Sunday Snapshots: Market Color

Krakow, 2010

Despite this riot of color, this was one of the less-colorful things that happened during the epic and ridiculous weekend that I spent in Krakow in 2010. If you haven’t read that post, I recommend catching up on it. It was a doozy.

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Sunday Snapshots: Sigh.

Berchtesgaden, 2011

Berchtesgaden, 2010

It pains me to post this picture. I have the worst mountain-related envy right now, so much so that I’ve had to severely limit the number of times per day that I check Instagram. Apparently I follow too many fantastic hiking/mountainy accounts over there.

As I mentioned in my ‘Quest for Balance’ post, our summer travel is pretty much on hold until BV submits his Master’s Thesis of Doom in mid-August. Technically, this isn’t the first summer we had to wait a bit to head south to the Alps, but the last time was in 2012 and we had a few weeks in America to distract us. No such luck this year, but I think by the time he turns his paper in, he’ll be even more ready than I am to throw our boot in the car and GO. I want to see mountains again, Gandalf. Mountains.

Sunday Snapshots: Game Time

12salzburg

Salzburg, 2010

Salzburg is a city that completely enchanted me on my first visit. Since then, I’ve been back quite a few times but it has lost none of its magic for me. Something about the fortress rising above the church towers, the soft whites and pastels of the buildings, and the hills rising all around it just makes me absurdly happy every time. I’ve managed to get there almost once a year since my first visit, so here’s hoping I can squeeze it in again this year!

Now for the real question: in a town that can sometimes almost always be crawling with tourists (note the souvenir stand in the background), are these guys locals or just passing through? The hat to me says tourist, but the fact that they brought their own chessboard (as opposed to playing with the giant set a few steps away), says local. Thoughts??

Sunday Snapshots: Viennese Curls

Schloss Schönbrunn, Austria 2010

Schloss Schönbrunn, Austria 2010

Schloss Schönbrunn is probably one of the most-visited locations in all of Austria, so I’m happy to have a few pictures from my visit that are empty of people. The day I visited was gorgeously warm and sunny, until a storm blew up and forced all the tour bus people to huddle under the grand staircases flanking the front and back entrances to the palace. Rule of survival in Europe: never leave home without an umbrella, no matter what the weather forecast says.

Sunday Snapshots: Cathedral Details

20march

Detail in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 2010

Like last week, today’s picture comes courtesy of A.’s visit a few years ago. During our whirlwind weekend in Dublin, we tried (keyword: tried) to ingest a bit of culture along with all of the delicious, delicious Irish beer. Thus, we stopped into Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of Dublin.

This was another instance of being in a place that nearly overwhelms with the amount of history that it has seen. There was an incredibly helpful, and characteristically chatty Irish gentleman at the door that was eager to share the story of the church, and after a history lesson with him, we wandered the aisles and marveled at everything from the floors to the rafters.

Since this was six years ago, I honestly have idea what this picture is of, exactly, but there is something about it that I love. It’s slightly creepy, but so vivid in detail that it almost seems like it might come to life and bite right through the rope (or branch? or arm? What do you think that is?)

Sunday Snapshots: Dramatic Domes

13march

Španělská synagoga, Prague 2010

Today’s photo comes from a day of playing the tourist in Prague.  One of the many advantages of having visitors is that it forces us to do all the things that we haven’t gotten around to in our own city yet, and this was one such occasion. My friend A. was visiting from the States, and in addition to traveling with me to Dublin for St. Paddy’s Day, she also finally got me to tour all the sites in Prague’s extraordinary Jewish Quarter. I had wandered the streets before that, and peered over walls, but this time we paid up and got to experience the interiors.

This photo comes from the Spanish Synagogue, the newest synagogue in the Jewish Quarter. It was built in the mid-1800s, in Moorish Revival style. While some of the other buildings in the area are much older, this knocks all the others out of the park aesthetically. It has one of the most ornate, colorful, and and enveloping interiors I have ever seen. While in Prague I often fought against doing anything with an admission price (had to stretch those Czech koruna/save money for pivos), but this was an exception well worth making!

Sunday Snapshots: Mělník Castle

Mělník Castle Tower

Mělník Castle Tower

Six long years ago today, before she left Europe to traipse around the world, my dear friend Katie and I took a day trip from Prague to Melnik. We had heard that the city was a big producers of Czech wines, and also had a castle, which meant it scored with us on at least two major points. What we didn’t think about was that visiting a vineyard in the depths of a Czech winter was fairly pointless. Oh well.

We still spent a very chilly day wandering the grounds of the small castle, and wandered its wine cellars. We seemed to be the only people in the town that day, and I wonder if the restaurateurs are still confused about where exactly the two random American girls came from.