Behind the Lens

What’s it really like to visit the most popular sights in the world?

Disappointment is bound to happen at some point when traveling, especially in this media-dominated age.

We build these places up in our minds, liking and pinning impossibly beautiful photos as the big departure date gets closer. It’s no wonder that sometimes reality just doesn’t live up to those Insta-perfect expectations. The real world is not carefully filtered for optimal lighting and edited to neatly hide any blemishes in the scene. In Rome, for example, I was shocked to realize that there were probably more tourists than locals in 75% of the places we visited. The ancient, beautiful, historic city of Rome was there, but it was hidden behind hordes of tourists, obnoxious hawkers, and the ever-present click of cameras all around us.

In the interest of showing these big name attractions as they truly are, I invited several bloggers from the travel community to share the places that have surprised them along the way. Continue reading “Behind the Lens”

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”

La Vie Parisienne – Partie Trois

Our third day in Paris can be summed up in one word: opulent. It started with a day trip to Versailles and ended with dinner and champagne on a Seine river cruise. I mean. It doesn’t get much fancier than that, does it? Continue reading “La Vie Parisienne – Partie Trois”