.All Trips / Europe / France

A Visit to Paris’ Rodin Museum

19 01 Paris 05-2013. Rodin Museum (64)

Many consider Auguste Rodin to be the greatest sculpture since the Renaissance.  It’s a point that’s hard to argue with as Rodin was a highly imaginative and successful artist, still well known a century after his death.

Probably the best place to see his work and learn more about his life is in Paris’ Rodin Museum.  Most pieces in the Museum’s collection are located within the Hôtel Biron, a classic 18th-century mansion, very close to Les Invalides (where Napoleon’s tomb is located).  To a large extent the Rodin Museum is park-like, with seven beautifully landscaped acres dotted with sculptures by Rodin.  It’s a lovely relaxing place to be, within the heart of the city but removed from the busy …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

A Visit to the Basilica of San Zeno, Verona

00 Church of San Zeno, Verona (2)

Saint Zeno (about 300 to 380 AD) is the patron saint of Verona, and this Basilica is named in his honor.  He migrated from northern Africa and possibly was a black man.  Saint Zeno spent much of his life in Verona – first as monk, then as bishop.   He was beloved by the people of Verona and it seems he served them well.

Verona has many very old buildings and historic churches, of which San Zeno is one of the more interesting.  A church has existed on this site since the 4th or 5th century to house the remains of San Zeno.  The building you visit today is a Romanesque church built in the 12th century after its predecessor suffered …

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.All Trips / England / Europe

Experiencing the London Eye

00 London Eye

If you haven’t visited London in a few decades you might have missed seeing a new landmark on the South Bank of the River Thames, near Westminister Bridge. The London Eye is a massive Ferris wheel — the tallest in Europe –and it certainly catches ones eye as you approach it from the Houses of Parliament.   It is popular, usually with long lines and waiting times.  The Eye is the most visited paid attraction in the United Kingdom, with almost 4 million visitors annually.

Here are a few facts about the London Eye:
– It is 135 m (443 ft) tall and 120 m (394 ft) wide.  When it opened in 2000, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, but …

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

A Visit to Ljubljana’s Central Market

00 Central Market, Ljublana (43)

I recently visited a wonderful fall market in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  It was a pleasant Saturday morning and we’d been told that this was a market not to be missed, and not to wait until the afternoon and especially not until Sunday because the market dwindles at those times.  Like all good markets, it’s a place where the community gathers and enjoys itself, and we were told it would be “busy” (it was).

We left our comfortable rented apartment and walked to the market, about five minutes away.  Ljubljana has a beautiful historic core and it’s a lovely place to explore on foot.  Much of the historic region is a pedestrian only zone, so it’s safe and easy to get around.  There …

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.All Trips / Belgium / Europe

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Brussels

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Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a shopping arcade notable for its innovative architecture.  It preceded other famous 19th-century European shopping arcades, like Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Galerie has glazed shopfronts and two upper floors, all under an arched glass roof overlying a cast-iron framework.

The gallery consists of two major sections, each more than 100 meters in length.  Construction started on May 6, 1846. and lasted for 18 months.  The Galerie was inaugurated on June 20, 1847 by King Leopold. 

It is a bright pleasant and cheery place in which to escape a brisk Brussels day and has excellent (and warm) coffee shops and some wonderful chocolate outlets.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

 

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Palermo’s Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico)

01a Orto Botanico

While Sicily itself is green and lovely after the rains, Palermo doesn’t have many spacious parks or gardens.  This is in part why exploring Orto Botanico di Palermo (Palermo Botanical Garden) was a treat for my wife and I.  It covers about 30 acres and has a large and interesting variety of plants that are pleasant to stroll through.  Orto Botanico also conducts research for the Department of Botany, University of Palermo. 

The garden dates to 1779 when the University created a chair of “botany and medicinal properties” and dedicated a plot of land for a botanical garden.  The goal was to grow and study plants that useful had medicinal properties.  The garden was moved to the present site in 1786 when …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 8, 2019: Weddings in Krakow

Weddings on Wawel Hill (19)

I’m a sucker for weddings.  I understand that many couples don’t stay married, but there’s something appealing about the excitement, optimism and pageantry of the wedding day that appeals to me.  I fondly remember my own wedding day some 33 years ago (still happily married), and more recently those of my two sons.  I’m old-fashioned enough to consider marriage the cornerstone of civilization.

While traveling, I like to take the opportunity to snap photos of wedding couples when possible and I’m not being intrusive.  There were a lot of weekend weddings in fall in Krakow, some of which I had a chance to photograph.

As always, my very best wishes to each of these couples.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to …

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Spain

A Market in Barcelona’s Gracia Neighborhood

Gracia Market, Barcelona

Having visited Barcelona’s huge and busy La Boqueria market, an interesting place but teaming with tourists rather than residents, I made a point of trying to visit a smaller community-oriented market in the city during our week’s visit.

Gracia is a small neighborhood within Barcelona that doesn’t have any major tourist attractions within it.  It’s a place in which people work and live, rather than a tourist destination.  We walked through Gracia on our way to Gaudi’s Park Guell and passed a community market on our way, so we popped in.  I wish I’d noted the name of the market, but sadly I did not.  

In any event, it’s a great market.  Much smaller and more intimate than La Boqueria, …

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