Have you ever fallen in love with a place before you even got there? Ever since the first time I saw a picture of Bagan at sunrise, I obsessively scoured Instagram looking through other people’s photos, dreaming of a time when I would be there myself. My dream came true last year when I finally got to explore the Burmese plains and took over 3,000 photos during the 3 days that I was there. Even the great explorer, Marco Polo was in awe of this place, calling it “one of the finest sights in the world”. Continue reading
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to visit to the local markets. The cacophony of sights, sounds, and smells adds to the ambience of the city. Watching people as they go through their daily tasks is a wonderful way immerse yourself in the local life of a new city. Continue reading
The magnificent Palace of Versailles was built in the mid-17th century during the reign of Louis XIV at the height of the French monarchy. The enormous palace complex has manicured lawns, intricate sculptures, and ornate fountains located throughout the property. The centerpiece of the garden is the elaborate Latona fountain, which inspired Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
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As well as being known for its natural beauty and iconic landmarks, Brazil is also known for its many favelas. A favela is a slum in that exists within the urban areas of big cities, often carved out of a hillside overlooking the rest of the city. There are over 700 favelas in Rio alone, housing about 1.1 million people – about 1/6th of the general population.
Now the the holiday season is over, and the New Year draws near, it’s that time again… Time to look back on 2015 and reflect on all the places we’ve been and things we’ve seen.
At this time last year when we were writing our 2014 post, I think we had said something along the lines of 2014 being a big year for our travel; and that we might take it easy in 2015… Fast-forward one year, and all I have to say is “ha!” We didn’t have a lot planned going into 2015, but we ended up covering a fair bit of ground. It started with a mistake fare to Rio, and ended up with an aspirational booking in first class to Hong Kong on one of the top airlines in the world. Continue reading
Prague is known as “the city of 100 spires” with its iconic skyline. While visiting, we fell in love with the cityscape and took every chance we could to climb to the top of those towers. I will admit, we climbed what you might call an excessive number of towers, but the view from each spire was unique and special in its own way. Below are a look at each one we climbed, and some of the pros and cons of each location. Also, as a bonus they are quite effective as Stairmasters, especially if you want to digest the giant plate of meat and beer that you have just consumed.
I love street art. So when I was in Berlin, I couldn’t pass up a chance to explore the stirring art of East Side Gallery that has come to represent Germany’s turbulent history between East and West. This large open-air gallery is an international symbol of freedom. It is the longest remaining part of the Berlin Wall at 1.3 km long and located along the banks of the river Spree in Friedrichshain borough. After the Wall was brought down in 1989, artists came from around the world to transform the gray barriers into 105 paintings, each a testimony to victory of the human spirit. Continue reading
The best way to explore a new city is always on foot. Based on prior trips to Europe, I knew that Sandemans offers great walking tours. So while in Berlin, we made it a point to reserve a spot on their FREE city tour. The tour is the perfect introduction to Berlin and helps you orient yourself to navigate the city. The tour is offered in English and Spanish at four different times daily, each one lasting about 2.5 hours. A lot of people sign up, so make sure you book in advance to ensure a space. On our tour, about 100 people showed up and we were quickly divided into smaller groups of 20-30.
Stylish and arty, Melbourne is the second most populous city in Australia and also our last stop on our trip down under. This city full of edgy street art, modern architecture, iconic lane-ways and multicultural cuisines all reflect its trendy personality. Here are the highlights of some of the places we visited in and around Melbourne: