Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Luxembourg : Not to be ignored anymore

Luxembourg is the reason we can today move freely in Europe from one country to other as part of Schengen area and is the joint capital of European union. Being landlocked by Germany, Belgium and France, the principality is Europe’s richest country, and a lot of the European institutions are based here.

Luxembourg is often ignored by travelers but it surely does not let you down. When businessmen leave, prices drop for accommodation over the weekend and it is perfect place to be.
The old historic town of Luxembourg is an amazing place to wander around. Enjoy spectacular views of the old city with its stone bridges across the river and the former fortress of the old city of Luxembourg.

Right in the middle of the city stands magnificent piece of architecture, Palais Grand Ducal, home to the Royal family. A Chocolate shop right opposite to this palace is a must for famous Hot chocolate drink.

The baroque-inspired Notre Dame cathedral has a magnificent main altar with a gilded statue of Mother Mary and is called "Crown of the old town"

One of the most defining experiences in Luxembourg is a visit to the Bock Casemates, the surviving portions of the old city defenses.
Barrio Grund, A part of the city known for its greenery and slow-moving lifestyle

Luxembourg city is charming combination of ancient and modern.Consider wandering the narrow streets to lose yourself among the tiny boutiques and cafes.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Glamorous Monaco

I traveled to south of France this April for its famous Mediterranean coast but as it was early for Lavender season in Provence, I had to look for a competitive place. Monaco turned out to be the winner with its deep blue sea, graceful palm trees, and vibrant flowers.

Monaco is a southern European city ​​state and the second smallest state on earth after the Vatican City with two square kilometers in area . The glamorous and extremely densely populated state is located on the French Mediterranean coast (Cote d'Azur ) near the border with Italy .

Monaco is mainly sought after by the rich in the world, as the state does not raise income or inheritance tax. Hence the expensive cost of stay in hotels.

I stayed at a hotel in Nice and traveled by train to Monaco Ville station in 30 minutes. Walking along the port, I took steep stairs to reach Prince's Palace of Monaco that has been transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the world. he magnificent Throne Room is where all official ceremonies, such as swearing-in-of-high ranking state officials and some state receptions take place. You get the view of hills and port from here and it is marvelous. Walking south from here is The Cathedral Notre-Dame-Immaculée. The Cathedral of Carrara marble and the organ, deserve special attention.

From here one can choose to either visit oceanographic museum or walk towards Monte Carlo, known for Grand Prix of Monaco and casino. You need to pay an entrance fees of 17 euro to get in and can visit the casino without gambling. However if you are looking to have fun with the slot machines then the casino Cafe de Paris across the street is an ideal choice.

An interesting next stop was Champions Promenade near the harbor.  There are foot prints of many of the world’s great football players such as Ronaldo, Pele, Zlatan and many more.

A must see landmark, Fort Antoine. On a clear day, it is possible to see the coastline of the French Riviera extending all the way to Italy

Monaco is a playground for the rich and does not try enough to be traveler's paradise. For those prepared to splurge, there are several legendary restaurants to try. But with all its glory it is a place not to be missed.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Cyclades Greek Islands

It takes a lifetime to discover Greece, but only an instant to fall in love with it !

The Route we took to explore the beautiful country was 2 days in Athens and then 8 days visiting the islands.

Santorini, or Thera, is a Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea and part of a group of islands which are called Cyclades. Its major feature is the volcano that played an important role as it formed the island and offered it its unique terrain morphology.

We stayed at Ira Hotel & Spa in Santorini. Situated on a cliff, overlooking the beautiful blue Aegean Sea, this property is known for its great facilities, exquisite views and impeccable service.

Imerovigli literally means ‘vigil of the day’ and once served as the island’s lookout spot for pirates, due to its strategic setting. One lovely spot in Imerovigli is Skaros Rock, on which there are remains of a thirteenth-century Venetian castle.

The beaches are extraordinary with surprising colors, formations and crystal-clear refreshing waters

During sunset, the Oia village can get very crowded so make sure you head to your viewing spot or sea-facing restaurant early. You will remember the beautiful sunsets here your whole life. A yacht cruise will take you to the beaches that are colorful with red and black volcanic pebbles.

Mykonos island, known also as the jewel of Cyclades, has an international fame over its stunning beaches , the breathtaking landscapes and the traditional whitewashed buildings, be it windmills, churches or houses.

A huge beach with white sand and great water, although a little bit far from the main town of Mykonos. It has a beach bar which holds some of the best parties on the island every day.

