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Table of Content for monuments:

More pages: December 2021 November 2021 September 2018





2021/12/30 Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte
π 2021-12-30 01:01 in Monuments, Paris
I had never heard about Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte, it's about 1H outside of Paris, an was a famous castle with fancy garden that were used as an example for Chateau de Versailles, built later for the king. It's a pretty impressive castle that I'm happy I got to see thanks to my dad:









They had cool indoor displays:





The castle had timed entry and very nicely decorated rooms:

nice 3D video mapping
nice 3D video mapping




very nicely done show
very nicely done show





After the visit, I went to walk the grounds to the end back (long walk, almost 1H):





sun started setting on my walk back
sun started setting on my walk back



Finally it was time for the night show with more video 3D mapping on the castle, very nice:





Very nice castle with very good decorations, well worth the visit.

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2021/11/13 Burj Khalifa
π 2021-11-13 01:01 in Monuments, Uae2021
Burj Khalifa was only one of the many things I had for Dubai in 2.5 days, and I didn't plan for it well enough (the whole trip was actually quite a bit of work, despite it being just 5.5 days (but very packed ones). I naively planned that I could just buy sunset tickets online for the top floor while going there, I mean they were expensive (over $100), so that'd be fine, right?
Reality is otherwise, they were all sold out, and I would only have gotten up after sunset, so I had to go elsewhere (made a dash for the Dubai Frame to get sunset there).

I tried again the next day with more planning, and had to go twice since I couldn't get sunset that day either. I paid way too much to get VIP to the top at noon when it opened. We got a quick tour of the build:




impressive build
impressive build


We then got directly to the last floor, over 800 meters up:

we got snacks and drinks in the VIP room
we got snacks and drinks in the VIP room


dubai frame
dubai frame



main freeway with all the buildings
main freeway with all the buildings


Dubai Mall with fountains
Dubai Mall with fountains


After a while, I went down to a main floor where everyone else, goes:




And the way out, I went to see the fountain show outside:



I then had to come back later to get the night view, and started by the fountain show too (it was actually hard to get there from the street where I parked):




I then went up with a normal ticket I had to buy (by then, it was over than $150), but unfortunately got lost in the VIP gropup that happened to go by, and went to the top again. It was inconvenient time-wise to have to go twice, never mind having to pay twice, but the night view was worth it even if I didn't get sunset too at the same time:

regular tickets, went to 125, VIP went to 154
regular tickets, went to 125, VIP went to 154








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2021/11/12 Dubai Frame
π 2021-11-12 01:01 in Monuments, Uae2021
Dubai Frame was on my list, I had originally planned to go up Burj Khalifa that day, but was not able to get tickets, in time, so hurried back to my car, drove to Dubai Frame, hurried and got there in time for sunset:




pretty but the lights reflected against the windows and messed up many pictures
pretty but the lights reflected against the windows and messed up many pictures

I had enough time to take plenty of daylight pictures:


Burj Khalifa, where I was hoping to be :)
Burj Khalifa, where I was hoping to be :)




And had nice sunset pictures:


Dubai Glow Park where I went the next day
Dubai Glow Park where I went the next day


They had a movie about future tech on the way out:



Very cool, golden ratio in the frame:


A few pictures from the outside:




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2021/11/11 Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque
π 2021-11-11 01:01 in Monuments, Uae2021
Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque was on my way out of Abu Dhabi, on my drive back to Dubai. I got there late, but thankfully it's open until 22:00, so I got to see it on my way out when all the crowds were gone. I had a nice chat aobut Islam with a guide who was still there. Ultimately, while Islam is being misused in many terrible ways around the world, it is true that UAE is a shining example of how the religion can be peaceful and tolerant, not just in words, but in action. UAE allows people to drink alcohol or eat pork if they choose to, even though it is ultimately a country with Shariah law. they are trying to be an example of leaving religion as a choice in a region of the world where it usually is not.
The mosque was of course beautiful, especially at night:




while tolerance and Islam don't mix in many countries, UAE does its best to make it a reality
while tolerance and Islam don't mix in many countries, UAE does its best to make it a reality












prayer times, 5 plus the optional 6th I didn't know about
prayer times, 5 plus the optional 6th I didn't know about




And because UAE is not shy with business, they had a mall on the way out :)


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2021/11/11 Abu Dhabi Royal Palace
π 2021-11-11 01:01 in Monuments, Uae2021
The Abu Dhabi Royal Palace, oh my god it was nice, I mean insanely nice. Dare I say it was the best palace I've seen in the world?
I got there a bit late because of a long day, and more time at the Abu Dhabi Louvre than I had planned, I thankfully got there just in time for the last entrance into the Palace (made it in the last bus to the palace and through the doors by just one minute before they closed the front doors):






















After the visit was over, I went out to see a palace from the outside for the light projection show:











Saying that I was impressed was an understatement.

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2018/09/27 Spain Day 04: Barcelona's Sagrada Familia
π 2018-09-27 01:01 in Monuments, Spain2018
Gaudi is known for many buildings in Barcelona, but of course Sagrada Familia is the most well known. While he worked on it until he died (sadly he was run over by a tram), the construction got halted during the war and Spain's dark times, but it's being worked on again, ideally it will be finished within 10 years.
Getting tickets at the times I wanted (first thing in the morning) was challenging, so I booked a slightly more expensive guided tour which included entrance and wasn't bad at all.





poor thing :)
poor thing :)

The inside was beautiful and colorful in ways that the other cathedrals we've seen, were not:









We did the tower tour, which had decent views, but it was still work in progress (top is still being built):



the stairs were truly bad ass
the stairs were truly bad ass

The museum attached to the cathedral gave lots of details on the history and the build, as well as Gaudi's life:

Gaudi used nature for many of his designs
Gaudi used nature for many of his designs

Guudi also used a gravity upside down model
Guudi also used a gravity upside down model


Definitely one of a kind, worth the visit.

2018/09/26 Spain Day 03-04: Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona
π 2018-09-26 01:01 in Monuments, Spain2018
Antoni Gaudi was a an instrumental architect in Barcelona. In addition to working a good portion of his life on Sagrada Familia, he worked on many other buildings and monuments in Barcelona.
We first went to see Park Guel, which is way too hard to get timed entries for. Thankfully I got one too early in the morning and we were allowed to get in a bit after our mandated 08:00 entry time:








Next was Casa Mila which also had stupid waits, even in end of September, but as good capitalists, they sell skip the line (expensive) online tickets:




one of the building's arches has a view on the unfinished Sagrada Familia
one of the building's arches has a view on the unfinished Sagrada Familia

Gaudi used an interesting engineering principle of suspending structures upside down and using gravity to help see ideal building shapes
Gaudi used an interesting engineering principle of suspending structures upside down and using gravity to help see ideal building shapes

Down the street was his Casa Batllo, another expensive visit with more expensive skip the line tickets I was able to get:






Another of his buildings was Guel Palace, which we saw just before leaving Barcelona:





another nice roof
another nice roof


And for good measure, the city also had a Gaudi museum:







More pages: December 2021 November 2021 September 2018

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