Category: Things to do

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 record of punctuality and safety. The…

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 he bought a house in…

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 house he created a beautiful…

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 resulting negative is possibly the…

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 on his delivery rounds. The…

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 am curious what else they…

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