Friday, August 31, 2012

Green Hair and Converse High-Tops 2

Dresden, Germany.  I had to photograph this woman with her green hair and Converse high-top sneakers because she reminded me of the one in Vienna also with green hair and the same shoes.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

For Rent: Pink on Pink


For some unknown reason, I couldn't upload the photos originally planned for today but finally got this one to load.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grassy Banks

Dresden, Germany.  The grassy banks of the Elbe River in the center of Dresden is a prime site for people-watching with picnickers, bikers, strollers and friends getting together. It's also a great place for just watching the views change, the sun set, the skyline light up...and the grasses wave.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bronze Bridge

Dresden, Germany.  Connecting the Residenzschloss to the Hofkirche, this ornate bronze bridge today transports imagination to ages past.  Unfortunately, it was partly hidden by a construction tarp when we were visiting Dresden.  Still, it ranks easily as one of the most architecturally memorable bridges I've ever seen.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Klimt Tip...But Hurry

Vienna.  While the Belvedere Palace houses the majority of Gustav Klimt's works in Vienna, including his most famous work, The Kiss—and they are great—I've suddenly become a much bigger fan of Klimt, thanks to the Kunsthistorisches Museum.  They've constructed an elevated bridge so visitors can get close to several of Klimt's paintings decorating the museum's high walls, near the ceiling.  Amazingly beautiful!  I highly recommend seeing them before the museum removes the bridge January 6, 2013.

Sadly, photos are not allowed so I can't share any images  (ten of them are on the museum's website).  However, as Klimt often painted wealthy women, perhaps this ad image can substitute for the moment and pay homage to the spirit of Klimt.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Quiet Moments, Loud Art

Vienna.  Again, along the Donaukanal.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Graphic Message

Vienna.  Spotted on the banks of the Donaukanal.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Wine of Kings, the King of Wines

Tokaj, Hungary.  Several years ago, before the floods hit the region, we had the good fortune to join a couple dozen or so friends on a bus trip to Tokaj.  What an amazing experience.  The Hungarian brothers who organized the trip knew where to take us for three great days of food, fun, and fantastic wines.  We visited the earthen caves lined in the fungus, Botrytis cinerea, (also known as noble rot) and tasted wines straight out of the barrels.  An unforgettable experience in which we immediately understood why this delectable wine was, for centuries, so valued by royalty and given as gifts between royal houses.  It became known as the wine of kings, the king of wines.  Thomas Jefferson imported it and served it at important state occasions...and, I would imagine, private ones as well.

We returned to the region last weekend en route to Romania and again sampled the golden, deliciously sweet wines of Tokay.  Few perfumes can match the memorable fragrance of a good Tokaji wine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Merry Cemetery of Sapanta

Sapanta, Maramures County, Romania.  Started in 1935, today there are more than 800 carved and brightly painted markers in Romania's Merry Cemetery.   Wood carver Stan Ioan Patra is credited with having the original idea and it was he who crafted these colorful, cheerful markers until his death in 1977 when his apprentice, Dumitru Pop Tincu, took over and continues the service till today.

Carved and painted scenes depicting interests, talents, careers or an important—or humorous—part of a person's life serve as illustrations to epitaphs written in the first person, making this cemetery so much more interesting than tombstones carved with just a name and dates of birth and death.  These markers emphasize life's passions, triumphs and diversity of interests through folk art and allow us a glimpse of the talents and personalities that made up the community through the decades.

It is the most unusual cemetery I've seen.  All of the markers were at one time painted blue, symbolizing the soul's reunification with what lies beyond the sky but many of the older ones have faded with time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bright Spot in the Reed Shadows

Vienna.  A blooming lotus discovered among the reed shadows on the shore of Vienna's Alte Donau.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Golden Palace

Vienna.  The Freyung-facing facade of Palais Ferstel, probably my favorite of Vienna's many palaces, glows in golden light on a perfect summer evening.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Yellow Fog in the Blue Hour

Vienna.  Perhaps referencing the setting sun, the Yellow Fog installation by artist Olafur Eliasson transforms the Verbund building, Am Hof Square and the blue hour every evening at dusk.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Alte Donau Boats and Floats

Vienna.  Found floating on the oxbow lake that was once the Danube—the Alte Donau (Old Danube).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pedestrian Zone

Vienna.  They sure have a lot of kissers in Vienna.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Old Austrian Exteriors

Salzburg Open Air Museum, Austria.