Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 20, 2023

Beautiful Bern

The capital of Switzerland, Bern is an amazing city that was built around a crook in the Aare River. Its origins can be traced back to the 12th century. You can see impressive Medieval architecture in the Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. You can have wonderful views of the Aare River and the Alps. The city offers many sculptures and a multitude of different fountains. It is the birthplace of Einstein’s theory of relativity and the home of Toblerone chocolate. Bern is easy to explore since it is sits on a peninsula and everything is close together.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 20, 2023

Geneva on Lake Geneva

The beautiful city of Geneva is located at the southern tip of Lake Geneva. It sits in a majestic setting surrounded by the Alps and Jura Mountains. From the city there are dramatic views of Mont Blanc. You’ll find the headquarters of Europe’s United Nations and the Red Cross here.

A well-known landmark in Geneva is its pencil fountain The Jet d’Eau. This fascinating lakeside fountain is the first thing you’ll see as your plane gets ready to land. The structure is 140m tall and shoots out water with a force of 200km/h, 1360 horsepower. It creates a sky-high jet of water that sparkles in rainbow colors on sunny days. It is most refreshing in the summertime as at any one time 7 tons of water are in the air and then spray on people down on the pier. At two or three times a year the fountain is illuminated pink, blue or another color to mark a humanitarian event.

Mostly Gothic St. Pierre Cathedral was begun in the 11th century. It has an 18th century neo-Classical facade. Protestant John Calvin preached here between 1536 and 1564. You can see his seat in the north aisle. Inside there are 77 steps spiraling up to the attic afterwards another 40 steps lead up to the panoramic northern and southern towers for awesome views all around. In the summer free Carillion and organ concerts are held in the cathedral filling the surrounding square with music.

The cathedral is located in the interesting Old Town, where at No. 40 you’ll find the house where Espace Rousseau the 18th century philosopher was born. Beneath the cathedral, you’ll find the archeological site with fine 4th century mosaics and a 5th century baptismal font.

Of interest is The Art and History Museum with more than 7,000 exhibits on display. They range from prehistoric finds to modern paintings. The museum opened its doors in 1910 and is the largest museum in Geneva. The Department of Applied Arts displays Byzantine Art, icons, musical instruments and textiles. In the sector which is devoted to Fine Arts you’ll find paintings that range from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

The home to the UN has been here since 1966 housed in the Palais des Nations. It was built between 1929 and 1936. Visits here are by guided tour only wit ID card or passport. The tour is an hour long and includes a tour of the building and the surrounding 46-hectare park. The park has lovely old trees and peacocks. You’ll also see the grey monument sealed with heat-resistant titanium that was donated by the USSR in order to commemorate the conquest of space.

Take a wonderful stroll on the picturesque northern lakeshore promenade – Quai-du-Mount-Blanc. Here you’ll find beautiful flowers, statues, outdoor art exhibits and fantastic views of Mount Blanc on clear days. The promenade will lead you to several city parks.

The International Museum of the Reformation is housed in an 18th century mansion. There are state-of-the-art exhibits and audiovisuals about everything from the earliest Bibles to the time Geneva emerged as “Protestant Rome” in the 16th century. It covers it all from John Calvin all the way up to Protestantism in the 21st century.

A lovely place is the English Garden. It has a large flower clock which is a most popular photo spot. This waterfront garden was landscaped in 1854 on the site of an old lumber-handling port and merchant yard. The flower clock is known as The Horloge Fleurie and is created from 6,500 plants. It has been in the garden since 1955. Its second hand which is 2.5m long is thought to be the world’s longest.

A fascinating park full of statues and a giant chess board is Park des Bastions. Here you can see a statue of the cofounder of the Red Cross Henri Dufour. He also drew the first map of Switzerland in 1865. There are 4.5m tall statues of Beze, Calvin, Farel and Knox.

