A Travellerspoint blog

November 2018

Amazing Monaco offers great sightseeing!

No photos were allowed in the Prince's Palace so I'm using google images; the tour only included one small wing of the large building

No photos were allowed in the Prince's Palace so I'm using google images; the tour only included one small wing of the large building

The Princess Grace Rose Garden was created by Prince Rainier as a tribute to his wife; it opened in 1984

The Princess Grace Rose Garden was created by Prince Rainier as a tribute to his wife; it opened in 1984

Cinco de Mayo; the country's flag is almost identical to that of Indonesia with the only difference being that Indonesia's is a little wider

Cinco de Mayo; the country's flag is almost identical to that of Indonesia with the only difference being that Indonesia's is a little wider

Monaco has actually expanded its area by 20% trough land reclamation; more projects are currently underway that are designed to provide more housing

Monaco has actually expanded its area by 20% through land reclamation; more projects are currently underway that are designed to provide more housing

Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, the Prince's Palace is the official residence of the leader of Monaco

Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, the Prince's Palace is the official residence of the leader of Monaco

Oceanographic Museum; average water temperature peaks in August at 74 degrees; it's only 55 degrees in February

Oceanographic Museum; average water temperature peaks in August at 74 degrees; it's only 55 degrees in February

Monaco has a land border of 3.4 miles and a coastline of 2.38 miles; the width of the country varies from 1700m to 349m

Monaco has a land border of 3.4 miles and a coastline of 2.38 miles; the width of the country varies from 1700m to 349m

Even the statues are smoking; it seems the majority of people in the area smoke including most young people

Even the statues are smoking; it seems the majority of people in the area smoke including most young people

Princess Grace Rose Garden is home to 8000 rose bushes in 300 varieties; many of the bushes were not flourishing

Princess Grace Rose Garden is home to 8000 rose bushes in 300 varieties; many of the bushes were not flourishing

The back side of euro coins are standard but each issuing country can design its own front side

The back side of euro coins are standard but each issuing country can design its own front side

I don't think I'll be doing any villa shopping here; Monaco has virtually 0 unemployment and no poor people (poor being quite relative here)

I don't think I'll be doing any villa shopping here; Monaco has virtually 0 unemployment and no poor people (poor being quite relative here)

Blue Room at Prince's Palace; a huge draw is the changing of the guard which takes place every day at 11:55 am

Blue Room at Prince's Palace; a huge draw is the changing of the guard which takes place every day at 11:55 am

The Genoese noble family of Grimaldi established Monaco in 1297 after capturing the land from the Republic of Genoa

The Genoese noble family of Grimaldi established Monaco in 1297 after capturing the land from the Republic of Genoa

Interior grand staircase at Prince's Palace; you can't hail a taxi in Monaco, they can only pick-up from designated stops

Interior grand staircase at Prince's Palace; you can't hail a taxi in Monaco, they can only pick-up from designated stops

The Monte Carlo Opera House was built in 1878 and inaugurated by Sarah Bernhardt in 1879; the Opera was designed by Charles Garnier who also designed the Opera in Paris

The Monte Carlo Opera House was built in 1878 and inaugurated by Sarah Bernhardt in 1879; the Opera was designed by Charles Garnier who also designed the Opera in Paris

The Japanese Garden; I saw two McDonald's and one Starbucks here but they were about the only affordable dining options

The Japanese Garden; I saw two McDonald's and one Starbucks here but they were about the only affordable dining options

French citizens must still pay taxes to France even if they live full-time in Monaco unless they resided in the country before 1962 for at least 5 years

French citizens must still pay taxes to France even if they live full-time in Monaco unless they resided in the country before 1962 for at least 5 years

St. Charles Church, built from 1879 to 1883, honors St. Charles Borromeo who was the patron saint of spiritual leaders (and dieting too)

St. Charles Church, built from 1879 to 1883, honors St. Charles Borromeo who was the patron saint of spiritual leaders (and dieting too)

St. Charles Church; there is no bus station in Monaco although some international buses do stop here

St. Charles Church; there is no bus station in Monaco although some international buses do stop here

St. Charles Church; due to the steep terrain, there are 7 free public elevators around Monaco

St. Charles Church; due to the steep terrain, there are 7 free public elevators around Monaco

What a great setting for an outdoor lap pool!; Monte Carlo is not the capital of Monaco, but a government district

What a great setting for an outdoor lap pool!; Monte Carlo is not the capital of Monaco, but a government district

The Saint-Devote Church, from the 11th century, is dedicated to the local patron saint

The Saint-Devote Church, from the 11th century, is dedicated to the local patron saint

This driver is obviously getting ready for next year's Formula One race; there were tons of Smart cars and other small vehicles

This driver is obviously getting ready for next year's Formula One race; there were tons of Smart cars and other small vehicles

Monaco is significantly smaller than Central Park in NYC; this city is definitely not built in a grid nor is it flat

Monaco is significantly smaller than Central Park in NYC; this city is definitely not built in a grid nor is it flat

Not a license plate you see every day; I've never seen so many Rolls', Bentley's, Maseratis and Ferraris

Not a license plate you see every day; I've never seen so many Rolls', Bentley's, Maseratis and Ferraris

The most expensive property in the world, a penthouse in Monaco, was listed at more than $500 million

The most expensive property in the world, a penthouse in Monaco, was listed at more than $500 million

The Monaco Grand Prix is run on city streets on a seemingly impossible course on which to pass another car; they were still taking down stands and barricades from this year's race when I visited

