Augsburg, Germany, home of the Augsburg Ballet, where my nephew recently completed 18 months
Augsburg is a university town in the south-west of Bavaria. According to Wikipedia, it " is the only German city with its own legal holiday, the Augsburger Hohes Friedensfest, celebrated on August 8 of every year. This gives Augsburg more legal holidays than any other region or city in Germany."
Serbia is considered to be at the crossroads of central and southeast Europe. Many immediately recall and link Serbia to the Balkan Wars. However, despite a past fraught with various wars and conflicts, it has become quite the tourist attraction. The gorgeous Danube River run through it and empties into the Black Sea as do all of Serbia's rivers and waterways. It is home to glacial lake Palic, large forests, and diverse flora and fauna. Summer temperatures run in the 70s (Fahrenheit) so visiting during this time is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities.
Moving back towards western Europe, we find friend, R. Sosa, floating in a boat in Cambridge, England while observing outdoors enthusiasts 'punting'. Punting is simply boating in a punt. A punt is a flat-bottomed boat that has a square-cut bow. It's gerally used for more shallow water boating, and was originally used to haul cargo. It's easy to confuse a punt with gondola while sitting in one since it definitely inspires the desire to lay back and just soak in the scenery, but don't be fooled. The shapes give them away as gondolas are long and pointed at the bow.
Also in Basel is the Rathaus, or the City Hall (the seat of the government of the Canton of Basel-City which at the same time functions as the city council according to Basel.com). Located in the massive Marktplatz, it is surrounded by fresh flower and vegetable vendors, and unusual artwork and sculptures ranging from historic to Art Nouveau.
|Unusual sculptures at the Rathaus, Basel, Switzerland|
The trip continues to Basel, Switzerland where we're reminded of simpler industry such as mills where paper is still made the old-fashioned way. The Basel Paper Mill is reminiscent of mills still found in Indianapolis, Indiana on a trip taken several years back where snow made a thoughtful appearance - in April! Being a Texan, I surely wasn't used to that and needless to say, I loved it.
The Ancient City of Polonarruwa dates back to 12th century where the conquering Cholas brought Brahminism to the region. It holds title as the second capital city of Sri Lanka, and the many sculptures, temples, and castle ruins transport visitors back in time.
All around the current capital, Colombo, one can find more replicas of Buddha than a person can count including a 'reclining Buddha'. And let's not forget the wonderful elephants. Wildlife plays an integral part in life in Sri Lanka.
And after all that traveling, it's time to just take it easy on a sand-covered beach by sparkling turquoise waters in the Maldives. Who wouldn't want to take up residence in one these huts and spend the next several days tanning, swimming, and and catching up on a good book as the breeze ruffles the palm fronds overhead? Ready to book your vacation yet?