February 21, 2018

Capturing the Colors of Europe

I enjoy both color and looking at wonderful photographs so when I first heard about TravelSupermarket’s Capture the Colour competition I was excited to see all the beautiful photographs that would be submitted.  Then Vi at Short Travel Tips suggested I enter and I thought “Yeah sure”!  A little later I got the official invite from the good folks at EasyHiker and EurotravelogueNow I couldn’t ignore my friends so I decide to give it a try!

So here are some of my favorites shots and entry into the Capture the Colour competition. . . Enjoy!



Mittenwald Germany is known for it’s beautiful painted facades.  The paintings have all kinds of colors in them -red, green, yellow and white – but not much blue.  I finally found one that had blue in it and it’s on one of my favorite streets!Mittenwald Bavaria Germany


While visiting the Hofburg in Innsbruck I found a real resemblance to my own personal home so I had to share my favorite golden chandelier!Chandelier in Hofburg Innsbruck Austria


Do you have pictures you just love but don’t really know why?  Well, this is one of those for me.  While wandering Vienna Austria I ran into this lovely statue who’s motto is “By Virtue & Example”.  That is one of the definitions of white, isn’t it?

Virtue and Example Statue Vienna AustriaRed

In Paris, one of my favorite spots is Montmartre. Red seems to be the color of Montmartre from the Moulin Rouge to the easels of the artists!

Painters in Montmartre Paris France


From the dramatic Alps to these beautiful rolling hills, Switzerland is one beautiful country! Plain and simply, I love this picture.  Taken as I was walking up the hill to Gruyeres Switzerland, this photo can make me feel calm on the craziest of days! Green Hills of Gruyeres Switzerland


There you have it, my entry into the Capture the Colour contest!  Here are five more nominees whose photo’s I’d love to see!

Quirky Travel Guy

On the Go Europe

Used York City

Tips for FamilyTrips

More Kids than Suitcases


Yin and Yang of Life in Innsbruck

Whether traveling in Paris, Munich or London, we have all seen Triumphal arches while wandering through Europe.

The arches we enjoy were inspired by the Romans and are usually built to commemorate war victories or founding a new colony, celebrating a new ruler or even a death of one.  The arches can represent a happy occasion or a sad one but in Innsbruck the triumphal arch actually commemorates both!

The building of the Triumphpforte (Triumphal Arch) was approved by Empress Maria Theresa to honor the wedding of her son.  Since there was not time to build a new arch, she had the existing south gate of Innsbruck renewed into this lovely example of a Roman arch.Triumphal Arch Innsbruck Austria

The year was 1765 and there was a bash going on in Innsbruck and all of Austria.  As the festivities wore on, the celebrating turned to grieving when out of the blue Maria Theresa’s husband, Emperor Franz I, died.

Standing on the southern end of Maria Theresien Strasse is this Triumphal Arch.  On the side facing north you will see marble reliefs celebrating the marriage of her son and on the other are reliefs that mourn the passing of her husband.


What Yin & Yang’s of Life have you seen in your travels?


These photo’s are shared as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Picking a Favorite

Do you ever get asked what your favorite destination in Europe is?

I do.  People ask me regularly what my favorite place is and as I’m about to reply I start thinking what about location A or what about location B?  It’s kind of like asking me to pick my favorite child!

Berchtesgaden Bavaria Germany by Eric Sorenson

Berchtesgaden Germany by Eric Sorenson

I could easily say my favorite place in Europe is Bavaria. I find myself drawn to this part of Germany time and time again.  But by picking Bavaria, what does that say about all the other wonderful places I’ve been?  I mean who couldn’t love the French Basque region? Or Normandy? Or what about InnsbruckLast summer I visited Innsbruck and fell in love. So just because I haven’t spent as much time there means it’s not my favorite?  How do I know it wouldn’t become my favorite if I spent more time there?


View of Innsbruck Austria

View of Innsbruck Austria by Leo-setä, on Flickr

And by picking a favorite, where does that leave all the places I dream about visiting? Dordogne, Croatia, Costa Brava and Black Forest are just a few of the places I long to visit.  Will one of these replace my current favorite?

