LAPC: The Lazy Days of Summer

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #104 is about summer. Ah, summer! My favorite season of the year! Even with the distancing measures of Covid-19, I can enjoy the summer. (Imagine if the shelter-in-place had been in the winter – we’d REALLY get cabin fever!)

Two recent photos of our senior community that represent summer:

Daisies wet from the automatic sprinklers
A vigilant mama duck keeps watch over her young offspring.

Memories of summers gone by: on this day in …

Tourism in Europe: a group of tourists in Budapest (July 8, 2019)
A summer birthday party on a friend’s patio (July 8, 2018)
A week with family in northern Wisconsin – we rented two cabins on Lower Kaubashine Lake (July 8, 2017)

Flowers in bloom everywhere:

Gardens at Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schoenbrunn Palace gardens, Vienna

In summer, people like to be in and around water.

A pool party at dusk on a hot day in August (Des Plaines, Illinois)
Drinks on a boat with friends during a late June heat wave (Amsterdam)
Traffic jam on an Amsterdam canal

One Word Sunday: Umbrella

Debbie’s Travel With Intent has a weekly photo challenge, One Word Sunday, and the word this week is umbrella. I tend to not have an umbrella when I need one (and do have one when it doesn’t rain after all), but I like this topic!

Not exactly an umbrella, but cool nevertheless! It’s part of the décor of our daughter’s “tiki bar”!
Outdoor dining in Budapest, Hungary
Europe was having a heat wave last summer, and some smart person on our tour of Wurzburg, Germany put her umbrella to good use!

Thursday Doors: Doors on My Travels

Because we’re not going anywhere right now, I have compiled a collection of doors I have photographed during recent travels for Norm’s Thursday Doors. In fact, I don’t think I’ve shared these doors before!  (Well, maybe a few of them.)

Three doors at the Louvre in Paris, France:
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Aswan, Egypt: Store fronts and stadium
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Lotus gate in Aswan
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Synagogue entrance in Jerusalem, Israel
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Church door, Vienna, Austria
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Courtyard, Vienna
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Store front, Vienna
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Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
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St. Matthias Church, Budapest, Hungary
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Budapest
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Top o’ the Morning!

I don’t usually get up early. Especially now – what’s the point? I can’t go anywhere anyway! I have a routine of getting up, getting a cup of tea (I can’t tolerate coffee anymore, although I love it), a banana and a piece of Babybel cheese, and then going to a comfortable spot to read and enjoy my morning snack. In warm weather, I like to sit on the porch and breathe the morning air. So it’s usually 10 a.m. or later before I get going with my day.

But when we travel with tour groups, we often have to get up very early, and on those occasions I do have the opportunity to appreciate the early morning, or Top o’ the morning, as the Irish say, (and in order to fit into Becky’s April Square Tops!)

So for Lens-Artists photo challenge#93 with the topic morning, I am posting some photos I took early in the morning while traveling, mostly with tours, in 2018-2019.

ON SAFARI
On safari, it’s a given to get up really early, so you can have breakfast and go on a game drive in the early morning when the animals tend to be more active. So every day, our alarm was set for 6 a.m. – when I hear that alarm tune on my husband’s tablet, I still think I’m in Tanzania!

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On the patio of our lodge at Tarangire – 6:48 a.m.

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Same exact time the next morning – what a view overlooking Tarangire National Park!

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After this beautiful sunrise in Serengeti National Park…

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…we had a picnic breakfast in the park!

DES MOINES, IOWA
My husband tends to wake up really early whenever we’re sleeping somewhere away from home. Sometimes he wakes me up too. Here we got a great photo overlooking the river toward downtown Des Moines. You can see the capitol building in the distance!

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From Best Western hotel room window, 7:12 a.m. in late September

EGYPT
We were in Egypt in the winter, so I often captured the rising sun between 8 and 9 a.m.!

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The Great Pyramid of Giza, at 9:46 a.m.

