Château sounds so much better than castle

This post will be about my favorite part of my trip to Paris. If you read my previous post, you know I traveled with my grandparents after my freshmen year of college. After a few days in the city, a family friend took the time to take us around and visit some castles located close to Paris.

As you can imagine, they were all beautiful. But, a side from the pretty scenary that you will notice in the following pictures, one of the best parts is knowing the stories behind those castles. So let me tell you the story of my favorite one.

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First I need to tell you the story of King Henry II who ruled France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559. He got married to Catherine de’Medici, when they were both fourteen. Years later, Catherine acquired the castle of Chaumond. This is a large castle located on top of a hill in Loir-et-Cher, France.

However the King was in love with another woman. King Henry II’s mistress was a woman 25 years older than him, with the name of Diane de Poitiers. She had a significant influence in royal issues and was publicly seen with the king. It’s well known that the King felt an admirable appreciation for Diane. For this reason, the king decided to give Diane the castle of Chenonceau located in Loire Valley, France as a gift, which is the most beautiful castle I’ve ever seen. It’s significantly smaller than the one Catherine had under her possession, but it is far more beautiful. 

7183879640_247b58aef6_oThe main entrance has a path of trees, followed by a small fence and on the other side of the fence you can see the main tower to the right, Diane’s gardens to the left and the castle in the back.

Let me give you a minute to take that picture in and let it settle.

No wonder King Henry II loved Diane way more than his wife. The castle looks like it was taken straight from a fairy tale. Once you visit the insides, the kitchen, and office bedrooms, they are all well decorated with flowers. It even has a small church inside. Every little corner of the castle is extremely beautiful.

Years later, when King Henry II died, Catherine expressed her anger towards the woman that Henry loved so much, and gave Diane the option to either exchange castles or be forced out of the castle. This is how Diane moved out and into the Queen’s castle, while Catherine moved into Chenonceau. Once living there, the queen decided to expand the dinning room creating a room on top of a bridge in the back of the castle. She also decided to create her own gardens in addition to the gardens that Diane had.

f13dab38ffed6fb2d6eeb2765613c79eCurrently, the castle is daily visited and it’s the venue to many important events and weddings. 

Paris is always a good idea

The other day with my roomates, we started to talk about Paris and it made me remember when I was there and brought many nice memories. For this reason I decided to write a little about my trip.

DSC09612I went to Paris 2 and a half years ago at the end of my first semester in college. It was a gift from my grandparents who were excited to go and have an unforgettable trip with me. It is a trip that I will always treasure and thank them for the experience.

We traveled from New York to Madrid, and then to Paris. We were part of a tour for the first few days and then we stayed for a couple more days in order to wander around the city. Of you are thinking about going to Paris, I would suggest to take a tour when you visit because there are a lot of historic and cultural places to visit. It would not be efficient to visit all by yourself if you have limited time. Specially because you will get lost using the subway, believe me you will.

This is how the subway map looks like:

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Looking at that map is simply overwhelming!

One thing is certain, if you go to Paris, you need to make the most out of it. My suggestion is you look into the options, search for tours that are convenient to you, that offer the best value for your time and money and decide what you want to do. However, finding your own way around the city has always a sweet flavor if you are like me and love getting lost in your own experience.

Follow my next post to read about my favorite part of my trip to Paris.

Cartagena I’m in love

DSC02804As I’ve mentioned before, this past summer I traveled along with a friend to Colombia. If I could describe it in one word, it will be: unbelievable.

Let me give you an advice if you are planning to visit Colombia, you can’t miss the opportunity to go to Cartagena.

Cartagena is located at the Caribbean coast, it is one of the four largest cities in Colombia. It is divided in the new and the old city. Cartagena was the inspiration of the famous writer Gabriel Carcia Marquez to write his novel Love in the Time of Cholera. My advice is that you find a little hotel and stay in the old city, which is surrounded by colonial walls that where built as a fortress.

All the houses inside the old city are painted in brilliant, colorful colors, and all houses have white balconies which have plants hanging from them. The streets are narrow, because they have been build at the time that the city was founded by Pedro de Heredia. All these characteristics and history behind every little detail of the city create an old charm and environment. It is the perfect setting to fall in love.

DSC02882There are many many historical places that you have to visit when you get to Cartagena, along with little restaurants and stores that have the most unique atmospheres. I couldn’t forget a little popsicles we found one afternoon. The store has very unique flavors, and all the popsicles are homemade.

