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You have received a letter from your friend who invites you to spend a couple of weeks in Rio de Janeiro. Write a reply (about 120 words). In your letter:
- thank your friend for the invitation
- say what you would like to see in the city and why
- tell your friend when you will be able to come / why you won’t be able to come
- ask questions about any details of your visit
Steven Taylor asked five of our readers to talk about their favourite cities. Here is what they had to say.
The majority of annual visitors to Greece arrive on package tours to the Greek islands and rarely get the opportunity to explore the sights of Athens, which is a pity, because despite the noise and traffic jams, it is one of the most exciting and fascinating cities in Europe. To make sure you get to see the most important sights, you can book a city tour at a very reasonable price. However, it is always wise to pre-book tours of Athens, especially if you are going to come in August. There is a wealth of scenery to enjoy in the surrounding countryside, too, so try to take in other one-day excursions out of the city. At the heart of the city, nestled at the foot of the Acropolis is Plaka, the oldest and most picturesque neighbourhood in Athens. Overlooked by the glorious temple of the Parthenon, it is a maze of narrow streets running in all directions around the Acropolis.
Richard, Rio de Janeiro
If I had the choice of any city in the world in which to live, it would be Rio. It is one of the most romantic cities in the world, blessed with a wonderful sunny climate you can count on and a breathtaking coastline. Rio is undoubtedly one of those favoured places in the world, whose names have a universal romantic appeal. The effect Rio has on the visitor is unforgettable. It is set in a stunning location surrounded by lush green vegetation and the sea. Central Rio lies on the western shore of the bay, with world-famous Sugar Loaf Mountain standing guard to the natural harbour, while to the west is Copacabana, that stretch of brilliant white sandy beach that to the locals is without equal. A blend of European and South American culture, Rio is the highlight of any visit to Brazil.
Italian cities are famed for their history and culture but to many people Venice is unquestionably one of the finest cities in the world. Constructed on an archipelago of 18 small islands separated by a dense network of waterways, Venice is geared to accommodating the millions of tourists who flock here annually. Known locally as 'The Queen of the Adriatic', Venice is best seen by water. Relax as you wind your way along the Grand Canal past incredible facades of Gothic and Renaissance palaces and magnificent churches below the elegant Rialto Bridge. Go sightseeing around the numerous palaces and take in the wonderful architectural heritage. Venice today still looks much as it did in the 13th century, with the exception of a few transformations to some buildings. Crowded throughout the summer months, reasonably-priced accommodation is almost impossible to find, so an advance booking is essential.
The weather can make or break a holiday but in the Catalonian capital in the summer months, rest assured that the sun will shine each day. I can't imagine anyone not loving Barcelona. It is a stylish, cosmopolitan city with the romantic Mediterranean on its doorstep. Visitors should take every opportunity to sample the wonderful cuisine as well as the famous Catalonian hospitality, (and will no doubt wish they had more time to explore the city). Despite the rapidly-changing skyline of the modern city, which reflects the present age, it remains an enchanting place. For the culturally-minded, there are a great many museums, custodians of a unique historical and cultural heritage. Among the most popular with an international reputation is the Picasso Museum, which houses many of the painter's works and hosts many temporary exhibitions.
Warsaw is a city steeped in history. Situated on the banks of the Vistula river, Warsaw gets its name from Wars, a fisherman and, Sava, a mermaid he had rescued. Fortunately, despite its almost total destruction in the early forties, Warsaw is teeming with places of interest. The Old City, which has been restored, centres on the medieval market square near the river and is surrounded by Renaissance and Baroque houses. A must for all visitors is the Palace of Culture and Science, which affords a panoramic view of the entire city. Also well worth visiting in Lazienki Park is The Palace on Water, built in the 18th century as the summer palace of Stanislas II Augustus, the last king of Poland.