Belgium, briefly

architecture, Photography, Portraits, Street, Travel

Above: A duo poses for a picture in front of Manneken Pis, a tiny bronze statue of a young boy urinating. I like taking pictures of people taking pictures, this one has a quite comical element. August 10, 2014.

Not an awful lot to say in this post, was only briefly in Belgium. I will say that Manneken Pis, a small statue of a young boy urinating, is far too popular.

The amount of people around and photographing the statue in the heart of Brussels is baffling. I almost feel bad contributing to the hysteria by posting three photos of the statue. I’ll admit, it is kind of cute, and the figure is often dressed in different costumes – which is probably charming. But with that said, I still don’t understand the draw of this little character.



Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.

Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.

The Atomium - design to resemble an atom - was built for the World Exposition of 1958.

The Atomium – design to resemble an atom – was built for the World Exposition of 1958.


Mittenwald, Bavaria: Part One

architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Sports, Travel

Above: Alps rise just north of the German-Austrian border. The winding road leads to the summer house of Kind Ludvig II, whose main castle I featured in an earlier post. Photographed August 6, 2013.

Mittenwald is a small village in the German state of Bavaria. It’s situated on the German Alps and shares a border with Austria. A friend of mine lives there, so it was a few-day stop while traveling in Europe.

Mountains are a high-hop and quick-skip away. Architecture follows strict guidelines. Ski hills and mountain bikes are popular pastimes. There’s more to come from Mittenwald.

Fairytale castles and grand views in Bavaria

architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Travel

Above: Neuschwanstein Castle, in Bavaria, southern Germany, sits on a hill high above farmland, lakes and small villages. 

Neuschwanstein was the castle of “Mad” King Ludvig II, a reclusive Bavarian King. It’s not an ancient castle like many situated throughout Europe. Construction began in 1869, and Ludvig never saw it’s completion, he died a suspicious death one day after being disposed of the throne. Immediately after the castle was opened to the public for tours, and can now accommodate 6,000 people a day. 

The castle has played a role in everything from Disney movies to a storage house and retreat for Nazi SS. It sits on a dramatic hill, overlooking Ludvig’s father’s castle, sprawling farms and bodies of water. Fussen, Bavaria, is the closest town.

A hill behind the castle offers the most dramatic views.


On the move – more road trip iPhone

architecture, Iphone, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Post

I’ve been posting photos from  a recent road trip, which fits perfectly with the weekly photo challenge, “on the move.” This iteration is going to travel a large distance, between Vancouver, BC and the Oregon coast.

All the pictures show movement somehow – often other people in their daily routine dotted throughout pictures.

So here’s round three of  iPhone pictures. I also find my iPhone is very handy while on the move – small, very quick to access camera and also very quick to share. Soon I’ll be back to my posts about Europe.

Schaffhuasen, Switzerland

architecture, Photography, Travel

Above: The Rhine River bisects the town of Schaffhausen, in northern Switzerland.

Been a long time since my last post, was on a road trip I will soon be posting photos of. But back to blogging!

Schaffhausen is a small town, about 35,000 people, bisected by the river Rhine in Northern Switzerland. A circular 16th century fortification called the Munot is one of the main attractions in town and offers great Switzerland cityscapes.

Spent one night in Schaffhausen before heading to Germany. I (re)learned a valuable lesson at the train station: know when the camera is on manual or automatic focus. Needles to say the picture is 100 percent not in focus, and will not be shown.

On a hot day the shade and cold, damp stone of the Munot provided fantastic relief. Skylights lit chambers inside, outside sprawling roofs showcased Switzerland architecture.

A walk through Teufen, Switzerland

architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Street, Travel

Above: Rolling hills occupied with farm houses and fields weave toward the Swiss Alps, July 24, 2013.

On the northern edge of the Swiss Alps, Teufen is one of many small villages situated along a rail line and parallel two-lane highway.  Quaint sights were common while walking the main road. Farms, fields, flowers and felines, mountains, meteorological stations, clouds and signs all spoke of Switzerland. 

Directly off the train a colorful sign post and Lambrecht Polymeter, a hygrometer-thermometer instrument that can measure humidity, dew-point temperature, saturation temperature and partial pressure of water vapor. 

Click on any image to view in carousel. 

A short walk was abound with great sights.

Beautiful Burgundy Bike – Sunset Scenery

architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Sports, Street, Travel

Above: A tree silhouetted amongst wheat fields at sunset, Bourgognes region, France. 

It’s time for the third and final installment of the bike through Bourgognes region of france. Part One portrayed some of the many small villages and vast vineyards. Part Two  took a closer look at some of the facades of rural French architecture. Today we’ll take another look at Rochepot Castle, some dramatic scenery during a stunning sunset, and a  few more looks at grape vines. 

Unfortunately my Alaskan blood deals poorly with warm temperatures. The three liters of water I took was insufficient for 22 miles, and by the end I didn’t have any fluids to sweat out. The result was a suspected case of heat shock. All in all nothing too serious, does make me glad we waited to start the bike until afternoon when it was cooling off, rather then heating up in the morning. 

Beautiful Burgundy Bike – Facades

architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Portraits, Street, Travel

Above: Château de la Rochepot perched above Rochepot village. Parts of the castle date from the 13th century.

Believe it or not Château de la Rochepot is for sale – complete with drawbridge and barbican! The real estate listing has a lot interesting information and awesome photos, especially the meticulous tile roof. I would like to own a castle.

It’s time for Beautiful Burgundy Region Bike Ride – part two. Part one started us on a bike path leaving Beaune, Bourgognes. The 22-mile bike wound through beaucoup villages and vineyards on a hot and hazy July 17, 2013.

Fantastic architecture abound, culture seamlessly blended with scenery, and rolling hills like tides continually changed perspectives. 

Beautiful Burgundy Region Bike Ride – part one.

architecture, Landscapes, Photography, Travel

Above: Vineyards near and far in the Saint-Aubin town of Bourgognes, France. 

The bike left from Beaune, Bourgognes region of France, on a scalding July 17, 2013 – perhaps high eighties by early afternoon. But it was très beau! Blue doors on brick houses, vineyards near and far, wheat fields, and small towns continually supervened by smaller towns – even one with a castle. 

This is part one-of-three and it it only gets better. So please, stay tuned. 

Cool blues and greens on the brick house contrasted the hot mid-July temperatures.

Cool blues and greens on the brick house contrasted the hot mid-July temperatures.

This brick house comes complete with a creek.

This brick house comes complete with a creek.

On a very smooth bike path. One of many small towns in the background.

On a very smooth bike path. One of many small towns in the background.

Beaune, France.

architecture, Arts, Black & White, Landscapes, Photography, Travel

Above: Chatting on church steps at sunset. Beaune, France.

Tucked away in Burgendy region, southeast of Paris, is the peaceful small town of Beaune. Fantastic food and wine may be Beaune’s mainstay – they are both salubrious – but the proximity to vineyards, vistas, and ancient architecture offer adventure galore. One of the most enjoyable days in Europe was spent bicycling 22 miles on smooth, paved paths through the small villages surrounding Beaune. I will feature that in a future post.

Today is a brief overview of Beaune.