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 Thank you for visiting our blog: a great place to search for deals and get ideas!                 While we  specialize  in  small ships cruises, river and Barge cruises, upscale Vacations, and Tours,  we service our clients’ every need.  Our core business is all about repeat clients and  referrals.   Most clients start their vacation search on the internet and we think that’s a good thing.  The web is a great source of information.  When it’s time to plan your trip, however, then leave it to the Professionals.   One call and we’ll do it all …

 

Saint Lorenz Church in Nuremberg, Germany

Do you wish to visit this beautiful church? Contact us, we have many river cruises going trough the Nuremburg.

Living The Q Life

Located in the heart of old town in Nuremberg, St. Lorenz Church dominates the skyline. It is a medieval church that was built in the 1400’s, although it was largely damaged during WWII like many other buildings in Germany. Dedicated to St. Lawrence, the church has many interesting features, both in the interior as well as the exterior. St. Lorenz Church was built in the gothic architectural style and is the largest church in Nuremberg. Originally a Catholic church, the church was converted to Lutheran after the reformation.

IMG_3871 Detailed Sculpture in the Choir Hall

IMGP1348 Gothic Architecture of the St. Lorenz Church

IMG_3875 High Ceilings

IMG_3869 Stained Glass Windows

IMG_3868 Medieval Artwork

IMGP1326 One of the Towers of St. Lorenz Church

IMG_3865 Ornate Stairs in the Church

One of the most prominent features within the church is the hall choir with its tabernacle. There is also some beautiful artwork that had been donated by wealthy citizens…

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A pink palace in the Algarve

Salt of Portugal

358 - Pousada de Estói - @mariarebelophotography.comFIt takes a long time to build a beautiful palace. An Algarve aristocrat started in 1840 to build the Estoi palace in an estate near Faro. When he died, his son took over. But by 1893, the building was still unfinished and seemed destined to become a decorative ruin. It was then that a wealthy landowner bought the palace and spent a fortune on its completion. The sumptuous inauguration took place in May 1909. Decades later, the palace was abandoned.

In 2009, a century after its inauguration, Estoi opened once again, this time as a luxury historical hotel. It is a place out of a fairytale, its opulent salons and elegant gardens restored to their original glory.

Our stay at Estoi was an extraordinary experience. Some days, we relaxed by the pool and spent time admiring the statues, fountains and myriad of architectural details. Other days, we went to the…

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Santa Clara 1728

Salt of Portugal

Silent Living Composite - 2

When João Rodrigues opened the doors of Santa Clara to greet us, the sun rushed in, eager to revisit this 1728 building that laid in ruins until two years ago.

João lives a double life. He manages Silent Living, an expanding group of exquisite hotels, while flying around the world as an airline pilot. We expected a short conversation, but instead we spent a leisurely afternoon getting to know him and his project.

This act of making time for his guests tells you why João’s hotels are so unique. “When people stay with us, we receive them as friends. If I could afford it, I wouldn’t charge for the rooms,” João explains in his soft voice. “We ask guests to pay in advance, so we do not have to collect money during their stay. That is also why everything is included, the  breakfast, the drinks in the mini bar, all the…

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Going underground at the National Coal Mining Museum

Love Travelling

When researching my family history I discovered that I had numerous ancestors who had spent their working lives as coal miners so I thought it would be interesting to visit the National Coal Mining Museum for England and learn what it was like to work down a coal mine. The museum opened in 1988 and celebrating its 30th anniversary last year. At the time of the museum’s opening there were at least 60 mines still operating but since then they have all now closed.

Untitled The entrance to the National Coal Mining Museum

The museum is located on the A642 in Overton near Wakefield, West Yorkshire and is signposted from the M1 motorway. It was around 11.30 a.m. when we arrived and as the main car park was already full, we were directed to the overflow car park at the far end of the site. Visitors can then either walk across…

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Discovering Yourself Through Travel

Living The Q Life

Into the Woods Into the Woods

When we were young, we read stories and saw movies about Native Americans going on vision quests. A journey into the wilderness with nothing but a bow and arrow where they were to survive in the harshest of conditions until they would have visions of their ancestors who appeared in the form of an animal. That animal would become their spirit guide and would reveal to them their true selves. Images of venturing into the wild as a child only to return as an adult, while obviously more metaphoric than actual events, do have parallels to real life. We had a friend once tell us that you are not truly an adult until you live out of the state or country where your family resides. In many ways, that is true. Without the support system that family and friends can offer, you don’t always know what you…

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The Places Where You Never Thought You Would Go

Living The Q Life

When we were children, many of us dreamed of what it would like to be an explorer and to visit strange and unknown lands. Then we grew up and as we like to say, life got in the way. So we spent our time building careers and raising children and traveled to as many places as we could, but all without leaving our own country. Then, when our children moved out on their own, we started to venture out and start exploring the world. As like most people, we started out by going to places that were more familiar to us like England, France, Spain, and Mexico. Lately, though, we have gone to places that we had never really considered. This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Unlikely and at this point we have been to many places that had you asked us ten years ago we would have never…

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What Was Your Wanderlust Moment?

Living The Q Life

We had been taking vacations for years where we would visit interesting locations throughout the United States. We even traveled abroad and to Mexico, but as we look back now, we were tourists not travelers in those days. The trip that changed everything for us was when we went to Chennai, India. That was the trip where we really learned to immerse ourselves as much as possible in the culture and push ourselves outside of our normal comfort zone. That experience has changed the way that we travel, the way that we view the places that we visit, as well as the choices that we make on where in the world to go. We are now travelers, not tourists. We don’t just want to go to the most famous sites, we want to grow as global citizens and learn as much about the world and the people who inhabit it as much…

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How to Make the Most of a Trip to Ecuador

Living The Q Life

Ecuador is such a wonderful country in South America with so many different places to see and explore. It is a country made up of three distinct ecosystems from the coast, the peaks of the Andes Mountains, and the dense Amazon Rainforest. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is centrally located, making it the perfect location to start any adventure. Ideally, any visit to Ecuador would last for at least two weeks, but if you don’t have that much time, you’re going to have make some difficult decisions. During our trip, we made sure to make the most of our time there, but we had to decide whether we wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands or spend time in the Amazon Rainforest as we didn’t have time to do both. For an ideal trip to Ecuador, here are the top places to see during your time there.

DSC_4519 Front of the…

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