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Rachel

Rachel

rachelhammel.com// artetcetera.tumblr.com

Nov132014

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Golden Gate Seaplane Tour

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
What an amazing experience! Flying low over San Francisco Bay was exhilarating, and the aerial views were phenomenal. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz, and everything in between. The plane was intimate and every seat had a window, which was awesome. I'm a local and have lived in the Bay Area all my life, but haven't done anything like this. I couldn't put my camera down!

My Photos

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Apr272014

Tour/Activity

After-Hours Tour: Opera Garnier in Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
The Palais Garnier is even more spectacular than I imagined. I loved the intimate feel of our tour, away from the noisy daytime crowds. Our guide taught us a ton about the opera house's history. A must for any fan of 'The Phantom of the Opera'!

My Photos

  • Palais Garnier
  • Me inside Palais Garnier
  • Gorgeous interior of Palais Garnier
  • Staircases in Palais Garnier
  • The Phantom of the Opera's box
  • Admiring the decor in Palais Garnier
  • Take a seat in the Palais Garnier
  • The chandelier in Palais Garnier
  • Amazing architecture in Palais Garnier

Mar162014

Tour/Activity

Dublin Traditional Irish House Party including Dinner and Show

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
We had great time at the Irish House Party. Dinner was absolutely delicious, and the show was fun — the musicians and dancers are so talented! Definitely recommended if you want a night of traditional Irish entertainment.

My Photos

  • The empty stage before the show starts
  • Enjoying Guinness during the show
  • Great Irish musical performance
  • Performers at the Traditional Irish House Party
  • Performers at the Traditional Irish House Party
  • Traditional Irish dancing
  • Traditional Irish dancing

Mar162014

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Guinness Connoisseur Taste Experience at the Guinness Storehouse

Dublin, Ireland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
An absolute must for beer lovers! I'm now a big Guinness fan thanks to our private tasting experience at the Guinness Storehouse. We loved the intimate, old-time atmosphere of the private bar room, and our guide was really friendly and knowledgeable. Get ready for lots of beer tastings!

My Photos

  • Learning how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness
  • Pouring the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Learning how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness
  • Private Bar Room at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Tasting Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Learning how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness
  • Tasting Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse
  • The Private Bar Room at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • The Gate to the Guinness Storehouse
  • Us outside the Guinness Storehouse
  • View from the top floor of the Guinness Storehouse
  • View from the top floor of the Guinness Storehouse
  • Touring the factory house at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Vintage posters at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Enjoying Guinness and shopping at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Enjoying our pints at the Guinness Storehouse
  • The bar at the Guinness Connoisseur Taste Experience
  • Tasting Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Tasting Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse
  • Learning how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness
  • Learning how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness

Mar162014

Tour/Activity

Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
We had a wonderful time on our day trip! Our guide was really friendly and taught us a ton of history about the sights. Leeds Castle and the Cliffs of Dover were beautiful, Canterbury Cathedral was impressive, and the town was quaint and fun to explore. This is a great way to get out of London for the day and see more of England.

My Photos

  • Interior of the Canterbury Cathedral
  • Interior of the Canterbury Cathedral
  • Exterior of Canterbury Cathedral
  • Our tour group for the Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover tour
  • The quaint town of Canterbury
  • The Cliffs of Dover
  • The white cliffs of Dover
  • The white cliffs of Dover
  • On the beach at the white cliffs of Dover
  • Skipping stones in the English Channel
  • At the beach at the white cliffs of Dover
  • The white cliffs of Dover
  • Exterior of Leeds Castle
  • Feathered friends at Leeds Castle
  • Exterior of Leeds Castle
  • Interior of Leeds Castle
  • Exploring Leeds Castle
  • Interior of Leeds Castle
  • Bedroom in Leeds Castle
  • Exterior of Leeds Castle
  • The Grounds of Leeds Castle
  • Exterior of Leeds Castle
  • The Grounds of Leeds Castle

Mar162014

Tour/Activity

The Original London Sightseeing Tour: Hop-on Hop-off

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
A fantastic way to see London! The bus routes cover everything you want to see, and you get to enjoy commentary and great views of the city along the way. Highly recommended for first-time visitors.

