Open Your Heart

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Photo by Michał Grosicki on Unsplash

All that we love deeply becomes a part of us
We mourn the passing of the past
We sit and cry over the loss and we thought we had too much loss
But there is love and memory to realize there is no true loss

Our eyes may be full of tears and feel utterly empty
But understand life must go on with memories we carry
Think of all the beauty that remains and forget the misery
Perfect relief is not possible, for sure one day we are not hurt as much as currently

When we catch our breath and open our eyes, we see things are evolving
The new time is coming and parts of it we don’t notice are just waiting
If you are down, look forward and see a future that you want to be in
Everything must pass, including sorrow and It’s where our new stories begin
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Notre-Dame de Paris

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Notre-Dame de Paris also was known as Notre-Dame Cathedral. It’s deified to the Virgin Mary. It is one of the most well-known Paris landmarks which symbolized the city.

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The Notre-dame cathedral sits on a small island called the Ile de la Cite in the middle of river Seine, one of the most ancient sacred places in Paris whereby the French history started.

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It is also one of the largest and one of the most famous Cathedrals of the world.
The total surface area is 5,500 m² (interior surface 4,800 m²) big enough to accommodate 9000 thousand people.

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The construction was started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was finally completed in 1345. As of this year 2017, Notre-Dame de Paris was celebrating it’s 854 years.

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Stepping inside the beautiful Gothic church of Notre Dame Cathedral doesn’t have fees to access but I suggest to go early if possible to be able to move around the church without bumping into someone every time you turn.

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Once you get in, you will see the church’s magnificent sculptures, a stained glass window and don’t miss the Rose Window which particularly reflected of Gothic architecture and may be seen in all the major Gothic Cathedrals of Northern France and Christian churches all over the world.

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The church has 10 bells with different sizes and names: Marie, Gabriel, Anne Geneviève, Denis, Marcel, Étienne, Benoît-Joseph, Maurice, Jean-Marie and the largest name to Emmanuel. Emmanuel bell is always rung first at least 5 seconds before the others.

The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps of spiral staircases to access the bell tower. It’s a separate visit and there will be a charge of 8.50 euros for the adult.

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The entrance to the stairs is located outside the church. I see people are queuing up early to access the bell tower from the outside of the church. Please take note, there is a limit number of people admitted daily so try to get in the queue early as possible.

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The Cathedral is open daily from 8:00am to 6:45pm with a 7:15pm closing time on Saturdays & Sundays.

The number of statues which overlook the city from the balcony of the South Tower is absolutely breathtaking. There will be Gargoyle (a statue with wings and horns), Wyvern (a two-footed dragon) and a kind of goat demon looking over the balcony and you wouldn’t miss the spectacular view of the entire city of Paris.

 

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You should probably hear about the story of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. There are cartoons and movies inspired by. However, It’s still the French Gothic Architecture that remains to be the most attractive to all the visitors across the globe, until today.

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Beware of pickpockets. There will be a lot of people in this place and you would not know who are the pickpockets one.

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Stay away from a group of child scammers too, they will be asking for ‘donations’ which some kind of petition and would not leave you alone.

Like in any other places with lots of people around, there are no guarantees so it’s best to be careful and keep an eye on your surroundings.

My final thoughts:
It’s very impressive, inside and outside. It’s absolutely worth a visit.
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The Duomo in Milan, Italy

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Duomo di Milano view at night

The Duomo di Milano or Milan Cathedral is the most famous landmark in Milan, Italy. It is made of pink-veined white marble. The largest church in Italy measuring 520 feet by 302 feet. It is also the 5th largest church in the world, big enough to accommodate 40 thousand people. No wonder the construction works were prolonged over nearly six centuries.

This is me and the central door behind me. It’s a “stories from the life of Mary” and it was carved with floral Gothic reliefs in 1906 by Ludovico Pogliaghi.

It’s very impressive, inside and outside. Needless to say, it is really astounding. The Duomo sits on the grand Piazza del Duomo and it’s just beside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is right in the middle of the city and easy to get to. The Duomo is on the grand square so you can really see the physical of the structure which may surprise you when you stand outside.

It’s free to enter if you just wander around inside. There will be a charge if you want to enter the Treasury or Crypt (located inside the church) or access the Duomo roof (lift and stairs access is located outside of the church).

