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.