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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Do you like islands? All you need to know if you want to visit an amazing island in Europe.

The beautiful waterfront of St Peter Port will be the first sight of Guernsey, arriving by boat from St Malo, England or Jersey
Guernsey is a beautiful island situated 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of France's Normandy coast and 120 kilometres (75 mi) south of Weymouth, England and lies in the Gulf of St Malo. 

What's to see in Guernsey: #1 visit the House of Victor HugoClick Here to read the post 

With Jersey, Sark and Alderney, Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands, the group of islands famous thanks to the French writer Victor Hugo who lived in Guernsey and Jersey (we dedicated a post to Victor Hugo's really amazing House in Guernsey, that you can still visit today- click here to read the post).

Guernsey it's a wonderful island. 

It's wonderful because in few square meters you can enjoy a variety of different panoramas. 

You can walk on the cliffs in the South. You can walk on large sandy beaches on the West. 

What's to see in Guernsey: #2 Enjoy a walk on the West Coast
You can take the sun at Pembroke Bay in the North, but you can also walk through quite country lanes, the “green lanes” as they are called, where the traffic is reduced to a minimum and you can enjoy the silence. 

You can admire the beautiful cottages, the gardens, the flowers and the panorama on a distance. If you miss your shopping you can have a walk along the High Street of St Peter Port, the main town. 

What's to see in Guernsey: #3 Castle Cornet
The old castle in front of St Peter Port
St Peter Port is very charming: along the High Street you can go shopping, along the harbour you can find good pubs & restaurants, you can visit Castle Cornet and its interesting museum and the lighthouse along the water-breaker.

If you like literature you should visit Victor Hugo's House or read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, the famous bestseller about the life during the Second World War.

Today you can still visit the German bunkers and the other Nazi fortifications along the coast, very well preserved.

What's to see in Guernsey: #4
Visit the amazing Little Chapel built with shells
and china. 
Guernsey has just the right side to be visited walking, or sometimes taking a bus when you are tired. 

The sea is very beautiful there and the light is special. 

People are friendly, nice, quiet and polite. 

The island is very safe, the sea makes the island wonderful. 

There are interesting monuments to see, some of them quite unusual, like the Little Chapel, a work of love and art. There is history. 

From the old Martello Towers to the German fortifications. The memory of the IIWW invasion is strong the island.

What's to see in Guernsey: #5 walk along
the coastal cliff path in the South.
From spring to autumn the sun is shining most 
of the times, and the days are mild in winter. 
And then when you want Sark and Herm are very little away and from St Peter Port the boat runs daily there, weather permitting.

Local products are the pride of Guernsey. Milk, butter, ice cream, potatoes and many many vegetables you can find easily on sell in the honesty boxes just in front of many houses when you walk in the country.

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What's to see in Guernsey: #6 The Festivals
We absolutely recommend the Scarecrows Festival

click here to read the post

Here the list of our published posts about Guernsey:

The French author of Les Miserables lived in exile in Guernsey. 
His house is an amazing display of the artistic taste and personality of Victor Hugo.

In August for a weekend the South of the Island is invaded by dozens of scarecrows along the narrow lanes, the cottages and the beautiful gardens in bloom... A wonderful festival for all the family!

Practical info and useful tips to travel to the island

Our main page about Guernsey

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Monday, November 5, 2012

The most beautiful house in the world!



Where is the most beautiful house in the world?

Each one of us will provide probably a different answer according with our taste, but also for what we have seen and what we know.

This is "our" most beautiful house in the world.

Not many would know this building, it is not famous, but if you visit it you will feel the special charme this house has.

It is now a museum, but it feels as if it is still inhabited today.

It is rich of history, of music of people of life and it is beautiful in its modesty.

It is not a luxurious house or a castle, but we found it beautiful, elegant and inspiring.

Below you find a short history and some interesting  info about this charming house.

We hope you like it!






Koom Vongburi is situated in the pretty town of Phrae, in Thailand, away from the beaten track.

Although not spectacular as Ayutthaya or Sukhothai, Phrae offers enough for a day visit and the atmosphere is much more quiet and relaxed and the air is finally (relatively) more clean and breathable than in most touristy destinations in Thailand.

The streets are narrow in Phrae and beautiful houses built in teak wood are the main attraction of the town.