The official commemoration of Geneva’s significant role in the Reformation is the Reformation Wall or Reformation Monument. It was carved in the early 20th century and construction took from 1909 to 1917. The giant wall is 325 feet long and 30 feet high. The wall dominates the Parc de Bastions and centers on 15ft. tall statues of four Geneva luminaries. Behind the statues is the motto shared by the Reformation and Geneva – Post Tenebras Lux “After Darkness, Light”. Surrounding the four Genevan reformers are smaller statues of major Protestant figures, bas-reliefs and inscriptions. One relief depicts Roger Williams and the Pilgrim Fathers praying on the deck of the Mayflower. Another shows the Bill of Rights being presented to King William of Orange by the English Parliament in 1689. At the sides of the wall, you’ll find Martin Luther – the German “Father of the Reformation” and Ulrich Zwingli – a Swiss reformer based in Zurich.

A lovely rose garden is Parc de la Grange which has one rosebush per square meter and altogether the garden is 12,000 square meters. It was created from 1945 to 1946 and has over 200 different varieties of roses. The flowerbeds are in terrace form between large stairways created from natural rock and enhanced by pools and pergolas (shaded walkways).

Geneva’s answer to New York City’s Greenwich Village is its Bohemian district Carouge. Just a short distance from the city center you’ll find yourself surrounded by architecture that reminds of Sardinia and you’ll feel like you’re in Southern Europe. There are many interesting shops, shady terraces, craft and antique dealers in its alleys and passageways. Take the time to explore its nightlife in the many trendy and popular bars here.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 20, 2023

The Beauty of New Brunswick

The attractions of New Brunswick, one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada are directly related to the Bay of Fundy and its tides. In this funnel-shaped bay tides occur twice daily. The rushing waters carved out the coastline which is marked by cliffs, sea caves, and fantastic rock formations.

Rising and falling each day the tides create natural phenomena including Moncton’s tidal bore and the famous Reversing Falls of Saint John’s. Along the shore are beautiful lighthouses and quaint fishing villages. These are prime feeding waters for whales with as many as 12 species found here in the summer.

To read more about this Canadian province please follow the link below:

Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 20, 2023

Fredricton on the Saint John River

New Brunswick is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic provinces. It is the only province to have both English and French as its official languages.

Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and lies on the banks of the Saint John River.

Garrison District is a complex of impressive brick buildings lining the river side of Queen Street. At one time it was a British garrison. At the center of this district is Officers’ Square a popular place for changing of the guard ceremonies. In the summer you can hear outdoor concerts and see free theater performances.

The Fredericton Region Museum is housed in the former officers’ quarters in the Garrison District.

Kings Landing is a museum village located 20 minutes north of the city. You can learn about the life of the Loyalists, who settled in the river valley after leaving the 13 American colonies during the American Revolution. It illustrates how life was in a rural community. There are free interactive programs. Visitors can watch early tradesmen and tour the houses.

Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick is now a National and Provincial Historic site. This sandstone Georgian-style building is where members of the royal family and foreign dignitaries are greeted and stay while visiting in the province. The grounds are used for patriotic holiday celebrations and festivals. June through August the house is open for tours.

Odell Park is located in the heart of Fredericton. It is a green oasis of old-growth forest with shaded trails and walking paths. The Odell Arboretum and New Brunswick Species Collection feature examples of every tree species native to New Brunswick.

The Fredericton Botanic Gardens are located at the upper end of the park. There is a collection of rhododendrons and azaleas. You’ll find woodland trails and outdoor sculptures. Families enjoy the playgrounds, picnic tables, and a waterfowl pond.

Christ Church Cathedral is a neo-Gothic style Anglican diocesan church. Highlights of the interior include the East Window with its stained glass, the high altar, carved stone pulpit, and baptismal font.

The Legislative Assembly Building has housed the New Brunswick legislature since 1882. Highlights are the spiral staircase and legislative chamber with its brass chandelier. The parliamentary library has a complete set of copperplate engravings from the famous Bird of America by American artist John James Audubon.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 9, 2023

Visiting St. John’s in Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost Canadian province. It consists of the island of Newfoundland and the continental region of Labrador. St. John’s is the capital of Newfoundland. The city lies on hillsides overlooking one of the world’s finest natural harbors.

