Category Other Cities
Traveling as a lifestyle affords plenty of opportunities otherwise unavailable, but maybe not as much as the simple power of “yes.” As an introvert, I would tend to accept quiet nights in without much fuss. As someone married to an extrovert, I hardly get the opportunity. But this time, saying “yes” to a pub crawl in Bucharest, Romania led us to an abandoned cable car station on top of a mountain in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Just after the turn of the 18th century, however, another church was built here: the present Peterskirche. It was begun in 1701 and consecrated in 1733. It was the first domed structure in Vienna, and its towers are said to have been inspired by the tents of the Turks during the siege just a few years earlier.
We didn’t mean to visit Santa Maria, or Our Lady in Trastevere, when we did; we were just looking for good food in the Trastevere (“across the Tiber”) neighborhood. Eventually we would have found our way to it, but hungry as we were when we walked by, I simply couldn’t help myself. I had to go in.
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, one of those mysterious eastern European countries that we typically associate with vaguely Russian accents, lots of potatoes, and that charming style of Soviet architecture that I like to call “cell block chic.”
No visit to Riga, Latvia is complete without a visit to the sprawling Central Market, a melange of fresh foods and handmade goods that fills out not one, but five, “upcycled” German zeppelin hangars and bulges out onto the surrounding streets and waterfront. It is so substantial that it has been called Europe’s largest market and bazaar; I have no square-footage facts to back that up, but I have no real problem believing it after having seen it.
Estonia went from a backwater basket case to a modern EU country, a NATO member, and a driver of digital innovation that punches well above its weight in the world economy in just twenty years. That’s remarkable.