Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Milan Duomo and Duomo Museum

Posted: September 27, 2015 by obsesessivetraveler in Italy
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The Duomo is the most magnificent piece of architecture in Milan with its Gothic white building and sculptures carved out at every nook and corner of the entire building. The museum of the duomo also houses interesting artifacts- sculptures, pottery etc.


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Duomo Museum

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Italy Itinerary

Posted: September 27, 2015 by obsesessivetraveler in Europe
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With art, architecture, history, food and nature, Italy has no dearth of places to explore for any traveler. I had always wanted to travel to Italy but knew that I would need at least a month to do any justice to the great country. After having spent a month there, I know I can spend another month in South Italy and a lifetime in Rome but even that won’t be enough. Most countries, the architecture gets repetitive. In fact, north Europe in all countries the architecture is so similar. But in Italy, every city has a very unique architecture, so different from the preceding city and everywhere else in the world that it never gets repetitive. Milan is perhaps the only city that reminded me of North Europe but rest every city was so unique in itself- both the architecture and the food. Also you can never get tired of watching Italians as they are so animated while conversing, even though you may not understand a word they say. Here is my one month itinerary to help you plan yours.

Milan: 3 days   italy-itinerary

Verona: 3 days

Venice: 3 days

Bologna: 2 days

Florence: 3 days

Pisa: 1day

Volterra: 1 day

San Gigimano: 1 day

Sienna: 3 days

Assissi: 1 day

Perugia: 2 days

Rome: 4 days

Naples: 2 days

Pompeii: 1 day

Amalfi Coast: 1 day

The places I missed out in North Italy were: Padua, Genoa and Cinque Terra and the Alps and of course I am yet to cover anything to the south of Naples, perhaps during my next trip!!

Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium

Posted: January 19, 2015 by obsesessivetraveler in Belgium, Europe
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This Museum has 4 museums within itself and houses over 20,000 paintings, sculptures and drawings: Old Masters, Modern Art, Fin-de-Siècle and Magritte and thus by the end of the tour, you are engulfed in the awe of the art masterpieces you have seen.

Magritte Museum: They make you begin your tour with this museum in case you have bought tickets for all, else you could choose to buy for 1 or 2 museums as well, I of course went for all. This Museum houses the largest collection of René Magritte’s works- brilliant surreal works. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures inside the museum and hence my pictures are limited to the ones taken outside.

In the other museum I got to see the works of Pieter Brueghel, who I deeply admire. His works are so detailed and engaging that you could spend hours gazing at a painting, trying to figure it out.

Other Interesting paintings:

Interesting sculptures

Museum of Musical Instruments, Brussels

Posted: January 2, 2015 by obsesessivetraveler in Belgium, Europe
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The Museum of Musical Instruments at Brussels, Belgium, spread across 4 floors, is perhaps the most elaborate museum on musical instruments I have ever seen and hence a must visit for the music lovers/ connoisseurs. Although, I do not fall into any of those music lovers or connoisseurs category, I was also intrigued by their vast collection. It not only had the standard instruments on display but also instruments that I had never seen before in my life, including some musical instruments from China. There was also a brief history about each instrument written and narrated through the audio guide.

Of course, thanks to Andrew Saxon (from Dinant) the museum had an entire dedicated to Saxophone with a brief history of Andrew Saxon and his life and an endless display of saxophones.

The museum also had some paintings/ illustrations related to music.

Figurines at Brussels, Belgium

Posted: January 1, 2015 by obsesessivetraveler in Belgium, Europe
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Happy new year to all! 2014 was a great year with loads of travel. I hope 2015 is even better! My new year pledge is to post more frequently so here I begin with my first post for this new year!!
The other unique thing to see at Brussels are the figurines, some that can be spotted on the street while a lot others are on display at MOOF (Museum Of Original Figurines) and Comic Strip Museum at Brussels.

I especially loved the figurines of Tintin at MOOF.

The other figurines are also very interesting and a must watch for anyone interested in cartoons and one can find the figurines of almost all their favorite characters here!

Few life-size figurines at Comic strip museum.

