Sunday Snapshots: Village Spring

27march

Franconia, 2014

I’ve often wondered if there is some sort of law in Germany that requires all village-dwellers to plant at least one flowering tree in their garden. So far I have not found any definite proof of my theory, but photos tell a different story. Morning walks to work transform from mundane to idyllic in the spring.

 

 

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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: Roman Layers and Lines

28rome

The forecast for the next few days in Germany looks snowier than our entire winter put together, so I thought it would be appropriate to see a bit more sun. My visit to Rome was pretty action-packed, and even in February it was warm enough to enjoy walking the city without a winter jacket. The bundled-up Romans might have disagreed with me, but coming from Germany it felt like a tropical vacation!

Weather aside, I love this photo because it represents so much of what I felt about Rome. It’s old, it’s new, it’s layers upon layers of history and thousands of stories. The people-watching is a sport unto itself, and you can hardly turn a corner without seeing something interesting. Or a cat. There are cats everywhere. And really, isn’t that what we all want?

Sunday Snapshots: Sunny Praha

21prague corner

Feb. 2009

Today’s photo represents something that I miss dearly… looking up in Prague. Germany has some great architecture, but in cities like Nürnberg that were bombed to smithereens (and most of the big ones, really), you have to look for it. Prague, on the other hand, is a feast for the eyes on nearly every corner. Most weekends were spent wandering the city, stopping for coffees in funky cafes, and seeing where the day took us. Even better when it was under a blindingly blue sky! 🙂

Sunday Snapshots: Tiny Theaters

7bad windsheim

Up until recently, I spent Thursdays riding many trains to and from some classes in Bad Windsheim. While tiny, it’s fairly famous in Franconia due to its Freilandmuseum, thermal baths, and the prime location near many wine hills and walking trails. The town center is packed with lovely buildings covered in ornate details and the usual Fachwerk houses, but this was one of my favorite buildings in town.

Like the US, most small towns here had their own movie theaters back in the day, but you don’t see too many of them still standing. This is possibly the smallest theater I’ve ever seen, and I hope one day that my German is good enough to stop in and catch a movie if I’m in town again.

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.

Sunday Snapshots: Snowy Corners

Behind the Kloster Ettal.

Behind the Kloster Ettal.

Today’s photo was taken after a long day of snowshoeing around Ettal in January 2015. Ettal itself is quite small, and dominated by the dome of its monastery. We walked around the outskirts of the village, and found several of these little towers which marked corners of the monastery’s garden wall. We also found the door to the distillery, but didn’t knock.

Sunday Snapshots: Czech Buttercream

Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie a svatého Jana Křtitele

Kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie a svatého Jana Křtitele

Or, if you prefer, the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist. Located right near the much-more famous Sedlec Ossuary in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, this is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen. It’s categorized as a Gothic and Baroque-Gothic church, but it lacks much of the over-the-top ornamentation that is so often found in such places. I loved the vaulting, high windows, and interior colors, which give the whole place the feeling of being inside a towering yellow wedding cake. And the best part? There’s no one there. I’ve been there twice, (this picture was taken on a visit in January 2011), and it was completely empty both times.