Posts tagged ‘europe’

September 20, 2011

A Roman Holiday, part 1

I got to spend 11 days in Rome, and enjoyed exploring around the vast city that has been home to so much civilization and culture.

Rome has everything from quiet gardens around the Villa Borghese…

borghese gardens.

…and ancient ruins from the Roman Empire…

forum romanum.

…to modern iconic Italian vespas, political flags, accordions, music….

vespa.
accordian.

There are so many facets of Rome, an ancient place where so much history and so many influences have left their mark. I can’t wait to share more photos of some different aspects of the city. : )

September 7, 2011

Sights and Sounds of Florence

I got to spend one Saturday in Florence, Italy – a city steeped in the history of art, music, politics, and Italian culture.

In the pedestrian streets around Florence’s famous art galleries, every square foot is filled with musicians and souvenir reproductions of famous paintings for sale….

Uffizi courtyard.

Walking through the city, there are pops of color and ornate architectural details all around you. You’re embraced by the legacy of inspiration that once surrounded da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and so many other artists….

biciclettanatural split screen.

There’s something surreal to the changes of colors in the city throughout the day. In the early, misty morning, Florence’s famous bridge, the Ponte Vecchi, was cool and indistinct….

bridging the Arno River.

…but by the warmer afternoon, the shops and walls along the bridge had changed into their famous palette of warm yellows, greens, and oranges….Ponte Vecchi

Florence had a very Italian feel, and it was awe-inspiring to be in the birthplace of so many famous works of art. : )

August 20, 2011

Hiking along the Italian Coast

I shared a few photos from our hike through Cinque Terre, Italy here. The seaside, the views – it’s lovely. : )

seaside.

We started out early in the day by grabbing some fruit at one of the small streetside markets….

snacks.
Our hike wound along the coast of the Mediterranean through 5 towns, some vineyards, and natural cliffs. In the middle of one orchard, we came across an Italian man selling fresh lemonade to hikers….

homemade.

fresh lemonade.

For lunch, we stopped in the harbor of one of the towns with some grab-and-go pizza….

lunch.

Throughout the hike, we overheard people talking in all different languages – Italian, English, German, French, and more. It was an interesting mélange of people from all different places – all come to enjoy the Italian coast….

hilltop.

Everyone we passed would say “excuse me” in a different language. Scusi, permesso, entschuldigung, pardon…

vista.

Cinque Terre is famous for its beautiful scenery and seaside hikes, but its mixture of different visitors makes for a really unique atmosphere, too. : )

August 17, 2011

One Tuesday at Cinque Terre, Italy

In April, I got to spend my spring break – 11 days – in Italy. The trip was rich with history, culture, and especially food. : )

We spent most of our time in Rome, but made this day trip out to Cinque Terre for some beautiful hiking along the Italian coast.

riomaggiore.

seaside.
This hiking area is full of sweeping views, crisp and salty Mediterranean air, seaside life…

perch.
The main hiking trail also takes you through 5 small coastal Italian towns, where you find your way through small, winding, complex Italian alleys….

street.

Interesting architecture and inspiring personal touches accent the walls and streets throughout each of the towns…

mixed media.
italian.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about some of the food we came across as well as the atmosphere of our hike! See you then. : )

August 3, 2011

In and Around Karlštejn Castle

A couple of weeks ago, I took a day trip out from Prague to Karlštejn. The small town is just a short train ride away through some of the Czech countryside, and the vibe is so different from the bustle of the capital.

The views around Karlštrejn are so scenic and calm….

calm waters.

czech countryside.

Along one of the main streets of town, everyone has a driveway like this:

driveway.

That main street connects to a moderate hiking path up a hill that leads to Karlštejn’s famous 14th century Gothic castle….

castle.

I really enjoyed the walk up to the top of the hill with its picturesque views!

royal view.

At the castle, I took a 2 hour English tour explaining the history of the place and the old royal families, but no photos were allowed inside. The whole place is full of historic relics, royal portraits, twisting paths and staircases.

staircase.

