Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the theme rusty or decayed.
CFFC: Fighter Planes of WWII
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is anything having to do with jets and planes.
In Normandy, France, we visited the Overlord Museum near Omaha Beach. The Overlord Museum has displays and dioramas including a variety of equipment used by both the Allies and the Nazis during D-Day and the subsequent month-long battle of Normandy, in which the Allies succeeded in pushing back the Nazis to liberate the north of France.
Operation Overlord (code name for the D-Day invasion) was a tricky operation that was difficult to coordinate due to the complexity and variety of troops and equipment, the expanse of the beach heads, the different countries and companies involved, and the need to catch the enemy by surprise. Paratroopers (the first to deploy) jumped from planes and drifted far off course. Heavy equipment like tanks and trucks had to be unloaded sometimes in 4 feet of water and then brought up cliffs. Of course, the Germans soon realized what was happening so that all this was taking place under fire. They had also put up barriers and mines along the beaches.
Each part of the operation was timed, coordinated by generals far from the beaches. After the naval ships were in position and ground troops on the beach, fighter jets flew overhead to provide cover for the men below, dropping bombs onto Nazi bunkers and strongholds.
We spent three days in San Diego after our Panama Canal cruise a few years ago. The first day we visited the USS Midway Museum. The USS Midway was another World War II relic – a huge aircraft carrier which saw action in the Pacific, and there was a lot to see.
RDP: Thingamajig or Whatchamacallit
Ragtag’s Daily Prompt word today is thingamajig. It is a word we’ve always used (or one like it) when we don’t know or remember the name of something. I looked up the word to see how it would be defined:
Merriam-Webster has a good, concise definition: something that is hard to classify or whose name is unknown or forgotten.
I found the synonyms amusing: dingus, doodad, doohickey, hickey, thingamabob, thingummy, whatchamacallit, whatnot, whatsit (also whatsis or what-is-it)
I am often at a loss for words, so I’m likely to use thingamajig or one of its synonyms more often than most people. However, as I looked in my photo archives, I did find some objects that defied definition or name. These are some of them.
The Bottle Tree Ranch in California, on Route 66, is full of thingamajigs, doodads, and whatchamacallits. In fact, I think that is its entire reason for being. Lots of weird, rusty machine parts that I have no clue as to what they are even used for…
More such things are on display at the Overlord Museum at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. If your thing is machines used in war, this is the place to visit.
There was a lot of chaos on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as these displays attest to, so it’s only to be expected to find plenty of hoojiggies (another synonym!) there. I trust that the men who were using these pieces of machinery had better vocabulary about them than I do!
Enough of broken machine parts! What would you call this so-called piece of art, on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam?
(Yeah, me neither, but scary, for sure…)
But – saving the best for last – I had to take a photograph of this weird whatchamacallit I spotted along a sidewalk in Chicago. I have no idea why it’s there or what it’s used for. (The water bottle adds a nice touch, though! At least it can be used to set things down on, and then forget them!)
If anyone can clarify what this thingamajig is, I’d be interested to find out!
A few years ago, we took a 3-day trip to Indianapolis and a nearby town, Columbus, Indiana, which had a variety of architectural styles. Columbus has a walking tour you can take on your own to see these architectural marvels. We started out doing the tour but my husband got bored so we just wandered around. We came to a company that made engines. There were engines on display in the first floor atrium.
The two photos below were taken at the Overlord Museum at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, which we visited last year. There was an extensive display of the vehicles and equipment used during the D-Day invasion.
Lens-Artists #84: Narrow Passageways
Amy at Lens-Artists this week invites us to explore the topic of narrow.
In my travels to “old” places – places built when there were no cars or crowds of tourists -I explored (or declined to explore) many narrow streets and other passageways.
Places like Old Town Tallinn, Estonia (where I got lost due to sidewalks and streets so narrow that I lost sight of our guide!)…
A van that is nearly as wide as this street in Old Town forces all pedestrians to the narrow sidewalk on the left.
