Cruising – Costa Favolosa in The Mediterranean Part II

Cruise from Spain to Italy

This blog is the sequel to our Western Mediterranean trip in the Spring of 2015. Our itinerary took us from Barcelona to Marseilles, then eastward by the Riviera coast into Savona, Italy.

The below video clip details the second part of our journey. After Marseilles, we travelled to Savona, Italy and took a train ride to Genoa before heading back to Barcelona.

Cruising – Costa Favolosa in The Mediterranean

Our European cruise in Mediterranean

Costa Favolosa is a cruise ship based on the Concordia class design and owned by Costa Cruise line (A subsidiary of Carnival Cruise). The ship was built in Genoa, Italy and launched in 2010.

We travelled Western Mediterranean on the ship in the Spring of 2015. Our itinerary took us from Barcelona to Marseilles, then eastward by the Riviera coast into Savona, Italy.

The below video clip details the first part of our journey. Highlights include exploration of the beautiful interior, an amazing evening entertainment show and a memorable dinner.

Check out my related blog on Cruising for the conclusion of this trip. Enjoy!

Rheinfelden, Switzerland – Serene and Picturesque

A video blog of our stay by the river Rhine

Rheinfelden is a small picturesque town in Switzerland bordering Germany. The name means the fields of the Rhine river. It is home to Feldschlösschen, the most popular beer in Switzerland.

The video clip below are highlights of our weekend stay at the town one summer.

The town is across the river from Rheinfelden in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The two towns are joined by a bridge over the river. They were politically separated when Napoleon Bonaparte fixed the German–Swiss border on the Rhine in 1802 and are still socially and economically tied.

The Louvre Museum – A Photo Tour

A brief photo tour of the Louvre Museum

The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres (782,910 square feet). The Louvre is the world’s most popular museum, receiving approximately 8 million visitors annually.

We visited the museum at Paris in the summer of 2018. Below is a small collection of artworks photo we took while exploring this vast museum.

The Martyrdom of Saint Dennis by Henry Bellechose (1416).

Glenda resting in one of the halls of French Art Gallery where an artist is working on a copy.

The Medici gallery at the Louvre has a large collection of artwork depicting the history of this famous Italian family and their alliance with the French monarchy through marriage.

David and Bathsheba by Jan Massys (1562)

One of the most famous sculpture at the Louvre – The Nike of Samothrace (Winged Victory) from 190 B.C.

Monalisa Gallery

Below pictures are from the Monalisa gallery which is the most visited hall at the museum.

Below 2 photos are of artwork and ceiling at the museum gift shop and adjoining hallway.

The Egyptian and Near Eastern artifacts wing holds many priceless collection of sculptures, mummy and stone carved artworks.

Exploring the Louvre over multiple days is a wise approach given the vastness of artifacts. The best time to visit is afternoon through evening on weekdays when the tourist rush is bit less. Using the Paris Museum pass will get you multiple day entry to the Louvre along with many other museums and landmarks in and around Paris.

A Brief Tour of Salzburg – The Birthplace of Mozart

A video blog of our brief tour of Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria. The historic city center (Altstadt) is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Salzburg is also the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The video blog below is a brief tour of Salzburg during the summer of 2018.

Salzburg is located in the picturesque Austrian Alps. It is a short train ride away from major cities like Vienna or Munich. The historic center is just 10-15 min pleasant walk from the train station. You can grab a quick lunch on the way in several street side cafe or restaurants.

The historic city center is a well preserved testament to 18th century Baroque architecture, dotted with beautiful gardens and fountains.

Another major attraction is Mozart’s house which is now a museum. You can find a good collection of memorabilia here from Mozart’s early years.

A short walk from Mozart’s house brings us to the bridge connecting the two sides of Salzburg. A stunning view of the fort and the town from the bridge is a must see!

We enjoyed Salzburg and hope you get to visit it soon as well!

The Fountains of Versailles

Exploring the fountains at the palace of Versailles

The Gardens of Versailles occupy the west part of the palace of Versailles. The gardens cover some 800 hectares of land, much of which is landscaped in classic French Garden style by André Le Nôtre. In addition to the meticulous manicured lawns, parterres of flowers, and sculptures are the fountains, which are located throughout the garden.

Dating from the time of Louis XIV and still using much of the same network of hydraulics, the fountains contribute to making the gardens of Versailles unique. On weekends in late spring to early autumn, the administration of the museum sponsors the Grandes Eaux spectacles during which all the fountains in the gardens are in full play.
The Versailles Orangery, which was designed by Louis Le Vau, is located south of the château, a situation that took advantage of the natural slope of the hill. It provided a protected area in which orange trees were kept during the winter months. I took the below picture of the Orangerie and South Parterre from the above Water Parterre.

The water Parterre adjacent to the palace is adorned with beautiful statues from Greek mythology. It also provides a magnificent view of the gardens and the grand canal.

The Night Fountain comes alive with sprinkling water at certain days of the week. It acts as a connector from to the Latona fountain from the right end of the Water Parterre.

One of the main attraction in the garden is the Latona fountain or Bassin de Latone . It depicts an episode from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Latona and her children, Apollo and Diana, being tormented with mud slung by Lycian peasants, who refused to let her and her children drink from their pond, appealed to Jupiter who responded by turning the Lycians into frogs. This episode from mythology has been seen by historians in reference as an allegory to the revolts of the Fronde, which occurred during the minority of Louis XIV.

The Apollo Fountain, which was constructed between 1668 and 1671, depicts the sun god driving his chariot to light the sky. The fountain forms a focal point in the garden and serves as a transitional element between the gardens of the Petit Parc and the Grand Canal

Walking back from Apollo fountain through the picturesque King’s garden, we arrived at the mirror fountain. A 10-min water show takes place here on certain days of the week at the top of the hour.

The Saturn fountain connects the Kings garden to the main corridor that stretches from the palace to the grand canal.


The Grand Canal was built between 1668 and 1671. With a length of 1,500 metres and a width of 62 metres, it physically and visually prolongs the east-west axis to the walls of the Grand Parc. During the Ancien Régime, the Grand Canal served as a venue for boating parties. In 1674, as a result of a series of diplomatic arrangements that benefited Louis XIV, the king ordered the construction of Petite Venise – Little Venice. Located at the junction of the Grand Canal and the northern transversal branch, Little Venice housed the caravels and yachts that were received from The Netherlands and the gondolas and gondoliers received as gifts from the Doge of Venice.

Glenda and I took a boat ride through the canal to experience the serene beauty of Versailles gardens from the lake!

Get a full experience of the lake in the boat ride video below. Enjoy!