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Showing posts from September, 2022

Stories from Krakow

St. Mary’s Basilica The current Basilica was built in the 14th century on the foundation of an older church from the 13th century. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site which includes the entire Stare Miasto (Old Town) of Krakow. Jan Matejko, the foremost painter of Poland designed the polychrome murals of the Basilica and the wooden altarpiece behind the main altar was carved by Veit Stoss in the 15th century. It depicts the life of Jesus and Mary. The altarpiece was dismantled and hidden in various locations across Poland just before World War II broke out but was found by the Nazis and taken to Germany. It was recovered in 1946 and had to undergo major restoration before its reinstallation at the Basilica in 1957. There is a guided tour of the St. Mary’s and tickets can be purchased at their office which is on the side of the main portal overlooking Main Square. St. Mary’s Basilica I wondered why the people were gathering in front of the Basilica. It turns out that a trumpete

Overnight in Linz

Hauptplatz (Main Square) It was a pleasant day in May as I strolled around the third biggest city in Austria. But I found few people in the streets and the commercial district was quiet. I guess people go home when the shops are closed. Trinity Column You’ll find a Trinity column in many cities in Europe. This 20-meter high plague column is made of Unsterberg marble and is an offering of gratitude from the Emperor Charles VI and the townspeople for having evaded the worst of the plaque in the 17th century, the attacks of the Ottoman Empire and the War of the Spanish succession. Hauptplatz Pastel painted buildings and terrace restaurants surround the main square of Linz. Hauptlatz Newly planted spring flowers are a sight for sore eyes.  Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (New Cathedral) The Immaculate Conception is the largest church in all of Austria. It can accommodate 20,000 people. Completed in 1924, it has been undergoing restoration to replace its “crumbling sandstone” and oth

What to do in Kotor on a rainy day

Not all travel days go as planned. We can choose to be miserable or we can go with the flow even if that means we have to walk in the rain and take poor resolution photos. So it was on the day I went to Montenegro last May. It started to shower early in the morning and lingered till we got to Kotor when the sky decided to let go and rain came down in buckets as I entered the gate to the old town. I was wearing  a raincoat and my clothes were dry but my spirit was broken and all I wanted to do was go back to Cavtat where the sun was shining and the sea was so blue and calm. Whining aside, there’s so much to appreciate in Kotor and seeing this store with the colorful lamps made me think of Morocco and the bazaars of the Orient. It lifted my spirit.   What is striking about Kotor are the little Orthodox churches that are tucked into tiny alleys. I wondered how many people could fit in there at one time. Everything about the architecture, the cobble stone alleys, the passages that lead you