Our Travels

One city at a time.

Mirabell Palace and Gardens in Salzburg

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Charles Bridge, Prague

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Venice, the City of Waters

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Music | Venice

Water Glass Music

By on May 28, 2009

Or Glass Harp, is a made up instrument of upright wine glasses filled with water or sometimes the goblet are grinded to create a certain pitch. The player runs moistened or chalked fingers around the rim of the glasses for them to create sounds or pitch. On our way back to the station, hubby and I found a wine glass musician and we stayed to listen of course.

Those playing glass harps are often seen in different cities but in Venice, rightfully called the city of waters, it is but fitting to see a musician with this instrument.

If you’ve watched Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, you will recall that she played the glass harp during the talent portion of the contest in the movie. There are many other musicians known to use the glass harp, one of the most notable is the band Pink Floyd during the recording of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” on their Wish You Were Here album, recorded and released in 1975.

Would have stayed longer to listen but we’re still supposed to find souvenirs.

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Italy | Lignano

Beaches a Lignano

By on May 14, 2009

 

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That we live far from the sea is something I often complain about and compare to my days growing up. We would often hit the beach when summer comes and we’d spend a day getting all sun-burned, eating what the grown ups brought with them or grilled by the coals provided at the rented nipa huts.  A day at the sea is something we always look forward to.

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It was a fun time for the kids to visit the shores….not the white sand beaches I got used to but hey, it’s still sand! 🙂

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Italy | Lignano | Night Shots

Lignano Plaza at Night

By on May 12, 2009

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You’ll recognize the top photo as part of this blog’s header. This shot has been a favorite from our Lignano trip. It was around 8pm but as usual, the summer dusk is a perfect blue.

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A palm tree is characteristic of the plaza along with other trees I’m not familiar with. What’s charming in this Italian comune is because of the breeze you’ll know that the sea is very near but because they’ve properly developed it, you wouldn’t know how far it is from where you’re standing.

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The Lignano plaza is a busy, noisy, full-of-vendor open space…souvenir shops, street paintings, trinkets and klumperts can be found. There’s a Karaoke in the middle when we passed by. Nope, I didn’t sing, I only sing at home never in such a public place. ^_^

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Apartments | Italy | Lignano

Residenza Europa

By on May 9, 2009

 

 

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Our one-week was well-spent in this Villa. We rented 2 apartments both with 2 rooms each. One for us and for my brother-in-law’s family….parents-in-law shared each a room with our kids. (Mom-in-law’s favorite grandkid is my older son 😉 so she stayed with him often then.) We stayed here after much discussion with the manager having a disrepancy with the booking details.
IMG_9140the villa pool from the rooms…Lignano tends to be really hot in the summers so we would sleep with the doors open (there were no windows). Having said that I would recommend for those who wants to visit to bring mosquito repellant or anything to keep them mosquitoes away.
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The apartment is simply made; the living room with a sofa bed, a kitchenette and a dining table are all in the same area when you enter the front door. The kitchenette could never me more complete, as  a stove, a ref and utensils are provided. The bathroom, albeit small is ok but we got lots of wet floors the whole week…good thing mom-in-law brought in floor towels…we would then hang them by the balcony to dry.

The rooms provided also has a big closet for all our one-week stuff…

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France | Paris | Tour Eiffel

Paris – Eiffel Tower

By on March 24, 2009

We weren’t very fortunate when we visited the Eiffel Tower. 😛 It was raining…not much but still, the sky was gray and it’s not so picturesque with such a background. What the heck, nothing can stop us from seeing the famous Tour Eiffel. Rain or shine we braved it and took even a few shots from below, from the front but not above. 🙁 Can’t remember if the lift then were stopped but we waited yet we were not able to go up….

 

Paris is of course, deserves another visit. Hopefully the next time it would be with blue skies too!

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France | Louvre | Museums | Paris

Paris – Louvre Museum

By on March 20, 2009
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Musée du Louvre, Richelieu Wing



The present-day Louvre has been the result of a series of successive building projects completed over the past 800 years. Wikipedia page. It is located on the Right Bank in the 1er arrondissement between the Rue de Rivoli and the Seine River, the same river that flows to where the Eiffel tower is.