The Monaco Grand Prix is run on city streets on a seemingly impossible course on which to pass another car; they were still taking down stands and barricades from this year's race when I visited

There's an annual half-Ironman race in Monaco that attracts more than 1000 athletes

There's an annual half-Ironman race in Monaco that attracts more than 1000 athletes

In the 1970s Prince Rainier III banned high-rise construction but his successor Prince Albert II overturned the order and construction is everywhere

In the 1970s Prince Rainier III banned high-rise construction but his successor Prince Albert II overturned the order and construction is everywhere

The ATP Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament is actually held in nearby Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France

The ATP Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament is actually held in nearby Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France

Saint Nicholas Cathedral, consecrated in 1875, is where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace are buried

Saint Nicholas Cathedral, consecrated in 1875, is where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace are buried

Saint Nicholas Cathedral; where the wedding of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly took place in 1956 before a TV audience of 30 million

Saint Nicholas Cathedral; where the wedding of Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly took place in 1956 before a TV audience of 30 million

Saint Nicholas Cathedral; saw very few people of color in Monaco

Saint Nicholas Cathedral; saw very few people of color in Monaco

Saint Nicholas Cathedral; locals were wearing sweaters and jackets while I was sweating in a tank top and shorts

Saint Nicholas Cathedral; locals were wearing sweaters and jackets while I was sweating in a tank top and shorts

Saint Nicholas Cathedral; the train ticket from Nice to Monaco only costs about $4

Saint Nicholas Cathedral; the train ticket from Nice to Monaco only costs about $4

The Saint Nicolas altarpiece dates from 1500; the Episcopal throne is made of Carrera marble

The Saint Nicolas altarpiece dates from 1500; the Episcopal throne is made of Carrera marble

St. Martin Garden next to Oceanographic Museum; the Monaco Marathon is the only marathon to pass through 3 countries

St. Martin Garden next to Oceanographic Museum; the Monaco Marathon is the only marathon to pass through 3 countries

Monaco has the world's second highest nominal GDP per capita at USD$153,177 and the world's lowest poverty rate

Monaco has the world's second highest nominal GDP per capita at USD$153,177 and the world's lowest poverty rate

Photos of Princess Grace were displayed around the principality and we're numbered but I never saw a map of the route

Photos of Princess Grace were displayed around the principality and we're numbered but I never saw a map of the route

The post office is a big money maker in Monaco; despite Monaco's independence, it's national defense is the responsibility of France

The post office is a big money maker in Monaco; despite Monaco's independence, it's national defense is the responsibility of France

28% o the population of Monaco are French while only 22% ae actually natives of Monaco; 19% o the population are Italians

28% of the population of Monaco are French while only 22% are actually natives of Monaco; 19% of the population are Italians

Monaco is a member of the United Nations but not of the European Union; it does adhere to many EU laws and uses the euro

Monaco is a member of the United Nations but not of the European Union; it does adhere to many EU laws and uses the euro

Monaco has been represented in the Olympics but no one from Monaco has ever won a medal

Monaco has been represented in the Olympics but no one from Monaco has ever won a medal

Monaco has the world's most expensive real estate market at $58,300 per square meter (2012)

Monaco has the world's most expensive real estate market at $58,300 per square meter (2012)

Rose named after Princess Grace; Monaco has the highest life expectancy (89.5 years) in the world

Rose named after Princess Grace; Monaco has the highest life expectancy (89.5 years) in the world

The car collection of Prince Rainier III has almost 100 luxury cars and is one of the top rated sights in Monaco on TripAdvisor

The car collection of Prince Rainier III has almost 100 luxury cars and is one of the top rated sights in Monaco on TripAdvisor

Salon Mazarin in Prince's Palace; the tiny principality gets more than 1.5 million visitors per year

Salon Mazarin in Prince's Palace; the tiny principality gets more than 1.5 million visitors per year

The Monaco train station is underground so you see just a glimpse of the principality going in and out of the tunnel

The Monaco train station is underground so you see just a glimpse of the principality going in and out of the tunnel

Throne Room at Prince's Palace; home of the oldest monarchy in the world; current head is the second child of Princess Grace

Throne Room at Prince's Palace; home of the oldest monarchy in the world; current head is the second child of Princess Grace

You can see from this postcard why Monaco has been such a desired location; the Prince's Palace is on the left within the trees while the old town is on the right

You can see from this postcard why Monaco has been such a desired location; the Prince's Palace is on the left within the trees while the old town is on the right

Princess Grace Rose Garden; Italy lies only 8 kilometers to the east of Monaco

Princess Grace Rose Garden; Italy lies only 8 kilometers to the east of Monaco

Fragrant Cloud; Grace Kelly first met Prince Rainier III at a photoshoot in 1955 at the Cannes Film Festival

Fragrant Cloud; Grace Kelly first met Prince Rainier III at a photoshoot in 1955 at the Cannes Film Festival

The beautiful Oceanographic Museum building is in stark contrast to the architecture found in the rest of the old town

The beautiful Oceanographic Museum building is in stark contrast to the architecture found in the rest of the old town

Since the end of the 13th century, the Prince's Palace has been the stronghold of the Grimaldi family which leads Monaco

Since the end of the 13th century, the Prince's Palace has been the stronghold of the Grimaldi family which leads Monaco

Looking across the square from the Prince's Palace; the record high temperature here is only 94 degrees

Looking across the square from the Prince's Palace; the record high temperature here is only 94 degrees

Since 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has been held annually; famous driver Nelson Piquet compared the course to riding a bicycle around your living room

