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27 June 2010

The Road to Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, France

At the end of this tree-lined avenue with its verdant canopy letting through only the smallest rays of sunlight, lies the magnificent Chateau de Chenonceau. Spanning the River Cher and casting its magnificent reflection on the waters below, the chateau owes much of its architectural elegance to the design talents of the ladies of the house - Katherine Briconnet who designed most of the structure in 1513. Further embellishments were added by Diane de Poitiers and finally, Catherine de Medici, who not only influenced the interior design, but the magnificent gardens that bear her name. Read more about a fabulous day-tour from Paris to the Loire Chateaux!




The view from the other side of the River Cher (photo below courtesy of Wikipedia)

20 June 2010

Magnificent Rialto Bridge spans the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy


Completed in 1591, the Rialto Bridge is one of four bridges that span the Grand Canal of Venice, Italy and its oldest.  Although many architects were considered to design and build the bridge - including the magnificent Michelangelo - it was awarded ultimately to Antonio da Ponte who more or less, mirrored its wooden predecessor.  It is a pedestrian only bridge lined with souvenir shops unlike the timeless Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence that is sparkling with its merchants' gold shops.  Read more about Venice and its magnificent 15th century charm!

13 June 2010

Overnight train travel in Europe - the Unexpected Adventure from Florence to Paris!

From Florence to Paris or Barcelona to Geneva or Munich to Rome, overnight train travel in Europe is not only convenient but it's a romantic means of traveling through the picturesque European countryside by day as well as night! Rolling along while the rattle and hum of the wheels gliding over the tracks resounds throughout your cabin; and the gentle side-to-side rocking motion soothes as it takes the edge off even the toughest day of sightseeing in Europe. Plus, when you book a private sleeper with shower and water closet, you not only get the convenience of your hotel room on the rails, you are welcomed aboard by your personal cabin steward who shares a champagne toast, makes your dinner reservations and gently wakes you up to breakfast in the morning. Does it get any better? Why waste all the time in an airport moving from country to country when you have this most romantic mode of travel that beckons to all those who seek to seek to see the passing landscapes and countryside from the convenience of a railroad car. If you ask me, there’s no other way to go! Above all that, what really made my journey special was the unexpected adventure of it all!

06 June 2010

Guided tour through the Roman Colosseum - a magnificent architectural marvel standing for 2,000 years!

Welcome to the Roman Colosseum. This magnificent structure debuted to the citizens of Rome in A.D. 80 and stands today as a testament to brilliant engineering and design. If you're planning to visit Rome, be sure to include the Roman Colosseum in your itinerary. Read more about the history of this architectural marvel!