Dom Cathedral, Cologne

Köln in German, or Cologne in English, is Germany’s 4th largest city. Eau de Cologne (Water of Cologne) that is known & used the world over, was birthed in this city. The city is  famous for the  Cologne Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church.

Here are some photographs I captured of the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria if you read the details on the Wiki link).

A World Heritage Site, work on the Cathedral commenced in the year 1248. It is supposed to be Germany’s most visited landmark (details in the link above) & it is alleged to house some relics of the Three Magi who visited Jesus  after His birth.

I was fortunate to have visited this Cathedral with its rich Gothic architecture, historic & religious significance.

Guten Tag Berlin!

Berlin, circa 2008…

What I enjoyed about this city –

–  getting to see history at close quarters

–  getting to actually see the remaining parts of the Berlin Wall

–  the graffiti which captures the spirit of the city, carried in an earlier post  Street Art

–  being a part of the 200,000 odd crowd which thronged the Tiergarten to witness Barack Obama’s speech 

–  walking through the famous Brandenburger Tor

–  staying in East Berlin at Prenzlauer Berg,  über cool & youthful spirit,  home to students & artists

–  the sidewalk cafés of Prenzlauer Berg which served those amazing desserts

–  getting to attend George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess Opera…terrific

–  art, history & culture blend in

–  truly Berlin, truly enjoyable.

Hover over the image for a brief description of some of these pictures.

When Paris Called

A ton of energy & the ability to walk, walk, walk is what you need if you visit Paris.  Cathedrals, cafés, monuments or the museum – there is so much to explore & experience in this city, which is best done walking. And of course the camera is kept busy too. 

History everywhere  you look is Paris in a nutshell to me.

A panoramic cruise on the River Seine is a great way to take in the many views of Paris. Visiting the 12th century Notre Dame Cathedral brings back memories of  Hugo’s  book  ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.

To behold Paris’ most iconic symbol the  Eiffel Tower is truly awesome. Walking down the Champs Elysees, supposedly ‘the most beautiful avenue in the world’ is a great way to absorb the city &  you also get to view the  historic Arc de Triomphe. We also got to witness the celebrations of the Bastille Day or French National Day…when all of  Paris seems to converge on  the Champs Elysees to witness the parade & celebrations.

No trip is complete without a visit to the Louvre – this  museum has just too much to see in a short duration;  most popular attraction without a doubt being Leonardo da Vinci’s  ‘Mona Lisa’. It was so crowded with tourists…had to literally push through the crowd for a glimpse up close –  I wasn’t able to capture a very clear picture though.

Around the city one gets to admire the many monuments &  rich architecture – below are photos of  the La Madeleine Church (formerly meant to be a Temple) as well as the statue of Joan of Arc. Way too much to see!!!

While there indulge merrily in the local French cuisine…& go get some joie de vivre!

 

 

A Tryst with 650 Years of History at The George Inn, England

During our holiday to the UK a few years ago, we were fortunate to be able to stop over for lunch at The George Inn during one of our days of local sight seeing.

Located in the village of Lacock in Wiltshire, England, this picturesque ancient village is several hundred years old & has been the setting for some famous English films. 

The George Inn dates back to 1361 (Wow!) & is famous for having a running license since the days of Oliver Cromwell. It was a very interesting visit – the inn with its incredibly ancient history & aura as also getting to see a village this quaint…memorable!

Windsor Castle

Photo tour of  Windsor Castle …a glimpse into an abode of the British Royal Family.

To quote a historic fact I came across  “Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world.  A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today.”

Isle Rügen

Rügen is Germany’s largest island located in the Baltic Sea.

Placid & picturesque with cobbled roads, the azure sea, chalky cliffs & brilliant scenery…

Rügen & Stralsund, which is not too far away make for a most memorable visit. Photos are from both places –

Sunlight on the Church at 9PM…

Seoul Matters

Seoul, South Korea  some years ago.  During my trip to Seoul, I visited Deoksugung Palace, also know as Deoksu Palace, with a history dating back to the  1400’s.

Key photographs below include Deoksu Palace, statue of King Sejong, the Heungcheonsa Bell & Water Clock. While I am no historian, there is a ton of history on the Palace available on the web.

Walking around town, I spotted a man, a real  friend of sparrows –  was amazed watching those birds eat from his hand.. see below.

Photographs apart & strictly for the stout-hearted only, I would recommend  Sam Gae Tang, a form of soup which  consists of a whole young chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng & other herbs…I know not what. It is an experience!

I was also able to attend a great service at the Yoido Full Gospel Church founded by Pastor David Yonggi Cho – it is the world’s largest congregation.

Korea has an efficient subway system to get you across the city – make sure you don’t lose your English-Korean map though! 🙂

 

Statue of King Sejong the Great

Notice the high rise buildings in the background

The Heungcheonsa Bell 

Borugak Jagyeongnu , the Water Clock

Multiple Rocket Launcher

Friend of Sparrows

Calligrapher at work

Yoido Full Gospel Church

Viva Estonia!

Rewind – few years ago we travelled from Helsinki to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia by the Viking XPRS cruise-ferry. Tallinn is just about 80km away  from Helsinki by sea.

The incredible medieval charm of Tallinn Old Town is an experience never to be forgotten. You can spend the entire day just walking through the Old Town. Quaint alleyways with something of history lurking at every turn; streets & buildings with a touch of the medieval; cafés & souvenir stores…it’s simply beautiful!

While in Tallinn, make sure you visit the Olde Hansa, a medieval themed restaurant which will make you feel like you stepped into another era entirely! 

Tallinn’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn below, through my lens…