Friday, August 27, 2010

Windows in Vienna

During a half-hour walk we had several unusual encounters with windows.

The day before we were to attend a concert there, we took a walk to find Stadthall. I peered through the window to a deserted hallway and ended up with a photo I can't figure out. There is some kind of optical illusion going on. At the bottom you can see the reflection of what I suppose was Eric Clapton's truck against the dark floor but the sky reflection above the ceiling gives the appearance this hallway was outside. It wasn't. Hmmm. I think perhaps the black truck made the hallway visible through the window.

A big red chair serves as the logo for this furniture store near Stadthall. The windows have seemingly placed a grid across the sky.

As we waited for a tram in this same neighborhood an Ao Dai-clad lady gracefully climbed through a window and stood on the sill to clean the highest parts of the glass.

Nearby this elegant couple had coffee for two in a shop window. How very Viennese!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Quiet Slovenian Sights

A bicycle rests against an old shed in Triglav National Park.

Between the perky iron railing and the striped awning is a view of Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park.

A similar view from our pension's breakfast room:

Closer to the lake:

The clang, clang, clang of the bells around these Alpen cows' necks momentarily halted as they watched yet another tourist take their photo:

These overhangs are fairly common in mountainous areas. This flatlander is guessing the purpose is to reduce rockfall and avalanches on the road. At any rate I really like the geometry.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mayberry Moment

Still in Slovenia's Triglav National Park, I took a few photos of my favorite fisherman, added a sepia filter and was reminded of the old Andy Griffith Show.

These pastel, plastic sheathed hay bales remind me of giant marshmallows. It was near here I sat down on a sandy stretch of the river bank to wait for my favorite fisherman. After 10 minutes or so I happened to look behind me to find a large, dark gray snake about two inches from my bottom. I learned to levitate in that moment. My shrieks or my flying must have discouraged the snake because by the time I landed he was gone.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Garden of Mountains

Vršič Pass in Slovenia’s Triglav National Park is one of my favorite drives. Spectacularly jagged mountain peaks fill the horizon in every direction yet seem close enough to touch. The sensation of being encircled by these magnificent mountains is indescribable. Perhaps some mountain climbers have experienced something similar. Perhaps birds have. Never before had I been so close to so many peaks. It was like being in another world, in a garden of mountains.

In 2006 the section of the road between Kranjska Gora and Vršič was named for the 300 Russian prisoners of war who died in two 1916 avalanches while constructing it. The pass, with it’s 50 hairpin bends is open an average of seven months per year.

The Vršič Pass should be on every list of the world’s best road trips.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Valley Views of Sorica and Zgornja Sorica, Slovenia

Still within the boundaries of Slovenia's Triglav National Park, this narrow road leads up...

and around a hill...

and finally overlooks one of my favorite valleys and the pretty villages of Sorica and Zgornja (Upper) Sorica.

I always love seeing Slovenia's romantic hay-drying racks even though they seem to rarely have hay hanging from their slats anymore.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Slovenia's Stunning Soca

Breathless. Slovenia's Soca River in Triglav National Park leaves me breathless. Its clear water, aqua color, limestone bed and banks...Ahhhh. I do love this gorgeous river.

Curious about how this river was created, (I assumed it was glacier melt but I was wrong) we found signs directing visitors to the source and decided to visit. I'll just tell you: It comes from a karst spring high on a mountain. While a trail leads you toward the source, I turned back when the trail became a cable along the side of the mountain face and there was not room for my feet, only toes. My husband carried on to the end but I turned back where the cable curves at the top of this photo:

I found a spot to sit and was thoroughly content enjoying the natural rock garden beside me...

...and the spectacular vista off to the side:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Abstract Wake Water

As you may recall in yesterday's post, I was hanging over the side of the aptly-named tourist boat at pretty Lake Bohinj in Slovenia's Triglav National Park. While I found the shoreline scenery beautiful, at some point I became intrigued by the patterns in the boat's wake.