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April 4, 2019

Europe: Highway Vignettes

Filed under: Europe, General Travel, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 11:36 am

In Hungary at the frontier with Austria the immigration and customs buildings have been partially repurposed as a fuel stop and a place to buy highway vignettes for the Austrian motorways.

Europe’s numerous toll roads are changing. Rather than a system that relies on the traditional tollbooths periodically place along a controlled access highway, many countries are now using a vignette system. Under this system motorists buy a pass that permits access to the country’s motorways for a defined periods of time. Tollbooths and their queues of cars are becoming a thing of the past. (more…)

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December 26, 2018

Europe: Storks

Filed under: Europe, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:55 pm

A stork strolls through the grass in northeastern France.

For an American it is easy to think of storks as mythical beings that deliver babies. But storks are most definitely real and in Europe, they are not uncommon, at least not now. The mythology of the stork goes back to ancient time. Even today storks are thought by some to bring good luck; their presence is encouraged in many areas of Europe. (more…)

November 19, 2018

France: Versailles


The Palace of Versailles viewed from the gardens.

Guidebooks will tell you Palace of Versailles is one of Paris’s must see sights. It’s no wonder why: Versailles is over-the-top impressive. It is expansive, grand, and ornate. (more…)

February 4, 2017

France: Marseille

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Street Art, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 3:49 am

Marseille

Marseille

Marseille gets a bad rap. France’s second largest city has been labeled as the crime capitol of France. And it is true. Tourists do stand a statistically greater chance being a victim of a petty theft in Marseille compared to many European cities. Nevertheless, unless you are foolish, it is unlikely that you will be ripped off. And if you are afraid of being murdered, then you should avoid American cities first. The murder rate in Indianapolis in 2016 is more than four times greater than in the similarly sized Marseille. Are you afraid of terrorism because Muslims make up about 24% of Marseille’s population? You shouldn’t be. The city has little jihadi violence. Marseille is far from the safest city for a tourist but it is not as bad as many would suggest. (more…)

December 24, 2015

Spain: Seville, The Hop-on Hop-off Bus

Filed under: Architecture, Dog, Europe, Photography, Spain, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 1:45 am

Near a bus stop is Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, the current seat of the Parliament of Andalusia.

Near a bus stop is Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, the current seat of the Parliament of Andalusia.

Many large cities throughout the world have hop-on hop-off tourists buses. We generally avoid them thinking that we are more likely to find the unexpected if we walk. One day in Seville a tout on the street told us that we could take our pooch Gigi along with us on one of these buses. There’s a pleasure in seeing the world through your dog’s nose-eyed view but taking a 25 kg canine along comes with access compromises. As a result we are always looking for things to do where we can take Gigi with us. Touring Seville via the double-decked tourist bus suddenly became an option worth considering. A few days later we boarded the bus with our occasionally well-behaved canine. (more…)

February 11, 2013

England to France: The Chunnel


"Relax, we'll drive":  Driving on a train

“Relax, we’ll drive”: Driving on a train

It was time for a return crossing of the English Channel.  In a few days we’d drop our leased Renault Kangoo at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport.  On the way to Britain we’d (more…)

November 23, 2012

Spain: León


Heading towards León’s Cathedral (HDR)

Speeding towards León a road sign proclaimed that we were on the “Autovia ‘Camino de Santiago’”.  It was true, our Renault Grand Kangoo stuffed with French wine and with our (more…)

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