Saturday, November 28, 2009

Poland's Hunting Lodge Hotel Noma

This former hunting lodge, Noma, was a favorite retreat of the British Duchess who became Daisy, Princess of Pless. Surrounded by a forest and sited next to a small lake, it is now a hotel that has retained its lovely Victorian furnishings. We spent a delightful hour having cake and cappuccinos with the dining room all to ourselves.

Great roof on the gazebo:

The yellow and pink rose on our table:

Remains of a tree in the surrounding forest:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vienna's Christmas Chandeliers

Every winter I can’t help but feel sheer delight when I first see the giant chandeliers hanging and lit over Vienna’s Graben. What a beautiful city! Cameras and camera phones appear everywhere and everyone seems enthralled. In years past, the lights were gold but this year they are a silvery-white color, perhaps an energy-saving measure.

I was running late for a meeting and headed down to the U-Bahn, the subway, when I caught a glimpse of these new lights sparkling in the sunshine. I had to turn around a take a few snapshots for you. Decorated with hundreds of crystals that reflect the sunshine in bright prism colors, they hold promise to be gorgeous at night as well. I was too hurried to get the glistening photo I sought but these might give you the general idea. Will keep you updated.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Softness of Aging Flowers

I sometimes find it hard to throw away bouquets. They often seem to take on an unusual beauty as they age. The muted colors, the ruffled petals and the falling pollen of these flowers were especially appealing to me.

Pretty Hall, Austria

Just east of Innsbruck lies the pretty village of Hall. It's well worth a detour if you're nearby.

I like the mirrored stars, each with a different pattern.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Grafenegg—Stepping into a Fairy Tale

Schloss Grafenegg, northwest of Vienna, is one of the world’s fairy tale castles. Last year’s visit to its Christmas market was simply enchanting.

The requisite dragon....

Some lovely painted boxes for sale:

The nimble, swift hands of this lovely lacemaker lady were a constant blur. She was amazing!

Romantic ceilings....

Even the wastepaper bin is befitting a castle.