Pedal power is one of the best ways of getting around Copenhagen, and starting in May, tourists and Danes alike will be able to cycle their way around the city on any of 5,000 bikes made available free (a deposit of about $4 for each bike is refunded when it's returned).
You can take a bike, or a car, along the 2,500-mile "Daisy Route" that winds around the best of Denmark's countryside. Over 300 local attractions are waymarked with the daisy logo that symbolizes the national flower. The route officially opens April 16, celebrating Queen Margrethe II's birthday.Some of the sights to see might include Legoland - something of a Danish equivalent to Disneyland - with versions of Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, and other American landmarks constructed out of plastic toy bricks, or the city of Aalborg, just named Europe's cleanest city and planted with thousands of new trees.
Those with literary interests may want to visit the ancestral home of Karen Blixen, known as Isak Dinesen, author of "Out of Africa" and other stories. Being opened to the public for the first time, the house is at the Rungstedlund estate about 20 miles north of Copenhagen, overlooking the Oresund. The home is where the author, a Danish baroness, did much of her writing.
Where can you find a green monkey? In the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, the only one of its type in the Caribbean. The reserve also is home to tortoises, peacocks, hares, guinea birds, South American deer, swans, otters, raccoons, and many kinds of fish and crustaceans. (The monkey, by the way, isn't really green but brownish-gray with yellow and green flecks.)
Another way to enjoy the natural beauty of the island is by hiking through some of Barbados' scenic areas, something that's easy with the daily hikes organized by the Outdoors Club of Barbados. Hikers are picked up at their hotels and taken the starting point, with guides to provide information about history, health and horticulture. Donkeys carry all equipment, so hikers can concentrate on photographing and exploring. The National Trust also sponsors Sunday morning hikes of about five miles each.
Lush, exotic flowers like orchids flourish at Andromeda Gardens, perched on a cliff overlooking Bathsheba on the east coast. The gardens are punctuated with waterfalls and pools. And the Flower Forest on the Richmond Plantation, an old sugar plantation in the heart of Scotland District, has been landscaped to preserve its old fruit trees. There also are breadfruit, nutmeg, guava, soursop, golden apple, cherries, herbs, shrubs, and tropical flowers, with hummingbirds buzzing about.
Or try a submarine. Atlantis II subs dive 150 feet below the surface of the waters around the island, enabling passengers to see fish, coral and a shipwreck. The dives last about 90 minutes. There's also Harrison's Cave, which visitors can tour aboard an electric trolley to look at huge stalactites, stalamites and underground pools and streams.
Aruba, another Caribbean island, also abounds with interesting tropical wildlife and vegetation. Located just off the coast of South America, it's a tropical desert with cactus, divi-divi trees, sea grape, kwihi, aloe and palm trees. There are tropical fish, lizards and colorful birds. And you're unlikely to be rained on; Aruba's rainfall is less than 20 inches a year. --
Columbus started it all, nearly 500 years ago, on the tiny Bahamian island of San Salvador. There even is an underwater monument at the spot where the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria are thought to have anchored.
But since then, there have been few changes in the Family Islands group, of which San Salvador is a member, which makes them appealing getaway spots. There are fishing, diving, almost deserted sandy beaches. Many of the hundreds of islands are uninhabited, but those that are often don't have room telephones, televisions, or other urban intrusions.
Besides San Salvador, the best known of the islands are Bimini, made famous by Ernest Hemingway; Abaco, where Hope Town's striped lighthouse is often remembered in photographs; Eleuthera, base for many luxury resorts, including the British royal family's favorite, the Windermere Island Club; the Exumas, an island chain that is home for many little sea villages like George Town, which hosts the Family Island Regatta; and Andros, the largest but least populated island, attractive to divers and naturalists.
Jacques Cousteau has called Cozumel "a diving Mecca," and divers can take advantage of underwater currents as fast as one knot to let them cover more territory and see more. Cozumel, Mexico's largest island, has at least 40 major dive sites with visibility of as much as 200 feet in the clear waters. Exploration sites include the three-mile-long Palancar Reef, as well as the Chankanaab and Santa Rosa Reefs. The area has extensive sponges, underwater caves, and at least 230 species of fish, including the Splendid Toadfish, not found anywhere else in the world.
Visitors to Cancun can inspect deep water marine life the easy way - by submarine. Large viewing windows below deck on the Sub-See Explorer, operating out of the Marina Aqua Ray, give closeup views of corals and fishes, with commentary by a staff marine biologist on board. For more rugged viewing, the marina also has a scuba diving school.