There were also narrow witches!
In Stockholm, Sweden, I tried to imagine returning home to one of these narrow alleys on a dark afternoon in winter!
Dale ends our bike ride through Stockholm coasting down a narrow cobblestone street.
Stockholm, like many European countries, also has tall, narrow buildings.
Even older is Old Jerusalem, Israel…Like elsewhere, vehicles have the right of way, squeezing pedestrians to the wall.
Some of these climbing narrow streets are divided between steps and ramps.
Watch out for motorcycles coming through!
In ancient Egypt, clearly people were smaller to fit into narrow passageways into pyramids and tombs.
Dale and a few other adventurous souls (such as this woman from our group emerging from a pyramid) did go down these narrow steps into a now empty room in the Queen’s tomb in Giza. I took one look and decided to wait outside!
Tourists descend a long narrow hallway covered with inscriptions and paintings to reach the tomb of Ramses IX in Valley of the Kings. These hieroglyphics declaim the deeds of the king during his reign, and there are also symbols of gods to accompany him to the afterlife.
At the Chateau of Caen, France, a narrow stairway leads down to…where??
On Omaha Beach, in Normandy, are the remains of WWII German bunkers, which I declined to enter, also reached through narrow passages and stairways. (I’m glad I didn’t go in – my son’s photos show empty rooms with an inch of rainwater covering the floors!)
On the way back to our Airbnb farmhouse through the Normandy countryside, we drove down the narrow roads of villages, flanked by houses on both sides.
A car in front of us navigates a sharp corner into another narrow street.
A lot of traffic in Amsterdam travels its canals, which narrow on approach to bridges.
Floating traffic jam!
Bridges have these traffic signals indicating when it is safe and permissible to proceed (or not!).
The day after our tour of the canals, we went to the “red light district” where we were told not to take photos of the sex workers who lived on either side of these narrow alleyways. Probably also not a good idea to photograph potential clients – good thing this one came out blurry!
In Amsterdam, we stayed in an Airbnb 2nd floor flat, with a narrow stairway winding up to it. That was one of our son’s obligations to us for paying for his trip – carry our suitcases up and down! The stairway was so narrow and windy that he had to carry the suitcases one by one in his arms!
CFFC: Man’s Best Friend and Other Companions
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic of animals. Here are some of the domestic variety that we saw on our recent trip to Europe.
Waiting for an Uber in suburban Paris, I sat on a bench facing the Marne River, where I watched a man and his dog. At first, the man played fetch with the dog, but eventually he got tired of the game. Not the dog! He trotted behind the man, still carrying the stick they’d been playing with.
In Caen, we had lunch alongside this sleeping dog.
Another dog in a restaurant was this cute pug in Amsterdam.
A woman in a contemplative mood, or perhaps just tired, sits on a memorial plaque on a hill at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.
These two dogs on leashes seemed anxious to get to know each other, which they did while their human companions chatted.
On our river cruise, our first stop was in Kinderdijk, Holland, to visit windmills. As we were walking along a path, I suddenly felt something wet slam against my leg! Looking down, I saw a dog – no, two – no, three dogs (or were there four?) emerge from a marsh, running and paying no attention to the group of humans in their way. I finally managed to get a photo of the last dog to emerge, this one carrying a ball in its mouth.
Sightings of farm animals were second to the number of dogs we saw.
There were sheep in pastures,
cows cooling off next to the Rhine River on a hot day,
including this bull who wandered off on his own.
Finally, on the grounds of Melk Abbey in Austria, I saw a cat – the only one I saw during our entire trip, which was surprising. Equally surprising was that this particular cat was a Manx – no tail!
It was friendly and, I supposed, lived in one of the houses along the road descending down from the abbey toward central Melk.
Finally, a species that, while not domesticated, is not afraid to approach a boat full of humans in case they might have dropped a tasty morsel into the water. It isn’t unusual to see beautiful white swans, singly, in pairs or family groups, near the river’s edge in many European countries.