THE BAVARIAN ALPS ~ MUNICH

Munich, the gateway to the Bavarian Alps, is a city with a great many historical associations—past and present—a city with an atmosphere completely unspoiled by bustling modernity. Lying midway between Strassbourg and Vienna, it is the most important town in southern Germany, also one of the largest European towns to be situated at so high an altitude. Founded in 1158, Munich was for centuries the capital of the independent kingdom of Bavaria, and in more recent times the birthplace of Nazidom. A heavy ring of munitions factories built by the Hitler regime made it an important target for allied bombings in World War II; however its protected location prevented much of the devastation suffered by other large German cities. After the Americans liberated Munich in 1945, the Temple of Honor, a memorial to the 16 Nazis killed in the “beerhall putsch,” as well as other remnants of Nazi rule, were destroyed. Today, Munich has regained much of its former prominence as a cultural center of world fame. This is a city rich in museums, art collections and exhibitions, theaters and concert halls. Especially famous are the Munich Opera, the art treasures of the Old Pinakothek and the Deutsche Museum. Every year the inherent “joie de vivre” of Munich is expressed in three typical festivals—the Munich Carnival, the bock beer festival held each spring and “Oktoberfest” in the fall is one of Germany’s gayest festivals


The North of England

There is no part of England that offers so much contrast, such variety of scenery and interest, as the north of England. In the county of Yorkshire alone one may pass, within the distance of an afternoon’s walk, from flat pastureland where cows stand hock-deep in good grazing to lonely moorland heights where the curlew’s mournful cry echoes among the rocks. Yorkshire is divided into three regions, North, East and West. YORK, one of the most beautiful and historic town: in all England, is situated on the spot where the three Ridings meet. It contains so much to see that the visitor may just as well forget his timetable. An idea of the atmosphere of York may be gained from the fact that the curfew is still running there and has been since William the Conqueror first ordered that fires should be covered at night as a precaution against accident.
The best view of the massive and magnificent Minster is to be had from the walls which encircle the town. The Minster (England’s largest medieval cathedral) was founded before history was written, and has existed in its present outward form since the year 1474, where a building program of 250 years was completed. Don’t miss the many quaint side-streets which, in many cases, possess the oddest of names and retain much of their medieval character.


Switzerland ~ The Crossroads Of Europe

Matchless scenery, centuries-old towns and traditions and the proud cultural heritage of the world’s oldest republic have led travelers to Switzerland for generations. The rigid Swiss national standards of hospitality, superb cuisine, cleanliness and honesty appeal particularly to Americans and enable them to enjoy the details of living while they enjoy abundant scenic and historic charms. The scenery, which usually causes visiting writers to resort to the adjective “incomparable,” is an ideal backdrop for the unlimited sport and recreation facilities found throughout the country. Of course, the really outstanding sports are mountaineering and skiing, for which this tiny republic has had a matchless reputation for generations, since fifty 13,000-footers, the most challenging peaks of the entire Alpine region, sparkle skyward in Switzerland’s Alpine rampart. Beauty, hospitality, health, sport — and education — make this not only the favorite location for all kinds of international conferences, but also the favorite vacation area for people of all nations.


The Southeast of England – Canterbury

THE  SOUTHEAST OF ENGLAND
This section is the gateway to Great Britain and is rich in historical interest, romantic legends and quaint customs. It is also the playground of holiday-makers. The county of Kent is a land of fragrant orchards, of hops and green grass, of moats and of ancient, red brick, timbered houses, a land where spring arrives gracefully and transforms the countryside into a land of great beauty. Observing the happy character of this land today, one can hardly realize what an apprehensive feeling must have dominated it during the days of 1940 when the hard-pressed British Expeditionary Forces returned to the towns of Ramsgate, Dover, Folkestone, etc.
CANTERBURY is the see of the Primate of All England and contains one of the loveliest and most ancient cathedrals in England. It was in this cathedral that Archbishop a Becket was murdered in 1170 on the steps to the altar. Here rests the body of the Black Prince, hero of the Battle of Poitiers, in his great effigy tomb. Fine examples of Roman mosaic pavements were discovered in the town during the clean-up of the bomb damage caused by reprisal raids during the last war.
Of the many inland places of interest in Kent, TUNBRIDGE WELLS is one of the most famous watering-places in England. Its chalybeate springs have been noted since 1606 and were known to Macaulay, Thackeray and Meredith. Of particular interest here is the Pantiles, a 17th century colonnaded row of shops. . . . Nearby are two of the most beautiful houses in England: Penhurst Place, the superb 14th century, ancestral home of Lord de Isle and Dudley; and Knole, an ancient and famous house which covers five acres and is filled with treasures of every kind. Both are open to the public.


