DirectoryTravelBlog Details for "Blogtrotter"

Blogtrotter

Blogtrotter
Pictures and memories from more than 30 years trotting around. Views on countries and cities in Europe, Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. From Lisbon to Auckland, Buenos Aires to Beijing or Capetown to New York, it's not such a small world!
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4

Articles

O CAMIÑO DE SANTIAGO
2008-06-10 02:15:00
HOSTAL DE LOS REYES CATÓLICOS - MARCH 2007Santiago de Compostela, the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia and a UNESCO's World Heritage Site since 1985, is the famous destination of one of the most important medieval pilgrimages: «The Way of Saint James", which would allegedly lead to the burial site of the apostle, James the Great. Having existed for over one thousand years, the Way of St. James was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in October 1987. It is said that «the tourist and the pilgrim are travellers in search of similar goals: the consummation of a miracle. They seek rest, and recognition of the hectic activity and ups and downs of the long road through daily life: they wish to earn the jubilee, plenary indulgence». The Way of St. James was one of the three pilgrimages on which a plenary indulgence could be earned...This post is dedicated to the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, a building that was commissioned as a Royal Hospital...
More About: Spain
DJEMAA EL FNA
2008-05-31 01:01:00
GOODBYE MARRAKESH - NOVEMBER 2006No visit to Marrakesh would be complete without a tour of the Djemaa El Fna, a truly open-air theatre, the main square of Marrakesh, the largest in Morocco and allegedly the largest in Africa! Its fame is not due to its particular beauty, but to the incredible day and night life as well as to its atmosphere. Djemaa el Fna, whose name may mean either «Assembly of the Dead» or «Place of the Vanished Mosque» is famous for the large number of spectacles going on all the time and for the exquisite, tasteful and much appreciated food sold at night at the numerous food stalls. The place, a crossroads of Arab and Berber cultures, was closed to traffic in the early 2000s after having served as a bus station for some time!"ARGANA - Some believe that the Argana has the best combination of view and price. From the Argana Restaurant one may have a nice view of the place, which is the perfect excuse for poor food..."THE SHOW MUST GO ON!"WATER SELLERS - Colourful c...
STILL IN MARRAKESH
2008-05-25 03:00:00
FROM GARDEN TO MEDRASSA ? NOVEMBER 2006?THE MAJORELLE GARDEN - Jacques Majorelle was born in 1886 in Nancy but settled in Marrakech in 1924 to continue his career of painter. He then created a botanical garden that displays plants from the five continents: cactus, yucas, water lilies, jasmines, bougainvilleas? and hosts more than 15 bird species, which can be found only in the area of North Africa. Since 1947 the garden's doors were open to the public. In 1980 Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent purchased the garden and restored it??ISLAMIC MUSEUM ? In 1931 Paul Sinoir created a workshop for Jacques Majorelle, painted in the special shade of bold cobalt blue which is named after him, «Majorelle bleu». It now houses the Islamic Art Museum, displaying the personal collection of Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Lauren, including North African textiles and carpets, as well as ceramics and potteries, weapons, jewellery, woodworks, and paintings by Majorelle??MAJORELLE BLUE - Majorelle was on...
More About: Morocco , Marrakesh
RED CITY MONUMENTS
2008-05-19 22:45:00
MARRAKESH ? NOVEMBER 2006LA MENARA"LA MENARA - This pavilion, built in the 16th century by the Saadi dynasty, was renovated in 1869 by sultan Abderrahmane who usually came here in summer to spend some time. On our back there are the Atlas Mountains; unfortunately the morning haze blurred the pictures""MENARA ARTIFICIAL LAKE - The basin, supplied with water from the Atlas Mountains located at approximately 30 km distance through an old hydraulic system, was created to irrigate the surrounding gardens and orchards. The gardens and orchards were built around 1130 by the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min. The stadium-like environment is prepared for the Sound and Light show..."***KOUTOUBIA"AVENUE - A large avenue links La Menara to the Koutoubia mosque""KOUTOUBIA - The 69 m tall minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque («Booksellers» mosque, due to the manuscript sellers that set shop around it since its creation), was built by Yacoub al-Mansour, grandson of Sultan Abdelmounen, who built the mosque i...