Since 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has been held annually; famous driver Nelson Piquet compared the course to riding a bicycle around your living room

Monaco's port was constructed between 1901 and 1926; the Yacht Club of Monaco has more than 1600 members from 60 countries

Monaco's port was constructed between 1901 and 1926; the Yacht Club of Monaco has more than 1600 members from 60 countries

The Japanese Garden, opened in 1994, was created at the request of Prince Rainier since Princess Grace had always dreamed of having such a garden

The Japanese Garden, opened in 1994, was created at the request of Prince Rainier since Princess Grace had always dreamed of having such a garden

A basic double room will run you well over $1000 per night at one of the principality's 5 star hotels

A basic double room will run you well over $1000 per night at one of the principality's 5 star hotels

The Opera de Monte Carlo was inaugurated in 1879 with a performance by Sarah Bernhardt; the ornate style is similar to the Garnier Opera in Paris but in a much more intimate setting, there are only 524 seats here

The Opera de Monte Carlo was inaugurated in 1879 with a performance by Sarah Bernhardt; the ornate style is similar to the Garnier Opera in Paris but in a much more intimate setting, there are only 524 seats here

Blue Room at Prince's Palace; it's great to see safe places, like Monaco, where small kids can walk the streets or play in parks without parents worrying

Blue Room at Prince's Palace; it's great to see safe places, like Monaco, where small kids can walk the streets or play in parks without parents worrying

An audio guide was included in the tour of Prince's Palace but the tour was disappointingly short; granted it is still a private residence too

An audio guide was included in the tour of Prince's Palace but the tour was disappointingly short; granted it is still a private residence too

Posted by RNRiggins 17:01 Comments (0)

Photogenic Sibenik is representative of historic Dalmatia

St. James Cathedral is the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in the entire country; it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site

St. James Cathedral is the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in the entire country; it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Medieval St. Michael's Fortress occupies the hill over the old town; the strategically favorable and dominant position made it the central part of the Šibenik fortification system

Medieval St. Michael's Fortress occupies the hill over the old town; the strategically favorable and dominant position made it the central part of the Šibenik fortification system

St. Nicolas Fortress, built at the entrance to the Sibenik channel, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site but not currently open to visitors; it was constructed from 1540-1547 to deter the Turks from invading

St. Nicolas Fortress, built at the entrance to the Sibenik channel, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site but not currently open to visitors; it was constructed from 1540-1547 to deter the Turks from invading

It was fascinating watching Marilyn and Dorothy's ship come through the narrow channel to the port of Sibenik; not many cruise ships call on the small port

It was fascinating watching Marilyn and Dorothy's ship come through the narrow channel to the port of Sibenik; not many cruise ships call on the small port

Sibenik has a nice, but short, riva where vendors sell excursions to the nearby islands; the city is the youngest large town in Dalmatia since it wasn't mentioned for the first time until 1066

Sibenik has a nice, but short, riva where vendors sell excursions to the nearby islands; the city is the youngest large town in Dalmatia since it wasn't mentioned for the first time until 1066

The baptismal font in the cathedral was made in the 1440s of reddish breccias from the island of Rab; the baptistery is a masterpiece of Croatian sacral art

The baptismal font in the cathedral was made in the 1440s of reddish breccias from the island of Rab; the baptistery is a masterpiece of Croatian sacral art

One of the most beautiful public buildings in Dalmatia is Sibenik's City Hall; built in the Renaissance style in the 16th century, it is across a square from the cathedral

One of the most beautiful public buildings in Dalmatia is Sibenik's City Hall; built in the Renaissance style in the 16th century, it is across a square from the cathedral

A Croatian master mason created 71 portraits of his contemporaries to line St. James Cathedral; done in the 1400s, the works are one of the best examples of the Croatian early Renaissance

A Croatian master mason created 71 portraits of his contemporaries to line St. James Cathedral; done in the 1400s, the works are one of the best examples of the Croatian early Renaissance

The Rossini Palace evolved architecturally over the years beginning in the 11th century; like many buildings in town, it is unoccupied now but contributes to the atmosphere

The Rossini Palace evolved architecturally over the years beginning in the 11th century; like many buildings in town, it is unoccupied now but contributes to the atmosphere

It seems like every young woman in the Balkans wants to look like Cher

It seems like every young woman in the Balkans wants to look like Cher

The Lion Gate of St. James Cathedral with bronze door wings; the dome of the church was heavily damaged by Serb forces during the shelling of Šibenik in September 1991 but was quickly repaired

The Lion Gate of St. James Cathedral with bronze door wings; the dome of the church was heavily damaged by Serb forces during the shelling of Šibenik in September 1991 but was quickly repaired

St. Francis Church and Monastery date from the end of the 14th century and anchor the southeast corner of the old town; the city has a population of about 35,000

St. Francis Church and Monastery date from the end of the 14th century and anchor the southeast corner of the old town; the city has a population of about 35,000

Peter Kresimir the Great is credited as founding Sibenik in 1066; while he was king, the Croatian realm reached its peak in terms of territory

Peter Kresimir the Great is credited as founding Sibenik in 1066; while he was king, the Croatian realm reached its peak in terms of territory

The Croatian National Theater, built in 1870, is one of the rare modern buildings in the old town; the small old town is packed with 24 churches

The Croatian National Theater, built in 1870, is one of the rare modern buildings in the old town; the small old town is packed with 24 churches

The single nave, Gothic St. Barbara's Church was built around 1400 and is now a small  ecclesiastical museum; on August 28, 1895, Šibenik became the world's first city with alternating current-powered street lights

