Travel Themes: Horizon

Venice is the most magical of places on earth! Won’t you join me in Venice on the AIT Tour? (Austria, Italy, Turkey)  We’re exploring Venice the next few days! Enjoy! Look for other Travel Themes here.

A Look at the Horizon in Venice, Italy

A Look at the Horizon in Venice, Italy

Posted in Destinations, Italy, Photo Travel Themes, Travel Italy, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Word a Week Photo Challenge: Arches

Arches, arches everywhere! Duck your head! We’re in Venice! Won’t you join me? The story begins with arches! Enjoy the photo challenge!

Arches of Venice, Italy

Arches of Venice, Italy

Posted in Destinations, Italy, Photo Travel Themes, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Word Photo Challenge: Lavender

There was the most incredible buzz of bees in this lavender! Enjoying the Challenge!

The Lavender of Suzette, France

The Lavender of Suzette, France

Posted in Destinations, France, Photo Travel Themes, Provence | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

One last look at Vienna! We’re off to Venice! Enjoy!

Kunst-Historisches Museum, Viena, Austria

Kunst-Historisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Posted in Destinations, Photo Travel Themes, Austria, Vienna | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Boat Tour to Krems, Austria

The View from Dürnstein on the Boat to Krems, Austria

The View of Dürnstein from the Boat to Krems, Austria

After visiting Melk Abbey we are ready for Part 2 of the Combi-Ticket, the boat ride to Krems.  Buying this ticket has made our journey so easy! The details are all arranged and all we have to do is show up! Enjoy the boat trip to Krems!

The Walk to the Boat Moored in the Danube Channel, Melk, Austria

The Walk to the Boat Moored in the Danube Channel, Melk, Austria

The Walk to the Boat Dock at Melk, Austria

The Walk to the Boat Dock at Melk, Austria

The Boat at Melk, Austri

The Boat at Melk, Austria

Dürnstein, Austria

Dürnstein, Austria

Dürnstein, Austria

Dürnstein, Austria

The Boat Trip to Krems 12

The Boat Trip to Krems 11

The Boat Trip to Krems 10

The Boat Trip to Krems 9

The Boat Trip to Krems 8

The Boat Trip to Krems 7

The Boat Trip to Krems 4

Boat to Krems, Austria 3

Boat to krems

Krems, Austria

The Nose Knows!

The Nose Knows!

Krems, Austria

The Walk Through Krems, Austria to the Train Station

We Call This a Smoke Tree

In the US We Call This a Smoke Tree

We Call This a Smoke Tree

In the US We Call This a Smoke Tree

 

Krems, Austria

Krems, Austria

Krems, Austria

Krems, Austria

Posted in Austria, Destinations, Krems, Melk, Travel Tips, Vienna | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Melk is in Makeover, Again

Looking up at Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Looking up at Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Using our Combi-Ticket, from Vienna to Melk, we get off the train in Melk and look up. The glory of Melk is the baroque Benedictine Abbey, established in the 11th century, later destroyed by fire, and after selling the Gutenberg Bible to Yale in 1929, a restoration was started.  The church is under a makeover on the grandest terms today. Even the village of Melk is sprucing up. Has the church sold something else? Or did Melk receive a windfall? There are workers everywhere!  The easiest way to reach the Abbey is to go all the way to the right of the train platform and make a beeline straight up the hill through the newer section of town. At the top follow the cobblestones to the left, the rest of the way up to the Abbey. After visiting the Abbey we will go down to the village by another path that will take us into the heart of the historic village.

