April 17, 2014

Art Around Town – Statues & Fountains

I’ve got good news for those of you that don’t like museums!  To see art you don’t have to enter a museum.

Walking around a town you will run into all kinds of interesting and beautiful pieces of art.  As with all art, they can and do evoke all kinds of feelings and are a great way to learn a little history including who or what is important to the citizens.

I’ve found Statues and Fountains  wandering Europe that . . .

Honors Brave Deeds as the the Girondist column and fountain in Bordeaux France!  This beautiful column celebrates a small group of revolutionaries who banded together to save the republic.

Girondist Column Bordeaux France

Added to the peace and beauty of a garden as do all the statues and fountains found in Mirabell Gardens.  These Gardens are one of  the most popular places in Salzburg Austria and the artwork really adds to the beauty of the gardens (IMO)!

Mirabell Gardens Salzburg Austria

Told a tale of unrequited love depicted in the lovely Matthias Fountain found on Budapest’s Castle Hill.  The Fountain depicts a hunting scene where the young King met and fell in love with a peasant girl.

Matthias Fountain Budapest Hungary

Honors a beloved ruler like  Kunigunde.   King Heinrich and his wife, Kunigunde, made Bamberg their home and are one of Bamberg’s favorite rulers.

Kunigunde Bamberg Germany

Impressed me with the artistic ability of the craftsman.   At the southern entrance to the Hofburg Palace in Vienna Austria are statues depicting “The Labors of Hercules” by Lorenzo Matelli.  I found them all to be amazing and this is just one!

Labors of Hercules Vienna Austria

Even add a lighthearted feel to a city street.  Look who I ran into on a corner in Potsdam Germany – The Green Family! No clue what the significance is, I just found it interesting :)

Green Family Potsdam Germany

Even if you’re someone who doesn’t feel they like art, I think we’ve all been impressed by some of the Statues and Fountains we’ve stumbled into while traveling.

 

What Statues and Fountains have impressed you?

 

These pictures are part of Travel Photo Thursday! For more great pictures,make sure to check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Whimsical Salzburg

One of Austria’s most popular cities is Salzburg. The city known for Mozart, the Sound of Music and marionettes has a fun and whimsical side that can be found at Hellbrunn Palace.

On my last visit to Mozart’s city I purchased a Salzburg card which included free use of the busses and many discounted or free entrances to Salzburg’s sights including Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains.  So I hopped on the bus and a short ride later was at Hellbrunn.

Grotto Dining Table Hellbrunn Salzburg Austria

Hellbrunn Palace is a Baroque villa built by the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg as a summer house and a place to hold outrageous parties.  Built in 1612, in the Italian style of architecture, Hellbrunn is one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture north of the Alps. The beautiful grounds hold the Palace, park, gardens and the popular trick fountains.

Hellbrunn Fountain Salzburg Austria

Your ticket includes an audio tour of the palace which can be done either before or after you tour the trick fountains. While the palace is interesting, it is the trick fountains that attract most visitors!

Dining Table Hellbrunn Salzburg Austria

During your time at Hellbrunn you’ll see elaborate grottoes, sculptures, statues, ponds, fountains and the fabulous trick dining table.

Getting Wet at Dining Table Helbrunn Salzburg Austria

Touring the trick fountains you’ll come across a miniature theater and water.   Lots of water which will be coming at you from every direction even from the occasional deer head!  Keep this in mind, you will get wet!

Deer Head and Pond Hellbrunn Salzburg Austria

The whimsical trick fountains are funny and quite an architectural and engineering feat for the 1600’s!

Grotto Statue Hellbrunn Salzburg Austria

Upon exiting the fountain tour you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens full of flowers, ponds and statues. They’re also a great place to enjoy an ice cream or picnic before getting back on that bus headed back to town.

Statue Hellbrunn Salzburg Austria

Hellbrunn is a fun and peaceful adventure not far from Salzburg’s Old Town and one that is enjoyed by young and old alike.


These pictures are part of Travel Photo Thursday!
For more great pictures,make sure to check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.
Maybe I’ll see you there!

Its A Door Thing

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious
and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Walt Disney

Hi my name is Debbie and I have a door “thing”.

I was going through pictures from a recent European trip and kept noticing all the pictures I took of doors!

Yes doors!


I’ve never realized I have a fixation on doors but the evidence was staring me in the face – picture after picture of doors.

