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The contrast between these two buildings is remarkable. The one on the left is down to the underlying brickwork in places while the one on the right is pristine. What is not clear is how much the restoration on the right involved removing decorative elements. I suspect some plasterwork was removed, since the originals of this type generally have different window frames for each row, as you can see on the building on the left. Visiting Timisoara: faded glory

Timişoara photo essay: Faded glory

Majestic buildings boast imposing, ornate facades, even on the side streets. Edged with statues, often figurative, each row of windows differs from those above and below, yet they all display detailed workmanship. Grand doorways framed with artwork, topped with glass, span several centuries of architectural styles. But the paint is flaking away. Underneath, exposed to…

a market vendor in Hoi An, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Anita Breland of Anita's Feast.

25 Real Tips for Women Traveling Solo

A recent article from The New York Times has been making the rounds in Facebook travel groups. Written by Shivani Vora, it’s called “Tips for Women Traveling Solo, From Dining Out to Hotel Safety.” The title is misleading. Rather than a collection of tips, the article is an interview with Suzanne Randolph, founder of Alix…

Another view of Burghausen Castle

Lovely Burghausen Castle

I love castles, especially the medieval kind. I wrote about this attraction to everything medieval a few years ago, trying to get at why we like it, when that historical period was clearly such a terrible time in Europe. But anyway, as a result, I visit castles pretty much whenever I can. So this summer,…

Deva Castle, as seen from where Albert stood under the shelter. It's the closest we got to it.

Not visiting Deva Castle

We weren’t even planning to go to Deva Castle. My husband and I were just driving along, minding our own business, on a road trip in the western Carpathian mountains of Romania. The GPS was guiding us from Timişoara (beautiful buildings, much in need of renovation) to Alba Iulia (18th century fortress with seven bastions),…