Marseille City France

I had long wanted to set foot in the city of Marseille. Finally, the opportunity came when a friend, Caroline, invited me to visit his home town in February. Although only had one day to explore the city located on the coast of the Mediterranean, I could feel Marseille is different from other cities in France I have ever visited. Population is different from the birth place of warm blend in the form of food, building, languages, and hospitality.
February should be the height of winter. However, the sun shine warm enough in the town inherent in the stories of Napoleon Bonaparte and footballer Zinedine Zidane’s. We decided to enjoy the pleasant weather it by venturing into the market Le Marché de La Plaine.
Yes, the market has become a hallmark of Marseille. The geographical location of the city and warm climate make the merchants in the city easier to get fresh food. Not only fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and fresh fish, traders also sold in processed form, such as cakes and breads.
However, there is nothing more special in the market which we are headed. Held in the open square in the Jean-Jaurès, the market commonly referred to La Plaine also sells a variety of winter gear, accessories, perfumes, cosmetics, toiletries, leather shoes, and other goods at a cheaper price. If you come here in January-February and July-August months which are the changing of the seasons, usually lots of vendors selling goods at bargain prices.
I was amazed once when he saw a variety of beauty products from France that is circulating in Indonesia is sold in this market with a much lower price. Although placed just on the shelf, scenic beauty products were still tempting me. Handmade bath soap typical southern France, Savon de Marseille, as well as mascara and eye liner made in Spain which is not sold in Indonesia, goes straight into my shopping bag.
Once satisfied shopping cosmetics, the journey continues. Still close to the area of ​​La Plaine, I found the vintage stall items that seemed to bring into the setting of the film Notting Hill. The shop that sells vintage and classic stuff, one wide-rimmed sunglass just looks like model belongs to Jackie O. If purchased in the boutique, the price can be more expensive five-fold! At this kiosk, the average price of goods is not more than 100 euros. The salesman was no less eccentric, a middle-aged man with a neat style shaggy shoulder-length white hair slicked, plus wide glasses and smoking a pipe attached to the lips.
As the largest commercial port city in France, Marseille is offering a unique shopping pleasure. Not a few tourists were more happy shopping tour in cities than in Paris which is famous for designer goods. Finding a shopping place as it is one of the advantages of traveling with the locals (who like shopping) as Caroline.

Browsing the market began to open up my view of Marseille. Before, I think this city is a city mafia, a breeding place of thieves and thugs. In fact, the aura of the city is actually reminds me of the warmth of the towns characteristic of the Mediterranean, such as Italy, Greece, and Turkey, who have ever visited.

Georgia Travel Places

Winter in Georgia makes the country look more beautiful with makeup snow in a row of the Caucasus Mountains that surround it. The peak covered with thick snow white uniform, while the slopes of the hill featuring a combination of white and dark patches of rocks that are still free of snow. I was stunned when a bus we passed a simple church building in the middle of the vast desert shelter blue sky. Returned to guidelines that have been downloaded through the phone, the more I can not wait to enjoy the beauty of this country.
Architecture lovers will be spoiled by the structure of the church building and the wall scattered at many points in Georgia were mostly older than 1,000 years.
The bus stopped at a terminal that does not look like a terminal. There are only a few minibus parked and out. Apparently, I had reached the city of Akhaltsikhe, the nearest town from the Turkish-Georgian border. Some people who want to continue the trip to Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, had to change the minibus and drove about three hours away. Choice of staying falls in Akhaltsikhe because there are several interesting locations to be visited from there.
My husband and I spent the first day just to walk around the city and tasting kachapuri (cheese pie), which is a typical food of Georgians. Akhaltsikhe town atmosphere pleasant and relaxing. The people are also very friendly, although many do not speak English as their primary language is Georgian and Russian.
In Georgia there are many monastery or convent located far over the hills or remote mountains. Because there are no settlements nearby, then there is no public transportation to get there.
The first location is my direction is Sapara Monastery is located 12 km from the city center. The streets winding through the countryside in the area of green hills, until finally arriving at the top of the highest hill, they saw a beautiful Sapara Monastery bathed in the morning sunlight. Built in the 10th century, the church complex which is surrounded by the castle and include the viewing tower is still actively used as a place of worship and inhabited by some pastors.
Proceed to a cave monastery that is part of the Vardzia Cave City. History records that in 1185 the nation of Georgia was led by a young woman aged 25 years, was named Queen Tamar. In the midst of his fight against the nation of Mongolia, he ordered to build a monastery once underground shelters. Unmitigated, Mount Erusheli City Aspindza converted into a cave with 13 levels that can accommodate more than 6,000 pastors and war victims. The only way out when it is through a secret tunnel that started near the river Mtkvari.
Land around Vardzia Cave Monastery hidden when it is green and lush that the priests make terraced irrigation system to help make the food supply for the whole of the convent. It is a perfect place to stay for the life of the population at that time.
They managed to survive the attack of the nation of Mongolia. However, fate would. Less than 100 years since the city was founded, in 1283, Georgia is stricken by the earthquake very powerful to destroy the cave system and knocked out most of the mountain side. Rows of room in the middle row that currently we can see, once hidden in the mountain. Now looks like a mountain split in the visible cross section.
Monastery in Vardzia Cave City had risen again and continue his life until 1551, when the attacks on priests by the Persians. Since then Vardzia really be a city left uninhabited. In the 20th century, there was a priest who stopped there and decided to keep traces the history of the place. Until now there was a small group of pastors who inhabit some parts of the remains of the historic city. Imagine how extreme the man’s efforts to protect civilization, but must submit under the power of nature.
However, either because it was low season or indeed Vardzia Cave City is rarely visited by tourists, there was only my husband and I were out of the tunnel are small and dark in the cave system. Enjoying the beauty of the river and the colors of trees in the surrounding areas.

