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A part of myself lives in these places and I need to go and explore them.
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Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés 43, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
This is a delightful little hotel in the heart of Brussels located in a picturesque square just minutes from the Grand'Place.......
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Oude Houtlei 110, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Centrally located, the sumptuous Hôtel Verhaegen is a mine of local history. Formerlya private mansion inhabited by barons and counts, the five room hotel has been carefully restored by its current owners, a pair of interior designers. Original...
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Piazza della Rotonda, 73, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
There are a lot of good hotels in Rome. And there are a lot of bad ones. So finding the right one is a treasure. This one is. Albergo del Senato. Right smack dab in front of the Pantheon and the perfect Piazza della Rotonda. Hard to find a better...
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75009 Paris, France
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is worth a visit if only to stand under its magnificent glass dome. The family business has survived as a one-stop-shopping hub for five generations, thanks to steady innovation and an emphasis on high fashion and...
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9 Carrefour de l'Odéon, 75006 Paris, France
Booking a room at Le Relais Saint-Germain, managed by the beloved chef Yves Camdeborde, is the only surefire way to score a table at his bistro next door, Le Comptoir. Each hotel room is dedicated to a prominent author who was inspired by Paris,...
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Vicolo delle Bollette, 13, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
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Here is one of Rome’s best restaurants: Al Moro is very traditional and is well known for the quality of its seasonal ingredients, including porcini mushrooms, wild strawberries, artichokes, and asparagus. 39/06-678-3495. By Pepi Marchetti...
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Every summer, the Athens Festival brings world-class performances to an unorthodox range of venues across town. The most impressive is this Roman amphitheater beneath the Acropolis, where Maria Callas, Frank Sinatra and ballerina Sylvie Guillem...
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Athens 105 58, Greece

You can’t miss the Parthenon, the majestic ruin towering above Athens. Originally painted in vivid hues, this feat of architecture, engineering, and artistry is still as awe-inspiring as it was almost 2,500 years ago. Le Corbusier, pioneer...

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6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris, France
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One part tourist trap, one part beloved café, Les Deux Magots is a legendary spot that everyone should visit at least once when in Paris. Most famous as the place where the likes of Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway...
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650 Gongyuan Rd, Qingpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 201700
This street is next to the Yu Garden (on your way), and store after store are endless gift shop and eateries. I went there in a rainy day, but still - look how crowded it is!
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15 Guozijian St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
Across the street from the Lama Temple is the Guozijian, or Kong Miao. However, as my philosophy teacher warned, the Confucian philosophy is not to be confused with religion—that is to say, this is not really a worshipping temple. Rather, it’s a...
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Waikīkī, HI 96815, USA
This was taken as I was walking to the beach in Waikiki, Hawaii to view the amazing sunset :)
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Japan, 〒605-0862 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Kiyomizu 1-chōme, 294
This is one of my favorite places in Japan, and in the world. It is one of the most beautiful temples. It's very nice to come here when it's not crowded. I often try to come here during the rain, as odd as that sounds (that's when it is least...
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Mikonos 846 00, Greece
The Vienoula's Garden Hotel in Mykonos is located 10minutes away from the city center (Downtown Mykonos). For people who would like to enjoy some quiet time, this is the perfect place. For those who loves to party, it's a 10 minutes walk to the...
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Ngeaur Island, Angaur, Palau
Population of this small island is 99, not including the monkey’s, crocodiles, fruit bats, coconut crabs and blue coral. The ghosts of WWII linger, with shipwrecks, and overgrown vegetation. The route to Anguar is via boat. We were fortunate to be...
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Silver Falls, Oregon 97344, USA
Hike through Oregon's Silver Falls park and you come upon this majestic view.
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10 Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris, France
In 1963 artist Marc Chagall was commissioned by the French Minister of Culture to repaint the Paris Opera House ceiling. The artist choice was controversial because, although a French nationalized citizen, Chagall was a Russian Jew, and a modern...
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Waimoku Falls, Hawaii 96713, USA
I used to live in Maui, right at the start of the Hana Highway, and driving the famous road was a weekly ritual. I recently went back to visit and found it still as breathtaking as ever. To avoid the tourist traffic (Mustangs seem to be the...
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Tarn Taran Sahib, Punjab 143401, India
Sikhs and non-Sikhs go to Amritsar for one reason – to see the Golden Temple (Hamandir Sahib) so, that is what I did on my most recent trip to India. Except, I went on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday which is a national holiday in India and because of...
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25A Albertus St & Buitenkant Street, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
As time passes and memories fade we all would do well to make the effort to remember. Here at the District Six Museum in Cape Town you can learn about the experiences of one vital neighborhood dismantled under apartheid. Photographs and words...
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Rue Yves St Laurent By A-Maps، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
In 1923, the artist Jacques Majorelle acquired a four-acre plot of land just outside the center of Marrakech. Inspired by numerous travels around the country to paint scenes of village life, and funded by painting more illustrious portraits such...
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Zürich Hauptbahnhof, Museumstrasse 1, 8021 Zürich, Switzerland
Look familiar? If the Swiss Federal Railways clock looks instantly recognizable, that’s because Apple used an eerily familiar design for its iOS 6 operating system used by its iPhone and iPad mobile devices. (It turned out to be an expensive...
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68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha on Inariyama mountain is dedicated to the Shinto gods of rice and sake, but Inari is also the god of merchants and that brings a lot of businesspeople to worship here. Everyone else stops by to see the thousands...

