Silhouettes of the Iron Lady

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A lot of websites and tour guides recommend seeing the Eiffel Tower from a boat cruise, Pont Alexandre or the Tour Montparnasse.

My favourite vantage point is from the steps behind the Pomone sculpture by Robert Wlérick (Palais de Chaillot). There’s something very peaceful about standing in the shadow of her solitudal posture, quiet gaze turned in the direction of one of the most iconic works of architecture.

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Lines that tell a story: Weekly photo challenge

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In the spirit of this week’s Zigzag weekly photo challenge, I give you the garden of the stunning Belvedere Palace (1717-1723) in Vienna’s fourth district. After many hours of wandering around trying to find it, J.L. von Hildebrandt who designed this summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy does not disappoint. The best time to see it is spring or early summer with its rows of clipped hedges and great water basin putting on a spectacular display in the alpine garden.

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Although not quite able to match the splendor of the Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofsburg Palace, the Rococo style architecture is still wondrous to behold even though critics at the time viewed it as fanciful and frivolous. I love this style of architecture though for its ornate grandeur which favors lighter colors and curves. The word ‘rococo’ itself which is derived from the French words rocaille (stone) and coquilles (shell) are both heavily featured motifs and lend to its opulence.

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The two Baroque palaces face each other though the Upper Belvedere is more grand and gives you incredible views of the first district. You can also find Klimt’s renowned work The Kiss here as well in the Sammlung Österreichischer Kunst.

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Entrance to the gardens are free and well worth seeing. From the large sphinx statues which symbolise strength and intelligence to the sculptures which depict victories over the Turkish army in 1683 it’s quite spectacular. We didn’t get to go inside but with its reception and banquet halls it’s definitely something I’ll check out if I get the opportunity to visit here again!

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A short video showcasing the views from the Upper Belvedere:

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Top 15 Destinations

It seems the more I travel the more places I want to add to my wishlist. The following (significantly whittled down!) list is inspired by exotic distant lands I’ve only ever read about, postcards adventurous friends have sent me over the years and fellow travelers I’ve met whose infectious love for their homeland is catching.

1. Santorini, Greece

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   Santorini Greece by  mariusz kluzniak 

2. The Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur), India

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   The Taj Mahal by  dankit 

3. Granada, Spain

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Landscape with Alhambra and Granada by  Romtomtom 

4. Istanbul, Turkey

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  Istanbul, Turkey, view from the Bosphorus channel by  Moyan_Brenn 

5. The Maldives 

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Maldives  by  sec PhotoArt 

6. Cairo, Egypt

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   Sunset in Cairo from Al Azhar Garden by  Loïc Lagarde 

7. Tokyo, Japan

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  The Bright Lights to Akihabara Tokyo, Japan by  Luke Zeme Photography 

8. Verona, Italy

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  Ponte Pietra (Verona, Italy) by  james_clear 

9. Jerusalem, Israel

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  View from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem by  mockstar 

10. Cartagena, Colombia

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   Cartagena Columbia – Plaza Santo Domingo by  Ted’s photos – For me & you 

11. Marrakech, Morocco

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Place Jemaa el-Fna – Marrakech – Morocco by  Grand Parc – Bordeaux, France 

12. Zurich, Switzerland

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  Limmat River, Zurich by  szeke 

13. Lisbon, Portugal

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  Downtown, Lisbon by  szeke 

14. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by Dubai, United Arab Emirates   Paolo Margari 

15. Monte Carlo, Monaco

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Monte Carlo from the Hermitage Hotel by  HerryLawford