One thing I may not yet have mentioned about the city of Porto is the hills. They’re a bitch. And, there are certain hills that just kick my butt all the way up every time we make the trek, but exercise they do provide. To get from the city center and/or the river front back to our flat, we have no choice but to trek those hills.
The Mosque of Cordoba
There are moments in time when one has to come to a complete stop to just take in said moment because one finds oneself in a place of perfection; a place so extraordinarily inspiring it takes ones breath away. For us, that moment happened when we stepped inside the Mosque of Cordoba. Never before had we seen such a place, and most likely never will we again.
As we pulled away from the parking lot at Vintgar Gorge, the shuttle van driver asked, “How was the gorge?” “Crowded!” I responded, “But beautiful.” He went on to explain that three years ago nobody cared about the gorge, and now, everyone wants to see it and he can’t figure out why.
When you conjure up the Burgundy wine region of France, in your mind’s eye, what do you see? Think about it for a moment before reading further. Now, did you envision green vineyards as far as the eye can see, stunning countryside with a historic church steeple rising on the horizon, granite cliffs and maybe a french castle on the hill? Sounds pretty great, right?
If you’ve been traveling with us for a good long while you know I am madly in love with Julia Child and I’m mildly obsessed with Marie Antoinette. Now, it’s time to come clean and tell you I also have a slight obsession with the true story of those who actually lived The Sound of Music. Not the Hollywood version, although I can sing along with pretty much the entire movie, but the people who lived the story. The von Trapp family. Fraulein Maria.
I’ve always said that walking in the path of those who came before us is by far the best lesson travel can teach. Standing on the stairs at the Chateau de Fontainebleau where Napoleon abdicated, or walking through George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home, or walking across a civil war battlefield, are all moments in time. Moments in which we can choose to stop and consider the idea that we, as a nation, cannot move forward if we do not recognize how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. It’s what I love most about history. And, it’s what I love most about travel.
It should come as no surprise that I am a lover of the written word; of books. No matter how many times we pack up and move, there are a dozen boxes of books that move with us. Over the years I’ve downsized as much as I can, but I have my collection of true loves and I will never part with them. So, with that thought in mind, if it’s possible to be in love with a library, then I am hopelessly in love with the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Washington, DC has been getting more than its fair share of headlines in this time of political and seemingly social revolution. Is there anyone in the world who does not know where Washington, DC is and/or the fact that the city is synonymous with politics? It is after all the heart beat of the United States. But what many may not know is that the city itself has a lot to offer. And, while tourism to the nation’s capital may not exactly be trending right now, don’t let the politics of the day keep you from visiting.