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US: Jacksonville, FL – Head to Jacksonville for Huge Kingfish Tournament

Professional and amateur anglers and those looking for a fun, family event gather for The Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament (GJKT), a contest fishing for king mackerel that spans six days every July in Jacksonville, Florida.3 men holding fish

The Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, known as one of the largest kingfish tournaments in the Southeast,  is now entering its 38th year and goes way beyond the tournament itself. In addition to the General Tournament, this fishing extravaganza also includes a Junior Angler Offshore Tournament,  live entertainment, food festival, and more.

The event benefits Jacksonville Marine Charities, an organization that has proudly made an impact over the years for the local community and its economy. The grand tournament prizing structure grants cash prizes for 10 places with 1st Place Big Fish prize valued at over $86,000.KIds With Kingfish family

2 kids Fish Fla

Lady A InezLocation: Jim King Park & Boat Ramp at Sister Creek, Jacksonville, 32226
Dates: Jul 16 – 21, 2018
Time: Various – see schedule above
Tel: 904-251-3011
kingfishtournament.com
For Regional Accommodations, Rstaurants & Attractions: visitjacksonville.com

US: Alexandria, VA – Your Destination for a Family Friendly New Year’s Eve

This annual New Year’s Eve bash takes over Old Town Alexandria with more than 150 performances at 23 indoor venues, with live music, dancing, children’s face painting and games. First Night Alexandria is a celebration of the new year through the performing arts. Retail stores, hotels, museums and public buildings are turned into performance venues to showcase incredible local and regional talent.

For a small fee for adults (children 12 and under are free), you have access to all the entertainment, all evening. Everything is within easy walking distances. The afternoon’s Ninth Annual Fun Hunt with all-new activities for families and pets. There’s a venue at the Mount Vernon Fireworks 2014 - 2Recreation Center in Del Ray filled with fun activities for children 10 and younger, dancing in the street at the east end of King Street beginning at 10 pm and the piece de resistance is the First Night’s fireworks finale with a spectacular display over the Potomac River at midnight. First Night Alexandria is so packed with entertainment, you will have a hard time deciding which performances to attend.

