Pingjiang Lu: Relive Old Suzhou – Keep Calm and Wander

Pingjiang Lu: Relive Old Suzhou - Keep Calm and Wander

On Pingjiang Lu, you can still relive the Old Suzhou you are looking for. However, it’s not a kind of experience that will fully give you a satisfying experience. Though the street is lined with white-washed houses of old yore, many are turned into businesses that cater to tourists. There are cafes, street food stalls, a few high-end fashion silk brands, and restaurants. And oh, Starbucks invaded this street, too. 

Pingjiang Road is a well-preserved street that is part of Old Suzhou. Record shows that the street’s history dates back to Song Dynasty. At first glance, you’ll find the street to be made-up to attract tourists. The good news, however, is that there are no aggressive hawkers and vendors here. 

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Berlin’s Reichstag Dome – Keep Calm and Wander

Reichstag Dome - Keep Calm and Wander

The Reichstag Dome in Berlin is a symbol of the unifying force of what used to be the East and West Berlin. The glass dome is above the Reichstag Building that houses the German Parliament. If you are standing in front of the building, you might think it’s just another dome in Europe. But, hey, it’s not one of those domes! This one is, believe me, one you’ll never forget too soon. You’ll forget about other places you’ve visited in the city but this. This tourist attraction in Berlin is just a few steps north of Brandenburg Tor.

Book Your Visit to the Reichstag Dome

It is recommended to book your visit here, especially in summer. If you’re lazy to do it online, you can always line up at the reservation booth on the right side of the building. If you’re lucky, you might get in on the same day, if there are available time slots. However, you’ll probably get the next-day reservation. You can visit it from 8:00 in the morning until midnight – with the last admission at 10:00 in the evening. Bring your passport – and oh, it’s free!

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The Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna – Keep Calm and Wander

The Stephansdom in Vienna is, perhaps, the most-visited of all tourist attractions in the city. Apart from its towering Gothic tower, its multi-colored roof tiles are ones that you will recognize instantly. When I asked a friend who lives there now on where I can take a photo with my rainbow wig, she didn’t blink an eye to highly recommend this Cathedral. And being an obedient friend, I went there early morning to avoid the crowd. 

The Stephansdom cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Vienna. For visitors, they call it St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

As you can see from its facade, the Cathedral is obviously of a Gothic architectural style. 

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Brandenburg Tor in Berlin – Keep Calm and Wander

The Brandenburg Tor is the first tourist attraction I visited on my first day in Berlin. It’s an imposing neoclassical gate that appears conspicuously in almost every postcard in the city. Throughout its existence, the Brandenburg Gate bears witness to a tumultuous history of the city and country. And at the same time, it’s an eyewitness to the historical events of a unified European continent.

There were only very few people when I arrived at the gate. The morning sun was just beginning to appear, and its rays peeked through the wide gaps. I was mesmerized by the play of lights and shadows as I looked up, admiring its magnificence. It reminded me of chiaroscuro paintings of Caravaggio and Rembrandt.

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The Peace Bridge in Calgary – Keep Calm and Wander

The Peace Bridge in Calgary looks like a bullet train – at least from afar. It also looks like a web, a cocoon, or something futuristic which a machine could come out of it swiftly. Or does it look like a puzzle, too? Oh yeah, it does look like that of a finger trap puzzle that we played when we were young. 

The Peace Bridge came into existence, tagging along a lot of controversies. Though its name is a tribute to the military, it is, perhaps, an attempt to calm down two opposing sides. 

Whatever their differences were, judging from the beauty of this bridge, it’s not hard for them to love it and claim it their own.

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The Dinagat Islands – Keep Calm and Wander

The alarm wakes me up at three in the morning. It’s time to get up and catch the 3:30 bus for Surigao City from Butuan City. By 7, the early morning breeze kisses me as I sit in a motorized boat. Today, I am crossing the Pacific Ocean through Surigao Strait. I’m on my way to explore the mythical group of islands in Caraga Region in the Southeastern part of the Philippines.

The Dinagat Islands

They say that traveling to this place must be done early in the morning to avoid big waves. I’ve heard a lot of stories on how beautiful Dinagat is – unpolluted air, crystal oceans, and white beaches. I was intrigued by all the adjectives my friends used to describe this place – and I can’t wait to see it myself. They told me, too, that there’s an abundance of seafood – and I’m planning to devour as much as I could. 

Our first stop was at San Jose, the island’s capital and center of commerce and trade. If you are planning to discover the entire island or go island hopping, you should buy the things you need from here.

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Stunning Lakes in the Canadian Rockies – Keep Calm and Wander

Stunning Lakes in the Canadian Rockies - Keep Calm and Wander

Last week, I visited three turquoise-colored lakes in the Canadian Rockies: Emerald Lake, Lake Louise, and Moraine Lake. The first time I laid my eyes on each of them, I was utterly stunned, swept away by their incredible beauty. These lakes and the mountains surrounding them made me realize how tiny I am as a human compared to their size, power, and magnificence.

To enjoy all of these lakes, I would recommend that you stay in the town of Banff. If you could splurge for a night, book a room at Fairmont Chateau, overlooking Lake Louise. I promise that your stay here would be as unforgettable as any birthday celebration you have somewhere luxurious.

About Banff

Banff is a resort town with beautiful mountain ranges. The skyline mainly includes the view of the mountain peaks of Mt. Rundle, Mt Cascade, and the Rocky Mountains (or The Rockies). There are hiking trails everywhere with the spectacular views of natural wonders, including glaciers that stand like Gothic cathedrals in the wild.

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Old Town Cologne – Keep Calm and Wander

Old Town Cologne - Keep Calm and Wander

The historic Old Town of Cologne is, I think, the best place to drink and eat in the city. Especially in the summer- when the searing temperature is on, and everyone is thirsty.

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The Roman-German Museum in Cologne – Keep Calm and Wander

the Roman-German Museum - Keep Calm and Wander

There is no doubt that the Roman-German Museum in Cologne proves that the wonderful city was once under Roman rule. The modern museum itself stands on the land where the original marvelous mosaic of Dionysius was found. Thus, the Römisch-Germanisches Museum is, in itself, an archaeological site.

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Ancient Athens from Philopappou Hill – Keep Calm and Wander

Ancient Athens from Philopappou Hill

From the top of Philopappou Hill, you will be able to see the sweeping views of ancient Athens. The hill is named after Philopappou, a royal prince of the Kingdom of Commagene. On top of the Hill of the Muses, you’ll find a memorial in his honor.

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