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Journeywoman's Best Tips of 2006

Best Cheesecake in Quito, Equador -- writes Ellen in Toronto, Canada -- Grain de Café is a casual but pleasant cafe in Quito's Mariscal Sucre area. This is the most popular tourist area in the new city where most of the interesting craft shops, restaurants and tour operators are located. The owners of Grain de Café are Canadians from a Francophone community in Northern Ontario and his Ecuadorian partner. They have excellent international vegetarian and meat meals, and great pizzas, notably unusual like the 'Mexican' topped with beans, corn and cheese. They also have well prepared Ecuadorian specials. However the real fun is that they serve what I believe is the only cheesecake to be found in Ecuador. There are many varieties and all are homemade by the owner's mother. Address: Baquedano 332 and Reina Victoria.

University residence in trendy Camden Town, London -- writes Katy from West Hollywood, USA -- When I studied in London a few years back, a number of travellers, young and old, would show up in my dorm at the end of the term. Ifor Evans Hall in Camden Town provides basic, clean rooms. All bathrooms in this residence are shared, but several rooms have a sink. The dorm is about a half-hour walk from Central London and a 10-minute walk from the Camden Town tube stop on the Northern Line. The 29 and 24 buses also stop a few steps from the entrance. Offbeat, trendy Camden Town is known for its great nightlife and the famous Camden Lock Market (which for young folks is definitely worth a visit). Single rooms start from £21.50 per night self-catered or £26.50 per night bed and breakfast. Visit for more information, or send an e-mail to

ED. NOTE: See: Our Journeywoman's 'Girl's Guide to University Sleeps' offers another 25 suggestions for university dorms.

A great lunch idea in Utrecht, Holland -- writes Nine from The Netherlands -- If you're looking for a healthy, inexpensive lunch in Utrecht, check out our local legend, "Broodje Mario", one of my personal favourites for a quick meal. You can find the "Broodje Mario" marketstall at the Oudegracht near where it crosses the Potterstraat. The marketstall is hard to miss as there's usually a throng of people waiting to buy one of the freshly baked Italian rolls topped with cheeses, Italian sausage, a large scoop of their healthy salad and, for the daredevils, extra hot marinated green chili peppers -- all for a mere €2,50. They also do a vegetarian version of this legendary Italian roll as well as fresh pizzas and calzone snacks. P.S. If you can't find the marketstall on first sight, search for men wearing white floppy hats and carrying big wicker baskets with steaming hot Italian bread and pizza snacks and follow them to the stall. You'll be glad you did.

ED. NOTE: Interested in more reader recommendations about restaurants around the world? We suggest checking out:

Worldwide Plugs and adaptors -- writes Margaret from St. John's, Canada -- I have a great tip about a website that gives a guide to 'Worldwide Plugs and Sockets' so that any traveller can click on the link and find out exactly what adapters they need for any particular destination. I can't believe it took me this long to find it. Often when I traveled, I had no way of knowing whether my computer or hair dryer would work in their sockets. This reference solves the mystery. Website: Take a peek.

Fashionably Warm in Russia -- writes Fiona in St. Petersburg, Russia -- I live here in St. Petersburg and think the best cold weather item is the versatile beret. Probably black. Everyone wears them here and you can add a pin and make it a fashion item or leave it plain. Pull it over your ears when it's cold. For travellers, it takes up little room in your purse or pack.

ED. NOTE: Just a reminder that there's a very helpful section called, What Should I Wear, Where at the JW website. Get packing advice from 100's of other women travellers.

A sophisticated way to beat the heat -- writes Arlene in Roberts Creek, Canada --I have a beautiful black lacy fan that I take everywhere with me. It comes in so handy when traveling in hot countries, waiting at bus stops or even if it's too hot on the plane. Usually people sitting around me remark, 'well isn't that a good idea!'

Travelling with a friend -- writes Nancy from Fairbanks, Alaska, USA -- I once heard that since astronauts spend so much time together in such confined spaces, they have an agreement about cocooning. So, now I do it with my travelling partners as well. This means that when someone wants to be in their own space but can't manage it physically, they tell the other person they are cocooning. That is a signal that the other person won't interact with them until advised that the 'alone' time is over. This concept works great for me and my travel pals.

ED. NOTE: Want more tips on 'Travel for Two' Click here and send the link to your travelling pals.


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