Famous Quotes on Famous European Cities

Well, let’s just say this is more like a research post. I was looking up some cities in Europe and got distracted by what famous people have to say about some of my favorite cities from that continent. And boom, I thought I should put together all these nice quotes with some of my pictures, that maybe somehow represent those sayings. Again, it’s hard to pick and choose most appealing cities of Europe, but here are some of my tops ones:

  1. Prague: “The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plaster-work and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Mozart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.” ―Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone 
Steeples of St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle from Charles Bridge in Prague

Steeples of St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle from Charles Bridge in Prague

2. London: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. ” – Samuel Johnson

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Millennium Bridge on River Thames in London

3. Venice: “There is still one of which you never speak.’Marco Polo bowed his head.’Venice,’ the Khan said.Marco smiled. ‘What else do you believe I have been talking to you about?’The emperor did not turn a hair. ‘And yet I have never heard you mention that name.’ And Polo said: ‘Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.” ― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

One of the inner canals of Venice, look at those beautifully decorated windows

One of the inner canals of Venice, look at those beautifully decorated windows

4. Rome: “Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.”
– Giotto di Bondone, Renaissance painter

Trevi Fountain - The largest and the most spectacular fountain of Rome

Trevi Fountain – The largest and the most spectacular fountain of Rome

5. Paris: “Paris has history, it has art, it has wonderful architecture, it has literature, but much more important than all these, it has freedom! If a city cannot offer freedom to its dwellers, all its other beauties will be meaningless!”  ―  Mehmet Murat Ildan

Moulin Rouge in Paris

Moulin Rouge in Paris

6. Granada: “How lazily the sun goes down in Granada, it hides beneath the water, it conceals in the Alhambra!” – Ernest Hemingway

Alhambra overlooking Granada

Alhambra overlooking Granada

7. Amsterdam: “Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” – John Green

Endless canals of Amsterdam in The Netherlands

Endless canals of Amsterdam in The Netherlands

8. Salzburg: “Framed by mountains, crowned by the Hohensalzburg Fortress and divided by the turquoise Salzach River, the Salzburg landscape is pure drama.” – Frommers

Stunning view of Salzburg from Hohensalzburg Fortress

Stunning view of Salzburg from Hohensalzburg Fortress

9. Edinburgh: “Edinburgh suited Ann; she liked the tall, dignified buildings of grey stone, the short days that sank into street-lamped evenings at five o’clock, and the dual personality of the city’s main street, which on one side had glittering shops and on the other the green sweep of Princes Street Gardens.” ― Maggie O’Farrell, After You’d Gone

Walking on Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Walking on Royal Mile in Edinburgh

10. Copenhagen: ” If Copenhagen were a person, that person would be generous, beautiful, elderly, but with a flair. A human being that has certain propensities for quarreling, filled with imagination and with appetite for the new and with respect for the old – somebody who takes good care of things and of people.” – Connie Nielsen

Burst of colors in Nyhavn (New Harbor) of Copenhagen, Denmark

Burst of colors in Nyhavn (New Harbor) of Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Surprise Your Taste Buds in Thailand – 5 Must-Try Thai Dishes

If you are heading to Thailand in the near future, keep in mind that you are going to have to eat. While there are McDonald’s restaurants and other fast food in Thailand, that’s a terrible way to experience the local culture. The cuisine in Thailand is something that you simply won’t find anywhere else on earth; the Thai food in the United States is often a poor imitation of what actual Thai cuisine tastes like so don’t forget to try these five amazing dishes during your next visit to Thailand.

Red Pork Noodle Soup

First up is Red Pork Noodle Soup, one of the most delicious Thai dishes that you will ever eat. You won’t be able to find this in the restaurants in Bangkok, but you can find it throughout the market at street vendors. The way that it is made might give you pause (the broth sits for a really long time) but it is absolutely delicious. The broth is made of boiled pork bones and onions, and it is combined with noodles, slices of red pork, sprouts and bok coy. You can eat it with sugar, fish sauce or even chili. You definitely need to check it out at least once while you are in Thailand.

Spicy Beef Salad

Beef salad is pretty amazing on its own. You can find it in restaurants throughout Thailand and it is made of succulent strips of beef that is combined with a whole bunch of things to give it a unique flavor like coriander, spearmint, lime, dried chili and onions. This salad can be enjoyed on its own but that’s definitely not the best way to eat it. As your Thai friends will tell you, you must experience spicy beef salad with warm delicious bread and covered in fish sauce. You can even make spicy beef salad at home if you want to fondly remember your time in Thailand.

Som Tam

Som Tam is one of the most prevalent foods in the Thai diet and you will find it being sold everywhere around you among the street vendors. The way that this dish is made is with shaved papaya fruit combined in a mortar and pestle with things like sugar, fish sauce, lots of chilies, peanuts, tomatoes and more. It is really spicy and if you can’t handle it, then get it made without the chilies. Even so, the mortar has a bunch of chili seeds already present when they start making yours, so you will get a little spice regardless.

Banana Pancakes

These aren’t your dad’s banana pancakes and you will be surprised just how prevalent this dish is within the marketplaces that you visit. The Thong Lor market in Bangkok has dozen of stalls selling this stuff. What is actually consists of is friend dough that is much more similar to a scone than a pancake, which is filled with chopped up banana and then topped with chocolate, or sugar mixed with condensed milk.

Krathong Tong

Our fifth dish on this list is the absolutely amazing Krathong Tong. This is an appetizer that you won’t be able to resist once you taste it for the first time. Fried appetizers have become more and more common in Thai cuisine and this is one of the best things to come from the Portuguese cuisine that has introduced them to the area. You probably won’t be able to find them unless you visit one of the nicer restaurants in Bangkok but they are very thin fried shells filled with chicken, corn, carrots, potatoes and a delicious, creamy mystery sauce.

