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Showing posts from August, 2006

The Martun

The Martun (Toilet) Restaurant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan has given new meaning to the words, "comfort room". Glass-topped sinks serve as tables, diners eat from toilet bowl shaped platters, urinal sconces light up the room, knick knacks of and about toilets are displayed prominently, and the open toilet is next to your toilet seat.

Bon appetit!

For more info http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8417691/

Head Turning Sculptures

The sculptures of Igor Mitoraj were no less breathtaking than the backdrop, the snow capped mountains surrounding the city of Granada. What a lucky break to have seen the exhition of selected ouevres by Mitoraj, a sculptor of Polish descent, schooled in Krakow and Paris and now divides his time between Italy and France. His works, not surprisingly as you can see from these images, turned a lot of heads.

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Images by Rosario Charie Albar

Ah, Yosemite

When I first laid eyes on Half Dome, I had a frog in my throat. I thought of the artist whose hand sculpted it, painted the landscape with towering trees, sketched waterfalls and streams where his pets could quench their thirst and drew expansive meadows where they could frolic under big, blue skies. Ah, but there’s more to feast your eyes on in this great museum of nature but you’ll have to go and pick the artwork you like best.

www.nps.gov/yose

Images by Rosario Charie Albar

Images of Portugal

For far too long Portugal has taken a backseat to its neighbors. This has proved to be a windfall for the visitor who happens by. There is so much to explore in the land from whence great explorers set forth on their voyages to the then unknown world. Now travelers are discovering the quiet simplicity and unspoiled charm of this unassuming country which has as much, if not more, to offer the discerning traveler.

Images of Lisbon

Venice is a Visual Feast

To write about Venice is to tell only half the story. For Venice is a sensory feast. It is not easy to convey in words all that it offers. Rather it must be experienced. How do I explain what I felt on seeing it for the first time?

I heard the bora fiercely making its way across the islands drowning the alto voce of the gondolier. I hungrily followed the scent of freshly baked pastries in the early morning hours when the locals were still dreaming in bed. And I got hopelessly lost in the labyrinthine alleys only to find myself in a quiet piazza only a stone's throw from the hordes of visitors in Piazza San Marco.

Venice seeps through the bones leaving an indelible impression.

Foreign and Irresistible

Michaelangelo's David is quite a man! Thank goodness he's in a museum. There are enough hunks out there to add spice to travel. My friend Vero fell for the tour guide she met on a Nile cruise. The best part is that he liked her too. But there's more. He is at least 15 years younger! Sweeeeet!

My favorite romantic writer, Marlena de Blasi, met her husband while traveling in Venice. I love her story about their first meeting (he called her from a phone in the restaurant where she and her friends were eating), his trip to the U.S. to see her, how she gave up her successful career and moved to Venice, Italy and spent "A Thousand Days in Venice" followed by "A Thousand Days in Tuscany".

A solo woman traveler I met on a bus tour of Europe several years back was having an affair with the bus driver. She couldn't understand why he chose her among the other ladies in our tour group. But she was glad he did. She was having the best time discovering Europe with …