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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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Flatiron Building

The distinctive triangular shape of the Flatiron Building, designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham and built in 1902, allowed it to fill the wedge-shaped property located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. The building was intended to serve as offices for the George A. Fuller Company, a major Chicago contracting firm. At 22 […]

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Finally in Paris

What a gong show this journey was.  Long story short British Airways cancelled the flight after an issue with the engine – so we got stuck in Seattle.  We were booked to go through Houston, then London but by the time the reservation was confirmed, printing issues, we were too late to go through security. […]

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Montalcino for Lunch

There appears to be about a thousand wine shops in this village.  There are places where you can sample over 100 wines in a single wine store.  It’s bonkers!  However, our search is for some food, because it has been at least 3 hours since our last meal, and to find another gelato place, because […]

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Paggio Dell’Aquila

Promptly after breakfast today we drove out to a small family run winery nestled just below the quaint town of Montalcino.  This place produces only 18,000 bottles of wine one Rosso and one Brunello, (read no cheap and pricey)  The local oenologist, Maria, who is Spanish, gave us a great tour and a great wine […]

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Sunrise Hunting

The idea was great, the plan brilliant, the execution none of the above.  We did not find the right hill to see the sunrise, I guess you have to be in the know to be in the right spot at the right time.  We will do better next however as we have acquired a map […]

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Cheetah

One of the great sightings this morning was a mama and cub cheetah.  The cub was nursing at first then grooming, then playing and stretching – playing nicely for all to see.  Manfred spotted a wagging tale from about 300m.  I honestly don’t know how these guys do it, I think the animal tracking is […]

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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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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 Cathedral

The construction of the  Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne began as early as 1170 by an original unknown master mason. Twenty years later another master mason restarted construction until 1215. Finally a third engineer, Jean Cotereel, completed the majority of the existing cathedral including a porch, and two towers, one of which is the current […]

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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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Magdalena Hermitage

Directly overlooking the Lake Schiffenen is a carved out cave measuring 120 meters which was chiseled out in the rock by two hermits around 1700.  The floor, as it was recently discovered, is actually a fossilized sandstone dune from prehistoric times. The dwelling in the cliff was later expanded to its current size by the hermit Johann Dupré and his […]

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Fribourg Cathedral

The Gothic Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Fribourg  dominates the centre of the medieval town. The main church was started in 1283 and completed by 1430. The tower was completed in 1490. It is 76 metres tall and houses 11 bells.  Originally a parish church, in 1945 it became the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva […]

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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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Switzerland

We have arrived in Switzerland.  Once you pass the tunnels and the trains the views open up – no matter where you look the vistas are spectacular.  Interesting note, in Italy, the fastest drivers on the highway are either from Germany or Switzerland.  The posted highway speed is 130km/h the Swiss will do 150 to 160km/h.  The moment […]

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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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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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Pompeii

Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.  The city was lost and forgotten for about 1500 years.  It was […]

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Divina Costiera

We are finally here… We are checked into Divina Costiera which is located in the Latter Mountains, 2 km outside Agerola.  We are really really hight up in the mountains, it is 10:44 and it is 26C and humid! It’s beautiful, despite the heat.                         […]

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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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Lourmarin

After the city folk found their way of the forest, we immediately stopped in the first available town to have some well earned gelato.  Lourmarin is a small village of 1000 people which has been settled for at least a thousand years, and was probably a Neolithic campsite before that.  A dominating fortress was first […]

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Pont Julien

The original bridge on this road was built in 3BC and it was a wooden structure which was swept in one of the floods.  The bridge was part of the Via Domitian road which was a quick way to connected Rome with the southern France.  The bridge was eventually replaced with an arched stone bridged with two […]

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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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Simiane-la-Rotonde

Today, after lazing around after breakfast, and then lounging by the pool for a couple of hours,  we decided to take a little lavender drive through Provence.  As it turns out we are a bit late to the lavender party as the first harvest has already been taken and the new  flowers are not going to […]

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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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Arles

The origin of this town dates back to 800 BC.  More importantly though the town was taken by Romans  in 123 BC and as Romans do they build a lot of cool buildings. The Gallo-Roman theatre, the arena or amphitheatre, necropolis, Arles Obelisk and Barbegal aqueduct and mill to name few.  Most of the old Roman buildings are being […]

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Sainte-Chapelle

The Sainte-Chapelle or “Holy Chapel”  was constructed to house Louis IX’s collection of relics of Christ, the crown of thorns, a piece of the cross and others.  At the time the king paid 135,00 livres for the relicts, which were put in an ornate silver chest that cost further 100,000 livres.  The entire chapel in 1238 […]

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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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