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Showing posts with the label womenwhotravelsolo

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…

Off Grid Paris 2019

No matter how often I return to Paris, I am still making new discoveries. Paris seems to have an inexhaustible number of delightful things yet to be revealed. On my recent visit, I found unique architectural gems like the McDonald's restaurant and the newly installed artwork, Bouquet of Tulips, by Jeff Koons.
The Bouquet of Tulips is a monument to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015. It was recently installed near the Petit Palais and was immediately greeted with disapproval and negative criticisms including comparing the tulips with anuses. The monument was vandalized shortly after its installation. These colorful tulips are made of polychromed bronze, aluminum and stainless steel.
Metro: Champs Elysees Clemenceau Lines 1 and 13, RER C Invalides, RER A Charles de Gaulle-Etoile
This Neo-Baroque Italo-Spanish motifs of the right wing façade of École Massillon is enough to stop anyone and pay attention. Quai des Celestins and Rue du Petit Musc. Metro: Sully-Morland 
Do…

University of Zurich Faculty Law Library

In what used to be the courtyard of the University of Zurich Faculty Law Library, Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, created the additional space the library needed in unconventional fashion. He built a modern wing in stark contrast to the staid building designed in 1908 by Hermann Fietz. Calatrava's design consists of 6 oval rings around an elongated glazed skylight which illuminates the galleries and courtyard. The rings are lined with maple wood that add a rich tone finish to the design and define its space between the glass dome and the white stone floor of the ground floor.

The glass domed copper roof floods the library with natural light.
Study spaces are formed around the balustrades on each gallery, taking advantage of natural light. 
A closer look at the graceful curve of the dome.
The galleries float above the courtyard.
Horizontal windows cut across the outer shell of the galleries.
Rather than cover up the original courtyard, Santiago Calatrava decided to keep it and tur…

A Tale of Travel Gone Wrong

A travel tale gone wrong After a thoroughly good morning of sightseeing around the fairy tale town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, I walked back to the train station to catch the 3:06 p.m. train to Würzburg which was my home base in Franconia. I was early so I took the opportunity to sit down and rest my aching feet inside the train station where it was warm and cozy. The train arrived on time and we took off for the hour ride home. Or so I thought. Soon after we left the station, I heard an announcement in German which I didn’t understand completely but from which I inferred that something wasn’t quite right. After Steinach where we had to change trains, there was another announcement and in Uffenheim, we were all asked to get off the train. I gathered through an English speaking passenger that we were going to be picked up by a bus as our train could not continue due to an obstruction at one of the stations up ahead. 
We waited for the bus. And waited some more. There was nowhere to sit …

The Fairy Tale Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber has been on my travel bucket list for years. And I finally got there last November. It is an enchanting place. With its half-timbered houses, clock towers, colorful façades, schneeballs and beer steins, Rothenburg ODT oozes with medieval charm. 
It's no surprise that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I was partially filmed in Rothenburg ODT.
This is a common dilemma in Rothenburg ODT. Which direction to take? It's hard to choose because every cobblestone street seems to be competing for the best dressed street award. And they are all winners in my book. 
After walking half a day, an inviting table for two with colorful flowers to warm a cold November day.
I love how these two half-timbered buildings anchor a street that leads to another intriguing square.
The Plönlein (Little Square) is the most photographed square in Rothenburg ODT. But I found more picturesque neighborhoods than this. That's the beauty of Rothenburg ODT. So many choices to get…

Frankfurt am Main - of Half-Timbered Houses and Skyscrapers

The last time I was in Frankfurt am Main was to drop off our rental car and catch a flight home. This time around, I was planning to stay in Frankfurt for a couple of days before leaving for the U.S. But as luck would have it, I had to change my itinerary and stayed a little bit longer than expected. Which was a good thing. Because Frankfurt has changed in the years since I visited and I had a lot of catching up to do.
Most of Frankfurt was destroyed during World War II. But its historical center was painstakingly reconstructed in the 1980s from original floorplans. These pretty half-timbered buildings on the Römerberg in the Alstadt (Old Town) provide a rich contrast to the city of skyscrapers. 
This building in the Alstadt has an unusual roofline. The grey-tiled roof flows into the dormer windows like a wave.
The Römer with its three-gabled façade has been the City Hall of Frankfurt since the 15th century.
The Gothic-style Frankfurter Dom or the Imperial Cathedral of St. Bartholomew is …

Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart - Inspiring Book Culture in a Cube

When I stepped off the elevator on the 8th floor of the Stadtbibliothek (City Library), I unconsciously said ¨wow¨. I had only seen the library in pictures and was captured by the design. Seeing it for the first time in person was truly a wow moment. It appeared I wasn't the only one who felt like this. I noticed that other people stood rooted to the spot just outside the elevator doors and were  staring at the expanse of sleek white space and books in colorful binding neatly stacked on shelves against the walls. 

Launched in 2011, the Stuttgart City Library was designed by Eun Young Yi, a Korean architect from Yi Architects of Cologne and Seoul. He describes the Stadtbibliothek as a "homogeneous, calm, monolithic building that contains a great many of the secret values of  our civilization. These values are neutralized and polished to the point where they possess a universal value that applies to all ages so that only our pure spirit are projected onto the material".

The …