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Gold of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Gold of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey Makeover, Melk , Austria

Melk Abbey Makeover, Melk , Austria

The Gold of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Gold of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Dining Room, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Dining Room, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Rose Colored Marble of Melk Chapel Melk Abbey, Austria

The Rose Colored Marble of Melk Chapel, Melk Abbey, Austria

The Rose Colored Marble of Melk Chapel Melk Abbey, Austria

The Rose Colored Marble of Melk Chapel Melk Abbey, Austria

The Chapel of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Chapel of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

View from Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

View from Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

View from Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

View from Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

View from Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

View from Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Grounds of Melk Abbey, Entering the Gardens, Melk, Austria

Entering the Garden of Melk Abbey,  Melk, Austria

The Pink Pavillion in the Gardens of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Pink Pavillion in the Gardens of Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Blackbirds of the Melk Abbey Gardens, Melk , Austria

The Blackbirds of the Melk Abbey Gardens, Melk , Austria

The Blackbirds of the Melk Abbey Gardens, Melk , Austria

The Blackbirds of the Melk Abbey Gardens, Melk , Austria

 

The Restaurant in the Garden, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

The Restaurant in the Garden, Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria

It is starting to rain! I can’t look at the entire garden! Darn!!!!

The Village of Melk, Melk, Austria

The Village of Melk, Melk, Austria (Look at the new street paving)

The Village of Melk, Austria

The Village of Melk, Austria

Re-do of Hauptstrasse, Melk, Austria

Re-do of Hauptstrasse, Melk, Austria

The Village of Melk, Austria

The Village of Melk, Austria

Yum, Yum! At Restaurant zur Post, Melk, Austria

Yum, Yum! At Restaurant zur Post, Melk, Austria

Yum, Yum at Restaurant zur Post, Melk, Austria

When leaving the grounds of the Abbey walk down the cobblestone path to the village and turn right. Hauptstrasse is getting a new look. They are re-doing the street so follow the planks. Walking to the Hauptplatz we stop at the Hotel/Restaurant zur Post for the tastiest Austrian cuisine we’ve experienced in Austria to date. Yum! Melk is beautiful even during a makeover! Next we are off to find the boat dock to take us to Krems! It is part 2 of the Combi-ticket! Enjoy!

Posted in Austria, Austria, Destinations, Gardens, Melk | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

We’re making our way to Venice, Italy! Isn’t this sculpture of the Doge amazing? The marble sculpture of the Doge is in the Doge’s Palace, the seat of the Venetian government and the home of the ruling duke of  Venice, or doge. He was the supreme authority in the Republic of Venice. The texture is smooth! Enjoy!

A Marble Sculpture of the Doge of Venice, Italy

A Marble Sculpture of the Doge of Venice, Italy

Posted in Destinations, Italy, Photo Travel Themes, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Adventures in the Village; from Vienna to Melk

The Lane off Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The Lane off Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

If adventures do not befall a young lady in her village she must seek them abroad.

Jane Austen 

Or simply in another spot, I say! I enjoyed walking to the metro/train station on Mariahilfer Strasse, in Vienna, because I always discovered something new along the way. One day it was LUSH, a shop of freshly made cosmetics. Soaps, lotions, face creams, and more, oh my! The fragrance from that shop permeated out to the sidewalk and literally pulled me in. Once inside, lovely women tried to explain to me in German/English what all the goodies were and what they could do. I bought round shampoo cakes, for different hair types (all in the loveliest of colors and fragrances) and tins to store them in.

Lush Shampoo

One of Several Lush Shampoos

I would have bought more of their products, but because they are freshly made, some had to be kept refrigerated. The cake shampoos were one of the best purchases I made on my vacation. Every time I opened my suitcase I would get that clean, fresh, fragrance wafting up from the shampoo paper sacks. Take a deep breath, can you smell them? When I returned home I  placed the shampoos in the tins, for gifts, and the sacks went into my dresser drawers! Then I looked LUSH up online to see if I could buy the products in the U.S. Yep, there they were! Maybe I should always travel with one!

Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austri

Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

Continuing on our walk to the train station I came to a small portico opening in the storefronts  that looked like it was wide enough for a horse and carriage in days gone by. My curiosity got the best of me and I had to turn in and see where this little lane took me.

