Monday, August 31, 2009

Croatian Update #17 - Summer Vacation Part 3

August 31, 2009 - I am back at my blog again and will hopefully be able to keep this more up to date this year....sorry i was such a slacker last year.....sorry about the weird format, i will try and fix that in the coming months.....

hi there folks and happy beginning of school to all those with kids or teachers out there...i know some parents are very excited that the kids are back in and that life can get back to normal....i have been back for about a week and half now... and our first whole day of school was this past friday....we start off with three half days, followed by a whole day friday...and then we have a weekend....it's a nice ease in....

i have to say that the second year is always more comfortable...no unpacking or stressing about what the school, kids and other teachers will be like...it's nice....but the the major curiosity is missing....which is a bummer....but i am happy to be back....the kids are excited and we have some cool new teachers....plus, its great to see the returning teachers and outstanding staff folks and get back into a routine....

but, i have realized i am still behind in updates and blogs and felt the need to get something out this weekend...so this is part three of my road trip around europe....this one will cover salzburg, austria and bratislava, slovakia....two VERY different places from each other....bratislava is a city of a mixture of communism, medieval and modern day architecture....it's wild....and salzburg is like out of a fairy tale....like all of austria i have seen...it's perfect....castle on the hill included :)

bratislava first....i have to say that the roads in slovakia are horrible...EXCEPT the highway to bratislava, once you get on it....they are trying to make it go across the entire country...but it doesn't yet....so the roads are bad....bratislava has a lot of old world charm and is the ONLY place i have found in europe that actually has bagels....i was soo excited....you just don't find them....there is a chain there that was started by an american of course :) it was nice to have a taste of the states in a place that is really far removed from there....bratislava has excellent public art as you will see in my pictures, as some of their art was some of my favorite shots from summer....plus, they have some really weird architecture from the communist times....and of course they have an old town with a huge cathedral, with jewels from the monarchy of old inside and a really cool crypt you can visit....it was perfect the day i was there as it was at least 10 degrees cooler in there and there is a castle that looks over the city and the danube flowing through this city that separates old and new bratislava....its small and quaint and two days was a perfect amount of time to be there...on to the pictures....

the first shot is one of the cool art i found...just in front of a store...very cool..

the second picture is the UFO bridge (ew-f-oh)....it has a revolving restaurant and everything.... some slovakians love this, but most hate it....it is a tourist draw....i thought it was cool looking!

the shot above makes me smile just to look at it again....it is the picture used by a game i play about geography and wikipedia to represent bratislava....how cool is that i have a shot of that now too :) this is looking down over the old section of town from the castle on the hill that was under renovation :)

the next three shots are some more of the public art of this place....i like the first one because the building framed by this piece is the opera house....another beautiful building..

the next two are some of the coolest and most photographed statues in all of europe, according to the guidebook....the first is the "watcher"...and he is coming out of a man hole notice the "golder" parts...that's where you rub him for good luck....

and the next piece is my favorite public art in bratislava of them all...the "paparazzi"...this statue is actually shooting his camera around a corner over the heads of diners in a cafe....so clever....i just love it...

the last picture is one of those bizarre buildings left behind from communism in this town....this
is an upside down pyramid and is actually a radio station...it was during communist rule as well...wild huh....for those who do not know....slovakia is half of what was once czechoslovakia.... the other half is where prague is...the czech republic...and man, they are two really different places....

on to austria...the expensive land of everything that is perfect...i do have to say i was REALLY surprised at how many wind turbines there were throughout all of austria that i saw along the road...hundreds and hundreds of them....very cool....there are also quite a few sunflower fields....just like hungary...although i think they had a few less :) austria has amazing landscapes, tasty food and beer, beautiful buildings, mozart, and excellent art...and of course salzburg has the red bull headquarters and the sound of music everything...and yes, i did the tour....many folks sung along the entire time :) but i learned a lot of that was just the movies...and that the real family von trapps live in vermont!!!!! wild the things you learn....
with the pictures...as i said before...salzburg is where mozart is from...so this first shot is from the square he overlooks....every time i walked past this statue, some one was playing a piece of mozart's...either on the violin, guitar, accordion or harmonica....it was incredible....
the next shot is another cool piece of art....this was big enough that a person could walk into this sculpture and not be able to touch all of the sides...in other words, it was big...
the next three shots are from the sound of music tour...the first is the garden maria and the kids were running through singing doe a deer...you can see the castle that overlooks the city of salzburg and i went to a live chamber music performance up there one of the nights i was in town - amazing :)

the second "SOM" shot is from the cemetery of the abbey where they were hiding before walking over the alps to safety....BUT, this shot is a lie.....the one you see in the movie was shot on the movie set in california.... this is the cemetery they made that scene from though....i guess they did that a lot....for example, the front and back of the von trapps mansion....different houses!!!!! those tricky movie people....
the next shot i am sure you will all remember and start singing...i am 16 going on 17.....yep...its THE gazebo....locked though....someone fell once when they used to have it open to the public, because they were jumping from bench to bench and missed.....hahahahaha....
the next two shots utilize the castle...the first is from in front of it....more cool art, that i didn't understand...but i could actually walk under that gold ball and not even scrape my head, just to give you an idea of size..

and the second shot is from on the castle....love the rainbow....this past summer was really rainy in europe...and i did experience rain, but it usually happened when i was driving...not in salzburg though...and i got a rainbow after a HUGE storm....awesome to watch from the castle, let me tell you :)

the last shot in the set....well, probably does not need any explanation....to my right you
could have stood with the family picture and pretended to be singing with them...i thought
that was just a bot too tacky for me...anyway...it was a fun tour and salzburg was a great
town...and i stayed at a great B&B recommended by rick steves...it rocked and the owner
was really nice and very laid back....let me know if you are headed that way and i'll let
you know more....
okay....so part 3 has been written....i still have a few more parts in europe....three more
countries...but i think switzerland will get its own update as we, my friend candi and i,
toured all over the place there....and then of course i was in the states too....so there
you have it....the plan for the next few updates...i am hoping to have them out sooner
rather than later as my folks are coming and then i will have our trip of italy and croatia to
add to the mix....should be fun :)
i hope each of you is well and happy...feel free to drop me a line...and maybe next time i
will start the blogging idea instead of email idea...thanks to all those who offered to help
me get this organized...i know how to do it, i just have to do it...talk soon and happy
fall to those in the north and happy spring to those in the south...talk soon
catch you on the flip side :)

4 comments:

SeattleHoya said...

Salzburg was one of my favorite spots in Central Europe! Glad to see you did the Sound of Music tour...it's totally cliche, but sooo awesome. I'm jealous of your travels - how long it's been since you were Ms. D and we were 13...

dani said...

i am still ms. d.....just in another country....sorry to be confused...but who is this???? thanks for checking out the blog :) i am sure you are no longer 13 ;)

William Storey -- said...

Hi Dani, Hope all is well! Should I look for you at CIS/SA London in January? Or are you standing pat? Berlin is still fun; we hope to stay a while longer. Alan

dani said...

hey there alan....how the heck are you???? looks like i am probably staying in croatia for one more year....not definite, but getting there....cool you guys like berlin....i will be there at new years....will you be??? shoot me an email....danid7@yahoo.com