Once we returned to the car, at the base of the Alpine foothills of which Neuschwanstein Castle stood, I looked once more behind me. The Bavarian Castle looked slightly isolated on the edge of the rock. I then looked at the sky above – do you see it too?
Rotes Rathaus was built in Berlin in the second part of the 19th century, in the style of High Renaissance. I found it particularly interesting that this town hall was inspired by two buildings. First, the architect was inspired by The Old Town Hall of Torn (Toruń in Poland). Second, the towers of the Rotes Rathaus are built in a similar style, as the cathedral towers of Notre-Dane de Laon in France.
Keizersgracht is the name of one of the main canals in the capital of The Netherlands and in my opinion, is one of the most picturesque places to view. The picturesque effect is likely due it being the widest canal, which is in the middle of three main canals crossing Amsterdam centre. Wandering around and observing the lights of the bridge turned on during the blue hour is amazing.
Montelbaanstoren is a tower in Amsterdam that sits alongside a canal named Oudeschans. This tower is over 500 years old and was built in 1516 as a part of the city walls and was originally a Watchtower; although this function was only given for 90 years. Montelbaanstoren is also famous, with due credit to a particular painter that you might be familiar with – Rembrandt. He used to reside in an area near the tower and was supposedly very keen on painting this structure.
Exhausted, but still in the best of moods after photographing London, we sat on a bench on the bank of the Thames and enjoyed the moment. There weren’t any pedestrians yet, so everything seemed so peaceful… For a moment, I realised that this would be a great composition, to capture The Shard under the Millennium Bridge. Unbeknownst to us, we were following the famous “Quins walk” in a big part of our route, to capture the greatest London landmarks.
Papiermolensluis is a stone bridge over one of the canals. It is probably one of the most photographed landmarks, due to the composition of the houses as you can see in the background and the canal in the foreground are perfectly depicting the “atmosphere” and the architecture of Amsterdam. Back in time, on the corner house of Brouwergracht, was a hanging sign “De Papiermolen” – paper handler. The bridge was called Papiermolensluis because you can see this sign of the shop from the bridge.
In our modern age, there are only 1,200 fully operational windmills in the Netherlands. Several in the “Old Holland” region, including the famous beauties from Zaanse Schans. Over a few centuries ago, there were over 10,000 windmills across the Netherlands and they were used to pump water out of the lowlands, to make flour from grains and to press oil from seeds or saw wood.
Whilst visiting Amsterdam, we had to get up early for at least one our mornings to visit the incredible and charming Zaanse Schans. Gustavo told us that this area is supposedly a “fake village” and that there were no residents, so we made the best use of our visit – making as much noise as we desired. When the sun was up, a young man came out of the house you see above, complaining about the noise.
The Shard is another famous icon from London. It is built from 11,000 glass panels, creating an area of glass that is equal to eight football pitches. This giant glasshouse during the day appeared in a navy colour, but when the early morning sun shined upon it – it was just pure gold.
This section is a terrace that is part of the Zwinger Palace. The building and the courtyard inside are built in a Baroque style, which was famous for the rich, colorful ornaments and striking shapes. It really is a unique experience to see and has even more exceptional beauty on a sunny day. The name of the palace comes from the German word “Zwinger” which describes the open space between two walls.