This church just outside the centre of Chamonix dominates the town and has a magnificent interior with colourful frescoes and a golden altar.
From Chamonix train station go straight ahead down Avenue Michel Croz, at the end of the street turn left on to Place de l'eglise, the church is on your right-hand side just after the town hall.
The old square in Patan is beautiful. The museum is tranquil and a nice place for food. There are many cafes on the rooftops around the square for drinks/meals in the evening.
This is the medieval castle, often referred to as Dracula's Castle. But it is not only interesting for horror fans; built in 1377 it’s a true art treasure.
Built to protect from invaders it became a royal residence in 1920.
Take your time and enjoy the view of the castle; it sits high on top of a tall rock, overlooking the picturesque village. Inside you can have a look at a rich collection of Romanian and foreign furniture and art items from the 14th-19th centuries.
Location: the village of Bran, 16 miles southwest of Brasov.
Open: Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
The Ceramics museum is housed in the Palacio de Marques de Dos Aguas. The exterior is covered with ornate marble decoration and the huge carved alabaster entrance was designed by Hipólito Rovira and alludes to the two rivers (Turia and Júcar) of the Marques' title. There's even a painted-gilt Cinderella coach to greet you in the entrance and the marble decoration continues inside as you walk up the stairs.
On the first floor of the Palacio you pass through room after room smothered with colourful plasterwork and marble decoration with enormous chandeliers sparkling in the gilded mirrors. The Palacio dates back to the 15th century but the exterior was remodelled in the 1740s and and the interiors redecorated in the rococco style in the 1850s. When you've progressed through the many delightful rooms and admired the beautiful paintings and decorations, you reach the ceramics collections themselves. The highlights for me were the colourful painted Spanish tiles and ceramics, including the replica of a tiled Spanish kitchen on the top floor, and there are also some plates decorated by Picasso.
The museum is free on Saturday morning and Sunday but otherwise it costs €2.40
You can see my review and photos on my blog;
Palacio de Marques de Dos Aguas, Poeta Querol, 2, 46002 - Valencia
The St Laurent bridge connects the city centre of Grenoble to La Tronche - Grenoble's oldest district. This iron chain bridge is closed to cars and is a great place to take pictures of the famous "Bulles".
It's also the starting point for those who choose to take the arduous 45 minute walk up to La Bastille.
Follow the "Telepherique" signs, go past the cable car station, walk beside the Isere river for about 15 minutes and you'll see the bridge in front of you.
The cathedral of Our Lady looks rather plain from the outside as it doesn't have the spires or the gothic façade which make it resemble a cathedral, but don't be put off by this - inside there are magnificent chapels with colourful and striking paintings and altars.
Cathedrale de Notre Dame is a 20 min walk from the train station
The main reason for taking the cable car up to La Bastille is to take in the 360° view of Grenoble's wide boulevards and motorways as well as the Dauphine Alps which encircle the whole city from the roof of the Terrase restaurant. If you're lucky and it's a clear day you can see Mont Blanc. I saw it and it looked so close!
The views are breathtaking and only from La Bastille can you appreciate the immense size of Grenoble.
Best of all the views are free!
For even better views there is a path which you can walk up which goes up from behind the fortress to the top of the mountain which it sits on.
Just take the cable car from Grenoble city centre up to La Bastille and follow the path behind the Terrasse restaurant to climb the stairs up to the roof.
One thing that you must do is take the speedy "Bulles" from Grenoble city centre up to La Bastille, in just 20 minutes it whisks you high above the Isere river and the La Tronche district of Grenoble, it's the first city centre cable car to be constructed in the world.
Just follow the "Telepherique" signs from the train station - just look out for the cables above the Isere river - you can't miss them.
A return trip costs €5,75 and entry to La Bastille and the 1968 Olympics exhibition is free.
La Bastille is the former prison and fortress which can be seen from everywhere in Grenoble as it towers above the Isere river and the whole city, unfortunately it's largely in ruins and most of it is barred off to the public so you can't really appreciate it's purpose.
You can't miss La Bastille as it dominates Grenoble from every angle.
In the 19th century French architecture was very envogue. The city features a lot of large neoclassical buildings, parks and its own Arch de Triomphe.
It was built in 1922 to honour the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I. In 1936 it was finished in granite. It’s 85 feet high and there is an interior staircase allowing you to climb upstairs and enjoy a phenomenal view of the city.
Piata Arcul de Triumf
Eglise St Maurice has a simple but striking façade but go inside to see a beautifully scuplted altar and a handsome statue of Mary Magdalene with the inscription above her which reads 'Mary prays for our souls'.
There are many side chapels where private prayer and contemplation can be done, it's also so quiet inside that you wouldn't think that you were only 10 minutes away from the tourist crowds.
Eglise Saint Maurice is a 10 minute walk from the Palais de l'ile and just
five minutes from Lake Annecy
St Peter's cathedral is discretely hidden away behind the Palais de l'ile and has a plain façade but a glorious interior with renowned religious icons and an intricate altar. A peaceful retreat from the hordes of tourists
Cathédrale St Pierre is just a 10 minute walk from the Palais de l'ile and just 15 minutes from lake Annecy
The castle looms over the old city and lake Annecy, it has a (overpriced) museum inside, but I chose to skip the museum as it was too expensive and you get great (free!) views of it anyway from the lake and from the steep alleyways which snake behind it to bring you back down to old Annecy.
It's a stunning castle with the turrets and gates showing the power and might of Annecy when it ruled over Italy and western Switzerland and its museum is great for families as children will love the suits of armour.