I had pictures church doors like this one at St. Stephans Church in Mainz Germany,St. Stephan's Church Door Mainz Germany

Crazy kaleidoscope doors I found while strolling the streets and alleys of Freiburg Germany,Crazy Door Freiburg Germany

Dramatic doors I marveled at in Rostock Germany,Dramatic Door on Brick Building Rostock Germany

Splendid portals leading to Efurt Germany’s Wedding House (wouldn’t it be wonderful getting married here?),Haus zum Sonneborn Door Erfurt Germany

and Doors that look small and lonely like this one I found in Salzburg Austria.Small and Lonely Door Salzburg Austria

I know I have a problem because I have so many more picture of doors to share with you!  But they say admitting the addiction is the first step to healing, right?

And now that you know the truth, please don’t judge me because I don’t think I’m the only one with strange addictions like this.

 

What subjects do you have a “thing” for?

These pictures are part of Travel Photo Thursday!
For more great pictures,make sure to check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.
Maybe I’ll see you there!

Romance – European Style

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, romance is in the air!

There are cities like Paris that are known as romantic but to me romance is in the eye of the beholder.  With romance in the air, I thought it would be fun to look at a few European destinations that are romantic.

Here are three European locations that have the glamour, enchantment and fairy tale feel to them to bring out the romantic side in me.

Lucerne Switzerland

Lucerne Old Town Switzerland

Lucerne Old Town along River

What isn’t romantic about scenery like this?  Lucerne and her lake have to be one of the most beautiful and romantic places in Europe! Everywhere you look you’ll be rewarded with beautiful mountain views.  Enjoy a romantic stroll through the old town marveling at medieval buildings or along the river.  Another romantic adventure is a steamer trip on the lake maybe even stopping off at one of the villages along the shores.   Splurging on one of the romantic lake side hotels will cap off the romance of the city!

Salzburg Austria

View from Hohensalzburg Salzburg Austria

View from Hohensalzburg Salzburg

The storybook quality of Salzburg is palpable and oozes from every corner. Salzburg is a beautiful city full of gardens, history, architectural gems, music and other cultural events.  The views from atop the Hohenbsalzburg will take your breath away and leave you feeling peaceful.  A visit to the many Sound of Music locations will bring back fond memories and a smile to your face if not a song in your heart plus they are some of the most beautiful and romantic locations in the city. A leisurely stroll through the Altstadt after dinner is a wonderful way to end the day.  It is truly a serene time of day and the darkening sky will certainly put you in a romantic mood.

Ludwig’s Castles & Small Villages of Bavaria Germany

Neuschwantstein Castle Bavaria Germany

Neuschwantstein Castle by BAYERN TOURISMUS Marketing GmbH

If you find mountains, castles, charming villages and beautiful vistas romantic then this part of Southern Germany is for you! The well known Neuschwanstein Castle will not disappoint those looking for a romantic retreat. The castle’s fairy tale feel has been sparking romance for eons.  After spending time at the castle, I suggest a walk in the mountains or visits to the many nearby traditional Bavarian villages.  Explore their streets lined with painted houses and buildings adorned with window boxes overflowing with flowers.  Enjoy learning about traditional crafts like wood working or violin making. For romantic lodging, experience a traditional Bavarian guest house!

 

What European city or area brings out your Romantic side?

This is my entry for Carnival of Europe hosted by Aleah Taboclaon at Solitary Wanderer. This months theme is “Most Romantic Places in Europe”.

European Lodging – The Choice is Yours

George Bernard Shaw said “The great advantage of a hotel is that it’s a great refuge from home life”. This too true statement is indicative of why the choice of hotel when traveling is so difficult and important!

Luckily Europe has many different lodging options which will add to the enjoyment of your escape! Here are a few that I’ve been lucky enough to have stayed at.Alpenrose Hotel Mittenwald Germany

Hotels can be wonderful traditional guest houses like Gasthof Fraundorfer in Garmisch-Partenkirchen or Hotel Alpenrose in Mittenwald Germany. Make sure you know whether they have elevators and are prepared for stairs if they don’t! Also make sure you know whether there is a bar or restaurant on the first floor. This may mean it may be a bit noisier than expected.View Schloss Hotel Rheinfels Germany

They can be Luxury class beauties set on the shores of an equally beautiful lake as with Palace Hotel on Lake Lucerne and Suisse Majestic Montreux Switzerland or seaside in the Hotel du Palais Biarritz France or even have amazing views of rivers like the Schloss Hotel Rheinfels in St. Goar Germany. I don’t have the opportunity to stay in luxury hotels often since the price is not usually in my budget but can say I’ve enjoyed staying in luxury accommodations even if I wonder if they are really me.

Gasthof Fraundorfer Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany

Gasthof Fraundorfer by Q-BEE, on Flickr

There are 4 star large basic properties conveniently located for train travel such as the Intercity Hotel in Mainz and Hotel Excelsior Erfurt Germany. Not usually my first choice but I really did enjoy how close they were to the train station and the city centers of both were easily reached.