The single nave, Gothic St. Barbara's Church was built around 1400 and is now a small ecclesiastical museum; on August 28, 1895, Šibenik became the world's first city with alternating current-powered street lights

It's not quite the Flatiron Building, but it is where the two main pedestrian streets converge; there are 50  palaces scattered throughout the old town

It's not quite the Flatiron Building, but it is where the two main pedestrian streets converge; there are 50+ palaces scattered throughout the old town

Posted by RNRiggins 02:48 Comments (0)

The oldest town in Luxembourg and Little Switzerland

Just a tiny portion of the Echternach Abbey that was founded in 698 and became the most powerful institution in the country; Charlemagne even controlled the abbey for a year (797)

Just a tiny portion of the Echternach Abbey that was founded in 698 and became the most powerful institution in the country; Charlemagne even controlled the abbey for a year (797)

The Orangerie (1735) and the abbey gardens; the tourist office had a helpful pamphlet that gave commentary for a good walking tour of the town

The Orangerie (1735) and the abbey gardens; the tourist office had a helpful pamphlet that gave commentary for a good walking tour of the town

The Basilica of St Willibrord; a church was built around 800 that was about the same size as the current church

The Basilica of St Willibrord; a church was built around 800 that was about the same size as the current church

The tomb of St Willibrord in beautifully carved Carrara marble; he is the country's only saint and a national hero who also founded Echternach

The tomb of St Willibrord in beautifully carved Carrara marble; he is the country's only saint and a national hero who also founded Echternach

This wooden footbridge is named after the creator of the Luxembourg-Germany Nature Park; the Sure River here is the boundary between the 2 countries

This wooden footbridge is named after the creator of the Luxembourg-Germany Nature Park; the Sure River here is the boundary between the 2 countries

The Denzelt building (originally 1444) is the centerpiece of the town's main square; the building has gone through many transformations through the centuries and now mainly hosts weddings

The Denzelt building (originally 1444) is the centerpiece of the town's main square; the building has gone through many transformations through the centuries and now mainly hosts weddings

This is the most famous waterfall in the region and draws hordes of people (I waited until everyone was out of my photo); it's cool how the water has carved ridges in the rock

This is the most famous waterfall in the region and draws hordes of people (I waited until everyone was out of my photo); it's cool how the water has carved ridges in the rock

On Whit Tuesday morning the famous Dancing Procession travels 2 km through town paying homage to St Willibrord;12000  pilgrims take part every year (town population only 4900)

On Whit Tuesday morning the famous Dancing Procession travels 2 km through town paying homage to St Willibrord;12000+ pilgrims take part every year (town population only 4900)

The Basilica of St. Willibrord, attached to the abbey, remains the most important religious building in Luxembourg; it has been destroyed several times and always rebuilt

The Basilica of St. Willibrord, attached to the abbey, remains the most important religious building in Luxembourg; it has been destroyed several times and always rebuilt

Rococo pavilion built in 1761 in the former pleasure garden of the abbey; now it houses a small museum and provides shelter for a few homeless on the open ground level

Rococo pavilion built in 1761 in the former pleasure garden of the abbey; now it houses a small museum and provides shelter for a few homeless on the open ground level

Family outings here typically mean walks through the countryside; the trails are well-marked and villages are usually just a few kilometers apart

Family outings here typically mean walks through the countryside; the trails are well-marked and villages are usually just a few kilometers apart

Her series of mysteries are set in Oslo; I laid on a park bench to finish this book which was better than the stifling heat in my hotel room

Her series of mysteries are set in Oslo; I laid on a park bench to finish this book which was better than the stifling heat in my hotel room

The small building on the left is an old customs and toll house since the bridge connects Luxembourg with Germany; I just love a borderless Europe

The small building on the left is an old customs and toll house since the bridge connects Luxembourg with Germany; I just love a borderless Europe

The Peter and Paul Church was built in the 11th century and is considered the oldest surviving Christian monument in the country

The Peter and Paul Church was built in the 11th century and is considered the oldest surviving Christian monument in the country

It's a strange situation to find neighborhoods with no one around while every village has lots of new construction underway; I wonder if some homes are just investment property with no occupants

It's a strange situation to find neighborhoods with no one around while every village has lots of new construction underway; I wonder if some homes are just investment property with no occupants

The Place du Marche is the main square; the town has been called a miniature Salzburg

The Place du Marche is the main square; the town has been called a miniature Salzburg

Monument to the US 5th Infantry Division which crossed the Sure River here under heavy enemy fire in February 1945 to reliberate Luxembourg

Monument to the US 5th Infantry Division which crossed the Sure River here under heavy enemy fire in February 1945 to reliberate Luxembourg

The Dancing Procession has been inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; it's an odd hop, skip and shuffle

The Dancing Procession has been inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; it's an odd hop, skip and shuffle

Kayakers trying to avoid hitting bottom on the shallow Sure River that separates Luxembourg (left) from Germany (right)

Kayakers trying to avoid hitting bottom on the shallow Sure River that separates Luxembourg (left) from Germany (right)

Mullerthal is the center of a region called Little Switzerland; you have to really use your imagination to see the resemblance though

Mullerthal is the center of a region called Little Switzerland; you have to really use your imagination to see the resemblance though

My SIXT rental car in Luxembourg is a BMW!; it wasn't expensive so I was surprised to get a BMW

My SIXT rental car in Luxembourg is a BMW!; it wasn't expensive so I was surprised to get a BMW

