King’s books on show at British Library

If the architects of the British Library in London, England were aiming for grandeur and impressiveness in their design of the 1998 national library building, they definitely succeeded. Especially striking is the six-storey King’s Library in the middle of the atrium. The free-standing glass tower contains 65,000…

Of swords, cigars, and books

If you were an 18th century officer in the British Empire posted to the rock of Gibraltar, besides your military duties, you wouldn’t have a lot to do. So to keep his troops out of mischief, Colonel John Drinkwater created the…

Fonte do Rossio

This is one of the twin fountains in Rossio Square, a major meeting place in the middle of Lisbon, Portugal. The bronze fountains, incorporating mermaid sculptures, were built in France and shipped to Lisbon for installation in the square in…

Roman tea in English style

Who would have thought there would be a small piece of England in the middle of Rome? To the side of the Spanish Steps on the Piazza di Spagna, I discovered Babington’s Tea Room, where fine tea and eatables are to…

Cool oasis in the Eternal City

Rome is known for its fountains, from the smallest wall fountains that provide drinking water to the large plaza fountains, which instill feelings of awe and grandeur. But this summer, many of them were under wraps being cleaned, repaired or restored. So…

It really does lean

The ultimate in touristy things to do when visiting Italy is to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. So when I was in the region recently, I had to go see it. “Leaning Tower” is not technically its name, since the structure…

Fountain of the sun

Since sun worshippers flock to the French Riviera for sea and sand, it seems appropriate to have a fountain dedicated to the sun god at the edge of the old city of Nice, France. “La fontaine du soleil” by sculptor…