Signal Hill National Historic Site overlooks the entrance to the harbor. At the Visitor Centre, you can find out about the history and importance of Signal Hill and the harbor. Visitors like to explore the ruins of Queen’s Battery, built in the 1700s.

To read more about this city please follow the link below:

Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 9, 2023

Zurich On the Banks of Lake Zurich

The largest city in Switzerland, Zurich has a wonderful location lying at the western end of Lake Zurich. It is a global center for banking and finance. Its Old Town lies on both banks of the Limmat River and the city has lovely waterfront promenades for strolling.

The twin towers of Gorssmunster are Zurich’s landmark. This cathedral was founded by Charlemagne in the 9th century. It sits right across the river from Fraumunster. Inside you can see stained-glass work by Augusto Giacometti. For spectacular views, you can climb the southern tower, the Karlsturm.

To read more about this beautiful city please follow the link below:

Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 9, 2023

Basel, Switzerland

Switzerland is a lovely and mountainous country located in Central Europe. It has many lakes, charming villages and incredible views of the high peaks of the Alps. Our first stop is Basel found right where the Swiss, French and German borders meet. The city also has suburbs in both France and Germany.

Basel’s Old Town has streets of cobblestone, interesting fountains, medieval churches and impressive architecture. In Marktplatz, you’ll see the amazing rust-colored Rathaus or Town Hall with its frescoed courtyard. There is also Munster dating from the 12th century with its Gothic spires and Romanesque St. Gallus doorway.

It is the Marktplatz that plays a major role in the lives of the residents of Basel. Every day there is a market here and you can find lots of delicious local produce in the market stalls, along with specialties from the region, Switzerland and even the rest of the world.

You’ll find lots of crowds in Theaterplatz with its unusual fountain that was created by Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely. His fountain includes crazy scrap-metal machines that do a kind of odd water dance. Get a look at the 700-year-old Spalentor gate tower the remainder of the town’s old city walls. It has a huge portal and grotesque gargoyles. At one time all of the important provisions and supplies needed were brought in through the Spalentor gate. The gate has a square main tower and on either side are two round towers. The facade which faces away from the city is decorated with three figures that date back to the 15th century representing the Madonna and two prophets.

Tinguely Fountain by Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely is a shallow fountain with black asphalt. It has mechanical figures that are powered by low-voltage current and seem to be playing in the water. Altogether there are ten iron figures always constantly in motion.

Visitors find the most amazing things at the Museum Jean Tinguely. The museum was built by Ticino architect Mario Botta. It showcases the utterly crazy, interesting and unusual creations of sculptor Jean Tinguely. The “kinetic” sculptures here can be brought to life at a touch of a button. They are great fun to watch as they shake, rattle and twirl. On the upper floor, you can listen to the haunting musical sounds made by the gigantic Meta-Harmonies.

At the Museum of History, you’ll find a large collection housed under the vaulted ceilings of the former church – Barfusserkirche. Here you can see applied arts, ceramics, weaponry and a whole lot more. The highlights here include “dance of death” mural fragments dating from the 15th century and a 16th-century choir stall.

Take a look at the impressive Munster Cathedral with its Gothic exteriors and Romanesque interiors. This 13th-century cathedral was rebuilt after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1356. Renaissance humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam, who lived in Basel, is buried in the northern aisle. For awesome views climb up the Gothic towers. Behind the cathedral, Munster Pfalz provides lovely views of the Rhine.

The Basel Museum of Contemporary Art was the first museum in the world to exclusively offer the art of the 1960s and 1970s. This is home to artworks from the Basel Public Art Collection and the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation. Today you’ll find artwork by the Emanuel Hoffman Foundation which includes more than 150 artists. The collection includes artwork by renowned artists such as Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman, Dieter Roth and others.

