Europe's grea hit
.. pas M, (A,
Battling the winter blues? There’s still time for one more foreign jolly in 2003. Plan it with this rundown of our favourite European must-sees. In no particular order . . . Words: Allan Radcliffe
St Basil’s Cathedral
lyan the 'I'errihle hlinded the architect of this great Russian icon to preyent him htlilding anything as dramatic. and it‘s not hard to see why the eyil Tsar was so precious. The unique edilice has dominated Mosuin Red Square since the l550s.
The original lairytale castle was htlilt hy '.\Iad' King Ludwig ll. and stands alongside a 45 metre waterl'all that runs through the Alps into the :\lpsee Lake. The detailed woodcaryings in Ludwig's hedroom took oyer four years to cral‘t.
Legend has it that the unique rock l‘ormation in ;\ntrim. Northern Ireland. which ’l'hackcry called ‘a remnant of chaos’ was created l'ollowing a light hetween l'lster warrior l’inn .\lc(‘ool and a riyal Scottish giant.
Descrihed hy \"ictor lltlgo as ‘the most heautiltll square in the world.~ the l7th century haroque architectttre ol‘ the (hand— Place is best appreciated by l'loodlight. perhaps oyer a ‘chocolat chaud' Tl’tllll one of the square's many cal’es.
The temple dedicated to the Virgin Athena Parthenos is almost entirely constructed in marhle and is still going strong atop the rocky Acropolis in Athens alter tnore than 2000 years.
Forget the Sacre (‘oetllt The 'wonder ol‘ the west' is a medieyal (iolhic Benedictine ahhey and its surrounding yillage that stands perched on a rocky islet buffeted by powerltll tides l'rom Normandy and Brittany.
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
(‘onsidered the second (‘atholic pilgrimage centre alter Rome. thousands of trayellers have emharked on the ‘('amino de Santiago‘ l'rom lirance to (ia'ivia. since the cathedral’s inauguration in the l2th century.
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ll‘ you‘re only going to \‘iC\\' one Roman wonder. maryel at the exquisite. l‘reshly restored it'c‘sco cycles depicting the liyes ol~ Moses and Christ. as well as a l‘cw second-rate doodles by a little-known artist called Michelangelo.
(‘omhining loyely. scenic gardens and a \VUIILTCI‘TUT old-time amusement park with around 25 rides and Various shops and amusements. Tiyoli is a particularly magical place to he during the l’estiye season.
The Danube, Budapest
(‘an‘t decide hetwecn Buda and l’est'.’ Then take a breather on one ol‘ the Hungarian capital‘s many spectacular iron hridges and suryey the eclectic architecture ol' this resurgent liastern city that llanks the snaking expanse of the blue Danube.
()ne of the world’s most actiye Volcanoes as well as the oldest recorded yolcano in the world. litna in Sicily is a prime destination for those with a daring sense of adyenture. The ancient (ireeks helieyed litna to he the home ol‘ that one-eyed monster. the Cyclops. as well as Vulcan. (iod ol' lire.
Red Light District, Amsterdam
Allisterdam‘s most tantalising attraction coyers a large area oi the old town. and is a weird comhination ol’ quaint. olde- worlde htlildings leaning in towards the canals. and hiatant seediness. Visitors are tempted to linger by bars. shops and coITCCshops and ol' course. the assorted 'hoel'tjcs‘ (hookers).
(‘loser to home. Scotland‘s most romantic castle sits in a prime spot at the meeting point ol‘ three lochs Long. [Mich and Alsh and has withstood sayage raids hy .\'orsc and Danish adyenttlrers as well as hordes oT American tourists.
The Scottish Parliament Building, Holyrood, Edinburgh Well. it‘s nice to dream isn't it'.’ Maybe one day . . .
Europe, I love you, je t’aime, ich liebe dich (clockwise from left): The Parthenon, St Basil’s Cathedral, Eilean Donan, Grande- Place, Giant’s Causeway