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Venice: The Grand Seduction

  The approach to Venice by train is seductive in itself…    Just seeing a city floating on water is astonishing. How did they do that? Why did they do that?   Apparently it wasn’t intentional. It happened sometime around the fall of the Roman Empire when the mainland was invaded and the residents escaped to the protected lagoon of Venice.    Venice is a maze of tiny cobbled streets and narrow alleys, ribbon-like canals, singing gondoliers, graceful little arched bridges, and thousands of masquarade-like art shops.    There is nothing more memorable than the golden sound of the gondolier’s song lilting through the … More…

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French Villages, French Art, Forests & Farms

  Provence is full of quaint French villages and towns, and gorgeous landscapes. If you’re wandering around Southern France, do just that – wander.   Wander… meander…. stray… stroll… sit on a bench…. stop for lunch… have a coffee… get lost… this is the best part of travelling in France.   Allow enough time to spend half a day in a town or village that you find especially charming, and don’t be in a rush to get to the next town. This was our biggest mistake, and we know better. Our excuse was that we had a house sit in France … More…

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Lost in Summer Palaces And Temples of Heaven

  The parks in Beijing are simply stunning!     They make parks in Canada look embarrassingly simple.   Beijing’s parks are full of themed areas with separate pathways leading to separate areas within the larger park. Each one is set in a magnificent and serene setting and unique theme.   With ponds and streams, hills and valleys, glades and gardens, rare trees, unusual flowers, the landscapes were choreographed to reflect each specific theme.   Even the scent of each theme area seemed to match the theme.  With impressive displays of wisteria, bamboo, peonies, orchids, cherry blossoms and apple blossoms, ancient cypress trees, pine … More…

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