Dordogne river france

Dordogne by Jos Dielis, on Flickr

What makes you label a place as your favorite? Is it the people?  The food?  The scenery? Or is it a sense of peace you get just by being there?  Like love, no words need to be spoken you are just filled with an overwhelming sense of comfort.  Just like an old pair of shoes, this special place fits you like a glove.

Peaceful Lautersee Mittenwald Bavaria Germany

Peaceful Lautersee above Mittenwald Bavaria Germany

If I’m honest, that is exactly how I feel when I visit southern Bavaria. I love the people, the food, the scenery and the ambiance.   It just seems to fit me like a glove and makes me feel warm and comfortable.  This part of Bavaria is also a sentimental favorite since I spent most of my time here during my very first European trip.  So . . .

Grounds of Linderhof Castle Bavaria Germany

Grounds of Linderhof

If I asked you right now to name your favorite place in Europe, what would it be?

Historic Guild Signs

Vestiges of history are all around you while traveling in Europe.  One of the great ways to experience this history is through the ornate Guild Signs dotting cities in Europe.

Dating back to the Middle Ages, a time when the majority of the population didn’t read, these Guild Signs were a way for shop owners to show the type of wares or services they offered.

Today these signs add to the charm of many cities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and are a source of delight to us all.  Here are a few of the Guild Signs I have seen on my journeys.

Some Guild Signs adorn beautiful streetsGruyeres Switzerland

Maybe not historic, but even McDonald’s participates in Innsbruck!Guild Signs on Street Innsbruck Austria

Some streets are famous for its Guild SignsSalzburg Street Full of Guild Signs Austria

Spezial Brewery Bamberg GermanySchlenkerla Brewery Bamberg Germany

Others advertise Breweries or just add to the local scenery

Violin Museum Mittenwald GermanyInnsbruck Guild Sign by Inn River Austria

These photo’s are shared as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there.


My Home Looks Like the Hofburg!

For this edition of Travel Photo Thursday I thought I’d share a few pictures of Casa Beardsley.

“For a man’s house is his castle”
“Home is where you hang your head”
“Home is where the heart is”

Casa Beardsley is our home in Pleasanton, California which we moved into in 1987.  Yes it is an older home but I think it carries its age very well.  So come along as I share a few pictures with you!

The entryway of Casa Beardsley is where all visitors enter our lovely abode.  Be our guest!Hall Hofburg Innsbruck Austria

In the entryway you will also notice my favorite chandelier along with a few family photos on the wall including one of my daughter!Painting Hofburg Austria Innsbruck

Next is my office!  I like to keep it cheerful so all the creative juices keep flowing 🙂Hofburg Innsbruck Austria

This is our game room.  My family does enjoy its games!Hofburg Innsbruck Austria

Lastly is the dining room where we eat dinner every night while sharing stories about our day!Dining Room Hofburg Innsbruck Austria

Well, I hope you enjoyed our little tour.  Please exit through the  door on your right and if you feel so inclined donations are always accepted!

Ok, I’ll come clean. . . this isn’t really my house!  These are some pictures I was able to take while touring the Hofburg in Innsbruck Austria.

Dating back to 1460, the Hofburg was originally built in the Gothic style but it was Maria Theresa who had it rebuilt in the Baroque style between 1754-1773.  This was one of the favorite residences of the Hapsburgs and was Maria Theresa’s home when she visited Innsbruck.  The Imperial Apartments are at the center of a complex which formed the Imperial Residences and include the Silver Chapel, Hofkirche, cathedral and Hofgarten.  For all these reasons and more, I can recommend a visit to the Hofburg when you are in Innsbruck!

These photo’s are shared as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Bucket List – European Style

Ah, the infamous Bucket List.  When Michael from EasyHiker asked me to share my “Bucket List” I was, honestly, a little overwhelmed.  Yes, overwhelmed because my list is quite large and I’m sure you don’t want to spend that much time reading this post.  How to cut it down?  Instead of sharing countries or cities I’d most like to visit I whittled it down to some European adventures I’d most like to enjoy.

