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Cherished Images of Hanoi

This Hop On, Hop Off tour bus was all bedecked in flowers to honor International Women’s Day. We should celebrate Women’s Day everyday, don’t you think? Incidentally, the Hop On Hop Off tour bus is a great way to see any city. The ticket is usually good for 24 hours and you can hop on again the next day and see the places you missed the previous day. It is also a solo traveler’s best and sometimes only choice when booking any other sightseeing tour and the tour operator expects or requires a booking for a minimum of two persons. These flower vendors don’t need a kiosk to sell their colorful bouquets. And they can go around town with their haul behind their backs to reach more customers. Hoàn Kiem Lake or Sword Lake is wrapped in legend involving a king, a giant turtle and a sword. Today it is an area of calm in this bustling city.  Life along the railroad tracks is as normal as can be with laundry hanging from the balconies, gossiping neighbors in front of their houses, tourists drinki
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Harvest at Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

  Fall is here and along with it the return of the iconic pumpkin. It’s almost time to visit the pumpkin patch to pick up a pumpkin or two to carve. In the meantime, here are some colorful images of big and little pumpkins amidst giant floral encrusted mushrooms, fairies, mushroom capped habitats, an oversized sewing machine and a variety of seasonal flowers and plants. Bellagio Conservatory consistently offers a delightful floral display every season. If you happen to be in Vegas, go see this enchanting display which ends on November 4, 2023. Happy autumn! Where to go: Bellagio Hotel and Casino 3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Nevada ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

Riga, the Capital of the Baltics

Green spaces Two things become apparent when you arrive in Riga. First, there are a lot of green spaces and parks in the city and more lovely woods as you travel around Latvia.  The Brotherhood of the Blackheads Guild House The second thing you’ll notice is the variety of architectural styles from medieval to Art Nouveau to Soviet era architecture and modern aesthetic. The Blacksheads Guild House (above) has been restored after it was destroyed by German bombing in 1941 and the Russians took down in 1948 whatever was left of the ruined buildings. Three Brothers The houses of the Three Brothers represent three different eras and styles of architecture. And for clarification purposes, none of the owners were brothers. The White House is the oldest masonry building in Riga (dating around the end of the 15th c and the beginning of the 16th c).  The middle house has 1646 marked on its façade which is when its current look originates. The green house from the 17th century is the youngest of

Brașov was once called Stalin City

White Tower Brașov is a city nestled in the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania. Remnants of its medieval fortifications and bastions are added attractions to this buzzing city. The White Tower along with the Black Tower are two of the remaining watchtowers still visible today. During the Communist period,  Brașov  was called Orasul Stalin or Stalin City after the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. Black Church This is such a storied Gothic church which was originally the Catholic Church of St. Mary before it was converted to a Lutheran Church. It was believed to have been affected by fire in 1689 which blackened its exterior walls and roof. But a new 21st century study reveals that this wasn’t the case at all. The only reason for its blackened state according to the study is environmental pollution caused by the industrialization of Brasov in the 19th century. The walls have since been cleaned but there are traces of black spots on the roof.  Republicii Street This long pedestrian street

8 things to love about Sofia

Sofia Airport Metro Station 1 Easy to navigate Sofia is not a big city when compared to other European cities like Paris or Berlin. This means that walking around the city can be a pleasurable experience and no crowds to jostle with. The metro system is simple and easy to use and gets you to the center of the city from the airport in 30 minutes for only 1.60 BGN. There are monitors in the train that show the next stop and an announcement both in Bulgarian and in English as the train approaches a station. It’s best to buy a day ticket if you plan to use the metro throughout the day. 2 Several historical landmarks are in the same neighborhood St. Petka Church, Roman ruins, Banya Bashi Mosque When you get off at Serdika Metro station, you’ll find the Roman ruins just outside the exit door. There’s no need to go up the stairs and cross the street to the Largo area. Beside the ruins are the Banya Bashi Mosque from the 16th century, a remnant of the Ottoman rule in Bulgaria and the elevate