weekly photo challenge: scale

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We couldn’t go past this scene of a kitchen made to scale to share; the art of scale miniatures.


For more interpretations of scale, see The Daily Post.

For more scale miniatures scenes, see our post on the Museum of Miniatures and Cinema.

 Have a fabulous weekend, everyone! 

As always, we welcome your comments 🙂


top 5 unexpected travel gems

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With the New Year almost a week in, we are back to regular blogging again. We had a festive/silly season break and it feels good to be back.

Towards the end of last year, we wrote a piece about our most disappointing travel sites and to introduce this year, we are sharing our top 5 unexpected travel highlights – places which we fell in love but hadn’t expected to.

In a world where information is so readily at our fingertips and the internet can reveal so much about a place – we avoid “researching” too much into a place we want to visit. We look for inspiration, we read about safety and basic introductory information, but we don’t read or look at everything we can about the place because we find that creates expectation and takes away some of the “unknown”. We tend to like the element of surprise.  And these are our top 5 unexpected travel gems.

(5) Pingyao

Enter through the gates of Pingyao and we were transported back to centuries ago. There are no cars inside, it is all pedestrian and bicycles.  Chinese history is oozing out of the walls and rooftops of this city and we LOVED it. It was our most favourite city during our time in China. As we walk along the alleyways and admire the well-preserved architecture, the only giveaway that we are in the 21st Century are the tourist shops.


(4) Lyon

Before arriving in Lyon, we did little research as we were using it more as a stopover before we headed into Switzerland, not expecting to be so blown away by it. The history and its Roman past had us fascinated for hours. We have written only about a couple of the places we visited in Lyon; the Museum of Miniatures and Cinema and the street murals. There is so much there to see and still more we are yet to share about our time in Lyon. Do yourself a favour and add it to your list for next time you are in France.


(3) Pergamum

When it comes to anything history, we love it! Visiting ancient ruins is one of our favourite things to do when travelling. Whilst travelling through Turkey, there are a LOT of ancient ruins to the point of possibly being fatigued by them. But there is no fatigue when it comes to riding a cable car and then exploring the ruins of Pergamum. The views from the top are just unbelievable across the countryside. What we found to be the biggest treat was walking amongst the columns and stones and remnants of life from thousands of years ago.


(2) Tasmania

Often left off maps and forgotten as belonging to Australia, it is one of the places in the world where we want to come back to as soon as we have left. There is just something about it that makes us just want more. There is delicious, fresh local food! There is jaw-dropping stunning scenery. There is an abundance of wildlife and there is a touch of history. Whoever comes to Australia and doesn’t put Tassie on their list is crazy!!


(1) Weliczka Salt Mines

Hands up if you thought “salt mines? – how special can they be?” We knew they were UNESCO Heritage, we knew they were important and a must-see. We knew about the history behind it but we were NOT by any means expecting to see what we saw. Climbing into a 3-storey shaft lift was only the beginning of one of THE MOST incredible places we have visited. An underground city, quite literally, that was carved out of salt.


We love having these surprises so we try not to look at too many photos of a place just before we visit!

Now it’s your turn! We would love to hear about places that you didn’t expect to be so AWESOME 🙂


mural art in lyon

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For us, Lyon was a convenient city to stop into for a few days before we ducked on over to Switzerland.

But not only was it convenient, it was an incredible place for us to explore for three days. There is so much to do (free and not) and plenty of little surprises, like the Miniatures and Cinema Museum that we stumbled across, we really enjoyed Lyon!

One of it’s free attractions is the city’s mural art. There are certainly a few scattered around the city. Our favourite is at the corner of rue de la Martiniére and Quai St Vincent, it depicts and honours Lyon’s famous citizens such as the Lumière brothers (the first film makers) and Laurent Mourguet (creator of the famous French puppet, Guignol).


We sat on a bench right across from the artwork and spent quite a while staring at it. The mural is detailed and life-like, there is so much depth in the art and it simply drew us in. We ended up with pretty sore necks after we moved from our vantage point.


Here are the Lumière brothers:


And Laurent Mourguet and Guignol:


We love how the ground floor of the mural looks so realistic. We could easily have tried entering the building and walking up the staircases …


Or enjoyed a warm drink in that cafe.


So if you ever find yourself in Lyon looking for something to do that won’t affect the budget; walking the streets to explore the mural art might just be the thing.


Have you been to Lyon?

What did you think of the murals?

As always, we love hearing what you have to say.



the museum of miniatures and cinema in lyon

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Would you believe these are miniature scenes?

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How realistic, right? Well, there are over 100 of these scenes on display at the Musée Miniature et Cinéma* in Lyon, France. 

There are a few exhibit rooms dedicated to displaying all these different miniature (to-scale) scenes crafted by miniaturists. When we say miniature, we mean that these were behind viewing windows (for most) of no bigger than 30 cm. The detail in each scene is simply astounding and how life-like they are had us fascinated for ages! 

But before you can even lay your eyes on all these delicate and artistic scenes, for all those movie buffs out there, there is a film exhibition, that you should get through, focusing on special effect techniques with original film props. With over 300 for you to explore, you will be occupied for hours. Props, costumes and artefacts from movies including Planet of the Apes, X-Men, Star Wars, Gremlins and Harry Potter are exhibited.

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And if you ever saw the movie, Perfume, then you might recognise these scenes. 

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Some of the articles on display are not for the faint-hearted or youngsters, but if movies with blood, gore and aliens is your thing, then you shall be thoroughly entertained. 


Our verdict

It’s a different type of “sight-seeing” especially when we needed a break from the history/art museums, castles and churches. We really enjoyed it and wouldn’t mind spending a bit more time in there. It’s a good place for the whole family, but be aware that the exhibits are on different floors that require using steps. 

* Entrance is 9€ for adults (other prices available on their website) or free with the Lyon City Pass. 

Hope you all have a great rest of the week!


More posts to follow about Lyon and other parts of our Europe adventures as we still 
have so much more to share but for the next 6 weeks or so, our focus will be on the