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Category: World in Pictures

Chasing World Heritage: #126 (Convent of Christ)

Chasing World Heritage: #126 (Convent of Christ)

The third point of the Portuguese World Heritage monastic triangle, along with Alcobaça and Batalha, is the Convent of Christ in Tomar. The oldest of the three, it has been built and improved upon for several centuries; the variety of the styles in its construction came to symbolize the opening…

Chasing

Chasing World Heritage: #125 (Batalha)

Our drive from Porto to Lisbon started with the rain-out in Aveiro. We had two more sightseeing stops along the way, and unfortunately we kept dragging the rain behind us everywhere we went. Thankfully, the moments of downpour alternated with periods of calm and blue skies, and in Batalha we…

Aveiro

Aveiro

Just as in Amarante, our visit to Aveiro was negatively affected by the weather, only in a more dramatic fashion. We arrived in town on a beautiful spring sunny morning, shortly after starting our exploration decided to stop by for coffee at one of the local establishments, and emerged from…

Chasing World Heritage: #124 (Guimaraes)

Chasing World Heritage: #124 (Guimarães)

The first capital of Portugal way back in the 12th century, Guimarães is recognized on the World Heritage list as an authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town. Its historic center is a homogeneous architectural ensemble in a style that is native to the…

Bom Jesus do Monte

Bom Jesus do Monte

The city of Braga did not make the final cut of our Portugal itinerary aside from one single sight on the outskirts of the town. The sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte is comparatively young for a religious site – the pilgrimage church dates only from the 17th century, and…

Amarante

Amarante

The village of Amarante was planned as the end-of-day stop on the return to Porto from Douro Valley – it is conveniently located along the way. Unfortunately, the weather – which was fairly benevolent to us in the first few days of our trip – picked the moment of our…

Chasing World Heritage and drinking wine: #123 (Douro Valley)

Chasing World Heritage with wine: #123 (Douro Valley)

There are several properties on the World Heritage list that celebrate historic and famous wine-producing regions. My fairly well-known affinity for wine notwithstanding, I have never managed a visit to one of those sites that would actually revolve around wine. Which made our day-trip to Alto Douro the first of…

Porto (WHS #122)

Porto (WHS #122)

The very first adjective to use to describe Porto has to be colorful. Yes, the city has a lot of history and quite a few significant monuments and points of interest – which is the main reason why it as a whole is a World Heritage site – but it’s…

Coimbra (including WHS #121)

Coimbra (including WHS #121)

Coimbra is the fourth-largest city in Portugal, and its former capital for a bit over a century quite a few centuries ago. As any city over a thousand years old, it is not without charms, but on balance it falls short of making an exceptional impression. It is nice, but…

Chasing World Heritage: #120 (Alcobaça)

Chasing World Heritage: #120 (Alcobaça)

Our itinerary in Portugal was structured around two “hub-and-spokes” legs in Porto and Lisbon. There are roughly 300 kilometers of driving from one to another, with quite a few interesting sights in between. Seeing more than a couple of them requires more than one day. One solution to that would…

A place in my memory: Oia

A place in my memory: Oia

This is a pretty recent memory, not even a year old at the time of writing. But it is very illustrative of how the same place can be both most enchanting and most awful, depending on the time of the day. The village of Oia on the northern tip of…

A place in my memory: City of London

A place in my memory: City of London

This is not an exceptional photo but it occupies a special place in my memory. It was opportunistically taken from the upper deck of a bus idling by the Mansion House, looking towards the Royal Exchange. So very iconic British red double-decker is moving across the line of vision. In…

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

Spontaneity has not been much of a feature of my traveling exploits lately, but the Christmastime trip to Washington had a bit of spontaneity in it. It was originally conceived as an opportunity for moms to do things with kids, and my participation in that was vague at best. Just…

Italy wrap-up

Italy wrap-up

Our November trip to Italy was relatively short, befitting a getaway, and structured around visiting a few places that we had not explored in the past. We spent time in Milan (city highlights, Last Supper), Bergamo (city highlights, fortifications), and Turin (city highlights, royal palaces). My photographic output was not…

Turin

Turin

My writing skills being what they are, I frequently struggle with finding original or at least not overused ways to express my positive impressions of places and points of interest. But that is nothing compared to the search for ways to describe a lukewarm impression. The places that do not…

Bergamo

Bergamo

We have not set foot in Bergamo in the past and made it a defined target on this trip. It is a kind of town that invariably leaves a positive impression on any visitor without tipping the scales on the exceptional side. Città Alta, the historic core of Bergamo, is…

Third time the charm in Milan

Third time the charm in Milan

Milan, a renowned Mecca of shopping and fashion, is rarely considered to be a sightseeing destination. That reputation is largely deserved, as even the most ardently patriotic locals are likely to agree that their city is not at all pretty. Impressive buildings pop up here or there, some residential streets…