the Spanish region of Andalusia. There are two regions Barlovento (the western part), which largest municipality is Faro and Sotavento (the eastern part) having Portimao as its main municipality. The coast of the region is about 155 km long and has open caves in the limestone rock near the town of Lagos. It is a region very appreciated by tourism because there are beautiful beaches and its Mediterranean climate makes it even more attractive and many Europeans own their second home here especially the inhabitants of Great Britain so it is quite common to hear English speak and watch TV and read newspapers in English in hotels or restaurants. Apart from the beaches, there is also a natural bath; Caldas de Monchique. We find ruins and monuments dating from different periods, such as the Roman period or the period of Muslim rule. The region’s gastronomy is rich in seafood and fish, figs and almonds are widely used in pastries and there are vineyards that produce the wine of the region quite appreciated for wine lovers.

Tips

If you want to explore the region, the best time of year is between June and September. Frequent rainfall is between October and February.

Enjoy to taste one of the typical dishes of the region; sardines.

You can rent an apartment or choose a hotel in a touristy city like Albufeiras and from there visit the area.

You can also make excursions to visit vineyards and enjoy tastings.

Karlstein Castle, Czech Republic

Karlstein Castle (Hrad Karlštejn), located 30 km from Prague, is one of the most important castles in Bohemia. It was founded by Charles IV to preserve the jewels of the Imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the royal crown of the Bohemian states and the various holy relics. The original castle was of Gothic architecture but after being abandoned for over a century, many Gothic elements were replaced by others of the Renaissance type. It is known as the most visited castle of the Czech Republic. It has 5 levels with several towers and the large dungeon has 60m.

Tips

Prepare for a walk of about 20 minutes to get there, as the access by car stops in the parking of the main road, the rest of the ascent must be done on foot.

Do not miss the Saint Croix chapel in the upper tower. Generally it is necessary to make a reservation to visit it because of the great affluence of tourists. It has 4 partially glazed windows of gems, a cross of ogives and frescoes illustrating the life of Christ and 129 paintings representing saints signed by Theodoric.

You will also find a well with a depth of 80m where the bucket is raised and lowered by a wheel once driven by people who walked.

It is possible to book a guided tour in different languages. For visits in Czech, German or English it is not necessary.