Mýkonos is the quintessential image of the Cyclades. In summer most people head out to the beaches during the day, so early morning or late afternoon are the best times to wander the maze of narrow streets. 

Syros  Lovers of the elusive 'real Greece' pretty much all agree that the island of Syros is a special place. It is also one of the most cosmopolitan towns in the Greek islands. Seaside villages like Kini offer low-key holidays on beautiful beaches without the lines of beach chairs and umbrellas, nor the throbbing endless disco beat you will find blasting at the over-exploited beaches on some of the more popular islands

The charm of Syros island is mainly due to the Venetian and Neoclassical architecture of the capital town, Ermoupolis. With picturesque spots and impressive buildings, Ermoupolis is a very interesting place to walk around.

Cyclades is interwoven with the parties, serenity, delicious food and sunset, this magical hour of the day when the light makes everything look more beautiful. The sunset are considered one of the most famous sunsets worldwide and people from all over the world visit these in order to photograph it and, most of all, cherish it

Sunday, October 9, 2016

An Autumn Wonder : Schwarzwald (Black Forest)

Let the adventure begin. Stunning, unique wonders of nature scattered across triangle delimited by the lively university city of Frieburg ; Triberg, cuckoo clock capital in the north; and the charming river-valley city of St Blasien in the southeast.

The varied views of boundless expanses evoke a sense of freedom that photos and words are unable to reproduce.

The Schwarzwald (Black Forest) gets its name from its dark, slightly sinister canopy of evergreens: this is where Hansel and Gretel encountered the wicked witch

I didn’t manage to see all of it since the scenery is simply too impressive to be rushed through. 

If you’re looking to be amazed by your surroundings, and also interested in seeing something that not all tourists know about, head on to the forest and camp there for a night.

and it certainly might cross your mind that this is a place that you will never want to leave.

The summer crowds have thinned by then, and the spectacle of fall color that began in late September is still in full swing. As the red leaves and the rusts and yellows of maple turn the park into a cornucopia of color. Autumn leaves start falling like rain.

In fall there's only one word needed to describe the landscape - yellow. Bright golden aspens contrast starkly with evergreens, causing many to flock to the area in September, earlier than usual due to high elevations.

Oh look what I spotted, Birds frolicking against the beautiful fall backdrop.

And this one was chirping cheerfully and setting up postcard goals.

When the larch trees’ needles turn amber, you know that fall is almost through and to quote the Starks of Winterfell " Winter Is Coming." !!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Portuguese Corridor !!

Only reason we chose to visit Lisbon and stay at nearby Beach town was our temptation and urge to get some sunshine in March, but believe me we got plenty of add-ons.

Relaxing beaches, ancient castles and delicious wines, are just a few of the added delights of this trip to Portugal.

The capital of Portugal offers visitors a good combination of cultural landmarks steeped in history blended with contemporary landscapes and open spaces

These narrow streets are where you’ll find the beating heart of the city.  

The city juggles the relaxed feel of southern Europe with a weightier history and heritage, but it also has a youthful energy that seems to stem from the light.

The Bairro Alto area has the best nightlife because the streets in this quarter buzz from early afternoon to early morning.

If you visit Lisbon’s largest fresh food market – Mercado da Ribeira – you’ll discover there’s much more to the city’s cuisine than tinned sardines and custard tarts.

The best thing to do in Lisbon is to sit at the waterfront of Praça do Comercio,  enjoy the sun and watch the boats go by.

Estoril - Cascias

Once a residence to royal family of King Luis in 18th century , these town are now colorful, refined and home to luxurious villas and golf courses .

The town has a famous casino, named as the largest in Europe.

You can step directly onto a beach, the seafood tastes ocean fresh and the sun shines for 300 days of the year. 


Today it attracts visitors from all over the world and should be ticked off your Lisbon to-do list.

It is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is known to be Romanticist place holding 9 castle.

Pena National Palace that stands on the top of a hill , is a flamboyant complex that was commissioned by an artistic king who wished the building to represent that of an opera.

Each section of the exterior is individually styled with vivid colors and fine stone carvings.

Cafe de Paris is the iconic restaurant set in tourist location since 1920s.
Michelin guide has nominated this cafe , so you can imagine the star credentials it has got.

Sit back, order a glass of Porto wine and enjoy the dinner at Cascias harbor. If you want to go out later, visit one of the many bars or show up at casino Estoril before you head back to the hotel. Who knows you could win your next trip to Portugal !!