Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

The Victoria and Albert Museum (“V & A”), is a large museum of arts and sciences in the heart of London’s South Kensington in a place known as Albertopolis. It was created in 1851 as the South Kensington Museum. It was built on land acquired through profits had during the 1851 World Fair, designed to resemble several museums and educational institutions aimed at converging education, industry, science and art, mainly dedicated to industrial goods and crafts. In 1880, the collection of the India Office was incorporated into the museum. The decorative arts are the specialization of the museum collection with a wide variety of objects from different periods. Also included in the crystal, pottery, high fashion dresses and accessories, furniture, tapestries, silverware, toys, statues, etc .; with approximately 4.5 million objects.

Tips

It is open daily and admission to the Museum is free but sometimes there are exhibitions that require paid access.
You can get there by public transport to Earl’s Court Station with the subway and then you have a regular bus with a frequency of 3 minutes that leaves you at the door or you can also make a walk of 20 minutes.
If you plan to spend the day at the museum, you have two cafeterias, one inside and the other in the garden (closed in December and January) where you can have a hot or cold complete meal or just a drink and a snack.
You can bring your camera and make pictures almost throughout all the museum except for temporary exhibitions.

Boldt Castle, Thousand Islands Archipelago, Alexandria, New York, USA

Boldt Castle is located on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands Archipelago on the St. Lawrence River, along the northern border of the State of New York, in Alexandria. This is a very important and known touristic place. Millionaire George Boldt, general manager of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and manager of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, and his family, used to stay in a cottage in the area near Wellesley Island. He loved the region very much and decided to build a castle for his beloved wife; Louise. The Boldt family asked to the GW & WD Hewitt architectural firm to build a sumptuous 6-storey castle with Italian gardens, tennis courts, golf courses, stables, a polo field and other four buildings on Heart Island with a yacht shelter on a neighboring island which they owned as well. He wanted to give this monument to his wife for Valentine’s Day but unfortunately she died in 1904 because of heart problems. After the tragedy, the millionaire decided to stop everything … After 73 years, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority bought Heart Island and the nearby yacht shelter in 1977 for one dollar, with the agreement that all revenues from the operation of the castle would be reserved for the restoration. The site followed improvements for several years and the original construction was also improved with marble, a dome of stained glass windows and the woodwork of the grand staircase; contemporary innovations that have embellished even more the castle. Most of the rooms are furnished with contemporary objects. In the unfurnished rooms of the castle there are exhibits showing images and objects made in the archipelago of the Thousand Islands at the time when the Boldt lived there. The bridge that connects the two banks can be lifted and lowered as required.

Tips

The castle can be visited with a fee in US dollar with a very good exchange rate for the Canadians. The price includes the shuttle transfer to the quay of the family ships, where 4 boats that belong to them are in demonstration.

It is accessible by ferry or tourist boat from Alexandria Bay or Gananoque, Rockport or Ivy Lea, all three in Ontario.

You must pass the US Customs and Border Protection office so you must provide proper identification.

Sucrerie de la Montagne (Sugar shack), Rigaud, Quebec, Canada

If you want to find a sugar shack open year round, where the owners have the pleasure of welcoming tourists from around the world, please, this place is the Sucrerie de la Montagne in Rigaud. M Pierre Faucher and his son Stefan will be delighted to meet you and tell you the passion they have for this fantastic natural site, this sugar bush of 120 acres offers you the opportunity to know the history and culture of Quebec and Canadian ancestry. The place is in a century-old maple forest. The visit gets you back in the past and you can be part of the history of an era. The current site is like a village of yesteryear with the sugar shack, the bakery, cottages, trails in the forest and it continues to grow while respecting the nature and tradition of yesteryear. You can simply visit it but you can not leave without tasting its homemade dishes, maple syrup, bread made on site, their delicious sugar pie and much more. It is the ideal place to visit with family, friends, to mix with the tourists who appreciate our traditions, in short, you will feel that you will return soon even before you left …

Tips

You can spend a few days in the cottages that can accommodate between 3 and 6 people, celebrate your birthday, your wedding, make business meetings, making your reservation by phone or email. Children under 5 years are free.

There are several trails to walk a few kilometers in the forest.

You have a gift shop where you can purchase the book by Pierre Faucher (owner): Chronicle of a rooted life.

Check on their website the menu and activities of Christmas Season to have a good time with the family or firends.