Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tasty train food

Not a lot of time today, but wanted to show off an example of an excellent train picnic. Chocolate, beer, and a leberkase sandwich. Leberkase is a tasty blend of beef and pork that is usually sliced and served warm from streetside booths. Yummmm.

Monday, October 24, 2005

More craftiness

In a continuation of my wreath theme, I put this one together for the guest room. Up close, it has a dried, faded flower look that I like.
The guest room with the addition of the wreath. I hope to build a picket fence style headboard this winter after the garden is put to rest.
I recently found a book giving instructions on how to knit teddy bears. Here is my first attempt. The pen is there just to give you a size reference.
Here's a close up of his face. He's so cute! Handmade teddy bears may become my new standard baby gift.

Austrian photographs - not photographs of Austrians

This fountain was around the corner from our hotel in Salzburg. What a wonderful site to walk past every evening!

Fabulous summer palace and gardens in Salzburg.
The clock tower in Graz. The hour and minute hands are reversed.

Tasty Austrian breads in Graz.
For anyone who doesn't know him, C. is a certifiable coffee freak. Thus, the classic Viennese coffee house.

Friday, October 21, 2005

More pics of Rome

One of the great halls in the Vatican museum. Our necks were a bit sore after this museum visit.

The Romans weren't vain at all. This little sign was found in the Roman Forum basically declaring Rome the birthplace of civilized life.

The Mouth of Truth. Very cool....seen formerly in the movie "Roman Holiday. They think it may have once been a drain cover in the street. Rumor has it if you tell a lie with your hand in the mouth, the mouth will clamp down on your hand forever.

Monday, October 17, 2005

More roads to Rome

We took an overnight train to Rome. What a big, overwhelming city. There was so much to see and so much history on top of history. We went to a church that was built on top of another church and that was built on an ancient temple which was on top of a burial ground. Here are a few pictures to get you started.

We spent a good chunk of time walking to the top of one of Rome's seven hills. There were a lot of monasteries and cloisters up there. We found this cool building. Look below to see it.
Cool building, but what is that guy doing? Let's take a closer look, shall we?

A closeup of the door and its tiny little keyhole. C tells me this building is owned by the same group who went off on the Crusades a long, long time ago.

Peaking through the keyhole.
An awesome view of the Vatican (technically the dome on St. Peter's cathedral)
on the other side of that keyhole!

The Trevi Fountain. When I was here before, it was the end of February and there were no crowds. This time, even at the beginning of the shoulder season, this square was mobbed with tourists, cheesy vendors, and pickpockets. We managed to get close enough to throw our coins in...Thus guaranteeing our return in the future.

We looooove gelato! Braum's will always be first in my heart when I'm stateside, but real Italian gelato has it beat hands down. On the left is hazelnut and on the right is dark chocolate.

In the beginning...there was Paris

After a super long overnight flight to Paris, we decided to hang out for a day or so to get our bearings and walk off the jet lag. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and slightly cool. Here are a couple more photos in addition to the ones below.
A grotesque, not a gargoyle, on the side of Notre Dame. Gargoyles function as downspouts. Grotesques are purely decorative in a, err, grotesque manner.
The back side of Notre Dame with all of its flying buttresses

New Toy

As you probably know, on my recent Europe trip I ended up having major camera issues. First I broke my camera and then it was stolen on our Paris to Rome train. Today, I replaced it with a wonderful new piece of equipment. Check out the intial results below. I'm quite pleased with it
I like the contrast of the lavender flowers with the white leaves.
My lavender dahlias are doing fabulous now that the weather has cooled off a bit.
I've been feeling crafty lately and broke out the trusty glue gun. This wreath is the result.

Photos from the trip

C. was here this weekend and I was able to download photos from our trip. They are not organized and not edited, but I figure there are at least a couple of people chomping at the bit to see proof of our escapades.

I love the lighting in this picture. Our first evening in Paris was gorgeous and warm. We're looking south towards the Eiffel tower and the Left Bank. The other photo is detail from the tower itself.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Home at Last

We did return relatively unscathed last Saturday night after enduring French airport hell. My recommendation...If you can avoid any Paris airport, do! C had Monday off for the holiday, but I had to immediately go back to work. Hopefully, we'll get our pictures downloaded and sorted this weekend so I can post a few.

I have some gorgeous lavender asters and dahlias blooming right now. I would love to post pics but some heathen stole my (broken) camera off the train to Rome. I think that's an excellent excuse to get a new and improved device. Anyone have any favorites they can recommend?

As for our trip, I must say that Europe is much tastier when one can afford more than bread and oranges to eat whilst traveling. We had lots of fabulous Austrian food and I'm currently searching for a good cookbook so I can have an all out Austrian feast right here. Strangely enough, I already have a spaetzl maker so I'm good on that front. We had a very bizarre dining experience in Paris. La Cucaracha was highly recommended by the guidebook...Nevertheless, we should have been more wary of Mexican food in France. My beef burrito was bland, but tasty. Mexican rice consisted of white rice and corn. The beans were plain old red beans with a bit of cheese melted on top. C's enchiladas with mole sauce were spectacularly bizarre. Mole sauce should be relatively spicy since it is predominantly various roasted chilies with a splash of unsweetened chocolate. What was on C's plate was not spicy and could have been used as a dessert sauce. Yes, you read that correctly. C really had enchiladas with hot fudge sauce. He was so sated with chocolate that I didn't get dessert that night. Oh well.. The beer and the salsa were tasty and oh so worth their inflated cost.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Hills are Alive....

We are now in Salzburg. We had a quick half day trip to Vienna after leaving Rome before we headed to Graz. C wanted to see where I had hidden during our second year of college. The place has changed a lot in the past 10 or so years.

Now, we are in a rainy, chilly Salzburg. Our plan is to gorge on Mozartkugeln and Sturm. More on that later....