Lots of people camping on the German side as if they are waiting for their chance to enter Luxembourg; some people are walking/swimming in the Sure River but no one is crossing into Luxembourg

Lots of people camping on the German side as if they are waiting for their chance to enter Luxembourg; some people are walking/swimming in the Sure River but no one is crossing into Luxembourg

Posted by RNRiggins 01:52 Comments (1)

Highlights of a few days in Paris

The Eiffel Tower never gets old; seeing it brings back memories of past visits, including my first back in 1990

The Eiffel Tower never gets old; seeing it brings back memories of past visits, including my first back in 1990

Sainte-Chapelle, consecrated in 1248, is a royal chapel in the Gothic style within the medieval city that was home to the kings of France until the 14th century

Sainte-Chapelle, consecrated in 1248, is a royal chapel in the Gothic style within the medieval city that was home to the kings of France until the 14th century

The great shrine containing 22 relics of the Passion of Christ, including the fragment of the Holy Cross and Crown of Thorns, used to be displayed on the gallery

The great shrine containing 22 relics of the Passion of Christ, including the fragment of the Holy Cross and Crown of Thorns, used to be displayed on the gallery

I'm always looking for more books to read but this store has become such a tourist attraction that it's too crowded for me; I found my books in a more spacious store on Rue de Rivoli

I'm always looking for more books to read but this store has become such a tourist attraction that it's too crowded for me; I found my books in a more spacious store on Rue de Rivoli

I'm glad I've visited Notre Dame plenty of times since the line to get in was endless; despite warm temperatures locals still wearing jackets

I'm glad I've visited Notre Dame plenty of times since the line to get in was endless; despite warm temperatures locals still wearing jackets

The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. is modeled after the Opera Garnier, most notably the facade and Great Hall

The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. is modeled after the Opera Garnier, most notably the facade and Great Hall

The Grand Foyer is made to seem even bigger through the play of mirrors and windows; Baudry painted the ceiling which features themes from the history of music

The Grand Foyer is made to seem even bigger through the play of mirrors and windows; Baudry painted the ceiling which features themes from the history of music

The Opera Garnier is rightfully considered one of the world's most beautiful theatres; it strikes the perfect balance between functional and flamboyant

The Opera Garnier is rightfully considered one of the world's most beautiful theatres; it strikes the perfect balance between functional and flamboyant

Joan of Arc in the Place des Pyramides, 1874; Paris is probably my favorite city in which to wander because you always see something you haven't seen before

Joan of Arc in the Place des Pyramides, 1874; Paris is probably my favorite city in which to wander because you always see something you haven't seen before

You know you're in Paris when you're headed to one monument and glance to the side and see the Luxor Obelisk and the Arc de Triomphe

You know you're in Paris when you're headed to one monument and glance to the side and see the Luxor Obelisk and the Arc de Triomphe

Monet, The Bridge at Argenteuil, 1874

Monet, The Bridge at Argenteuil, 1874

Renoir, Ball at the Moulin de la Gallette, 1876

Renoir, Ball at the Moulin de la Gallette, 1876

The Basilica of St. Denis was the first Gothic church when completed in 1144; it is the necropolis for most of the kings of France

The Basilica of St. Denis was the first Gothic church when completed in 1144; it is the necropolis for most of the kings of France

The Basilica is often referred to as the Royal Necropolis of France; the bodies were removed during the French Revolution to protect them since the adjacent abbey was demolished with only the church left standing

The Basilica is often referred to as the Royal Necropolis of France; the bodies were removed during the French Revolution to protect them since the adjacent abbey was demolished with only the church left standing

Tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici, often called the most powerful woman from the 16th century; Henry largely ignored Catherine and spent most of his time and money on his mistress

Tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici, often called the most powerful woman from the 16th century; Henry largely ignored Catherine and spent most of his time and money on his mistress

My flight into Paris flew right over the city; you get a great appreciation for the genius of Haussmann and his urban planning

My flight into Paris flew right over the city; you get a great appreciation for the genius of Haussmann and his urban planning

The Musee Marmottan was originally a hunting lodge on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne that was purchased by Jules Marmottan in 1882; it opened as a museum in 1934 and is famous for the world's largest collection of Monet paintings

The Musee Marmottan was originally a hunting lodge on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne that was purchased by Jules Marmottan in 1882; it opened as a museum in 1934 and is famous for the world's largest collection of Monet paintings

Corot, The Lady in Blue, 1874; considered Corot's masterpiece

Corot, The Lady in Blue, 1874; considered Corot's masterpiece

Monet, Impression: Sunrise, 1872; this is one of the paintings that gave the Impressionist movement its name

Monet, Impression: Sunrise, 1872; this is one of the paintings that gave the Impressionist movement its name

The Trocadero is famous for having the best views of the Eiffel Tower; one of the most famous photographs from WW2 shows Hitler standing in this spot

The Trocadero is famous for having the best views of the Eiffel Tower; one of the most famous photographs from WW2 shows Hitler standing in this spot

Thanks to Atlas Obscura, I visited 29 Avenue Rapp which is considered the most extreme example of Art Nouveau in Paris; the 1901 building was scandalous for the time

Thanks to Atlas Obscura, I visited 29 Avenue Rapp which is considered the most extreme example of Art Nouveau in Paris; the 1901 building was scandalous for the time

1900 Grand Palais with Beaux Arts Pont Alexandre III; the bridge is the most ornate bridge across the Seine and my favorite

1900 Grand Palais with Beaux Arts Pont Alexandre III; the bridge is the most ornate bridge across the Seine and my favorite

