Hotel No. 16 was a curious place; in a Swiss chalet style building that is shared with the Liberian Embassy and inside had an intriguing collection of expensive furniture, cheesy bric-a-brac and a ceramic wood-burning stove that was providing far more heat in the reception area than was really necessary.
The rooms were excellent however and had wooden beams and tasteful décor, which probably explained why it was a bit more expensive than I usually like to pay for a room.
Although we didn’t know this in advance it turned out that the owner of the hotel was a man called Braňo Hronec who was a Slovakian jazz musician and pop star in the 1970’s and there were some heavily moustachioed Brotherhood of Man look-alike photographs of him on one wall of the hotel reception.
Apparently he recorded three long play records in quick succession before fading rather quickly into obscurity as a conductor of the Slovak Television Dance Orchestra in the 1980s and finally becoming a hotel proprietor of the Hotel No. 16.
As a pop star he is remembered in Slovakia chiefly because in the mid 1960s he established his own jazz sextet, pioneering the use of the then rare and expensive Hammond organ, and for releasing some cover versions of popular songs like ‘Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In’, but most of all for a version of Christie’s smash pop hit ‘Yellow River’ with Slovak lyrics.
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Posted in Arts and Crafts, Bratislava, Cathedrals, Europe, Food, History, Literature, Slovakia, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Art, Bratislava, Braňo Hronec, Central Europe, Czechoslovakia, Danube, Life, Photography, Slovakia, Travel
Arriving in Florence we went first to the Cathedral, or Duomo, which although completed as long ago as 1436 is still the tallest building in the City.
Even though it was relatively early in the morning there was a huge queue of visitors waiting at the entrance and snaking in a seemingly endless human coil around the building so being naturally impatient decided we couldn’t afford the time to wait so decided to return later.
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Click on an image to scroll through the Gallery…
Posted in Cathedrals, Europe, History, Italy, Literature, Postcards, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Art, Culture, Florence, Michelangelo, Photography, Statue of David, Travel, Tuscany
Everyone recognises the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, it is one of the most loved and most parodied pieces of art ever…
Posted in Arts and Crafts, Cathedrals, Europe, History, Italy, Literature, Postcards, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Art, Culture, Disney Last Supper, Godfather Last Supper, Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci, Life, MASH Last Supper, Milan, Scientists last Supper
Posted in Arts and Crafts, Europe, History, Literature, Portugal, Postcards, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Art, Azulejos, Ceramic Art, Ceramic Tiles, Culture, Furadouro, Life, Ovar
One day we took a walk around Mellieha and on the way back to the hotel stopped at a beach bar for a break. A Looky-Looky man approached and showed us the rubbish that he was hoping to sell. I would never buy from a Looky-Looky man and I told him to go away. He packed up and moved on but my five year old granddaughter called him back.
Sensing a sale he started all over again, she liked a carved elephant and he said it was five euro. my reaction was ‘no way‘, my daughter said ‘offer him four’, Patsy thought about this for a while and then looked him directly in the eye and said ‘Three’. I choked on my beer, Sally almost fell off her chair, the Looky-Looky man just laughed and agreed the deal!
The next time I go to Morocco and go shopping in the Souks or go to buy a new car I am taking my granddaughter with me to do the negotiating…
Posted in Arts and Crafts, Cathedrals, Europe, History, Malta, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Art, Culture, Life, Looky-Looky Beach Sellers, Mellieha Bay, Mellieha Bay Hotel, Morocco, Street Art Mellieha
Posted in Africa, backpacking, Food, History, Marrakech, Morocco, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Art, Culture, Essaouira, Essaouira Blue Doors, Essaouira Street Art, Essaouira Urban Art, Life
Trying to understand the work of the Catalan artist is rather like pushing a supermarket trolley with a wonky wheel. It is all over the place!
I am not a great lover of the works of Dali I have to say, I wouldn’t hang one in my front room, but even I could appreciate the genius of most of this eclectic work that seemed to me to be the product of a mixed up mind as though its contents had spent some time in a food blender.
The museum is only small but is full to the brim with his art and sculpture, his illustrations and collections in a sort of wild and random style that he put together himself and probably comes closest to providing an insight into what it must have been like to be him with his head overflowing with ideas and creativity.
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Posted in Arts and Crafts, Cantabria, Cathedrals, Europe, History, Literature, Postcards, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Art, Besalu, Catalonia, Catalonia Postcards, Culture, Figueres, Life, Salvador Dali, Sant Ferran Castle Figueres