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Getting up in the pre-dawn is not usually on my agenda, but wanting to see the Gran Plaza in Tikal at sunrise was sufficient motivation. I expected at least a handful of others would be similarly motivated, but my expectation was fantastically...
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Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Even with Segway tours rolling through and street performers loudly competing for audiences, the 15th-century Piazza Navona somehow retains a shred of grace and elegance in modern Rome. Calm Renaissance palazzi face the piazza’s centerpiece,...
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Lungotevere Farnesina, Roma RM, Italy
One of the highlights of Rome was a sunset walk from Trastevere north along the Tiber with the dome of St. Peter's as the backdrop.
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00120 Vatican City
Preceding my study abroad experience in Salamanca, I was lucky enough to stay with my uncle who lives in Vatican City. The breakfast nook of his home, also my favorite spot to drink my morning coffee, had the most incredible view of the city of ...
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When it comes to ice cream, there is still only one place in Rome. It has been the best since 1900. I love Giolitti not only for the great gelato, but also because it hasn’t changed since I was a little girl. 39/06-699-1243. By Pepi Marchetti...
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Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Fontana di Trevi is, as it should be, one of the most visited landmarks in Rome. Seeing it is worth the blind stumble through narrow stone streets and alleyways. But do so at night (and in the rain, if possible) to be rewarded with...
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08024 Barcelona, Spain
A pilgrimage to this enchanting park is a must for any Antoni Gaudí fan. Located atop Carmel Hill to the north of the city, the park was inspired by English landscape gardens, but its fantastical elements make sure you know it was...
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El Poble-sec, Barcelona, Spain
A delightful surprise, walking around the Barcelona harbor during Christmas time, after a blazing red sunset....and run across a circus straight out of the prop department.
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Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
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Bodhgaya, Bihar, India
Brightly colored flowers line the Cankamana, or the Jeweled Walk. These raised circles indicate where the lord's feet rested. Bodhgaya, India
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Purani Mandi, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
Timeless monument to love. Go in the early morning to beat the crowds and the heat.
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Sayyaji Rao Rd, Devaraja Mohalla, Shivarampet, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001, India
These are pots of powdered paint displayed in Mysore Market. This market is one of my favorite places in India because of the beautiful fruit and vegetable stalls, friendly vendors, and the air of vibrancy and decay that makes India feel both old...
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58 Quốc Tử Giám, Văn Miếu, Đống Đa, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam
Don't skip Temple of Literature when you visit Hanoi, especially if it is during the time of the New Year Celebrations. This is when students and their families will come and pay a visit and calligraphists will assemble outside the temple and...
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A girl and her younger brother sell paper candle boats during the Tet New Year celebrations in Hoi An, Vietnam. After purchasing these boats, a wish is made for the new year and the boat is released into the Thu Bon River.
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6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
For a first-time visitor to Notre Dame, investing in the audio guide is essential to immerse in and understand this overwhelmingly significant Paris icon. There's a lot to see and absorb—history, architecture, artifacts,...
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Paris, France
My wife and two friends were tired of "museums" so they mistakenly decided to go shopping while I went to the Rodin Museum alone. It was breathtaking, the flowers were all in full bloom, the art on display inside was rare and beautiful, but the...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
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Vicolo del Bottino, 8, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I love to go to this restaurant and wine bar for a glass of prosecco and to enjoy the unique view out over the Spanish Steps and the rest of Rome as the sun sets. 39/06-699-341000. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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Pont des Arts, 75006 Paris, France
Strolling over the Pont des Arts, in spite of the tourists, and the cliché, bereted accordian player busquing for a Euro... even with the lovers buying locks to place on the fencing, and the nasal wail of the Bateaux Mouches loudspeakers floating...
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Strada General Traian Moșoiu 24, Bran 507025, Romania
Bram Stoker based his novel Dracula on the this castle in Bran, Transylvania, Romania. Not actually Vlad Tepes home (you can find that in Sigishoara), generations of Romanian monarchs lived in this castle overlooking the Translyvanian countryside....
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
If you find yourself on the Mediterranean Sea or in Italy then be sure you make your way to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre, or "The Five Lands" (in Italian), is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and...
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Rue au Beurre 46, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Brussels’ Grand Place is home to many festivals of all different themes: flowers, beer, international cultures, music, and seasonal holidays. But one festival, the Ommegang, full of colour and pageantry, has been taking place here since 1549. The...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
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Sol, Madrid, Spain
Spain's streets are alive with the sound of music, and nowhere more than Madrid. This enchanting harpist can be typically be found on the street connecting Sol to Opera, but fret not if you don't find her - our streets are packed with talented...
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191 Portobello Rd, London W11 2ED, UK
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For the ultimate cinema experience in London, head way down to Portobello Road in Notting Hill to see a film at the Electric Cinema, which has been showing movies for 100 years. After just recently undergoing a refurbishment, you'll find plush...
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Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
Well not exactly, but pretty darn close. Paradors are government-run hotels in Spain, many located within historic buildings like monasteries and castles. The Granada Parador is the old monastery of the Alhambra Palace and is located within the...
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172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France
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Go for the scene, not the food, and enjoy the Art Deco décor and great people-watching at this buzzy Left Bank landmark. Despite a limited menu and steep prices, the place is packed day and night. Order a chocolat chaud and sit on the...
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2400 US-101, Yachats, OR 97498, USA
It was eerie at first, almost scary, stepping into this dense world alone, but the forest opened its arms to me. As I followed the winding path, my bravery grew. I was alone here, in the thick coastal Oregon forest. The earth beneath my shoes was...
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51 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604, USA
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After reading an article on a new location for Optimo Hats on page 26 of the September 2012 issue of Afar, we decided to visit Optimo ourselves. We chose to go to the original location in South Chicago, which is 20 minutes south of downtown....
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Lake Chūzenji, Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1661, Japan
The Chuzenji Temple in Oku-nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, was originally founded in 784 by a Buddhist monk known as Shodo-shonin and is located on the shore of Lake Chuzenji, which is approximately 1,300 meters above sea level. In the middle of the...