Category: Things to do

  • Things to do: Visit the Saitama railway museum

    Things to do: Visit the Saitama railway museum

    The history of Japanese railroads goes back as far as 1872, when a railroad was opened between Yokohama and Tokyo (just in time for Isabella Bird to use it in 1875). The network was quickly expanded, but the highlight of the modern Japanese railway system is the Shinkansen, a network of high-speed trains with a remarkable track…

  • Things to do: visit the Baur foundation – Museum of Far Eastern Art in Geneva

    Things to do: visit the Baur foundation – Museum of Far Eastern Art in Geneva

    Alfred Baur (1865-1951) was a Swiss businessman who spent a lot of time in Asia, and took the opportunity to collect Chinese and Japanese art. What makes his collection remarkable is first of all his impeccable good taste: he always chose quality over quantity, and the refined over the gaudy. Moreover, a few years before his death…

  • Things to do: visit Claude Monet’s house and garden in Giverny

    Things to do: visit Claude Monet’s house and garden in Giverny

    One place that is certainly worth a visit is Claude Monet‘s house and garden in Giverny. Monet first saw the small village of Giverny from a train, and he decided to live there. Eventually he bought a house there and lived in it for 43 years. Next to the house he had a large studio, and around the…

  • Things to do: use the channel tunnel

    Things to do: use the channel tunnel

    Admittedly this is mostly a symbolic thing to do, since all tunnels look alike. Nevertheless, the channel tunnel between Calais and Dover, connecting France to Great Britain, is a very impressive engineering feat, and that makes it worth visiting. See on: Google maps, OpenStreetMap (Image courtesy of wikimedia commons)

  • Things to do: visit the Fox Talbot museum in Lacock village, England

    Things to do: visit the Fox Talbot museum in Lacock village, England

    The englishman William Henri Fox Talbot was one of the most important inventors of photographic processes. He invented the calotype process, one of the earliest photographic processes. He was also one of the earliest photographers. In the abbey of Lacock village in Wiltshire, England, Fox Talbot took in 1835 a photo of a lace window. The…

  • Things to do: visit Palais Idéal du Facteur Ferdinand Cheval

    Things to do: visit Palais Idéal du Facteur Ferdinand Cheval

    One thing to do is visit the surreal building called Palais Idéal in Hauterives that the postman Ferdinand Cheval built. The photos I’ve seen, and the story behind it, look very intriguing: he started with a single stone that looked intriguing to him, and over many years he built a surreal castle with stones that he found…

  • Things to do: visit the Machines of the Isle of Nantes

    Things to do: visit the Machines of the Isle of Nantes

    One thing to do is visit the Machines of the Isle of Nantes. I have very good memories of the street performance The Sultan’s Elephant that I saw in Antwerp. The machines they show in Nantes are not the same, but to see a (variation of) the elephant again is already worth the visit, and I…