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Where to go in 2020

The Little Mermaid, Denmark Afar Magazine - Best Places to travel in 2020
Afar has compiled a list of exciting destinations and divided it under the four seasons. How about winter in Bariloche, Argentina, Istanbul in the spring, Greenland in the summer and autumn in Dubai for starters?
https://www.afar.com/magazine/best-places-to-travel-in-2020

Condé Nast Traveler - Best Places to go in 2020
”We aim to compile a list that is geographically diverse but also has points of interest for every traveler, whether you’ll fly for unparalleled stargazing, gorilla spotting in the wild, or shopping in Tangier.” - Condé Nast Traveler  https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-places-to-go-in-2020

Fodor’s Go list for 2020
Fodor’s go list consists of 52 places including a few that have had their “share of hardships in the recent past.” 
https://www.fodors.com/go-list/2020

Frommer’sBest Places to go in 2020
Frommer’s list visits the “less trampled and overlooked” places in the world.
https://www.frommers.com/slid…
Recent posts

Gstaad in the Off Season

On the bus ride to Gstaad from Les Diablerets, I met an Indian couple who were traveling in Switzerland. They told me about the popularity of Gstaad in India thanks to blockbuster Bollywood movies which feature this renowned ski resort. I was just passing through Gstaad and had no idea about its attractions other than its ski slopes but it wasn’t winter yet so the town was quiet, so quiet even the Louis Vuitton shop was closed.

Grey skies and light rain threatened to drive me indoors and miss out on this winter playground of the rich and famous. But I had an umbrella so I walked up and down the Promenade to see a little bit of the town that will come alive when the skiing season begins. Swiss chalets with window boxes brimming with colorful flowers line the street all the way to the river where frigid waters burble across town to steal its tranquility and wake up sleeping beauty. As I continued strolling, I found sculptures blending with its backdrop like the two musicians in the photo…

Charlie Chaplin in Vevey

La Fourchette Lovers of chocolate know that Vevey is the birthplace of milk chocolate. The Nestlé world headquarters thrives in this beautiful town surrounded by mountains and the calm lake waters of Lake Leman (Lake Geneva). These seats by the shore are definitely prime seating for capturing the beauty and serenity of the alpine scenery.
Alimentarium Why is there a fork in the lake? La Fourchette was originally planted there for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Alimentarium, a food museum founded by Nestlé. Though the Fork had become part of the seascape, Alimentarium didn’t have the legal permission to keep the 8-meter high utensil in the lake. It wasn't until 2008 when the canton of Vaud approved its permanent installation in Lake Leman. Jean Pierre Zaugg designed the Fork and George Favre made the stainless steel, 450 kg (992 lbs) work of art.
La Grenette La Grenette (Granary) presides over the Grande Place of Vevey where the outdoor market is held on Tuesday and Saturday…

Bordeaux, the City by the Garonne

Forest bathing in Bordeaux Bordeaux, dubbed the Pearl of Aquitaine, seems to have everything. It has a historic center which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It has bold, new architectural spaces juxtaposed with soaring 15th century bell towers and Gothic cathedrals. It is one of the great wine producing regions in France that has quenched man’s thirst since the Roman era. It has expansive squares and gardens with flourishing trees that cool down the summer heat. There’s much to see, taste, smell and learn in this old and “new” city in southwestern France.
Church of St. Croix (Holy Cross) There was a church on this spot since the 11th century and it was modified over time. The current asymmetrical façade of Saint Croix is from the 18th century renovation when a new tower was added. Identical columns frame the second to fourth floors of the towers but the arched windows are of different styles and count. An interesting sculpture of St. George slaying the dragon plays above the red si…

Your Kiss Is On My List

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt “It’s the way you love me
It’s a feeling like this 
It’s centrifugal motion
It’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment
This kiss, this kiss (it’s unstoppable)“
This Kiss, Faith Hill

What’s in a kiss? More than touching lips, chemistry and feel good vibes, these artists (whom I’ve featured here) have immortalized the kiss visually and through music, the language of love.

The image of The Kiss (above) was taken from the Atelier des Lumieres digital exhibition, Gustav Klimt and Hundertwasser, in Paris in 2018. The original painting is in the Austrian Gallery Museum of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.

Artist Unknown, Bologna, Italy ”Because your kiss, your kiss is on my lips
Because your kiss, your kiss I can’t resist
Because your kiss is what I miss
When I turn on the lights”
Your Kiss is on my List, Daryl Hall & John Oates

Kissing the War Goodbye, Victor Jorgensen  “I wanna kiss a girl 
I wanna hold her tight
Maybe make a little magic in the moonlight”
Kiss a Girl, Keith Urban

T…

Excerpts from The Prisoner of Chillon

Chateau de Chillon There are seven pillars of Gothic mould, 
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,  There are seven columns, massy and grey,  Dim with a dull imprison'd ray,  A sunbeam which hath lost its way,  And through the crevice and the cleft  Of the thick wall is fallen and left;  Creeping o'er the floor so damp,  Like a marsh's meteor lamp:  And in each pillar there is a ring,  And in each ring there is a chain;  That iron is a cankering thing,  For in these limbs its teeth remain,  With marks that will not wear away, 
Lake Leman Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls:  A thousand feet in depth below  Its massy waters meet and flow;  Thus much the fathom-line was sent  From Chillon's snow-white battlement,  Which round about the wave inthralls:  A double dungeon wall and wave  Have made—and like a living grave  Below the surface of the lake  The dark vault lies wherein we lay:  We heard it ripple night and day;  Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd;  And I have felt the winter'…

Ulrich Zwingli at Eye Level

“I ask Christ for this one thing only, that he will enable me to endure all things courageously, and that he break me as a potter’s vessel or make me strong, as it pleases him.” Ulrich Zwingli
For the 500th anniversary of Swiss reformation leader, Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli, fifteen plastic statues of him were cast from the model of the bronze original found on the Wasserkirche (Water Church). One of these statues was included at a festival parade in Zürich and twelve of them were installed in each of the twelve districts of the city. Both the main train station and the airport each had a statue on display as well. Ten of these Zwingli figures were later moved to the Limmatquai to stand under the shadow of the Grossmünster Church overlooking the river. According to Christoph Sigrist, pastor of Grossmünster, the goal of the celebration is to bring Zwingli to the people, at eye level, thereby inviting dialogue and spreading the reach of the Church beyond its walls.
The eco-Zwingli in mirro…

Naantali, the Sunshine Town

The steeple of Naantali Church rises above the harbor and is the first thing you see on approach to the popular summer destination of Finland. It is the only remaining building from the convent of the Bridgittine Sisters built after the building permit was signed in 1443. The establishment of the Vallis Gratiae (Valley of Grace) convent coincides with the founding of Naantali. Both convent and town prospered from trading rights and privileges until the 1500s when Protestantism was introduced and adopted in Finland and the convent was closed. Naantali’s fortunes suffered with the closure and it was soon forgotten.

The discovery of therapeutic waters of Viluluoto Spring in Naantali in the 1700s helped the town get back on its feet with the initiation of spa activities. This was further developed in 1863 and established Naantali as a spa destination. Today, Moomin World Theme Park in Kailo draws the most visitors to Naantali. Children have the most fun meeting their favorite Moomin family…