It is sad that some houses didn't want to join the others on Rue Cremieux, near Gare d'Lyon, in brightening up the city

It is sad that some houses didn't want to join the others on Rue Cremieux, near Gare d'Lyon, in brightening up the city

I couldn't believe all of the people playing in the Trocadero fountains; the Palais de Chaillot was built here for the International Exposition of 1937

I couldn't believe all of the people playing in the Trocadero fountains; the Palais de Chaillot was built here for the International Exposition of 1937

General Ferdinand Foch was the Supreme Allied Commander during WWI; he criticized the Treaty of Versailles for being too lenient on Germany and, prophetically, called it an armistice for 20 years

General Ferdinand Foch was the Supreme Allied Commander during WWI; he criticized the Treaty of Versailles for being too lenient on Germany and, prophetically, called it an armistice for 20 years

I've decided the French are in such good shape because there are always long checkout lines at the grocery stores; I figure people see the long lines and just don't bother to get groceries

I've decided the French are in such good shape because there are always long checkout lines at the grocery stores; I figure people see the long lines and just don't bother to get groceries

The collection of water lily paintings by Monet here are not his best; the Marmottan was given the Monet's by his last descendant in 1966

The collection of water lily paintings by Monet here are not his best; the Marmottan was given the Monet's by his last descendant in 1966

Rue Cremieux is the most colorful street in Paris; a small section of houses are painted like those on the island of Burano, near Venice

Rue Cremieux is the most colorful street in Paris; a small section of houses are painted like those on the island of Burano, near Venice

The Basilica of St Denis is 108 meters long and 38 meters wide; both stylistically and structurally, the Basilica heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture

The Basilica of St Denis is 108 meters long and 38 meters wide; both stylistically and structurally, the Basilica heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture

Buried at the Basilica are 42 kings, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses and 10 men of the kingdom; it would be a perfect location for a French history exam

Buried at the Basilica are 42 kings, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses and 10 men of the kingdom; it would be a perfect location for a French history exam

King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were the last monarchs before the French Revolution; in 1792 the monarchy was abolished and Marie Antoinette was guillotined in 1793

King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were the last monarchs before the French Revolution; in 1792 the monarchy was abolished and Marie Antoinette was guillotined in 1793

Manet, The Luncheon on the Grass, 1863

Manet, The Luncheon on the Grass, 1863

Degas, The Foyer of the Dance at the Rue La Peletier Opera, 1872

Degas, The Foyer of the Dance at the Rue La Peletier Opera, 1872

Cezanne, Apples and Oranges, 1899

Cezanne, Apples and Oranges, 1899

Monet, Haystacks, End of Summer, 1891

Monet, Haystacks, End of Summer, 1891

Lemmen, Beach at Heist, 1891

Lemmen, Beach at Heist, 1891

I prefer the Orsay to the Louvre since it's much more open and manageable; it also has a better collection of French Impressionists and Art Nouveau pieces

I prefer the Orsay to the Louvre since it's much more open and manageable; it also has a better collection of French Impressionists and Art Nouveau pieces

Gauguin, Women of Tahiti, 1891

Gauguin, Women of Tahiti, 1891

Van Gogh, Starry Night over the Rhone, 1888

Van Gogh, Starry Night over the Rhone, 1888

Van Gogh, Self Portrait, 1889

Van Gogh, Self Portrait, 1889

Thomas Jefferson, ambassador to France 1785-1789, stands watch over the Seine near the entrance to the Musee d'Orsay

Thomas Jefferson, ambassador to France 1785-1789, stands watch over the Seine near the entrance to the Musee d'Orsay

The Musee d'Orsay was built in 1900 as a train station and is one of the world's greatest art museums; I think the audioguide would have taken me a week if I had listened to commentary on each work

The Musee d'Orsay was built in 1900 as a train station and is one of the world's greatest art museums; I think the audioguide would have taken me a week if I had listened to commentary on each work

The Tuileries Garden stretches from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde; it was created in 1564 by Catherine de Medici and opened to the public in 1667

The Tuileries Garden stretches from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde; it was created in 1564 by Catherine de Medici and opened to the public in 1667

At the request of Napoleon III, in 1861 Charles Garnier undertook the building of a new opera house which opened in 1875

At the request of Napoleon III, in 1861 Charles Garnier undertook the building of a new opera house which opened in 1875

Rue de Rivoli is one of my favorite Parisian streets for the harmonious buildings and arcades; the uniform buildings go on almost endlessly creating that classical Parisian look

Rue de Rivoli is one of my favorite Parisian streets for the harmonious buildings and arcades; the uniform buildings go on almost endlessly creating that classical Parisian look

The ceremonial staircase is made of white marble with a balustrade of red and green marble; people came to the Opera for this part of the show, not what was on stage

The ceremonial staircase is made of white marble with a balustrade of red and green marble; people came to the Opera for this part of the show, not what was on stage

The Opera was the setting for Leroux's 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera; I think it's the most beautiful building in Paris

The Opera was the setting for Leroux's 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera; I think it's the most beautiful building in Paris

France gave us Lady Liberty in 1886 and the US gave this statue to France in 1888; I think it's ironic that the statue has it's back turned to where most people view it from a bridge

France gave us Lady Liberty in 1886 and the US gave this statue to France in 1888; I think it's ironic that the statue has it's back turned to where most people view it from a bridge

The Palais de Chaillot with Pont d'Iena; there were tons of tourists taking the river cruises but I did that the last time I was here

The Palais de Chaillot with Pont d'Iena; there were tons of tourists taking the river cruises but I did that the last time I was here

