For about 4000 years of so, the tallest man made structure was the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, with an original height of 481 feet. A few European cathedrals eventually topped out a bit higher than the pyramid, but they also didn’t reach heights much above 500 feet. Even the Washington Monument built in 1884 was only 555 feet high and only held the tallest structure title for 5 years. Then, in 1889, Gustave Eiffel built his tower as the entrance for the Paris World’s Fair, and in one fell swoop, almost doubled the height of the tallest building in the world with his tower topping out at 986 feet. The Eiffel Tower has since become one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and the defining icon for the City of Lights. For me, the Eiffel Tower is entwined with some of my best memories of visits to Paris over the past 17 years. Continue reading “My Memories of the Eiffel Tower”
The photo in this post won Finalist – Photography: Facility or Architectural-Print or Online Category in the 2017 North America Travel Journalists Association competition.
A view of Paris’s Eiffel Tower at dusk as seen through the Wall of Peace memorial at the south-east end of the Champ de Mars park.
Don’t visit Annecy (pronounced Ansi) if you are looking for big cathedrals or museums filled with important art. But if you are looking for a quiet, lovely, romantic spot to just relax and amble along cobbled streets past canals and pastel colored houses, all with lake and mountain views, then Annecy, France’s little “Venice of the North” is the place to go.
I knew this would be a difficult story to write. But after visiting the martyred village of Oradour-sur-Glane and learning about the horrific details of the WWII massacre of 642 innocent civilian men, women and children by the Nazi SS, I felt it was important to tell the story – a story that should be told again and again and again. Continue reading “Oradour-sur-Glane – a Memorial that Should Never be Forgotten”
I think most international tourists zip through central France on their way from Paris to colorful Provence and the sunny shores of the French Riviera. But as I recently experienced, if you are traveling near the city of Limoges, stop and take in some of its culture and history. Continue reading “Photo Essay: A Day in Limoges, France – Don’t Stop Just for the Porcelain”
The town of Limoges in central France, and the area around it is well known for its fine porcelain production. The discovery of kaolin in the area in the 1760’s, a critical component for hard-paste porcelain, and a ready supply of water from the Vienne river helped produce a successful French industry that could compete with the popular porcelain products imported from China. Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: Bucolic Reflection on the Vienne”
One of my goals for this year has been to take quilting classes from some of the best instructors in the industry so that I could learn from various experienced quilt artists and get exposed to diverse teaching styles and techniques. I was thrilled to discover Crafty Retreats in central France and a class with Sheena Norquay, one of the UK’s top free motion quilting instructors. What I did not expect was the absolutely perfect holiday guest experience. Continue reading “A Perfect Holiday Escape with Crafty Retreats in Central France”
One final view of Italy’s majestic Dolomite granite peaks before we move on. This view is in the Rosengarten/Cantinaccio region. The German name, Rosengarten, derives from a legend about the dwarf king Lauren who supposedly had a rose garden here, but because of a curse, it can only be seen at sunset. These peaks average around 9000 ft. and since they are west facing, beautifully capture the orange glow of sunset. As with other regions in these mountains, there are ample scenic hiking opportunities in the area.
Thanks for visiting
With over 6000 square miles to explore in Italy’s Dolomite mountain region, we decided to make our home base in the town of Castelrotto/Kastelruth near the area of the Alpe Di Suisi (in Italian, or Seiser Alm in German). This high alpine meadow claims to be the highest and one of the largest alpine meadows in Europe at an altitude of approximately one mile above sea level and covering an area of approximately 23 square miles. Continue reading “Photo Essay: Hiking in the Alpe Di Siusi High Alpine Meadow in Italy’s Dolomites”
The Dolomite mountain region is northern Italy’s outdoor playground with numerous options for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. The 6000 square mile area is also protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Driving through the area the views present granite peaks soaring over lush green meadows and picturesque towns with characteristic church steeples.
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