Calçada – Portugal’s Distinctive Mosaic Pavements

I first spotted the distinctive patterned street mosaics on Senado Square in Macau, in 2009. Then again, a couple of years later, in Rio de Janeiro.  They were strong reminders of the stories of the first global explorations, of the age of discoveries initiated by one of the largest colonial empires in history. It is…

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Postcards From Portugal!

We aren’t exactly starved for sun in India. But there is something about the light in Portugal, in Lisbon in particular, that I am missing deeply as I write this from our airport hotel in cold, gloomy Frankfurt. I am in love with Portugal. It is beautiful in a melancholic sort of way. To me…

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Brussels – Glimpses Of An Eclectic Cityscape

Brussels is hardly picture perfect. With much of its original medieval architecture destroyed in the 1695 bombardment by French troops, its postwar urban evolution has been hap hazard and eclectic. The result is an incredible mix of architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Art Nouveau to concrete contemporary, most segregated into dissonant compartments. It is the…

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The Singing Bells Of Brussels

The carillon of Mont des Arts is a musical clock on the facade of a connecting walkway of the Palace of the Dynasty, a reception hall that was part of Brussels’ ambitious urban renewal project leading up to the 1958 World Expo. Juxtaposed, in striking contrast almost representative of the architectural melting pot that is Brussels,…

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Celebrating Dia de la Paloma On The Streets Of Madrid

We first learned of the fiesta when we discovered the mercado San Anton that we had planned to explore that August morning, was closed for the day, as were all other food markets and shops. We switched plans and went in search of Madrid’s origins instead, at the San Isidro museum (A little gem that’s home…

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In Photos – Highlights Of Beautiful Belgium

Belgium was never on my travel wish list. My visit last month, hastily put together for my sister’s benefit initially, and then rescheduled due to a family crisis, had me wondering why. Its appeal went far beyond the beer, chocolates, waffles and frite. Although they helped. A lot. The beer especially, not the waffles so…

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