In no particular order, here is a sampling of my Bucket List – European Style!

While thinking about my Bucket List, I realized I’ve actually shared quite a few of these already.  In Springtime Yearnings I shared my desire to Hike in Black Forest, Canoe along the Dordogne plus bike and taste wine near the Moselle River in Germany.  Italy’s South Tirol is still one of the places I would most like to visit.  The Dolomites are just too dramatic and picturesque to not see in person.

Here are more European adventures I’d most like to enjoy:

Bastille Day in Paris

Sharing this day of celebration with the Parisians would be fabulous.  I can only imagine the pageantry of the military parade down the Champs Elysees and the beauty of the fireworks with the Eiffel Tower as their back drop.

Bastille Day Fireworks Eiffel Tower Paris France

Bastille Day Fireworks by Lauren


Let’s see, I love Bavaria, Munich is one of my favorite cities and, in my opinion, beer is a food group.  So why wouldn’t I need to experience the Granddaddy of all beer festivals?  One thing I wouldn’t miss is the opening day parade. I hope they still roll barrels of beer down the street!

Cruising the Greek Isles

A lot of folks cruise the Greek Isles and while I want to join their ranks, I want to rent my own sail boat so we can steer our ship around the Aegean as we wish!  Enjoying the blue water, culture, sunsets and ruins while reliving mythology from the bows of our own little boat seems quite luxurious.

Samos Greece in Aegean Sea

Samos Pe-Sa

German Christmas Markets

About 2 months ago I shared one of my fondest birthday wishes in All I Want For My Birthday.  At this point in time, I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate my birthday than being in Germany visiting some of the magical Christmas markets!  Gluhwein, German trinkets and beer. . . need I say more?

Viennese Ball

Gliding and twirling across a dance floor at one of the amazing balls during Imperial Ball season in Vienna is one of things this girl dreams of.   Of course, I’ll be dressed to the nines in a full length formal gown complete with gloves and I will float across the dance floor thanks to those dance lessons I desperately need to take!

Ball Vienna Austria

Ball by moritz.schmaltz, on Flickr

Live in Europe
One of my fondest dreams is to live in Europe for at least 3 months.  I want to experience the culture and history that Europe offers.  I haven’t figured out where I would spend my time but I have a feeling a lot of it would be spent in some little Bavarian village!

Wachau Valley Danube River Austria

Wachau by jay8085, on Flickr

Somewhere along the way I will also stay in a Castle or Chateaux, enjoy a Tapas Crawl in Spain and wine taste in the Wachau Valley!

Well those are a few of the items that have made it to my European Bucket List.


Tell us a few of the items that have made it to your list!

A Photo Essay on European Statues

Oh the places you go and the characters you’ll meet while traveling!

Besides being works of art, history can be experienced through the statues or monuments dotting a city or village.  Through them we come to know who or what was important to the citizens.

Here are a few of the statues and monuments I stumbled upon while visiting Europe last summer.

Neptune Statue Bamberg Bavaria Germany

A great meeting place in Bamberg Germany is the Neptune statue locally called Gabelmann.  Standing near the Gruner Markt in the pedestrian only area of Bamberg, the statue is also a popular place to enjoy an afternoon ice cream.Matthias Klotz Mittenwald Bavaria Germany

This homage to Mittenwald’s native son, Mathias Klotz, indicates the important role he played in the village.  Mittenwald is a picturesque village nestled up against the mountains in southern Bavaria that is known for its violin and string instrument manufacturing.  It was Mathias Klotz who brought this esteem to his home town which continues to this day.Statue near Inn River Innsbruck Austria

I ran into these little guys while exploring Innsbruck Austria.  While they sit near the river Inn, I never did find out what this statue represents but it did intrigue me.  To me they look like they are sneaking into the city.  Are they just having fun or about to engage in something more nefarious?Water Statue Mirabell Gardens Salzburg Austria