The  Southeast Of England

This section is the gateway to Great Britain and is rich in historical interest, romantic legends and quaint customs. It is also the playground of holiday-makers. The county of Kent is a land of fragrant orchards, of hops and green grass, of moats and of ancient, red brick, timbered houses, a land where spring arrives gracefully and transforms the countryside into a land of great beauty. Observing the happy character of this land today, one can hardly realize what an apprehensive feeling must have dominated it during the days of 1940 when the hard-pressed British Expeditionary Forces returned to the towns of Ramsgate, Dover, Folkestone, etc.
CANTERBURY is the see of the Primate of All England and contains one of the loveliest and most ancient cathedrals in England. It was in this cathedral that Archbishop a Becket was murdered in 1170 on the steps to the altar. Here rests the body of the Black Prince, hero of the Battle of Poitiers, in his great effigy tomb. Fine examples of Roman mosaic pavements were discovered in the town during the clean-up of the bomb damage caused by reprisal raids during the last war.
Of the many inland places of interest in Kent, TUNBRIDGE WELLS is one of the most famous watering-places in England. Its chalybeate springs have been noted since 1606 and were known to Macaulay, Thackeray and Meredith. Of particular interest here is the Pantiles, a 17th century colonnaded row of shops. . . . Nearby are two of the most beautiful houses in England: Penhurst Place, the superb 14th century, ancestral home of Lord de LTsle and Dudley; and Knole, an ancient and famous house which covers five acres and is filled with treasures of every kind. Both are open to the public.

http://instantworldbooking.com/england.php


How to See the Best of Paris – Part 1

PARIS. Synonymous with gaiety, good food for gastronomes, gorgeous gowns, delectable wine, all the good things of life, is unrivaled, appealing Paris. The early morning mists on the Seine, the lazy-plying barges, the ever-patient fishermen, the spellbinding orators in the Chamber of Deputies, the gaunt, leafless trees along the quays in the fall, the flowering horse-chestnut trees in the spring, the breath-taking vistas from the bridges, the ageless, awe-inspiring beauty of the churches, the avid poets and painters, all this and much, much more is Paris. For centuries generation after generation of people from all over the world have gravitated to her narrow alleys and wide boulevards, for Paris “is not just a city, she is a world.” To women, she is the undisputed center of high fashion, the acknowledged authority on what well-dressed beauties everywhere should wear. As style leader, the showings of top Paris dress designers draw all the editors, manufacturers and buyers of the fashion world, while their collections continually attract wealthy shoppers and less-wealthy window-shoppers. The noted Rue de la Paix is identical with Parisian- elegance, an air every woman openly or secretly strives to exude. Not only the epitome of glamour, this fabulous capital has been a focal point of culture, too. In Paris, history, poetry and art sit on every doorstep, set the backdrop for everyday living, and great painters, musicians and writers have all been caught in the seductive web she weaves. The left bank of the Seine, lined by the famous open-air book stalls, is the intellectual and governmental section. Here is the Sorbonne, center of the University of Paris, perhaps the most influential and greatest school of liberal arts in Europe; the classical Church of Saint-Sulpice, with famous paintings by Delacroix, and noteworthy Saint-Germain-de-Pres, oldest church in Paris, dating from the eleventh century. The gallery of nearby Ecole des Beaux Arts, scene of the annual wild Art Students’ Ball, displays works of Fragonard, David and Ingres. Radiating from the university is the Latin Quarter, second oldest and one of the most picturesque sections in the city. For centuries these streets around Boulevard Saint-Michel have been the haunt of university students and teachers. Also in this area are the Cluny Museum, one of the fine medieval buildings still standing in Paris, housing a rare collection of medieval arts and crafts, and the Luxembourg Palace and Museum, surrounded by its beautiful gardens, housing contemporary painting and sculpture.

http://instantworldbooking.com/france.php


New Mexico

New Mexico… Be Enchanted

New Mexico is a cloud perched on a mesa top, a road that disappears into charming, red hills, the play of shadows on a mountainside. It is farmers, cattlemen, scientists, engineers, businesspeople, artists, writers, and dreamers, speaking in many languages, coming from many cultures.

