Nonreligious people generally perceive all the temples, cathedrals and churches as of memorial to architecture and fine arts. Most of them are really a treasure of world architecture. Basically they were created by certain canons, although each of these structures have a unique recognizable “face”. Who, for example, does not know the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, or St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the famous Cologne Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican and other outstanding architectural monuments?! However, getting into the twilight of one of them, most of the people feel themselves as a grain of sand, the bearer of sin and eternal debtor to the whole earthly life. The only hope and symbol of the future happy life is the light in the high arches of the cathedral.
The brilliant creation of an outstanding artist Antonio Gaudi – Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, leaves in the visitor’s mind and soul absolutely different feeling. The church is permeated with light and filled with air. The sun’s rays, penetrated through the huge stained windows and rosettes, play the colourful game of light and shades on the numerous interior details. While Sun goes around the church during the day the picture appears in different guises. All this play of light creates the sensation of flight. Life is going on here and now, and we should be happy now, without waiting for a future that may never come.
Sagrada Familia is a hymn to Human in his unity with God!
If you missed one of the World’s famous city just look around. For sure you can find city, town, or village with the same name in your own country. Visit it and try to find there what you missed. I think there is something special almost in every replica that remind you the original one.
There is a small cute town Paris in the province of Ontario, Canada. If you turn on your imagination you can definitely feel here the rhythm of Big Paris. At least crowd of tourists will bring you there.
Ten days of the last Paris visit have been passing with no any evidence of rain. There was a risk to miss it. However at the last day we were gifted with the lovely warm and quiet one.
It was a good chance to walk around the Rue Mouffetard street Market with its numerous patisseries, cheese, seafood, butcheries, fruit, flowers, wine shops and brasseries.
Market spreads along Rue Mouffetard from Place de la Contrescarpe to the Square Saint-Medard. It is the lovely place where you can loose feeling of time.
The gardens of Versailles were planned by André Le Nôtre, perhaps the most famous and influential landscape architect in French history. Behind the palace, the ground falls away on every side from a terrace adorned with ornamental basins, statues, and bronze groups. Directly west of the terrace is the Latona Fountain, designed by Le Nôtre and sculpted by Gaspard and Balthazard Marsy. The fountain depicts the events of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Royal Walk extends westward from the palace. A broad avenue centred on the grass of the Green Carpet, it is flanked by rows of large trees and ends at the spectacular Fountain of Apollo.
April in Karlsruhe, Germany was sunny, warm and enjoyable. After the winter cold and long sleep nature woke up and scattered the kaleidoscope of colours. In Zoo animals came out from their cages and celebrated Spring. The only one who missed Winter was the Polar Bear.
The November warm and sunny days are not associated with inclement late fall. Rare windy and rainy days with the flying fallen leaves only emphasize the beauty of this November and fall in general in the city of Toronto. Sunrises and sunsets are extremely beautiful. The afternoon sun still warms and caresses numerous stroll lovers, which are enjoying the last days of the outgoing autumn.
The next Friday in Toronto and nearby cities the Christmas trees will be lit, and we mentally say goodbye to the autumn. This is the beginning of preparations for the meeting of winter and expectations of all seasonal holidays.
Lovely view on Sacre-Coeur Basilique.
In 60th and 70th when the world was divided by the Wall the only source of information about America and Western Europe life behind the Wall was radio. Young people at that time in the Eastern side of the Wall were cut off from the world of music and desperately tried to get some information and listen the latest music hits through the noise interference and static.
Among the numerous of radio stations “Radio Luxembourg” was the most innocuous in terms of criticism of the closed socialist paradise. The musical program was punctuated with the innocuous news, which is sometimes provided the domestic issues. Once in the late 60th it rose the topic of only unemployed person, suddenly appeared in the country, which led to much discussion and concerns about the state of his employment. That was one of a kind amazing problem discussed at “Radio Luxembourg.”
But the greatest thing was on Friday nights the two-hour special program with wonderful music.
Since then, much time has passed, and the desire to look at this tiny country where so tenderly cared for one survived unemployed.
What is appeared before the eyes of a tourist, who happen to live at the both sides of the Wall for long time enough, to observe the Luxembourg life?
From the country, where the main source of income was the production of unique steel, Luxembourg became one of the capitals of the European Union. Three capitals perform their specific functions: Brussels – is the Parliament, Strasbourg – is the European Court of Justice, and Luxembourg – is the Finances. However, the parliamentary sessions held periodically, not only in Brussels but also in the other two capitals. The new part of the State/City of Luxembourg presents all the existing major global banks. Driving in this part of town you will definitely admire the modern architecture, urban sculpture, public gardens and thoughtfully and well-organized modern urban life.
Old Town holds a rich history since Roman Empire times and is represented by the remains of the fortress and the catacombs, built by the Romans. Beautiful squares and streets have retained their original appearance.