There will be a queue outside the church to go inside, there are police guarding the doors who have to ensure you’ve dressed appropriately, no off shoulders, mini-skirts, and shorts so remember to take a scarf or have your shoulders covered otherwise you will not be allowed in. They will check your bags, food or drinks are strictly prohibited too. I also noticed the signboards to advise people to turn off cell phones or lower down the volume and not to take photographs with flash inside the church.

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Statue of “St. Bartholomew flayed” wrapped in his own skin, by Marco d’Agrate.

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Once you get in, you will see the church’s magnificent sculptures in the frames and windows, decorations on the facade, beautiful layers of architecturally detailed pinnacles and huge patrimony of statues approximately 1,100 on the inside and  2,300 outside, massive paintings and several tombs of archbishops.

To access the rooftop terrace of the Duomo, you can either use stairs to the top for 5 euros or take the lift for 8 euros, open daily from 9:00 AM  to 5:30 PM.

You can admire and take a wonderful panorama shot of the entire city of Milan from the rooftop terrace, you would be able to see more details sculptures and marble carvings. The number of statues at the roof and the craftsmanship is absolutely breathtaking.

Beautiful Milan is a big city and attracts attention for its rich history and devotion to fashion. We as a traveler we want to make sure our journey to the heart of northern Italy is as safe as possible. You have to be extra careful as you are more exposed to pickpockets and sellers especially in Piazza Duomo.

There are 2 types of the seller in this place that you need to be aware of. One is the corn seed seller and another one is the bracelet seller.

Pigeons are everywhere and they’ll be flocking around the Piazza Duomo and this is where the corn seed sellers come in, they are everywhere too! They tend to grab your hand and when you open your hand they will drop the corn seed and whistles. Next thing you’ll know your arms are covered by pigeons and the seller will offer to take pictures of you while the pigeons are busy eating corn seeds.
Your camera will be given back to you of course but they will charge you 20 euros for the experience, clever isn’t?!

Here come’s the bracelet seller. There will be men who will try to put a leather bracelet or some kind of string bracelet on your arm and when he’s tying the bracelet on you they will tell you it’s free. The moment you start leaving they will start chasing you and ask you to pay 20 euros. They are very sneaky!
They can be very pushy and demand you to buy, so beware of these sellers.
A polite no is normally enough for them to leave you alone.

I hope this would help to give you some ideas and not ruin your experience. You just need to be aware of the pitfalls of traveling but relax and enjoy.

Final thought: I’m glad that I experienced and visit this place and I would love to come and visit again.

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Be Kind

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Photo by Tom Parsons on Unsplash

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Being kind is always the best response to any kind of situation. What goes around comes around… be that person and never forget the people who were genuinely kind to you… those who helped you when you had no one else when you were hurt when you were sick and those who loved you even when you felt unlovable.

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Personal Happiness

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Photo by Saz B on Unsplash

 

Are you happy and smiling? You should be. You are awake, alive and able to read.
This morning I feel the need to remind all of us that our personal happiness is important. Throughout your life sorrows will bombard your plans but it’s important not to become those problems.

Don’t let life’s troubles crush you. Life has those high times and they keep coming too. When life takes something away from you, your hand is left open for the new.
Good things are coming at you just as the bad things did and they will need your energy too.

Your happiness and personal peace are important to hold on to.
Find the little things in everyday life that make you happy.
In times of trouble, it is not selfish to be happy, your body requires it too.
The people around you will be comforted by your smile and may join you.

Don’t let life crush your spirit. Embrace uncertainty and imperfection.
Let life’s challenges lift you up with hope and love because remember you only have one life to live.

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“What are you most thankful for?”

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Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

I thank God for giving me a chance to see the light every day.

We often complain about the bad things until we forget the thousands of things that go right every day.

Today, my mind is full of people who helped me in the past.

I feel blessed for being surrounded by wonderful people all my life.

I’m not rich and I don’t have much to offer to show my gratitude
but I thought of giving them something that I know can help them a bit.

I just want them to know how thankful I am and I will always remember them even though we’re far apart.

I’m happy and I feel blessed, Thank you!!

Always remember “Gratitude will leads you to a happier life”.

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Task

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Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Well, you know what, I’ve done what I can with today. I have. I’ll say that’s enough and look forward to tomorrow.

Hope you feel good about the day you’ve spent.
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