My Photos

  • Leeds Castle on the Hop-on Hop-off tour
  • Exploring the Leeds Castle maze
  • Exploring the Leeds Castle maze
  • Getting ready to explore the Leeds Castle maze

Mar162014

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Half-Day Tour

Granada, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This is the best way to experience the Alhambra. Pre-booking tickets made it so easy, and we got to skip the long entrance lines. The guided tour was really interesting!

My Photos

  • Skip the Line Generalife Gardens Tour
  • Beautiful fountain at the Generalife Gardens
  • Looking up at the Alhambra Palace
  • The beautiful Alhambra Palace
  • Spectacular reflection of the Alhambra Palace
  • Alhambra Palace with the skip the line half-day tour
  • Me with an amazing view from the Alhambra Palace
  • Views from the Alhambra Palace
  • Amazing views from the Alhambra Palace

Mar152014

Tour/Activity

Small-Group Medoc or St-Emilion Wine Tasting and Chateaux Tour from Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
We had a lovely day in the Médoc region with our fantastic guide, Claire. We got to go behind the scenes at each winery and learned all about Bordeaux wine and how to detect flavors and aromas during our tasting. Recommended for wine lovers!

My Photos

  • Learning about the famous Grand Cru classification of 1855
  • Wine tasting in France
  • The Chateau Lagrange tasting room
  • The Chateau Lagrange tasting room
  • Discussing wine in the Chateau Lagrange tasting room
  • Readying the wine in the Chateau Lagrange tasting room
  • The Chateau Lagrange tasting room
  • Exploring the Chateau Lagrange bottling room
  • A barrel in the Chateau Lagrange cellar
  • Those barrels go on forever in the Chateau Lagrange cellar
  • The Chateaue Lagrange vat room
  • Exterior of Chateau Lagrange
  • Our tour group at Chateau Lagrange
  • The grounds at Chateau Lagrange
  • Exterior of Chateau Lagrange
  • Vineyards at Chateau Lagrange
  • Looking dapper at Chateau Lagrange
  • Vineyards at Chateau Lagrange
  • Us in the tasting room
  • Our tour group enjoying the wine tasting
  • Learning about wine tasting
  • Learning about  at Chateau Siran
  • Look at all those bottles at Chateau Siran
  • Touring the owner's personal wine cellar at Chateau Siran
  • 100+ year old wine at Chateau Siran
  • Touring the cellar at Chateau Siran
  • Touring the cellar at Chateau Siran
  • Exterior of Chateau Siran
  • Map of old Bordeaux
  • Vineyards at Chateau Siran
  • Our tour group at Chateau Siran
  • Vineyards at Chateau Siran
  • Wine tasting at Chateau Siran

Mar142014

Tour/Activity

Paris Chocolate and Pastry Food Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
LOVED this tour. We had a small group, just us and another couple, and our guide was really nice. We got tons of tastings and they were all amazing! If you have a sweet tooth, I would definitely recommend this.

My Photos

  • Chocolates at Pierre Marcolini
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • Tasting chocolates on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • Tasting chocolates on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • Learning about cacao beans on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • Beautiful array of chocolates on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • Macarons on the Paris chocolate and pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • A tasty treat on the Paris chocolate and pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • Us on the Paris chocolate and pastry food tour
  • Our tour group on the Paris chocolate and pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • Chocolates on display at Angelina's
  • A stop on the Paris Chocolate and Pastry food tour
  • Enjoying hot chocolate on the Paris chocolate and pastry food tour

Mar142014

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Eiffel Tower Tickets and Small-Group Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Fantastic! Loved being able to skip the long entrance line. Our guide was really friendly and we learned a lot of interesting history about the tower.

