John Lennon Wall: the legend and the legacy
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. In Prague, my husband and I were trying to find the John Lennon Wall. “Just turn down the path along the river and follow that road over the bridge for about twenty minutes,” a local teenager told us as he gestured toward a riverside path below the Charles Bridge. Dressed in tattered jeans and a black leather motorcycle jacket, he could have looked like a local anywhere. “Yes, that’s right”, he shouted as we followed his lead and left behind the castles and cathedrals of central Prague.
Peggy Guggenheim: At Home in Venice
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. On the Grand Canal of Venice if you look carefully, you will see -–almost hidden, overshadowed as it is by the multi-storied palatial homes along that waterway – a low white stone palazzo that belies the treasures held within. This was the home of Peggy Guggenheim, an American heiress and art collector who single-handedly saved modern art. Peggy Guggenheim is known for her art collection and her outrageously unconventional life. Many have called her risqué, a term with which she would most likely agree. If Peggy Guggenheim had lived in our time, she would be the ideal candidate for a reality TV series—her expertise, her “shoot from the hip” dialogue and colorful personal lifestyle meant scandals stuck to her like paint on a canvas. Case in point: In the prim 50s, Peggy needed no beau to escort her into Harry’s Bar for an evening cocktail. At her beck and call was her own private gondola propelled by her personal gondolier. He would ferry her along the canal and wait dockside while she savored a cocktail and took in the evening sunset: “If anything can rival Venice in its beauty, it must be its reflection at sunset in the Grand Canal.” Peggy Guggenheim.
Brac Island. Croatia: Sun, Sea and Stone
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. In Croatia, aboard the Katarina Line Futura: As we watched deckside, our small cruise ship anchored alongside the Dalmatian Coast shore of Brac Island and its Golden Horn Beach, known as one of Europe’s most beautiful. Holding just 38 passengers, the Futura’s compact size fits into ports large ships can’t handle. Our eager group of sunbathers easily disembarked and clambered aboard small boats for the short ride to the coast line’s golden sands. Once ashore, my companion and I decided to meander. Sunbathing could come later.
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. A true Epicurean knows when to save and when to splurge and it’s easy to do both in Copenhagen, one of Europe’s most elegant cities. By seeking out free and affordable opportunities without sacrificing quality you’ll be able to set aside your Danish krone for those indispensable splurges found only in Copenhagen. Based on a recent stay, here are my top suggestions for a boundary pushing visit that won’t break the budget.
Copenhagen: In “The Danish Girl’s” Footsteps
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. When I sat down to watch the film, “The Danish Girl,” I had no idea it would inspire me to travel to Copenhagen where I would walk the cobbled streets and explore the same Old Town waterfront where the film’s fated artistic couple lived during the 1920s.
An Island in Time: Santorini, Greece
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. What is it about the Greek island of Santorini that captivates all who visit? It’s easy to credit its beauty to the shimmering blue Aegean, the drama of its whitewashed cube dwellings built atop one another, clinging to the cliffside, some even built cave-like into it. But inexplicably, it’s much more than that. One has only to wander for a day along the winding pathway above the caldera in the village of Oia to sense the fundamental union of elements at play.
Amsterdam: Bikes, bridges and bread
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. In terms of size, you could tuck all of Amsterdam, a city without skyscrapers, into a corner of Tokyo or Los Angeles and it might pass for a village. But that would be an oversight. Culturally rich, aesthetically beautiful and easily navigable, tiny Amsterdam stands tall among cities of the world.
Budapest’s Healing Mineral Baths Mend Mind, Body and Spirit
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. While there are many reasons to visit Hungary, including the fact that right now it is one of the best values in Europe, no visitor should leave the capital city of Budapest without indulging in an extended soak at one of its grand healing mineral bath houses. Sitting on one of the richest geothermal and medicinal water resources in the world, Hungary has been known since Roman times as a great destination for “taking the baths.” Several of the city’s bath houses neo-Baroque architecture complete with vaulted ceilings and classical murals.
Cyprus: Eco-Tourism in the Land of Aphrodite
Story and Photos by Lee Daley. Few places on Earth can hold a candle to Cyprus when it comes to mythic lore. It was here that the goddess of love, beauty and sexuality emerged from the sea in a surge of foam. Nature and eco-tourists traveling to the rugged Akamas Peninsula on the old road from Lemesos to Pafos are blessed with the sight of Aphrodite’s Rock rising out of the indigo waters of the Mediterranean, just off shore from the beach that curls around it.