Bratislava is the capital and the largest city in Slovakia. It offers a pleasant medieval inner city with narrow, winding streets, a hilltop castle overlooking the Danube, and many historic churches and buildings.
Slovakia is used to be part of Hungary after the fall of the Great Moravian Empire until the end of the First World War, when the Treaty of Trianon created Czechoslovakia.
During World War II, the Germans controlled Slovakia. The Soviets conquered it later, thus recreating Czechoslovakia in pro-Soviet and Communist slant.
A sip of this lusciously sweet wine gives me memories of this rustic port city this wine is named after.
Also, the azulejos, these distinctly patterned blue-and-white porcelain tiles adorned in most buildings, the enchantingly winding Duoro river with dotted ships, the sumptuous Portuguese cuisine marked with their love for bacalhau, tripes, pastries, port wines, Madeira – all these remind me of Porto.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal located along the Duoro river at the north of the country. As one of the oldest cities in Europe, and a mercantile one as it has always been, Porto as a city offers various architectural mix of medieval and modern living side by side.
The town center showcases soaring bell towers, monumental baroque churches, and stately Art Nouveau buildings. Many of its colorful buildings are built into a cliff face overlooking the river, with narrow lanes and zigzagged staircases running up and down along the cliff. Across the river, the attractive cellars and warehouses of port wine companies are located in this suburb of Gaia.
I fancied visiting Alsace for three things – the pork-centric Alsatian cuisine, its most noted dry Riesling wines, and a strong German influence in this side of France.
A road trip to Alsace was indeed an ideal weekend getaway.
Due to its tumultuous past and its location between France and Germany, Alsace local culture is quite distinct. Alsatians feel extremely proud to be French, and yet from the local dialect to the traditional meals and iconic architecture, Alsace indeed displays its strong German heritage.
My husband and I just visited their museum somewhere at the mountain top in Grossglochner. I had already expected that I’d only see these creatures on screen or at their “most preserved” forms.
“Turn around. Look!” hubby was calling me out in a forcibly hush tone, so as not to scare them and run away.
We stopped walking, and I couldn’t believe what I saw.
“For real, I’m finally meeting my furry kinds at last!” I jokingly reacted.
Marmots are large squirrels living in mountainous areas such as the Alps. These fluffy animals typically live in burrows and often within rock piles, and hibernate there through the winter. Most marmots are highly social and use loud whistles to communicate with one another.
I got thrilled right away to see Pisa on the itinerary for our honeymoon journey in Italy. Then my excitement waned when I began to realize one thing.
“Oh no… Am I supposed to ‘lean’ on it, like everybody does?”
‘Lean’ on the Tower of Pisa.
When we speak about Italy, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is amongst the firsts that pop in our heads. Pizza is another, but just because this Italian delicacy and the old city sound alike, I was tickled to death when I heard somebody claiming that pizza originated from Pisa. Mamma mia!