A Photo a Week: Happiness Is…

Happiness is an attitude more than anything else. You can choose happiness, or not…

Happiness is a state of mind, not a destination. - Imgur

…which is why I find happiness in many things!

For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week challenge, the theme is happiness is… so here are some things that happiness is to me.

Flowers…

…especially the ones I grow myself.

Fresh tomatoes in the summer (again, especially those I grow myself, although these aren’t mine).

Animals, especially cats…

my sweet tortie Hazel

…and my grandcats…

…but also dogs – we have one granddog!

Lydia, our new granddog

…and dogs I see everyday on campus.

One of my dog friends, “Iffi” (short for Iphigenia)

Happiness is animal families, near…

…and far.

Elephant family group, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Cheetah mom & cub, Serengeti, Tanzania

Happiness is traveling to fascinating lands…

Karnak, Egypt

…with my (crazy) husband!

“King” Dale in Abu Simbel, Egypt
In front of the kissing statue, Scharding, Austria

Happiness is our new home!

In back of our house – we now have a small garden here and we love to read and have our meals on our screened porch!

Sunday Stills: Getting It Straight

Terri Webster Schrandt has a Sunday photo challenge, Sunday Stills. The theme this week is straight.

Apartment building (Woodstock, IL)

Here’s a place I’ve really been missing the last few months – the library! (Des Plaines, IL)


Under these floor tiles, several hundred people were buried during the Middle Ages! (Oude Kerk, Amsterdam)

Bridges: Pegasus Bridge (Normandy, France)

Bridge over a river on the border of Germany and Austria (near Scharding, Austria)

A tall house (Mont St-Michel, France)

Entrance to a graveyard (Merville-Franceville-Plage, France)

A straight and narrow street in Passau, Germany

Ornate fence in front of the World Museum in Vienna, Austria

Thursday Doors With Flowers

Since I haven’t gone anywhere lately where I could photograph doors, I’m recycling some previous ones I’ve posted, thematically. This week for Norm’s Thursday Doors, I present doors with flowers.

Luxor, Egypt
Des Plaines, IL, USA
Quebec City, Que., Canada
Chicago, IL, USA
Des Moines, IA, USA
Maisons-Alfort (near Paris), France
Maisons-Alfort, France
Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany
Miltenberg, Germany
somewhere in northeastern France
Caen, Normandy, France
Woodstock, IL, USA
Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria
Schaerding, Austria
Regensburg, Germany
Nuremberg, Germany
Santa Fe, NM, USA

CFFC: Roofs of Europe

The roofs in Europe are varied and interesting. So for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week with the topic of roofs, here are some European roofs.

Mont St.-Michel, France

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Abbey cloister and courtyard

Roofs with gulls

Roof with window
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Amsterdam, Holland – These are my favorites due to their variety in architectural style.

2 views of the roofs of the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam’s largest art museum), including solar panels! The building was designed by Pierre Cuypers (who also designed other buildings in Amsterdam in the same style, including Centraal Station and Concertgebouw) and opened in 1885.

The rest of these Amsterdam roofs were photographed during a private boat tour, which included all the major canals and the harbor, so there were many types to see, both on shore and in the water!
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Behind the boats in the foreground is the roof of the NEMO Science Museum, which is shaped like a ship!

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Modern apartment buildings

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This red roof really stands out!

Houseboat roofs:

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OK, it’s a tour boat, not a house boat, but it has an interesting mascot – Brunhilde the elephant?

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This houseboat rooftop has a nice deck (with furniture) for sunbathing on hot days!

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Colorful flowers grace the roof of this houseboat.

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I’m not sure if this is actually a house, but it’s unusual!

Gabled roofs
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Nuremburg, Germany
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Nuremburg Castle has existed since medieval times. Made of sandstone, it was a fortified group of buildings built on a ridge in the old center of town. The city expanded outward from there.
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Views from the ramparts of the town below

Schärding, Austria

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In the countryside outside the town is this house whose energy is supplied by the sun!

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Melk Abbey, Austria
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Views of the town of Melk from the abbey

To end on a contrast, here are two views of dwellings in a Maasai village in Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. The Maasai build their villages in a circle, surrounded by fences. They use the surrounding land for grazing and herding their animals, mostly cattle and goats.
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Thursday Doors: A Walk Through Schärding, Austria

On the 4th of July, the day we spent the morning in Passau, Germany, we opted for an afternoon tour to the small town of Schärding, Austria (population approx. 5,000). Passau and Schärding are essentially border towns.  We even crossed a bridge on the Inn River that had a small metal plaque in the middle with D (Deutschland – Germany) on one side and Ö (Österreich – Austria) on the other!
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The town of Schärding is a major port on the Inn River which is the dividing line between Bavaria in Germany and the Austrian state of Upper Austria.

The Bavarian family Wittelsbach owned the town until 1779. In the Middle Ages, due to its location, Schärding became a center of trade, particularly for salt, timber, ores, wine, silk, glass, grain, textiles and livestock. Originally the town was fortified; sections of the wall remain, but the castle that was originally there is no longer.

Schärding’s most beautiful feature is its central square with its rows of colorful, gabled buildings. The buildings are color coded so that illiterate people in past centuries would know what the building was used for. For example, the town hall (Rathaus) was yellow, and pharmacies were green. Nowadays, next to the Rathaus, the green building is a charming hotel, Hotel Stiegenwirt.

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The town’s skyline is dominated by St. George Church. It is Roman Catholic; more than 80% of the town’s residents identify themselves as Roman Catholic.

When I was not attending a workshop to make herbal salt (I ended up not keeping it – the salt content was way too high for me!), I joined Dale to explore the streets of the town.
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Two interesting clocks!
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Schärding’s coat of arms is painted on the side of a building.
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Historically, Schärding’s population suffered an epidemic of the plague. A plague pole was erected when the epidemic was over, to thank the Virgin Mary for saving people from the plague.
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There is a statue to St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, in the center of a fountain. The fountain is hard to see in this photo because it was surrounded by construction zone fences.
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Looking out toward the river from Durchgang Wasstertor.
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I don’t know what these masks were for, but they look like instruments of torture!
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There was also this display of possibly religious relics, near St. George Church.
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And now…Schärding doors!
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Posted for Norm’s Thursday Doors 1/16/20.

Some historical information obtained from Wikipedia’s article on Schärding.

Weekly Prompt: Clock the Time

The Weekly Prompts from GC and Me theme is Clock the Time. These photos of clocks are all from our 2019 summer trip to Europe. Most of these clocks are on tall towers. Interestingly, they all use Roman numerals (except the one on a sign), which until recent times was actually quite common.
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On the Rhine River in Germany
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The clock  is only one of many interesting details on this church steeple!
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Miltenberg, Germany
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Regensburg, Germany – not Roman numerals exactly, but sort of…
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Schärding, Austria – clock on a sign!
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Melk, Austria – Melk Abbey
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Cruising the Danube in Austria – another intricate church steeple!
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