“I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven’t seen, how much I’m not going to see, and how much I still need to see.”
Apremont sur Allier
Located on the banks of the river Allier, not far from the confluence of this river wih the Loire this little mediaeval village full of charm and surprises, offers an authentic romantic and luring ballad.
The place is not just an old and picturesque village, it displays a magnificent park and one can visit a historic museum, The Stables and Carriage Museum.
Enter into the magic of this garden and let yourself be charmed by the colored and scented festival of the many varieties and species of trees, plants and flowers from all over the world.
The Park has been awarded the “Jardin Remarquable” label by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Your fairytale walk will be punctuated by waterfalls, buildings and invitations to travel and to discover the talent of its fanciful designer, the great traveller and nature lover, Gilles de Brissac.
I hope you liked what you have seen in my post and some day you’ll decide to visit this mirific place on the Loire.
I love travelling and I did visit many places in Europe, Middle East and America (where I lived for 35 years). However, these countries that I visited were quite easy to reach by plane or train. I often dream of far away places that I would love to see, their history and picturesque scenery attract me a lot. But I am aware that it will not be possible , so I look out for travel articles to read about them, the life of the people that inhabit them, and to admire pictures of wonderful spots taken on location by lucky tourists.
I am determined to write about the nice and interesting places that I did see with my own eyes. I consider it’s worth doing so for the readers who have not have yet the opportunity to see them. But maybe, one day they will…
Today – about The Faroe Islands
In an isolated archipelago bereft of trees and exposed to the harsh elements, we find magic and bliss in its green isles and imaginative cuisine.
It is probably surprising that the mythical Middle Earth can be found in a cluster of 18 islands in the windy North Atlantic Ocean. The Faroe Islands (or the Faroes, as the locals call them) are a cluster of colossal volcanic basalt rocks formed millions of years ago. The top surfaces of these undersea mountains are swathed in heather green and turf. Within their rugged peaks and jagged cliffs lie hidden lakes, small and stoic horses with windswept manes, and a hardy people.
Geographically, the islands are between Norway and Iceland. Politically, they are an autonomous protectorate of Denmark. But locals will tell you that genealogically, they are closer to the Vikings who settled there in the 9th century, while culturally, they are uniquely Faroese with their own traditions and a language that is closer to Icelandic.
To a frazzled city girl, the Faroes with its natural scenic beauty hold the promise of a refuge from urbanisation and a retreat in peaceful nature. The vast space between the sky and sea and the open land gives the place a sense of magic, and me, a sense of liberation.
Cofucius lived in China a long time ago, (551 bce – 479bce) and was China’s most famous teacher, philosopher, and political theorist, whose ideas have profoundly influenced the civilizations of China and other East Asian countries. The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity.
Confucius is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in human history. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and remain influential today.
His teachings , if understood, and learned, could change the way we see life and therefore they are worth reading and remembering.
Here are just a few quotes containing some of Confucius’ great philosophical ideas about life.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.
When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it – this is knowledge.
To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.
Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
One quote that I particularly like:
It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.
Yeah, yeah, I know the title implies writers need readers and I believe it is true, even though writing is mostly a solo career. But why do writers need readers? Why writers cannot live solely in their own small bubble?
The catchy tune about a family of sharks – „Baby Shark” – has become so lucrative that the Korean family behind it is now sitting on a rapidly growing multimillion-dollar fortune.
Kim Min-seok co-founded closely held SmartStudy Co. in 2010, and five years later its children’s educational brand, Pinkfong, released “Baby Shark.” His father runs Samsung Publishing Co., which also owns part of the startup. The family fortune, based on stakes held by Kim’s immediate relatives in those two companies, is now about $125 million — much of it thanks to the song.
SmartStudy declined to comment on the family’s wealth.
Kim, 38, hardly set out to write a hit global song. After working at gaming companies including Nexon and developing content for kids at Samsung Publishing, he co-founded SmartStudy to focus on the growing market for educational content for smartphones.
The app-to-video maker’s early days were tough, but eventually grew faster as the Baby Shark video became a sensation, Chief Financial Officer Seungkyu Lee said in a January interview. Last year, the startup’s revenue jumped about 47% to 40 billion won ($34.3 million). The song has amassed more than 3.8 billion views on YouTube and this year reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart. There’s also a concert experience for children, Baby Shark Live!
Amazing, isn’t it? Unexpected things, not regarded as likely to happen, do happen, after all.
Avicenna, one of the most renowned healers of the antiquity, used to say : „A doctor has three ways to fight the diseases – the word, the plant and the knife”.
Have you noticed? The word is the doctor’s first choice.
