For many, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, brings to mind farms on a gently rolling landscape, Amish driving along in horse and buggies, and small villages with entertaining names like Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse. Think Harrison Ford in Witness. The Amish communities have made Pennsylvania Dutch Country and Lancaster County nearly synonymous.
But in the heart of the county is Lancaster City, a young, hip urban center that has experienced a rebirth and gentrification in recent years. Today, Lancaster City is offering a thoroughly modern lifestyle with a melding of sites of historical importance with trendy restaurants and shops. I recently made a visit to Lancaster to get to know this up and coming city a little better.
Some of Munich‘s most impressive charms can be enjoyed free of charge. Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt, Englischer Garten, Karlsplatz, Odeonsplatz — some of the most pleasant and notable spots in the city are available for everyone to enjoy. Mere blocks from that downtown area sit two impressive structures overlooking the Isar River: the Friedensengel (Angel of Peace) and the Maximilianeum.
Spending a day in Washington, D.C. is a great idea. Spending a day in Washington, D.C. in August (the first day, actually) can cause a traveler to have a second thought. But there I was with a day in Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital is full of fantastic options of things to see and do. There’s no shortage of great restaurants and shops. And while the city does have plenty of public transit options — from the subway to buses doing circuits of the most popular tourist attractions — the relatively flat landscape makes for fantastic walking. Yeah, a day in Washington, D.C. is full of fun. Continue reading →
In southern Munich, Germany, the Theresienwiese is perhaps most famous for playing home every year to Oktoberfest. But on the edge of this large festival area, a woman stands watch. Nearly 61-feet tall, she wears a classically draped Grecian gown. A lion sits loyally at her side while her left arm is outstretched with a wreath of oak leaves. She represents Bavaria, the southeastern state of Germany. It would be easy to draw comparisons to another famous female: the Statue of Liberty. But the Bavaria statue, as she is called, is older. And Lady Bavaria has a bit of a secret that makes a visit to see her a fun Munich sightseeing attraction!
From the Liberty Bell to the Declaration of Independence, Colonial Philadelphia has an important part in the history of the United States. In addition to Pennsylvania being one of the original thirteen colonies, Colonial Philadelphia served as the location of the First and Second Continental Congresses as well as, temporarily, acting as the capital of the United States. Today, visitors can explore many of these historic sites as they have been preserved.
A week before Christmas in windy, 30-some degree temperatures (that’s Fahrenheit, mind you), I decided it would be a good idea to go sightseeing in Philadelphia. Maybe it was the cold weather, maybe it was the time of year, or maybe it was because I arrived just after 9 in the morning, but it was empty. There were only a few other people around seeing the sights and it made the experience less stressful and a bit more interesting.
I feel like taking photographs of monuments, busts and sculptures in parks has become my thing. They seem like such underrated works of art that we all take for granted. During our recent trip to the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I loved turning every corner and not knowing what would be next. Often, it was a statue. Who would it memorialize? So often it seemed somewhat random. English great Shakespeare holds court in the sunny park with German greats Goethe and Schiller. The three rubbed bronzed elbows with United States presidents, Beethoven (although as a bust he was elbow-less), Francis “oh say can you see” Scott Key and Czech philosopher and politician Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who is also lacking in the below-the-chin area. And these are merely the statues that we stumbled upon. It’s simply lovely! Continue reading →
Sometimes there are places or buildings that I’d like to see that I’m pretty confident I’ll never see. For example, it’s pretty likely I’ll never get to see the Azadi Tower, or “Freedom Tower,” in Tehran, Iran. I don’t recall the first time I saw the monument but it was likely in the news. Over the past few years, it’s commonly been used as a backdrop for former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speeches. Originally I thought it was a bridge but the Azadi Tower is actually a monument in a public square. Continue reading →