In retrospect: heritage and scam in Rio de Janeiro
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
3d ago
Ah, Rio: From the mountains of Corcovado with the towering Jesus, and Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf), to the glorious beaches and Guanabara Bay that protects the city from the tempestuous Atlantic, and the jungle and rainforest in between. Pão de Açúcar silhouette at sunset All that is part of the world heritage site Rio de Janeiro: Carioca landscapes between the mountain and the sea. Tijuca National Park with its 1,021-metre-high Tijuca peak is also included in the site, as is Rio’s Botanical Garden (one of the best anywhere). The designed landscape of Copacabana Bay is in, so is Flamengo Park ..read more
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11 things you’ll love in Metz
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
5d ago
French then German then French then German then French Like nearby Trier (Germany), and Nancy (France), the city of Metz was first inhabited about 3,000 years ago, and you can see evidence of Celtic and Roman times here. Medieval ones, too. But I’ll go out on a limb and say it is the last 150 years that sets Metz apart. A bit like a football, it was kicked from France to Germany (1871), back to France (1918), then a brief spell in Germany (1940) and back to France again in 1945. Can’t have been easy for the Messins, considering the rather ructious relationship between France and Germany in pr ..read more
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Crespi d’Adda: Cristoforo and the company town
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
1w ago
In this week’s post, we are back in Italy, and back in Lombardy, between Milan and Bergamo, at the foothills of the Alps. Specifically, we are in Crespi d’Adda, a 1 km² company town, a welfare town, built in 1878 for cotton mill workers and their families, in a valley along the River Adda. The person behind this project, textile tycoon Cristoforo Benigno Crespi, wanted to keep his workers happy. In addition to the houses, he built a school, a theatre, and a church for them. That is of course kind-hearted. And also smart. Happy workers are productive workers If you don’t have to worry about ho ..read more
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Nancy and the Polish king
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
2w ago
From Trier in Germany’s Moselle Valley, I have now stepped across the border into Lorraine – to Nancy, capital of the French département Meurthe-et-Moselle. My goal for the day is the city’s three famous squares: Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance. Place Stanislas Just a 10-minute walk from the railway station, the largest and most magnificent of the three is Place Stanislas, built in the 18th century as a bridge between the medieval part of town, and the then new town. An ornately gilded wrought-iron gate is the first thing you see when you approach Place Stanislas ..read more
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Sacri Monti: Italy’s holy mountains
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
3w ago
It’s a lovely Saturday in June, and I am on my way to one of Italy’s holy mountains. Holy mountain? And you said Italy, right? Not India? I did, indeed. Italy’s nine sacri monti are complexes of chapels, little churches and other architectural delights, built on hilltops in the 16th and 17th centuries, in the provinces Piedmont and Lombardy. But what’s so special about just these? After all, Catholic countries overflow with chapels and churches. Well, these have been beautifully blended into the surrounding landscape, you see. And the landscape in Piedmont and Lombardy is divine (even without ..read more
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Field work in Krakow, part 2
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
1M ago
My latest tour in the field with A Drop in the Ocean* here in Krakow is coming to an end. Some reflections: The free shop Sfaza Dobra = ‘the good cupboard’ Back in spring, when the Russian war on Ukraine first began, the free shop was in a large, abandoned shopping mall, with more than 100 volunteers and up to 1300 beneficiaries coming through in a day. It was not meant to be a social space, yet many lingered. The play area always seemed full, with kids running around. A bustling beehive of activity and sound. It is quieter now. The shop had to move, and is now in different locations, all tin ..read more
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Baroque frenzy in Turin
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
1M ago
What is hiding behind this rather worried-looking face? This palace, that is what: Palazzo Reale di Torino, partially hidden behind scaffolding just now, but we’ll disregard that. Turns out my temp flat in Turin has balcony views of main square Piazza Castello, and the palazzo. Score! (Yet again.) Back when Italy was not yet Italy, there were monarchs. And I do not mean mild constitutional ones like today, but absolute monarchs. With absolute power. In 1562, then ruler Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy decided to move his capital to Turin. He built 22 Baroque palaces, villas, maisons de plaisance ..read more
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10 things I hate about you (Airport etiquette 101)
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
1M ago
I’ve been flying a lot this year, folks. A lot! And I have seen everything from near empty airports (KEF, a few weeks ago) to absolute chaos with 3 hrs through security (AMS, I’m looking at you!) Well, I’m just through security again, and I have some travel tips, I would like to share with you. Fair warning: if you’re bothered by expletives, or rants in general, you should probably stop reading now. It’s all about you! Image by Jan Helebrant from Pixabay. Resisted the temptation to pap you. Yes, you! Security might be short-staffed, and there are strikes n’all. But the chaos and endless queue ..read more
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Kernavė: archaeological heritage in Lithuania (Day out Vilnius)
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
2M ago
Are you a bit of an amateur archaeologist? Or interested in world heritage? Or do you enjoy spending time wandering in meadows and along a rolling river whilst breathing fresh country air? Perhaps all three? Then a day (or even half-day) trip to Kernavė will be a 3-in-one whammy for you. Kernavė is about 35 km from Vilnius, and easily reached by car (ca 30 min), or by marshrutka (about one hour). Getting off the marshrutka, you’re met with a cross – and a sign. Welcome to Kernavė Along the 300-metre-long avenue, you pass the on-site museum on the left, and the church straight ahead. Furth ..read more
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Meride and Monte San Giorgio: 240-million-year-old fossils
Sophie’s World Travel
by Anne-Sophie Redisch
2M ago
When Cat and I were in Lugano this spring, I wanted to go up to the top of one of the mountains surrounding the lovely lake for the stunning views. Sadly, we did not have time then (or, more importantly, not warm enough clothes). When chance brought me to the same area a couple of months later, I made that a priority. Up, up, up and away to a mountain top. And not just any mountain, but Monte San Giorgio. Fossils! 240 million years old! What is so special about Monte San Giorgio, you wonder? Why, it is a world heritage site, this mountain. For reasons millions of years old. An abundance of ..read more
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