Montreuil – Discover Colors and Wonders of This Small Parisian Town


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There was something wonderful about this small town in France, maybe because of the weather at the time I visited. It was a warm summer week when I was there and it felt like it was a colorful and vibrant place to be in.

Being a suburban town, you can come here for a weekend and enjoy a stay with your family. I walked around and enjoyed the views, taking in both the cultural and local vibes before heading onto other destinations of the country.

Parc Jean Moulin Les Guilands

As with most towns in France, there are parks that stand out and so it is here. When you are at Montreuil come down to this park and enjoy the sights and wilderness, right in the middle of the city.  Found the long, thick grass and heavy foliage, especially the algae covered park pond a wonder to look at. It is unlike most of the well-manicured parks that modern cities have. Even the fences and furniture the park has maintained a rustic charm.

Rue Du Capitaine Dreyfus

As I mentioned before, this is a town I loved to discover while walking around and this pedestrian street makes it one of the reasons why. You will find this street running through the heart of town. There is a historic air about its name, having been named after a French hero. What I enjoyed here was browsing through the stores. There are several Chinese restaurants here to try as well.

Croix De Chavaux Shopping Center

This is another place I visited and I recommend that you do the same. It is a vintage mall which is also famous for a concrete structure here called École Nationale De Musique Et De Danse De Montreuil.

In fact, there are unusual architectural structures to find across the town as well as murals and graffiti that make this town a riot of colors and give it a unique cultural vibe.

Argenteuil – Here a World of Romance and Religion Awaits


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Argenteuil is a city that you can discover as you take a course by the river Seine. That is what I did with some local friends and came across this quaint commune in France.

It is one of the Impressionist centers that house many works of Claude Monet. I also discovered that the region was originally farmlands and a center of viticulture. Later on, it became industrialized, in the nineteenth century. Its history dates back to Gallo-Roman times. The tunic of Argenteuil which was originally sent to Charlemagne by Empress Irene is considered to be Jesus Christ’s tunic as per legends.

Saint-Jean Baptiste Chapel

This is one of the first historic sites we visited which dates as far back as 10th century. It is little wonder that you will find it listed among the Historic Monuments of the region. I found the Benedictine abbey beautiful to explore, its primitive architecture and settings. The guide books state that architecture is a reflection of the classic and Romanesque styles. There are burial grounds here as well. You will also like the covered walk of Deserts that showcases burials dating back to the Neolithic era.

Museum of Argenteuil

If you have come here with your family, ensure that you visit this place as it is an educational stop for this city’s history. The building itself was a hospital that dates back to the 18th century. You can spend your time here admiring different paintings and drawings that reflect the history and culture of this commune.

Saint-Denis Basilica

I discovered that Argenteuil’s historic highlight is all about the famed tunic of Jesus Christ and that is what you find here. The latter is placed in an altar with lava dating particulars mentioned. This religious building also finds mention among the historic monuments of the region.

I would recommend that you walk through the city and enjoy its cultural and romantic air. You will also discover here the house of the artist Claude Monet from where you get breathtaking views of the nearby city of Paris.

Monschau – A Cultural Hub in the German Eifel Region


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Monschau is a scenic ton by the German Eifel that I happened to stop by and I would recommend it to my fellow travelers as well. The town was built 300 years back and it is surrounded by green hills all around. Being a scenic destination with a small town charm, it acts as a romantic getaway for many. I also discovered that it is considered as a cultural hub of the region and there are different events that are held here.

Rotes Haus

This is also known as the Red House, made of the timbered architecture that characterizes many buildings in this town. This particular building of a cloth manufacturer was built in 1760 and it is now a building to showcase the luxurious furnishings of Louis XVI, Rococo and of the Empire era.

Burg Monschau

This is another local attraction which I stopped by. It is interesting to note that this castle, which was built in the 13th century, houses a youth hostel as well.

Open Air Music Festivals

This is another feature of this town. If you are visiting, make sure you come by in summer when the Monschau Klassik music festival is held, in the open courtyard of the castle.

Mustard Mill

This is another unique local attraction here. It was easy for us to get directions and come by this historical mill. This mill is now run on electric power but in olden times it used to work with a wheel run by water. The mill churns out about 19 different types of Monschau mustard.

We also visited the Glass Works that offers a demonstration of the old craft of blowing out different craftworks of glass; if you have time stop by the museum called Weiss Printers as well as the Felsenkeller Brewery.

Milan: Discovering the Fashion Capital of the World


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Milan, the city hat every fashion enthusiast dream to visit. This is a behemoth city has lot more to offer than just the designer shops. It is a sublime mixture of old and modern culture. Other than checking out the sites, My friend Kathy with ecotouchclean.com and I loved bustling in the atmosphere of the city. There are a plethora of things that you can do and see in the city. Let’s take a look at few of them.