Ayutthaya Wat Langkha Dam and Wat Maha That

The trip to Ayutthaya runs smoothly and takes an hour. I note the wide road in Thailand so that the vehicle can drive up to 100 km / h although not on the highway. I went down in Soi 2 Naresuan Road. Not far from there are many shops that rent bikes. I chose a bike that looks most excellent condition and pay the rent 40 Baht. The shop owners are father and son, both Westerners living in Thailand. I commend the bag, and just bring a camera, water bottle and a map to get around Ayutthaya.
In accordance map of my trip, I passed the first objective is Rachaburana Wat, built in 1424 by King Borommaracha II after his two brothers were killed in the fighting elephants to fight over the throne. Both the king’s brother cremated and his ashes placed in two chedi and Wat Rachaburana was built as a memorial.
I went on to the next goal, namely Wat Chum Saeng. It is a place of prayer chedi with the main features of the tower with a shape like a bell. This tower has been eroded, but the top of the tower is still intact. Architectural style Wat Chum Saeng indicate monastery was built in the mid-Ayutthaya.
Across Wat Chum Saeng located Langkha Wat Khao shaped single bell-shaped chedi with an octagonal base, and the staircase steps up to the Oratory. Name Wat Khao Langkha a tile color (white), which formerly covered roof.
After one minute bike ride to the west, I arrived at Wat Thammikarat. Wat Thammikarat can be seen from the bell-shaped chedi surrounded by lions (singh) and many-headed dragon on the ladder. Wat Thammikarat allegedly been built before Ayutthaya became the capital of the kingdom. History tells Thammikarat Phraya, the son of King Sai Nam Phung, build this monastery. Two centuries later, Prince Si Sin, the sister of King Yot Fa (executed in 1548), had been imprisoned in or near Wat Thammikarat by King Chakkraphat. Prince Si Sin then strike suddenly royal palace through the Gate Sao Thong Chai (next to Wat Thammikarat). King Chakkraphat forced to flee from the court, but Prince Si Sin died was shot in battle. The whole family and the prince’s wife was executed and impaled as a warning for the planned uprising in the future. In 1758, a monk of the monastery were able to prevent a civil war by persuading the King Uthumphon to resign.
The next place I visited was Wat Sri Sanphet which is the beginning of the King’s Palace. Monk did not stay here because it is considered as a royal temple. Two bell-shaped chedi was built in 1492 by King Ramabodhi II. Easternmost Chedi containing the ashes of his father, King Borommatrailokanat (Trailok), central chedi contains the ashes of his brother, King Borommaracha III, while the west chedi contains the ashes themselves.
King’s Palace was founded by King U-Thong after establishing the kingdom in 1351. King’s Palace had been largely destroyed by the Burmese invasion in 1767. But few buildings still standing, among them the Rabbit Garden Pavilion, Building Suriyat-Amarindra, Building Vihara Somdet, building Sanphet-Prasat, building Chakravat-Phaichayon, Traimuk building, and the building Banyong-Ratanat.
Wat Rakang also known as Wat Worapho, is a broad area of ​​the ruins with some parts of the building still standing. The main stupa is a Khmer-style prang. Wat Rakang first became known to the King Sokham, who had served as the high monks in this monastery, and managed to get a lot of followers. He then left the life of the monk and became king after the overthrow of King Si Saowaphak.
Wat Worachetharam are ruins with many architectural buildings. The building that stands out is the bell-shaped chedi built during the mid Ayutthaya. A statue of Buddha in a position Taming Mara is located in front of the altar for prayer.
