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Showing posts with the label travelswithcharie

A toast to La Cité du Vin

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“Every detail of the building, evokes wine’s soul and liquid nature: seamless roundness, intangible and sensual." Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières, architects of La Cité du Vin.

La Cité du Vin (The City of Wine) is a journey through the world of wine from its earliest beginnings some 8,000 years ago to the modern period in a contemporary 3,000 m² exhibition space above the Garonne River in Bordeaux.

There are 19 thematic interactive displays exploring the cultivation of wine starting with a film that takes you on a world wine tour. On the terroir table, winemakers from 10 wine regions in the world talk about the development of their vineyards.  The gallery of civilizations expounds on the topic of divine wine, medical wine, celebratory wine and sustaining wine and how these have accompanied us through the ages. These are just a few of the highlights of an afternoon full of discoveries at La Cité du Vin. My personal favorite was the buffet of the five senses where I could get …

Filipino Struggles in History - Carlos "Botong" Francisco

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In 1968, then Mayor of Manila, Antonio Villegas, commissioned Carlos "Botong" Francisco to paint the history of Manila for Manila City Hall. The series of large scale paintings was called Kasaysayan ng Maynila  (History of Manila). The paintings deteriorated over time and no attempt was made to preserve these historical canvases until 2013 when Mayor Amado Lim sent them to the National Museum for extensive restoration. Four years later, in 2017, Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and the Manila City Council signed an agreement with the National Museum to leave the paintings at the museum so they may reach a larger audience in exchange for museum grade reproductions to replace the originals. Kasaysayan ng Maynila was later renamed Filipino Struggles in History and is now on display at the Senate Hall of the National Museum.
Carlos "Botong" Francisco died in March 1969, a few months after completing the paintings. He is one of the first Filipino modernists and together wit…

St. Paul de Vence

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St. Paul de Vence is a medieval village sitting prettily on a hill in the French Riviera. Famous artists have come to find inspiration in these well worn cobblestone streets with overhanging vines trailing down stone houses. The scent of oranges permeate the air as you navigate your way around the village tucked neatly within walls built in the 16th century on orders from Francis I after repeated attacks and occupation by the Spanish army under Charles V. 

I followed the route along the ramparts for breathtaking views of the valley and snow-capped Alps in the distance. Le Baou (rocky cliff) of Saint Jeannet rises 800 meters (2,624 ft.) above sea level and attracts mountain climbers. 

The Mediterranean Sea is visible from the west ramparts of St. Paul. Down the hill is a vineyard producing a variety of wine that was once tasted by Francis I when he visited the village. You can enjoy the wines of St. Paul too. Check this link for more info. https://www.saint-pauldevence.com/en/markets-win…

Romanity

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The ancient Romans were prolific builders. They certainly left their architectural imprints across France. The Maison Carrée (square house) in Nîmes is a fine example of an ancient Roman temple in the Vitruvian style. The temple was dedicated to the grandsons of Augustus according to the reconstructed inscription from 1758 which reads: "To Gaius Caesar, son of Augustus, Consul; to Lucius Caesar, son of Augustus, Consul designate; to the princes of youth."
The Maison Carrée is on a raised podium with six Corinthian columns across its façade and a deep pronaos or porch. Twenty columns attached to the wall line the sides and back of the building. The Roman style ceiling is from a restoration done in the 19th century. There is only one windowless cella or cult room in the temple.  A 3D film about the founding of Nîmes is shown continuously throughout the day in the cella. 
The Arènes de Nîmes is an elliptical shaped Roman amphitheater from the second half of first century. It was …

The mountains are calling

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The Swiss Federal Railways makes it easy for visitors to travel anywhere in Switzerland with its vast and efficient coverage of the country. Even the remotest villages in the mountains can be accessed through a network of trains and cableways. So it was an easy decision to combine my trip to Lauterbrunnen with Wengen and it turned out to be a good decision.

It was warm and sunny in November when I captured this view of the Jungfrau (above).


Wengen sits at the foot of the Jungfrau mountain range, 1,274 meters (4,180 ft.) above sea level. It is a quiet, car-free village with less than a couple thousand residents. This count balloons to 10,000 or so during the ski season when the alpine village hosts the annual International Luberhorn Downhill Ski Race. Wengen is the gateway to the Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe at 11,333 ft.


A cable car dangles above the valley on its way to Männlichen where spectacular views of the Eiger and Mönch await. The Eiger is famous for its treacherous North Face whi…