I have nothing against the Welsh. After all, as man and boy, I was blissfully happy in this beautiful land of someone else’s father. But not everyone agrees. Their most famous lyricist, Dylan Thomas once said, ‘Land of my Fathers? They are welcome to it.’
The British chart-topping 1960s folk singer Donovan was the only pop star poet to receive France’s most prestigious cultural award awarded to him personally by the French Government. The hippy era singer of poetic-style ballads once won the heart of nations and clearly won French hearts too.
The ancient Spanish city of Salamanca, situated on the banks of the River Tormes, is one of the oldest university towns in Europe with a rich and elegant collection of Renaissance, Roman, Gothic and Baroque monuments. Among them are two majestic cathedrals built between the 12th and 18th centuries. The New Cathedral, constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries, features late Gothic style with a Baroque styled cupola. The cathedral’s vaulted stone ceilings contain graceful paintings and its sandstone walls are intricately carved. But one element is peculiarly out of place and out of time.
The old city of Segovia, about 90 km north of Madrid, is best known for its aqueduct, but this historic city is full of architectural curiosities, such as the ornamental façades and geometric textures on the walls of many of the houses, the strangest of which is Casa de los Picos, or the “House of Peaks”. The façade of this house is covered entirely by granite blocks carved into pyramid-shaped reliefs. There are more than six hundred pyramids jutting out of the walls giving the impression of a giant cheese grater.
European culture offers a feast of quality music that accompanies the more discerning on a journey from womb to tomb. Perhaps these suggestions will inspire you to explore and enjoy the finest music created by Europe’s most gifted musicians over centuries. Do feel free to YouTube or purchase any of the following titles that will familiarise you with music that will continue to enhance your life. Think of each track as a glass of sublime aphrodisiacal wine. I think you will return again and again.
The Altai Mountains run through Central and East Asia for about twelve hundred miles from the southeast to the northwest, spanning China, Mongolia, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
Much of the land contains burials from thousands of years ago which have been preserved due to the permafrost that covers the area.
Moscow subway users are so used to the splendors of the “world’s largest underground museum” that they have become blind to them. Yet the ceilings and walls of its stations and vestibules conceal some truly incredible works of applied art.
Throughout Europe there is rising ethnic-identity awareness, a cultural revolution that rejects the multi-cultural sub-culture not of Europe’s own. Renewed enthusiasm for national identity expressed through music perhaps lies behind the recent craze for Portugal’s Queen of Fado, Amalia Rodrigues (1920 ~ 1999). The blues singer‘s fame once eclipsed that of the iconic French soul-singing waif Edith Piaf and that of Nana Mouskouri of Greece.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the topic of travel is temporarily closed for most of the inhabitants of the Earth. Fortunately, we can still go on virtual walks in stunning locations. Why not take a stroll through the halls of the world’s best museums that have created an interactive version of their exhibits? Let’s go on excursions to visit the best cultural treasures of different countries and people.
Older than Stonehenge and more enigmatic and ancient than the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Newgrange tomb in Ireland holds as many mysteries as each of those mysterious structures. The massive complex of Newgrange was built about 3200 BC, yet its existence was not discovered until 1699, when a local landowner wanted the mound dug up for its stones. In fact, throughout Ireland have been so far discovered over 200 such tombs.