Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

favorite cities and towns

Posted by Hippobean at 1:09 PM
In Hippo's travels:

1. Lisboa, Portugal -
Narrow cobblestone streets meandering up and down the 7 hills lined with colorful old houses. Historic trams rattling on ancient tracks screeching by centuries old churches and monuments,
passing under stone arches, climbing hills through the neighbourhoods.
An imposing castle dominating the Baixa. Statue of the Prince Henry the Navigator, at the Tejos estuary,
looking out into the Atlantic, contemplating the Descobrimentos. Across from it, the most beautiful Mosteiro dos Jeronimos. Spectacular views of the Tejos meeting the oceano Atlântico.
Family run restaurants with
mouth watering bacalhau, carapaus asados no forno, caldo verde. Garoto the little coffee with steamed milk. An old man at the corner of a street singing a Fado.
Ah, Hippo's most beloved city!

Eles não sabem que o sonho
É uma constante da vida
Tão concreta e definida
Como outra coisa qualquer
Como esta pedra cinzenta
Em que me sento e descanso
Como este ribeiro manso
Em serenos sobressaltos
Eles não sabem nem sonham
Que o sonho comanda a vida
E que sempre que o homem sonha
O mundo pula e avança
Como bola colorida
Entre as mãos duma criança

-Pedra Filosofal, Manuel Freire

They do not know or dream
That dream commands life
And that whenever a man dreams
The world jumps and advances
As a colored ball
In the hands of a child

Saudades !

2. San Gimigliano, Italia -
Along the Via Francigena, amidst Sangiovese vineyards and rural houses, the San Gimigliano towers are always in view.
Via San Matteo cobble stoned street up to the main square, lined with shops and restaurants in medieval brick buildings.
Cathedral with Voussoirs arcade on both sides of the nave, and behind them, gigantic vivid frescoes. Ceiling covered with arches and paintings. Although plain on the outside, the inside of the cathedral most stunning. Atop the Torre Grossa, views of all the towers and the lovely town squares below.
Everywhere you walk, surrounded by towering ancient stone structures. Had a most satisfying Tuscan minestrone at a quaint restaurant on a side street.

Loved, loved this medieval town.

3. Valletta, Malta -
Hippo woke up and strolled out casually onto the open deck of the Marco Polo only to be greeted by one of the world's grandest harbor, the Grand Habour of Valletta. The site was awesome, indescribable. Ships docked at different berths all surrounded by massive bastions. Hippo's never witnessed any harbor grander than this one. Its grandeur is beyond description. Upper Barracca garden overlooking the Grand Harbour, spectacular views. The arches and vaults of St John's Co-Cathedral. The Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Malta, grand and palatial.

Really really loved this city!

4. Santorini, Greece -
Was it what was left over of Atlantis? Fira with the whitewashed houses clinged to the caldera sides, the labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets. the street food. and oh, the dramatic views of the Aegean Sea. Loved it all!

5. Toruń, Poland -
Founded by the Teutonic knights, an explosion of imposing medieval architecture.
The massive red brick city defensive walls with a leaning square tower.
The enormous red brick cathedral dominates the skyline as you come on the Jozef Pilsudski steel bridge over the Vistula river.
Narrow lanes sandwiched between towering red brick walls and buildings.
Copernicus' Gothic house.
You climb the never ending circular staircase to the top of the Town Hall Tower and get a magnificent panoramic view of the town below.
Historic and stunning.

Really loved this town!

6. Philadelphia, USA-
Loved the city. History of the Nation. Hippo's beloved rowhouses. Great buildings. Fantastic museum. Fantastic Opera House. Great food. So much architecture. Aside from not having the best cheesesteak, the Hippo has found nothing she didnt like in Philly.

Nostalgic. Reminiscing ...

7. Luang Prabang, Laos -
The fantastic Night Market! Laos coffee, lemongrass tea, small purses in multi colored patchwork design that sold for less than 2 dollars, tshirts, trousers, shirts and skirts, every nik nak in shop after shop. shopping heaven! We woke up before sunrise to go see the monks receiving alms. Wat xieng thong temple, extraordinarily gorgeous, with walls of colored glass mosaics, gilded figures, chandeliers and intricate carvings. had a drink with M and L in an outdoor cafe by the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers. Tamarind restaurant, which made Hippo's Food list. Really enjoyed this town.

8. Praha, Czech Republic -
Bohemian crystals. An enormous dark palace atop the hill. Iconic 14th century stone bridge with baroque statues on balustrades. Old Town square where the adolescents congregate in the evenings. Colorful city, old and modern, full of energy. Stayed in the attic of a local family in 2 rainy days. Loved this city!

9. Whakatane, North Island,
New Zealand -
Small town next to the river, 1 street town center, vibrant. Very comfortable spacious motor lodge with individual eco friendly cabins. Stuffy delighted. The serene walk along the river with the view of the enormous hill of the Moutohora whale island. Maori history. This town somehow touched my heart.

10. Koprivshtitsa, , Bulgaria -
I looked at his statue. Todor Kableshkov, the 25 year old who was considered the one who started the rebellion against the turks, the author of the 'bloody letter', looked quite handsome. I liked the Koprivshtitsa town. The houses with painted facades, quite unique and the interiors nicely decorated. The Topolnitsa river cuts through the town and the cloudy misty day made the town looked romantic. Freedom worth the price, made it to Hippo's Cities list.


Braşov, Romania -
St Nicholas church with a museum of the first Romanian school. More manuscripts to my heart's delight. Rare documents, the oldest Bible in goat skin, the oldest letter in Romanian using Latin alphabets (previously, Romanian was written in Cyrillic). I really should have been born a male so I could become a monk and devote my life copying manuscripts. The Name of the Rose?
Town square with an enormous church, surrounded by buildings in all 4 sides. Quiet lovely atmosphere.

He came to offer the share of an umbrella. She wrapped her arm around his and they began to walk on the cobbled stone lane like an old couple enjoying their beloved evening stroll in their beloved town. In Transylvania, flanked by distant Carpathians, an evening with rain, I left my heart in Braşov.



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