My Photos

  • Amazing view of the Eiffel Tower
  • Looking all the way up!
  • Vintage photos at the Eiffel Tower
  • Vintage photos at the Eiffel Tower
  • Shadow of the Eiffel Tower
  • The Seine from the Eiffel Tower
  • Couple selfie from the Eiffel Tower
  • View from the Eiffel Tower
  • Checking out the view from the Eiffel Tower
  • View from the Eiffel Tower
  • Our small group tour and guide at the Eiffel Tower
  • Looking down from the Eiffel Tower
  • Amazing view from the Eiffel Tower
  • Taking advantage of the skip the line pass for the Eiffel Tower

Mar122014

Tour/Activity

How to Become Parisian in One Hour: The Hit Comedy Show in Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Hilarious! This was the most fun I've had in Paris in a while. Giraud nails it—the whole audience (which included many Parisians!) was cracking up the whole time. Don't miss this!

My Photos

  • Comedy show in Paris
  • Pictures with the comedian from How to Become a Parisian in One Hour
  • Pictures with the comedian from How to Become a Parisian in One Hour
  • Pictures with the comedian from How to Become a Parisian in One Hour
  • Comedy show in Paris

Mar122014

Tour/Activity

Mugler Follies Cabaret in Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
What a cool show! The costumes, set designs, and lighting effects were amazing, and the acts were diverse and kept us on our toes. Definitely recommended for those looking for something unique and different from the traditional cabaret.

My Photos

  • Enjoying our Champagne before the show
  • Mugler Follies
  • Enjoying our Champagne before the show!
  • Mugler Follies

Jan032014

Tour/Activity

Small-Group Paris Catacombs Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Can't stress enough how happy we were to see the Paris Catacombs! Having a guide is definitely recommended. We got to hear the history of the Catacombs from an expert, making the tour very interesting. Plus, since our guide was already waiting in line when we arrive, we got to bypass the HUGE entrance queue, which was saved us tons of time.

My Photos

  • Plaques on the Paris catacombs tour
  • Bones in the Paris catacombs
  • Bones in the Paris catacombs
  • Bones in the Paris catacombs
  • Bones in the Paris catacombs
  • Bones in the Paris catacombs
  • Bones in the Paris catacombs
  • Stairwell in the Paris catacombs
  • Carvings in the Paris catacombs
  • A dark tunnel in the Paris catacombs

Jan032014

Tour/Activity

Cordoba Mezquita Tour with Wine Tasting

Cordoba, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
If you want to visit Cordoba's Mezquita, having a guide is a must. This tour revealed so much of the cathedral-mosque's fascinating history and diverse architectural styles. We also had enough time to walk around take photos on our own, which was nice, as the tour didn't feel rushed. A glass of wine at a lovely nearby restaurant was a great way to end the tour!

My Photos

  • The Cordoba Mezquita tour with wine tasting
  • The Cordoba Mezquita tour with wine tasting
  • The Cordoba Mezquita tour with wine tasting
  • The Cordoba Mezquita tour with wine tasting
  • The Cordoba Mezquita tour with wine tasting
  • Amazing architecture in the Mezquita
  • Amazing architecture in the Mezquita
  • The Foundation of the Mezquita
  • The Wine tasting leg of the tour
  • Flower Street on the Cordoba Mezquita tour
  • Flower Street on the Cordoba Mezquita tour
  • Flower Street on the Cordoba Mezquita tour

Jan032014

Tour/Activity

Arabian Baths Experience at Cordoba’s Hammam Al Ándalus

Cordoba, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Such a unique experience! Very relaxing and rejuvenating. Wandering from pool to pool, I truly felt as if I'd traveled back to ancient Arabian times. Plus the massage was wonderful and the mint tea was delicious. Don't miss this while in Cordoba!

My Photos

  • The Hammam Al Andalus baths on Cordoba's Old Town

Jan032014

Tour/Activity

Granada and Albaicin Walking Tour

Granada, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This was a great way to get acquainted with Granada. We learned a ton about the city's history and why the Albaicin quarter is so different from the rest of the city...very, very fascinating! Easy walk, interesting sights, and a spectacular view of the Alhambra. Highly recommended!

