Thursday, November 15, 2018

I Did Not See Any Monks

It was rainy, cold, and overcast on the day we visited Melk Abbey, the Benedictine Abbey that sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube River in Melk, Austria.

We weren't allowed to take any photos inside the abbey - you can see some on Google if you click here - but let me tell you right now...the pictures do not do it justice.

It's truly spectacular.

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From Freezer To Table In Less Than Eight Hours
2016: Blade Runner
2015: Goodnight 'Bama
2014: No Fear
2013: A Cozy Little Dinner With My Favorite Bird
2012: Western Winter Sky
2011: Men At Work
2010: Everyone Is NOT A Winner
2009: Text Me
2008: Going The Way Of Astatine*
2007: Picture Perfect Pilot
2006: Not Falling For Winter Yet
2005: I Miss You Already

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Filled With Wattle And Daub

Half-timbered houses in Miltenberg, Germany - these three are from the 15th and 16th century.  The oldest one in town was from 1313, the 14th century.

I haven't had much time to sit down and write in any detail, or give any historical information about all the places we've visited, so I've just been posting pictures and short snippets to keep you interested.

Now that I'm home, I'll put together posts with a few more details on the places I've already written about -  Istanbul, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Germany.

After that, I'll write about the last two places we visited, which wrapped up our European vacation - Amsterdam, Netherlands and Paris, France.

So come on back!

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No Flitting Taking Place

2016: We Do More Before 9 A.M. Than Most People Do All Day
2015: Grand And Important
2014: Winter Is A Table Set With Ice And Starlight
2013: The Romance Of The Road
2012: Celebrate With A Wild Desire
2011: Powerful Stuff
2010: Falling In Love With Ugly 
2009: A Love Like This Can Know No Death 
2008: Peace To This House
2007: The Sultan Of Love 
2006: It’s Even Better Than Arbor Day
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Don't Forget To Look Up

I find myself taking a lot of pictures of rooftops.  One, because when we're doing a group tour, everyone in the group is in the photo if I pull back to get the whole thing, and two, there are a lot of interesting spires and onion domes and tiles and colors and textures.

This photo shows rooftops in 
Český Krumlov.  You can see the colorful castle tower in the background.

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It Spells *Some* Things Correctly

2016: A Night Out
2015: Hustle And Bustle In Ancient Guatemala
2014: The Flakes Got Up Early And Stayed All Day
2013: Headed For A Slow Boat To China
2012: A Roaring Forties Tasmanian Devil Of A Blue
2011: Waiter! There’s A Beer In My Soup!
2010: I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Wolf
2009: Eddie Getting His Licks Friday
2008: The Place Is In Ruins
2007: Winter Shadows
2006: The Angels Of The New York D.O.T.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, November 12, 2018

When In Bavaria

Bäckerei Hench in Miltenberg, Germany had baskets of pretzel rolls, giant Bavarian pretzels, breads, cakes, and more.  It's been a family operation for nine generations.

If you're going to get a Bavarian pretzel (which I did), this is the place to do it!

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They Grow Everything Here

2016: Calling All Car Freaks And Geeks
2015: Waiting For Turistas
2014: The Still Before The Storm
2013: Sizzle, Drizzle, And Pour
2012: Dreams Explored Over Dinner
2011: I’m In Love And It’s Not Even Valentine’s Day Yet
2010: Eddie As Fisherman Friday
2009: Birds And Barbells On Muscle Beach
2008: A Girl On The Shores Of Cozumel
2007: I’m Not Exactly Sure What You’re Proposing Here
2006: The Blizzard Of 2006
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Miltenberg Morgen

When we woke on the day we were headed to Miltenberg, Germany, the river was shrouded in fog. Thick and cold, leaving the railings of our Juliet balcony covered in glistening water droplets.

Ed had a hike planned with one of the groups so he was hoping the fog would lift and give way to scenes ripe for photos. I don't think a wet forest hike was very appealing.  I was thinking about doing the old town walking tour but as I got ready for breakfast, was still undecided.

In the meantime, the ship sidled up to the left side of the Main River and docked. Looking out from the back deck we could see the fog lifting as the sun peeked over the Odenwald Mountains.  I decided to go for the tour.