More About: Morocco , City , Monuments , Marrakesh
MARRAKESH
2008-05-16 01:43:00
RED CITY - NOVEMBER 2006For many people when you speak of Morocco you mean Marrakesh , the second largest city in the country after Casablanca, and earlier known to travellers as «Morocco City». Started to be built in 1070, in the plain near the Atlas Mountains, as a new capital for the Almoravid leader Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar, it reached its apogee under the leadership of Yacoub el Mansour, the third Almohad sultan. Having been an imperial capital (like Fez, Meknes and Rabat), it's still nowadays a cultural crossroads, which has attracted many foreigners to the flourishing real estate market! "AVENUE YARMOUK, in the residential area of Hivernage. For some reason Marrakesh is named the red city; the ramparts of the Medina make justice to the name""STOP - After a long journey from Rabat, through Casablanca (the Casablanca-Marrakesh Expressway was not yet fully completed - it opened on April 17th, 2007), we were supposed to stop!""RED HOUSE HOTEL - Opened in 1923, the La Mamounia Hotel clo...
CASABLANCA
2008-05-10 04:35:00
UNFORGETTABLE - NOVEMBER 2006Casablanca , or Casa as the locals name it, is linked to one of my favourite movies: the unforgettable Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, as well as Sam to play it again, as time goes by... It still has Morocco most important airport and there is a connection to Lisbon with Royal Air Maroc... And though Rick Blaine is no longer there, I couldn't miss it... So there was a short stop in Casa on the way from Rabat to Marrakech. Mainly to visit the immense Hassan II mosque, but also to enjoy some drinks in front of the Atlantic and to remember the famous quote: «Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...»!"HASSAN II MOSQUE - On July 9, 1980, date of King Hassan II's birthday, he declared: «I wish Casablanca to be endowed with a large, fine building of which it can be proud until the end of time... I want to build this mosque on the water, because God's throne is on the water». Designed by French architect Michel Pins...
STILL IN RABAT
2008-05-05 01:00:00
FROM THE PHOENICIANS TILL NOW - NOVEMBER 2006It seems that Rabat 's history began in the third century BC with a settlement on the banks of the River Bou Regreg, known as Chellah. In 40 AD, Romans took over Chellah and converted it to the Roman settlement of Sala Colonia. Rome held the colony until 250 AD when they abandoned it to Berber rulers!***CHELLAH"CHELLAH GATE (Outside and inside) - The entrance to the complex, the most ancient human settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg River, probably inhabited by Phoenicians and Carthaginians. This main gate was built in 1339""SALA COLONIA was referred to as Sala by Ptolemy. Though many of the structures in Chellah were damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquaque, there are still many ruined Roman architectural elements, including a forum and a triumphal arch""TRIBUNUS PLEBIS" "ROMAN BATHS""NECROPOLIS - The site of Chellah was abandoned in 1154 AD in favour of nearby Salé. The Almohad dynasty used the ghost town as a necropolis, and some n...
More About: Morocco
FIRST TIME IN MOROCCO
2008-05-01 02:33:00
RABAT - NOVEMBER 2006Rabat , located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg, is the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco . It is said to be the closest capital city to Lisbon, even closer than Madrid, which is only 650km far away! Probably due to its short distance, it took a bit for me to get there. It happened in Fall 2006..."HASSAN TOWER - The construction began to be built in 1195 AD, under sultan Yacoub al-Mansour, and was intended to be the largest minaret in the world to crown world's largest mosque. In 1199 al-Mansour died and the construction stopped; the tower reached only 44m from its intended 86m. The tower's design plan is said to have been modelled on the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, which was also the model for the Giralda tower in Seville. Each façade of the minaret is patterned with different motifs on each face""HASSAN MOSQUE - Only several walls and 200 columns were built and what was built was largely destroyed during the famous ...
More About: Time , First Time
BERNER OBERLAND
2008-04-26 17:30:00
KLEE AND THE ALPS - OCTOBER 2006My first time in Bern was in 1975, just married! Don't know whether this had any influence, but I think the Bernese Oberland is surely one of the most wonderful regions of Switzerland , which has a lot of them! The snow-capped mountain peaks are stunning and the lush green hills will fascinate anyone around! This time, however, the main reason to visit was a different one!"WHAT IS THIS? Any idea? Looks a bit weird...""THE OTHER SIDE! With a highway just below...""CLOSER LOOK""FINALLY THERE - The Paul Klee Zentrum is a museum dedicated to Klee, featuring about 40 percent of Klee?s pictorial works. In the summer of 1997, Livia Klee-Meyer, Paul Klee's daughter-in-law, donated her inheritance of almost 690 works to the city of Bern. Together with additional works donated and loaned by the family and the Paul-Klee-Foundation as well as with 200 loans from private collections, it makes the largest collection of Paul Klee's works. The museum, designed by I...