Event Schedule and Locations:
10:00am Noon Year’s Eve – Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
12pm Watch Night at Alfred Street Baptist Church –301 South Alfred Street Alexandria
1pm George Washington Masonic Memorial Tour – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
1pm Hooray For Books! – 1555 King Street, #101, Alexandria, VA 22314
1pm Olio – Oil & Vinegar Tasting – Olio Tasting Room. 1223 King Street, Alexandria, VA
1:30pm The Art League Gallery – 105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm 9th Annual Fun Hunt – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm Kid’s Art for Animal Adoptions – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm Mobile Art Lab – Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm Pottery at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
2pm TC Williams Jazz Band – Embassy Suites Hotel, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA
2pm Ten Thousand Villages –Ten Thousand Villages, 915 King Street, Alexandria, VA
2pm Thinkfun Family Game Room – Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street
2:30pm George Washington Masonic Memorial Tour – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
4pm George Washington Masonic Memorial Tour –George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
5pm Amazing Clowns – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
5pm Let’s Make a Face – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
5pm Seaworthy Small Ships –George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
6pm An Old Fashioned Carnival – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
6pm Becky’s Balloon Animals – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
6pm Blue Sky Puppets – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
6pm How-To Cowboy: Jokefest – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
6pm Kickoff and Drawing for Fun Hunt Prize Winners – Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
6pm Rainbow Rock Band – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave
6:15pm Mike Rose – Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
6:45pm Mister Don – Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
6:45pm Virginia Bronze – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
7pm Alexandria Singers – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Amateur Facepainters – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Billy & Bob Classic Country Show – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
7pm Blue Moon Cowgirls –St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
7pm Blue Sky Puppets – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
7pm Cletus Kennelly – Alexandria’s Union Station | 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria
7pm Curtis Blues – Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch, 717 Queen Street
7pm Dr. Robert Band – Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
7pm Irish Breakfast Band
7pm Janna Audey & Rob Santos – Long & Foster, 400 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Lesson Zero – Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street, Alexandria
7pm Mike Rose – Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Pete Farnham – Alexandria City Hall – Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King Street
7pm Primary Colors – Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Ruthie & the Wranglers – American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street, Alexandria,
7pm Stairwells –Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax Street, Alexandria
7pm The Glimpses – Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm The Grandsons – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
7pm The Rogues – Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm The Truehearts –George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
7pm Vaughn Ambrose Trio – Principle Gallery, 208 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7pm Watch Night at Alfred Street Baptist Church –301 South Alfred Street Alexandria, VA
7:30pm Battle of the Local Stars –Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria
7:30pm How-To Cowboy: Jokefest- Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
7:30pm Katherine Archer – Duchess M, 805 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7:30pm Razor Hill – Refresh Yoga, 110 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7:30pm Tom Teasley Duo –Imagine Artwear, 1124 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7:30pm Virginia Bronze –George Washington Masonic Memorial,101 Callahan Drive
7:45pm Billy Coulter Band- Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
7:45pm Bill Kirchen –Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
7:45pm Janine Wilson Band- American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street, Alexandria
7:45pm King Teddy – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
7:45pm Mark Wesling –Alexandria’s Union Station-110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA
7:45pm Mike Rose- Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
7:45pm Nicole Belanus –St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
7:45pm Nobody’s Business –Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
7:45pm Not So Modern Jazz Quartet – Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street
7:45pm Sound of Sleat – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
7:45pmWashington Philharmonic’s Woodwind Quintet –Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8pm Al Petteway & Amy White – Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax St.
8pm Blue Sky Puppets-George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
8pm Janna Audey & Rob Santos – Long & Foster, 400 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8pm The Glimpses – Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8pm The Rogues – Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8pm Vaughn Ambrose Trio – Principle Gallery, 208 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:15pm Mister Don- Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue
8:30pm Alexandria Singers – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:30pm Billy & Bob Classic Country Show- George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
8:30pm Blue Moon Cowgirls –St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street
8:30pm Cletus Kennelly – Alexandria’s Union Station | 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria
8:30pmCurtis Blues  –Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch,717 Queen Street
8:30pm Dr. Robert Band –Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
8:30pm Irish Breakfast Band –Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA
8:30pm Katherine Archer- Duchess M, 805 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:30pm Lesson Zero –Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
8:30pm Mike Rose –Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:30pm Pete Farnham- Alexandria City Hall – Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King Street
8:30pm Razor Hill – Refresh Yoga, 110 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:30pm Ruthie & the Wranglers –American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street
8:30pm The Grandsons – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street
8:30pm The Truehearts  –George Washington Masonic Memorial,101 Callahan Drive
8:30pm Tom Teasley Duo- Imagine Artwear, 1124 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
8:45pmVirginia Bronze- George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
9pm Janna Audey & Rob Santos- Long & Foster, 400 King Street, Alexandria, VA
9pm Stairwells – Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax Street
9pm The Glimpses  – Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA
9pm The Rogues – Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9pm Vaughn Ambrose Trio –Principle Gallery, 208 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:15pm Bill Kirchen – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
9:15pm Billy Coulter Band – Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
9:15pm Janine Wilson Band – American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street, Alexandria
9:15pm King Teddy – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
9:15pm Mark Wesling – Alexandria’s Union Station, 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA
9:15pm Mike Rose – Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:15pm Nicole Belanus –St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
9:15pm Nobody’s Business – Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
9:15pm Not So Modern Jazz Quartet – Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria
9:15pm Sound of Sleat – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
9:15pm Washington Philharmonic’s Woodwind Quintet – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:30pm Curtis Blues – Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch, 717 Queen Street
9:30pm Katherine Archer – Duchess M, 805 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:30pm Keira Moran- Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:30pm Pete Farnham – Alexandria City Hall – Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King Street
9:30pm Razor Hill- Refresh Yoga, 110 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
9:30pm Tom Teasley Duo – Imagine Artwear, 1124 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Al Petteway & Amy White – Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 South Fairfax St.
10pm Alexandria Singers – Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Billy & Bob Classic Country Show- George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22301
10pm Blue Moon Cowgirls- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church,228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
10pm Christ Church Sanctuary- Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
10pm Cletus Kennelly – Alexandria’s Union Station, 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA
10pm Dr. Robert Band – Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
10pm Irish Breakfast Band – Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA
10pm Janna Audey & Rob Santos – Long & Foster, 400 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Lesson Zero – Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street, Alexandria
10pm Mike Rose – Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Ruthie & the Wranglers – American Legion Post 24, 400 Cameron Street
10pm Stairwells – Alexandria Waterfront, King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm The Glimpses – Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm The Grandsons –Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
10pm The Rogues – Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pmThe Truehearts –George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
10pm Vaughn Ambrose Trio – Principle Gallery, 208 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10pm Watch Night at Alfred Street Baptist Church, 301 South Alfred Street Alexandria
10:30pm Curtis Blues – Alexandria Library – Kate Waller Barrett Branch, 717 Queen St.
10:30pm Katherine Archer – Duchess M, 805 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10:30pm Pete Farnham – Alexandria City Hall – Vola Lawson Lobby, 301 King Street
10:30pm  Tom Teasley Duo – Imagine Artwear, 1124 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
10:45pm Bill Kirchen – Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Alexandria
10:45pm Billy Coulter Band – Fraternal Order of the Eagles 871, 1015 Cameron Street
10:45pm Janine Wilson Band- American Legion Post 24,400 Cameron St., Alexandria
10:45pm King Teddy – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
10:45pm Mark Wesling- Alexandria’s Union Station, 110 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA
10:45pm Nicole Belanus- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria
10:45pm Nobody’s Business – Christ Church Auditorium, 118 North Washington Street
10:45pm Not So Modern Jazz Quartet – Lyceum, 201 South Washington St, Alexandria
10:45pm Sound of Sleat  – George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
10:45pm Washington Philharmonic’s Woodwind Quintet –Washington Street United Methodist Church, 109 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
12am Fireworks on the River! – Alexandria Waterfront, King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Location: Old Town, Alexandria, VA
Date: Sun, Dec 31st, 2017
Times: 10am – midnight
Tel: 703-746-3299
firstnightalexandria.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitalexandriava.com