The beautiful Mirabell Gardens should not be missed on any visit to Salzburg Austria.  Besides the amazing flowers, fountains and gardens Mirabell is home to equally impressive statues.  Some are whimsical and others depict history and lore.  One of these is this statue by Ottavio Mosto representing water through the abduction of Helen by Paris which in turn started the Trojan War.By Virtue and Example Statue Vienna Austria

With the little time I had in Vienna, I decided to spend it exploring the Imperial Apartments and Sisi Museum at the Hofburg.  Finding the extra large Hofburg was not a problem but finding the Sisi Museum took a bit more effort.  Wandering I passed many architectural delights and an abundance of statues.  Finally I arrived at Michaelsplatz and the entrance to the museum.  I found this lovely statue waiting for me.  The motto below means “By Virtue and Example”.Kossuth Memorial Budapest Hungary

In Budapest, the Kossuth Memorial sits near the Hungarian Parliament honoring a man who was a prominent figure in the War of Independence from 1848-1849 and later became President of Hungary.  In this national symbol Kossuth can be seen pointing towards a brighter future.  Alas, it was many years before Hungary’s future became brighter.

“Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!”  Dr. Seuss


Tell me about some of the interesting characters you have run into while traveling.

These photo’s are shared as part of Travel Photo Thursday.  For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Early One Morning in Innsbruck

One morning while I was in Innsbruck I decided to go for a walk before the Travel Bloggers Unite conference got started.  As I roamed and wandered this city that captivated me, I noticed a large gathering of people under the Goldenes Dachl or Golden Roof.Under the Golden Roof Innsbruck Austria

As I came closer I noticed a group of men and women dressed in traditional clothing.  At first they were milling around but eventually got lined up in a military fashion.Milling around Innsbruck Austria

The men carried rifles and sabers whileInnsbruck Austria Unexpected Event

Most of the women seem to be carrying small barrels that must be full of liquid libation!Innsbruck Austria waitng for Inspection

Even though I had not clue what was going on, I did stop and watch as it progressed for a few minutes.

The flag the men are holding says “Zur erinnerung an das Gründungsfest” and I have no idea what the meaning is.  I thought it would be some kind of festival but when I translated it online I got “In Remembrance of the Foundation Laid.”  Whatever that means!?!  If anyone knows please let me know in your comment below!Innsbruck Austria Gathering

I couldn’t stay very long but this unexpected “event” was one of the special highlights Innsbruck offered me! Seeing locals in traditional clothing always brings a smile to my face even more so when they seem to be enjoying every minute!

I highly recommend early morning wandering!


What surprises have you run into during an early morning walk?


These photo’s are shared as part of Travel Photo Thursday.  For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

A Year at European Travelista

Today is the first anniversary for European Travelista!!!

It’s Been a Year and What a Year It’s Been!

As I looked back at the year, I discovered that during this time I’ve written 134 posts which received 2,868 comments.

Together we’ve visited 18 of Europe’s countries!

The countries we’ve visited include France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  Along with those we’ve also touched ground in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Holland and even Estonia.Views walking up the hill to Gruyeres Switzerland

We’ve looked at food, aperitifs and experienced European wine beer and beer festivals!

Our journey has been by train, feet, bikes and post bus crossing rivers, bridges and scenic routes. We’ve taken a look at the awesome waterfalls in Europe along with some festivals, even if they are a bit crazy!Budapest and Danube River

Because I had a hard time telling the difference between Baroque, Gothic or Romanesque, we spent some time learning a bit about all that wonderful architecture found in European capitals.

I’ve shared my love for Germany and in particular Bavaria.  Heck one of my first posts was titled “Bavaria, Bavaria How do I Love thee?”.  That should have been your first clue 🙂

Hohenschwangau Bavarian Castle

View from Hohenschwangau

Together we delved into my passion for those small little quaint charming picturesque mountain villages.  Yes you know that I am a mountain girl!

We’ve spent time in castles, feasted our eyes on jewels, taken drives and just dreamed.

Cesky Krumlov Castle Czech Republic

Cesky Krumlov Castle by Docsj

Yup it’s been quite a year!

