Friday, September 28, 2012

Contrasting Windows

Vienna.  Walking down Naglergasse in the First District, I can't help but notice these lovely old windows...

...stand directly above these lovely new windows:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Party in the Hof

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.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Salt Marsh Reflections

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.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Striped Bug on Star-Shaped Seed Pods

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?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hofburg Window and Crest

Vienna.  Views from the ground of the last palace of the Austro-Hungarian emperors.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Swirly Door Design

Vienna.  First District.  Carved, molded and otherwise etched, the variety and details of Viennese facades are a constant source of pleasure and amazement.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Delicate Balconies

Vienna.  Ornate, romantic First District balconies for the genteel at heart.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

White Begonia

Vienna. This white begonia, softly caressed with strokes of pink and chartreuse, lives in a planter on Dorotheergasse.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Lake Above the Lake

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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Heart Vienna

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.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bright Colors on a Dreary Day

Thumsee, Germany.  Gray sky + flowers = bright colors.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Painted Sky

Thumsee, Germany.  This pastel evening sky is reminiscent of the painted skies on many European ceilings.  It's just missing a cherub or two and maybe a garland of roses.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Snail Tale

Thumsee, Germany.  At the sight of a snail, some reach for the pesticide, some reach for the garlic.  I reach for the camera.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Staying Dry with Style

Vienna.  A wrought iron and glass canopy provides a stylish cover from the rain.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Fine Art of Meissen

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.