Instagram
  • Home
  • /
  • Category Archives: Europe
Jesus washes the disciples' feet in this fresco in Desesti church.

Wooden churches of Maramures, Romania

You’d think that after visiting the UNESCO-listed fortified churches of Transylvania and the painted churches of Moldavia, also UNESCO listed, we’d have gotten tired of visiting historic churches. Romania has yet another collection of UNESCO-listed churches, though. (Maybe Romania’s motto should be “Land of Churches”!) Right up near the border with the Ukraine, the wooden…

The Elie Wiesel Memorial is housed in this modest house in Sighet, Romania

Elie Wiesel Memorial House: a museum with a message

I am ashamed to admit that when we passed through the small city of Sighetu Marmaţiei, in the north of Romania, it was just a place to stop for the night on our way home to the Netherlands. Our GPS was about half a block off in directing us to the hotel we’d booked randomly…

A panel from inside Patrauti church. Look at the detail the painter put into it? Do you happen to know who they are? The Spectacular Painted Churches of Moldavia

The spectacular painted churches of Moldavia

Last week I posted about the fortified churches in Transylvania, eight of which make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another collection of churches in Romania, this time in the northeastern part of the country, Moldavia, are also UNESCO sites, just listed as “Churches of Moldavia.” The Painted Churches of Moldavia What makes these churches…

Viscri fortified church

Fortified Churches of Transylvania

Once upon a time, the King of Hungary, called Geza II (1141-1162), had a problem. His kingdom needed defending, especially in the south and east, in what is now Romania. It was the Middle Ages, and everybody was fighting over territory. So he sent ethnic Germans to settle in Transylvania, and they continued to move…

Bran Castle: Should you visit Dracula's castle?

Should you visit Dracula’s castle?

As the crowds shuffled through the castle, some tourists tried to stake out spots where they could take pictures of each room without people in the photo. Others posed for selfies, their backs to the beautifully restored spaces. One man, reaching high in an attempt to snap a picture above our heads, leaned casually on…

a careful arrangement of skulls inside the ossuary: Macabre sightseeing in Brno

Macabre sightseeing in Brno: 3 places to visit

An ossuary, a crypt full of mummies, and a nuclear bomb shelter. Somehow the one day I spent sightseeing with my husband in Brno, Czechia, turned out distinctly macabre. Site #1: The Ossuary underneath the Church of St. James The Church of St. James The Church of St. James (Kostel sv. Jakuba) is a typical…

a bookcase full of chotchkes at the Communist Consumers Museum in Timişoara, Romania

The Communist Consumers Museum

A Communist Consumers Museum? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? I mean, in the Cold War, we in the West were the consumer society. We still are. They were, well, communist. So what could a Communist Consumers Museum even show? When we passed through Timişoara, Romania, this summer, we didn’t really have any plans. Picking…

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…

123