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Posted by in Churches, Cultural Exploration, Destinations | 0 comments

Cornwall: Land of Legends, Beaches, and Smugglers?

Cornwall: Land of Legends, Beaches, and Smugglers?

Cornwall is a beautiful seaside land that has been the scene of several different myths and legends. Tintagel Castle, near the village of the same name, figures prominently into Arthurian legend as the former residence of the famous king’s mother, Lady Igraine. This area of Britain was also home to the star-crossed lovers Tristan and Iseult as well as their ultimate nemesis King Mark. It is not just the legends that have left their impenetrable mark on the landscape, however. For many centuries travelers have been flocking to this area that is full of secluded beaches and picturesque ruins. There is so much to discover, plan to stay several days or longer. Cornish holiday home in Looe and Polperro offer the perfect location to easily travel from and enjoy the area and all it has to offer. Things To Do in Looe and Polperro Looe to Polperro walk. This well-marked coastal trail has excellent views and takes in many local sights. Hiking the trail takes about two and a...

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Posted by in Accommodations, Architectural Travel, Churches, Destinations, Food and Drink, New York | 90 comments

Cazenovia, New York: One of America’s Coolest Small Towns

Cazenovia, New York: One of America’s Coolest Small Towns

Where in the world is Cazenovia? Never heard of it? I hadn’t either, until serendipity stepped in…and next thing I knew I was booking a flight to New York (that’s a good story for another time). Since being nominated in Budget Traveler’s “Coolest Small Town in America” contest, I suspect a lot more people know about Cazenovia now. Don’t worry though, Cazenovia welcomes tourists, but the essence of what makes it cool won’t change for tourism. Besides, it’s not the easiest place to get to – you have to want to go there. Cazenovia, New York: One of America’s Coolest Small Towns   So, what makes Cazenovia, New York one of America’s coolest small towns? To visit Cazenovia is to step back in time. Though the people and lifestyle are completely modern, the architecture and rural landscape provide a sense of time and place that I’ve found to be uncommon in the United States. What else makes Cazenovia cool? Lake Cazenovia is pretty cool – surrounded by woods, there...

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Posted by in Churches, Cultural Exploration, Rome | 25 comments

When Travel Isn’t What You Expect

When Travel Isn’t What You Expect

As much as I love travel and the thrill of discovering new cultures and meeting new people, I also enjoy familiarity. I think I’m not alone in this. I like getting to know an area and feeling at home there, seeing familiar faces, having a chat with the neighborhood shop owners, and establishing my favorite bar and bartender. I don’t think I’m unique; it’s human nature. It’s normal to desire feelings of security, belonging, and comfort. When I first began traveling regularly to Rome, I unconsciously began to cultivate this feeling of belonging. It wasn’t difficult – Rome had me from the first Buongiorno. Since 2009, I’ve made Trastevere my home away from home, in Rome. I always return to the same internet cafe, shop at the organic and gluten-free market Canestro, and buy fruits and vegetables at the open air produce market in Piazza San Cosimato. In this way, I get a tiny taste of what life would be like if I lived in this neighborhood in Rome....

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Posted by in Architectural Travel, Churches, Italy | 23 comments

Context Travel: Venice and the East

Context Travel: Venice and the East

Venice! It’s a city with an aura of mystery and romance. The bridges criss-crossing the canals, the gondolas gliding silently over the water, and the exotic architecture all add up to a city unlike any other in the world. Being a curious sort, I wanted to dive a little deeper into the waters of Venice. To help me discover Venice and decipher its long history, I booked a walking tour with Context Travel, called Venice and the East. Our three hour tour focused on Basilica San Marco (St. Mark’s Cathedral), with a little time spent on Piazza San Marco and stops at Corte del Milion and the Rialto Bridge. I didn’t know it at the time of booking, but I couldn’t have chosen a better tour for learning about the history of Venice. Why? Because in my opinion (formed as a result of the tour), you can’t really understand Venice if you don’t know anything about Basilica San Marco. Our guide, Erika, explained how Venice developed and became one of...

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Posted by in Architectural Travel, Churches, France | 13 comments

Going Off the Beaten Path in Normandy

Going Off the Beaten Path in Normandy

There is a reason Normandy is one of the top destinations in France, actually more than one. Some say Normandy is the birthplace of impressionism. And sadly the region also has a tumultuous past, having been invaded by the Romans, the Vikings, the English, and much later by the Germans, then the allied forces during the second World War. All this world-changing history results in some well known sights that have become very popular tourist attractions. For lovers of art and architecture, here, as with all other regions of France, it is still possible to go off the beaten track and find some real gems tucked away in small villages. One of these is the Saint Peter and Saint Paul church in the town of Aumale. Today the town might not look like much, but in its day it was thought of as the la Porte de Normandie. This Renaissance church with traces of Gothic flamboyance, is one of the signs of the town’s former glory. The church we...

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