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High Line

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail. It was created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan. The High Line is a public park maintained and operated by the Friends of the High Line, in partnership with the New York City Department of […]

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Hyenas

This is our final game drive – and once again it exceeds our expectations.  You always hope or wish but certainly never expect that city slickers like us would happen upon some hyenas and vultures feeding on a small giraffe that a pride of lions has taken down a night before.  This is some National […]

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Hippos Hippos Hippos

This morning we are mixing things up a bit.  Up at 6am, quick coffee and a cookie and out in the car by 6:15am.  We did not even get 20m into the drive when we spotted a couple of giraffes and then another 10m later a herd of elephants.  They really are not kidding when […]

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Eagle View Camp

After about a 90 min drive we arrived at the Eagle View Camp – literally in the middle of nowhere.  Perched on the top of the hill is a little slice of paradise.  From the lodge and the rooms you can sit back and enjoy amazing vistas below where animals come and go in all shapes […]

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Baby Elephant

This interaction literally lasted about 10 seconds, too fast for the camera to focus and for us to do anything other than be frozen in amazement.  The baby elephant, which is about the size of the Land Cruiser tire, got up, charged at the car, either wanting to play, or pretending to scare us.  The mother trumpeted […]

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A Pride

Manfred really stepped it up today when out of nowhere in the middle of nowhere under some ordinary unassuming bush he found a band of brothers, well fed and sleeping.  They did not even raised their heads when we pulled up.  Having said that, I think the only thing that stopped the lions from eating […]

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Colour Us Impressed

We had two requests this morning for Manfred, our guide and driver.  We told him that we need to up our expectations and would like to see a pride of lions and a herd of elephants – half jokingly.  Well he derived on the elephant this morning and in the afternoon and certainly in the […]

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Herd Crossing

What is better than one solitary elephant minding his own business.  Well a herd of 40 or so elephants with lots of babies.  The tiny babies were hardly 3 feet tall, hardly sticking above the grass.  So far I think this is the best and most memorable and mesmerizing experience for all of us.   […]

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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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Simply WOW!

Every time we go out for a game drive there is something new.  This morning was the best one yet.  We sit in the Land Cruiser in total amazement and astonishment as the Savannah life simply unfolds in front of our eyes.  It seems that every 3 or 4km the landscape is totally different, from […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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