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Paris

Interrupted by COVID-19 Pandemic

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Paris, France. We had wanted to go to France for some time and were looking forward to this trip. We took the EuroStar over to the continent and it could not have been an easier experience. We picked up public transportation passes upon arrival which were quite expensive, but they covered all zones for several days in the city. Paris, overall, was pretty expensive we found during our brief trip there. We had planned to stay for four days but ended up leaving after only a day and a half. All of the travel restrictions and social distancing policies due to COVID-19 were being announced across the world and we thought it was best to get back to the island. We had planned to go to the Palace of Versailles, the Lourve, the Museum d’Orsay, and take a river cruise as well as see the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, but unfortunately we only made it to the Palace of Versailles. The palace is located on the outskirts of the city.

The Palace of Versailles, also known as Château de Versailles, was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is famous for its opulence.

Palace of Versailles: http://en.chateauversailles.fr

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There was a small Ladurée shop inside of the palace...and naturally I couldn't help myself. Who can resist a pretty macaron? Ladurée is a French luxury bakery and sweets maker house created in 1862. It is one of the world's best-known premier sellers of the double-decker macaron, 15,000 of which are sold every day.
Ladurée: https://www.laduree.co.uk
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We were really upset our Paris trip had to be curtailed. We hadn’t travelled in a while and were really looking forward to the Parisian getaway, but we know we made the right decision. Health and safety come before anything else. We have decided we will go back when the travel restrictions and quarantines are lifted and things return to normal.

Pausing for the next adventure...

Posted by LCP 22:42 Archived in France Tagged paris france palace of ladurée versailles macaroons covid19 Comments (3)

Blenheim Palace

Alice in the Palace

For the last stop on our way back from our staycation in the Newbury area, we decided to stop and tour Blenheim Palace. This is also a must see in my opinion...it definitely has palatial characteristics. The palace is named for the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, (also known as Blindheim) in Bavaria. Blenheim was originally intended to be a reward for John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough for his military triumphs against the French and Bavarians in the War of the Spanish Succession which culminated in the Battle of Blenheim. The land was given as a gift by Queen Anne and construction began in 1705. The project soon became the subject of political infighting, with the Crown cancelling further financial support in 1712. It is the primary residence of the Dukes of Marlborough. These days the palace is mostly known for as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.

Blenheim Palace: https://www.blenheimpalace.com/

During our visit the house was decorated for Christmas in a wonderful Alice in Wonderland theme. The decorations were wonderful, but I was really there for the history of this magnificent home. The house was also extremely crowded, not as much as our Highclere experience, but still very busy inside of the house. We converted our tickets to year passes, so we can go back anytime within the next year and tour Blenheim.

Entrance:
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Pictures from inside Blenheim:
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Decorations:
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The Chapel:
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That rounds our Newbury adventure. We had a wonderful time and cannot wait to go back!

Until the next adventure...

Posted by LCP 00:27 Archived in England Tagged palace churchill blenheim oxfordshire Comments (0)

Romania Part 1

Bucharest

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Bucharest, Romania! Like Vilnius, Bucharest was not originally on our must visit list, but again, we had heard from several colleagues who really enjoyed Romania. Bucharest is in southeastern Romania and is the capital city. The city is probably most famous for the Palace of Parliament, which is the second largest building in the world; second only to the Pentagon. Bucharest was a very cheap city to visit, most of our meals were under 80 RON (Romanian leu), which was about was $20. Romania is part of the European Union, but retains its own currency the Romanian leu.

We stayed in a lovely AirBnb situated behind the National Theater Bucharest. We also walked everywhere in the city and used Uber to and from the airport.

AirBnb: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/plus/15984949?source_impression_id=p3_1572181231_j9Azw27So9aO0IVY

National Theater Bucharest
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Some fun facts about Romania:
-The Romanian language is 1,700 years old.
-The first ever perfect 10 awarded in the Olympic Games went to Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, for her performance on the uneven bars in Montreal, Canada in 1976. She was also the only person allowed to marry in the Palace of Parliament.
-According to legend, Bucharest was named after a shepherd called Bucur who was in love with a young lady named Dâmboviţa, like the name of the river that flows through the city.
-The name “Romania” comes from the Latin word “Romanus” which means “citizen of the Roman Empire.”