Emily Kyao, a psychologist who worked in a hospital in Paris, forced his pacients to repeat (silently or aloud ), ten times the following phrase: „Every day I feel better and better”, three times a day . What do you think the outcome was? Even the seriously ill pacients got well and the ones who needed to be operated on did not need any intervention after one month of practicing the mental exercise.
Our health condition is a consequence of the way we think.
Nobody denies the direct connection between our mental state and the physical condition.
If you think of the worst , you will get ill.
One of the most important laws in psychology says : The verbal expression of love, empathy and admiration intensifies the vital energy of the listener, while the bad words diminish the listener’s energy.
The total number of illnesses associated with ill thinking continues to grow.
In order to face them, we should follow the advice of the wise men of the antique world: ” Enjoy life no matter how hard it may be!”
Therefore, one’s health, life and destiny depend directly on one’s thoughts.
You think positively – expect the good.
You think of the bad happening – the bad will happen.
What we permanently think of, becomes conviction that this thing should or may happen and this belief leads to a particular event.
In conclusion, think only of good things, hoping for the better.
And never worry about insignificant things ! Take into consideration two rules of Robert Eliot – an American cardiologist:
Rule 1 : Do not get upset over unimportant things.
The Age of Reason, also known as the Age of Enlightenment spanned across Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and was spearheaded by such immortal thinkers as Voltaire, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Adam Smith. The list of these forward-thinking figures wouldn’t be complete without the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, whose thoughts on life, art, and ethics have greatly influenced modern philosophy, democracy, and especially our everyday lives and actions. Kant’s greatest contribution to the field of moral philosophy was his ability to frame a known religious doctrine into a rule that can be used by everyone, irrespective of their religious beliefs: his idea of a categorical imperative which states that all of our actions should be such as you would want all other people to act towards all other people. That said, this was hardly the only wise idea the philosopher uttered throughout his prolific career, and many pearls of wisdom can be taken from his written works. Here are 12 priceless words of wisdom uttered by Immanuel Kant:
„Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”
„We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”
„Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.”
„Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence!”
„Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end.”
„How then is perfection to be sought? Wherein lies our hope? In education, and in nothing else.”
„Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”
„Genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person.”
„Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.”
„Ingratitude is the essence of vileness.”
„Look closely. The beautiful may be small.”
„The busier we are, the more acutely we feel that we live, the more conscious we are of life.”
On the world’s art scenes I can see a gentle benefic come back of figurative painting, after the American culture was dominated for decades by abstract art genres..
Today I came across a site that I liked in particular because the author points out this trend that I go along with quite well. She chose a few contemporary artists works of art in order to demonstrate this aspect.
„I’d like to feature some of the best contemporary male artists painting women in classical tradition. After decades of abstract art dominating the American culture, figurative painting sees a gentle come back that is becoming stronger and more popular year after year. While contemporary art is an amalgam of so many subjects and styles, it’s often subjective to the viewer’s personal taste to determine who is the best in painting. Therefore, I don’t aim to say that the following artists deserve more attention than others, but I’d like to highlight the ones who show both technical and creative mastery in the depiction of women, finding their inspiration in the female form.
Pino Daeni (1939-2010) was an Italian artist who painted women in fresh pastel colors that evoked feelings of love, admiration, and family warmth. Women dance, read or take a stroll in a field of flowers or at the beach. Sweet and lighthearted, the figures are painted in colorful, loose strokes, using the sophisticated color schemes that overlay and harmonize with each other like notes in music. Long skirts, comfy white shirts, and summer dresses get lost in the soft edges of the surroundings. To see the artist’s work, visit: http://www.pino-artist.com/
Russian artist, Serge Marshennikov is the representational painter who solely focuses on painting women. His youthful, semi-nude models rest on a couch in swirls of delicate fabric. The elaborate lace and cotton alike, it feels so gentle and real, the viewer feels tempted to reach out and touch it. Like the 19th-century French artist David, Serge plays with complex fabric folds and the luminous skin tones to create stunning contrast in his paintings.
Besides exhibiting a tremendous technical skill in oil painting, the artist possesses true talent composing his images with honest admiration and sensitivity to his models that transcend time and place. Follow the artist here: http://serge-marshennikov.tumblr.com/
American artist, Joshua LaRock is a classical realist who studied with Jacob Collins to nurture his talents. Deeply rooted in classical painting, his portraits and still lifes are carefully planned and executed in classical tradition. Joshua describes his models in soft, slightly loose brushwork that breath with life. The award-winning artist works and teaches in New York. Connect with the artist here: http://joshualarock.com/
Italian artist, Emanuele Dascanio draws and paints in the hyperrealism style with the models occupying huge surfaces. His subjects vary from women to old men, to still life. He often controls the light with a single light source (the Rembrandt lighting) to create dramatic charcoal drawings and paintings. To see the artist’s work, go here: http://www.emanueledascanio.com/en
The first time I encountered Jeremy Mann’s work I was blown away by his loose style of painting that seemed totally real nevertheless. Painting cityscapes and women in thick, bold strokes of ink brayers and brushes, the artist creates a universe of harmonious, often monochromatic color relationships. Views of Manhattan and reposed models alike, his paintings make us contemplate a moment of beautiful silence that doesn’t scream with melancholy.