More About: Berner Oberland
IN CALVIN'S LAND
2008-04-18 01:35:00
OLD TOWN GENEVA - OCTOBER 2006A 2007 survey found Geneva to have the second-highest quality of living in the world. If it's true, it's excellent!"RUE CORRATERIE - Swiss and Canton flags along the street. Switzerland and the USA are probably the two countries where national and state flags are more often displayed...""CONSERVATORY - The Byzantine-style building located on the Place Neuve was constructed between 1856 and 1858, with two wings added in 1920 to expand its facilities""THE GRAND THEATRE was inaugurated in 1879, but on May 1, 1951, was reduced to ashes. Actually, during a rehearsal of Wagner?s Walkyrie, when Brunhilde is encircled by flames, the stage and the rest of the theatre took fire. It took ten years to restore the building""THE RATH MUSEUM, built as a gift to the people of Geneva by the two Rath sisters, Jeanne-Françoise and Henriette, was inaugurated in 1826 to be the first Swiss museum devoted to the fine arts""POST TENEBRAS LUX - The 100 meters Reformation Wall...
More About: Land
BY THE SHORES OF LAKE LEMAN
2008-04-13 02:50:00
GENEVA - OCTOBER 2006Geneva is the seat of the European headquarters of the United Nations and of many other inter-governmental organizations. So, it used to be our destination for many years. In the intervals of the meetings, some time was dedicated to sightseeing..."LAKE LEMAN - The crescent-shaped Lacus Lemannus of the Romans (Lake Geneva), on the course of the Rhône River, is the second largest freshwater lake in Europe, after the Balaton""LAKE LEMAN - Going up the hill?""HOTEL LES BERGUES, on the Rhône River and by the Lake, was Geneva?s first hotel when it opened in 1834. It was already a great hotel when I had the chance to stay there sometimes in the nineties; after 2005, as a Four Seasons Hotel, it's surely unbeatable as the place to stay in Geneva!" "WATER JET - The most famous landmark in Geneva is the jet d'eau at the centre of the marina. This photo was taken from the island that in 1832 was given the name of the great Geneva-born philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. H...
More About: Switzerland , Shores
THE GUGGENHEIM BILBAO
2008-04-08 10:52:00
GEHRY'S MASTERPIECE - OCTOBER 2006The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, made of glass, titanium, and limestone, was designed by Frank Gehry and opened to the public in 1997 as a contemporary art museum. Immediately famous as one of the world's most spectacular buildings in the style of Deconstructivism, it is definitely considered responsible for the town renewal and the great appeal the city now has. Having been there in 1976, I must confess that the change is immense and the new Bilbao has little to compare with the dull, grey, degraded town I once visited. The Guggen has put Bilbao on the map..."FROM TOWN - When you see the building from the Abandoibarra side (an area symbolising Bilbao's urban regeneration) the first impression, besides being huge, is that other buildings are growing around like mushrooms!""FROM THE RIVER - The view from the Pedro Arrupe pedestrian bridge (just in front of the University of Deusto) shows a spectacular monument, and one manage to see the whole buil...
More About: Spain
BUILDINGS AND SKIES...
2008-04-06 01:21:00
...WITH THREE EXCEPTIONS - BILBAO - OCTOBER 2006***THESE ARE THE BUILDINGS AND THE SKIES..."UNIVERSIDAD DE DEUSTO, opened in 1886, has campuses in Bilbao and San Sebastian. The main Bilbao building (the largest of its time) was designed by the architect Marquis of Cubas. For fifty years since 1916, its Business College was the only of its kind, becoming the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in 1973""CONCORDIA STATION was built in 1898 by Severino de Achúcarro and Valentín Gorbeña. It has a spectacular façade facing the river, which is a good example of the Modernist influence in Achúcaro's creations. The remodelled and refurbished station is the departure point of FEVE trains to Balmaseda and Santander""ARRIAGA THEATRE - Built in Neoclassical style by Joaquín Rucoba and Octavio de Toledo, it opened its doors on May 31, 1890 and was named after the Bilbao-born composer Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga. The building resembles the Paris Opera and has a sumptuous interior. It...