Chateau d'Annecy is only a 20 minute walk from the train station and is well signposted
The Palais de l'ile is the most photographed monument in Annecy - and for good reason - as it is a beautifully situated castle in the middle of a canal and is a quaint introduction to the old city, sometimes it hosts exhibitions and the cafés (not cheap) next to the castle make for a good resting point before exploring old Annecy.
Palais de l'ile is just a 20 min walk from the train station and just 10 mins from lake Annecy
The Vielle ville is the old medieval and historic heart of the city with arcaded streets lined with the inevitable souvenir shops, but there are some interesting shops selling clothes and local food.
However, don't go on Sunday morning/afternoon (after 1pm) when there is the market and tourists, vans and market traders clog the narrow cobbled Rue Ste Claire, but there are plenty of hidden alleyways and squares behind the castle and canals where the tourists don't go. Just loose yourself.
Annecy lines 28 miles north of Chambéry and 20 miles south of Geneva. It can easily by reached by TGV from Paris and Geneva, as it's on the direct line between Valence, Chambéry and Geneva
It's not just the home of the National Motor Museum. The place also has a walled garden, a palace house and a ruined abbey. Alongside the ruins is the active parish church. There is a beautiful footpath that runs between the lake at the palace house and the monorail station at the motor museum.
Oh yes, and a bunch of cars. Some really old ones, and some sporty ones, and some two wheelers (i.e. motorcycles), and some movie ones (James Bond cars!), and firetrucks, and old buses, and...well there's a lot. I think most of them are in running order, too. You can take a ride in an original London double-decker! Its exhaust stinks: do they use yesterday's fish batter oil to run the thing!?
The palace is a large mansion, some of which is open to poke around. The guides are very knowledgeable and helpful. The lord and lady still live in the place. Sometimes, you can sneak a look at their private apartments. In spring, the gardens and paths are awash with daffodils!
If you gift-aid your admission, then you get free re-entry to the motor museum (but not the rest of the place - although that is discounted).
Photos and a description of our visits are on our website: www.reeves-hall.net/kids-outings/beaulieu-motor-museum/
Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd
John Montagu Building
Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire
+44 (0) 1590 612345
The Nozyk Synagogue is the only synagogue in Warsaw that survived the war. It is located in an area of Warsaw that was originally inside the Little Ghetto in 1940, but was later outside the Ghetto after it was made smaller, following deportations.
Out of thousands of synagogues in Poland, there are only about 245 remaining. All of the unique wooden synagogues were destroyed, although some 17th century wooden Catholic churches remain to this day. The Nozyk synagogue was named for the man who founded it in 1900, Zalman ben Menasze Nozyk, and his wife Rywka bat Mosze (some guidebooks say it was founded in 1902).
Today services are held here every Friday night and every Saturday. Inside, you will see the interior of a moderately wealthy synagogue from turn-of-the-century Warsaw, with the cabinet containing the Torah scrolls and the bema (or pulpit) in the nave. The upper galleries are set aside for women.
6 Twarda St, Warschau 00-104, Polen
Tel.: 48-22-620 3496
A must see, the temple is made out of mirrored glass. Thousands upon thousands of pieces of mirrored glass inset into the walls - if you have ever been to the Amber Palace in Jaipur.
Off Ras Dinendra St and down Badr Das Temple Rd
Local pub, great welcome, open fire, good English bar food. Must be the only pub in the world to keep an ancient skull (stuffed with newspaper) in the cupboard by the side of the fire. Lemon tart to die for.
After eating take a walk through the pretty village with an old church that has a runic headstone. Then up to the site of a stone burial site.
Great Urswick is a few miles from Ulverston, and quite near Barrow in Furness.
Having used the been there to plan a short trip to Belgium I thought it only proper to note down my experiences for the reference of other visitors.
We travelled to Bruges in our own car via ferry from Dover to Calais – for our trip we found that this was the most cost-effective means. The drive from Calais to Bruges is not arduous and took less than 1.5 hours - sat nav makes it all the more simpler and brought us to the door of the Anselmus Hotel in central Bruges.
We found that this was a very comfortable, friendly family-run hotel that we could heartily recommend. It is ideally located close to the central area.
The city is fabulous – we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Take the canal tour and get a view of the local Flemish architecture, visit the Chocolate museum, watch the demo and sample the goods. Have hot chocolate and waffles in one of the street cafes as a mid morning snack or maybe grab a portion of chips and mayo from the mobile frituur in the market square, browse the unique shops – not too much sign of globalisation here!
For our meals we found excellent mussels and frites at Breydel-de-Coninck just off the main square at Breidelstraat 24 and for an alternative evening we could recommend the Grand Café de Comptoir with their excellent selection of international dishes, warm welcome, elegant décor and reasonable prices.
Then there’s the beer, you can visit a local brewery but if it’s the business end of the operation that you are interested in you will not be disappointed by the selection of bars and pubs and the variety of local beers on offer – close your eyes and take your pick.
The following day we visited Ypres (Ieper), about 70 km away, where you cannot fail to be stirred by the tragedy of the first world war. The museum named ‘In Flanders Fields’ in the main square of the town and only a short walk from the Menen Gate really puts a subsequent driving tour of the battlegrounds and cemeteries into vivid perspective.
Near Hill 62 you can view the trenches and let your imagination construct what it must have been like to fight in these conditions. The largest allied cemetery at ‘Tyne Cot' has over 12,000 graves regimentally aligned plus a wall of remembrance with thousands upon thousands of names of those who fell but have no known grave.
Bruges and the locality have much to offer visitors looking for a city break with a difference – I look forward to going again at some stage.
Check out the hotel at en.venere.com/belgium/hotels_brugge/hotel_anselmus.html?fe1&ref=682988, Breydel Restaurant site is www.breydel-deconinc.be/
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