Gregory Mortenson is a classically trained artist whose recent body of work features Haitian children, who were painted by the artist after the devastating earthquake hit the country. His subdued color palettes show a beautiful restraint. To see the artist’s work: http://www.gregorymortenson.com/
Goyo Dominguez is a Spanish artist who paints women and still life, combining traditional painting techniques with the loose brushwork of the Impressionists. Influenced by Renaissance, his romantic artwork is colorful and pure with a sense of lightness and tranquility. Early in life he studied for priesthood and was encouraged to pursue the artistic career. His upbringing led the artist to create numerous murals and commissions for the church and more. To see his work: http://goyodominguez.com/
American artist, Brad Kunkle paints women on the silver-leafed panels. He employs monochromatic grays and browns to describe his models. Brad often places women against the patterned background or lets the flying leaves revolve around the models like tiny birds. His figures could be the nymphs of magical forests that strike us with primal physical presence. To connect with the artist: http://bradkunkle.com/
Not a very usual time of year to choose for spending a few days at the shore. The weather was gorgeous, though, we decided that we will go. I ma referring here at the Black Sea, one middlesized body of salty water situated in Europe, the south-eastern part.
Why do they call it the Black Sea? The sea was first named by the ancient Greeks who called it „Inhospitable Sea.” The sea got this reputation because it was difficult to navigate, and hostile tribes inhabited its shores. …
The Black Sea is all colors, but black. Emerald green, sapphire blue, aquamarine, silvery and sparkling gold , all due, in turn, to the particular time of the day . It could also be steel like, restless or stern looking in times of stormy weather.
Actually, I meant to show you something myrific about one particular morning when I happened to go out on the balcony with my coffee. I realized something amazing that one can catch maybe a few times in their life, or none at all .
I sincerely wish you had a similar experience, it is breath-taking, literally!
“Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in this world.” ― Cesare Pavese
“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.” ― Coco Chanel
Imagine being inside an exotic train that resembles a posh 5-star hotel and takes you on a trip on some of the most breathtaking destinations. Doesn’t that sound like a fantasy? Well, in this video, you will get to discover some of the world’s best luxury train rides. From ‘The Ghan’ of Australia to the Maharajas’ Express of India, being inside these glamorous trains will make you feel like royalty. Take a look.
Take it slow on these luxurious train rides through some of the world’s most glamorous destinations . Whether you’re exploring the Andes or dashing through an island luxurious train travel consistently proves that fly-by country is much more interesting when seen on the ground. On these luxurious trains people are still expected to dress for dinner and attentive waiters serve five-course meals on bone china .
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: London to Venice
No other train journey evokes romance and adventure quite like the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, setting of notorious Agatha Christie mystery „Murder on the Orient Express.”The train still rolls by some of Europe’s most captivating scenery through cities that have become legends in themselves: London, Paris, Innsbruck, Verona and Venice.Its Art Deco glamor has persevered through the decades while the train’s elegant suites recall an older, more stylish age.Most guests board the train in London for the one-night journey to Venice. But passengers traveling from Italy might notice a set of unusual crates being delivered personally to the head chef on the Paris platform.They are filled with freshly caught lobsters to be served during a delicious brunch before the train reaches the French port of Calais – only available on the westward route.
Golden Eagle: Moscow to Vladivostok
Hardcore travelers say you haven’t really experienced train travel until you’ve rode the Trans-Siberian Express, with its intimidating itinerary that spans a whopping eight time zones.The Golden Eagle is a luxury version of the Trans-Siberian, featuring en-suite bathrooms, air-con in the summer, full heat in the winter, laundry services, TVs, a resident pianist and an English-speaking doctor.The two-week passage feels more like a cruise than a train ride as it stops for daily excursions along the way.It rides along Lake Baikal, hauled by a Soviet Era steam locomotive, and makes a detour to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital.To help passengers acclimatize in extravagance, five-star accommodations in Moscow and Vladivostok are provided.From US$15,895 per person (Silver Class)
Blue Train: Pretoria to Cape Town
The Blue Train’s 27-hour, 1,600 kilometer journey crosses South Africa diagonally, stopping at the diamond mines of Kimberley on the way south and at the eccentrically colonial outpost of Matjiesfontein on the way north.Luxurious surroundings apart, the image that lingers afterward is of the friendly and helpful staff.Many of the butlers have worked on the train for years and are on call 24/7 for a drink, a snack or even to iron clothes.Some of the luxury double suites have full size bathtubs – there’s nothing quite like lying in a sea of bubbles, glass of champagne in hand as the savannah rolls by.Past passengers include Nelson Mandela, Quincy Jones, Paul Simon, Mia Farrow, Margaret Thatcher and Kylie Minogue.Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2016, the Blue Train is now offering special journeys from Pretoria to Hoedspruit, in the Kruger Park area.From $976 per person.