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Best Thing to See at Brussels, Belgium: Comic Strip Murals

Posted: December 26, 2014 by obsesessivetraveler in Belgium, Europe
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Cart 0What strikes a person visiting Brussels for the first time are the omnipresent comic strip murals!! On my first visit there, I spotted one comic strip mural and was fascinated. Then I kept walking around kept spotting more and more murals and soon realized that all murals were based on comics, which was quite unique as murals in most cities are based on abstract art or some recent topic but I have never been to a city where all murals are based on comic murals. Walking through Brussels is like flipping the pages of a comic book where all the popular comic characters come alive- Tintin, Spirou, Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Daltons, Corentin, Black, Mortimer etc!Belgians regard by comic strips as 9th art and Brussels as the capital city does pay a true ode to this art form! The comic strip mural project started in 1991 when following a ban on billboards, the walls looked ugly and dilapidated and hence the billboards were replaced by comic murals and now there are over 50 murals that give a unique identity to Brussels as a city. Whenever I would think of Brussels now, the first thing that would come to mu mind would be the comic strip murals.

There are dedicated Comic strip walks and cycling tours. I however bought the comic strip map from the Information center and walked along the recommended path as per map 1 and trailed a number of murals for a day , though of course trailing all 50 (map 1, 2 & 3) would require 2-3 days. Map 1Map 1 Map 2Map 2 Map 3Map 3 Some of the comic strip murals I saw were: 1. The Passage by Francois Schuiten & Benoit Peeters Cart 16 2. Broussaille by Frank Pe (first mural in July 1991) Cart 17Cart 2 3. Victor Sackville by Francis Carin Cart 18 part 2 Cart 18 4. Monsieur Jean by Philippe Dupuy & Charles Berberian Cart 20 5. XIII by Jean Van Hamme & illustration by William Vance Cart 21 Part 3

  1. Yoko Tsuno by Roger Leloup Cart 22 6. Young Albert by Yves Chaland (French) Cart 1 7. Olivier Rameau & Colombe Tiredaile by Dany & Greg Cart16 copyCart 15 8. Tintin (Calculus Affair) by Herge cart 26 Few other comic strips around:

How to Move About in Dinant

Posted: December 18, 2014 by obsesessivetraveler in Belgium, Europe
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I have a fetish for collecting maps and I especially loved the map of Dinant I had received from the Tourist Information Center there. It is an awesome illustration, of course made possible by the fact that the town is so small that its entire dimensions could be covered on foot in half an hour but nevertheless I love the illustration and somehow I feel it quintessentially represents the comic spirit of Belgium.

But perhaps the other Europeans would say,” How would anyone take Belgium seriously when their maps are also not serious!!”

dinant map

This church with a 68m high onion-shaped tower is one of the major landmarks of Dinant. It was built as a Romanesque church at the end of the 12th century. When in 1227 a part of the rock behind the church destroyed the tower, it was partially rebuilt in Gothic Style and later the characteristic onion shaped tower was added.

Dinant flourished as a manufacturing hub for metal products especially brass. The carillon of bells (made in Dinant) at the Church is interesting.

Citadel, Dinant

Posted: December 9, 2014 by obsesessivetraveler in Belgium, Europe
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The fortified citadel on the top of the cliff behind the Church is one of the major landmarks of Dinant. It was first built in the 11th century to overlook and control the Meuse valley and was rebuilt and enlarged in 1530 by the Prince-Bishops of Liege. The French troops destroyed it in 1703 and in 1821 the Dutch troops rebuilt it in the present style.

The citadel can be reached by road, by a cable car, or by a 420-step staircase. The entry is paid and the guidebooks say that the cable car costs 1€ more and hence I took the stairs while going up, only to realize I was the only one doing so.

Later while coming down I realized that the cost of cable car is by default included within the ticket. So I am not sure that whether they do not give tickets without the cable car now or you have to especially as for the same. Anyways the only consolation for climbing stairs is that it offered better views of the city than the cable car did.

The museum has an interesting exhibition on the role Dinant played in World War II.

I love the illustrations describing the German attach on 15 Aug 1914 and how Dinant was supported by French and not Belgian army.

The citadel is quintessentially just one room and some adjoining outer sections. Thus I liked the room but was anticipating more as I am used to massive citadels, so the small size was a bit of a disappointment!! However it is definitely a must visit especially for the stunning views of the city!!

Saxophone Museum, Dinant

Posted: December 7, 2014 by obsesessivetraveler in Belgium, Europe
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This museum is in a house at roughly the same location as the house where Adolphe Sax, the inventor of Saxophone, was born on 6 November 1814. This house is quintessentially a very small room that has a brief exhibit about him and the Saxophone and the entry is free.

 Keeping in line with Belgian custom, the museum has a number of illustrations/ cartoons in and around the museum.