Monthly Archives: April 2016

Sadly, my trip is almost finished

IMG_20160430_170143So I have been doing some power touristing in Vienna. I bought a two day Vienna Pass which gets you the hop on/off bus plus numerous museums. Yesterday I visited:IMG_20160429_104057The MAK museum of decorarive art and did two routes of the hop on/off bus.IMG_20160429_145117I also went to the Votive church, which for some inexplicable reason has weird coloured lights on the alter section.IMG_20160429_161044…and the museum of natural history which, amongst other things, has an extensive meteorite collection.IMG_20160430_121218Today was even fuller, starting with a visit to the art history museum. As well as a fine collection of paintings, they have an exceptional collection of decorative objects, which left me awestruck by the craftmanship.IMG_20160430_130328This was followed by a visit to the Leopold museum. After 5 solid hours of art galleries, I took the hop on bus.IMG_20160430_170328…to the world heritage site. Schonbrunn Palace and gardens. This is a picture of the Belvedere, the picture at the top of the post is the actual palace, as seen from this building.The tour of the actual palace was impressive. So were the grounds. IMG_20160430_164551I was already dead tired at this point so I took the silly tourist train through the gardens.IMG_20160430_185844And if that wasn’t enough, I cued up for half an hour to buy a standing room ticket for the opera. I gave myself permission to leave before the end, fearing I might collapse if I didn’t.

Lovely little Lichtenstein

IMG_20160426_110929I took a short walk in the train station area of Innsbruck before heading out.IMG_20160427_090836We got to Feldkirch, Austria yesterday and we are staying in the youth hostel. It is a building that was used as a leper/plague sanitorium in the late 1300’s.IMG_20160427_102447Today we bought a day ticket on the Lichtenstein bus service. Screenshot_20160427-111402We overshot our stop and ended up going through and into Switzerland accidentally before turning round.IMG_20160427_115133On the way back we stopped in Vaduz, Lichtenstein and walked around a bit. Lichtensten is lovely, full of mountain views, but it is quite built up and super expensive. We didn’t visit the castle you can see on the cliff above the building in the foreground. Charles is a bit castled out and I was happy enough not to bother myself.

OMG it’s the alps

IMG_20160425_181738Have I mentioned lately how much I love to travel?IMG_20160425_143326Spending a day swiching from train to bus to train with easy connections. Hearing the announcer say ‘Kitzbuhel’ and realizing this is where they ski on tv.IMG_20160425_094821Having a couple of hours to kill in a town that ends up being super pretty.IMG_20160425_094521With really random statues.IMG_20160425_134553Rolling past mountains and lakes and rivers and streams. And ending up in Innsbruck with a half hour walk to the hostel, and seeing mountains through every break between buildings and breathing the famously crisp mountain air.

Bled, Slovenia

IMG_20160424_061153We came to Bled yesterday, separately. I went down to Postojna first. Charles came directly from Ljubljana. This morning. I woke up at dawn, so I went for a walk around the lake. I always try for at least one dawn per trip. It has taken me a month! I love how quiet it is, and the changing light.IMG_20160424_064356Just me and the swans.IMG_20160424_064909There is a castle (of course) on a hill overlooking the lake.IMG_20160424_093430Charles and I went up this morning.IMG_20160424_095115There is a nice view down to the lake.IMG_20160424_095419It has a nice little chapel.IMG_20160424_095730With frescoes from 1700.IMG_20160424_105424On my way back to the hostel, I stopped at the Supermarket. It looks nothing like Loblaws.

Holy caves, Batman!

