"There are pointy church steeples and frosty windows adorned with jewels of stained glass, and building fronts painted in an array of candy-like pastel hues"
"On the other side of the Odra River, the restored old central square is a mishmash of architectural styles that speaks of the varied cultural influences on a place that was at different times claimed by Bohemia, Prussia, Austria, Germany and, of course, Poland."
"The olive tree just by the garden was supposed to be destroyed when the studio was built, but Cezanne had a builder construct a barrier around it to protect it: “It knows everything about my life and gives excellent advice,” he once said."
The medieval cornerstones and arches, flagstones and spires of the old city appear softened in the milky light and, while the rest of Santiago de Compostela sleeps, the clack of a bamboo pole on cobbles signals the arrival of the day's...
"With its narrow cobbled streets, medieval churches and magnificent Renaissance buildings, Lyon is every inch the imposing European city, its story dating back more than 2,000 years. But if it boasts the oldest Roman theater in France and a splendid 17th-century Beaux-Arts museum..."
"Marquetry and upholstering for the overstuffed chairs were painstakingly recreated, as were the fabulous oriental carpets. Tiffany lamps and gleaming brass fixtures added to the resurgent mix."
"...it owes its popularity as a tourist resort to the patronage of genuine toffs. Isabella II, on doctor's orders, began going there to take the waters in 1845, setting a pattern...Mata Hari, they say, danced with the high rollers through a room where San Sebastian's elected representatives now discuss car parking and rent collection."
"On almost every corner there is a café where you can watch the spectacle of daily life unfold. Friends greet each other with elaborate courtesy, and then proceed to gossip or argue using a colourful range of gestures to add emphasis and drama."
"As I tramped through fields speckled with violets, primroses and gorse, past old stone cottages and gurgling brooks, it felt good to be moving again after the drive. Despite the sense of rural isolation, however, there was a reminder that "undiscovered" is a relative concept..."
Malaga, still overlooked by the packaged hordes as they march westwards from its mess of an airport to the sybaritic paradises of the Costa del Sol...
"Toulouse enjoyed another golden age from the mid-15th to the mid-16th century, when it grew rich from the trade in pastel, or woad. This plant was the primary source of blue dye until it was eclipsed by indigo from the colonies in India."
Deià is one of the oldest, remotest, and most beautiful villages in Spain, una pequeña aldea of cafés, hotels, villas, fincas, olive trees, and vineyards terraced into stony hillsides...
"Cruise the futuristic food halls of a department store, gaping at the perfect fruit and glistening sea creatures, before zipping up to the traditional floor, with its kimonos and tea ceremony implements."
Situated in the Calvados department of Lower Normandy and surrounded by the beautiful Normandy countryside Honfleur is a picturesque medieval town spread around the Seine estuary, it has a rich...
"From the moment you pass through the understated gates off the road to Gargnano and enter the landscaped, wooded acres with the lake and lakeside villa on one side and the high lemon 'gardens' on the other you know you are in a different world."
"The compound is built mostly from local stones. But I was struck by the odds and ends Jeffers added to the house, walls and tower: a stone cross from a cemetery in Ireland, a Hawaiian lava rock, an ancient Roman statue that once..."
"By following the same road, at the foot of the Sierra Espuña and in the Guadalentín valley, we find Totana."
"Admittedly, I have only ever published flower paintings but Ruskin, again, seduced me. 'If you can paint one leaf,' he said, 'you can paint the whole world.' So, with this promise fizzing in my head I joined a small, convivial group for adventures in seeing."
It was almost evening when we reached Palampur and went to a friend’s home at Agricultural University campus to take a little rest and sip a hot cup of Kangra tea. The tea soothed the tired body and the nerves. The Dhauladhar ranges seem to look down on us mortals and gleam in the glory of its timelessness and unparalleled beauty.
"Perched at 13,300 feet and a two-hour hike from the nearest road, this tiny village in the Ladakh region of India’s Himalayas is a trekker’s dream. Mud-brick houses center around elaborately-decorated Tibetan-style kitchens, where the family eats, sleeps and serves butter tea to any passerby..."
I was having lunch with a friend recently at Le Caire, in the country near Aix-en-Provence. It was a warm afternoon and we were served outside on a shady veranda...
"Sicily has an afterlife all its own, most of it lining the tiered walls of the catacombs beneath Palermo. Until the early 20th century, those willing to pay could choose to have their corpses mummified and displayed for posterity."