My Photos

  • Granada and Albaicin walking tour
  • A stop on the Granada and Albaicin walking tour
  • View on the Granada and Albaicin walking tour
  • The Alhambra on the Granada and Albaicin walking tour
  • The Alhambra on the Granada and Albaicin walking tour

Jan032014

Tour/Activity

Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco El Arenal in Seville

Seville, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
What a fantastic show! The flamenco dancers were so passionate and talented, and the atmosphere was very lively and festive -- an authentic Spanish experience. Would definitely recommend for those looking for a fun night out in Seville.

My Photos

  • Outside the Flamenco show at Tablao Flamenco El Arenal
  • Outside the Flamenco show at Tablao Flamenco El Arenal
  • Outside the Flamenco show at Tablao Flamenco El Arenal

Dec282013

Tour/Activity

Experience Seville: Learn How to Dance Flamenco

Seville, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This was a fun activity in Seville! My friend and I enjoyed it very much. Our teacher, Chel, was very passionate about flamenco dance and culture, and taught us all about the history of flamenco in Spain. We learned how to keep the rhythm and mastered some saucy dance moves! The drink afterwards was cool, too, because we got to chat with locals and young travelers.

My Photos

  • Experience Seville
  • Experience Seville
  • Experience Seville: Learn how to dance Flamenco
  • Chel shows us how to dance Flamenco in Seville
  • Learning how to dance Flamenco in Seville

Dec272013

Tour/Activity

Las Ventas Bullring Entrance Ticket and Audio Tour

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Such an interesting place! The architecture of Las Ventas bullring is incredible, and the audio guide is very informative. Would definitely recommend for those looking for a glimpse at an important part of Spanish culture.

My Photos

  • Las Ventas Bullring
  • Las Ventas Bullring
  • Las Ventas Bullring
  • In the bullring at Las Ventas
  • At Las Ventas bullring
  • Las Ventas bullring

Nov112013

Tour/Activity

Wine Tasting - Cote de Nuits Region with One Cellar Visit

Dijon, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
I loved this Burgundy wine-tasting tour. Our guide was very friendly and informative, and offered a detailed account of Burgundy's wine production as we drove along the beautiful Route des Grands Crus through several small villages. The Côte de Nuits wine region is absolutely stunning, offering postcard-worthy views at every turn. We even saw the vineyards of Romanée-Conti, which produces the most expensive wine in the world! The wine tasting at the end was the perfect way to wrap up the afternoon.

My Photos

  • Wine tasting in the Cote de Nuits region
  • Wine tasting in the Cote de Nuits region
  • Wine tasting in the Cote de Nuits region
  • Wine tasting in the Cote de Nuits region
  • Wine tasting in the Cote de Nuits region
  • Wine tasting in the Cote de Nuits region
  • Wine tasting in the Cote de Nuits region
  • Wine tasting in the Cote de Nuits region

Nov012013

Tour/Activity

Berlin Highlights and Hidden Sites Historical Walking Tour

Berlin, Germany

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This tour offers an amazing overview of Berlin's fascinating history and culture. We saw all the main sights plus off-the-beaten-path locations that we would never have known about. Our guide, Michael, was incredibly knowledgeable, well-spoken and charismatic, and offered a brilliant historical narrative of the city -- plus he gave us great recommendations on what to see/do later on our own. Would definitely recommend this tour to anyone visiting Berlin!

My Photos

  • Berlin Highlights and Hidden Sites Historical Walking Tour
  • Berlin Highlights and Hidden Sites Historical Walking Tour
  • Berlin Highlights and Hidden Sites Historical Walking Tour
  • Berlin Highlights and Hidden Sites Historical Walking Tour
  • Berlin Highlights and Hidden Sites Historical Walking Tour

Nov012013

Tour/Activity

Final Days of World War 2 Walking Tour of Berlin

Berlin, Germany

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This walking tour was very, very fascinating. Our tour guide, Nickolai, was incredibly knowledgable and gave us a brilliant, in-depth historical overview of World War II and the rise and fall of Hitler and the Third Reich. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone visiting Berlin, especially history buffs!