Wat ruins Lokaya Sutharam a large temples built during the late Ayutthaya, around the end of the 16th century. Famous of these temples are sleeping Buddha statue (42 meters long and 8 meters high) named Phra Buddha Sai Yat. The whole Buddha toes are the same length. The hand that sustains head made vertical, and not folded like a statue in the early Ayutthaya and U-Thong.
Wat Ket is located near the ancient prison and is one of the places for execution. The abbey was used by the accused to pray one last time, while other prisoners using this convent to beg forgiveness. There are 21 ways to execute as stipulated in the Law of Criminal Ayutthaya, including by way beheaded, impaled, internal organs removed, trampled by elephants, beaten with rattan and so on.
Wat Phra Ram founded in 1369. King Ramesuan ordered the construction of this monastery as the burial place of his father, King U-Thong, who was the founder of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. But it looks like Wat Phra Ram was completed in the reign of King Borommaracha I (1370-1388).
Ayutthaya Maha Prasat is the Buddhist temple to King U-Thong in Bung Phra Ram built by the Chakri dynasty. The hallmark of this building is a symbol that reflects the three pillars of Ayutthaya province.
Wat Jan was a statue of Buddha at the top, and an elephant kneeling while a monkey giving offerings. The significance of these figures is unclear because of a hidden history.
Wat Sangkha Pat is a single building in the area, with style Haripunchai or Lanna kingdom, which is the foundation octagonal, and the building is decreasing upwards. Very little can be known history of Wat Sangkha Pat. This monastery is located in the ancient canals that drain water to Bung Phra Ram from Khlong Muang (the old Lopburi River).
Wat Langkha Dam consists of three main buildings. In front is a prayer hall, behind him is a bell-shaped chedi of mid-Ayutthaya period. This building has a foundation octagonal with several levels to get to the inside. This building has a Khmer influence. Wat Langkha Dam so named because the roof is black. Because of the similarities the name implies, this monastery likely have relationships with Langkha Wat Khao.
Wat Maha That had been the Dvaravati settlements in the 12th century before the arrival of King U-Thong in 1350. But according to historical records, the construction of this monastery began only in 1374 and was completed in 1388. King Borommaracha I build this monastery as the spiritual center Ayutthaya, and is the official residence of the Patriarch of Buddhism. Wat Maha That famous with a Buddha’s head coming out from behind a tree root. Local people believe that the tree Buddha head lifted off the ground because these objects are very sacred.
My final destination is Wat Muang which was built during the late Ayutthaya.
Finally I managed to finish the entire route at 18:00. Not wanting to waste time, I then return the bike, took the bag and headed to where I got out of the minivan afternoon. Luckily it did not take long, because there is a minivan that will go to Bangkok. I explained to the driver I wanted to get off at Don Mueang International Airport.
The journey from Ayutthaya to the airport takes about 45 minutes, fortunately streets were jammed, because of the information I have ever read, traffic heading to Bangkok in the afternoon is severe. After going down, do not forget to pay the minivan 60 Baht, I went straight to the counter check-in, immigration and customs and into the departure area. Because there is still enough time, I then went around to the duty free shop to look for souvenirs. In essence, I was just trying to spend money Baht to not have to trade it back in Jakarta. Having to some snacks and a souvenir elephant, I then boarded the plane and returned to Tangerang.