France

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This is part two of a three part series featuring some of Paris's treasures which are not necessarily as well known. Part One reveals the first three hidden travel wonders.Jean-sans-Peur Tower (2nd arr)Built in 1409, this fortified tower provided protection for John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy after ordering the assassination of the king’s brother. The climb of 140 medieval winding stone stairs ....Continue Reading >>
Lara Dunston of Cool Travel Guide and professional travel writer recently commented “I would love to see a list of your favorite off-the-beaten-track Paris places”. So fearing a Gallic overdose, here is a list of favourite Paris places that I’ve been that may not be on the main itinerary of most visitors. The best way to experience Paris (as for many European cities) is to walk and to walk some ....Continue Reading >>
Celebrated all over the world (including a cheesy reproduction in Las Vegas), Paris is one of the world's greatest cities. The top three travel wonders from among the Gallic treasures appear below. Start with Part One to get the entire story of Paris.3. Notre Dame CathedralImmortalised in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the cathedral is considered one of the finest Gothic buildings in ....Continue Reading >>
Part One of this post discussed the first three travel wonders of the city of Paris. Here are the next four treasures in this eternal mesmerising city.7. Georges Pompidou Centre (Beaubourg)This startling building appears to be built inside-out with all its plumbing (green), electrical (yellow), air-conditioning (blue), ventilation (white) and lift system (red) all highly visible and illustrated in ....Continue Reading >>
Paris probably boasts more familiar sights to the visitor than any city in the world. Travellers flood its magnificent churches, museums, art galleries, its grandest boulevard (Champs Élysées) and iconic Eiffel Tower. But my favourite city is much much more. The heart of Paris is built in its culture – lively parks, elegant cafés, superb cuisine, fascinating variety of neighbourhoods (arrondissements), ....Continue Reading >>
Perched on a hill and built in the mid-1950s in Eastern France, this asymmetric chapel is one of the world's modern architectural travel wonders. Designed by a guy named Le Corbusier, it features a wall with many irregular, different sized windows which provides an extraordinary lighting effect especially with the stained glass in the interior. The roof appears inspired by a crab shell and seems to ....Continue Reading >>
Dramatically changing by the seasons, the tranquil symmetric Water Garden is as much a travel wonder today as it was when being recorded on canvas by Claude Monet’s artistic brushstrokes around 100 years ago. The Japanese bridge elegantly arches over the jeweled waterway bedecked with lilies and reflections from the dappled light through the overhanging weeping willow trees.Monet concentrated his ....Continue Reading >>
My guidebook suggested that it would be a most humbling experience. It was still early and it was only the shortest detour from the road to Amiens and its majestic Gothic cathedral (the largest in France). It shouldn’t take long. The road ran through the gently rolling farms and fields of the Somme Valley on a sunny spring morning.I stood alone at the entrance to the Australian War Memorial and I ....Continue Reading >>
Souviens-toi! Remember! A sign at the entrance says only these words, yet says so much. The town was almost deserted. Two other couples peacefully wander the streets of this small rural village in Central France in silence. A family with two young boys languidly stroll near the church. Even the children walk quietly here. A gentle refreshing breeze rustles the surrounding trees and speaks a quiet hush ....Continue Reading >>
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Welcome to Travel Wonders

My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.

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