It was definitely an amazing trip, but my favorite part of ALL was playa blanca. It is a beach located in an Isla Del osario (island) close to Cartagena. I’ve never seen the ocean as blue as in this place. There are no wave, turquoise water in a  peaceful island, there is nothing else you could ask for.

Don’t even let me get started about India

ln some way or another, I’ll make it all the way to India!

I’ve always been curious about India, but in recent years my interest has grown exponentially. For this reason, having an international roommate from India is the best thing in the world! I’m constantly learning about the culture, traditions, food, music, dancing, and the list goes on and on.

I know that I could never fit all the things I love about india in only one post, so I will be making shorter posts on different aspects that I find interesting and wonderful. Let me start on listing the top touristic attractions that any traveler MUST see.

There are tons of articles out there about the best places to visit, but I’ll list the ones I believe are the best, and which I’ll make sure to visit when I get there:

Delhi

Delhi is the capital of India, founded in 1911. It is also the center of the Government of India. One of the main attractions is the contrast between the new and the old Delhi and how close together they are.

Taj Mahal

It is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built under the order of Mughal emperor Shah to honor and in memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal who died while giving birth to their 14th child. The complete construction was finished in 1652 and took around 20 years to complete.

Darjeeling

It is located in West Bengal. This place is an attraction for its old word charm. It’s a really peaceful location and different from a city skyline, here the landscape is enhanced by green mountains.

Kerala

It is located on the Malabar coast of India. The attraction here is, of course the landscape, but also the boat rides. Apparently there are different boats that offer different experiences from a single ride to stay-in accommodations to spend a few days on the water.

Goa

This location is an attraction because of the beautiful beaches, architecture and quietness. I think that here the picture talks by itself.

All of these places look like a dream 🙂

Preparation 101

Once you have chosen where to go, now it’s time prepare for your future trip. Get excited and learn a little more about what you will see during this awesome adventure. The best way to start is to read blogs about people that went to the same place, and books that have tips about the place.

At the end of my junior year I decided to go to Colombia with a friend of mine. We planned the trip as an adventure to celebrate her graduation. Colombia has been always in my mind as a destination, but it was one of those things that don’t seem to fit in your plans. So after we agreed to travel together, a moment of impulse followed, and next thing I know I had the tickets booked. Now what?

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Well, in addition to my fascination about the country, I wanted to be able to appreciate everything that I would see during the trip. The logical thing to do was to buy a traveling book. There are toooo many different books at a wide range of prices. But I chose to buy the Colombia Lonely Planet version.

I would recommend buying a book like this because it has important insides for other travelers like yourself. This book was really helpful, not only before, but also during my trip. The Lonely Planet version gives history information, interesting facts, important details, key words to know, safety tips, culture inside, and key places not to miss for every destination.

Having this information at hand helped me choose where I wanted to go, what I wanted to see, and the options of how to get there.  I was able to take those decisions even before getting in the plane. However, once I was in Colombia, the book was also helpful because I could look for places located closer to where I was at the moment.

Now that you know your destination, start reading about the places you just HAVE TO SEE!

If the phone rings, the one calling could be your heart

In order to travel, there is an initial step to be determined: where to travel. Some of us, who like traveling, normally have a list of places we want to go. You can call it a bucket list of places to see. We want to go somewhere, not because we are familiar with the place, but rather because we are intrigued about this specific location. For some reason that we can’t explain, our heart is telling us to go there. For me, places like those have been Paris, India, Egypt and Colombia. However, not everyone is interested in the same locations.

Recently my roommate has been OBSESSED with Ireland. I’m not sure where did she get the idea or the inspiration, but I know she’ll find the way to make it there. You have to do as her and don’t let anything stop you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the language, or you know little about the place, because if you are passionate about that specific place, you will learn the basics and make it work.

If you need some inspiration on where to go, here is a list of the World’s 20 most popular cities to visit. Or if you are even more adventurous, just point a place in the map and go without thinking it twice.

Welcome

Welcome! I made this blog for my business plan class. In this blog I’ll be talking about beautiful places in the world, traveling, hosting visitors, packing and few other aspects of being adventurous and going places you haven’t being before. It doesn’t matter whether you like to go places far away, or just around the corner, every place hides a little magic.

One thing is certain, if I win the lottery tomorrow, I would expend it TRAVELING!!