Home to many notable works of art and perhaps the most visited museum in the world, the Louvre used to be a palace under the reign of Philip II.

We arrived in Paris coming from Marne La Vallee via RER at the Opera Station, hubby brought his navigator so it didn’t took us much time to find the museum. We had some photo op on the way, which I will upload in the following posts.

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Antiquaires

 

An antique dealer’s shop opposite the Louvre. We were quite ecstatic seeing this, we actually thought that this is the musem. lol.

Walking a bit further and to the front of the antique shop is a courtyard, turns out that is the French consulate. Opposite is the entrance to the Louvre.

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Musee du Louvre

The inscription at the entrance of the Louvre Museum caught my eyes immediately. The French Rennaisance style easily seen as its influence. I’ve forgotten now how much we paid for the entrance…though we had to wait a bit in line before we got in, one could just awe at the magnificence of this vast infrastructure.

 

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Dad and son1

That’s hubby and son1 by the (Half) Pyramid at the courtyard. The pyramid is the main entrance to the Louvre itself. The main lobby is actually below the ground.

 

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Daughter by escalator

View from inside the pyramid, though this is when were going up already. Escalators and elevators are available for use.

 

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Winged Victory of Samothrace

That’s Niké en chiton ionique. Also called the Winged Victory of Samothrace. It is one of the surviving masterpieces of Hellenic sculpture despite its significant damage. Believed to date from 220-190 BC. This sculpture stands at the Daru staircase, which is the perfect spot for such a work of art.

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Just got tired…
Taking a rest from the long walk as hubby takes more photos of the paintings on display. I do love walking around museums but the Louvre is just too big you definitely would appreciate a minute or two of sitting.
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 Greek sculptures–severed head. Either the parts were lost or the sculptor intended it that way, since during that certain era, sculptors would make less visible parts of statues, also body parts are made separately then assembled together.

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3 maidens, hubby's fave
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Three muses…hah…hubby’s fave? Nah, he posed beside almost every statue.
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Venus de milo, famous for missing arms and hands
Venus de Milo. One spectator said that it was perhaps during transport, that the hands of the statue got lost. I jokingly said Hercules threw a discus and accidentally destroyed the arms…referring to the Disney movie Hercules. =D Kidding aside, here’s what really happened.
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Gold ceiling

Painting on the ceiling…this could be of Roman origin. The most extensive royal abode I visited with gold plated on wall edges is Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace, its ballroom’s ceiling is also painted but without gold in it so I was in awe at this display…I sadly forgot now where this one actually came from.

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Sphinx of Tanis

Great sphinx of Tanis. This is one of the largest sphinxes outside Egypt. According to archaeologists, certain details suggest that this sphinx dates to an earlier period – the Old Kingdom (c. 2600 BC).

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Mona Lisa

La Joconde, The Mona Lisa. Perhaps the most famous painting in the world, a portrait by Leonardo da Vinci of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, that has been finally established as a fact just this month. The La Joconde has been subject to many critics and research and at one time; a robbery. Thus, it has been displayed at the museum’s Salle des États inside a purpose-built, climate-controlled enclosure behind bullet proof glass. A wooden rail prohibits the viewers from coming too near the painting. But the guards were so kind to have let us go past it, really thankful!

By the way, Jean Reno who played Bezu Fache in the movie Da Vinci code which was set at the Louvre, did a narration: the Da Vinci code soundwalk for the museum. The audio guide gives the listener historical facts and meanings of many paintings at the museum.
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The Louvre is not just big…but really really big, we were not able to finish touring it. Half day won’t be enough for hubby, an artist and admirer of art and for me, an art lover who once dreamed of becoming an artist. =P The Louvre is truly an art lover’s haven, no wonder it gathers as much as 8million visitors a year!
(This Photo is courtesy of the Free online photos.)

 

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Disneyland Paris | France | Paris

Paris – Disneyland Resort – Disney Village, Open Souvenir shops

By on March 18, 2009

This installment is about the Disney Village, the only park which is free. It is especially built for tourists who only want Disney items for souvenirs and giveaways.

