01 September 2014

Berlitz's 'River Cruising in Europe' guidebook lands in US

The Rhine River bisects Germany's fourth largest city—Cologne or Köln with spectacular views of the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom). Photo: WikiMedia.org.
The Rhine River bisects Germany's fourth largest city—Cologne or Köln with spectacular views of the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom). Photo: WikiMedia.org.

In July, Berlitz announced the US release of "River Cruising in Europe" by veteran cruiser Douglas Ward who's been sailing the rivers and the seven seas for the last 49 years. When Insight Guides aka Berlitz contacted me with the news, I jumped at the chance when they asked me to review the book. As you well know, I am a HUGE fan of European river cruising so I couldn't wait to get started. To make it even more interesting, I requested an interview with Ward to find out the inside scoop about his new-to-the-US release.

Blogger Tricks

17 July 2014

ArtOdysseys: The Art of Norway and Nikolai Astrup

'Kari: Motif from Sunde.' Image: Courtesy of Nikolai-Astrup.no. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
"Kari: Motif from Sunde." Image: Courtesy of Nikolai-Astrup.no. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Welcome to July's ArtOdysseys—my ongoing series that unites my love of travel with discoveries in art along the way. This month, we head north to Norway to explore the art of Nikolai Astrup, an early 20th-century Norwegian artist whose brush flows with the essence, the visual romance of Norway. It was a year ago this month when I embarked on my epic voyage through the fjords but only recently did I become familiar with the remarkable work of Nikolai Astrup. It was love at first sight when I saw his magnificent paintings, instantly I was transported back to the idyllic splendor of Norway through his extraordinary talent to immerse his viewers into his surroundings. When you see his work below, I think you'll agree. It's no surprise Nikolai Astrup, "the artist of western Norway," is one of country's most beloved.

22 June 2014

Postcards from Norway—impressions of the fjords

Enchanting Fjærland, Norway. All photography is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Enchanting Fjærland, Norway. All photography is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

They call it the land of the midnight sun, where northern lights dance upon velvet skies, and in between—the blue hour—that perpetual state of twilight especially beautiful in Norway. Home to the world's most rugged coastline and Europe's longest—it's a place where unrelenting fjords carve their way through pastoral settings forging the most magnificent landscapes whose idyllic silence is broken only by thundering waterfalls and the delightful cacophony of seagulls. Voyage upon these azure waters and the mountains reveal enchanting villages steeped in Norwegian culture and tradition. Norway, Europe's final frontier, has captivated artists, writers and composers for centuries—all of whom have sought inspiration in its scenic splendor so wondrous: Edvard Grieg, Edvard Munch, Ole Bull, J.C.Dahl, Henrick Wergeland—among others! My voyage was equally inspiring and so I welcome you to this pictorial souvenir of sorts, a collection of impressions to inspire accompanied by some of my unforgettable memories.

16 May 2014

ArtOdysseys: In search of Michelangelo

Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling. All photos property of EuroTravelogue™ unless noted. This photo only: WikiMedia.org.
Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling. All photos property of EuroTravelogue™ unless noted. This photo only: WikiMedia.org.

Welcome to ArtOdysseys—a new series that combines my love of travel with discoveries of art along my wanderings and adventures in Europe. Wherever the road or river leads, one of my missions has been and always will be to seek out artful experiences through museums, landscapes, architecture and the people. Previously, I have published these posts under ArtSmart Roundtable, however, my odyssey begins anew and with each post, I hope to enlighten and inspire!

01 May 2014

Visiting Saint-Émilion in Bordeaux, France

Looking down on the village of Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux region of France. All photography is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Looking down on the village of Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux region of France. All photography is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

While on a wine and chateaux tour in Bordeaux with Viking River Cruises, we stopped for a short visit in a quintessentially French village—Saint-Émilion for a journey back in time. Cobbled streets, quaint cafés, ancient relics and medieval architecture abound here but there's something positively enchanting about this place that captivated me enough to want to spend the day enjoying some real slow travel through this charming village in France's renowned Bordeaux wine country! Follow along on a guided tour through the past and present of Saint-Émilion, France.

21 April 2014

Exploring the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) in Avignon

Welcome to the Palais des Papes or Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France. All photography unless noted is the property of the EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Welcome to the Palais des Papes or Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France. All photography unless noted is the property of the EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

On the morning of the day when Viking River Cruises would make history in Avignon by christening 16 new Viking Longships, we set out on a walking tour through this historic city on the Rhône River and set our paces to the colossal Papal Palace that dominates the Avignon's skyline from atop the hill. Once the largest Gothic building in the world measuring in at more than 165,000 square feet (15,000 square meters), the Palais des Papes or Palace of the Popes in Avignon is a formidable edifice that served as the temporary home for the Papacy from 1309 -1377, not to mention offices for the legates, a prison and an army barracks thereafter. Ever since I can remember, I have long wanted to visit the imposing fortress and to learn more about the transient popes of the 15th century. Won't you join me on this journey through time in Avignon?