The daily life of Luxembourg goes slowly and methodically. There is no typical urban hustle of the big city. Even the shops and cafes here have their lunch break. Many of them are closed at 5-6 pm. However, this calm appearance does not imply a lack of business life. On our way from Luxembourg early in the morning, we saw a huge stream of oncoming traffic, delivering the residents of neighbouring France to the countless offices of banks, businesses and other organizations. From the country of single unemployed person Luxembourg became a huge employer for a neighbouring state.
Luxembourg has three official languages: Luxembourgish, French and German. French language for the foreign visitors sounds like prevailing, but in the places for leisure activities German and Luxembourgish languages can be heard as well. Once in a restaurant from the nearest table we heard a strange language, which sounded to our ears like spoiled French. The waiter explained to us that this is Luxembourgish language and it has been almost forgotten under the influence of the more powerful neighbouring languages. But twenty years ago, the government adopted the native language recovery program, and during this short period of time the population speaking in their mother tongue increased by 40%.
Luxembourg as a tiny state is rich in cultural treasures, museums, theatre and musical traditions. And “Radio Luxembourg” is still broadcasting here!
On Thanksgiving Holiday we were gifted with the real summer weather. It was warm and sunny. On Thanksgiving evening the sky was covered with picturesque clouds, the sunlight played on them and created magnificent painting.
Nevertheless, the autumn appearance is everywhere. Bushes and trees have acquired fall colors, wildflowers are not so bright and numerous, birds are going on a long journey and arrange training flights in flocks and wedges.
Canadian autumn is beautiful, bright, and optimistic without admixture of depression and melancholy.
The falling water of Niagara crashing on the rocks at the foot of the falls and flies high up in a misty cloud. It is almost always hides the base of the falls from the eyes of observers. In the summer time its mist creates a pleasant sensation of freshness, although sometimes it can be so thick that turns into a light rain. However, in the cool autumn weather it is very inconvenient, and here the mood depends on the right clothing. Nevertheless, Niagara Falls is beautiful in any season and in any weather.
Quebec City – a city that seemed created for holidays. Everything looks elegant and fabulous. European architecture, countless sculptures and monuments, the house windows decorated with the flowers; the street performers and artists, lots of cafes and restaurants create a sense of festival. The small size of the city and the lack of hustle as in the most megacities, give to visitors the feeling of peace and calmness. However, despite its small size Quebec City filled with lots of amazing historical, cultural and sports facilities. Apparently, this is the basic requirements for a tourist town.
There is not even a thought to move around on some public transportation because everything is within walking distance. Is that for fun, you can ride horses in harness, so use the Funiculair de Vieux to move from the lower to the upper town.
The main pedestrian area and the most attractive place for the tourists, of course, the street Petit-Champlain, where plenty of the art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and cafes as well as it is a popular place for the street musicians and artists. And of course, the Terrace Dufferin, located in front of the Château Frontenac, with beautiful view of the St. Lawrence River, the Old Port and the lower town.
However, there is little inconvenience. Even in the summer here on the mountain can be cool and windy, while in Montreal it will be sunny and warm. Firstly, the city is located on a very high ground above the St. Lawrence River. Secondly, it is more northerly, thus the difference in the weather.
Nevertheless, all these inconveniences have no influence on the mood of the tourists. Just planning a trip to the beautiful City of Quebec, we must not forget a light jacket :-). Enjoy your trip!
In the photo gallery you can read a brief description of some of the places captured on the photo. And also you can see perfectly organized Quebec City web-site.
Shakespeare and Company is the name of two independent bookstores on Paris’s Left Bank. The first was opened by Sylvia Beach on 19 November 1919 at 8 rue Dupuytren, before moving to larger premises at 12 rue de l’Odéon in the 6th arrondissement in 1922. During the 1920s, it was a gathering place for writers such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford. It closed in 1940 during the German occupation of Paris and never re-opened.
The second is situated at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, in the 5th arrondissement. Opened in 1951 by George Whitman, it was originally named “Le Mistral” but renamed to “Shakespeare and Company” in 1964 in tribute to Sylvia Beach’s bookstore. Today, it serves both as a regular bookstore, a second-hand books store and as a reading library, specializing in English-language literature. The shop has become a popular tourist attraction, and was featured in the Richard Linklater film Before Sunset and in the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris.
Notre Dame in Paris is one of the most attractive landmarks. The Cathedral is the most famous in the world thanks to its location, architecture, and numerous references to various historical and artistic works. It is situated on the island in the Seine – Île de la Cité. This is why it can be observed from different points and demonstrate its beauty – architectural details, sculptures on the façade and on the roof, rose windows, and famous gargoyles. The interior decorations are pretty simple. The only things that make interior colourful and beautiful are rose windows with its stunning glass.However there is one thing which makes Notre Dame fascinating inside is acoustic. Thanks to it the organ and choir sound clear and powerful. It cannot leave you indifferent. The worship is kind of magical performance where the faithful and clergymen act like one body. The spirit of eternity is flying here.Notre-Dame is looking gorgeous from any place and at any time of the day. Enjoy the gallery!