Milan Cathedral

It is a monumental structure which is famous for its extraordinary architecture. Believe it or not, it took 600 years to complete this cathedral. It had been established in 1386 but was only completed in 1965. The cathedral has a gothic-like architecture. I found the front façade to be excellent. The interior portion is highly decorated and the stained glass windows give an exceptional look to the interior décor. My trip to the city would have been incomplete without visiting this cathedral.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

When you walk into the grand gallery, it might give you the feeling that you are standing inside a hall of opera palace or house. It doesn’t at all appear like the shopping mall. However, this is actually what it is. The extravagant and opulent indoor shopping area is unique. I have never come across anything like this. It had been developed in 1877. You will find top-class designer shops in here.

Castello Sforzesco

This castle is centrally located in Milan. It is placed between gardens and grounds. Even though it has been constructed in 1370, the structure still retains its power and elegance. At the front of the castle, you are going to find the large brick walls which are lined by the central guard tower and the battlements. Other than the castle, I also came across some small museums which showcase different artifacts along with the historical facts of the castle.

This Capital City Will Mesmerize You


If you are looking for a complete vacation in a country that is not very common among tourists in general, I recommend you Costa Rica first up and mainly to start with your Costa Rica trip, I recommend the capital city of the country that is San Jose. This city is also known as one of the fastest growing capitals in the world thanks to the amazing infrastructure coming up and the best thing about this, is that the city is planned and well – constructed and not just jumbled with buildings and towers. The city gets most of its profits from the trade of coffee which is exported to every nook and corner of the world, and from that, there are plenty of museums, theatres, restaurants etc built regularly.

Let us look at the must-visit places in the capital city when you go for a vacation there,

 

  • The Costa Rica National Theater

 

If you are looking for the purest form of the country’s culture, then you must watch the plays and the dramas that happen in this theater. It is also one of the oldest in the country and also the most famous. Within the complex of this theater, there is a gift and a coffee shop from where you can get the local merchandise and then on, you can relax and also buy some memory items of the country.

 

  • The Gold Museum of the Pre-Columbian Era

 

If you are a fan of gold and want to know about the metal that existed from time immemorial, you can visit this museum which has artifacts that are more than 1000 years old. Another museum which is pretty famous is the coin museum which has the collection of coins dating back to the prehistoric era.

The trip to San Jose is definitely going to be one of a lifetime experience for you.

Reading: For The True Lovers Of English Culture


Ever since we stepped in Reading, we could see hundreds and thousands of supporters donned in the blue jersey of Reading FC supporting and cheering for their team’s football match throughout. Although we had no idea about the club, the vibe was so contagious that we started feeling the happiness and excitement too. Reading is a small town but is rich with both culture and history. If you are looking to catch the local culture in the purest form and not mix it up with multicultural flavors, then a visit here is surely recommended. Let us have a look at some places which you must visit if you come here:

  • The Basildon Park, which was built in the 18th century, is a great parkland where you can walk around catch the sites of castles and buildings which are present there since a lot of eras. There are many exhibitions which are conducted by people all around the world. If you visit this place during the snowy season, make sure to plan beforehand, just like how we did, because some of the parts may be closed for maintenance and weather issues.
  • If you are coming as a family and are looking for a small picnic to the river to give you company, then the Beale Park is the place to go. This place overlooks the Thames River, the same one which flows through London and at the same time, you can catch an amazing and exotic collection of both flora and fauna.
  • Stanlake Park Wine Estate is another place which you will need to spend a day in relaxing and sipping wines from one of the finest places in England. Make sure to book a tour here before you visit.

A three-day visit to Reading is required if you need to cover up all the places.

Preston: This Small Place Is Worth Big Hearts


Preston is a small yet beautiful place to visit in the northern part of the UK. It has Root River flowing throughout the town. We stayed at Ye Horns Inn, which cost us around $96. They also had a microbrewery and a pub.

Places to visit

We started our visit with Eagle Bluff Environmental learning center. We had a pre-booked ski trail with them. Then we visited the National Trout Centre. We went to Harris Museum. We loved the works of John Giblin the most of all displays. While strolling in the town center, we headed to the Lancashire Infantry Museum.

As it was December, we were able to go to the Ribble steam railway. They also had a cafe on the premises. The entry price inclusive of unlimited train ride cost just $7 per adult and $4.5 for kids. The kids were served juice and biscuits while the rides, we were offered complimentary goodies, mince pies, and sherry.

We took a walking tour watching the historic buildings. We were marveling at the architecture of Historic Preston School Building, Historic Elevator, Preston Carnegie library, and 200 St. Paul. We had an evening stroll along the River Ribble. We visited the Church of St. Walburga. Haslam Park is a basic but lovely park.

We loved the sandwiches and salad at Pavillion cafe. Though you may come across it is as overpriced. Do try the freshly grilled food and Mediterranean cuisine in Jaffa. The Mystery Tea House serves a huge range of teas.

Our kids loved the planetarium show at the Space center and escape game at the Laser Quest Preston.

We had a bike sharing ride too, along Avenham and Miller Park. We did hiking at Preston Guild Wheel. The section from the Brockholes of the docks is amazing. You can also run, walk or do cycling there. Moor Park is a must visit.

