The heights of Montjuïc and an aborted landing at Heathrow

Un viaje en España – Day 11 – Adios, Barcelona A final day in Spain brought us to the gorgeous heights of Montjuïc, the tallest peak around Barcelona. It was an easy trek there – taking the Metro to the funicular rail up to the Montjuïc station. From there, it’s an extra charge to take the…

Gaudí and the Gothic

Un viaje en España – Day 10 – Barcelona After a visit again to Parc Güell, this time to actually enter into the park and the monument, we spied the famous Gaudí salamander sculpture and the undulating, not god-less lines of the monument’s seating arrangement overlooking Parc Güell’s architecture. The rainbow-coloured broken ceramic tiles shunted sunlight around…

So Gaudí

Un viaje en España – Day 9 – Barcelona The first morning in Barcelona brought us to Parc Güell, further north of where we were staying near the Gran Via in the L’Eixample neighborhood. It was cool (relatively cool in the mid-80s F, which was a far cry from 115’F in Seville), overcast, and spitting…

Cordoban patios and the Mezquita

Un viaje en España – Day 2 – Patios of Cordoba and the Mezquita After a glorious hotel breakfast, we started our short day in Cordoba with one of its considerable gems – the patios. Although these patios were part of private residences in the historical section of town, some patios were open year round to…

Legends, lore, and little hidden gems of Amsterdam

Will travel for tulips – All the days – Keeping Amsterdam Weird Like I said before, I used the I AMsterdam card like I was mad at it. I would recoup my Euros even if my legs gave out trying to get to yet another location where the card meant I could get in for free. Amsterdam…

Then I paint my dreams

Will travel for tulips – Days 4 & 7 combined – SO. Much. Art. I dream of painting, and then I paint my dreams – Van Gogh The Rijksmuseum and Museumplein were so easily accessible by tram. In fact, you could stay most places in the city and be within reach of a tram line. Many…

A hobble around Museum Island

A German Christmas Story – Day 5, Berlin – Museum Island Despite a very swollen and rather stiff ankle, I wrapped it up with sport tape and an ankle support sock and set out for Museum Island, a UNESCO heritage site on the River Spree known for its architecture and concentration of art and artifacts….

Apfelstrudel and outdoor art on the Wall

A German Christmas story – Berlin, Day 3 – East Side Gallery (morning) My morning breakfast so far had consisted of a cappuccino and some kind of sandwich at Starbucks. I mixed it up a bit and went across the street to a different coffeeshop. Shocker! I had my usual cappuccino but ordered apfelstrudel instead for…

War, peace, and the surprising beauty of stones

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – Jeju Island Tourist Bus Besides meet up with old friends and colleagues who now work in schools on Jeju Island – and having Mexican food and local Korean BBQ for various meals – there were a few looping tourist buses that run around the island to drop people off…

Hearts of glass and oyster shells

Notes from a Pacific Northwest road trip – Chihuly Glass Museum, Space Needle, oysters  Of all the things to see in Seattle – including the famous Pike Place Market – the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum is an absolute, absolute must-visit location. Situated right below the Space Needle, the museum was a gorgeous, bursting-full garden…

Highlights of a hidden gem

If you aren’t sure about visiting Bratislava, here are some reasons why you should: The view from the castle(s) are fantastic. Bratislava Castle looks over the city, and Devin Castle, which I didn’t get a chance to see, looks over the confluence of the Moravia and Danube rivers. 2. The buildings look like they are…

I just want your extra time and your … Kiss.

Another day, another gorgeous palace to explore … and little tribute to Prince, RIP. The Lonely Planet guide says that if you’re going to visit any place in Vienna, it should be Belvedere. With its combination of beautiful views (Belvedere – beautiful view), gardens galore, and the Upper and Lower parts of the art museums,…