The town was pretty amazing - lots of very old half-timbered homes, cobblestone streets, a butcher, baker, and probably candlestick maker if I looked hard enough.  Very charming.

Tomorrow we're off to the Rhine Gorge!

*Morgen is the German word for morning.

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2017: Rise Above The Bullshit
2014: In The Nick Of Time
2013: This Business Means Business
2012: A Nodding Donkey On The Hill
2011: What A Croc
2010: Flash Of Pole
2009: They Hire ‘Em Young These Days
2008: Setting Sail At Sunset
2007: Happy Bee
2006: It’s Not Unusual
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

City Of Music Crowd

A street scene in Vienna, Austria with the green dome of St. Michael's Church in the background.

St. Michael's is part of the Hofburg Palace, t
he former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria

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Stay Within The Lines

2016: Don't Boo, VOTE!
2015: Winter Beachcomber
2014: NASA Really Does Have All The Answers
2013: Steak With A Side Of History
2012: 300 Ways To Roll Vintage Style
2011: I Have A Crush On A Boy-d
2010: Accentuate The Positive
2009: How The Train Derails
2008: Good Thing He Didn’t PAINT This On His Truck
2007: Red Snap
2006: Convexly Jackson
2005: Marriage Criterion

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Coffee On Demand

We started our river cruise on the Avalon Vista, but because of low water levels on the river we had to change ships and board the Avalon Passion for seven of the fifteen nights. Both ships were very similar, in decor and amenities.  

Our Panorama Suite stateroom is on the top floor, and has wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows that slide open.  The room is located at the very back of the ship.  Although the main lounge, front desk, and dining area at the front of the ship, being at the back is quite nice.  It's quiet, no one repeatedly walks past our room like you have to do up front, and we have a little lounge that feels as if it's just for us. The lounge in the photo above is located 15-feet from our door.  Marlaina and MacG are in the room just across the hall from us, so we meet in this lounge often.

The lounge has an amazing bean-to-cup coffee machine that's available 24-hours a day. I want one for my house!!  The machine produces coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate, and hot water at the touch of a button.  They have a large assortment of teas available, in addition to ice water, juice, and iced tea.  The pastry display case is always stocked with donuts, pastries, muffins, and cookies.  All complimentary.  

Between the wi-fi, the view, and the coffee machine, I can live in this room.

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2017: Why Don't You Just Do It Yourself?

2016: A Perfect Sunday
2015: Who Puts Sweet Potato On Pizza? Geniuses, That's Who!
2014: This Sums Up Today's Events
2013: Wrecks Aplenty On Twenty
2012: Spanning The Straits 
2011: Diner In The Mountains
2010: Limone Costa d’Amalfi
2009: To Tattoo Or Not To Tattoo
2008: Sparkle And Glow
2007: I See Sea Scallops
2006: My New Favorite Song
2005: Lazy Sunday

Monday, November 05, 2018

THIS Is What We Should Never Forget

The Dohány Street Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue, is located in Budapest, Hungary.  It is the second largest operating synagogue in the world and home to the Raul Wallenberg Memorial Park, where you'll find a Holocaust Memorial known as the Emanuel Tree or the Tree of Life.

The tree was designed by Imre Varga.  Each leaf of the tree is inscribed with the names of Hungarian Jews that were killed during the Holocaust. In addition to the tree are four red marble slabs commemorating the 240 non-Jewish Hungarians who saved Jews during the Holocaust.  Raoul Wallenberg - a Swedish diplomat who prepared protective passports under the authority of the Swedish Embassy, saving the lives of thousands of Jews - was one of the most heroic figures of the Holocaust in Hungary. 
The memorial is sponsored by The Emanuel Foundation of New York.  The foundation was founded in 1987 by actor Tony Curtis in honor of his father, Emanuel Schwartz, who emigrated to New York from 
Mátészalka, Hungary.

To close this post, I'd like to remember the lives of the eleven people recently killed (October 27, 2018) at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish Community in the United States.

This has got to stop.