Green hotels like Hotel Victoria Freiburg Germany which boasts they are the “most eco friendly hotel in the world” and they just might be! All electricity and heat come from renewable sources like solar, wind and wood pellet heating. The thermal solar panels on the roof and the natural materials used throughout hotel make for a wonderful experience and the Victoria is also convenient to both the train station and city center!BarockHotel am Dom Bamberg Germany

Historic architectural treasures in perfect locations – Old Town city centers – but not completely convenient for train travel BarockHotel am Dom Bamberg Germany and Kasererbraeu Salzburg Austria. The beautiful building housing the Barockhotel dates back to 1520 while the Kasererbraeu is from 1342 and was once a monastery and brewery before becoming protected by UNESCO!

Hotels I’m glad I read the online reviews of so I wasn’t completely frightened by the entrance, Panorama Central in Budapest. A wonderful oasis once you got inside but honestly a little unsettling getting to! Moral to this story, READ online reviews!

Known for its history and spa, Schwarzer Bock Wiesbaden. I’ve been lucky to stay here two times and can say this is one of my favorite hotels. Dating back to 1486, the Schwarzer Bock is a classic beauty- luxurious and yet very comfortable. And in a wonderful location!

Hotel I fell in love with because there was a heat wave and it was air conditioned refrigerated, Grauer Baer Innsbruck! I would stay at this property again because it was very convenient to Old Town and train station.

While my preferred type of lodgings are guest houses and architectural and historic beauties, in some way, all of the hotels I’ve stayed in have added to my enjoyment and experience I had in their cities and villages.

What do you look for when choosing a hotel for your trip?

Photographic Europe: More of my Favorites!

Last week I shared with you some of my favorite travel photographs in Capturing the Colors of Europe.

This week I’m sharing 3 photos that didn’t make the cut.


Wandering around Salzburg last summer not only did I run into my favorite fast food but also this lovely corridor full of many colorful flowers!  Salzburg has so many worthwhile sites to see but I wholeheartedly recommend you spend time just wandering.  The results will be worth it!Lovely Corridor Salzburg Austria

A few years ago I was lucky enough to spend time along the Moselle river in Germany before ending up in the lovely Roman city of Trier.  Even though I only spent a short time along this beautiful river, it left a impression on me and is one of the many areas in Germany I would love to explore more thoroughly!  Besides the wine found along the Moselle, this area is full of charming villages like Traben-Trarbach that are mesmerizing.Traben Trarbach Moselle River Germany

Montreux Switzerland sits on the banks of Lake Geneva and is full of the charm and views you come to expect in this scenic country.  It is also a great city to use as a base. There are many sites within easy reach including Lausanne, wineries and scenic Gruyeres!  One thing I enjoy so much about Europe is it’s abundance of gardens and flowers.  This lovely garden in Montreux is no exception.Montreux Garden Switzerland

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!

My Travel ABC’s

Before Thanksgiving I received an invitation from Katherina  of 1000 Miles Highway to participate in the A to Z survey about travel called The ABC of Travel!

Thanks Katherina for including me!

Now, European Travelista’s ABC’s of Travel.

A: Age you went on your first international trip: At 23 I made my first international trip to Europe which was also my first solo trip and is still my favorite!

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: The best foreign beer I’ve had was at Stiegl Keller in Salzburg.  If I’m honest, I’m not sure why it is my favorite but I think it might have something to do with the amazing views of Salzburg or the fantastic meal I enjoyed. Whatever the reason, it was memorable!Schnitzel at Klosterbrau Bamberg Germany

C: Cuisine (favorite): Mexican Food!  I love it spicy and could eat it for every meal.  While in Europe, my favorite cuisine would have to be German.  Can’t get enough of schnitzel, spatzle, sausage and sauerkraut or goulash soup :)

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why: Bavaria Germany holds a special place in my heart!  This was my first stop on my first trip and Bavaria just feels so comfy to me.  I can’t seem to get enough of the mountains and tiny Bavarian villages. My least favorite would have to be Budapest which just left me feeling Bleh!  Although I am going to give it another try.

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: This summer I had the unexpected opportunity to witness Lederhosen clad goat herders bringing the goats back to the barn! An event I thought only lived on in books.

F: Favorite mode of transportation: Ooh that’s hard.  I actually like all modes of transportation and have used them at different times.  Trains, buses, cars are all amazing and offer different perspectives.  I guess my favorite mode is via an airplane because when I get on an airplane it means I’m going somewhere!

