Rome Day 3

First-time visitors to Rome usually have one common goal: to see the Colosseum. The epic monument is recognized across the world; the place of ancient bloody battles and screaming crowds of spectators. Think of it as the original sports stadium.

Dan and I visited the Colosseum on our third and final full day in Rome. We’d visited many of the other “must-sees” on our first day in the city, and we had saved the best for last. Continue reading “Rome Day 3”

Why I Can’t Wait to Give Versailles a Second Chance

Is there a traveler alive who has not heard of Versailles? The word alone conjures up images of opulent feasts and parties, a gathering place for French nobility since its became the seat of the French monarchy in 1682. Originally the hunting lodge of King Louis XVII, the chateau is now a museum of French history and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It was not the art collections which lured Dan and I to Versailles on a rainy spring day, however. Like so many visitors before us, we came to get a taste of life at court in 17th-19th century France. What was it like to walk and even live in such a grand and beautiful building, with handmaidens to cater to your every need? Continue reading “Why I Can’t Wait to Give Versailles a Second Chance”

A Snapshot in Time: Craigdarroch Castle

I don’t know about you, but when I hear about castles, I immediately think of far off places and fairy tales. Castles are the stuff of fantasy, places that exist only in the pages of a book, or in countries far, far away from the one I live in.

So when I read that Victoria, B.C. boasts not one, but two castles, the only question was which one to visit first. Continue reading “A Snapshot in Time: Craigdarroch Castle”

Roaming in Beaune

Beaune is revered as the wine capital of France’s burgundy region. Like Langres, the city has existed since Roman times, and saw changes brought about during the Middle Ages, and later the Renaissance. As you can imagine, the city’s economy centers around wine, but it is also becoming increasingly popular with tourists. This was the busiest location on our trip thus far, and the first at which we were asked to pay a small admission fee to see the most popular sights. It was clear that the city had put plenty of their budget into restoring and maintaining its many historic buildings and museums, but the glossiness of the city did not in any way diminish the its distinctive French charm. Despite its rapidly-expanding tourism industry, Beaune remains a city of history, beauty and wonder. Continue reading “Roaming in Beaune”