There are 1113 scenes from the Bible depicted in stained glass at Saint-Chapelle including this one showing Noah and his ark; the 15 windows are each 15 meters high

There are 1113 scenes from the Bible depicted in stained glass at Saint-Chapelle including this one showing Noah and his ark; the 15 windows are each 15 meters high

Hitler visited Sainte-Chapelle in June 1940 on his only trip to Paris; it's hard to imagine this city under Nazi occupation although I've read enough books about it to know what happened

Hitler visited Sainte-Chapelle in June 1940 on his only trip to Paris; it's hard to imagine this city under Nazi occupation although I've read enough books about it to know what happened

Fifteen huge mid-13th century stained glass windows fill the nave and apse of the upper chapel; they are considered some of the finest stained glass in the world

Fifteen huge mid-13th century stained glass windows fill the nave and apse of the upper chapel; they are considered some of the finest stained glass in the world

Sainte-Chapelle is largely hidden with no street frontage but, with its magnificent stained windows, ranks as the number 2 thing to do in Paris according to TripAdvisor

Sainte-Chapelle is largely hidden with no street frontage but, with its magnificent stained windows, ranks as the number 2 thing to do in Paris according to TripAdvisor

City Hall; Paris seems much more crowded than when I first visited in 1990; the subway always seemed packed despite constant departures

City Hall; Paris seems much more crowded than when I first visited in 1990; the subway always seemed packed despite constant departures

Even with my multi-day subway pass, I always seem to walk for miles and miles in Paris; I noticed locals aren't nearly as fashionable and dressy as they were in 1990

Even with my multi-day subway pass, I always seem to walk for miles and miles in Paris; I noticed locals aren't nearly as fashionable and dressy as they were in 1990

Posted by RNRiggins 04:47 Comments (0)

Great Dutch art museum you've never heard of-Kroller Muller

Van Gogh, Pink Peach Trees, 1888; like the Almond Blossom paintings at the Van Gogh Museum, this work is designed to evoke awakening and hope

Van Gogh, Pink Peach Trees, 1888; like the Almond Blossom paintings at the Van Gogh Museum, this work is designed to evoke awakening and hope

The museum is located in De Hoge Veluwe National Park and is covered by the MuseumKart; the park land was acquired at the beginning of the 20th century by a wealthy Dutch couple

The museum is located in De Hoge Veluwe National Park and is covered by the MuseumKart; the park land was acquired at the beginning of the 20th century by a wealthy Dutch couple

Kenneth Snelson, Needle Tower, 1968; this was my favorite work in the sculpture garden since the structure seemed to defy gravity

Kenneth Snelson, Needle Tower, 1968; this was my favorite work in the sculpture garden since the structure seemed to defy gravity

Looking up in Snelson's Needle Tower where you're left wondering how the tower stands since the cables must be support structures rather than just connections

Looking up in Snelson's Needle Tower where you're left wondering how the tower stands since the cables must be support structures rather than just connections

Signac, Harbor of Marseille, 1898; the large sculpture garden was pleasant with the scent of spruce trees in the air

Signac, Harbor of Marseille, 1898; the large sculpture garden was pleasant with the scent of spruce trees in the air

Renoir, In the Cafe, 1877; this museum was enjoyable because, even though crowded, it wasn't claustrophobic

Renoir, In the Cafe, 1877; this museum was enjoyable because, even though crowded, it wasn't claustrophobic

Van Gogh, Loom with Weaver, 1884; the museum has many very early Van Gogh's so they demonstrate how his painting style evolves over time

Van Gogh, Loom with Weaver, 1884; the museum has many very early Van Gogh's so they demonstrate how his painting style evolves over time

Picasso, Violin, 1912; the museum does a nice job of complementing the Van Goghs with quality works from other modern masters

Picasso, Violin, 1912; the museum does a nice job of complementing the Van Goghs with quality works from other modern masters

Mondriaan, Tableau number 1, 1913; Kroller-Muller had a fondness for collecting the works of Dutch artists (her husband was Dutch) although she was German

Mondriaan, Tableau number 1, 1913; Kroller-Muller had a fondness for collecting the works of Dutch artists (her husband was Dutch) although she was German

Metzinger, Woman with Pheasant, 1926; the Kroller-Mullers bought 11,500  works of art, one of the largest private collections of the 20th century

Metzinger, Woman with Pheasant, 1926; the Kroller-Mullers bought 11,500+ works of art, one of the largest private collections of the 20th century

Van Gogh; Terrace of a Cafe at Night, 1888; perhaps the most famous Van Gogh here, the artist was looking at how to paint a nightscape without black paint

Van Gogh; Terrace of a Cafe at Night, 1888; perhaps the most famous Van Gogh here, the artist was looking at how to paint a nightscape without black paint

Christo, 56 Barrels, 1977; I think I've seen similar artwork lining the Houston Ship Channel that would come much cheaper than a work from Christo

Christo, 56 Barrels, 1977; I think I've seen similar artwork lining the Houston Ship Channel that would come much cheaper than a work from Christo

Krijn Giezen, Look Out Attention, 2005; this cool staircase goes up a hill and then just keeps going offering great views around the national park

Krijn Giezen, Look Out Attention, 2005; this cool staircase goes up a hill and then just keeps going offering great views around the national park

The Netherlands isn't all canals and polders; in the eastern part of the country there are forests and horse farms

The Netherlands isn't all canals and polders; in the eastern part of the country there are forests and horse farms

Henry Moore, Animal Head, 1956; the sculpture garden and museum are located within the Netherlands largest national park

