Gay Bratislava, Slovakia – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 13th, 2019

Gay Bratislava

Here are 10 things to do in Bratislava that are worthwhile your time. Two full days and a night were enough for me to explore Slovak Republic’s capital city before hopping on a train in the evening to my next destination. However, it is possible to visit the city in one day, because most of the ones listed here are walking distance from each other in the Old Town.

I was in Bratislava in early June last year and it was not even crowded. The Old Town at noon was quiet and there were only a few tourists. It was a welcome relief for me after visiting big cities, like Frankfurt, Cologne, Berlin, Vienna, and Prague.

1. Bratislava Castle

Situated atop the Old Town, the Bratislava Castle is an important mid-16th-century building. You can have spectacular views of the Petrzalka and the UFO Bridge not to mention the honor of attending one of the exhibitions.

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These Meteora Monasteries Seem to Hover In the Air

Author: , June 24th, 2019

Meteora monasteries

These Meteora monasteries are hovering in the air. On our way to see these monasteries, our jaws dropped as we passed by the towering rock formations. They are amazing geological formations that will never fail to make you wonder how they came into existence.

While these are marvels of nature, the monasteries on top of these rock pillars are themselves, marvels of human ingenuity. I declare that these natural and human-made wonders are one of the attractions that you have to see, to believe.

Who Built these Monasteries?

Meteora’s first Christian monks set up their monastic life here back in the 14th century. They constructed monasteries on top of these gigantic rock cliffs that must have been very difficult to climb. But, I guess, that was the point of putting these monasteries up there – to get away from worldly temptations and possessions.

And by looking at them, I have no doubt that the monks succeeded in their mission to practice their faith without much distractions from the outside world. They would do everything to live in unreachable places just to experience (or, maybe see?) God in their lifetime.

By Alain, Keep Calm and Wander

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Inside the Cologne Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 29th, 2019

Cologne Cathedral - Keep Calm and Wander

Now, that you’ve seen the 360-degree views of the facade, it is now time for you to see what’s inside Cologne Cathedral. In my previous post, I revealed that the main reason why this Koln Cathedral is popular is because of the remains of the Three Wise Men or The Three Magi.

If you are a Catholic, you know who these people I’m talking about. For those who don’t – they are also called, “The Three Kings” the first visitors when Jesus Christ was born. They found the baby Jesus just by following the shiniest star that night. Every January 6, the Catholic world celebrates the “Three King’s Day” which also signals the end of the Christmas celebration.

And you might be wondering why I know of all this information? Nope, it’s not Google or Alexa! It’s because I went to a Catholic high school. I do still remember snippets of my Christian Living class!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Views From Vancouver’s Quarry Rock Trail – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 27th, 2019

Views From Vancouver's Quarry Rock Trail - Keep Calm and Wander

I did the Quarry Rock Hiking Trail yesterday for the first time. It was a beautiful day – and it’s a weekend, too! That means that hiking trails near Vancouver (reachable via public transport) were, as expected, crowded.

And I survived. Halelu!

Directions: Vancouver to Deep Cove by Bus

Start from the Waterfront Metro Station. Find the way to the water taxi / ferry that will take you to Lonsdale Quay. There’s a ferry every less than fifteen minutes, so you don’t have to wait long. When you get off at Lonsdale Quay, take the 239 bus that goes to Phibbs Exchange bus loop or Capilano University. Get off at Phibbs Exchange bus loop and transfer to bus 211 or 212. The last stop is at Deep Cove. Once you arrive, follow most of the crowd or find a sign that points you to the Quarry Rock trail. This trip should take around 40-50 minutes.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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The Cologne Cathedral Facade – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 25th, 2019

Cologne Cathedral Facade - Keep Calm and Wander

I am going to show you the 360 views of the Cologne Cathedral facade in Germany – before I’ll take you inside. This imposing Gothic Cathedral is Cologne’s most famous landmark and the pride of its people – regardless of their religious affiliation. And true enough, from a glance outside, the cathedral is nothing short of stupendous and magnificent!

If you look at its sky-scraping spires, you feel nothing but like a tiny human in front of a towering giant.

Cologne Cathedral (aka Cathedral Church of St. Peter) stands right on Rhine River. You can’t miss its colossal structure which can be seen anywhere on almost everyone’s rooftop.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Seattle’s Chihuly Glass Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 23rd, 2019

Chihuly Glass Museum

There’s an amazing world waiting for you inside the Chihuly Glass Museum (properly known as Chihuly Garden and Glass). This is a very unique museum that you’ve never ever seen anywhere in your travels. Who knew that glass can be such a wonderful medium to express human emotions and visions?

