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Image by Bjorn Snelders


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There are not many countries in the world where you can you stand on the equator.  Traverse beaches, Andean mountains and Amazonian forest in a single day. When they say a country 'has it all' they must be talking about Ecuador.

Small but perfectly formed, Ecuador is a tiny nation that punches well above its weight in the tourism stakes. Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America and, if it wasn't for the Galapagos territory, would be one of the least visited. Even those visitors who fly in and out on their way to the islands rarely leave the city missing out on a gem of a country. The distances are short, the scenery immeasurably variable and the people welcoming. 

The country offers stunning surf beaches, old-world cities, volcanic spas, towering ice-capped mountains. For the adventurers. Mountain bikers and road cyclists will love it. No other country offers you the ability to bike from the Andes to the Amazon or to the beach in a day. this is a different kind of extreme downhill. If uphill isn't your thing, sling the bike onto the roof of a bus and catch a ride back home.





Today and Indepence    


More coastline than any other country in europe i would say. Because of the lochs. 

Its often overlooked how far north scotland actually is, latitude is up with scandanvia.

Weather is rarely warm. But its also not grey and drizzly and miserable. The sun will come out at least once a day. The cities and towns are low rise, light and brightened by warm sandstone and white homes green hills. Even glasgow - which has found it hard to shrug off its industrial slum city reputation is a cozy, warm, bight place with beautiful green parklands. 


Scotland has long been at the forfront of major engineering revolutions. The steam engine was invented by a scot, as was the telephone, it was the home of major shipbuilding, oil rigs sit off its north east coast and windmills criss-cross the land. Although it remains a fossil fuel exporter it is internally fueled by renewable energy. When it comes to toursim though whats there to be sustainable?


Summer is the usual time. It coincides with the Edinburgh festival - possibly the biggest arts festival in the world. It actually several festivals rolled into one. Accom can and will book out. Don't restrict yourself to Edinburg. Glasgow is less crowded has its own summer festivals and is only 1 hour by train to Edinburgh and they run endlessly. Summer also coincides with school and uni holidays. Universities student accom is vacant and offers a cheap alternative if you are looking for semi-serviced apartment. Most are modern ensuite rooms with a kitchen shared between 5 or 6 rooms.  Outside of summer days are short and cold. Winter needs some real effort. 


Edinburgh and Glasgow have international connections. Trains go to all the main towns and quite a few small towns along the way. 

Image by Sorin Tudorut

 A seamless blend of ancient traditions and    modern madness. Japan is inspiring,    provocative, beautiful and timeless. 



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