Another walk down memory lane. I visited Fontevraud after a long walk from chateau to chateau that ended in Chinon and stayed in the recently opened hotel within the abbey. I knew about it from a personal association but don't believe it's generally well-known and maybe, in part, what makes it as lovely a place to spend some time as it is. Thanks, DrF.
A nice introduction to Bulgaria! Like many Americans, I've never really thought of visiting Bulgaria, and have mainly traveled in other parts of Europe, but not the Balkans. And after reading your blog I'm thinking...why didn't I think of this? and when will I go? I'm looking forward to learning more about your country from your blogs!
Thanks for telling us! I've been to Bulgaria a few times and was unaware of so much. I need to go back! Bulgarians really appreciate travelers. For budget travelers wanting to experience Europe, it really is a great country to spend some time and stay within budget.
LOL @ coz HuffPost says so. I just did the Baltics, I need to do the Balkans next. I worked with a Bulgarian guy in Boston and for years he would passionately talk about his country. Since then I have always wanted to visit and after reading this you've definitely encouraged me to hurry up and get there! I'd like to go before the mass tourists do
Thank you very much for this introduction to your very interesting country, Travelling Buzz! Like PHeymont said, we in the Americas need to take a closer look at this region. I don't like to travel to Europe during the months of July and August as it's just too busy. When would be a good time to visit Bulgaria? Weather doesn't have to be perfectly warm, I don't mind wearing a jacket. Is it a Mediterranean climate? Also, is there a good guidebook or reference you'd recommend?
I'm glad you liked the article. I would be more than happy if the post make you visit the country. @DrFublefinger I believe the best time to come to Bulgaria is september-october from the weather perspective, but if you want to see the charm the blooming trees give to the city, you should come in the spring. The summer is really, really (I mean really) hot and dry! The country lies between the strongly contrastic continental and Mediterranean climate zones, so it has an unusually variable...
A missing bit: El Morro and the historic site as a whole is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but while I included that in the Tags and Collections for the blog, I forgot to mention it in the text! My apologies...
That is truly excellent news! Thanks for sharing it, Marilyn. I love these old missions and I'm glad more USA sites are finally being recognized. Seems the UNESCO committee views North America as it's "Orphan continent".
Thanks for the note, Chatterbot2. Yes, Quebec is relatively under-touristed, especially when compared to Europe. If you want to visit a 400 year old European stype fortress, don't want to fly across the Atlantic, want to go to place where French is the dominant language, want great food and friendly folks, then Quebec City should be at the top of your travel list.
They may laugh, Chatterbot2, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that your fumbling attempts to speak their language melted their hearts. You were a valued guest, if not one of them, after trying.
Monsieur, vous êtes très gentil de le dire. I do try to make a stab at the local language wherever I travel. Around the world, people are amazingly patient with my mangling of their language. It does create good entertainment. Almost always, my puzzled efforts put people at ease. They are instantly willing to help "the poor confused thing".
There are places in Verona in which you can still see the Roman cart wheel ruts cut into the paving stones. We found that evocative and fascinating. Seeing physical evidence while on vacation from ages past gives the expression "time trip" new meaning.
True...Verona is one of those cities where you can feel past and present in the same moment. It's a bit like the Allen Ginsberg quote that reflects my fascination with Paris: "You can't escape the past in Paris, and yet what's so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn't seem to burden."
Verona was definitely a highlight of our 2012 pilgrimage to the "old country." The city was modern and old at the same time. People watching in the Piazza Bra was like having a peak into the living room of the Veronese. It seems like a place on a secondary travel network: like a place to go after you've seen the "big 3." This trip was a return after not stopping here since 1982 and we were very pleased. The sites were interesting, the people were friendly, and the gelato was first-rate.
Glad you guys liked the pictures. Indeed, this place impressed us a great deal. Like Karl said it’s like something unreal. Stay tuned, in part II, I will show you what underneath those mountain pinnacles.
This is the chapter I've been waiting for, DrF. I 'm a lover of all things tea, which includes stays in tea growing places. I've made pilgrimages to the hill countries of various parts of India, China and Malaysia and now I believe "Ceylon" must be the next target. Many thanks for the fine introduction.
Thanks, PortMoresby! There's lots of interesting places to stay in the Hill Country, some in tea plantations themselves. My favorite place here was the Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya. A bit of historic elegance. Where else can you find a "cigar room" (where men gather to smoke) and a "billiards room" anymore?
That place reminds me of Carlsbad caves in New Mexico. It's beautiful! I like how the guy in the bottom right (white shirt) gives you an idea of how big it is. Wonder which one is bigger? Carlsbad or this one?
Thanks Theo for your comment. That was exactly the intention to include a person in the picture Have not been in Carlsbad caves yet, perhaps should be added to the next destination list. The mountain pinnacles in Zhangjiajie stretch mils and mils, kind like Yellowstone. I was told the underneath cave system is the same. However, only a small fraction is explored and even smaller ones are currently open for visitors.
This is the English version of the Eiffel Tower. Its in Blackpool 30 miles north of my home in Liverpool. I can see it on a clear day. Built around the same time as Eiffel and an amazing structure. I do love the observation platform where you can walk on a glass floor !
Dr. Fumblefinger, Nice slideshow with great pics. We were in Venice in 2012 for 6 or 7 days and made an excursion to Burano as a day trip. The first thing we noticed was that tourism has reached the tiny island. There was a new docking station for the vaporetti and all sorts of kiosks selling the usual stuff. The first time we were there was in 2008 and it was a sleepy island that time seemed to forget. In fact, we came across four elderly ladies sitting on a bench gabbing and knitting. I...
Great memories, rbciao! I'd like to head back to Burano some day, maybe spend 2-3 days there, just kicking back and enjoying the ambiance. We were there in May and it was not at all heavily touristed at that time, though certainly the shops were there to lighten the load of your Euro heavy wallet! Their lace was truly beautiful and my wife just couldn't resist!
Great pictures, and great memories. This was our favorite part of Hawaii...especially the "end of the road" where the park highway suddenly comes to an end against a pile of lava from a few years ago. It's a big tourist attraction, yes, but it seemed much less so than many other places on the islands.
Thanks for the comment, PHeymont. It's a great destination partially because the tourist industry can't control it. The volcano will do what it wants and as the flow of lava over the road reminds us, we have little power to stop it.
A reminder of the destructive power of nature. I'd be worried about the soles of my shoes melting and welding themselves to rock ! Is the access a tourist has only to dormant areas ? Fascinating blog from what must be the most "lively" location on Earth. Once again DrF , educational and interesting !
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