Travel

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Travel Guide

Baton Rouge lies in southeast Louisiana along the Mississippi banks. Louisiana’s capital is famous for its laid back southern charm, cultural fusion, and sports-mad universities. Friends of mine who run a trade show flooring company out of Los Angeles, traveled to Baton Rouge recently and they confirmed that this southern city is full of life.

From the days when the boundary between native tribes was marked with a red stick to its administration by Spain, Britain, and France transformation has been built into this city’s DNA. Here are the top must-see attractions in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Downtown Baton Rouge
You will find artworks on the walkways and streets here in a permanent and temporary installations combination. At the Shaw Centre for Arts, the contemporary culture scene continues. It is a dramatic symbol of the revitalization of Baton Rouge. This center includes the LSU Museum of Art and the Manship Theater.

Old State Capitol
The Old State Capitol symbolizes prestige and was once the seat of power. Mark Twain describes this place as a “whitewashed castle” but you can make up your mind when you see this neo-gothic landmark. It was at a time used as a prison and during the civil war housed a garrison. Tour the mansion of the Governor of Louisiana which is believed to have been built using the White House template. The Art déco state capitol building symbolizes a new era in this state’s politics and power.

Spanish Town
Louisiana has a complex blend of Nature American African and European history, making it one of the most diverse cultural traditions in the world. Spanish Town is widely known for the Mardi gras parade that happens yearly. Some familiar symbols of this parade are cut out pink flamingos and eclectic costumes.

Capitol Park Museum
Baton Rouge was for many years the world’s blue capital and this spark still fires in the city’s belly. Learn more about some of Louisiana’s greats such as Sharkey Bonano and Louis Armstrong at this museum.

Magnolia Mound
Baton Rouge from the beginning was a plantation country and many of the mansions in the area have been preserved. Magnolia Mound was one of the city’s earliest antebellum homes. Walk through the grounds to peer into the lives of the privileged and those whom fortune didn’t shine.

Arsenal Park/Arsenal Museum
This complex was once a massive storehouse if the military and played a crucial role during the Confederate war as it helped to keep the reserves gun powder dry.

USS Kidd & Veterans Memorial
Baton Rouge owes much of its success to the Mississippi whose waters flows through the psyche, songs, and stories of the nation. The USS Kidd & Veterans Memorial is a World War Two destroyer. It was the only United States Warship allowed to sail under the crossbones and skull. In 1945, it was struck by a Japanese Kamikaze plane killing over 30 of her crew. She has been restored fully and now offers an intimate window into the history of the navy.

Travel

Helsinki, Finland Travel Guide

Compact, clean, cultured, and cool, the Finnish capital of Helsinki is a charming city to explore. As one of the most sparsely populated cities in Europe, the pace here is unhurried and relaxed and the locals are friendly and welcoming. It is surrounded by the sea on three sides and it boasts of a blend of wonderful architecture. It’s easy to see why Helsinki is often regarded as one of the most livable cities in the world. Here are the top must see attractions in Helsinki, Finland.

Senate Square

The focal point of Helsinki is Senate Square and it is bounded by majestic neoclassical buildings. The square is dominated by the city’s most impressive landmark. The Lutheran cathedral features pristine white with green and gold domes. On a clear day, the cathedral absolutely gleams. Just a stone’s throw away is Helsinki’s other cathedral the Russian Orthodox Uspenski cathedral. With its copper roofs and onion domes, the Uspentski is one of the most visible reminders of Russian rule over Finland which lasted for 108 years until 1917.

Rock Church

Helsinki is also home to another remarkable religious building. The church is Helsinki’s modern architectural masterpiece. Inside the church is circular with a ring of glass allowing natural light to beam in thanks to its rough exposed walls. The acoustics in here are perfect making it a popular venue for concerts.

Sibelius Monument

Another of Helsinki’s more unusual landmarks is the Sibelius Monument. It is a tribute to Finland’s greatest composer Jean Sibelius. Located in the serene Sibelius Park, this huge sculpture consists of 527 steel tubes. Visit the park on a breezy day and you may be lucky enough to hear the sound of the wind blowing through the tubes. It is a fitting tribute to a man who composed seven magnificent symphonies.

Helsinki Waterfront

With Helsinki almost entirely surrounded by the sea, a boat ride out into its archipelago is a charming way to experience some of Finland’s finest scenery. Gently cruising the crystal-clear waters of the Baltic, you will pass stunning little islands and some enviable secluded villas. Back at Helsinki waterfront a bustling open-air market awaits. It’s a fabulous place to browse for colorful handicrafts and souvenirs or even have a bite to eat delicious breads and pastries, summer berries, and the freshest of fish. The open-air market has some mouth-watering temptations with a charming atmosphere, a beautiful setting, and a wealth of sights. Helsinki is a delightful city to explore.

Italy

Fly Under The Radar Italy

Italy needs almost little to no introduction, as it one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, for a large number of reasons. This booth shaped country located in the hearth of the Mediterranean Sea, captures the hearth of visitors through her rich history, delicious cuisine, beautiful artwork and grand architecture. This country has so much to offer, that often great places get overshadowed by the massive popularity of the “must see” destinations like Rome, Florence and Venice. If you ever plan to visit Italy for a longer period of time, here are some under the radar destinations, which might catch your eye.

Manarola – Cinque Terre

Manarola is one of the five colorful villages which sit on the hillsides on the coastal area of Liguria and comprise the Cinque Terre. Manarola is the second smallest village and it’s considered by many as the oldest. All five villages are famous for their beauty and even more for the lack of modern development. Manarola is the crown jewel of Cinque Terre distinguishing itself from the rest for its colorful structure buildings on the steep mountain side, with the Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop. Access to the Cinque Terre is limited however, as the roads are very narrow and end a kilometer away from the nearest village, although visitors have several options for transportation, as they can reach this place through trains boats or walking paths.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTsVRtFWveY

Civita di Bagnoregio, The Dying City

If you saw Civita di Bagnoregio on a postcard, you would hardly believe it is real, the picture-perfect city looks like it came straight from a fairy tale or another realm. Located just 70km away from the capital of Italy, the tall stone buildings rise on a hill within the Tiber valley in northern Lazio. The brittle volcanic base on which the town was founded on, has slowly but surely been crumbling away into the valley, earning the town a rather eerie nickname as “The Dying City”. Civita di Bagoregio is the only city in Italy which has an entrance fee of 5 euros, but once you enter the city you’ll soon be captivated by its rich history, with renaissance palaces and ancient temples dating back 2.500 years ago.

Positano

This small town located on the Amalfi Coast is famous for its diversity, scenic magnificence, rugged terrain and picturesque architecture. The climate in this area is fairly mild, common to the Mediterranean, making the summers long and warm with a gust of sea breeze refreshing you during night time. Although it’s a small town, it’s actually not so small and splendor, as it resembles a scattered city with habitations and structure sprouting from the top of the mountain, going down the hillside, all the way down to the beautiful coastline, where you can enjoy the cinematic sunset from Marina Grande beach.

Tropea – Calabria

The seaside town of Tropea, located deep in Calabria is regarded by many as the best kept secret holiday destination in Italy. The city of Tropea sits dramatically on the coastal cliffs, giving visitors a breathtaking and endless view. Among the dramatic sceneries, stunning architecture and delicious cuisines, Tropea features some of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in Italy, both public and private. When planning a visit to this marvelous wonder, I recommend avoid the months of July and August as the small city gets to crowded for one to enjoy.