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Posts tagged ‘cities’

A Day in Old San Juan

As the weather cools and Fall takes over, folks in the north start to daydream about the Caribbean for a sun-filled weekend away.  While I’ve never been much of a beach person, I recently took a quick trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico and enjoyed it.  The old town was lovely to wander through, I enjoyed the historic fortresses, and the public beaches were relaxing.  While Puerto Rico’s status as an American territory makes travel there easier, the unique local culture and cuisine made it feel like I was exploring another country.

beach, San Juan, PR

Pretty and relaxing beach in San Juan

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12 Hours in London

If you’re someone like me who doesn’t live on the road, it’s important to maximize your travel experiences. I love taking advantages of international layovers to spend a day in “bonus” city, like Paris or Amsterdam. This Spring I finally got to see London with a day-long romp through this fantastic capital.  It turned out to be plenty of time to see the highlights and get the flavor of this historic city.

Tower bridge, London

Good morning Tower Bridge!

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Bern’s Historic Old City

If I had to describe a nation’s capital city, I would think of broad streets, massive administrative buildings, and commercial areas.  I picture public art, decorative architecture, and parks too but its all in the context of the greater metropolis at the heart of the city.  So then imagine how unprepared I was to visit Bern, Switzerland’s national capital.  Instead of a booming, modern downtown, they’ve done an amazing job of preserving the historic old city center.  The heart of the city is gorgeous and the perfect place to spend a day strolling.

Bern Old Town

The historic soul of Switzerland can be found in its incredible capital city, Bern.

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A Day Trip to Jiufen, Taiwan

Taipei has plenty to offer travelers but if you need a little change of scenery, it’s easy to get out of the city.  I went on a day trip to the north coast to an area known as the Bitou Cape and the village of Jiufen (or Chiufen).  Here I found gorgeous rock formations, a mining town architecturally planted in another era, a beautiful, hidden temple, and stunning views of the coastline.

Beautiful Northern Taiwan coastline

Beautiful Northern Taiwan coastline

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The Imperial Treasury of Vienna

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Hidden Gems.  Check out all the stories below.  At the risk of being too literal, I’m bringing you a story of a “hidden gem” museum filled with gems!

Imperial Crown, Orb, and Sceptre of Austria

Imperial Crown, Orb, and Scepter of Austria created between 1602-1615. (Photo: Michiel2005, flickr)

You don’t have to be an art or history focused traveler to appreciate real jewels.  There is something about gold and gemstones that just draws people in as we gaze at the glittering wealth, power, and beauty of these objects.  The most impressive collection of priceless jewelry that I’ve ever seen belonged to a real royal dynasty.  The House of Habsburg oversaw a massive and prosperous empire for roughly 800 years.  Sometimes lost in a city of fantastic art and architecture, you must visit the spectacular family jewels housed in the Imperial Treasury of Vienna.

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