Northern Lights – We See the Lights!

On a Mission to See the Northern Lights: It's 2:30 a.m. when the phone rings. It's the Reception informing us that the Northern Lights have been sighted. Half asleep, I'm not sure if I'm hearing correctly or if this a practical joke?  By this stage of our return Hurtigruten cruise, I was … [Read more...]

Nordkapp – Feeling on Top of the World at the North Cape!

Nordkapp or North Cape is Europe's Northern-most Inhabited Point: Reaching the North Cape (Nordkapp in Norwegian), gives us a sense of achievement - not that we've scaled the steep cliff to get up here nor did we do it tough like the early explorers. On the contrary, our very comfortable coach … [Read more...]

Tromsø – Hunting the Northern Lights

Tromsø has Many Northernmost Claims: Tromsø is a town that can boast of many things. This capital of Arctic Norway is the gateway to the Arctic Ocean and is the largest town in the polar region of Scandinavia. Tromsø is a very important research town and at Polaria, the national centre for … [Read more...]

So What’s a Trollfjord Drink?

A Hurtigruten Tradition on Crossing the Arctic Circle: We reached the Arctic Circle this morning and as we pass the entrance of the Trollfjord, it is a tradition on  a Hurtigruten cruise that you have a Trollfjord drink. Our invitation says to put on warm clothes and to be out on the deck at … [Read more...]

Vienna, the Waltz Capital of the World

Dance out your Dreams at one of Vienna's Balls: New Year's Eve brings on the best of Vienna's ball season and from January up to Lent the Austrian capital transforms itself into the waltzing capital. Famous for its classical music, waltzes and its grand ballrooms, Vienna is the premier city in … [Read more...]

Bridges of Paris

Bridges that Tell of Emperors, Battles and Legends: Paris has thirty-seven bridges that criss-cross the River Seine and these bridges tell long and interesting stories of emperors, battles, legends, etc. Along the stretch from Pont de Grenelle to Pont de la Concorde alone are towering monuments … [Read more...]

Christmas Festival in Aix-en-Provence

Aix's Interesting Christmas Festival: The town of Aix-en-Provence has an interesting Christmas festival.  Each year in December, the Festival of New Oil takes place at the "Place de la Rotonde" to celebrate the season's new olive oil and fresh truffles. The first pressing of the year's olives … [Read more...]

Biblioteca Joanina – a Priceless Library

Coimbra University's Library is a National Monument: Once referred to as "The House of the Bookshop" Coimbra University's library is one of the top five libraries in the world. Now called Biblioteca Joanina, this Baroque library was built between 1717 and 1728, during the reign of King João V … [Read more...]

Coimbra University – Coimbra

Portugal's Oldest and Largest University: There's a buzz about Coimbra University today. We arrive on its orientation day and there's a sense of excitement as new students come to check out their new campus, attend inductions and to get some tips from senior students. Universidade de … [Read more...]

Church of the Most Holy Trinity – Fatima Shrine

Portugal's Largest Church: If you haven't been to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima in Fátima in recent years, you'll be surprised at the new Church of the Most Holy Trinity. Consecrated on October 12, 2007, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the apparitions of Fátima, this is now … [Read more...]