US: Darien, GA – Car Show, Water Race, Doggie Parade and Battle Re-enactment in Darien

Fall is in the air and the Darien Fall Festival is the place to be.  Enjoy the Coastal scenery at this family- friendly event, offering tons to do; food, arts, and entertainment and taking place in the picturesque setting of  downtown Darien.

The Classic Coastal Cruisers of Darien Car Show will be on display in Vernon Square, The rescue group, HART of McIntosh, will hold its Doggie Day Parade along Broad Street where you’ll find costumed participants and their owners, kayakers, canoeists, and paddle boarders will compete along a 2.4-mile course from the Darien River Bridge to Fort King George Historic Site Be entertained by the McIntosh County Line Dancers and musical performances while Fine Arts vendors, Craft and Antique Vendors, and  Food and Drink vendors will be set up along the streets.darien-fall-fest2

Spend the day strolling the streets of historic Darien while enjoying the arts, antiques, food, and music or watching a battle re-enactment at FortKingGeorge , the Trailhead Center -Burning of Darien;  Museum will be open and there will be horseback rides for children. Ashantilly Mansion and Print Shop will be open. There will be a Lime Burn with a talk on the history of Ashantilly, and then  a historian led walking tour through historic St. Andrews Cemetery.

Diverse outdoor demonstrations including: yard and garden art, furniture and home decor, jewelry and clothing will take place on the grounds of the Old Jail Art Center during Fall Fest. Come out and celebrate the rich history and heritage of Darien.

