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November 29, 2018

Germany: Cologne, Museum Ludwig


Inside Museum Ludwig

Museum Ludwig is located in Cologne’s city center near the famous cathedral. It houses a substantial collection of modern art featuring works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Pablo Picasso. As modern art museums go, this is a good one. (more…)

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Germany: Cologne


The Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne crosses the River Rhine. It is the most heavily used railway bridge in Germany with more than 1,200 trains daily.

Like all large cities in Germany Cologne was transformed during World War II. Allied bombing effectively flattened the city. Pretty much all of the historic city was lost. The result today is a city that is a mix of mid-twentieth century structures, historic buildings rebuilt in their original style after the war, and one a very large and spectacular Gothic cathedral. Cologne’s cathedral is the most notable building to survive the bombing. (more…)

November 28, 2018

France: Riquewihr

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:28 am

A steeple through the Alsatian vineyards

If I was transported blindfolded and dropped in the French Alsace region I would instinctively think I was in Germany. This area of Northeastern France looks more German than French to me. Indeed it looks so Germanic that I have tendency to reach for my few German words in everyday interactions. That is inconvenient and embarrassing as I know far less German than I do French. The Germanic appearance of the Alsace influences an unconscious part of my mind that chooses the language to use, even when there is no real choice. (more…)

November 25, 2018

France: Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg


Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

The Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is a medieval castle located in the Vosges Mountains overlooking the vineyards of France’s Alsace Region. The château is situated on a rocky spur. The strategically located castle was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until 1633 when it was besieged and eventually burned and looted by Protestant Swedish forces during Thirty Years’ War. Left in ruins the castle was abandoned for centuries. (more…)

November 24, 2018

France: Notre Dame du Haut


Notre Dame du Haut

Built in 1955 the Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp France is considered one of the finest examples of the work of the Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Indeed it is the featured work of UNESCO’s “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement” World Heritage listing. (more…)

France: Villeneuve-lès-Avignon


Entrance to Fort Saint-André

In the 13th and 14th Centuries Avignon was at the wrong side of the border with France. The commune’s famous bridge, Pont Saint-Bénézet, linked the two sides of the Rhône River. It was a strategically important connection. On the left bank of the river Avignon built ramparts to guard against invasion. The right bank was also secured: Philippe le Bel, the king of France, arranged for the construction of Fort Saint-André on the hill above the Rhône at the site of the Benedictine abbey in the commune of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. (more…)

November 23, 2018

France: Bollène-Écluse

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:51 pm

The downstream face of Bollène-Écluse viewed from the water.

On the Rhône River, between Valence and Avignon is the famous Bollène-écluse. River navigation infrastructure-wise the impressive Bollène lock is the highlight of any passage on the Rhône. It is the deepest lock on the Rhône River and indeed in France. Several million pounds of boats, the equivalent weight of more than ten 747 jumbo jets, can gain or lose 23 meters in altitude in minutes using this lock. That’s roughly the height of a seven-story building. It is a remarkable piece of engineering. (more…)

France: Lyon, Restaurant Paul Bocuse

Filed under: Europe, Food, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 4:59 am

Banks of the River Saône near Restaurant Paul Bocuse

Just north of Lyon in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or is a culinary attraction; the famous Restaurant Paul Bocuse is located on the right bank of the River Saône about ten kilometers from Vieux Lyon.

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November 22, 2018

The Saône: Lyon, Musée Miniature et Cinéma

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Writing — anotherheader @ 9:44 pm

A restaurant for tiny customers

One of the more unique things to see in Lyon is the Musée Miniature et Cinéma. The museum in Lyon’s old quarter holds collections devoted to the art of miniatures and to special effect techniques used in films prior to the digital age. Both portions of the museum are interesting. But of the two the exhibits of elaborate miniatures is the most distinctive and memorable; they are said to be unique in France. (more…)

River Saône: Lyon, Street Scenes

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 12:32 am

The fountain in Place des Jacobins

The texture of cities changes as you move through the streets. Pictures help capture the feel and vibe but they are never really enough. It’s hard to fully experience a place if you haven’t tramped through the alleys and streets getting lost at each opportunity. Indeed, to really get the feel of the place you need to live there like a local. It may not be easy to arrange, but it is worth it if the chance presents itself. (more…)

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