More About: Spain , Buildings
CASCO VIEJO
2008-04-02 01:01:00
OLD TOWN BILBAO - OCTOBER 2006The first post dealt with some features of the new Bilbao. However, Bilbao was founded already in on 15 June 1300, by Don Diego Lopez de Haro, Lord of Biscay. At first there were only three parallel streets: Upper, Middle and Shops, and the Santiago church, surrounded by a city wall. The city grew with new developments, and the original area is now known as the «Siete Calles» (Seven streets) in Casco Viejo (Old Town). That?s the main subject of this post!"CASCO VIEJO - The Old town""MUSEO VASCO - The Basque Museum of Archaeology, Ethnography and History functions in the Jesuit Colegio de San Andrés and in its cloisters. It opened in 1920 and was recreated in 1970""PLAZA UNAMUNO - Don Miguel, thinker, poet, novelist and scholar was born on 29 September 1864 and when was only one year old, he moved to a house in number seven of the De la Cruz Street. The square pays homage to the «Bilbao-born universal philosopher»" "PLAZA NUEVA, a monumental neoclassical...
More About: Spain
RETURNING TO BILBAO
2008-03-28 01:15:00
THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA - OCTOBER 2006The first time we were in Bilbao was in 1976, during an incredible bus trip that left some quite lousy pictures, which may be seen here. Bilbao, Spain 's biggest port and sixth largest city, was then starting to enter a deep depression when its gruesome shipyards, steelworks and docks struggled to face competition in a new world where heavy industry had lost its prominence. In 1976, the heavily industrialised Bilbao was far from being interesting in tourist terms. Thirty years later the city is barely recognizable. The dawn of a new era was of course the spectacular Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum which opened in 1997. But the new urban projects, designed to regenerate degraded city areas, the state-of-the-art metro system by Norman Foster, the futuristic airport terminal by Santiago Calatrava, a wealth of museums, interesting new buildings and many excellent restaurants serving traditional Basque cuisine have combined to give Bilbao a brilliant ...
MUNICH STOPOVER
2008-03-24 01:03:00
ON TIME FOR OKTOBERFEST - SEPTEMBER 2006Travelling from Chania to Lisbon, we made a stopover in Munich on September 16th, 2006. It was the first day of the 2006 Oktoberfest. Having experienced the Fest in 1986 (no pictures, however, due to the confusion to get there - just to give you an idea, the ladies in our party had their feet in the air while going up the escalators of the subway station; and we avoided Theresienwiese station, which uses to be «the most highly frequented»...), we didn't try it again. Still, the Fest ambiance could be enjoyed throughout town..."MARIENPLATZ is the heart of old town Munich""RATHAUS - The façade of the City Hall, with the famous Glockenspiel (a carillon with 43 bells) is huge and misleading. In fact it was built only in the late 19th century, between 1867 and 1908, one example of the German «Gründerzeitstill»""FRAUENKIRCHE - Just around the corner from MarienPlatz is the Frauenkirche, the largest church in Munich and a real piece of late Gothic a...
More About: Germany
CRETAN TOWNS
2008-03-19 01:25:00
HERAKLION, RETHYMNO & CHANIA - SEPTEMBER 2006***HERAKLION, IRAKLION OR CANDIAHeraklion, the fourth largest city in Greece , is the largest in Crete and its capital city. Founded in 824 AD by the Saracens, close to the site of the Palace of Knossos, it was ruled by the Byzantine (from 961), sold to Venice in 1204, conquered by the Ottoman in 1669 (after a bloody siege that lasted 22 years), included in the British Zone during the Great Power Supervision (1898-1908), part of the Cretan State in 1908, and finally incorporated in Greece in 1913, as well as all the rest of the Island! "VENETIAN FORT - The importance of the port grew during the Byzantine period, reaching its glory days in Venetian times. The Venetians placed here a major trading centre and one of the main naval stations for their fleet. Thus, important works were made, including the building of walls around the harbour. The Fort was built in 1211, and was initially named "Rocca al Mare" (rock at sea). Collapsed by the eart...