Henry Moore, Animal Head, 1956; the sculpture garden and museum are located within the Netherlands largest national park

Rogge, Tent Project, 1975; it's been the hottest, driest summer on record here with some of the rhododendrons dying

Rogge, Tent Project, 1975; it's been the hottest, driest summer on record here with some of the rhododendrons dying

With 160 works on 25 hectares, the Kroller-Muller Sculpture Garden is one of the largest in Europe

With 160 works on 25 hectares, the Kroller-Muller Sculpture Garden is one of the largest in Europe

The museum is in a national park which you have to pay 9.50 euros to enter; there are free bikes to ride the 2 kms to the museum or to ride around the park

The museum is in a national park which you have to pay 9.50 euros to enter; there are free bikes to ride the 2 kms to the museum or to ride around the park

This miniature horse recognized me as a kindred spirit and maybe his long lost twin; the museum is located near Otterlo which is a tiny town close to Arnhem in eastern Holland

This miniature horse recognized me as a kindred spirit and maybe his long lost twin; the museum is located near Otterlo which is a tiny town close to Arnhem in eastern Holland

Van Gogh, The Potato Eaters, 1885; Van Gogh considered this one of his finest works and it's certainly the masterpiece of his Dutch period

Van Gogh, The Potato Eaters, 1885; Van Gogh considered this one of his finest works and it's certainly the masterpiece of his Dutch period

Cezanne, Road Leading to the Lake, 1880; Helene considered buying A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, which turned out to be an important icon of 20th-century art, but her art adviser recommended against it

Cezanne, Road Leading to the Lake, 1880; Helene considered buying A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, which turned out to be an important icon of 20th-century art, but her art adviser recommended against it

Monet, Studio Boat, 1874; this was the only Monet exhibited and not one of his masterpieces

Monet, Studio Boat, 1874; this was the only Monet exhibited and not one of his masterpieces

Redon, Bouquet of Wildflowers, 1905; there was a huge special exhibition of Redon's works at the museum but this was the only piece I liked

Redon, Bouquet of Wildflowers, 1905; there was a huge special exhibition of Redon's works at the museum but this was the only piece I liked

Pissarro, February sunrise, Bazincourt, 1893;  I've really grown to love the colorful landscapes of Sisley and Pissarro

Pissarro, February sunrise, Bazincourt, 1893; I've really grown to love the colorful landscapes of Sisley and Pissarro

Van Gogh, Roses and Peonies, 1886; Helene was born into a wealthy industrialist family in Essen and married a Dutch shipping and mining tycoon so her ability to purchase art was unlimited

Van Gogh, Roses and Peonies, 1886; Helene was born into a wealthy industrialist family in Essen and married a Dutch shipping and mining tycoon so her ability to purchase art was unlimited

Van Rysselberghe, In July Before Noon, 1890; this Dutch artist, that I had not heard of, seems to be inspired by Seurat

Van Rysselberghe, In July Before Noon, 1890; this Dutch artist, that I had not heard of, seems to be inspired by Seurat

Fantin-Latour, Mademoiselle Charlotte Dubourg, 1882; part of the enjoyment of this museum is the pastoral surroundings and absence of rowdy tourists

Fantin-Latour, Mademoiselle Charlotte Dubourg, 1882; part of the enjoyment of this museum is the pastoral surroundings and absence of rowdy tourists

Kapoor, Turning the World Inside Out, 1993; the Houston Museum of Fine Arts recently acquired a Kapoor which stands in Glassell School Plaza

Kapoor, Turning the World Inside Out, 1993; the Houston Museum of Fine Arts recently acquired a Kapoor which stands in Glassell School Plaza

I've had great weather but today the monsoons arrived in Otterlo; fortunately, I went to the museum early and got my visit in before the bad weather arrived

I've had great weather but today the monsoons arrived in Otterlo; fortunately, I went to the museum early and got my visit in before the bad weather arrived

Van Gogh, Bridge at Arles, 1888; Kroller-Muller was one of the first collectors to recognize the genius of Van Gogh and made him the centerpiece of her collection

Van Gogh, Bridge at Arles, 1888; Kroller-Muller was one of the first collectors to recognize the genius of Van Gogh and made him the centerpiece of her collection

Seurat, Harbor Entrance at Honfleur, 1886; Helene Kroller-Muller donated her collection to the Netherlands in 1938

Seurat, Harbor Entrance at Honfleur, 1886; Helene Kroller-Muller donated her collection to the Netherlands in 1938

Sol LeWitt, Untitled, 1992; I can see why this is untitled since I don't have a clue what this bunch of cinder blocks is supposed to be and what qualifies it as art

Sol LeWitt, Untitled, 1992; I can see why this is untitled since I don't have a clue what this bunch of cinder blocks is supposed to be and what qualifies it as art

Marta Pan, Amphitheatre, 2007; another piece where I'm left pondering the bounds of art, especially versus architecture

Marta Pan, Amphitheatre, 2007; another piece where I'm left pondering the bounds of art, especially versus architecture

Richard Serra, One, 1988; so many sculptures, even famous ones like this, tested the limits of my art appreciation

Richard Serra, One, 1988; so many sculptures, even famous ones like this, tested the limits of my art appreciation

Van Gogh, Wheat Stacks in Provence, 1888; this museum has the second most Van Gogh's in the world (87) after the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

Van Gogh, Wheat Stacks in Provence, 1888; this museum has the second most Van Gogh's in the world (87) after the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

Posted by RNRiggins 03:25 Comments (0)

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