On Aeschenplatz you’ll be impressed by the BIS building designed by Mario Botta. This is a round building with a two-tone striped natural stone wall and its “negative staircase” opening in the facade, which narrows as it climbs the side of the building. It was originally commissioned by the Swiss bank UBS and taken over by its present occupants in 1996.

Another architectural wonder is Messeturm designed by Morger & Degelo. This is a 31-story tower and is a landmark of the city. It is a green-tinted glass and metal structure. It houses offices and a hotel and on top you’ll find the BarRouge. From the top you can get spectacular views of Basel and the neighboring countries of France and Germany.

Stretching over the Gotthard Pass at one time The Mittlere Brucke was an international trade route in the 14th century. In 1905 the bridge was rebuilt to include electric tram lines. At this time a copy of the old bridge chapel – “Kappelijoch” was constructed to remind one of the original structure where once in the Middle Ages convicted criminals were sentenced to death.

The word “Pfalz” is derived from the Latin word “Palatium” which means “palace”. This is a terrace located high above the Rhine and behind the Munster Cathedral. It was so named because it is located close to where the former palace once stood.

On one side of the viewing terrace are steps leading down to the landing jetty of the Munster Ferry. On the other side, you’ll find a small gateway leading to the quiet cloisters of the Cathedral. You can take a quiet stroll around the richly decorated gravestones of members of prominent Basel families from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Tierpark is a beautiful expanse of green parkland stretching along the river. You can enjoy wildlife like deer, lynx, wild boar, and other roaming free in their natural habitat fenced in from the public. The pond has swans and ducks. Peacocks roam around free. Children can enjoy farm animals and a large playground.

Zoo Basel is the oldest and largest zoo in Switzerland. The locals call it Zolli. The zoo has 510 European animals and is known for its exotic species. In 2015 a new elephant enclosure was added with wallowing pools, showers, and a savannah-like environment. Among the highlight is the lion enclosure and monkey house. The zoo has been successful in breeding rhinoceros and cheetahs.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 23, 2023

The Principality of Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein is a tiny European country between Switzerland and Austria.

Balzers is a village that is overlooked by the majestic Gutenberg Castle. This was a fortress in the Middle Ages. The castle sits on a 70-meter-high hill. Highlights of the visit include the chapel and rose garden. During the warmer months, many cultural events and festivals are held here.

The small town of Nendeln is known for its old Roman villa foundations as well as its Schadler Pottery. The town is home to the oldest craft workshop in the country. It is famous for its stoneware crockery and traditional tiled stoves. You can get guided tours of the workshop, glazing area, and kiln room.

The small town of Eschen is known for Pfrundhaus, a 14th-century building that used to display local art.

Schaan is a town located three kilometers north of Vaduz at the foot of the Drei Schwestern massif. This industrial town is known for its old Roman fortifications. The town is one of the oldest towns in Liechtenstein.

It is home to DoMuS Center which has exhibits of local history and art.

The town is a great place to start hiking since it has a number of well-marked trails. It is also home to the Liechtenstein Festival LIFE, a two-day celebration of music, entertainment, and food each summer.

Triesenberg is the largest municipality in Liechtenstein. It lies in an Alpine valley. This is a picturesque village known for its food festival the Triesenberger Wochen. The festival is held every year from mid-October till the end of November.

Liechtenstein is a great country to visit if you enjoy hiking. There are many mountain peaks, wooded slopes, and lovely valleys. Among the most popular trails here is the Historical Eschnerberg Trail which connects the towns of Bendern and Schellenberg.

Highlights on this trail are the prehistoric settlements of Lutzengutle and Malanser. Also the amazing views over the Rhine and the surrounding mountains.

Another popular trail is the Princes’ Way Hike passing through the scenic Ratikon Mountain range and offering lovely views of the famous Three Sisters Mountains.

Malbun is a small town famous for being the only winter resort in Liechtenstein. The town is set on an Alpine ridge near the Saminatal Valley. It has many trails and activities for skiers. There are three ski lifts. It is also popular in the spring and summer months, especially for hikers, climbers, and mountain bikers.