IMG_20160422_143316Yesterday we went to Skocjan cave, Slovenia, another world heritage site. It is a huge cavern, well over 100 meters high in places, very majestic. It has the river running through the bottom of the gorge. They take themselves very seriously and there is no photography allowed inside the cave. This picture was taken looking at the mouth of the cave from outside.IMG_20160423_111330Today I went to a whole different kind of cave experience, Postojna Jama (cave). It has a train running through the first two kilometers, then a 1.7 km walk, and back on the train.IMG_20160423_110018It has pretty over the top decoration and if you didn’t know it was real, you wouldn’t believe it.IMG_20160423_110150Everywhere you look are stalactites, stalagmites, pillars and curtains.IMG_20160423_101252I have been to a lot of caves in a lot of places and this ine was right up there.IMG_20160423_103551

Ljubljana, Slovenia

IMG_20160422_174713I was taken with a similar picture to this in my guidebook so went to Ljubljana Castle today to see it for myself.IMG_20160422_145157Of course I sprung the extra $3 for the funicular ride up and down.IMG_20160422_191758The center of Ljubljana is full of pretty buildings covered in fiddly bits.IMG_20160421_173825The light wasn’t good but I loved this one that was decaying a bit and had flowering bourganvilla (sp?) growing up the front.IMG_20160421_172615The symbol of the city is the dragon, seen here on one of the bridges across the river.IMG_20160421_171242I could have shown pictures of tons of buildings as nice as this–gotta love Europe!

Daytrip…Plitzvice lakes

IMG_20160420_123018We spent 5 hours on the bus and 5 hours at the World Heritage site park. It was a lovely day. Perfectly doable and easy. The bus from Zagreb lets you off and picks you up at the park gates with plenty if time to see everything.
IMG_20160420_120609We walked to the boat launch (boat ride included in $22 cdn entry fee). Ten minute boatride across the bottom lake.IMG_20160420_150803The park is a series of lakes connected by falling water.IMG_20160420_131632There is this fabulous series of board walks which lead you up and around the lakes and on top of cascades if water.IMG_20160420_131745There is falling water everywhere and the sound of it is deafening at times.IMG_20160420_121909The roar disappears into silence as you walk around the lakes.IMG_20160420_122808There were way more people than I like to deal with near the bottom, but it wasn’t too bad on the walk up. I bet it is a zoo in the summer.IMG_20160420_135337There was a free bus to take you back down. We actually finished what was supposed to take 4-6 hours in three, then sat around waiting for the bus back to town.

Back in Croatia – Zagreb

IMG_20160419_121640We got to Zagreb after a seven hour bus ride late yesterday afternoon. IMG_20160419_122313Today we took the self guided walking tour of the upper town.IMG_20160419_130059Here I am outside St. Mark’s cathedral.
IMG_20160419_132131We had climbed up the hill and at one point were rewarded with a lovely view of the lower town.IMG_20160419_134524I couldn’t resist taking a ride up and down on the shortest funicular in the world.IMG_20160419_140420And I made my trip to foriegn McDonalds. This time it was roasted baby potatoes as the local entry.IMG_20160419_140625

Sarajevo..20 years later

IMG_20160417_151945Twin towers. The 16th century mosque minaret and the clock tower which shows dusk as midnight.IMG_20160417_114104Sarajevo was under seige from 92-95. This is the city hall where the university library was. A plaque on the front says 2 million books were burned by the serbs in 92.IMG_20160416_124347We have been wandering around for a couple if days. Yesterday we went to the war museum. IMG_20160416_124234This is the Catholic cathedral outside.IMG_20160416_124106and inside.

Mostar and on to Sarajevo, Bosnia

IMG_20160415_090941This is Stari Most, the Old Bridge of Mostar. It was destroyed in the Bosnian war, then subsequently rebuilt.IMG_20160415_090549Mostar has a nice old section and as we wandered round, the (ex) quilter in me was captivated by the patterns in the cobblestones.IMG_20160415_091307I have seen this sort of thing before, but there is always a slightly different take.IMG_20160415_091425There was a nice view off the bridge.IMG_20160415_092622We crossed the little crooked bridge to get yet a different angleIMG_20160415_093316After our walk we got on a bus for Sarajevo. We are cooling our heels for three nights here, at Charles’s request.