(Everything you see in today’s featured image is made of chocolate.)
Our busiest day was followed by a much-needed slow day. Kelly spent the morning trying to compensate for lost sleep pretty much every jetlagged day so far.
We crossed the border between Austria and Germany and docked at one of our favorite towns along the Danube, picturesque Passau, which sits at the confluence of three rivers, the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube. This location is plagued by frequent major floods, the largest ever occurring in 2013, where flood levels reached over 20 feet in the lower parts of the town.
Linz is an industrial city, although you might not know it. The Germans have done a great job dealing with the air and water pollution that normally accompanies steel production. You might not even notice the modern plant that occupies a huge part of the city.
This was our second visit to the postcard-perfect Dürnstein. On our last trip, there was no time to climb up the hill to the castle ruins, but this time we decided to give it a try. It was steep and a bit treacherous on the snowy steps, but at each corner, the ever-improving view demanded that we march on.
We had booked a smaller and MUCH cheaper room, but somehow, we got lucky. VERY lucky. our suite was insane. Completely over the top. Chandeliers everywhere (including the bathroom), heated floors, 16th century artwork on the walls, 20-foot ceilings, the full royal treatment. This is as close as we’ll ever get to staying in a room at Buckingham Palace.
This was our first visit. We saw most of the obligatory sites – the Space Needle, Chihuly Gardens and the awesome MoPop. We rode the monorail. We enjoyed beautiful weather during most of our brief stay. It was a bit smoky from the numerous forest fires, but we did manage to see Mt. Rainier once
Our first visit to Belize was a good one. We spent the first half at Blanacaneaux Lodge. (It was so wonderful, we’re already planning another visit.) For the second half, we chose a beach setting at another Coppola resort – Turtle Inn. Both were amazing in their own way, and provided excellent backdrops for the
We had absolutely no plans when we arrived in Santa Fe. Lots of food recommendations from friends, but as always, we wanted the flexibility to do our own thing. So, it was pure luck that drove us to the coolest place in Santa Fe – Canyon Road. We discovered this amazing cluster of galleries one
We’ve all seen pictures of this amazing event, rumored to be the most photographed event in the world. While it is an amazing photo-op, pictures cannot capture the controlled chaos of the simultaneous launch of hundreds of whacky, colorful balloons. You can walk right up to the action. Balloon pilots and crew are happy to
Day Seven We did a walking tour of the Latin Quarter, and later in the day we walked along the Champs Elysee, which had a huge Christmas market about a mile long, and is where I did much of my street photography. By now, we’ve become quite comfortable using the Paris Metro, which is convenient
According to Wikipedia, Street Photography – which is not always shot in the street, but which is nearly always black & white – has its roots in Paris. What better place then, to try to master the craft? Luckily, my new Fuji x100T may be the best camera available for the genre. It’s perfect because
Day Six It’s Christmas! The timing of the day’s activities was perfect, as we arrived at Notre Dame during a gorgeous Christmas mass. Aside from the mass, the day felt pretty much like any other. None of the usual Christmas misery. Just fun exploring new places. What a great day! In the afternoon, we strolled
Day Five We visited the last home of Vincent Van Gogh, and stood on the very spot where several of his paintings were made. We learned that he made more than 70 paintings in the last 70 days of his unhappy life. We also got our first glimpse of the sun today, which lasted about
Day Four Les Andelys is a town of 9000 people 60 miles from Paris, which makes it close enough to be considered a suburb. Much of the population commutes from here to Paris. Naturally the town has a large church named Notre Dame where we enjoyed a beautiful organ concert.
Day Three Our third day finds us in the unpronounceable city of Rouen. Eighteen year old Joan of Arc was burned alive here. A chapel was erected in the 1970’s near the exact spot of her death. This prosperous city of 107,000 people and 70 church steeples is also home to many wooden and stone
Day Two After a tasty welcome dinner on board the River Baroness, we cruised a short distance up the River Seine to the 700 room Palace of Versailles and it’s jaw-dropping opulence. We inspected one of the enormous “apartments” used by royalty of the period, and toured room after room filled with gilded walls and