Location: Downtown – Darien, GA 31305
Date: Nov 5, 2016
Hours: 8am – 5pm
Tel: 912-617-7299
darienfallfest.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitdarien.com

Canada: Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia – Ornate Main Gates

Looking down the length of Rue Toulouse you can see the Bourbon majesty in the ornate arch of Frederic Gate. Most of the people, news, merchandise which arrived at Fortress Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, as well as orders from the king arrived through the gate. The gate’s name honors the royal minister who managed France’s colonies and navy in the 18th century.

When ships arrived, crews pushed and carried their cargo through the narrow gateway. The sailors who landed here spoke French, English, Portuguese, Basque, Breton, German, and the Mi’kmaw of the native people. The quay was a gathering place for townspeople so they would have seen public announcements, auctions and even the punishment of criminals.

Cape Beton Rue Toulouse

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Charles Bridge Prague

The Charles Bridge over the river Vltava is the oldest bridge in the city, built between the 14th and 15th century and lined with statues and lamps and with Gothic towers on both ends.

St John statue on Charles Bridge

St John statue on Charles Bridge

The bronze statue of St. John of Nepomuk is the oldest (and most famous) one, created  in 1683. St. John was a parson who refused to betray a secret confided to him by Queen Sophia when asked by King Wenceslas IV. In 1393, he was tortured on the king´s demand and then thrown into the river from the Charles Bridge. After his death, supposedly five stars  appeared above the river.

There is a brassy cross with five stars at the place on the parapet, where he was thrown to the river. If you place your hand on the cross, so that each finger will touch one star, you can wish for something and it will be fulfilled. People also touch the relief on the statue for luck.

www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Good King Wencelas

StVitus

St Vitus Cathedral

In Prague we learned about Wenceslas I, or Svatý Václav in Czech, who was the duke of Bohemia from 921 until his assassination in 935, purportedly in a plot by his own brother, Boleslav the Cruel.

In the optional excursion of Medieval Prague, you get to see the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, the biggest and most important church in the Czech Republic. It’s located in Prague Castle and contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors as well as the St. Wenceslas Chapel.

Due to the popularity of some books which elevated Wenceslas I to a place of heroic goodness and resulted in his being elevated to sainthood, was posthumously declared king, and then became the patron saint of the Czech state. He is that one and only “Good King Wenceslas” of the popular song which is a Saint Stephen’s Day carol written in 1853. over 900 years after he lived.

His death in September 935 (or perhaps 929) was committed by a group of nobles allied with Wenceslas’ younger brother Boleslav. Boleslav invited Wenceslas to a feast, they quarreled, and 3 of his buddies murdered Wenceslas on his way to church. Boleslav thus succeeded him as the Duke of Bohemia.

Since 2000, the feast day of Saint Wenceslas (September 28) is a public holiday in the Czech Republic, celebrated as Czech Statehood Day.

On the Cosmos optional excursion, one is wowed by the grandeur of the St. Wenceslas Chapel in St. Vitus Cathedral where his relics are kept. The room, built between 1344 and 1364, has walls encrusted with over 1,300 semi-precious stones and paintings about the Passion of Christ. The upper part of the walls have paintings about the life of St Wenceslas, and in the middle is a Gothic statue of him.

The Crown of King Wenceslas

The Crown of King Wenceslas

There is a small door with seven locks in the chapel, which leads to the Crown Chamber containing the Czech Crown Jewels, which are displayed to the public only once every (circa) eight years. Seven different people have seven keys.

www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Beloved Sisi, Empress Elisabeth

Just as we have our beloved famous Disney princesses, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had theirs – but she was for real. They call her by her nickname Sisi, and she was their Empress for 44 years.sisi

Their have been numerous movies, plays, operas, ballets, books and music about her in the German speaking world. It is probably the trilogy of romantic films about her life which starred a young Romy Schneider which made her a household name. She is so popular that  the 3 movies are shown every Christmas on Austrian, German, Dutch, and French television.

