Cities of Kings

Cities of Kings

Cities_Of_Kings_Cover_2a.225x225-75I have to admit to being a little nervous when I was approached recently for my views on the above book, Cities of Kings.  I have followed Bespoke Traveller for quite some time and didn’t want to spoil a good friendship.  I needn’t have worried. Atreyee Gupta and Jesse Japitana have done a great job.  Their passion and enthusiasm for architecture and history transmits readily to this self-publication, and I am delighted to be able to heartily recommend it.

London is a city which captured my imagination as a girl, and it has never really let it go.  I visit infrequently these days, but when I do it conjures the same excitement and sense of pride I felt back then.  I delight in the architecture, old and new, and in that skyline, pierced anew by gravity-defying creations.

With Paris, I have only a fleeting acquaintance.  That same starry-eyed girl boarded a plane and wandered the banks of the Seine with the same enthusiasm she had bestowed on the Thames.  Sadly, I have never been back, but reading Cities and Kings I feel the need to return more than ever.

St. Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge- courtesy of Mike Bradley

St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge- courtesy of Mike Bradley

In the book the two cities are compared and contrasted and their architectural histories told.  Detailed photographs accompany the text, and I learnt many little intriguing facts.  I hadn’t realised how ignorant I was of parts of my own history! The stories of the kings and queens and their passions are expertly woven into the fabric of London and Paris.

I love it when enthusiasm for a subject shines through as it does here.  I don’t want to reveal too much and spoil a good read, but you can be sure that you will be taken to The Tower, and stroll in the gardens of Hampton Court.  In Paris, I particularly enjoyed my visit to the Louvre, and to the lesser known area of La Defense.

The book is concluded with a practical section on visiting and getting around in the twin cities.  All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read.  You can purchase the book on Amazon Kindle or at the Apple iBookstore.  I think it would make a rather good Christmas present.

Meantime I’m thinking that Paris would make a fine destination for our Silver Wedding next August.  What do you think?