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Outstanding Reasons to Visit the Hermitage Museum in Russia

Outstanding Reasons to Visit the Hermitage Museum in Russia

The Hermitage Museum does not disappoint and it certainly lives up to its reputation. You can get lost for days just soaking up all the treasures in its 360 rooms. And to think what's on display is a mere fraction of over three million items in their collection--this amounts to a comprehensive history of Western European art. Catherine the Great, one of the greatest art collectors of all time, began the collection. Visiting the museum requires planning so download the Hermitage Museum Travel Guide and Offline Map and start now!

1. Portrait of Soler

One of the most emotive paintings from Picasso’s ‘Blue Period’, Portrait of Soler is a picture of a young man sitting alone in a café, and is widely considered a comment on loneliness and isolation within the artist’s own life. Painted in 1903, using his good friend and patron, Soleras as his model, Picasso expresses melancholy through a powerful use of color, expression, and lighting – or lack thereof.

2. St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

A significant artwork by Belgian painter Rogier van der Weyden, St Luke Drawing the Virgin portrays an artist--perhaps a self-portrait of van der Weyden himself--sketching the Virgin Mary as she cradles baby Jesus. Interestingly, the canvas was initially two separate pieces, one half owned by Tsar Nicholas I, and the other by Alexander III. If you look closely, you can still see the vertical join.

3. Head of Athena

There are a number of sculptures of Greek Goddess Athena throughout the State Hermitage Museum, but the Head of Athena is arguably the most captivating. Dating back to the 2nd century, the marble is immaculately preserved, so her powerful and wise gaze continues to be as striking as it would have been when it was created.

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San Diego, an Emerging Travel Bargain

San Diego, an Emerging Travel Bargain

Most of California has still not fully recovered from the recent economic downturn it has endured. Many Californian cities have turned to tourism to bolster their financial position and San Diego is one of them. Take advantage of really cheap air fares, discounted hotel stays, affordable shopping, more affordable luxury spas, and more. So bring your sunscreen, download the San Diego Travel Guide and Offline City Street Map, and get ready to go to a city with one of the most reliable track records when it comes to sunshine and favorable temperatures. If you aren’t convinced yet, below are a few reasons that might change your mind.

San Diego Travel Guide for iPhone, iPad and AppleWatch

San Diego Safari Park

The Sand Diego Safari Park looks like it’s been sliced off of Africa. It is a 1,800 acre preserve that houses more than 3,500 animals from almost 300 species. Observe wildlife in their natural habitat from herbivores such as red-fronted gazelles to predators such as Sumatran tigers. If you are going with your family, this is the perfect place to teach kids about nature.

Visit San Diego Safari Park with our Travel Guide

Rancho La Puerta

Some historians claim this 70 year-old spa as the first fitness spa in the world. Despite being considered by many as the best spa in California, not many know about it mainly due to its location which is on the other side of the border near the town of Tecate. It is definitely a hidden gem worth checking out. Because it does not get that many visitors, its prices remain low and there are no queues.

Border Fields State Park

The Border Fields State Park is home to the most beloved beach in California. However, it is also the hardest park to access. The park is close to the border and once you’re at the beach, crossing to the other side is super easy. So you’ll have to do a lot of work to get the gates to open. Once you get in, however, it’s like you’ve just arrived in paradise. In most Saturdays, there are barely any people in it. It’s like having your own private beach.

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