Christmas in Peacock Lane

After living in Portland, OR, for many years, I finally got to visit this place that becomes magical during the holiday season. It’s in a neighborhood in the SE Portland which becomes pedestrian only area for the last two weeks of every December.

This is an old Portland tradition since 1920. Every house here are fully decorated with extravagant Christmas lightnings and ornaments. My girls had a blast walking in front of every house and checking out all the different themes and dazzling scenes.

The event is absolutely free, but we had to park couple blocks away from Peacock Lane. It does get crowded pretty quickly as soon as it gets dark.

Check out the pictures of Peacock Lane in Portland, Oregon…hope you like them.

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Holidaying In Sydney In Winter: 5 Fun Things To Do

When the rest of the word waits for the stifling summers to go away and pleasant weather to set in, Australia marvels on the winter season with a plethora of fun things to do, specifically in the sprawling city of Sydney. One of Australia’s biggest cities uniquely divided on either side of the harbor and connected with the world famous Harbor Bridge, Sydney has a lot to offer in winter season.

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Image Source: http://sydneysocial101.com/festival-101-winter-garden-brings-magical-winter-wonderland-to-cathedral-square/

So if you were thinking to get a breather from the summer engulfing the better part of the world and looking for some cool winter essence, head to Sydney and do the following fun things.
Whale Watching
Going to Sydney inevitably implies at least one whale watching session, without which a visit to this city is incomplete. You can hop on to one of the many whale watching cruises, designed especially for this purpose. Whether it is a slow moving vessel meant to relax, stand back and watch the whales in all their intimidating glory or the high-speed vessels that increase the thrill exponentially, options are numerous.
Visit ‘The Rocks’
For tourists with a quirky taste for old style pubs and cafes, historic architecture and arts and craft mini-shops, The Rocks has a lot to offer. During the weekdays, you can marvel on the artistic exhibits of artists from all over the country along with small clothing shops; while on the weekends you can enjoy the Rocks Markets that has up to a hundred stalls of different items from food to crafts to clothing and souvenirs. Totally accessible by a number of transportation options and located centrally, The Rocks is a favorite among tourists to Sydney.

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Image Source: http://firstdegreepr.com/2014/06/30/how-to-beat-the-winter-blues-sydney-style/

Shop at Queen Victoria
Located right in the middle of the central business district, Queen Victoria Building satisfies both the shopaholic and the history buff in you. The building itself is nothing like the typically modern shopping malls. It is rather a 19th century building, designed in the fashion of a cathedral. The typically arched ceilings like those in a cathedral and figurines gracing the entrances, Queen Victoria Building offers a unique shopping experience.

Relax at Darling Harbor
Stroll along the harbor at the suburbs of the Sydney business district and experience the essence of whole of Sydney in this one place. Whether you are in for some shopping, entertainment options, parks, art exhibition centers, museums, hotels and spas, or a peek into the wildlife, you will get everything at the Darling Harbor along with breathtaking views of the skyline of Sydney lining the harbor.
Hit the Centennial Park
Centennial Park will let you soak in the peaceful eastern suburban essence of Sydney along with a lot more. In addition to sprawling and open gardens, Centennial Park also has a number of historic statues and old buildings, and avenues. Also, there is a huge variety of flora and fauna, including rare plantings unique to Australia as well. Visiting Centennial Park is like peeking into the Victorian Era outdoor environment. Visit to Sydney in winters is incomplete without going to this park, which is one of the landmarks of this country.

This is a guest post article from Oz Whale Watching. Book and have a memorable whale watching experience today.

Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We are only human, and we are prone to make mistakes. When you are traveling, the results can be a little more dramatic than they normally would be, though. We aren’t in our normal environment and don’t have all of our friends and family around us. So if things go wrong, it can prove to be expensive or mean you have to end your travels. So here are some common mistakes that people make when they travel. Then you can know what to look for and make sure you avoid them.

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Not Getting the Right Visas and Travel Documents

One easy mistake people make, is that they don’t get the right travel documents that they will need. Certain countries need certain pieces of information about you before hand, to allow you in. Take the United States of America, for example. You need to get a pre-clearance ‘visa’ if you are going to be there for under 90 days. So you should apply online, somewhere like www.official-esta.com. If you arrive and don’t have this filled in, the chances are very slim that you will be allowed in. So check this kind of thing as soon as you have booked flights.

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Not Having Enough Time Left On Your Passport

A lot of people think that if their passport is in date, then it will all be fine. But some countries require there to be a certain length of time left on your passport. The US needs you to have at least six months left on your passport. Countries like the United Arab Emirates need you to have at least three months left on the passport. So you do need to bear this in mind. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get a new passport before you travel if needed. You can find more information on a site like www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Overpacking

When you are traveling, you don’t need to pack as light as possible. There will be certain restrictions on your method of transport. Plus the fact that you will have to take the luggage around with you. So you don’t want it to be too heavy. So only pack what you know you will use. If you’re not sure, then leave it behind. It is always good to have a little extra space in your suitcase to take things back with you.

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Not Using a Budget

When you are planning a trip, you will no doubt have a budget. The worst thing that you can do is to not stick to that budget. If you run out of money, then things can be pretty disastrous. So set a budget before you go and check on how you are doing at the end of each day. You don’t want to miss out on doing something, just because you ran out of money.

Missing a Flight

When you need to catch a flight, you need to allow plenty of time. You need to be at the airport often around two hours ahead of the flight. But you should take into consideration traffic and times of transportation to get you there. If you miss a flight, it can prove rather costly. Not all travel insurers will cover for it either. So plan ahead and allow plenty of time.

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