Friday, 15 January 2016

Winter Spirit 02.... Italy

Italy = Renaissance

I have never been to Italy and it was the part of the trip that I was really looking forward to it. It was one of those places that everyone told me I would love, so expectations where quite high.

The first stop was Pisa, it was a quick landmark stop. As it is winter and late it was quite easy to walk and there wasn't much of a crowd, unfortunately  we lost the light quite quick and a lot of the pictures didn't do it justice.  We weren't able to go into the main cathedral, but we did a walk around the grounds. the story of the tower is so interesting that it has taken the spot light of the church, although it was supposed to be the other way around. And back to the bus to finish the driving for the day.

Firenze or Florence the city of the Medici, home of the David, and location of Il Duomo. Although not that big of the city there is enough to keep you busy for some days. narrow streets lead you to the center of town Il Duomo.  I was surprised by the size of it and I can easily see how it inspired MichelAngelo who was born here, and the place where he left one of this masterpieces.

From Firenze another quick stop at Orvieto which is located at the top of a hill. It was used  as a safe place for the pope for quite some time. It has an impressive cathedral and impressive cliff views.

Roma, the capital and heart of Italy,  not only was it the heart of the Roman empire where you can see the Colosseum and the Parthenon, you can see the historic sites, and of personal importance to me was the ability to go into the Vatican, which is a country on its own. Saint Peter designed by my favorite Bernini.

In Verona is where you can find Juliet's balcony and everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet.

And to end our tour of Italy the last stop was in Venice. They say that no matter what you will get lost in Venice. However you cant get lost without really knowing  where you are, so the day was spent wondering around the streets without a direction, at the end all you have to do is either take a  water taxi or make your way back to St Mark's Basilica and track your steps out of the city.

As I probably have said before,  the Renaissance is one of my favorite artistic eras, and Italy is filled with them and you can feel it in every city that I visited. I can easily say that i will go back to Italy and spend more time, eating gelato, wandering the streets, and be inspired just by its culture.

*All images are my own*
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Friday, 8 January 2016

Winter Spirit 01...Paris

Paris, just saying the name of the city brings the images of the Mona Lisa, the Impressionists and many  more the mind.

From the Eiffel Tower to the design of the city in general it makes for a wonderful walking day. It is hard to decide what to do in Paris if you only have one day, but I would recommend a general tour of Paris, either a bike tour or a walking one, to see the mayor monuments of the city. This would then give you an idea of that interest you the most for when you return to the city. I have been in Paris before, so i did not feel like going into a museum as I know that it would take few hours in each and one day only has so many hours. Had I more time I would of been on the line into the Louvre to say hi to Lisa by Da Vinci, and Orsay for some  Monet, ManetRenoir and others. 

You can clearly see how it became the inspiration to many artist, and not only painters, but writers and movie makers as well. This is where I would recommend the film 'Midnight in Paris'.

But if Art isn't your thing there are plenty of things to do and explore. Something special this time around was the Christmas market that where on both sides of the Champs Elisse. Where you can find as many souvenirs as much as Vin au chaud, crepes and macaroons. Not to mention seeing all of the mayor stores all light up with fairy lights. and decorations.

Paris in winter is beautiful but it is cold and wet so be prepared, It also helps that there aren't as many people as there would be in summer, so lines to museums and attractions are always shorter.

*All images are my own*
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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happy New year 2016, Winter Spirit

Happy New Year everyone!!!! I hope that this 2016 is a prosperous and fulfilling year.

I know that this will be  year of many changes for me, starting by finding a job, relocating, and hopefully traveling and lots of museums.

I know I went missing for some time and there is an explanation to that. After my hectic MBA year, I decided to do some traveling, so I took an European tour,

It will not be any time soon again that I will have the opportunity to have such a long travel time, so I took a 24 days 12 countries tour, Winter Spirit by Topdeck:

France, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican city, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Czech republic, Austria, Belgium and a quick stop in Slovakia.

All I can say its the its a once in a life time experience, And although there where some days that  did feel like we where stuck in the bus its those days that we found little gems in our lunch stops, such as Verona, Orvieto and our quick stop in Slovakia.

Every single stop was followed by I wish we had more time,  and by the end it felt weird to be separated from the group you spent almost a month with. Same group in which we celebrated Christmas, New years and in my case my birthday.

Both our Tour Guide Alyse and our driver Zully  took excellent care of us, And because we did have a free day in every main stop, It was easy to follow your own interests, for me ( as you can expect) it was museums and churches.

I will try to write a couple of post more Art and architecture related in the following weeks. Including some pictures of the places I visited.

PS this picture was taken in Venice

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