G’day from Gdansk, 2018 version

  G’day from Gdansk, on the Baltic Sea in northern Poland.  From here Lech Wałęsa led the dock workers union Solidarity on strikes and other actions that set in motion the downfall of the Soviet Union. It has been important in other eras, such as the 1700’s, when it too, like Krakow, was a member … Read moreG’day from Gdansk, 2018 version

Riga, Latvia- the week in review | Riga visit

October 19, 2017 We are hours away from leaving.  There is a special city filled with a special people, who threw off the yoke of Soviet rule, after having been invaded by the Nazis then crushed by the Soviet system, with just 20 years of freedom between the wars.  Before that it was the Russia … Read moreRiga, Latvia- the week in review | Riga visit

The Treasures of Stockholm | Stockholm visit

Just a two hour flight from St Petersburg and an hour to Riga, Stockholm is built upon a scad of islands (17 in all) with a wealth of architecture set against a slew of harbors, lakes and canals, with much fine exterior decor as well as art, history and more in its many museums.  The … Read moreThe Treasures of Stockholm | Stockholm visit

Art Nouveau architecture in Riga, capitol of Latvia

October 13, 2017 The main style of building in Riga is Art Nouveau.  There are more buildings in this style in Riga than anywhere in the world, making Riga a major destination for aficionados of the style.  Here are some excellent examples of what you can see here.  I’ll be posting more of both exteriors and … Read moreArt Nouveau architecture in Riga, capitol of Latvia

Lessons from our travels in Morocco | Morocco travel

Lessons from our travels in Morocco Morocco left me with eight main impressions.  First, the  contrasts in technology – delivery by donkey and by truck/motorcycle – and second, in cultures- modern dress next to traditional Berber next to conservative Islam.   Third is the intricacy and extensiveness of the decorative architectural designs. Fourth is the … Read moreLessons from our travels in Morocco | Morocco travel

On the back road to Aranjuez- Torcas de Palancares | las torcas

Lagunas de Cañada

December 6, 2016

We set off on our journey from Valencia to Aranjuez at 7am on Sunday.  The train route takes you west through massive fields of grapes dotted by the occasional and equally massive wine storage units jutting some 25 meters toward the clouds, stopping in a seemingly endless number of small towns along the way.  Progress is slow and the it gets much slower as then we enter the National Park known as Torcas de Palancares, leaving the farms behind.

The ravines (barrancos) along the train route from Valencia to Aranjuez dig deeply into the rocky orange soil. Because it has been raining, itself a bit of a refreshing oddity, rivulets flow beneath the train as it slows to 20 kph as we inched across trestles, looking straight over the side at the rocky bottom far below.  You don’t feel confident out there in the middle.  They are going that slowly for good reason.

There are more people on the train – so vacant we practically got on a first name basis with the conductor- than live in the protected zone portion of the journey, judging by the total lack of dwellings and just the occasional dirt road.  A large bird, a hawk or perhaps even an owl, swoops across the tracks, looking for an unwary rabbit.  The boars are too big to lift so they are safe from his talons.

Read moreOn the back road to Aranjuez- Torcas de Palancares | las torcas

From Torino (Turin) to Graz | Alps by train

From Graz to Torino (Turin)

 

July 10, 2016

 

From Graz you take a railroad operated bus to the train that carries you into Italy through the Alps; the bus avoids a much longer train ride through the mountains.  The scenery alone makes the trip worthwhile.  There are viaducts and tunnels galore.  Human have inhabited this area for thousands of years, although it is  well west of here,in the Oetztal Alps, where researchers unearthed the frozen body of a man who died in the mountains some 5000 years ago.  For more information on that, go to http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/oetzi-iceman-mummy-alps-lyme-disease-lactose-intolerance/story?id=15816788

 

graz to italy1

 

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Drawings from Graz

Cafe in Schlossburg Park

Drawings from Graz

Here are the pen and ink drawings I did on location in Graz, Austria, early June through early July 2016

Woman Sitting at Table
Woman Sitting at Table

This was done at the Kunstmuseum (above).  The following several drawings were done at the Schlossberg Park near where we stayed:

 

Cafe in Schlossburg Park
Cafe in Schlossburg Park

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Salzburg

Salzburg

June 2016

There’s enough to see and do in Salzburg, Austria for the three days we were there, although beyond that I am less optimistic.  It’s certainly attractive enough for longer term living but a bit on the small side, and a good four hours from Vienna for more intensive living, and the winters are still cold and snowy enough to discourage any but skiers and ice skaters. A bit of background and then some highlights.

 

Salzburg
Salzburg

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Graz’s Museums

Terry Winters Kuntshaus

Graz’s Museums

For a city of a mere 300,000, Graz has a large number of museums.   Boys will no doubt be attracted to the Armory, which holds an extensive collection of medieval armory worn by the knights.  We skipped that one and instead have gone to the Graz Museum, Kunsthouse and the Museum in Palais.   There are a dozen to visit on our annual 30 euro pass. (click ‘continue reading’ below)

Medieval Graz
Medieval Graz

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