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2017: Ursus Maritimus At Night
2016: Ks For Charity
2015: Laundry, Y'all
2014: I Led The Turtle Convoy
2013: Where You Could Once Find A Bunch Of Damned Texans
2012: The Only Kind Of Pasty Ed Is Going To Get Me To Consider 
2011: What Would You Think If You Saw A Grown Woman Climbing Out Of A Big Rig Wearing Pajamas?
2010: The Machines Might Be Old But The Smokers Start Young
2009: Don’t Take It For Granite
2008: Yes We Did!!
2007: Green Acres Is The Place To Be, Solar Living Is The Life For Me
2006: Hail To Our Beautiful Maine Coon Mascot
2005: Weekend In Nature

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Historical Central Square

The photo above shows The Frauenkirche, a 14th-century Gothic church (built 1352-1361) which stands on the east side of the Hauptmarkt (central square) in Nuremberg, Germany. 

Every year they hold the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt here.  It's one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany and one of the most famous in the world, drawing 2.4 million visitors per year in a less-than-4-week period. 

During World War II, Nuremberg (Nürnberg in German) was bombed 59 times by the Allied Forces. The heaviest sustained aerial attack was on January 2, 1945, when 90% of the city center was destroyed in one hour. In that hour, 1,800 residents were killed and approximately 100,000 were displaced. Ultimately, the air raids killed an estimated 6,000 people.

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2017: 61 Things Left
2016: An Accident Waiting To Happen
2015: The Message Of The Testicle
2014: Gearhead Paradise
2013: Even When It's Cloudy, Ed Is Happy
2012: The Yoopers Little Piece Of Heaven 
2011: From Pot Roast At The Buckhorn To Gambling With An Inky Malbec
2010: Nestled In The Fertile Plain
2009: I Think I’m Kinda Lichen This Moss
2008: Holding My Breath
2007: Ahhhh…..Ahhhhh…..Aw Shit!
2006: Contemplating Flight
2005: Eddie Blurred By NyQuil Friday

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Night Owl Transport

I got up in the middle of the night, peeked out the open sliding door of our cabin, and saw this.  It was cold and quiet as the ship sliced through the glasslike surface of the water.

I'd love to remember all of the stuff I've been reading and hearing from the guides, but I can't.  And I'm not taking notes on tours, so the best I can do for you is to give you a little blurb from Wikipedia and hope you'll research further if you're interested!

Here we go...

The Rhine–Main–Danube Canalalso called Main-Danube CanalRMD Canal or Europa Canal), in BavariaGermany, connects the Main and the Danube rivers across the European Watershed, running from Bamberg via Nuremberg to Kelheim

The canal connects the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, providing a navigable artery between the Rhine delta (at Rotterdam in the Netherlands), and the Danube Delta in south-eastern Romania and south-western Ukraine (or Constanța, through the Danube–Black Sea Canal). 

The present canal was completed in 1992 and is 106 miles (171 kilometres) long.

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Trucking Chores

2016: The Haunted Trade-Off
2015: High Shine
2014: Operating Empty In The Scenic South
2013: The Sun Shines For All Cyclists
2012: Lured Into A Tourist Trap 
2011: Dining At The Buckhorn
2010: Ancient Details
2009: Framed By Fake Fall
2008: Let’s Hope This Five Year Old Is As Accurate With His Predictions As He Is With His Aim For The Toilet
2007: Belated Greetings From The Great Pumpkin Pile
2006: Working Man
2005: Black And White

Friday, November 02, 2018

Southern Bohemian Fairy Tale

Český Krumlov is a town in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.  It's been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.  

The city is well-preserved and feels like you've been dropped into the center of a medieval fairy tale, complete with castle and moat.

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2017: A Bird In The Hand
2016: Rainbow's End
2015: Airport Delivery
2014: A Bun Of Spun Gold
2013: City Tour
2012: Capturing The Soul Of The Midwest
2011: Ed Weighs In

2010: You’ve Got Mail!
2009: Bigger Than Leif
2008: Newfies, Here We Come!
2007: Big Teeth And Dancing Just Don’t Mix
2006: Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay
2005: Nuts