WHO IS CHIHULY? Honestly, I’ve never heard the name, Dale Chihuly, before – until I read a travel guide while I was on the train to Seattle from Vancouver. Dale Chihuly is a sculptor who makes life-size figures of everything made out of glass. Apparently, he’s the best in his field that his works are worth thousands of dollars, if not millions. Make sure to find the video room and watch the short clips about Dale and his art before you exit the museum.

TICKETS: First of all, your student card is useless in this museum. They won’t honor it. So, to save money in Seattle, I’d advise you to buy Seattle CityPass that includes Chihuly Garden and Glass. Click here for the price.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Germany’s Hohenzollern Castle – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 13th, 2019

Hoholzollen Castle - Keep Calm and Wander

Hohenzollern Castle is just one of the 20,000 fairy-tale-like castles in Germany. Indeed, you can’t be in Germany without visiting an old castle, be it small, medium or large. They’ve got castles in the city to the outskirts; to the plains and hilltops. These castles, of course, were once occupied by the royals and aristocrats whose influence ruled the land.

Where is Hohenzollern Castle?

The address is: 72379, Hechingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. But where exactly is this, you might ask. It’s actually an hour from Stuttgart by car. I was lucky that a friend that I’ve never seen for more than 30 years lives there and she was kind to drive me up there with her husband. In other words, I didn’t have to worry about public transport. We only depended on Google map for directions because both of them had never been there before. If I didn’t visit them, they would never have gone there.

How to get there?

The nearest train station here is Hechingen Station (Bahnhof/ZOB, Hechingen). There’s a train at 10:16 AM from Stuttgart and it arrives at Hechingen 11:19 AM. From here, you can take a bus that will take you to Hohenzollern Castle. Don’t forget to ask for the bus schedule so you won’t miss your train going back to Stuttgart or onwards to your next destination. If time is not your issue, then you can stay for a night either in Tubingen or Hechingen.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 11th, 2019

Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park - Keep Calm and Wander

Springtime at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver is what I needed on a sunny day yesterday. The last time I checked my weather forecast app was Tuesday and it showed a rainy on Friday so I didn’t really bother to check it again. But when I woke up at almost noon, I was surprised at the azure sky outside my window. I hastily took a shower and off I went to the park which is around 45 minutes ride from where I am.

It’s my first time to be here and I’m not disappointed. It’s a huge park – so there’s always a space for everyone. You can sit and lay down wherever you want, except on flower beds.

The topmost part of the Queen Elizabeth Park is the highest point in Vancouver. That’s why the panoramic view of the city from here is something that would charm your naked eyes.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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A Day in Frankfurt – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 10th, 2019

Keep Calm and Wander

Let’s just say that you have a day in Frankfurt. Or at least 8-10 hours of connecting flight in the city. If you are boarding on a Lufthansa Airline flight, there is a huge chance you will be transferred at/from Frankfurt am Main Airport. Don’t fret – the airport is well-connected with trains to downtown Frankfurt.

Once you arrive at the city’s main train station, everything there is walkable, assuming you have well-shaped calves like mine (aka, someone who likes walking for hours).

So, if you have a day in Frankfurt, here are my suggestions – starting from the main train station. Take note that this travel itinerary of Frankfurt does not include recommendations for restaurants and bars because you can always go into one – anywhere in the city. Also, museums and galleries are not included here.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Cherry Blossoms at Vancouver’s Garry Point Park – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 8th, 2019

a href=”http://keepcalmandwander.com/cherry-blossoms-at-garry-point-park/” target=”_blank”>Garry Point Park - Keep Calm and Wander

Weather forecast in Vancouver this week is either rainy or cloudy. Yesterday, however, was exceptional. It was bright and sunny with a bearable chill. So where did I go? I wasted no time but visited the Garry Point Park. Going there took me an hour and a half but it was worth a trip to the edge of Richmond.

The cherry blossoms at Garry Point Park was the main attraction why visitors go there at this time of the here. The cherry trees didn’t disappoint every instagrammers, camwhores and posers! Good thing though, there was enough space for a few cherry blossom pilgrims.

Without much ado, I present you – the lovely cherry blossoms! Be it publicly known that no petals and branches were separated from their mother tree. 😉 If you see me touching branches, I can assure you that its all for the love of photography. 😀

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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