Historic city of Ghent
First, as you look up, you see a street with a series of high Gothic buildings. A medieval city. All main streets are connected by a network of cables and tracks. It is an unusual mixture.
Kamikochi is a valley in the Hida mountains in Japan. It is a part of the Chūbu-Sangaku National Park. It is a 15-kilometer long plateau in the Azusa River Valley, about 1500 meters above sea level surrounded by mountains with 3000 meter high peaks. The forests are preserved in a natural state.
Villa Borghese, Rome
In Rome, there is a park called Villa Borghese. The name derives from the Villa Borghese Pinciana, a palace located in the park. (Or another way round, the park was initially set up around the villa).
The palace does not look very impressive from outside. But inside it contains a breathtaking art gallery called Galleria Borghese.
City of Westminster
London is a place where you can spend quite a lot of time, and still, you will not see all that is worth to see. So you have to compromise. This time we decided to take a slow walk in the City of Westminster, which is the very heart of London. It is the location of the Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Westminster Palace (the seat of the UK Parliament) but also of famous Soho and China Town.
In the very heart of the ancient Rome
For around 1,500 years, the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum located beneath the Hill were the very centers of Rome and the very center of one of the most powerful empires of ancient times. If you look from the Palatine Hill, you will see the famous Roman Colosseum located at the right-hand side of the Roman Forum.
Ruakuri caves, New Zealand
New Zealand is known for its natural wonders. One of them is well advertised Waitomo glow-worm caves. In a spur of the moment, I decided to make a surcharge on the original ticket and visit another complex of Waitomo caves called Ruakuri caves located around two km distance from the glow-worm caves.
The last king, who used Louvre as a royal residence was Louis XIV. As he moved to Versailles in 1682 he left the Louvre envisaging it as a place to display the royal collection. The museum as such opened a century later in 1793 during the French Revolution.
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Altes Museum, Berlin. The Greek Collection
Altes Museum (Old Museum) is one of numerous buildings on the Museum Insel (Museum Isle) in Berlin (Germany). Originally it was created for all of Berlin’s art collections. Since 1904 it is housing the Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities).
Its lower floor offers an impressive panorama of Greek art from the 9th to the 1st century BC.
As we got out of the railway station we saw it – a white castle on a hill. At first, we did not realize how big it was. On the approach way already at the gateway to the castle premises, we had to take turns and go complicated paths between fortification walls. We crossed a series of smaller gates and baileys. Yet again, I did not give it much thought.
Etretat & Honfleur, Normandy, France
In Etretat, we gave us only two hours to enjoy the views. As we got there, only after around one hour’s drive, it was still before noon. The Sun was still low. Making photos was easy.
Our next stop was Honfleur, located at the estuary of Seine. Through ages it was an important maritime and inland waterway port. It was the gate to the sea for the French capital. Today it is a picturesque tourist attraction.
The Golden & Silver Pavilions of Kyoto
While staying in Kyoto, we visited several temples or temple complexes. Two of them were Zen Buddhist temples with small buildings called Pavilions at their focus – the Temple of the Silver Pavilion and the Temple of the Golden Pavilion.
Churches, monasteries and shrines
Antwerpen Centraal is definitely one of the most beautiful railway stations in Europe, sometimes even called the railway cathedral, for the roof over its waiting hall is crowned by a dome.
The Panthéon in Paris (not to be confused with the Pantheon in Rome) is one of the places on a must-see list in Paris. The building is relatively new, as it was built in the late XVIII century.
Originally it was thought to be a church devoted to St. Genevieve, commissioned by Louis XV (the great-grandson of Luis XIV) as a votive offering for saving him from illness.
Hobbiton movie set
Hobbiton movie set is located on a private property, which can be achieved only by coaches operated by a company set up by the family, who owns the land. In fact, the location was selected by the film crew as they were looking for a proper place flying in a helicopter over the area. Entering private land in New Zealand is forbidden and often, in fact, impossible because even big pieces of land are ring-fenced.
Medieval life reconstructed at the Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle was a seat of Scottish kings. It was built originally in the XIIth century. Throughout history, during the Scottish wars of independence, it fell many times into English hands. Once, it was retaken in a battle led by William Wallace, a Scottish hero (played by Mel Gibson in Braveheart). From the mid-XXth century, much effort had been given to restore the interiors so that they can provide at least a grasp of medieval life.
Mont St. Michel
Mont St. Michel and St. Michel Abbey. Located in Normandy, one of the most famous European buildings. Being of interest as well for its unusual location on a tidal island. Or the other way round. The whole structure, the fortifications, the monastery, and the small village at its foot were erected there because of the unusual location.