And it’s not going to stop yet!

I have many more adventures lined up for 2012 but I also want to include some of your interests.

Where do you want to go?

How do you want to get there and what do you want to do once you get there?

Where or where in Europe shall we go during 2012?  Help me out by leaving suggestions in your comment!


Before I go, I want to send out a BIG thanks to you all for making 2011 such a great year!



Travel:The Best of 2011

Jeremy from Budget Travel Adventures started an awesome year end event about Best Travel of 2011.  Ben from AdventuresWithBen asked me to participate and I thought it was a great time to reflect back on the good, bad and ugly before setting off on this year’s adventures!

Best Domestic Travel Destination 2011Our Little Cabin Sorensen's in Hope Valley California

Over Memorial Day we spent the weekend at Sorensen’s Resort in the Hope Valley and completely fell in love with this area. . . again.  Sorensen’s is lodging comprised of little single cabins but without TV or internet although you can get internet access in the restaurant if you really need!  Being Memorial Day weekend, we expected warm dry weather so much that we didn’t even check the weather prior to leaving home!  At least we were better prepared for the 4+ inches of snow than those that were out in shorts and capri’s!  If you haven’t been to the Hope Valley, I highly recommend it!

Best Travel Experience 2011

Another area I loved was Mittenwald Germany but my favorite part of my stay was the Goatherd Encounter along the Lautersee above Mittenwald!  I wouldn’t have been at Lautersee if it weren’t for the suggestion of my hotel, the Alpenrose.  Yes trying to cool off allowed me this amazing encounter!

Best International Destination 2011Innsbruck Austria in Altstadt

As I mentioned in Innsbruck You Captivated Me, I am in love with Innsbruck Austria and can’t wait to go back to explore the city more before stretching into the surrounding area.  Armored Schloss Ambras, The Bizarre World of Swarovski and Worlds 2nd Largest Tomb is in Innsbruck are just a few of the reasons  I fell in love with Innsbruck.  I would love spend more time in the city exploring the nooks and crannies more fully and walking in the mountains plus discovering the nearby quaint villages and the Oetz Valley!

Worst Travel Experience 2011

I would have to say Budapest Hungary was my worst travel experience of 2011.  Budapest is one of the Cities that Leaves Me Bleh!  I am completely bummed about my feelings because I really wanted to love Budapest!  But I didn’t.  As I was watching Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol I was struck by the beautiful views of Budapest.  Yes while I was in Budapest I found the beauty along the river but not elsewhere but the views shared in the movie has left me knowing I will return and give Budapest a second chance.Pariliament Building Budapest Hungary

Most Embarrassing Travel Moment 2011

Fortunately or unfortunately my personality doesn’t allow me to have ‘those’ embarrassing moments.  During the past year I have enjoyed reading AdventuresWithBen partly due to all the amazingly crazy pictures of himself he shares with us all!  I find his smiling face infectious 🙂  So a New Year’s resolution to allow myself ‘those’ silly moments and share them with you has been made!

Best Local Destination 2011Columbus Day Parade San Francisco California

By far, I’d have to say San Francisco is the best local destination!  We have enjoyed exploring the city more as our children have left home.  This year we biked the Bay Bridge, enjoyed a free walking tour of Nob Hill, wandered the Haight and spent a very pleasant day watching the Columbus Day parade pass us by while being entertained by the jets flying over hear during Fleet Week.  We have spent more time using the rapid transit system and shared that with my brother’s family over Thanksgiving weekend.  The ‘colorful’ people you run into on transit is worth the price of admission 🙂  Yes being less than an hour away from San Francisco is a very enviable place to be!

Best Travel Lesson from 2011

Four inches of snow over Memorial Day weekend taught us a lesson!  Oh did I mention that the windshield wipers on our car stopped working too?  Yup not checking the weather made for an interesting and fun weekend but taught us to always check prior to leaving home.

To continue the Best Travel 2011, I’d love to hear from:

Country Skipper
The French Way Blog
Traveling With Sweeney
Pinay On the Move



Moving forward, tell us your travel plans for 2012!