Just on the border with the Czech Republic we visited Dresden, a city in the State of Saxony, Germany. There were many cultural and historical buildings and residences to visit. The first one that caught my attention was the famous opera house – Semperoper. Built in 1841, it was named after architect Gottfried Semper. The house offers tourists a look at the baroque and neo-rennaissance architecture that defines most of the city’s edifices.
The Fürstenzug is a mural representing the princes that once ruled the State of Saxony. Starting with Conrad the Margrave of Meissen in the 12th century, the procession of princes goes on to King George who ruled in the 20th century. However, visitors seemed more enthralled in the motionless figure and his dog companion which was not real by the way! I did not see him flinch at once!
A visit to the Zwinger Palace was breathtaking. Built for Augustus the Strong, the palace today stands as a huge complex for four museums: the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Dresden Porcelain Collection and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon.
Taking in the view
My Eastern European tour this summer was firstly enriched by our stop in Slovakia’s capital – Bratislava. The weather and the brilliant blue sky served us well as our group set off to explore the many grandiose buildings and castles. There were no signs of the city’s Communist period – the archiecture and town squares were enlivened and built in a renaissance and baroque style. Around every corner it was easy to come across one of the city’s funny statues such as Cumil. We’re not quite sure what he is up to, cleaning the sewer or just having a rest after a hard day’s work.
Cumil. Man at Work
The soldier resting on the bench reminds visitors of Napoleon’s first visit to Bratislava in 1809.
Napoleon’s Army Soldier
A charismatic figure known as Schoner Naci wearing a top hat is ready to greet you in the beautiful city.
The highlight of the day was definitely a tour up the Bratislava Castle built in the 9th century. From the top there are great views of the city and parts of neighbouring countries such as Hungary and Austria. Known for its history with the Romans and the Celts, the castle stands as a major tourist attraction.
Thank you Bratislava ! It was lovely !! Dovidenia
It was my first trip to Italy, a surprise holiday for my mum and for sure the first city to visit that came to mind was: Rome! Known as the Eternal City, Rome is a mesmerizing city where every step led me to amazing views that would make me halt, stop and take a photo. My hotel was situated very close to the Colosseum itself, a mere 5 minute walk. I remember the first time I caught sight of the Colosseum, a medieval architectural masterpiece of the capital . It simply took my breath away. I noticed how grand and majestic it stood compared to my miniscule self in a picture.
Unfortunately it was a short 3-day trip, therefore I was limited in my desire to go everywhere and explore everything. I did however manage to visit the famous landmarks such as the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine, the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, and the tall column of Marcus Aurelius. I was really excited for the Trevi Fountain yet was shortly disappointed to see that it was under construction. Just around the corner was my ascend up the Spanish Steps at the Piazza di Spagna. Breathtaking. I have to mention the beautiful boutiques and parks, the tasty Italian cuisine from their traditional trademark pizzas (with mozzarella and tomato sauce), spaghetti and the espresso of course! I even watched a World Cup match on a huge screen in the main street of Rome, cheering along with many other tourists with a beautiful and starry sky above us. Witnessed a couple of weddings take place on the streets. Summer was in full swing.
The bustling city of Rome with its ancient and rich history is a city I will love to visit again.
Beautiful streets of Rome
Overlooking the ancient city of Rome
At the monument of Vittorio Emanuele II
The Spanish Steps – Piazza di Spagna
View of Rome from the Capitoline steps
Artwork and book displays
Believe it or not!
The Colosseum at night