INSPIRATION & EXPERT ADVICE FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS

INSPIRATION & EXPERT ADVICE FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS

Category Archives: Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week: Strasbourg Cathedral, France

The Strasbourg Cathedral dominates the square at the end of Rue Mercière, standing tall over the heart of the city. Notre-Dame de Strasbourg was built between 1190 and 1439, a Gothic masterpiece that would be the tallest construction in the world for over 200 years. At 142 metres tall, its single steeple makes the cathedral...

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Photo of the Week: Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is probably the most incredible painting I have ever seen. Michelangelo’s masterpiece, painted from 1508-1512, illustrates nine episodes from the book of Genesis, the highlight of which is the Creation of Adam. I was intrigued by the illusionary architectural elements of the painting, the fictive moldings appearing as if...

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Photo of the Week: Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge

We only visited Cologne very briefly, stopping in for about four hours on our way from Bruges to Nuremberg. We came specifically to see the ambitious Cologne Cathedral, a World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, I wasn’t overly impressed with the cathedral itself. We were in Strasbourg a few days earlier, and the cathedral there blew my...

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Photo of the Week: The Rozenhoedkaai, Bruges

Bruges is an exceptionally picturesque city. The canals and exquisite medieval architecture make it a joy not only to visit, but to photograph as well. One of the most photographed locations in Bruges is the view from the Rozenhoedkaai. Here, the Groenerei and Dijver canals meet, creating a romantic, charming scene. It’s believed that the...

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Photo of the Week: Sacre Coeur Basilica

Crowning the top of Montmartre Hill, Paris’ highest point, is Sacré Coeur Basilica. This prominent location makes Sacré Coeur Basilica one of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris, easily visible from the top of the Eiffel Tower. This imposing basilica will surely make you gasp when it first hovers into view. The beaming white stones have...

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Photo of the Week: John Lennon Wall, Prague

In 1980 after the death of John Lennon, an image of the former Beatle member was painted on an ordinary wall in a secluded square, across from the French Embassy in Prague. Soon after, the youth of Prague filled the wall with other John Lennon-inspired graffiti and Beatles lyrics, turning the wall into a symbolic...

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Photo of the Week: Oak Alley Plantation, Louisiana

Across from the mighty Mississippi, in the community of Vacherie, Louisiana, is the historic plantation of Oak Alley. A long, graceful path, canopied by a double row of live oaks, leads 800 feet up to the Greek Revival plantation house. The sturdy oaks were planted in the early 18th century, long before the house was...

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Photo of the Week: Grand Foyer of Palais Garnier, Paris

The Palais Garnier, home to the Paris Opera, was the most stunning building we visited during our four day trip to Paris! The Grand Foyer was designed to resemble the gallery of a classical chateau- adorned with gold and accented with mirrors and windows. The ceiling paintings are exquisite and portray themes from the history of music....

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Photo of the Week: Wall for Peace, Paris

At the end of Parc du Champ de Mars, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, stands the Wall for Peace. Made from steel and glass, the monument features the word “Peace” etched in forty-nine languages and eighteen different alphabets. The Wall for Peace was designed by artist Clara Halter and architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who...

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Photo of the Week: Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest

Fisherman’s Bastion was my favourite place on Castle Hill in Budapest.  It’s a unique looking structure, built in neo-gothic and neo-romanesque styles, different from anything else you will see in the city. Fisherman’s Bastion was erected behind Matthias Church, on the spot where a guild of fishermen defended the city from invasion during the Middle...

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Photo of the Week: Ponte Vecchio, Florence

The Ponte Vecchio, or “old bridge”, is a highlight of any visit to Florence. The medieval bridge spans the Arno River at its narrowest point but is so much more than just a river crossing. The Ponte Vecchio has always been a place where merchants could display and sell their goods. Butchers first occupied the...

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Photo of the Week: Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle is the theatrical creation of King Ludwig II, also known as “mad” Ludwig. He ordered it to be built in 1869 on a craggy hill in Hohenschwangau, Germany, using his own personal fortune to pay for the project. Unfortunately, King Ludwig died mysteriously at Lake Starnberg in 1886 before the castle’s completion. Neuschwanstein...

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Photo of the Week: Wurzburg Residence, Germany

The Wurzburg Residence is one of the largest and most magnificent Baroque palaces in Germany. It was built between 1720-1744 under the patronage of the Prince-Bishops of Schonborn. The interior is impressive, although somewhat kitschy by today’s standards, and has been restored since being heavily damaged in World War II. As usual, when visiting a...

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Photo of the Week: Alpsee Lake, Germany

No trip to Bavaria is complete without a visit to Alpsee Lake. Just four kilometres southeast of Füssen, Alpsee Lake sits nestled between wooded mountain slopes, in an area so beautiful that Bavarian kings chose to build their romantic castles here. A boat ride on the lake offers splendid views of Neuschwanstein and Hohenshwangau castles,...

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Photo of the Week: Temple of Hephaestus, Athens

The Temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved Doric temple in Greece. It was built on the western edge of the Ancient Agora in honour of God of the Forge, Hephaestus. The temple has 34 columns, a frieze depicting nine of the Twelve Labours of Heracles and was once surrounded by foundries and metalwork shops....

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Photo of the Week: Downtown Lights, Edmonton, Alberta

When you’ve lived in the same city for a long period of time, sometimes it’s hard to feel inspired by it. It’s easy to become jaded and no longer notice the beauty that surrounds you. After 14 years of living in Edmonton (and growing up only 45 minutes away), I’ve been feeling…unenthused, to put it...

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Photo of the Week: Church of Panagia Paraportiani, Mykonos Greece

Mykonos’ most famous church is the Panagia Paraportiani, whose name translates to “Our Lady of the Side Gate”.  It’s actually not a single church, but a group of five smaller churches that were amalgamated into one. Four of the churches were used to form the base for the fifth church, which when placed on top, formed...

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Photo of the Week: Chateau Lake Louise, Banff National Park

The decor throughout the Chateau Lake Louise pays homage to the Swiss influence that was paramount to the early development of the Lake Louise Area. This chandelier in the main lobby has four maidens, facing each of the cardinal directions. The women are said to represent the wives of the Swiss mountain guides. The chandelier...

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Photo of the Week: The Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon was first built in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa (whose father-in-law was Augustus). The temple was rebuilt around AD 120 by Emperor Hadrian but Agrippa’s name was left inscribed over the entrance. The Pantheon is famous for its extraordinary dome, the largest masonry vault ever built. It’s considered the most important achievement of...

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Photo of the Week: Ink Pots, Banff National Park

The Johnston Canyon trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Banff National Park.  However, not too many people hike as far as the Ink Pots. Those who make the 3 km trek from the Upper Falls to Johnston Valley are rewarded with this beautiful view, unspoiled by the masses of tourists you...

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