G: Greatest feeling while traveling: The feeling of awe when seeing amazing scenery, experiencing the peace and serenity of mountains, flower bedecked houses or realizing how old the city or building really is.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: Ixtapa, Mexico during July!

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Once we were eating at a café in Paris and we had a great waiter.  He would joke with us (yes it was Paris France) and when we asked what type of Dijon mustard they had on the table he gave us a bottle!  It’s the little things that make a difference to me.

J: Journey that took the longest: Driving through Austria and Switzerland during my 2 week honeymoon!

Kathe Wohlfahrt Rothenburg Germany

In Front of Kathe Wohlfahrt Rothenburg Germany

K: Keepsake from your travels: I love buying Christmas ornaments from any where I travel because I get to relive my travels while decorating the tree with my family!

L: Let-down sight, why and where: The Terror Museum in Budapest. This museum left me wanting more. . . much more.  Upon entering you hear intimidating music, see an old Soviet tank and busts of some of the more notorious characters of the soviet period in Budapest.  I was expecting many more items of torture and not the narration in Hungarian I got.  The museum was really very stark without many exhibits of actual devices of terror.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel: My first trip to Europe in 1981 filled me with a love of Europe that has lasted to this day!  I love traveling anywhere and am the one that does all the research and planning for trips no matter where we are going.

View from room at Palace Hotel Lucerne Switzerland

View from Palace Hotel

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: My personal budget doesn’t include luxury hotels very often but I do enjoy luxury when I get it.  The nicest hotel I have ever stayed in would have to be the Palace Hotel in Lucerne Switzerland!  I had a corner suite which had amazing views of the lake and mountains surrounding this lovely city.  My next choice would have to be the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, California. I love old historic hotels and my room in the old portion of this beauty was perfect.

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?: I’m not sure I have an obsession but would have to say amazing views usually from or of mountains!

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where? Oh if only they consistently stamped my passport!  Many places in Europe including London, Paris, Biarritz, Toulouse, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Zurich and Copenhagen.  Add in Mexico and Tahiti.

Biarritz Seaview France

Biarritz

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where: The Alligator Farm in Buena Park, California.  I loved this spot as a child since those alligators were really scary but alligators right across the street from Knots Berry Farm?!!

R: Recommended sight, event or experience: Spend a day in Auvers sur Oise (outside Paris) reliving Van Gogh’s last days, then visit the Orsay museum to view his art work!  This will make an art lover out of anyone!

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: Local food, but not at trendy fashionable restaurants, including beer, wine or local cocktail!

T: Touristy thing you’ve done: A tour including the Changing of the Guard in London.  Couldn’t see a thing but I went back early in April and was able to visit on my own and see the entire procession without any one in my way!

U: Unforgettable travel memory: Visiting Zermatt Switzerland for the first time!  This charming village took my breath away.  Explore the village and mountains during the day and then enjoy an exquisite meal of fondue that night.  It is so warm and comfy!

V: Visas, how many and for where? To date, I haven’t need any visas :(

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where? So I don’t remember what type of wine we had  but my husband and I had some great Italian red wine in Stresa overlooking Lago Maggiore!

Hohenschwangau Bavarian Castle

View from Hohenschwangau

X: eXcellent view and from where?: Ooh there are a lot of great vantage points.  How about the amazing views from Neuschwanstein castle or the top of Mt. Pilatus?  Or the view of Paris after climbing the stairs at Notre Dame!  Or locally, the view of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Y: Years spent traveling?: I have traveled my entire life if you include some vacations.  Unfortunately, my life has not afforded me the opportunity to spend years abroad . . . yet.  That is on the bucket list!

Z: Zealous sports fans and where?: I am not a zealous sport fan but my first ice hockey game was very memorable.  My friend got tickets about 4 rows from the glass which makes for an exceptional game.  I didn’t know I had so much testosterone in me!

 

Well that’s my ABC’s, I would love to read the ABC’s of these fine bloggers:

Inside Journeys
Devour the World
Adventures with Ben
A View to a Thrill
EuroTravelogue

Musical Mirabell Gardens

Traveling through Europe I am always amazed at the abundance of spectacular gardens there are to wander.  They are a great place to rest for a bit or just wander aimlessly admiring the beautiful flowers and plants.Mirabell Gardens with view of Hohensalzburg Salzburg

It is hard to find a garden that can beat Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg.Hedges in Mirabell Gardens Salzburg Austria

This beautiful and peaceful oasis is tucked between Mirabell Palace and Mozarteum University and is home to beautiful flower beds, hedges, fountains and statues that are sprinkled throughout the garden.  The aisles and arbors are great for strolling or finding a bit respite from the sun!Statues in Mirabell Gardens Salzburg Austria

Easily accessible from the Altstadt, Mirabell Gardens offers great views of Hohensalzburg Fortress off in the distance.Tree in Mirabell Gardens Salzburg Austria

And for you Sound of Music fans, yes this is also a spot where Maria and the children frolicked and sang! The afternoon I was wandering Mirabell, I was lucky to run into a local youth band playing. Take a listen to this short video – they were actually very good!