More About: Towns
STILL IN THE GREEK ISLANDS
2008-03-17 01:03:00
FROM SANTORINI TO CRETE - SEPTEMBER 2006***"ISLANDS - According to Wikipedia, Greece has some 1400 islands, 169 of which are inhabited, though only 78 have more than 100 inhabitants. The map I borrowed from WorldAtlas.com shows some of the most important of them. As we may see, lunch in Santorini , dinner in Heraklion is not a difficult task!"***SANTORINI"RED BEACH, located near the archaeological site of Akrotiri, is one of the most beautiful beaches of Santorini. It attracts lots of people because of the blocks of red and black volcanic rocks one may find there. This view, taken from the top end of the rocky route that brings you from the car parking, before starting walking down the rocks to the hot sand, is one of my favourites. If you look along the rock you'll see that it turns white, thus explaining the name of the next beach""HOW TO GET THERE - There are only two ways of getting to the Red Beach: either by car (and then by walking from the parking lot through the rocky route...
More About: Greek , Islands
OIA - SUNSET PARADISE
2008-03-14 09:29:00
SANTORINI - PART TWO - SEPTEMBER 2006"ON THE BEACH - Perivolos is one of the nice beaches in Santorini , and together with Perissa form the longest black-sanded beach on the island. Of course, the sand is not as beautiful as the one you may find in Algarve, but the Aegean Sea is nice enough to keep you busy...""CALDERA - Oia, Immerovigli and Fira look amazingly on the top of the cliff around the caldera, but the blue is impressive!""CHURCH - Santorini has more than 250 churches for a population of less than 14000 people. The main church at Oia (pronounced [i.a]), located 11 km far from Fira, at the northwest edge of the island, is a beautiful building""CHURCH - Another one in Oia""OIA is famous for its sunsets. By 6:30 p.m., hordes of people start gathering for the free show...""SUNSET - Usually, the diving of the sun into the sea provides the chance for some beautiful pictures""THE SHOW IS OVER - The sun went down and the hordes start retiring!""COUPLE - There is always a nice perso...
More About: Greece , Sunset , Paradise
IN THE HEART OF GREEK ISLANDS
2008-03-09 17:20:00
SANTORINI - SPECTACULAR CYCLADES - SEPTEMBER 2006"SANTORINI, also known as Thira, is a circular archipelago of volcanic islands located about 200 km south-east from Greece 's mainland, forming the southernmost member of the Cyclades islands. Santorini is essentially what remains of the Minoan Eruption, an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed what was formerly a single island (some believe the tsunami originated by the eruption destroyed some of the palaces of the Minoan Civilization in Crete, 110 km to the south), and lead to the creation of the present-day caldera. A central lagoon measuring about 12 km by 7 km is surrounded by 300 m high steep cliffs on three sides. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon merges with the sea in the northwest and southwest. Its beauty is absolutely spectacular!""SEH120 ? We were supposed to take the Flyingcat hydrofoil to Thira, but when we arrived at the port the shi...
More About: Greek , Heart , Islands
THE MINOAN CIVILIZATION
2008-03-06 01:01:00
KNOSSOS, CRETE - SEPTEMBER 2006Crete, located in the Eastern Mediterranean, some 160 km south of mainland Greece , is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica. It is roughly 260 km from east to west, 56 km at its widest point and 12 km at its narrowest section, with a coastline of 1046 km. Crete was the centre of Europe's most ancient Bronze Age civilization, named Minoan by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, after the mythic «king» Minos, which is associated in Greek mythology with the Labyrinth.Though the first human settlement in Crete dates back to 7000 BC, the Minoan civilization flourished from approximately 2700 to 1450 BC, and left five main palace sites in Crete: Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, Kato Zakros and Galatas.Knossos is the largest of the preserved Minoan palaces, probably the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. It was excavated, and somehow reconstructed by Arthur Evans, whose w...
More About: Civilization
????, AZUL, BLUE, BLEU, BLAU, AZURRO...
2008-03-03 09:19:00
CRETE - SEPTEMBER 2006"MIRABELLO BAY - On the way from Heraklion to Elounda, we caught this beautiful view of the Bay. It got its name during the Venetian occupation, when the Venetians built a fortress in Agios Nicolaos they named Mirabello (look at the beauty)""BLUE PALACE RESORT AND SPA - The first destination was the Blue Palace, a beautiful place to stay during a Cretan holiday""ROOM WITH A VIEW and a pool... Room 526, with brilliant sea views, was a wonderful experience. Incredibly blue!""BEACH - It is far from being a beautiful sandy beach, like those one can find in Algarve, but it had a decent service and the water was quite nice: clean and warm enough...""SPINALONGA - In 1579, the Venetians built a fortress in this small island. Fame came later to Spinalonga as it was, until 1957, one of the last active leper colonies in Europe. Today, the island is one of the main attractions for tourists staying in the Agios Nikolaos area""SEA ENTRANCE - This was one of the two entrances...
More About: Greece , Azul , Bleu
RILA MONASTERY
2008-02-29 01:05:00
SAINT JOHN OF RILA, BULGARIA - JULY 2006The Monastery of Saint Ivan Rilski is one of the seven cultural sites currently included (since 1983) in UNESCO's World Heritage List!"HIGHWAY - The Rila Monastery is located 117km away from Sofia to the south, on the slopes of the Rila Mountain at 1,147 meters above sea level, in the valley of the Rilska River, and 29 km east of the Sofia-Thessaloniki Highway. The highest peak of the Rila Mountain, Mousala (2925 meters), which is also the Balkan Peninsula’s highest point, is only about 8 hours’ walk away.We had some help on our drive to reach the monastery...""RADOMIR - On the way to the Monastery, we passed through the town of Radomir, which has an interesting story. According to Wikipedia, a rebellion broke out there on 28 September 1918. However, the movement for a new republic was quickly eliminated, lasting only until 2 October 1918, but was successful in eliminating the rule of King Ferdinand, who fled Bulgaria on 3 October 1918, i...
TEMPLES AND ARTS
2008-02-24 14:31:00
SOFIA, BULGARIA - JULY 2006"ROTUNDA - The Church of St George Rotunda, located behind the Sheraton Hotel quite close to the remains of the Roman road and of the ancient town of Serdica, is a 4th century Christian red brick church, considered to be the oldest building in Sofia , the capital of Bulgaria ""ROTUNDA'S INTERIOR is famous for its 10th-14th century frescoes. Three layers of frescoes have been discovered in the 20th century, as they had been painted over during the Ottoman period, when the building was used as a mosque. The earliest frescoes date back to the tenth century""ST. NEDELYA CHURCH, probably built in the 10th century, is a cathedral of the bishopric of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church. A unique church was reconstructed between 1927 and 1933, after a bomb destroyed most of its original frame in 1925""ST. NEDELYA'S INTERIOR is wonderful. The gilt iconostasis that survived the bomb attack returned to the church in 1933 and the mural...
More About: Arts , Temples
STREET SCENES
2008-02-21 02:21:00
SOFIA, BULGARIA - JULY 2006Sofia , at 550 meters above sea level, is surrounded by Mountains. The Balkan Range, the Lozen Mountain, Mount Vitosha and the Lyulin Mountain encircle the city, and thus the weather may be truly hot in summer. However, in 2006 (late June, early July), the temperature was bearable and a walk in the city was an interesting programme!"THE LION'S BRIDGE over the Vladaiska River (north of the city centre in the direction of the Central Railway Station) has statues of four lions""FOUNTAIN - At the Maria Luiza Boulevard, near the Mosque, there is a public fountain that provides water for many residents. At least I saw many of them filling bottles...""MARKET - On the other side of the road we may find the central market that spreads over 3,200 square metres, and took two years to complete. The Market employs over 1,000 people, and offers foodstuff stalls and clothing, accessories and jewellery shops" "MARIA LUIZA is one of the most important boulevards of Sofia""...
More About: Bulgaria , Street , Scenes
MONUMENTS AND ALIKE...
2008-02-16 20:22:00
SOFIA, BULGARIA - JUNE 2006"THE NATIONAL OPERA HOUSE - You probably wouldn't believe this is an Opera House, but it actually is! Situated on the corner of Rakovski Street and Dondukov Boulevard (difficult to catch without a wide angle) it has ten columns lined up along the main facade. The foyers, balconies and large hall are stunning! The theatre was destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt after the war""SS. CYRIL & METHODIUS NATIONAL LIBRARY was founded on 4 April 1878. Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slavs, were two brothers born in Thessalonica, in 827 and 826 respectively. In 863, when the Moravians wanted someone who could conduct Divine service in the Slavonic language, Cyril and Methodius were chosen for the job. Cyril invented an alphabet and, with the help of Methodius, translated the Gospels and the necessary liturgical books into Slavonic. That was the origin of the Cyrillic alphabet""THE SOFIA UNIVERSITY was founded on 1 October 1888. The building was constructed betwee...