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View from our hotel room at the Sofitel Winter Palace in Luxor, 6:53 a.m.

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We took a 5-day cruise up the Nile, in an Egyptian style dahabeya. This type of boat doesn’t have a motor – it’s towed by tug or unfurls its sails, but because of this, we couldn’t travel at night. We docked at Besaw Island one night, and in the morning, the trees were golden in the light of the rising sun, at 6:58 a.m.

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At the end of the five-day cruise, we had arrived at Aswan, where we had to disembark. We had a long day ahead, so I took this shot at 6:24 a.m. at the breakfast table on board.

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The next morning, we were at a rustic lodge in Abu Simbel, where I took this photo from the patio, with a view of several islands on this part of the Nile. Since the Aswan High Dam was built, this part of the Nile is now a lake. 6:57 a.m.

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This was part of our view from Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan (where Agatha Christie wrote her famous mystery, Death on the Nile) at 7:20 a.m.

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At 6:22 a.m. the next morning, we were already on a bus which would take us to the Aswan airport, to fly back to Cairo.

ISRAEL
In order to cram as many sites as possible into one day, our tour company in Israel required us to be on the bus no later than 7:30. So we got up at 6 a.m. every morning, and went downstairs to breakfast between 6:30 and 7:00.

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We were on the road already when I took this photo of the Sea of Galilee receiving rays from the early morning sun, at 7:52 a.m. in early January 2019.

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The next day, I took this photo at 6:57 a.m. from our hotel room overlooking Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, before we went down to breakfast.

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We traveled south toward the Dead Sea, seen here between 7 and 8 a.m.

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We were in Jerusalem for the last few days of the tour. This is at the Church of All Nations, at 7:50 a.m. We explored the outside first, and were allowed inside at 8:00.

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Only a few of the faithful are at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to say their prayers at 8:05 a.m. The women’s section is more crowded because it is a lot smaller.

EUROPE
On our European cruise last summer, we only had to get up very early a couple of days. Usually, we’d wake up and go out on the balcony of our stateroom.

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I must have had insomnia, because I took this photo as we were cruising into Vienna at 3:56 a.m. in early July!

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The sun was full up on this cloudy day when I took this photo. It was 8:55 a.m. and I was getting my first look at Budapest just before our ship docked!

Although when I’m home, I stay up late (I’m writing this after midnight! – I’m late, sorry, Becky!) and get up late the next morning, when we travel, even on days we don’t have to get up early, we usually do because we are excited! I cherish these last trips we took before the quarantine put a stop to my planning for the next trip, scheduled for this month! But we won’t be stuck at home forever, and I look forward to more adventures soon!

 

 

 

 

April Squares Day 19: Spires & an Un-Spire

HURRAY! I am back on my blog after being AWOL for two days! I had technical difficulties and it took the computer tech more than 24 hours to fix it. So I am at the TOP of my world!  Oh, speaking of top…

I’ve missed a few days of Becky’s April Squares with the topic top, so I’m going to post several photos. I happen to have several photos of the tops of European churches from our trip to France and river cruise in 2019, so here goes…

Most of the photos are of church spires, but my first photo is, sadly, a beautiful cathedral that lost its spires to fire last year: Notre Dame in Paris. Look on the right side of the photo, stare at the clouds and imagine the spires!  We visited only a couple of months after the fire, so we were not even able to go inside at that time. I would love to visit when it has been reconstructed and looks magnificent!
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The cathedral in Bayeux, France…this cathedral built in the Middle Ages was the original home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which recounts the story of the Norman (France) invasion of England.
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We stopped in Bayeux on our way to Mont St.-Michel, which had been on my bucket list for several years. Here is the tippy-top of the abbey spire.
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Really, when one tours Europe, one is amazed at the number of churches/cathedrals – every city has one! Here is the top of the cathedral in Würzburg, Germany – the cross on its steeple is lovely!DSC01384 Wurzburg
Next is Bamberg, Germany, with more beautiful crosses on top.
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What I like about this one, in Nuremburg, Germany, are all the mini spires decorating the roof, and especially, the clock!
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I must soon post the photos I have of this lovely church in Budapest, Hungary – St. Matthias. Inside, it is very colorful and elaborate, but the roof of this church, with its colorful tiles forming geometric designs is also eye-catching!
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Tuesday Photo Challenge: Travel 2019

