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Showing posts from January, 2020

Nice la Belle

Promenade des Anglais Though I had been to Nice several times in the past, I saw a different Nice in 2019. Gone were the familiar scenes with the exception of the Promenade des Anglais and the pebbly beach. How these people in the photo embrace the sea! For there lies the key to relaxation and a “happier, healthier, more connected” * mind. *Blue Mind, Wallace J. Nichols.
Basilica Notre Dame de Nice It was a sad day when the Notre Dame de Paris burned down in April 2019. I remember attending a special prayer at the Notre Dame de Nice on Avenue Jean Médecin when all of France was mourning after the devastating fire that consumed the spire and roof of the 800-year old Gothic icon of Paris. 
House of Adam and Eve Bas-reliefs of Adam and Eve in the old town of Nice was a surprising find. This former private residence dates back to the late 16th century and the reliefs are said to be of Adam and Eve. But there’s another story about these reliefs that attributes the figures to a quarrelsome coupl…

Budget Friendly Lodging Options

A Room with a View When I was in my 20s, I had the opportunity to stay at one of the dorms in the University of Paris for $15/day. That was quite an experience deserving a full narrative! I also stayed at a student dorm in Switzerland where I had my own room overlooking a garden courtyard and a refrigerator space in the kitchen. Until one morning when I went to take a shower and found a man in his briefs showing off his diminutive frame to all the guests who happened to pass by the shower rooms. So much for exhibitionists! 

Over the years, I’ve found and stayed at more refined lodgings without emptying my travel wallet all too quickly. Many of these places are in Europe and run by religious orders like the Brigidine sisters. The room rates at some of these guest houses start around €35,00 depending on the period of stay and the location. The rooms are simple but have comfortable beds and usually have their own private bathroom. They are always kept clean. The only drawback for some trav…

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…

Berardo Collection Museum - One Man’s Personal Art Collection

“Sculpture is an art of the open air. Daylight, sunlight is necessary to it and for me, its best setting and complement is nature.” - Henry Moore

One of the most impressive museums in Portugal is the Berardo Collection Museum in Belém, a short train or tram ride from the center of Lisbon. The permanent exhibition at the museum is the private collection of one man, José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo. It includes works by the likes of Picasso, Mondrian, Magritte, Warhol among others. An afternoon at this museum is merely an introduction to the Berardo Collection. You’ll want to return and appreciate the works on display at a leisurely pace. Entrance is free on Saturdays.
This is a late post. These few images of the artworks presented here were taken during my visit to Portugal in April 2016. I’ve arranged them in chronological order except for the Henry Moore outdoor sculpture because this image gives a perspective of the museum building (facing away from the main avenue) and the garden. Some …

Discovering Würzburg

One of the most intriguing suggestions I received on my recent visit to Würzburg was to see the Alte Mainbrücke (Old Main Bridge) and stroll across this pedestrian stone bridge with a glass of wine. I learned soon enough that this was sound advice. The bridge is a gathering place for friends and drinking wine from grapes grown in the surrounding hills is a fitting introduction to the capital of the Franconian wine region.

The Alte Mainbrücke was rebuilt between 1473-1543. It has commanding views of Marienberg Fortress and the vineyards that surround the city. On the bridge are twelve statues of saints and emperors which were added in the 18th century.

The Alte Mainbrücke connects the old town with the fishing quarter across the Main River. The tower of the Rathskeller and the steeples of Würzburger Dom figure prominently in the Alstadt (Old Town).

Sunset reflections on the Main River with Marienberg Fortress on the hill above the vineyards.

It’s fascinating to watch how the lock work…

6 Hours in Lucerne

Sometimes when you revisit a place after many years of absence, you are disappointed because it is no longer what you remember it to be. I find this to be true of many cities in Europe where overtourism has transformed these once peaceful towns.  It doesn’t mean these places have lost their charm. It’s still there but it is a bit challenging to appreciate what you see when there are so many people around you (even in November) and the cacophony of herded tourist groups makes you want to run in the opposite direction.

But that’s just my view. It’s been nearly two decades since I was in Lucerne where I had walked around the quiet city streets and ended up at the beautiful Jesuit Church. This same Church was my first stop on a recent day trip from Zürich. And it is everything I’ve imagined since that last visit. The white walls with its Baroque ornamentation are not exuberant as other Baroque churches in Europe tend to be. Rather, the decor livens up the stark white walls. I love to sit…