Do you know why Antwerp is timeless like its diamonds?

Sparkling like a diamond, forever…

Two hours by bus from Brussels will land you in Antwerp, Europe’s second largest port. Fascinating records of legacy. 12th-century centre for tapestry wool import-export. Napoleon’s favoured base for easy access to attack England. Commercial capital of the world with a humungous population of 100,000. And home to the world’s first stock market. Beat those!

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Pretend to be a noble at a French châteaux in the Loire Valley

France will have you fantasizing…

Just two hours southwest of Paris, lies the Loire Valley, an enchanting countryside ablaze with colours of green and gold, filled with vineyards, farmlands, hunting forests and ancient towns. Christened Loire after France’s longest river, which was a highway for transporting food and building materials in flat boats during the Greco-Roman age. An exceptionally fertile land that enticed 15th-century French royals and nobles to hire Italian architects and artists to build hundreds of palatial Renaissance-style chateaux.

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Cocktail of opulence and tragedy at the Habsburg Palace

Vienna’s imperial palace will overwhelm you…

Even as you survey the facade of ornate Habsburg Palace, the winter residence of the Austrian imperials since the 13th-century, you sense fulfilment. The very essence of Vienna’s cityscape is embodied within these walls…several squares and gardens, 18 groups of buildings, 19 courtyards, and 2,600 rooms spread over a massive 60 acres…a mini city in itself!

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Trapped in the spell of a historic cafe

A trip down coffee lane…

If you are a die-hard coffee lover like me, I bet you treasure each cafe moment while vacationing, specially  in Europe. Just the vision of those cheerful, warm and welcoming spaces, usually opening to the street and sun acts like an energy shot. Coffee drinkers are ensconced in comfortable corners, or lined up in pavement chairs facing the road, reading newspapers or observing the world as it slips by, having vibrant conversations, people-watching, thinking, listening, contemplating, or writing. How can you not be lured into these social hubs where people connect (without wifi)? And if history fascinates you, then a vintage cafe with an illustrious past is a double whammy. So, how can you not want it all, even if your cup runneth over?

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