Last year we were able to do quite a bit of traveling abroad. For Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge this week the theme is travel. He says: As most of use are not traveling at the moment, it might be nice to travel virtually through our various blogs and share some of those enjoyed moments with each other. So, let’s share some of those wonderful places that we have visited in this week’s challenge!

How could I resist my favorite topic? And of course, I couldn’t pick just one photo, but these are a few highlights of our Travel 2019.

January: Egypt
Light show at Abu Simbel
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January: Israel
The most meaningful place for me was the Garden of Gethsemane. This garden is full of centuries old olive trees, including one that was around when Jesus came here to pray on the night of his betrayal.
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June: Paris
This is just a colorful shop that sells flowers (among other things) en route to the Sacre Coeur Church in Montmartre.
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Bayeux, France: The cathedral in Bayeux is a lovely Gothic structure with beautiful stained glass windows. This is one of them.
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June: Amsterdam – Our second trip to Amsterdam in just over a year. The weather in June is definitely better than January but there are a lot more tourists in June! The owner of our Airbnb took us on a private boat tour of the canals and harbor on a hot Sunday afternoon.
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Later that day, we took our son to our favorite poffertjes place in Amsterdam – Die Vier Pilaren.
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After a week and a half in France and four days in Amsterdam, we went on a river cruise – our first!
June: On the Rhine River in Germany
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July: Our last port on the river cruise was Budapest. I love this classic view!
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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Leading Lines

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #80 is about leading lines. Leading lines are one of the “rules” of composition: There are indeed “rules” of photographic composition, which like many other rules, are made to be broken. Whatever their skill level or experience though, understanding and knowing when to use the “rules” of composition can be helpful for any photographer. This week, our challenge will explore a key compositional element, Leading Lines. …Leading lines carry our eye through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. They create a visual journey from one part of an image to another and can be helpful for creating depth as well.

This is how I spent the last two Junes, 2018 and 2019.

Our road trip (mostly) on Route 66: Sedona and Winslow, AZ
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We visited the Painted Desert, too: first, horizontal lines.
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Undulating formations which slope downward.
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In Santa Fe, colorful pillars…
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and a souvenir shop with paintings lined up along a counter.DSC_0626
When on Route 66, here’s a sight not to miss: Cadillac Ranch. It had rained the night before.

A year later, we were on a river cruise in Europe. One of the first ports of call was Cologne, Germany with its famed cathedral, with stained glass windows reaching toward heaven…
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…and soaring arches decorated with sculptures of saints.
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Later we crossed the bridge to return to our ship. The inner side of the bridge is covered with “love locks” – padlocks people leave in honor of their sweethearts. They stretch on as far as the eye can see!
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Next stop was Marksburg Castle, which afforded beautiful views of the Rhein River and town below (I wish I could photoshop that pole out, but I don’t have the software).
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And here’s a different view: a steeple rises up as seen through a turret.
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Marksburg is definitely a “must” on any Rhine River cruise. It’s like a fairy tale castle!
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Farther on down the river, a swan swam over near our ship.
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We were passing through a lowland area.
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I loved the small town of Miltenberg, which was so picturesque!
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Inside a church, hymnals were stacked neatly in the narthex. One is drawn to the word Gotteslob, which perhaps means hymnal.
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Our final stop on the cruise was Budapest, Hungary. A memorable part of the day we were there was a walking tour through the old Jewish Quarter.
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