Enjoy the sun-up, sun-down photos. =)

 

Everything Disney. – Rainforest Cafe.

 

Disney Fashion Boutique. – Mickey…again.

Disney Store.

Planet Hollywood.

C on a Corvette. – A outside a store.

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Disneyland Paris | Featured | France | Paris

Paris – Disneyland Park – Fantasyland

By on March 14, 2009

Disneyland Park, is mostly the fantasy-filled area of the Resort. It is divided into Main Street, USA and 3 other ‘lands’ .

Disneyland Hotel (above and below), an in-house hotel and also the entrance to the Park.

C and A posing by the Mickey flower ensemble in front of the hotel entrance.

My boys sitting at the Pavilion which is parallel to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the street lined with flags is Main Street, USA. The street has 1920-inspired houses (emphasizing on football and automobiles). The houses serve as shops (from souvenirs to photography equipments) and restaurants (coffee, pizza, ice cream, and more).

During the parade, Tigger (Disney’s Winnie the Pooh) and Geppetto (Pinocchio) on board. Notice the rail tracks, as the street has a tram for the visitors too.

 

One of the featured automobile also on parade, they also tour around with the guests and sometimes with the mascots.

 

Front of one of the shops. Notice: Kodak, yes they sell mostly Kodak products. The attendants are really friendly but they would almost always speak to you in French when you enter. Most of them speak English especially the Africans. But it was also nice when a cashier who seem not fluent in English heard me speaking with Charlton later on conversed with me in German. I felt confident I won’t get lost.lol.

 

Inside the shop, a surplus of Mickey mouse and other Disney toys, souvenir items, clothing, memorabilia and more. The prices are generic at all of the shops. Security is a little lax though, don’t be surprised if you see people shoplifting…coz I did. I tip my hat off to those who remain honest (like us! hehe).

One of the stuff we bought that proved to be useful later on is a gown for our little princess. See, she’s standing here with Sleeping Beauty’s castle at the background. The dress was perfect, should we have bought Cinderella’s dress then the castle should be blue…fortunately, she likes pink and pink is Aurora’s gown.

However, meticulous as she is, she had one complain. “Mali momie, kasi black ang hair ko dapat dress na lang ni Snow White, I can’t be Aurora, hindi naman kasi ako blonde.” (This is wrong momie, I have black hair so it should have been Snow White’s dress , I can’t be Aurora, I’m not blonde after all.) Oo nga naman.

One of the uses I was talking about is this: sending entries to the Disney Princess magazine.

Sitting by the bushes…behind is Alice in Wonderland’s Curious Labyrinth.

Jiminy Cricket from Les Voyages de Pinocchio , a 2-minute ride which will show you the journeys of Pinocchio, presented by puppets…the rides were made of wood inpired by Geppetto’s works.

Waving while still on board Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Jack’s Beanstalk minus the Giant…

 

At the entrance of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was a small door with a vitrine full of crystals. Most of them are Disney character’s mini-sculptures but there are huge masterpieces as you see here partly, a replica of the castle.

Hubby and I were awed at how they are made so we looked around and there, hubby’s attention was caught by the hologram-like crystal boxes with yóur own photos! (more pics to follow)

We decided that this precious piece would be our souvenir from the Park. The attendants took our photos starting from Daniel. The woman in the photo appears to be the Supervisor here, she came and spoke to us (english) but when she heard me call out: “Da-niel!” She instantly knew that we speak German ( just by the pronunciation..as in English would be pronounced Day-nyel, Pinoys would say Dan-yel, and in German we say Da-nyel).

The rule is to not move for 5 seconds while the photo is being taken and to look on top of the camera…the box was ready after 2 hours and we paid an addition since there were 5 of us…the most that they have made were for 4 people.

 

 

<–The castle glowing at night, too bad we run out of batteries for the fireworks =(

 

 

There were still so many stuff that we were not able to see, but we had enough memories to make us remember the fantastic and enchanting experience at Disney’s Fantasyland.

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