The power of New Mexico is, and has always been, its people, living together in a lovely, yet challeng­ing environment, influenced by a blend of languages, traditions, and lifestyles. Indeed, the beauty of New Mexico-emerging from her history, architecture, art forms, and community festivals-is unlike any other place.

Ancient civilizations, Route 66, El Camino Real and the Santa Fe Trail conjure up mental images of days gone by, of heritage and history, of rural America. These images and a million others are not only a part of the past. They are here and now.  Maybe best of all, reliving your newest lifelong memories is best enjoyed while experiencing firsthand an incredible New Mexico sunset. Come and share this special time of year in the Southwest’s favorite playground. Visit newmexico.org.

Ruidoso: It’s Where to Go

Nestled high in the pristine Sacramento Mountains, the village of Ruidoso is the idyllic “mountain casual” resort for both adventure and rejuvenation.

Filled with historic and Wild West museums, art galleries, shopping, casino gaming, great restaurants, seasonal horse racing, and snow skiing, Ruidoso celebrates its long­held tradition of escapism. Its lakes and rivers, gaming, tall pines, rustic cabins, cool evening temperatures, fabulous Spencer Theater, historic Lincoln and Fort Stanton, and the breathtaking Inn of the Mountain Gods add to that same tradition. Enjoy a high-altitude escape surrounded by beautiful scenic vistas.

Visit RuidosoAttractions.com.


Asheville Street Scene

“Eating out” taktes on a whole new meaning when you do it at one of Asheville’s signature sidewalk cafes.

With colorful street performers and talented musicians livening up downtown, you can count on some delightful entertainment with your meal.

Whether you choose an outdoor table or sit under the awnings, al fresco diners undoubtedly have the best seats in the house.

From April to October, during Friday evening Art Walks, leave your table and join the fun. You’ll be inspired as you browse through downtown’s distinctive galleries and mingle with local artists.


Scottsdale, Arizona

Spotlight on SCOTTSDALE

Scottsdale and Sedona in Arizona are only two hours apart by car. Both cities offer breathtaking natural settings, luxury resorts, and abundant activities-yet each maintains its own unique personality. The magic of Scottsdale begins with its setting in the heart of the lush Sonoran Desert. A dynamic city with urban sophistication and a blend of distinctive desert charm, Scottsdale dazzles visitors with its indigo sky, pristine desert trails, rivers, and mountains. Here’s a sampling of what’s making travel headlines in Scottsdale:

SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS REEMERGES AFTER A $16 MILLION RENOVATION

The Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts will open its newly renovated Virginia G. Piper Theater on October 24: Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth will kick off the season starring in the special art benefit event ARTrageous.  And that’s just the beginning. The season will feature performances by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma; the groundbreaking Martha Graham Dance Company, jazz legends Herb Alpert and Arturo Sandoval, and actors Jason Alexander, John Cleese, and Martin Short.

BLAZING NEW TRAILS AT SCOTTSDALE’S BUDDING DESERT PRESERVE

With the recent opening of the Gateway, you now have a new way to enjoy the radiance of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve,, a protected area of land spanning Scottsdale’s MeDowell Mountains and the Sonoran Desert. Explore the incredible diversity of the city’s desert wildlife and vegetation, such as saguaro cacti and roadrunners, on a variety of trails designed for hikers of every physical ability level.


Medieval Europe and Cultural Exchange

The territory of Medieval Europe was something of a politically unstable and disparate patchwork. Throughout this period, its internal and external borders fluctuated back and forth with each successive wave of invasions (the Magyars along the Danube, Viking and Saracen raids), the expansion of Islam and the rise and fall of the Carolingian Empire.

But Medieval Europe was also undergoing a process of unification, albeit more spiritual in nature than temporal. Thus. when an 8th-century chronicler from Cordoba related the Battle of Poitiers at which the Muslim advance was halted by Charles Martel, he gave central stage to the Saracens and those termed the “people of Europe”, in other words. Christians. In fact, during the early centuries of the Middle Ages, it was primarily the process of Christianisation which was to bind together this geographical area known, for that matter, as “Christendom”, the word “Europe” rarely featuring in medieval writings.

It is important to remember that Medieval Europe was a vibrant area in which people travelled widely. It also hosted considerable commercial, cultural and artistic exchange between the component kingdoms and regions as well as externally with the surrounding territories of the Muslim world and the Byzantine Empire.