Travel Tips & Advice on “accommodation”

Conques – One of the most Beautiful Villages in France

The small town of beyond gorgeous Conques (pop: 300) is on the list of “Les Plus Beaux Villages” (the most beautiful villages) in France (you’ll get no argument from me), and an important stop along the Way of St. James pilgrimage route. I burst into in tears when we finished the first portion from Le […]

What to See in Conques, France: Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy

The major sight in Conques is the former Abbey-Church of Saint-Foy (St. Faith). Conques became a pilgrimage destination in the Ninth Century when it acquired the relics of a Saint-Foy (St. Faith), a child martyred in 303 AD famous for her ability to cure eye disorders. Like any business, the town needed a draw to […]

Charming Auberge St. Jacques in Conques, France

Incredible “it has to be seen to be believed” Conques, France is on the pilgrimage route leading from Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The 736 kilometer/457 mile route is called Way of St. James, Camino de Santiago, St. Jacques, or just Camino. Legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried to […]

How to Plan a Cele Valley Variation on the Way of St. James

Air? United Airlines is our carrier of choice and we bought Economy roundtrip tickets from Chicago (ORD) to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). There are some great fares and many airlines fly to France; surf Kayak, One Travel, or your favorite sites. Last-minute trips for less on!Local Transportation? The next step was a round-trip […]

Transportation to Kansai International Airport, Osaka

We were prepared to take a 34-minute, easy train ride from Nankai Namba Station to Kansai International Airport (Osaka), 1,430 Yen, but then Reception at Hotel Monterey Grasmere told us Osaka City Air Terminal (OCAT) is located on the 2nd level of a building next door to the hotel that also has transportation to the airport. This was […]

The Astonishing Pedestrian Streets Around Dotonbori, Osaka Namba Area

The Osaka area of interest to tourists (me, for sure) and what appeared to be residents is Namba. Walk southeast of Hotel Monterey Grasmere to Nankai Station where trains go directly to Kansai International Airport, and next to it is one of the always gorgeous Takashimaya Department Stores which has arguably one of the world’s great […]

Fashionable Dog Clothes and “Love” Hotels in Osaka

The Japanese are some of the most fashion forward thinking people in the world, and the same applies to their pets. Talk about a “Dog’s World”… Dogs in Japan are dressed to the nth degree with necklaces, fashion clothing and you wouldn’t want a dog to actually walk, would you? No, no. There are stroller and […]

What to See and Do in Osaka: Kuromon Food Market

Osaka is Japan’s second city and big with a population of 2.5 million people. However, its history dates back 1,400 years. Two major airports are located within the city limits while regular Shinkansen bullet trains link Osaka with Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Kobe. Osaka is a great walking city, particularly in the Namba area (where […]

A Fast Walk Through Umeda North Area of Osaka

Every single time we try to use subway ticket machines in Japan by ourselves, a local runs up, asks where we are going (if they don’t speak English, they pantomime) and then guides us through the entire process. Today was no different. As I stood looking for one of the machines with an English button, a couple […]

Luxurious Hotel Monterey Grasmere, Osaka

Hotel Monterey Grasmere was selected by Oku Japan as the group hotel in Osaka. Conveniently located in Namba Central Osaka, the hotel is also connected to Namba Station with a direct line to Kansai International Airport. How convenient is that! Marine Steve and I decided to stay for two extra days at this hotel since it wasn’t […]