The Lane on Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The Lane off Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The Lane on Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The Lane off Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The Lane off Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The Lane off Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The Lane off Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The Lane off Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria

The lane went on and on. Here was a collection of small shops and restaurants that looked like they had been  inter-connected houses in a different generation. I wondered if this was the way the streets looked before the addition of the modern high-rise buildings. The lane was so charming! I am glad I took the time to turn in. These un-expected finds always interest me the most!

The Shops at the Train Station, Vienna, Austria

The Shops at the Train Station, Vienna, Austria

The Shops at the Train Station, Vienna, Austria

The Shops at the Train Station, Vienna, Austria

The Shops at the Train Station, Vienna, Austria

The Shops at the Train Station, Vienna, Austria

Planning a day trip to Melk was fun too. Taking the elevator on the street to the multi-layered train station (there were local trains and metro trains all converging into one area) we found the trains conveniently stopped in a large, beautiful, shopping mall and market, they called the train station.  You could just skip the train and spend a lovely day eating and shopping here!  The Austrian Railway Office sold a convenient Combi-ticket, which included the train trip from Vienna to Melk, entry to the Melk Abbey, a boat cruise to Krems and the return train trip to Vienna for 47 euros. What a deal! So early one morning off we went to Melk!

The train adventure for me is the scenery and the allotments stretched along the railroad track.  Miniature houses (I call them doll houses) are tucked into gardens as far as the eye can see; doll houses with tiny windows showing off small boxes filled with abundant, draping,  riotous colored flowers.  Leaning near the door frames were clutters of ladders and old rakes. There were neatly ordered flower beds and well tended fruit and vegetable gardens behind picture perfect picket fences. Sometimes there were happy-looking, waving folks, enjoying the sunshine, while plumped in white plastic chairs and cooling their feet in a small child’s wading pool. Others were grilling, while some were bent over their plots in peaceful, nature retreats.  These areas, outside the cities, in Austria and Germany, especially along railways, are the spots for garden obsessed people to rent out a small plot and plunge into the soil. They are called Schrebergartens. There are strict rules that regulate the exact dimensions, color, and style of the doll house and how the gardens are to be maintained.  The gardens were very neat, and  tidy,  just like Austria! 

In the early 19th century, it was the idea of Dr. Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber, to create athletic fields for children to escape the crowded, larger cities. Before he realized his dream, he died, and his son decided to use the plots for gardening and to teach children the basics of gardening. The idea quickly caught on. In WWI and WWII the gardens rapidly rose in importance as sources of hard-to-get fresh fruit and vegetables. After WWII a lack of housing across the country resulted in the common practice of erecting small structures on the plots so families could have shelter. The result is what we see today; miniature housing developments of nature retreats! Families can enjoy the sunshine, relax, party, and tend their gardens. A village of adventure, to be sure! And now on to Melk! Enjoy!

PS, since the train zipped along the rail over 100 mph I couldn’t take  decent pictures! So please……..

Check out Allotment images HERE!

Posted in Austria, Austria, Destinations, Gardens, Melk, Travel Tips, Vienna | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Schönbrunn; the Big Yellow Palace in Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria, Viewed from the Orangery

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria, Viewed from the Orangery

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Entrance to Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Not everyone can live in a big yellow palace. The Schönbrunn Palace has 1441 rooms once used for the summer residence of the Habsburgs. One can tour 22 rooms on the Imperial Tour or 40 rooms on the Grand Palace Tour, or you can look stare at the grandeur of the palace from afar and take the horse and buggy tour or the train tour of  acres of grounds. Or you can sit and people watch in the indoor/outdoor cafe with a cuppa/beer/wine and piece of apfelstrudel or chololate torte cake. The choices are endless and the grounds of the Schönbrunn are very busy.