More About: Bulgaria , Monuments , Sofia
WELCOME TO THE BALKANS
2008-02-14 01:59:00
SOFIA, BULGARIA - JUNE 2006In June 2006 I visited Bulgaria for the first time. On my way, I made a stopover in London and had dinner at the Wagamama, Covent Garden, a nice restaurant in a lovely area. By the way, do you know which is the only street in London where you drive on the right hand side of the road?"SAVOY - A great (and expensive) hotel"***Sofia is one of the oldest capital cities in Europe, its history dating back to the seventh century BC, when Thracians established a settlement there, and the monuments of its Thracian, Roman, Bulgarian and Ottoman history can be seen side by side with modern contemporary buildings."GRAND HOTEL, SOFIA is also a nice hotel. The pictures however (including the blurred) do not make justice to its fine quality" "VIEW from room 512""NATIONAL THEATRE - Ivan Vazov's National Theatre is the oldest theatre in the country. The Neoclassical building was finished in 1906 and opened on January 3rd, 1907. Unfortunately, the water was not springing f...
More About: Balkans
COWPARADE
2008-01-31 01:10:00
LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 2006I hesitated a lot, but then decided to make an exception. This time I'll show you something that occurred in the city where I live. In May 2006, 99 cows plus one invaded the streets of Lisbon . I decided to take photos of every one of them. Don't be afraid, however: I'll show only ten...Please feel free to comment on which is your favourite! I'll be off for less than two weeks and will be back by mid February to see the results. Meanwhile, have a great time and enjoy!1 - LISBON COW (ALFACINHA)2. - BUTTON COW3. - CHOCOCOW4. - PARADISE CITY COW5. - COW-MOENS (From the 16th century portuguese poet Camoens6. - COW-PASSION7. - COWPYRIGHT8. - KNOCOWT9. - MADEIRA ISLAND COW10. - PORTUCOW
ANOTHER LONDON STOPOVER
2008-01-24 01:40:00
LONDON & WESTMINSTER - APRIL 2006After Budapest, we made a short stopover in London ; always a nice place to go. We started with a visit to the LONDON MUSEUM!"ROMANS - It seems that on this precise spot, by the Thames, all started with the Romans, at least in cultural terms...""MAYOR'S CARRIAGE - At a certain point in time the Roman chariots gave birth to these kind of coaches""HAND PUPPETS (or glove puppets) made the delights of many young (or older) human beings...""AMAZING (?) were also some personages in the late 20th century""ST. GILES CRIPPLEGATE (built in 1550 on the site of a previous Norman church and named for the patron saint of cripples) managed to survive the Great Fire of 1666 but was badly damaged by a bomb during World War II (only the tower survived). Cromwell married Elizabeth Bourchier here in 1620, and the poet John Milton was buried here in 1674""THE GHERKIN - According to Wikipedia, "The gherkin name first appeared in The Guardian newspaper in 1996, referring t...
More About: United Kingdom
POWER AND ART
2008-01-18 01:15:00
GOODBYE BUDAPEST - APRIL 2006"PARLIAMENT - After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867, in which a dual monarchy was created, Hungary wrote its own constitution. The Parliament was built between 1895 and 1902 and it is said that it was at the time the largest parliamentary building in the world (268 meters long and 123 meters wide). The Seat of Democracy is hosted in a building that is one of the most impressive in Budapest , and surely my favourite!""MAIN STAIRCASE - The Parliament building includes more than 20 km of staircases. The main staircase is absolutely stunning""DOME - The elegant dome has a height of 96 meters. Actually, 96 seems to be a very important figure in this building; it's said to be related to the millennium commemorations of 1896""GOLD - The decorations needed about 40 kg 22-23 karat gold""CROWN - When Stephen became King of Hungary on Christmas Day in the year 1000, Pope Sylvester II made him the gift of a crown. During World War II, the crown was taken out...
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