One is particularly interesting: the Koom Vongbouri (Vangburi House).

The Vangburi House has the charm of an old colonial upper class mansion.

It is completely built in teak wood and painted in white and pink.

Koom Vongbouri was the wonderful residence of the lord of Phrae: Prince Chumlamanee Sirimekphumin.

The man was a local rich land owner that improved the agricultural production in the are and for that reason he was awarded by the King of Thailand with more land and power in Phrae.

What is amazing is that the house is still containing today bits of original furniture, weapons and documents of the time, but it is the feeling of luxury in the large livingroom and in the shady tropical garden that makes this place special.

More photos for you below. 










Want to see more amazing houses around the world?
Click on the links below to visit other genial houses around the world:

The amazing house of Victor Hugo 
The wonderful house of the author of The Miserables in the beautiful island of Guersey

King Ludwig's Castle 
The amazing Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Mountains



Want to read more about Thailand?
Here some of our best posts:


PHANG NGA BAY: "James Bond Island. One of the most iconic places in Thailand".
Visit one of the most beautiful National Parks in Thailand, much more to see than just James Bond's island!

KHO TAO - "A wonderful island in the Andaman Sea" Photos and some useful tips to visit one of the most unspoiled islands in Thailand, away from the noise, relatively unspoiled and just an hour away from Thailand's famous Full Moon Parties.

SUKHOTHAI: "Want to visit the best archaeological site in Thailand?"
A visit in Sukhothai, the most impressive and best kept archaeological park in Thailand, many great photos, two maps and lots of practical info to visit Sukhothai.

AYUTTHAYA - AN AMAZING INSPIRATIONAL PLACE JUST 2 HRS FROM BANGKOK Just 2 hrs away from Bangkok Ayutthaya is a perfect destination for a day trip to explore the famous Thai temples. It is also the first stop for a visit to the North, read the post and watch some great photos!

The Holy City of Chiang Mai is where to go to admire the famous "pagoda temples". In the post you will explore one of the most famous destinations in Thailand. Photos & practical info.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

La Boca - The Italian Genoese quarter of La Bombonera in Buenos Aires - Tips to visit safely Maradona area

The colurful quarter of La Boca welcomes the tourist in Buenos Aires.

Maybe the most famous area in Buenos Aires and certainly the most touristy. 

The quarter of La Boca is historically one of the poorest and most depressed areas of the Argentinian capital, but it certainly the most colourful.

Bright colours decorate the simple houses and the souvenir's shops are everywhere where one time the workers of the port lived. 

It is Buenos Aires as you stereotypically expect before visiting, it is unique and inspiring, it is charming and at the same time time touristy and even tacky.

The real Buenos Aires is much more modern but also much less colourful and certainly not so crowded of tango dancers and Diego Maradona performers at every crossroad as La Boca is. 

Restaurants, bars and Tango dancers will entrentain the tourist and somehow it will be like to visit an open museum of the most famous Argentinian history and tradition.

But it's enough to move few blocks away from El Caminito, the most touristy cobbled street, to see the real La Boca: dirty pavements and much more dirty children running under the shady trees in front of their homes. 

The dogs seem to have crapped everywhere along the way leading to the famous football-pitch of the Argentinian team of the  Boca Junior's (La Bombonera Stadium, The Estadio Alberto J. Armando, formerly the Estadio Camilo Cichero).

The streets around La Bombonera and the area, away from El Caminito, are not so safe to venture alone.

But if you have time you should consider visit the museum of La Bombonera Stadium: a Hall of fame the large mural of Diego Maradona (who played for the Boca) and the blue and gold guitar played by Lenny Kravitz at La Bombonera in 2005.

Here some photos and some tips to visit La Boca in Buenos Aires as safely as possible.







 


Here some tips to visit in relative safety the area of La Boca in Buenos Aires:

1. Don't go there too early in the morning or too late at night or at siesta time in early afternoon

2. Walk along the touristy street of El Caminito, there is safe and there is where is to see the most 

3. Notice where the police is situated: police normally enclose the touristy area making it safe. Do not wonder away from that area.

