Vienna. Many of Vienna's older housing structures (and palaces) are organized around one or more central hofs, or courtyards, giving an opportunity for sunlight to enter through windows around the house. It looks like someone is getting ready for—or just had—a party.
Near Neusiedlersee, Austria. A steppe lake that shows evidence of having completely dried at least 100 times, Neusiedlersee near Vienna is largely surrounded by reeds and is a popular destination of migrating birds. This area was quiet in terms of birds when we were there but we did see a Great Heron at a distance. It would have been a wonderful place to have a quiet canoe ride around the reeds. The differences in water color are due to the different directions I was facing.
Near Neusiedlersee, Austria. This striped bug clinging to the dried seed pod may be Graphosoma creticum except that they are supposed to live in Crete, not here in Austria. Global warming or late summer vacation?
Obersee, near Königssee, Germany. Travel guides often discuss the noteworthy Königssee but the less visited Obersee, the lake above the lake, with its pastel-hued mountains and water, is a beautiful place as well. Not so heavily traveled, we recently took a boat ride and a hike to this quiet Alpine paradise.
Vienna. With Empress-like stars in her hair, a dress that could have been fashioned after Austrian window shades and her I Heart Vienna bag, she rests momentarily outside the Hofburg palace. I think she may work for the Vienna Tourist Board.
Dresden. Visit castles or palaces all over Europe and you are quite likely to come across treasured Meissen chandeliers, figurines or dishes. Europe's oldest porcelain factory is celebrating more than 300 years in business and its crossed swords trademark is one of the world's oldest. Today, the beauty of the products, as well as the price, remains breathtaking. It's truly art.
At the conclusion of our visit, we stopped in the factory's cafe for a snack, served—of course—on Meissen's Blue Onion pattern dishes.