My Photos

  • Sightseeing on the Final Days of WWII Walking Tour of Berlin
  • Our group on the Final Days of WWII Walking Tour of Berlin
  • Sightseeing on the Final Days of WWII Walking Tour of Berlin
  • Sightseeing on the Final Days of WWII Walking Tour of Berlin
  • Our group on the Final Days of WWII Walking Tour of Berlin

Nov012013

Tour/Activity

Small-Group Berlin Street Art Tour and Graffiti Workshop

Berlin, Germany

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This art tour is a fantastic way to experience Berlin's true character, since street art and graffiti is everywhere in the city. Our guide, Sam, was awesome and incredibly knowledgeable, and since he's a graffiti artist himself, he knows Berlin's art scene from a true insider's perspective. I was stunned and impressed by the graffiti and street art I saw on the tour, and was fascinated by the significance and technique behind each piece. The graffiti workshop at the end was super fun -- a great way to end the day! Would definitely recommend this tour!

My Photos

  • A piece on the small group Berlin street art tour
  • A piece on the small group Berlin street art tour
  • At the graffiti workshop
  • At the graffiti workshop in Berlin
  • At the graffiti workshop in Berlin
  • Our group at the graffiti workshop in Berlin
  • At the graffiti workshop in Berlin
  • At the graffiti workshop in Berlin
  • At work in the graffiti workshop
  • At work in the graffiti workshop
  • Artwork in Berlin
  • Street art in Berlin
  • Our group on the Berlin street art tour
  • Street art in Berlin
  • Street art in Berlin
  • Street art in Berlin

Apr162013

Tour/Activity

Napali and Ni'ihau 'The Forbidden Island' Kauai Snorkel Cruise

Kauai, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Overall great experience. Lively, friendly, knowledgeable captain and crew made the tour very enjoyable. The ride along the Na Pali coast was absolutely stunning, and we were treated to plenty of whale sightings – dolphins even came and swam alongside the boat, which was magical! Snorkeling was fun, the food was delicious and plentiful, and the ice-cold beers were a nice refreshment after snorkeling. Would definitely recommend this tour for anyone visiting Kauai!

My Photos

  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • Stunning cliffs
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • Spinner Dolphins
  • Sunset
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • Awesome views of the island
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • Dolphin spotting on the Na Pali cruise
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise
  • Our group on the Na Pali cruise
  • Dolphin spotting on the Na Pali cruise
  • Dolphin spotting on the Na Pali cruise
  • On the Napali and Ni'hau Kauai Snorkel Cruise

Nov152012

Tour/Activity

Wine Country Bike Tour and Picnic Lunch with Transport from San Francisco

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
My boyfriend and I had a wonderful time on the Russian River Valley wine tour – it was the perfect way to celebrate our birthdays. Our guide, Ari, was super personable, fun, and helpful, and the wineries we visited offered pretty generous tastings. We loved the gorgeous scenery on our bike ride, and enjoyed the challenge of riding from winery to winery, though the other two people in our group found it a bit burdensome. That said, the round-trip shuttle transportation was very convenient. Under a shaded tree at one of the wineries, we had a gourmet picnic, which was amazing! The food was delicious and the spread itself was equally impressive. Overall, our day was the perfect mix of fun, relaxation, exercise, amazing scenery, excellent wine, and great service.

My Photos

  • Biking around Napa
  • Along Napa's streets
  • Gourmet picnic lunch
  • Napa's vineyards
  • Wine stop at the Japanese garden
  • Sipping red wine
  • Sipping red wine
  • Bking around sunny Napa
  • view of Russian River Valley

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