Acres and Acres of Grounds at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Acres and Acres of Grounds at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

In 1569, the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian II, purchased grounds from the Klosterneuburg monastery,  where a former owner had erected a mansion called Katterburg. The emperor ordered the area fenced and put pheasants, ducks, deer, and boar there in order to serve as the court’s recreational hunting grounds. In a smaller separate area he added the exotic birds such as turkeys and peacocks.

A Fountain at Schönbrunn palace, Vienna, Austria

A Fountain at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

One of Many Fountains at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

One of Many Fountains at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

From 1638 to 1643, Eleonora Gonzaga, the widow of Ferdinand II, made the grounds her residence after her husband’s death. She added a palace to the Katterburg mansion and started the orangery calling the grounds, Schönbrunn, or beautiful spring.

The Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Vine Enclosed Walkway Around the Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace

The Vine Enclosed Walkway Around the Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace

A View From the Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace

A View From the Orangery, Schönbrunn Palace

The Gardens at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gloriette, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Gloriette, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Obelisk, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Obelisk, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

"The Roman Ruins," Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

“The Roman Ruins,” Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

"The Roman Ruins," Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Roman Ruins,” Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Neptune Fountain, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Neptune Fountain, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Neptune Fountain, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Neptune Fountain, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

During the 18th century, Schönbrunn represented the splendor of the Habsburg Empire with the ample baroque gardens and their buildings. The original palace building had been expanded and modified, since it was built, to suit the tastes and the requirements of the successive rulers.  In 1740, Maria Theresa chose Schönbrunn as her permanent residence and a new phase began in the palace. Urgent repairs  were made to the dilapidated buildings. In the third phase, work began on the embellishment of the gardens. Maria Theresa’s passion was the orangery, the longest in the world, where she cultivated exotic plants and also held festive events and performances. The zoo, built by Maria Theresa’s husband, in 1752, for the entertainment and the education of the court, is the oldest in the world. Also, included in the gardens were the Gloriette, the Neptune Fountain, the “Roman Ruins,” and the Obelisk. The Schönbrunn Park was opened to the public in 1779, part of Maria Theresa’s reform policy, making the garden a celebration from autocracy into a real democracy.

The Palm House, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Palm House, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Sculptured Trees, Schönbrunn, Palace, Vienna, Austria

The Sculptured Trees and Bushes, Schönbrunn, Palace, Vienna, Austria

No significant changes have been made to the structures themselves since the work on the facade commissioned by Franz I at the beginning of the 19th century. The park layout is original and original techniques are still used to trim the trees and bushes. The Great Palm House, erected in 1880, is an iron framed structure divided into three sections, using technology developed in England. Enjoy!

PS, To get there take the U-4 train on a 15 minute ride out to Schönbrunn Palace. From the train follow the Schloss Schönbrunn signs, a 15 minute walk.

Posted in Austria, Austria, Destinations, Gardens, Vienna | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Garden at the End of July

Crepe Myrtle in White

Crepe Myrtle in White

Northern Sea Oats

Northern Sea Oats

Northern Sea Oats

Northern Sea Oats Gone Crazy

Ballon Flowers

Balloon Flowers

Tulip Tree

Tulip Tree

I have been on vacation, in Austria, Italy and Turkey, (the AIT Tour) seeing some of the most beautiful gardens! But, when I returned this was what was up in my garden and some garden spaces around town!  

Red Crepe Myrtle

Red Crepe Myrtle

Red Crepe Myrtle

Red Crepe Myrtle

The crepe myrtles are the flowering trees of the South. They come in white, light pink, lavender, dark pink and red. The white ones bloom first at the beginning of July and the red are the last to bloom at the end of the month. Read about the crepe myrtles HERE.

Post Office Garden

Post Office Garden

Stopsignias Atthepostofficie

Stopsignias Atthepostofficiere

The post office got a new garden too! There is also a new flower! For my British friends I believe the official name is Stopsignias Atthepostofficeiere. I refer to it as the Stop Flower. Enjoy!

Posted in Gardens, LIST (Life in a Small Town), My Garden | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments