Promenade de Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Chambéry)

The Promenade de Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a short and easy walk in Chambéry that follows the footsteps of Rousseau. It starts in the Old Town of Chambéry at Parc de la Calamine and goes up to Les Charmettes, a house where Rousseau lived with Madame de Warens between 1736 and 1742. It then loops back by passing through the Parc de Buisson-Rond and the Château de Boigne. I didn’t actually walk the whole loop: It was getting late and dark so I went down to the city directly once I reached Les Charmettes.

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Jordaan at sunset

The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of Amsterdam located west of the center. It is home to many modern art galleries, as well as speciality shops and restaurants.

Above, Noorderkerk (North Church).

Above, still some line at the end of the day at the Anne Frank House.

Above, Westerkerk (West Church).

Above, steeple of Westerkerk.

Walk in Amsterdam Zuid: Beatrixpark, Zuidas Business District, Vondelpark

Starting in De Pijp, I went on a walk, first to Beatrixpark then went on to the Zuidas Business District. On the way back, I walked through Vondelpark and Museumplein.

Above, in Beatrixpark.

Above, at the World Trade Center, in the Zuidas Business District.

Above, Amsterdam Zuid train station.

Above, Fortuna, by artist Leonard van Munster.

Above, on the way to Vondelpark.

Above, Amsterdams Lyceum.

Above, in Vondelpark.

Above, “I amsterdam” sign in front of the Rijksmuseum.

Above, back in De Pijp.

Abu Dhabi: Corniche, Emirates Palace, Marina Mall & Abu Dhabi Theatre

In December, a few weeks after Dubai, I came back to the United Arab Emirates, this time in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the country. It was just a single day layover on my way to Amsterdam but I was able to see a lot.

After I arrived at the airport in the early morning, I took the shuttle bus to downtown Abu Dhabi. I then walked along the Corniche, a pedestrian path along the coast, until I reached the road that leads to the Marina Mall. Instead of going there, I continued along Corniche Road to the Emirates Palace, a 7-star luxury hotel. Part of the hotel is open to all visitors, so I got inside. It was indeed quite nice… After that, I took the bus to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which was actually pretty far away. It was a bit of an adventure so I will make a separate post about it later. After the Mosque, I took a taxi to the Marina Mall and had a quick look inside. Then I headed towards the Heritage Village nearby but there was an event for the Volvo Ocean Race so I went in. It hadn’t really started yet so it was not very interesting. I continued on the road, past the Heritage Village, until the Abu Dhabi Theatre. There was a great viewpoint on the skyline of Downtown Abu Dhabi from there. Finally, I walked on the road towards the Etihad Towers but stopped at a café for sheesha and diner until it was time to go to the airport.

Above, the corniche.

Above, the artificial Al Lulu island.

Above, Marina Mall in the distance.

Above, an oil exploration platform.

Above, beach.

Above, Emirates Palace and ruler’s palace.

Above, Marina Mall.

Above, Emirates Palace.

Above, Abu Dhabi Theatre and its flagpole.

Above, the St. Regis hotel.

Above, Etihad Towers.

Above, Emirates Palace.

Above, below the dome.

Above, Gold to go gold vending machine.

Above, the white Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Above, Marina Mall tower.

Above, Abu Dhabi Marina.

Above, at the Volvo Ocean Race event.

Above, on the way to the Abu Dhabi Theatre.

Above, Abu Dhabi Theatre.

Above, downtown Abu Dhabi seen from the jetty.

Above, Abu Dhabi Heritage Village. It was closing just as I came in so I only had time for a few quick photos.

Above, café with a nice view. I had some sort of arabian pizza (manakish, I think), tea and sheesha.

Above, night on downtown Abu Dhabi.

Sunset at Jumeirah Beach in Dubai

After checking into my hotel, I went out again and headed to Jumeirah Beach, just in time for sunset. After dark, I walked around the Marina.

Above, Almas Tower.