4. If you want to see a football match at the football stadium La Bombonera don't bring with you anything of value.

5. To go from the town to La Boca take a taxi or a bus, do not walk your way there.

6. If from the area of El Caminito you wish to move to La Bombonera Stadium to visit the museum, remain on the main road and wait for other tourists going in the same direction. Alternatively take a taxi. Taxis are normally parked at the entrance of the El Caminito.

Hope you enjoy your visit in Buenos Aires and you enjoyed our photos.

Planning to travel to Buenos Aires?
You might want to read about Buenos Aires:

Where to stay in Buenos Aires

Want to read more about Argentina?
You can read more about Argentina and some recommended itineraries for your journey on our 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The American connection: Visiting the French town of Benjamin Franklin



Auray is a wonderful town in Brittany situated between Brest and Vannes in the area of Morbihan.

What is so special about Auray?

Absolutely Auray's waterfront.

Situated at the entrance of the gulf of Morbihan along the river Loch Auray faces the beautiful hamlet of Port de Saint Goustan.

Auray offers a very relaxed atmosphere, with its cobbled streets, cafes, creperies and art galleries.






Here Benjamin Franklin landed during is diplomatic mission to France and the house where he is slept is today a creperie along the waterfront.




But it is the panorama you can enjoy from the Belvedere the most beautiful sight of Port de Saint Goustan.

Auray also posseses a beautiful and historic town centre around that develops around the square of the Council Hall, with beautiful little shops and well preserved medieval houses.





This post would have not made be possible without the help of Anne Le Galles from Auray.

Read more posts on our page Visit France.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What to see in Brest? #1- The harbour


Brest is sometimes overlooked when travelling in Brittany.

If you are say to locals you are going to visit Brest when in Brittany, some people would ask you: why to go to Brest? Just a modern city, not much to see there...

Wrong!

Completely wrong!

Brest is a very interesting city to visit!

It is true that certainly isn't a traditional Brittany's town.

Most of the city has been destroyed during the II World War and the city was quickly rebuilt after, loosing its old charm, but today Brest is an interesting mix of modern and old and it is attractive in its unique style and design.

Thanks to Cathy Dolou, founder of the Walk and Talk Brest Group organizing walks for local and foreign travellers wanting to trek along the long way Grande Randonnée 34 in the area around Brest, we discovered this interesting city.

Starting for what remains of the historical Brest is the old castle, now hosting the Naval Museum.






At the other side of the harbour is the Tanguy Tower (Tour Tanguy) the most interesting and imposing monuments of the town.

Today the Tanguy Tower hosts an interesting exhibition about the history of Brest. 

The entrance  is free and is certainly worth a look.


But what we love more is actually the contrast between old and modern. 

Just in front of the castle and the tower le Pont du Recouvrance crosses the river La Penfeld offering great views along the large harbour.






And it is from the harbour that the main street of Brest starts climbing on the hill in front.

The street has a wonderful and exotic name, reminiscent of the history of the town.

The street is named Rue de Siam. Click here to continue...


A special thanks goes to Cathy Dolou from Brest for her help in making this part post!

Read more posts on our page Visit France.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simple French Cuisine? Roasted Camembert with honey.


France is famous for the wonderful cheeses and Camembert is certainly one of the most famous.

Camembert is certainly a great cheese, just to eat plain with some nice baguette bread, but there is a great recepy we discovered with the help of Blandine and Olivier from Laurenan.

The original name of this simple but very taste dish is Camembert roti avec le miel, that litteraly translates: Camembert roasted in oven with the honey.

Here is the recepy.

Have a Camembert form with its wooden box for each guest.

Cut the Camembert as you see in the picture below, cutting the top of each form off.



Dig in the cheese so to make space for some pieces of apple you have already prepared on a side.




Put the apple's pieces in the cheese you have already prepared in the center of the cheese form.





Then put some good honey on the top of the cheese forms.





Close the Camembert forms with their tops.




Put just a little bit of water on top of the cheese so that the brown sugar you are going to put on top remains easily on the top of the cheese.




Put the sugar on top of the cheese.





Put the Camembert in the oven for then minutes at around 200°C.




Enjoy it with some toasted baguette bread!



This post would has been made thanks to Blandine and Olivier Le Cloirec from Laurenan who prepared a fantastic Camembert roti au miel with local, organic and very tasty ingredients, and (most important) with great passion!  

Read more posts on our page Visit France.

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