Category Archives: Travel

Desert Beauty

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I’m back from a long vacation, so it’s time for blogging again! Since I spent some time in different deserts this past summer, and because I just love these types of landscapes so much (the emptiness, the colors of the sand, the heat), I thought I’d do a post about these beautiful areas. Enjoy!

Namib – Namibia


Photo by Harald Süpfle

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Death Valley – USA


Photo by Doug Dolde

Salar de Uyuni – Bolivia


Photo by Lion Hirth

Painted Desert – USA


Photo by Anne McKinnell

Pinnacles Desert – Western Australia


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Atacama Desert – South America


Photo by oenvoyage

Sahara – Africa


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Love for Libraries

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I LOVE books! Not even necessarily to read (though I love to do that too), I just like to see a lot of them together, in a library or bookstore, for instance. Every time I go on vacation, I try to visit at least one library, preferably an old one, with a lot of dark wood and old, worn books. Libraries are special and have a pleasurable atmosphere. Walking through an old library always gives me a good feeling. You can almost feel the history: all that information, all those stories, all those people who have made use of it. So for today’s post a small collection of beautiful libraries I came across which appealed to me a lot, including a few private libraries. Oh how I would love to have a big library in my home!

Library of St. Florian’s Priory


Photo by dorena-wm

This beautiful library is part of the biggest Baroque monastery in Upper Austria. It was built in the 18th century and holds around 150,000 volumes.

 Old Library – Trinity College


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This is the main chamber of the Old Library of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and is called ‘the Long Room’. It dates back to the 18th century and houses over 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books. It’s really impressive to walk through it. I love the dark oak and marble busts!

The George Peabody Library


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The George Peabody Library is the research library of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore. The atrium rises 61 feet above the marble floor. Completed in 1878, this library contains more than 300,000 titles.

Austrian National Library


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Truly majestic: The Austrian National Library in Vienna. It’s located in the Hofburg Palace and the largest library in Austria, with around 7,4 million titles. Among its collections are manuscripts and rare books dating from the 4th century to the present.


Photo by Pez Hejduk

Melk Abbey Library


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The Melk Abbey is an Austrian Benedictine Abbey and was built between 1702 and 1736. The library, which ceilings portrait beautiful fresco’s by Paul Troger, contains countless medieval manuscripts.

Clementinum Library


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Clementinum is the national Library of the Czech Republic and dates back to the 16th century. Being one of the oldest public libraries in the country, it includes over 6,5 million volumes.

Royal Portuguese Library


Photo by Mathieu Struck


Photo by -S

This stunning library in the center of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was built between 1880 and 1887 in Neo-Manueline style. It holds the largest collection of Portuguese works outside Portugal: 350,000 volumes.

Private Library – Château de Groussay


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This is the private library of Château de Groussay in Montfort-l’Amaury in France, built in 1815. If I could ever have a home library, I think I would want it to look something like this. Love the spiral staircases and the dark wood. Only thing missing is a large globe.

Canadian Library of Parliament


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The Library of Parliament in Ottawa, Canada was completed in 1876 and is the main information and research resource for the Canadian Parliament. With around 600,000 items, it covers hundreds of years of history.


Photo by Alejandro Erickson

Joanina Library


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Joanina Library, part of the University of Coimbra General Library, is a magnificent library in Baroque style which contains around 250,000 books. It was completed in 1728.

State Law Library of Iowa


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The impressive five-story State Law Library of Iowa is located in the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines, Iowa. It was built in 1884 in Renaissance style.


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St. Gallen Abbey Library


Photo by Patrick Hauri

Another beautiful old library in Baroque style. The Abbey Library of Saint Gallen, founded in 719, is the oldest of Switzerland and one of the oldest monastery libraries in the world. It holds about 160,000 volumes, among which are manuscripts dating back to the 8th century.

Port Elizabeth Public Library


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This beautiful public library in South Africa, built in late Victorian style, was officially opened in 1902.

Private Library – Richard Macksey


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I find the ‘messy’ (if I may call it messy) look of this library very appealing in a way. This is the private library of Richard Macksey, professor at the John Hopkins University. Containing around 70,000 books, it’s one of the largest private libraries in Maryland. I wonder if he’s read all of them. And if there’s some sort of an organization, must be a real pain if you can’t find a book you’re looking for.

Private Library – Biltmore House


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The private library at the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina contains around 10,000 volumes. Notice the beautiful color of the carved wood, the painted ceiling and of course the magnificent fireplace.

Lello Bookstore


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Photo by delviking

It’s not a library, but this bookstore is definitely worth mentioning, I think. Lello is a beautiful bookstore in Porto, Portugal, which opened in 1906. Its interior looks magnificent, with a lovely red staircase as centerpiece. And look at all that carved wood!

Colorful Cities & Villages

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I love colors! In every aspect of life. Every time I visit another country I really enjoy the sight of colorful architecture. That’s why I’ve made a selection of the most colorful cities and villages I could find. Enjoy!

Burano, Italy


© Copyright EMprize

Burano is an Island in the Venetian Lagoon. It actually consists of four small islands which are separated by 10 meters wide canals and linked by bridges.


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Kinsale, Ireland


© Copyright Eileen Henderson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence


© Copyright Sarah Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Beautiful colored houses in the town center of Kinsale, located on the south coast of Ireland.

Menton, France


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Also known as ‘The pearl of France’, Menton is situated on the French Riviera, along the French-Italian border.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre means ‘The Five Lands’ and consists of five villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore) located on the Italian Riviera and is a UNESCO world heritage site.


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Stockholm, Sweden


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Stockholm is the beautiful capital city of Sweden. Built on fourteen islands connected by bridges, Stockholm is also sometimes known as ‘the Venice of the North’.

Willemstad, Curacao


Photo by Rodry1 from nl

The historical city center of Willemstad boasts an array of colonial architecture that is influenced by Dutch styles. With its peculiar architecture and beautiful harbor entry, the center has been made a UNESCO world heritage site.

Guanajuato, Mexico


Photo by Bustamente Rosas

Guanajuato is the capital city of the Mexican state Guanajato and is characterized by its steep streets en colorful buildings.


Photo by Tim Leffel

Reykjavik, Iceland


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Reykjavik is Iceland’s colorful capital city located on the south west coast.

Longyearbyen, Norway


Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Formerly known as Longyear City, Longyearbyen was founded by John Munroe Longyear in 1906, who wanted to house laborers who worked at the coal mines. It is the biggest settlement in Svalbard, Norway and the world’s northernmost city with a population above one thousand.