The Ghan: Adelaide to Darwin
The Ghan is a three-night, 2,979-kilometer tour from Darwin to Adelaide that allows travelers to cross Australia while peering into the endless uniformity of the red-earthed antipodean bush.The Platinum service offers more cabin and ensuite space, chauffeured transfers, access to an exclusive dining carriage, breakfast in bed and five-course meals.The menu highlights Australia’s exotic local fare, like saltwater barramundi fish and grilled kangaroo fillet.The Ghan offers scheduled excursions in Katherine and Alice Springs, while special stops provide an opportunity to experience either an outback sunrise in Marla going north, or a nightcap under the Milky Way in Manguri going south.From $2,637 per person
Rovos Rail: Southern and eastern Africa
Rovos Rail is a slower, chiller version of the Blue Train, featuring an extended network of far-flung destinations in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tanzania.Luxurious and lavish cabin surroundings mean the Rovos ride is not an end in itself, but an essential part of a long journey with several overnights.Because the train never travels more than 60 kilometers per hour (37 m.p.h.) passengers can open windows for fresh air or to photograph the landscapes.In fact, the staff provide sets of goggles so that, should the urge arise to stick heads out of windows, dust in eyes won’t be a problem.Popular journeys fill up quickly: the leisurely ramble from Pretoria to Dar es Salaam, the Namibia safari and golfing trips have sold out well into 2017.The four-day Pretoria to Victoria Falls journey in the Pullman suite costs $1,504 per person
The Rocky Mountaineer: Banff to Vancouver
The Gold Leaf Service of the Rocky Mountaineer offers one of few five-star rail experiences in North America.There are several routes into the Rockies, but it’s the classic Banff to Vancouver ride that still captures the imagination.This was the last, arduous leg of the great rail expansion westwards that united Canada in the late 1880s.Although most tourists prefer the summer season, September to mid-October is possibly the most romantic time to travel, when the leaves turn to a vibrant mix of reds, oranges and yellows and fresh snow accumulates on the mountaintops.To ramp up the romance, couples traveling together can rotate their seats so they face each other during the journey.From $1,309 per person
Belmond Royal Scotsman: Scottish Highlands.
A journey aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman is a unique way to see the magnificent Scottish countryside in a Downton Abbey atmosphere.Travelers can choose from several round trips from Edinburgh lasting between two and seven days, but the classic voyage is the four-night passage to the Scottish Highlands.It includes visits to distilleries and sightseeing excursions to castles.The UK’s only luxury sleeper train, it has a bar stocked with more than 50 kinds of whisky.Fall is perhaps the best time of year to travel, when the purples of wild heather color the Scottish meadows.From $3,917 per person (two nights)
Maharajas’ Express: Delhi to Mumbai
Often called „the Orient Express of the Orient,” the Maharajas’ Express is a recent entrant to the luxury train market.The decor attempts to emulate the golden days of the Raj when Maharajas traveled with opulence and pomp in ostentatious carriages.Such colonial splendor has been recreated to the full and the week-long journey also immerses travelers in the spirit of the era with gin and tonic sundowners, elephant rides and a chance to chat with erstwhile royal families.It’s an enjoyable three-night ride, but passengers should beware of some hidden extras such as camera and video fees or porter charges.From $3,850 per person
The Transcantabrico Gran Lujo: San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela
Chugging slowly along Spain’s Atlantic coast for seven days, the Transcantabrico feels more like a five-star hotel on wheels than a full on train experience.In fact a luxury coach catches up with the train at every stop for the day’s excursion, meaning you’ll likely spend as long on the bus as on the train.The rides are short, the sightseeing extensive but what you’ll remember afterward is the exceptional catering with select wines, haute cuisine and excursion meals in top-notch restaurants.Consider this a luxury roll through the best of northern Spain – stops include the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, the prehistoric cave of Altamira, the Picos de Europa National Park and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – and you won’t be disappointed.From $4,859 per person
Seven Stars: Kyushu, Japan
The „Seven Stars in Kyushu” is Japan’s most luxurious train, featuring seven carriages that hold just 30 people in 14 suites.The interiors showcase the best in Japanese craftsmanship, such as walls of rosewood and maple, walnut floors, shoji paper screens as window coverings and sliding glass doors etched with flowers and birds.
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