Category Archives: Travel

Roses

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Orangerie Park in Strasbourg is home to many wonderful plants and flowers. Its greenhouses supply flowers for the entire city of Strasbourg. My kid told me about it. Her class had a day trip at Orangerie, organised by her wonderful teacher. 

The roses round is one of my favourite places in Orangerie. It’s a meditation spot with generous colours, perfumes and tactile experiences. The roses petals velvety touch is a wonderful feeling for fingers otherwise in contact with key boards and touch-screens. 

You can hear roses play. Why else would they give them names of composers: Chopin or Tchaikovski. You get to walk among royalty: Sissi, Josephine, Prince de Monaco, Princess of Walles and laugh with Louis de Funes. Enjoy them all!

Thank you Tartu

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UNESCO city of literature, second biggest town in Estonia, the city of 100000 students, “city of good folks” for:

the most wonderful hosts at the Supreme Court of Estonia and Tartu county court who opened their doors and hearts for us,

the fantastic hospitality and very informative city tour by Christina  to splendit places in Tartu:

– Tartu University which has the pics of all its professors greeting students and visitors and where the rehearsal of the “Gaudeamus Igitur” was underway right when we entered the building,

– St John Cathedral with its unique statutes which survived the bombings,

– Toy Museum and its reminder “Tempus est ludendi”,


– St Antonius courtyard where good music is played

– Architecture which accomodates harmoneously many styles, including soviet signs,

– the leaning building of the Art Museum, which makes the Pisa Tower look straight by comparision

a fun and very enjoyable Babel type dinner – Estonian, Georgian, Russian, German, English spoken by all and at the same time – with exquisite cuisine by the chef at Holm restaurant. The great food and wine revealed Estonians talent of toasting to match the  Georgians talent at toasting,

splendid surrounding fields,

your lively early morning flowers market,

the humour of street artists,

for yet another reminder not to take my self too seriously – in Estonia even the Chief Justice gets a caricature when sworn in office.

Thank you Tbilisi for

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a rejuvenating late night rain with proper thunder and lighting. I missed that Southern weather attitude,

something i did not miss, but i accept it: the earth tremor and the ‘ah-ha’ moment it brought,

the smile of the most beautiful lady baker as her gorgeous hands work the dough. She reminded me of my grandmother,

my perfect morning espresso at Entree served by the lovliest barista,

my first cigar. No need to worry. It was the traditional bakery with nuts,

my first peach this year,

eternal wisdom by modern days Gia, served with the traditional candy: “embrace the spoils of civilisation but do not forget your roots and why you are here, on earth”, 

the “meeting” with founding fathers, watchful over today’s parlamentarians presided over by a chairwomen. I can hear the founding mothers, who remained in the shadow back then, cheering up in the sky now (do not ask me how i know),

most devoted and hard-working projects partners, 

seeing my good colleague Nino back to work and recovering well,

stellar team members, who work hard and also know the value of fun at work,

the guard who kept my ipad, which i forgot by the window on the hall of the Parliament, 

teaching me what “არა” means. There were quite a number of “no” heard that day in the parliament,

the colors street flowers vendors bring,

an introduction to Georgian Zaza Svanidze shoes – amazing design combined with the quality feet deserve. Check his website or fbook page, 

lovely lunch at Amo Rame,

a history lecture by the most talkative taxi driver who used to work with Red Cross all over the world. The lecture was a “bonus” for having made him wait for me under a no-parking sign 🙂

kindest MGK hotel owners who made me feel at home, with traditional breakfast to my taste and a room with a view i’ll be looking for upon my return

and many more blessings, to be continued.

 

Visiting Cyprus in Strasbourg

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For a month in May, one can discover Cyprus in Strasbourg. Co-organised by the Council of Europe Staff Association and the Cyprus Office of Tourism, the visit is a fun journey through the streets of Strasbourg delivered in a 2-in-1 format: you get to discover the architectural heritage of Strasbourg and the culture of Cyprus.

You can make it either with a guided group lead by 2 lovely  students from Cyprus studying in Strasbourg or at your own pace, with a smartphone. The  journey includes 14 photographs presented on panels in the windows of shops partners on a route from Central Railway Station to Place Kléber, through the most important sites and monuments of Strasbourg. To go from one stage to another of the exhibition, you just download the QR codes on the panels and follow the guide. It offers to citizens of Strasbourg and the visitors of the city a free itinerary, accessible 7/7.

Thanks, Cyprus Office of Tourism, we enjoyed it very much!

 

Merci Musee des Secrets du Chocolat

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for the sweet surprises which come with the entry ticket

for an immersion into chocolate history of the “beverage of gods” of Maya and Aztecs;

for reveling quite a number of chocolate making secrets. I know now the difference between ganache and praline and how are chocolate figurines made. 

For an original combination of audio-visuals and tasting experience. We’ll no longer commit the sin of chewing & quickly swallowing a piece of chocolate.  I’ll bite half, let it melt, let it reveal its taste and flavours. And only then will put the other half in my mouth. Try it next time!

And last but not least, my first hot chocolate with cayenne pepper. For luck!


The museum is in Geispolsheim, 8 km from Strasbourg.

Obrigado, Lisboa, for

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everything really: architecture, Ocean breeze, sun, warmth, people, colours, just perfect coffee, gorgeous sunset, golden dusk bathed buildings, the smell of strawberries on the streets

the most wonderful hosts at the Centro de Estudos Judiciários and their gifts of knowledge, history and hospitality beyond expectations

the best companions on a study visit. Thanks, Keti, Sopho, Nino, Keti!

wonderful views from a top of a Roman-time wall

the disappointed look of a waiter when we said we were there for work,

for reminding me that there is always an alternative
for making me understand why the world needs Nata. My hips would disagree, but i will not listen to them for a brief while:

the splendid Museum of Beer and its tasty dark beer, which goes well with a local specialty of fish roll with cheese

saying goodbye to a pair of shoes. But then who walks on hills there has to make an offering to Lisbon’s hills :),

a dream which came true: it took me 17 years to get to know you since my first encounter with the kindest Portuguese colleague of mine and

for a new feeling – Saudade” –  longing, melancholy, or nostalgia – and for making me dream of discovering more and more of you next time.

Merci Mulhouse Zoo

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for an awesome afternoon when we met Nanuq, the polar bear cub, featured already in international press http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/03/animals-week-3-march-2017/nanuq-polar-bear-cub-pictured-mother-sessi-mulhouse-zoo-france/. It is the second polar bear baby born in captivity in France in the last 20 years. 

The best lawn to roll down the hill. 

The friendliest goats with the appetite if a lion. A kid’s first animal feeding experience. I was too scared to dare feed them. 

Witnessing a seal-girl talk along ” do no go, do not leave me here!” silent plea. She left, heartless! 🙂

Gorgeous tulips, an abundance of flowers and well looked after surroundings.