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Posts tagged ‘travel’

Some New York minutes

Our relatively spontaneous trip to New York in January (the result of stars aligning – cheap flights, accommodation with friends, an intense desire to see New York City) still sometimes feels like it was just last week. My own expectations were so high, I never thought the place could live up to them. But as is always the way with these things, it sneaks up with you in ways you don’t anticipate, even as some things seem muted when you see them up close for the first time.

Painted Cups

Painted coffee cups, hanging in the front-end of the Flatiron.

On our first day, after the Times (and the map), we made our way into the city. The Flatiron was our first point of interest. What we didn’t expect was the dazzling display of hanging, hand-painted coffee cups. They added immensely to the sense of occasion, and my excitement went into overdrive. The buildings, reflected in the glass, and visible through the glass hammered home that we were in the city of the skyscraper; we felt right at home.

MOMA, reflected

MOMA, reflected

We then covered a lot of ground on foot. We headed past the New York Public Library (we looked inside on another day), craned our necks up at the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center, before we arrived at MOMA.

PJD, reflected inside MOMA

PJD, reflected inside MOMA

As we wandered about, we enjoyed the inside of the building as much as the art.

Times Square

Times Square, lights reflecting everywhere

At the end of the day, we wandered back to Times Square. Because everyone has to go to Times Square. Don’t they? Even if they don’t, we did. And it was awful. And crass. And overrated. And most of all, it was awesome.

Some reflections on my first day in NYC (CIA had been before, and was lucky enough to visit again since!) only cement how much this city means to my imagination. In the end, it also affirms my sense of optimism. If New York is possible, almost anything is.

PJD

Photos by PJD or CIA. Provenance is hard to ascertain at this point. Incidentally, isn’t there some unstoppably excellent quality to this song? Or, more honestly, about its chorus?

The directions were clear

A lot of people go to Luzern (or, Lucerne, for the Francophones) to see the famous wooden bridge (Kapellbrücke). And indeed, we saw the bridge…but Luzern has other things to offer the intrepid explorer. Not that much exploring is necessary. The directions were clear.

Luzern is an old city, strategically located, surrounded by its lake, and mountains. The city quickly developed an independent identity, and as with all medieval cities with an independent identity, it quickly established a need for walls. The canton of Luzern was one of the original members of the Eternal Swiss Confederacy, and its importance as a trade centre meant that it has long been an important regional hub, a role that continues today. Of course, such cities are often the focus of rivals, seeking greater influence, and it is Luzern’s city walls which we climbed to on this beautifully sunny Swiss day.

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Heart-filled window

This heart-filled window caught my eye as we strolled along the gorgeous cobbled Schipfe pedestrian street in Zürich (local tips often get you to the nicest – hidden – places!). There’s not much more to say about this photo, other than that the sight of this window made me smile.

CIA

Photo by CIA, Zürich, Switzerland, May 2012.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Colour challenges are easy, in the sense that finding photographs with a certain colour in them is usually straightforward. But, that being said, the harder task is finding a theme that can bind otherwise disparate images together. And so today I am looking at the alliterative joy of green and gothic.

Incidentally and tangentially, I always grew up with green associated with envy; a German colleague of mine in the Netherlands told me the colour is associated more with hope. What else does green make you think of?

PJD

Photos by PJD or CIA or others, in diverse European locations. Today’s post was brought to you by the letters G and P, the number 11 and the colour green.

Vanity post; or, random shots of Luxembourg

These pictures have in little common, besides the facts that I am:

  1. in them
  2. like them

They cover various points of interest (or points of random) throughout Luxembourg City, and this marks the end of our Luxembourg Week special.

But here’s a small question – and it doesn’t have to be rhetorical – has some place left a mark on you from a fleeting visit?

PJD

All photos by CIA, because, of course, PJD can’t very well take pictures of himself. Because he left his tripod in New Zealand in what was, retrospectively, a huge mistake.

Post Script:
Incidentally, some readers of this blog may have seen some of these images. Apologies, to those readers, in the event that they never wanted to see any of those pictures ever again.

Luxembourg by night

A stroll around Luxembourg City by night is not to be missed – we learnt this on the way home from dinner one night as the photos below attest to. Not only are the buildings stunning in the way they are lit up, but the Petrusse Valley which cuts through the centre of the city makes for an incredibly dramatic night-time scene.

CIA

Photos by PJD and CIA, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, Easter 2012.

It’s not Hobbiton…

I guess steep river valleys force you to be creative with space. Either that, or there are some hobbits in Luxembourg.

You decide.

PJD

Photo by one of CIA or PJD, ownership is in dispute. Does it matter? This is about hobbits. (The Luxembourg: An unexpected journey in more parts than expected. Movies can be like that too*)

*Oh, and Wellington is so the place to be for that kind of thing.

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