Syracuse: This Is Best For A College Tour


We had a college tour to Syracuse a few weeks ago. We had the opportunity to experience the city’s wonderful nightlife, beautiful parks, shopping, wineries, and great food. We stayed at the Hotel Skyler which has an interesting history. It was a Jewish synagogue earlier and then a theatre.  Firstly we went to the Onondaga Historical Association Museum. It is a two-storeyed building whereby one can know of the history of Syracuse. It has permanent exhibitions of the remarkable people of Onondaga, its relation with Underground Railroads and its display of Syracuse China. Its admission is free.

Then we went to Destiny USA which is a huge shopping center along with facilities of dining and entertainment. It has more than 20 million visitors annually. It is spread over 4 floors and more than 200 retailers. Further, we went to Clark Reservation State Park. It is often referred to as the geologic wonder and a botanist’s paradise. It was named after the former New York State Governor – Myron H. Clark. It is a 377-acre park which features unique rock formations, having deep crevices, fern species and a glacial lake. One must wear durable shoes or sneakers as the place is very slippery.

We visited the Onondaga Lake Park. It is also referred to as the Central Park of the Central New York. It is located outside the city of Syracuse. It is a 75-mile park. Nearby is located the Salt Museum.

Later we went to Green Lakes State Park which is also outside the city. It has the beautiful natural glacial lakes whereby the two lakes have been named as Green Lake and Round Lake. It has a greenish blue hue due to the clear water and its depth. It also has a golf course.

Waterloo Park

Waterloo- A Tranquil Holiday Destination


 

Waterloo is a small city located in Southern Ontario. Waterloo along with Kitchener is popularly known as the Twin Cities. The place enjoys a moderate weather and is ideal for weeklong stays throughout the year. There are many tourist attractions in the city, including museums, malls, and recreation centers. I had a busy weekend in Waterloo and the few places worth remembering is as follows:

  • Waterloo Park

Located at Westmount Road, the Waterloo Park is an ideal location for a perfect family picnic. The park is situated at the banks of the Silver Lake. There is a lakefront boardwalk that offers a great view of the lake and the surrounding foliage.  Much like here at Waterloo Park, there are many outdoor recreational places for the kids to play and have fun.  Waterloo Park IS the place has lots of recreational facilities for kids, including a splash pad, swings, and climbers. There is also a mini zoo that houses animals like peacocks and llamas.

  • Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery

The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery is a place of cultural importance and mainly exhibits artworks made of glass, ceramic, and enamel. Here you can see a huge collection of stained glass art. The beautiful art gallery is one of a kind and every year thousands of tourists visit the place. The place presently houses over 900 exhibits that include a modern and antique collection of pottery wares and glass paintings.

  • Laurel Creek Conservation Area

If you are looking for a tranquil getaway to spend some quality time all by yourself, then Laurel Creek Conservation Area is the right place to be. It is located just off the Westmount Road.  It has a beautiful beach and a lakefront boardwalk. It has a park with beautiful autumn trees and benches to relax. We enjoyed camping at the site for the entire evening. The place also offers beach boat rentals. Tourists also engage in kayaking and canoeing in the lake. There are many birds in this area and visitors often engage in bird watching.

Be In The Midst Of Pure Japanese Culture At Komamoto


Spread over an area of 390 km2, a city in its primary form at the West coast of Kyushu, which happens to have a castle that has complete castle structure and is still kept the pretty compact in its preservation.

Places to visit

This city has a population of about 6,50,000 people and provides its visitors and travelers opportunities such as visiting the Kumamoto Castle, the gardens, Hosokawa residence which was earlier the place of residence for one of the high ranked samurais. Also, the volcano Aso can be checked out for a change. The museum of art: Ashikita, the intriguing Waku Waku undersea aquarium.

The place called Tawarayama which lies in the Minami Ask area tend it one of the famous spots due to the hiking facility it provides. Shimotori shopping arcade, Kamitori shopping arcade, Kihari Fudoson temple, Tamazaki Bairin, Kato, Namaikizakari Street, Oaks Dori, and Kaminoura Dori are some of the other tourist spots.

The food items that must be given a try are the red Wagyu Donburi, Kumamoto Ramen which is complete with its aroma of roasted garlic, Tapiien, Dago-Jiru, Renkon & Hitmoji Guruguru and even sweets like Ikinara Dangi, the hereditary stick rice sugar and syrup candy and the famous booze of the place which is made from the Japanese rice.

When around this place, it is a must to check out Hugo Koryu the site traditionally meant for the tea ceremonies which hold a lot of importance in part of the Japanese people’s life.

The accommodation facilities include Mitsui Garden Hotel, Hotel Nikko, New Otani hotels, Wasuki Tsukasakan, GR Hotel, and Dormy Inn, etc.

The transportation unit has two city tram systems which go in the east and the West direct and cover the spots you would want to visit like Kumamoto station, a castle of Kumamoto, the arcade area and the Jojuen garden. The rates are constant throughout the city, and the travels are supported by one day pass or even IC cards from other parts of Japan.