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Bryant Park

Bryant Park is a beloved, year-round New York City destination. Known as Manhattan’s Town Square, the park is famous for its lush seasonal gardens, free activities and al fresco dining. Located adjacent to the New York Public Library and surrounded by iconic skyscrapers, Bryant Park is visited by more than 12 million people each year and […]

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San Gimignano and Gelato

San Gimignano is synonymous with the very finest of gelato, some great artisan shops and phenomenal galleries.  There is no shortage of the run of the mill tourists traps like the Museum of Torture and other junk stores but for a refined gelato junkie this place is a paradise.  True to form, we parked the […]

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Ballenberg

Ballenberg is an open museum with a 100 original, century-old buildings from all over Switzerland, original gardens and fields. It is a working museum where people are in period, bake break, make sausages, make cheese and pretend they live in the centuries past. There are also 250 domestic animals on display as well.  This is […]

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Hasliberg

This is the last stop in Switzerland.  Apparently I can’t count to 5 so I booked us in for 4 nights. Needless to say a day before check out we needed to find a room for one more night.  Booking.com to the rescue and this is how we ended up in this village.  Dating back […]

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Seilpark Gantrisch

Doing something outdoorsy today – something right up Evelina’s alley.  Seilpark in Gantrisch has the highest forest adventure platforms in Switzerland – 36m – it is freaky.  There are 10 different courses to go through and 1.5km  of paths suspended  through the beautiful Längeney Forest.  We did 9 of the 10, the second most difficult one […]

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Thun

Thun is a small city of about 45,000 residents.  The area of what is now Thun was inhabited since the Neolithic age mid 300 BC. Like most Europe and Switzerland it was conquered by Rome in 58BC.  In 1819 a Military School was founded in the city, which later developed into the main military school in […]

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Lausanne

The city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, 62 kilometres northeast of Geneva. Lausanne has a population  of 146,372, making it the fourth largest city in Switzerland. Lausanne is a focus of international sport, hosting the International Olympic Committee, which recognizes the city as the “Olympic Capital”. Since 1994 the Court of Arbitration for Sport and some 55 international sport associations […]

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Fribourg

Fribourg is located on both sides of the river Saane, and is an important economic, administrative and educational centre on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland. Fribourg also has one of the most prestigious universities in Switzerland.  Its Old City, is one of the best maintained in Switzerland. There is a very old funicular […]

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Milan

Milan dates back to 400BC.  Today Milan is the 2nd largest metropolitan city in Italy. The population of the city proper is 1.3 million, while its urban area with a population estimated to be about 5.5 million  is the 5th-largest in the EU. Milan is the main industrial and financial centre of Italy, it has the 3rd-largest […]

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Villa Borghese

Our schedule for today is very relaxed.  A nice stroll through the Borghese gardens towards the Spanish Steps and a bit of shopping.  The Borgheses were  a wool merchant family from  Sienna.  The head of the family, Marcantonio, moved to Rome in 1541 and this Sienese family rapidly gained access to the upper echelons of Roman […]

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Revisiting Rome

After the morning museum trip and an extensive siesta from the unyielding and relentless heat, we set out for a lap around Rome.  Last time we were here the Trevi Fountain was being renovated and cleaned, which apparently is done once every 50 years or so. There are over 2000 fountains in Rome but this one […]

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MAXXI

MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture in Rome and is about 5 min walk from the gorgeous apartment we are staying in. The museum was built on the old and decommissioned military compound site.  This spectacular building was designed by Zaha Hadid who passed away this […]

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Villa Cimbrone

Imagine owning the entire mountain top of a peninsula on the Amalfi coast.  Small villa, pool and massive gardens.  Originally built in the 11th century the villa was rebuilt and reconstructed over the years passing from one family to the next.  The most extensive rebuilding and renovation was done at the start of the 20th […]

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Path of the Gods

We set out for a short walk, from the village of Agerola to Priano – it turned out to be about 8.5km.  Path of the Gods is one of the most famous and most spectacular trails in Italy with stunning view of the Amalfi coast and its towns, mainly Positano, Priano and Amalfi.  There are […]

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Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign city-state, located on the French Riviera. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2  and a population of about 37,800; it is the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world. […]

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Notre-Dame de la Garde

Notre-Dame de la Garde (literally Our Lady of the Guard), is a Catholic basilica in Marseille, France. The basilica was build on the foundations of an ancient fort. The fort was located at the highest natural elevation in Marseille, a 149 m (490 ft) limestone outcrop on the south side of the Old Port of Marseille. The basilica […]