Above, Yacht Club at the Dubai Marina.

Above, Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Above, Jumeirah Beach.

Above, Atlantis, The Palm hotel.

Above, Marina Mall.

Above, back at the Dubai Marina.

Above, Almas Tower at night.

Shalimar Gardens

The Shalimar Gardens (sometimes written as Shalamar Gardens) are a Mughal garden complex located in Lahore, Pakistan. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan (of Taj Mahal fame) in the mid-17th century. The gardens have been laid out from south to north in three levels of terraces. In the terraces, there are basins with 410 fountains in total. Unfortunately, none of them were working while I was there.

Above, next to the entrance, on the upper level terrace, named Farah Baksh (Bestower of Pleasure).

Above, the large basin of the middle terrace: Faiz Baksh (Bestower of Goodness).

Above, on the lower level terrace: Hayat Baksh (Bestower of Life).

Above, back on the upper terrace.

Above, outside the entrance to the gardens.

Lowering of the flags at Wagah Border

The Wagah border closing ‘lowering of the flags’ ceremony, or The Beating Retreat ceremony, is a daily military practice that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959. The Wagah Border is only a short car ride from Lahore and the spectacle of the ceremony attracts many visitors from Pakistan. The other side seemed packed as well.

Above, ticket booth.

Above, security checkpoint.

Above, the building for spectators.

Above, the VIP section close to the border gate. I decided to go instead to an area with some height next to the stadium gate.

Above, the men section. Men and women have separate benches.

Above, one of the crowd warmers.

Above, the women section.

Above, chanting about the glory of Pakistan or God.

Above, Pakistan Rangers.

Above, opening the gate to shake hands at the beginning of the ceremony.

Above, some theatrics.

Above, start of the lowering of the flags.

Above, coming back with the flag.

Above, closing the gate for good.

Above, after the ceremony, the visitors in the VIP area can go to the border gate. Unfortunately, the guard refused me access.

Above, a Ranger posing with a group of Chinese tourists.

Above, posing with a crowd warmer. His bushy beard made him the most popular.

Above, back in the amphitheatre, looking at a miniature Pakistan.

Above, sunset.

Above, miniature Pakistan.

Above, an antelope in a park near the entrance.

Above, decorated truck waiting for the next morning and the opening of the border.

Rohtas Fort

Rohtas Fort (Qila Rohtas) is a historical garrison fort located near the city of Jhelum in Punjab, Pakistan. It was built in the 16th century under the orders of Afghan king Sher Shah Suri, to subdue the rebellious tribes of the region. It was captured by Mughal emperor Humayun in 1555. Rohtas was also occasionally used for administrative purposes by the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh after he captured it in 1825.

Above, on the road to the fort.

Above, mud brick factory.

Above, Khwas Khani Gate.

Above, inside the fort.

Above, Talaqi Gate.

Above, Sikh-era Man Singh Haveli.

Above, execution platform.

Above, Shahi Mosque.

Above, Kabuli Gate.

Above, view from the Man Singh Haveli.

Above, bee hive in the Haveli.

Above, Sohail Gate.

Above, on the other side of Sohail Gate.

Above, crossing a river on the way back from the fort.

Sunset at Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal

Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal (晴海客船ターミナル) is the Tokyo terminal for international cruise ships. It is located in Tokyo Bay at the southern tip of Harumi Island. It has one of the best views on Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge in the city. There is a viewing platform on the 6th floor but it was closed when I was there.

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Sunshine 60 Observatory

Sunshine City is a commercial complex in the Ikebukuro area: It features a variety of facilities including an office building, an aquarium, a shopping center and the Sunshine 60 Observatory. At 250m, the latter offers the highest point of view in the neighbourhood and a great view on Tokyo.

Above, garbage processing plant in Ikebukuro.

Above, Ikebukuro station.

Above, Tokyo Skytree.

Above, Koishikawa Botanical Garden.

Above, sun setting next to Mount Fuji.