There are five castles in the country with two remaining intact:

Schloss Vaduz, the seat of the country’s monarchs.

Burg Gutenberg in the village of Balzers.

At Schellenberg are the ruins of the Upper Castle Obere Burg

Also the ruins of the Lower Castle Untere Burg.

Schalun Castle is the third set of ruins also known as Wildschloss within walking distance of the capital, Vaduz.

The Ruggeller Riet Nature Reserve is a wonderful place to see the flora and fauna of the country. It is located in northeastern Liechtenstein. Bird watchers can see endangered species like storks. The nature trails take you from moors to meadows, with a backdrop of rolling hills.

A good time to visit is during the end of May into early June when the abundant Siberian iris burst into bloom. It is a great place to picnic or enjoy a barbecue at the public rest area overlooking the Rhine in Weinbau. A bike path leads into neighboring Switzerland and Austria.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 23, 2023

Touring Ottawa

The capital of Canada, Ottawa is located at the confluence of the Ottawa River and the Rideau River. The city is in the southern portion of the Canadian province of Ontario. The city is directly opposite the city of Gatineau, on the northern bank of the Ottawa River in western Quebec.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 23, 2023

Beautiful Quebec City

Quebec City in the Canadian province of Quebec is the only walled city in North America. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a French-speaking city located atop steep cliffs overlooking the St Lawrence River.

Place Royal stands on the city’s actual foundation. In 1608 Samuel de Champlain erected a fur trading post here. Place Royal is the largest surviving ensemble of 17th and 18th-century-built buildings in North America.

Notre-Dame des Victoires is a lovely stone church facing a cobbled square.

Little Batterie Royale was built in 1691, adjacent to Place Royal and faces out over the river.

La Citadelle de Quebec is a massive star-shaped Citadel that was built in 1832. It is still an active military post and used as military quarters for generals, officers, and servicemen. In the summer it is the residence of the Governor General of Canada. Visitors in the summer can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony each morning.

The Plains of Abraham is a green expanse outside the city walls to the west of the Citadel.

This park is home ot the remains of two Martello Towers.

The Joan of Arc Garden has a wonderful display of flowers from spring until autumn.

The Quartier Petit Champlain is the most beautiful area of the city. Narrow streets wind between historic buildings. Today these are pedestrian-only streets with many shops, services, and restaurants.

Within this area is the umbrella-covered lane – Rue du Cul de Sac which is most colorful in both sunny or rainy weather.

The Musee de la Civilisation is a three-part institution based on human history and the establishment of French America. The main museum is located in Basse-Ville near the Old Port.

The Musee de l’Amerique Francophone/Museum of French America is housed in the historic Seminaire de Quebec in Upper Town.

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is one of the most prominent landmarks in Quebec City. The front of the hotel, Terrasse Dufferin offers stunning views northwards to the Laurentians and the Promenade des Gourverneurs southwards toward the Citadel and Plains of Abraham.

Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre is located northeast of Quebec City in Beaupre. It is an impressive Catholic basilica that is a destination for half a million pilgrims each year.

Capital Observatory is located atop of the Marie-Guyart Building. It offers fantastic views of the city from the 31st floor. There are interactive exhibits about how the city developed over the centuries with a kids-height section.

You can also enjoy views of the city from the Funicular. It runs from Quartier Petit-Champlain in the lower town to Chateau Frontenac in the upper town.

Old Port dates from the 19th century and is a national historic site.

Quebec-Levee Ferry is a ferry service providing a connection between Quebec City and Levis, just across the St Lawrence River. It is a great way to get views of the skyline.

Grande Allee beyond the city walls, forms the spine of the city. This district is near Parliament Hill. There are many restaurants, patios, and entertainment venues.

Pont de Quebec spans the St Lawrence and is recognizable by its massive iron frame.

The Pierre Laporte Bridge twins the Pont de Quebec. It was named after one of Quebec’s former Vice Premier’s, Pierre Laport. At the time of its construction in 1970 it was the longest suspension bridge in Canada.

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