Luxembourg Garden Images (Jardin du Luxembourg) is the Parisian’s favourite place for various purposes. They walk, run, relax and even have lunch here. Because it is located close to Sorbonne University of Paris a lot of students come here at lunch time to have a rest and food. By that time the central alley looks like a huge crowdie campsite. The mix of talk, laugh, sing, music create a special atmosphere. It sounds like noise but doesn’t bother anybody because it is a part of busy city life.
The plan was to watch the Parisians’ life, enjoy strolls around the city, and have fun. Walking without any special directions we’ve been just lost in numerous Paris streets, boulevards, gardens and parks.
Anyway, whether you want it or not all that routes leads you to all of these famous and beautiful places. It is impossible to resist and do not visit them. This is why the most remarkable landmarks appeared in our week trip to Paris. We used that visits only to refresh our memory and knowledge about some special things, which we most like in all these museums, palaces and other places.
Lately in our trips we do not staying in hotels but rented entire apartments. This kind of accommodation makes our stay more comfortable and gives the feeling of being part of the local community. You can go to the street markets, buy some food and cook it, enjoy sitting with a cup of coffee in one of numerous cafes, have a good lunch or dinner there, and adopt the local people life rhythm.
Apartment we chose was in Latin Quarter right beside Pantheon, near Luxembourg Garden, Sorbonne University and absolutely amazing market on Rue Mouffetard. There are only 15 minutes walk to Notre Dame Cathedral and all the beauties of Seine islands. There you can take the Seine River Cruise to see the city from the water. In your journey by the river you see Notre Dame, Louvre, Museum D ‘Orsay, Les Invalides, and of course the Eiffel Tower. In the night-lights it looks amazing.
Full weeklong we just walked around the city and only place where we used the transportation to go was Versailles. The walking was not boring and tedious at all because the eyes did not get tired to watch beautiful architecture, sculptures, fountains, and wide and green boulevards.
Lunchtime was a good chance to relax and get some energy with the glass of wine, delicious food followed by dessert and coffee. French people have their own wine traditions and it is not a big deal and something wrong to have a glass of wine for lunch. You can even buy the bottle of wine, go to the park, sit on the bench and enjoy you wine. A lot of young people do it on the bank of Seine River at evening time. There are a lot of options to celebrate the life in Paris.
Evening time fills up streets and boulevards by people. It looks like all of Parisians spend evening for dinner, glass of wine, beer or coffee and enjoying talking with friends. All street cafes, restaurants and bars are full of people. It is absolutely safe and enjoyable.
This is a brief glance on Life of Paris.
Last long Thanksgiving weekend was sunny and bright. Probably the Nature presented to people last warm breath of Autumn. Although there are no a lot of colours around for now the beauty of Fall is everywhere. People spent their weekend to visit surrounding Parks and recreation areas. There were numerous events organized in that places. But mostly people enjoyed the weather on hiking and bicycle trails.
In Halton region that is located to the west of Toronto there are seven recriation areas. Each of them has something special to see and enjoy. One of these places is Hilton Falls. It is situated on the Niagara Escarpment and really good for summer and winter occasions. But the most spectacular part of the Park is small waterfall.
Islands in the ocean are isolated from the mainland and lead their outlying life the same as people who cut off from their natural habitat.
Life on the island follows to its own precepts, traditions, and style. Isolation and remoteness from the outside world bring inhabitants together to get through difficulties and adversities, make them more open and friendly to each other, give them a sense of responsibility and duty.
In such places guests feel cozy and comfortable, and become part of the community. Life here proceeds slowly, with no fuss and nervousness. People respect each other and are always ready to help.
Wangerooge is a small island in the North Sea, one of the countless islands of the ocean. However its proximity to mainland Europe does not give the feeling of isolation and abandonment. Just one-hour travel by ferry allows numerous tourists disrupt peaceful rhythm of local life, but allows island residents create jobs and keep track of everything.
The entire infrastructure of the island built considering tourism as a main activity.
The seacoast turned into a huge beach. White sand and almost colorless water, which is slightly stained in blue by reflecting the sky on a sunny day, or light gray on a cloudy day, give northern tranquil beauty of these place.
There are a lot of flowers and trees in this small town. Streets are crowded with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops and expensive boutiques.
The centre of the town is a big promenade. The only vehicles are bicycles. Local people use their cars just to go out of island. This is why the air is fresh and clean smelling salty water and wind.
There is a small cute train on the island, which brings tourists from the port to the railway station in town and gets them back to the ferry.
There are a lot of beautiful hidden places in Niagara region where the environment is very quiet and calm. One of them is Morning Star Mill. It is located on the small creek. On the top there is a nice pond with mirror surface and pleasant landscape around. In the lazy summer afternoon when sun is high and hot the deep forest shade and cool water breeze are good things for refreshment.
But right after Mill the water falls down and from the top it is impossible to see where it goes. To see this waterfall from the bottom takes one hour walking down to the river. The trail is pretty rough and steep. Not many people take this journey to the Twelve Mile Creek to enjoy the waterfall in full its beauty.
Some nature sculptures in the forest on the Twelve Mile Creek banks.