Posts tagged ‘tour guide’
If you couldn’t already tell, one of my favorite things to do is fantasize about places I’d like to live someday. Paris, London, Amsterdam are all on the list but there’s one city I have yet to see that my Mom seems to think I’m going to be adding to the tippy top of said list, and that city is Berlin. When I was studying abroad in Barcelona (see here), my friend Alana and I traveled to a different city or country with each other every weekend. The only weekend we didn’t travel together was over Thanksgiving when I went to Venice to see my Mom and she went to Berlin to visit a friend who was studying there. While I came back to Barcelona boasting about having seen Elton John at a restaurant, she topped my celebrity sighting with all her stories about Berlin and how I just “have to go there”. Since then, those four words “have to go there” have continued ringing in my ears like a mosquito you can’t flick away. Berlin, it’s time you and I met.
Berlin is the largest city in Germany and is known as a cultural mecca of design, art, music and fashion. Sounds right up my alley already, right?! The city is filled with a vast number of museums, concert halls and shopping districts and is one of the only cities that has as much new architecture as it does old. Much of its culture is a result of the city’s destruction after World War II and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, parts of which are still intact and currently function as a Memorial Site.
Berlin is one of those large cities that even given a weeks visit wouldn’t do it justice (and I’m just saying this after being overwhelmed by reading about all there is to see/do/experience!). There are at least five museums that I’d like to spend a week’s time in, but at the top of my list is the Pergamon Museum which houses Ancient Greek sculpture and the newly renovated Neues Museum which contains tons of prehistoric findings as well as my personal favorite, Egyptian art, including the bust of Nefertiti! There are also dozens of architecturally and historically interesting churches that offer views of the city, but the unbeatable view has to be within the Fernsehturm (aka TV Tower) which has an incredible observation deck.
The city is also filled with picture perfect parks such as the Tiergarten, where people picnic and barbecue on the weekends, and epic flea markets open every weekend. And speaking of shopping, after reading through my travel books it seems that Berlin is filled with not one, not two, but three major shopping districts. Credit cards beware! Oh! And how could I forget the Bronx Zoo!? Home to the largest amount of animal species in the WORLD! HELLO!
I’ll say it again, Berlin, it’s time you and I met.
Judging by how my exclamation points increased by the end of this post, I clearly got more and more excited as I thought about the possibility of visiting this incredible city. There really are just too many amazing places to see in the world, when oh when am I going to find the time!?
• left over bits of the Berlin Wall •
• if this little guy isn’t incentive enough to go to Berlin, then I don’t know what is •
• Brandenburg Gate •
• Fete de la Musique – a musical festival that takes place throughout the city •
• photos booths are open to the public 24/7 •
• Tiergarten •
• Fernsehturm (aka TV Tower) •
Have you ever been to Berlin?
–photos via tumblr & flickr
I have my Mom to thank for my deep passion for all things Italian. As of a professor of art history with a focus in Italian Renaissance, my mom has been taking me and my brothers to Italy for as long as we can remember; acting as our own personal tour guide through countless museums, cathedrals, tomb sites, etc. So, naturally, when I brought up the trip that my best friends and I are planning on taking this coming spring (last mentioned here), she immediately suggested a visit to Italy. As we went through a list of potential towns and cities, I stopped at Naples, a city along the Tyrrhenian Sea.
While I’m automatically drawn to anything near the water (although I’m admittedly not much of a beach person – go figure), what drew me to Naples was its colorful buildings, must-see works of art, and its close proximity to Pompeii, a location I plan on featuring as a “Weekend Getaway” in the near future. Listed in my fantasy itinerary for my potential trip to Naples is a visit to the Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, a museum which houses remains from the Pompeii disaster, as well as the third largest Egyptian collection in Italy, and incredible Roman sculptures and mosaics. Also listed is the Acquario, Europe’s first public aquarium in the Villa Comunale, the Grotta di Seiano which is an artificial cave that you crawl through to look out onto the turquoise waters, the Sansevero Chapel which contains extraordinary veiled marble sculptures, and obviously a feast on Neapolitan Pizza which was created in Naples. And if by chance there is a day that I decide to venture out of this historical city, a thirty minute trip out to Parco Virgiliano gets me a view of the surrounding area as well as the magnificent Mount Vesuvius. What more could one need in a Weekend Getaway?
• Museo Archeologico Nazionale •
• Hercules Farnese (left); Alexander Mosaic (right) •
• Acquario Villa Comunale •
• view of Mount Vesuvius from Parco Virgiliano •
• Castel dell’Ovo at Porto Santa Lucia •
• Veiled Christ at Sansevero Chapel •
• entrance to the Grotta di Seiano •
Have you ever been to Naples?
–photos via flickr
Tokyo has to be one of my top places to visit in the world (alongside Egypt and India). I don’t find the city itself to be as beautiful as some of the other places I’ve written about for my Weekend Getaways, but the overall idea of Tokyo fascinates me. Best known as the “Neon Jungle” this city attracts me like a moth to a flame: the bright lights, sky scraping towers, museums with focuses on everything from different kinds of pens to obnoxious modern art (I’m looking at you Murakami), and most obviously the endless amounts of trinkets and treasures that fill every mall, drug store, street vendor, etc. Obviously the home to all things Sanrio™ is a friend of mine!
It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that people actually live in Tokyo. Between the countless fun and games and fast-paced lifestyle this city seems more like a real life video game than a city full of living and breathing civilians. With a roller-coaster located on the top of the Tokyo Dome, the world’s second largest ferris-wheel sitting alongside a life-size Transformer, and a store devoted entirely to all things cats, this definitely isn’t a place I would ever grow bored in.
While I’m no doubt interested in all the ins and outs of the history of Tokyo, I have to admit that the biggest lure for me to go to there is the shopping. And as a fashion blogger I don’t feel ashamed to say that! I can just imagine going NUTS in the stores filled with thousands of phone charms, pencil sharpeners, little containers, etc. and my jaw literally dropped when I saw what Tokyo’s Prada store looks like (photo below). So when/if I ever get to Tokyo I’m going to have to pack an extra bag to get home because there’s no way I’m returning empty handed.
• Tokyo at night •
• Strawberry shaped Sanrio store •
• Roller coaster at the top of the Tokyo Dome •
• Umbrellas outside the National Museum of Science & Nature that open automatically when people approach •
• Store devoted entirely to cats •
• the Prada store •
• Ferris Wheel and GIANT Transformer •
• look at all those trinkets & treasures and bits & baubles! •
Have you ever been to Tokyo?
photos via flickr