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Marseille

Marseille is the oldest continuously inhabited city in France, it is a second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon.  Humans have inhabited Marseille and its region for almost 30,000 years, it was the first Greek settlement in France.  It is […]

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Roussillon, Vaucluse

Roussillon is a tiny but a picturesque village of about 1300 residents.  It is famous for the rich deposits of ochre pigments, mostly red, yellow and orange,  found in the clay near the village. The large quarries of Roussillon were mined from the end of the 18th century until 1930. Roussillon is located within the […]

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Aix Cathedral

The cathedral is located on the route of the Roman road, the Via Aurelia. A fragment of a Roman wall and the columns of the baptistery seem to be the origin of the legend that the church was built on top of a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo.  According to the Christian tradition, the first […]

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Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence name comes from a Roman consul, Sixties Calvinus, who gave his name to Aquae Sextiae, “the Baths of Sixties,” a site of thermal springs in 123BC. Aix-en-Provence has about 140,000 residents and is generally considered a university town.  There are great many sights to see here.  The Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with […]

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Musee d’Orsay

Musee d’Orsay is located in an old converted railway station right across the river from the Louvre.  It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, […]

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More Paris

So another busy day in Paris. A bit of shopping, a lot of walking, a lots of snacking but generally relaxing.  Today we climbed 24 floors, mostly getting up to the Pantheon and walking up the hill  by Sorbonne, and walked about 23,600 steps which is about 13.6km.  Good workout!  

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Eiffel Tower

I think everyone knows Eiffel Tower.  It is the tallest building in Paris, it is a global cultural icon of France, and it is the most paid visited monument in the world.  It symbolizes freedom and beauty and everything that is French and Parisian.  Today, surrounded by a fence, and an army of security guards […]

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Vitaleta Chapel

If you have ever seen a calendar of Tuscany, postcards or even some promotional material chances are you have seen Vitality Chapel in at least one of the pictures.  The chapel of Our Lady of Vitality originally built around 1590 is located on a private property on the road between Pienza to San Quirico d’Orcia and […]

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Sant’Anna in Camprena

Sant’Anna in Camprena is in the heart of Tuscany – about 6km from Pienza.  It is a monastery from the 15th century perched on the top of hill with spectacular views of the rolling Tuscan hills.  The buildings are beautiful, the garden is huge and the food is simply amazing.  Having said that this place would be nothing if it […]

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Lucignano

Liciagnano is a remarkable preserved medieval walled village of about 3500 people.  It’s strategic high altitude and its location on the road between Sienna and Arezzo meant that between 1200 and 1500AD it was it was continually the subject of battles between these cities, involving also Florence and Perugia.  It is as beautiful as it is picturesque  and it […]

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Back to Arezzo

Really we are back in Arezzo for views, wine, food and of course gelato.  We found an amazing wine bar with an even more amazing food. Luckily we got the second last table and had a phenomenal lunch.  There must have been no less than 25 to 30 people that were simply turned away because the […]

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San Quirico d’Orcia

Today we started a medieval tour of Tuscany.  First stop a small town of San Quirico d’Orcia located half way between Pienza and Montalcino.  The town gain it’s notoriety in medieval times as it was on a pilgrimage route connecting  northern Europe to Rome.  Today the town is a host to a 3 day wine tasting extravaganza where 17 local […]

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Castellina in Chianti

Castellini is a small village in Tuscany located between Florence and Sienna.  The first settlement in the area dates back to 800BC and the current village dates back to 1100s. Perched on the top of a hill and surrounded by olive trees and vineyards this is a quaint little town with great wine, cheese and olive oils which […]

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Back to Amsterdam

WOW, it’s been quite a while since we posed anything on here.  Having said that we are back on the road again travelling a bit.  Short break, nine days in total – destination Tuscany.  We did what all responsible parents would naturally do, leave the kids in school and in charge of the house and […]

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Deep Cove Park

Today we set off for a nice walk at Deep Cove Park with some old friends from Anna’s university years –  Damian and Allisa and their children.  The one hour leisurely hike up offers spectacular views of  the bay and a great vista of downtown Vancouver.  On the way down we stopped for some coffee and crêpes […]

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Christmas Concert

Strathcona band was preforming a Christmas Concert today at the church downtown.  We have been to the junior high Christmas concert, but the high school kids are in a league of their own.  They are more refined and mature and quite sophisticated in their sound.  They played one very modern piece which was our favourite. […]

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