PEr FYI

March 21, 2020

The Last Supper, Milan…one of art history’s greatest triumphs and biggest tragedies

The painting covers over 40 sq m of the wall of Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie and many think it may be Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest painting. Because it was painted using an experimental oil-based medium it gave the painting subtle tonalities but the downside was that the paint surface quickly deteriorated. And so for centuries it was subjected to invasive restorations and heavy-handed retouchings.

Leonardo’s masterpiece depicts Christ revealing that one of his disciples will soon betray him; horror and disbelief are etched on every face but Jesus remains resigned. (spoiler alert: It was Judas, who da Vinci depicts as spilling salt on the table). Each figure is unique and memorable, down to the smallest details. There is no doubt that The Last Supper is one of the world’s most poignant and beautiful works of art.

The phenomenon now known as overtourism is frustrating everybody: People don’t just want to see The Last Supper: they want the picture for social media to prove it. Many don’t look at the painting at all; they focus on their smartphone screens. Some even turn their backs, beam their finest Mona Lisa smile, and take a selfie.

Only 30 people allowed in at a time, so it is a challenge to get a ticket if you don’t book well in advance.

Do not to take conspiracy theories and Dan Brown novels too seriously….there are no hidden symbols. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 8, 2018

International Red Cross Museum, Geneva…a moving and humbling experience

Geneva is also the hub for a number of NGOs and International organisations, such as United Nations and Red Cross. This museum highlights how the Red Cross helps families separated by war or genocide; and the third details its work during and after natural disasters.

The sculpture right outside the museum –  of people with their heads covered (because International Committee of the Red Cross- ICRC supports all the war victims equally, irrespective of their religion and faith),  tied and hands are held at the back (showcasing their helplessness). There’s the museum’s extraordinary collection of six million record cards containing the fate of prisoners of war during World War I. There’s the platform game- Hurricane where it delivers a strong message of reserving the resources for an unpredictable natural disaster

A moving and humbling experience. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 29, 2018

Conditorei Schober Tea Room, Zurich…you can’t miss this if you are looking for true Swiss delights.

This place is the spot you can’t miss if you are looking for true Swiss delights. A quaint and very Zurich patisserie/cafe in the middle of old town, this mid-19th century café is beautifully decorated with Baroque interiors and completely unique levels.

This is THE place to go for hot chocolate in Switzerland. The super rich cup of hot chocolate, a Schober classic, is made with real slabs of chocolate, and is incredibly tasty. The flavour doesn’t just disappear after you swallow, but lingers.

They take their chocolate very seriously here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 12, 2018

The Eagle, Cambridge…a lead hangout

It’s about 400 years old,  full of charm and a Cambridge student feel and it’s where Watson and Crick supposedly discovered the structure of DNA.

Proper food here as well as bar snacks, all the usual pub classics and it’s pretty meat-heavy. Lots of burgers – the Buttermilk fried chicken burger – Ayrshire-dry cured bacon, guacamole & chilli mayo is a winner – and sausages and chicken. Fish & chips – battered cod, crushed peas, tartare sauce, triple-cooked chips was perfectly golden, crisp, firm but flaky and succulent.

For a pub The Eagle does a decent selection of standard cocktails. Everyone cares about their pints. There are plenty of the usual lagers and bitters on offer

It seems to have already cemented itself as a lead hangout in Cambridge. Time to get glugging. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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