Though her husband Emperor Franz Josef  adored her, she felt stifled by Habsburg  court life and traveled extensively whenever and wherever she could. She loved learning and spoke English, French, modern Greek and Hungarian. Her domineering mother-in-law made her life miserable and even took away her children to raise. Her first daughter died as a toddler and her beloved son Crown Prince Rudolph, heir to the throne, committed suicide along with his lover, and she never fully recovered from that loss.

Empress Elisabeth was vain and did not sit for any portraits after she was 32  and would not allow any more photographs, so that her public image would always remain of her youthful self.  She was tall, and compulsively maintained the same low weight all through her life thru exercise (horsemanship, fencing, hiking) and fasting.

Her interest in politics had developed as she matured. She felt an intense emotional alliance with Hungary, and worked toward it gaining an equal footing with Austria. Elisabeth was an ideal mediator between the Magyars and the Emperor. She was a personal advocate for Hungarian Count Gyula Andrássy (he was a lifelong friend, and possibly her lover).

Finally, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 created the double monarchy of Austro–Hungary. Andrássy was made the first Hungarian prime minister, and in return he saw that Franz Josef and Elisabeth were officially crowned King and Queen of Hungary.

Sisi was assassinated “by accident” in 1898 by Luigi Lucheni, who had planned to kill the Duke of Orleans, Pretender to France’s throne, but the Duke had left town. Despite warnings of possible assassination attempts Elisabeth, now age 60, traveled incognito to Geneva. She eschewed the protection which the Swiss government had offered and only promenaded with her lady-in-waiting.

You can visit many of her residences: her apartments in the Hofburg and the Schönbrunn Palaces in Vienna, the imperial villa in Ischl, the Achilleion in Corfu, and her summer residence in Gödöllő, Hungary.

These plaques, mounted in Vienna, tell some of her story:

allsisi

 

www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050

Germany: Munich Hotel Bayerischer Hof

The Hotel Bayerischer Hof was opened in 1841 because King Ludwig I wished to have a comfortable place for his guests to stay. (What – no extra rooms in his gi-normous palace?). Today it is still a gorgeous 5-star hotel, but we think the best places are on the roof and in the basement.

Palais Keller, situated in the old salt cellar from the Middle Ages, is an inexpensive but delicious place to dine on traditional Bavarian food. Go down the stone steps to this bustling restaurant with waitresses sporting frilly aprons, carrying big mugs of Lowenbrau beer and wearing big smiles. The folkloric atmosphere only adds to the taste of the veal in cream sauce with spaetzle, potato salad, sauerkraut, bread dumplings, weiswursts and cheese wursts, along with pretzels with mustard.

After you’ve dined head for the roof, to the Blue Spa Bar & Lounge. Have a drink in the sky and take in the birds-eye view of all of Munich before you.

RooftopResto RooftopResto2

In 1897 Herrmann Volkhardt bought the hotel, and today Innegrit Volkhardt, the fourth generation, is the General Manager.  It was bombed in WWII; Falk Volkhardt, the son of Hermann  made an amazing discovery under the ruins of the destroyed hotel – the Spiegelsaal (Mirror Hall) had survived almost intact.  In October 1945, this was where he opened the first restaurant in the centre of Munich after the war.

http://www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest began as a wedding party.Oktoberfest

On October 12, 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became King Ludwig I, married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen,  all the citizens of Munich were invited to the wedding!

The festivities were held in the fields in front of the city gates. The fields were named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s meadow”) in honor of the Crown Princess, and have kept that name ever since. Locals have since abbreviated the name simply to  “Wiesn” which is what locals call the festival.

Oktoberfest is not a German national event. It is a local Bavarian festival, held in Munich.

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html

www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050

Germany: Munich’s English Garden

The “English Garden”, really the Englischer Garten in Munich is  known as one of the largest urban public parks in the world. Believe it or not, it was designed by an American physicist, Sir Benjamin Thompson in 1789.EnglishGarden

Born in Woburn, Massachusetts, he served as a Lieutenant-Colonel on the British side during the American Revolutionary War for which he received a knighthood from King George III. He later lived in Germany and became Count Rumford.

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html