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Canada: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario – Traversing Canadian Locks

The Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site’s lock system was completed in 1895 and at the time was part of the world’s longest lock. It was the first to operate with electrical power electricity generated on site in a powerhouse. It was also the first to use an emergency swing bridge dam to protect the lock in case of emergency. Since 1998 the lock has been use for recreational vehicle use only – and is Free to go through.

Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

The seat of government is also a fun place for tourists to hang out. Look for people inside the “O”. Look around the square for sculptures: Three-Way Piece No. 2 (The Archer) by Henry Moore, Oscar Nemon’s statue of Sir Winston Churchill and even a Roman column. If you’re looking to park your car, underneath is one of the world’s largest underground parking garages.

Canada: Toronto, Ontario – Two Views of Toronto’s CN Tower

The CN Tower and a reflection of the Tower in an office building nearby, The tower held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years until 2007 when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa. It still remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.


Canada: Toronto, Ontario: Views from the CN Tower Toronto

Until 2009, The CN Tower was the world’s tallest tower but in that year the Canton Tower was built and surpassed it. It’s still in the top 10 free-standing structures in the world, coming in at #9.

Italy, Rome: St. Peter’s Dome, Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica has the tallest dome in the world. Michelangelo had a large part in its design. The lantern is 17 metres high. It was used as a model for other domes in the western world such as Saint Paul’s in London (1675), Les Invalides in Paris (1680-1691) and the Capitol building in Washington, DC (1794-1817).

 

 

Italy, Rome: Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world with the tallest dome in the world. This Renaissance architecture was designed over the centuries by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

On 1 January 1547, Michelangelo, then in his seventies, was Pope Paul III’s 3rd choice to be the superintendent of the building program. So way beyond the Sistine Chapel, he was the principal designer of most of the building as you see it today.

┬áMichelangelo, who did not want this job, wrote “I undertake this only for the love of God and in honour of the Apostle.” In order to take the assignment, he insisted he be given a free hand to achieve his ultimate design by whatever means he saw fit.

The Basilica is supposedly the burial site of Saint Peter, first Bishop of Rome whose tomb is supposedly directly below high altar.

France, Paris: Venus, Samothrace, and Mona

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Three of the most recognized pieces of art in the world. The Venus de Milo (found on the Greek island of Milo) is over 200o yrs old and is still seen as the epitomy of classical female beauty. The Winged Victory of Samothrace is a mastery of carving – just notice the wind ruffling her 2200-year- old dress. And dear old Mona, our guide said she has that secret smile because she knows where Rodin hid The Thinker’s clothing! (See him at the Rodin Museum here in Paris)

France, Paris: Louvre Palace

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You might not have known that the world’s largest art museum, the Louvre was a palace. Before that it was originally built in the late 12th to 13th century as the Louvre castle under Philip II. Francis I chose it as the residence for French kings where it remained until good old King Louis XIV decided to move to Versailles and this building was then used to store his pretty things.

 

Great Britain, London: Big Ben and Parliament

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You get two photo ops for the price of one in London because Big Ben (in the re-named Elizabeth Tower) stands right next to the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament). Big Ben is the name of the largest bell. When built, in 1859, the clock was the largest and most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world. In August 2017, renovation work began in order to include a lift, and to re-glaze and repaint the clock dials. Though the clock could chime throughout the work being done, it was too loud for the workers so the bells will remain silent except for such occasions as New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday. Here we caught it from the top of the Hop On Hop Off bus with the tour guide telling us about it.

Austria, Innsbruck: Sitting on Top of the World in Innsbruck

 

Creating everlasting family memories on the Nordkette mountain top in Innsbruck.