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trip plan 2015

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6 Rue de la Grange Batelière, 75009 Paris, France
Passages were designed in the 19th century to give Parisians protection from muddy streets and horse-drawn vehicles. Some 20 of these covered walkways remain today, including the Passage Verdeau; they are an excellent way to journey back into...
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2 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
There's the picture-perfect Luxembourg Gardens, the vast Tuileries, the intimate Place des Vosges and the Buttes Chaumont, a local hangout. But for a majestic stroll through history, head to the Palais Royal gardens, a quick walk from the Louvre...
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62 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris, France
The Museum of Hunting and Nature is tucked away in a former mansion in the Marais.From taxidermy and leather hunting outfits for eagles to contemporary art installations, this is one of the most charming, surprising, and creative little...
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63 Rue de Monceau, 75008 Paris, France
The elegant musée Nissim de Camondo is truly one of the finest gems in Paris' treasure chest of cultural experiences. Previously the private residence of a wealthy Jewish family, the impressive private collection became a museum at the bequest of...
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Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Our last night in Paris we surprised our wives with a dinner on the Eiffel Tower. The scenic boat ride was part of the experience. I looked up saw this perfectly composed scene and was just able to capture the moment. One of our favorite of the...
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Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
In the Louvre my wife was standing near this antique work of art and I suggested she pose near it, a top moment of our trip.
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Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
Once I had experienced the obligatory tour of Neuschwanstein Castle (located in southwest Bavaria, Germany), I wanted to escape the masses and was particularly keen on taking my own "perfect postcard" photos of the castle. This was not difficult...
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Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
I'll never forget that day in 1989 when the wall came down—and the iconic images that followed. It represented freedom, the success of democracy and the West, and it marked the end of the cold war! It was the Reagan era, Saturday Night Live...
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Römerberg, 60329 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
There’s no better way to experience the festivities of the holidays than Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Germany, and Frankfurt's is particularly beautiful. The markets take place usually in the center of the town, and you'll find all...
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Knaackstraße 98, 10435 Berlin, Germany
A vast majority of Berliners will gladly stop for a good old currywurst on their way back home from a festive evening at the pub. The history of this mouthwatering dish goes back to the 1950s when a German woman was given ketchup, curry powder,...
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Am Sandtorkai 36, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
The streets of Hamburg are full of history, and a walk around Speicherstadt won't cost you much. Just read the descriptive signs and enjoy the waterways and the architectural eye candy. Maybe have an Astra beer or two afterwards to make the moment...
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Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe also known as the Holocaust Memorial consists of a 19,000 squares meters (almost 6,000 squares feet) covered with 2,771 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.
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Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany
The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spire and largest façade of any church in the world....
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Neumarkt, 01067 Dresden, Germany
A recently rebuilt Lutheran church that was destroyed in the fire bomb raid that devastated this city in February, 1945. Original pieces of the church were used in its reconstruction and are a darker color.
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Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Wien, Austria
The Imperial Palace of Vienna is frankly overwhelming, whether you are a traveller on a 24-hour schedule or a lifetime local. It comprises 30+ buildings on a terrain the size of 34 soccer fields. As a 30-year local, I have had the luxury to slice...
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Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
I don't think I ever missed a single season of the annual Film and Food Festival on Rathausplatz in the past 20 years. It's just part of summer in Vienna. There are a dozen food stalls by local restaurants there, such as this one from Weinorgel...
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Stephansplatz 3, 1010 Wien, Austria
View from the top of Saint Stephen's Cathedral (Stephandom, Cathedral of Vienna) in Vienna, Austria. If I am not mistaken, the top of the tower from where this picture was taken is the highest point in Vienna.
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Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
The Spanish Riding School is one of the most iconic attractions in all of Austria. It is absolutely unique in the world, and preserves an art so refined and courtly that it transports any viewer back into imperial times. The white horses, the...
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Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
The Baths of Caracalla, a third century bathing complex located near the Circus Maximus, was the center of social life for tens of thousands of Romans who would gather there—around 10,000 at a time—to exercise, bathe, and relax. Admission was...
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Piazza del Popolo, Roma RM, Italy

First night in Rome, I metro-ed it to Piazza Di Popolo. The sun was setting and dusk hue-ed the grand square. Two bastion buildings welcomed me like solemn butlers to the Via Veneto where all of Rome had come out to enjoy the evening.

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Largo di Villa Peretti, 2, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
At the Museo Nazionale Romano - Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is the Pugilist. He's a Hellenistic bronze sculpture from the 4th century BC and he is stunning. The details of the gloves on his hands and the look of exhaustion...and possibly...
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00120, Vatican City
No, you are still not allowed to take photographs of the Sistine Chapel while visiting Vatican City. Yes, I did it anyway just to try and capture the awesomeness of the accomplishment by good ol' Michelangelo. Like so many incredible artistic...
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Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Capitoline Museums house a collection of ancient sculptures in a pair of buildings designed by Michelangelo in the mid-16th century. The architecture on its own is stunning, but add to that brilliant frescoes and museum halls decked out with...
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Via di San Gregorio, 30, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Palatine Hill was home to an early Roman settlement and had major significance for the city's history. Legend states that Romulus founded Rome on that hill in 753 B.C.E., and Romans even maintained a cult site sacred to the founding father for...
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Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Pantheon is a spectacular structure, and one of the oldest and best preserved in Rome. The light changes throughout the day—this was taken about 12:30 p.m. in April. Be ready for big crowds, but looking at all the architectural details can...
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Viale della Stazione di Ostia Antica, 00119 Roma RM, Italy
Hop on the commuter train at Lido Station (next to the Piramide Metro stop) and make the 25-minute trip to Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port town and administrative center. The teeming city of up to 100,000 residents is relatively well preserved...
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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Against our middle child's protests that we were going in a ramp that stated “Exit Only,” we rambled into the Roman Forum area after hours. Which is why we found ourselves at the top of a hill, overlooking the city, with only two young...
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00184 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
What else can you say, it's THE Colosseum. Impressive on every count. Long live Caesar.
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Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
of three roads (tre vie), the Trevi Fountain in Rome marks the terminal point of the Aqua Vergine, Aqua Virgo and one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the world.
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Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
Licking the final scoop of my stracciatella, I stared up to look at the monumental façade of the ST. Peter’s Basilica and It blew my mind! I could not take my eyes off Michelangelo’s Dome of the Basilica with the statues of the Saints on the top...
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68r, Via dei Servi, 66, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence - home to the Italian Renaissance. It is so amazing to walk the streets and imagine all those who have walked there before you...Dante, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Boticelli, Ghirlandaio, Galileo and many more. You almost start taking for...