Back down in the village after the tour, people were out enjoying the breezy weather. The whole town has a relaxed and unhurried feeling, perfect for a short day trip.

bike ride.

I loved getting a chance to see some of the Czech countryside and the old castle. : )

July 28, 2011

Walking through Prague

I had a couple of days off work this week, and I spent the extra free time wandering the streets of Prague. I love taking in the city by exploring and meandering. : )

Today, I started my walk near the Vltava River….

cafe.

The restaurants along this part of the riverside have a great view of the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.

restaurant with a view.

Later, I tried this traditional Czech/Slovak bread. It’s a good, quick snack – perfect for my walk. I loooved the taste of cinnamon.

czech bread.

Then I walked up and down these streets, near the castle…

one way.
downhill.

…where I came across this bakeshop selling goodies through the window!

windowsill.

Where did you walk today? : )

July 27, 2011

Hungarian Architecture

I am so honored to be Freshly Pressed! Thank you to WordPress and to you blog readers – so exciting! I love reading all your comments – so uplifting to hear your memories of Budapest, your plans to visit. This city has made such an impact on us all. : )

A few final words about my Hungary visit – I was so struck by the inspirational architecture around every corner! Every street looks different, every building has its own personality.

From shingled roofs and old, colorful buildings…

curbside.

…to bright, vivid paint…yellow.

…and beautiful patterns…

patterns.

…or even purple accents and highlights…
color accents.

… and the soaring marble of St. Stephen’s Basilica.
overview.

dome.

The interplay of colors and attention to architectural detail – both inside and outside the buildings – is fabulous. I could walk up and down the same street 10 times and notice something new with every pass. : )

July 20, 2011

A Central European Road Trip

I just got back in Prague earlier today after a business trip to Budapest, Hungary. I’m in love with Budapest itself, and the road trip getting there was great, too!

From Prague to Budapest is about a 5 hour drive – across the Czech Republic, through Slovakia, and into Hungary.

From the road along the way, we could see large clusters of old Soviet-constructed buildings around the outskirts of cities. These are outside Brno, Czech Republic….

soviet structures.
The Soviets’ theory was to build uniform apartment buildings so everyone would be equal, but today it’s an odd feeling to pass so many identical buildings.

We stopped to refuel in Slovakia, in the midst of vast cornfields….
sky over slovakia.

At one point, we could see Austria and it’s windmills in the distance….
austrian windmills.
Coming into Hungary, we passed through an old, mostly untended border checkpoint. Because of the open border policies of the Schengen Agreement, this disused border station is falling into disrepair.
open border.

The road trip across part of Central Europe was a great way to see some of the countryside here. : )

July 19, 2011

Standing There in Budapest

Just a quick update…

I’ve been working in Budapest, Hungary for a couple of days – this city is great! I really love it.

When I get back to Prague, I’ll have more time to show you some more photos – but until the big reveal, here’s some sneak-peak photos of where I’ve been walking. : )

budapesti.

In front of St. Stephen’s Basilica…
rim.

fell.

There was an onslaught of rain tonight! I ran through Budapest in the rain to get back to the tram that would bring me home, and took this photo inside the tram….
rain.
I’ll get back to Prague tomorrow evening. Stay tuned for more! : )

July 12, 2011

Still Kickin’

It’s been super busy this past week, and a lot has happened!

First, my Kindle broke. Then my iPod semi-broke. To keep the theme going, I broke my sunglasses… and after that my Internet went out.

So! Now I’m blogging from a cafe with WiFi in one of the malls here in Prague. The malls here seem taller than the ones at home – they’re usually around 4 or 5 floors. This way, they’ll fit better with the compact European buildings.

palladium.

Also, over the weekend I made it back over to Germany – to Munich! It was great to visit the country again after studying there last semester. : )

Part of the Münchner way of life is enjoying the outdoors, and Munich’s streets are dominated by outdoor cafes, traditional biergartens, and random picnic tables….

a Münchner way of life.

In Munich, I came across my fave German candy that I can’t seem to find anywhere outside Germany.

duplo.

I bought 5 boxes on my way back to Prague – stockpiling. ; D

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