Monday, June 13, 2011

Fodor's Travel Intelligence - Part II

Continuing in our look at Fodor's Travel Intelligence series, today we take a look at their "Top 11 European Museums and Art Treasures".

#1 The Britsh Museum
London, Great Britain

The Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles and a ton of other art and historical treasures from around the globe. It was the first major museum I visited during my first stint coaching in EuroBall in 2008. Definitely worth the price of admission!

It's free.

#2 The Book of Kells
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

I have yet to make it to the Emerald Isle, sorry!

I'll make Trinity College a prime destination when I someday visit Ryan Air's hub city.

#3 The Uffizi Gallery
Florence, Italy

It will absolutely boggle your mind! Such incredible treasures adorning every nook of the Uffizi's endless labyrinth of corridors.

#4 The Guggenheim Museum
Bilbao, Spain

I have not visited Bilbao either. The Frank Gehry architecture of the museum building itself is worth the visit from what I have been told.

Another trip to northern Spain is in order.

#5 The Louvre
Paris, France

The Louvre is so good that it merits two pictures. Here we are with the Venus de Milo. Add the Mona Lisa, Nike - Winged Victory, the Code of Hammurabi and all of the "DaVinci Code" ado amongst the never ending art and you have the makings of a great afternoon.

#6 Museum Island
Berlin, Germany

We visited Berlin last Summer but were too absorbed in World War II Nazi history as well as all of the Cold War sights to visit Museum Island. I'm sure that this is a great place to visit, but come on, this is the History Channel's favorite city in Europe for a reason.

#7 Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Lisbon, Portugal

Oops! Back-to-back misses! Portugal is now officially on our list of countries to visit during our next EuroBall assignment.

Let's see, the new itinerary now includes Ireland, Spain, Germany and Portugal.

#8 Museo del Prado
Madrid, Spain

Regal is a good word for this most European of museums.

#9 The Nationalmuseet
Copenhagen, Denmark

If you like the Vikings, you have come to the right place! Copenhagen is a wonderful city located only a short 90 minute train ride south beautiful Hässleholm, Sweden.

#10 The Rijksmuseum
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam? Are you kidding. WAY too many temptations for me to have visited or even admit to maybe having visited.

O.K., Ireland, Spain, Germany, Portugal and The Netherlands . . . soon.

#11 The Vatican Museums
Rome, Italy (Vatican City State actually)

The Sistine Chapel alone would be reason enough to visit, but the Raphael Room, the Map Room and the gazillion other exhibits are just so overpowering. Of course, Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons" whets the appetite as well.

And you are in Rome . . . sort of.

So that's it, Fodor's "Top 11 . . .", hey wait a second, "WHAT THE . . .", how is it possible that the following three museums didn't make the Fodor's list???

The State Hermitage Museum
St. Petersburg, Russia

This former home of the Tsars houses over 3,000,000 works of art. It was stunning in scope and granduer. I would rank it in my "Top 4 European Art Museums" with, in no particular order, the Louvre, the Uffizi Gallery and the Vatican Museums.

How good can the Book of Kells possibly be to outrank the Hermitage? Sorry, Fodor's blew it on this one.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Madrid, Spain

We entered with the intention of only viewing Picasso's famed anti-war painting "Guernica," pictured above, in Madrid's modern art museum. We finally left six hours later.

We were stunned by the beautiful things that we witnessed. Perhaps three years of viewing European art from the mid-1800's to much, much older times had dulled our artistic senses. The Reina Sofía was awesome. It was a welcomed breath of fresh air for our right brains!

Musée d´Orsay
Paris, France

Do you like the works of Cézanne, van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec or Gauguin? Then the d´Orsay is perfect for you!

Here I am breathing right next to van Gogh's 1890 painting The Church at Auvers.

Nice shirt.

So there you have it, we have visited only six of the Fodor's 11 Museums and Art Treasures and we would like to add three museums that we think that they overlooked.

As always art is subjective, don't you think?

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