Views of Old Town Bucharest:
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Famous Bookstore in Old Town Bucharest, Cărturești Carusel:
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Food from Bucharest restaurants:
Caru' cu Bere, one of the most famous restaurants in Bucharest.
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Traditional Romania dish of Sarmale (Cabbage Rolls):
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Trofic:
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Boutique du Pain:
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Sushi Room:
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Palace of Parliament. Palace of Parliament took over 13 years to build (1984–97). The palace was commissioned by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the last communist dictator of Romania, for his family to live at, but communism in Romania was overthrown in 1989 and he never used the building. Most if not all, of the materials used to construct the building came from Romania, including all of the marble. The palace has over 2800 chandeliers and cost $3 billion to build. Michael Jackson infamously said, "Hello, Budapest!" from the balcony in 1990. Today, the building is used by parliament and I think spaces in the building can be rented out for events. For instance, a wedding expo was underway while we were on our tour.

Back of Palace of Parliament
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View from Palance of Parliament balcony looking onto the promenade (modeled after the promenade at the Palace of Versailles).
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A few of the many churches around Bucharest:
Kretzulescu Church
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Saint John Chrysostom Church
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Stavropoleos Monastery Church
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Cișmigiu Gardens:
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Izvor Park:
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Memorial of Rebirth (commemorates the struggles and victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communism):
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Onto Siniai, Brasov, and Bran...

Posted by LCP 23:43 Archived in Romania Tagged church palace of national romania parliament cu care theater bucharest bere grandees Comments (0)

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Edinburgh, Scotland

Our second day in Edinburgh, we took a short walk to Palace of Holyroodhouse, which sits across from the Scottish Parliament and next to Holyrood Park.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, also known as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in Scotland. It is located along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle. It has served monarchs since the 16th century. The Queen spends one week here at the beginning of the summer to carry out her engagements. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside of the palace, but I was able to get some pictures of the entrance, the gardens and Abbey. The Palace is probably most known for the murder of David Rizzio, Mary, Queen of Scots', secretary in 1566. The murder was organized by Henry, Lord Darnley, the Queen's second husband. He was extremely jealous of Rizzio's influence over Mary. Mary was at the time pregnant with Lord Darnley and her only child, the future James VI and I. There is a blood stained spot in the Queen's Outer Chamber that is marked as the spot where Rizzio was murdered. It was quite creepy to still see the spot there, honestly. After her secretary's murder, Mary fled Holyroodhouse for Edinburgh Castle.

The tour was fantastic, I just wished we could have taken pictures. It definitely felt more cozy than other palaces and had a more masculine decor, but still tasteful in my opinion. During the tour we were able to see: the Forecourt, the Quadrangle, the Great Stair, the Royal dining room (this room had a beautiful pastel green color theme), the Throne Room (two upholstered throne chairs for King George V and Queen Mary were in here), the Evening Drawing Room (this room had fantastic tapestries on the walls), the Morning Drawing Room, because you can't draw into the evening drawing room in the morning, (this room had a beautiful mahogany settee covered with silk and wool embroidery, and I believe this room is where the Queen gives private audiences to dignitaries), the King's Bedchamber, the King's Closet, the Great Gallery (there were dozens of wonderful paintings lining the walls of this room), the Queen's Lobby, the Queen's Ante-Chamber, the Queen's Bedchamber, and the Mary, Queen of Scots' Chambers (which are located in James V's tower). Mary's Bedchamber had a view of the forecourt. The Outer Chamber had a nice display of relics including the Darnley Jewel and some of Mary's embroidery work from when she was exiled by Elizabeth I.

Palace of Holyroodhouse: https://www.rct.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse

Forecourt of Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Gardens to the left of the entrance
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View of the Holyrood Park to the right of the entrance
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The Quadrangle
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Remains of Holyrood Abbey. Holyrood Abbey is a ruined abbey of the Canons Regular in Edinburgh, Scotland. The abbey was founded in 1128 by King David I.
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View from Holyrood Abbey into the Gardens
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Gardens
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Despite not being able to take pictures, I really enjoyed the palace tour and would most definitely return. I would recommend going when they open to avoid crowds. We did go when they opened and there was a line.

Onto Edinburgh Castle...

Posted by LCP 00:41 Archived in Scotland Tagged edinburgh palace of queen abbey mary holyroodhouse lord holyrood scots rizzio darnley Comments (1)

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