A Puppet Paradise in Prague

Prague, Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic is another destination I had heard about, but never expected to visit in 2014. My European adventure through eastern Europe landed me in Prague, one of the most beautiful (and one of my favorite) cities I visited on my trip. It wasn’t just the abundance of gothic style buildings, castles, Czech beer, or Czech puppets and marionettes that made me fall in love with Prague. It’s more than that. The vibrant colours, the swans floating below Charles Bridge, the smiles of passing locals and visitors, and the laid back culture of the city are enough reasons to love Prague. Continue reading

Dresden, A City Rebuilt from the Ground Up

Dresden, Germany is a city which was completely demolished during WWII and was rebuilt from the ground up. The city was in fact rebuilt using the very same bricks that fell during that dreadful war. The cathedral was the only standing building left in the small city, which community members hid in during the bombings. The cathedral eventually collapsed shortly after the bombings subsided, yet the beautiful cathedral was built back up using its original bricks amongst new bricks. Dresden’s character, charm, and story caught my attention and pulled at my heart strings. Dresden, Germany

Can you tell which bricks were the original ones?

A Somber Day of Remembrance at Dachau Concentration Camp

Dachau, Concentration CampDachau, Concentration CampIt was a somber rainy day when I visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. The willow trees on the property seemed to weep with me as I walked amongst the fenced-in grounds with the grey clouds hanging heavy above my head, just like my heart. Walking alone through the camp made me feel like I was the only soul in Dachau hearing the  cries of the past being muffled by the wind. The massive camp holds secrets and history of the past. Truth, reality, redemption, honour, pride, and memory. Continue reading

Munich, city of hearty food and oom-pah bands

Munich, GermanyMunich, GermanyAfter departing Venice, Italy and driving through Italy toward Germany, I crossed the Austrian border and drove through Austria before entering Germany. It’s a shame my tour didn’t have time to stop so that I could experience Austria, even if it reminded me of Switzerland. In each country that I drove through the landscape changed significantly. The highway was lined by towering mountains on either side of the highway, with cloud and mist hovering at the base of the mountains. It is said that Munich, Germany is a whole world of its own compared to other cities in Germany. With only one night in Munich, I had to make the most of my time by sampling the best of what Munich offers: architecture (traditional & modern), music, food, and drink. Continue reading

Living it up Venetian Style

Venice, Italy

Venice, ItalyMy time in Venice came quickly to an end before I could ever be ready for it to end. After taking the “People Mover” (yes, the multi million dollar raised train system is really called that) from the mainland into Venice, my day in Venice began in St. Mark’s square, the center of Venice. For some reason, the pigeons in the square are considered sacred and it is illegal to feed or touch them. In times past, the pigeons were all captured and taken away, but they flew back. I guess they are there to stay now. It is also said that different coloured pigeons can be found flying around because some were captured, dyed, and then released (I can’t ever imagine why!). From St. Mark’s Square, the immaculate St. Mark’s Basilica can be seen–the most famous church in Venice of Byzantine architecture. Although I wanted to climb the windy St. Mark’s Campanile bell tower for the best (windy) views of the Venetian islands, I just didn’t have the time. Continue reading

Exploring the Canals of Venice in a Gondola

Venice, ItalyVenice, ItalyWhen people think of Venice they automatically think of canals and gondolas, as did I. I couldn’t visit Venice without taking a ride in a gondola to explore the city via the many 150 narrow canals.  It’s a wonder how the gondolier navigates his was through the maze of canals in the city. They all look so similar. Although the water wasn’t as turquoise as I imagined (or had seen on T.V.– darn editing!), it was still beautiful to explore Venice by water. The main forms of transportation in Venice are by foot and boats (no cars allowed in the city of Venice), including water taxis and the popular vaporetto. Floating by one of the 4 main bridges which cross over the grand canal is the most Venetian experience you can get. Continue reading

Slovenia’s Extraordinary Postojna Caves

Slovenia

Slovenia

Red Room

Slovenia is a country I never thought I would visit, but after visiting I can say that it is a beautiful country and that I want to see more of it. I understand now why movies were filmed there including The Chronicles of Narnia. It makes perfect sense now. Aspects of Slovenia remind me of Switzerland–the flower pots beneath each window, lush green grass, orange and red ceramic roofs, and brightly coloured stucco houses (white, peach, red blue, lime green, etc…), yet it has its own unique features. Continue reading