What is your favorite Garden?

 

For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.
Every Thursday they post new photos from their travels and invite others to join in!

Maybe I’ll see you there.

A Beautiful Resting Place in Salzburg

As I stated in A Merry Cemetery in Romania, I find cemeteries fascinating.  I don’t have an obsession with death, I just find that cemeteries not only offer a unique view of a cities history but can also offer a very peaceful and beautiful haven amongst even the largest cities.St Peters Cemetery with fortress Salzburg Austria

While I was in Salzburg, I was lucky enough to spend time in St. Peter’s Cemetery and I found a beautiful and peaceful final resting place for many of Salzburg’s historic families of the past.

Nestled up against the Mönchsberg you will find St. Peter’s Cemetery.  Dating back to 1627 this is the oldest Christian cemetery in Salzburg and should not be neglected during your stay in this wonderful city.St Peters Cemetery Salzburg Austria

This cemetery is not sad or scary but would be a lovely place to spend eternity. . . or some time during an afternoon!  As you wander through you will be amazed at the beauty, the color and the serenity.  Each of the plots is still tenderly taken care of by family members.St Peters Cemetery with fortress and catacombs Salzburg Austria

This World Heritage Site is enclosed by beautiful wrought-iron on three sides and the Mönchsberg on the fourth making it a perfect home for the aristocratic families of Salzburg.  Among the families interred are Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, Joseph Haydn’s brother, Michael, and the architect of the cathedral, Santino Solari.

There are rumors that St. Peter’s Cemetery was the filming sight of the scene where the Von Trapp family hid behind the tombstones during their escape in the Sound of Music.  In actuality the scene was filmed in Hollywood but the cemetery was used as inspiration for the set.St Peters Cemetery 2 Salzburg Austria

Another interest tidbit is that the plots in the cemetery are rented which means if your relatives stop paying the rent your remains are moved to a nearby ossuary! There’s a reason to be nice to your relatives.View from Catacombs above St Peter's Cemetery Salzburg Austria

After enjoying St. Peter’s Cemetery make sure you take the stairs back in time to the Catacombs. Carved into the rock above St. Peter’s Cemetery the catacombs are worth a visit, if only for the views of Salzburg!  Be careful as you climb the very steep stairs on your way to exploring the rooms containing altars and frescoes from yesterday.  As you gaze out the windows, you will be amazed at the beautiful site unfolding before your eyes.

 

What cemeteries have you enjoyed while traveling?

An Afternoon at Augustiner Brauerei Salzburg

On the last afternoon I was in Salzburg I had the pleasure of visiting the largest beer tavern in Austria. The Augustiner Brauerei offers both a tavern (for enjoyment during bad weather) and a lovely beer garden (for those awesome summer days!).  I guess I should clarify, I did not visit the tavern but spent some relaxing time in the beer garden.Entrance Augustiner Brewery Salzburg Austria

Arriving by bus I just needed to walk across the street to find one of the best places to spend an afternoon in Salzburg! The beer garden at Augustiner Brauerei has 1,500 seats under wonderful chestnut trees.

The brewery is still partially owned by the Michaelbeuern Benedictine Monastery and if you’re lucky you’ll see some of the monks enjoying beer and conversation under the same trees!Beer Garden Augustiner Salzburg Austria

Producing over 250,000 gallons of beer annually, the beer is still drawn from wooden barrels.  Upon arriving, you will pay for a token, take a stein off the shelf and wash it before presenting it for filling.  It is a very fun experience!Augustiner Brewery Salzburg Austria

There are quite a few places to purchase food here but it is all self serve.  You are also encouraged to bring your own picnic!

This afternoon I was lucky enough to have musical entertainment while enjoying my beer. During the bands break a gentleman entertained the crowd.  I couldn’t understand a word he was saying but he must have been very funny because everyone else was laughing!Band at Augustiner Brewery Salzburg Austria

Beer Gardens are perfect way to relax while enjoying local company and customs.  I love spending time in beer gardens and highly recommend the Ausgustiner Brauerei in Salzburg!

 

These pictures are part of Travel Photo Thursday!  For more great pictures,make sure to check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there!