Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More Bike Trip Photos. Part 2

Well real life seems to always be a week or two behind in the blog. Just got back from my trip to Boise Idaho to attend my gallery opening and just can't post those photos until I get caught up on these. So without further ado here is just a jumble of the rest of them with a smattering of descriptions for those interested.

 Biking our last day in the Czech Republic takes us through the Sumava National Forest on the border with Germany. Beautiful scenery some of which really feels like a 'black forest' as the tall pine trees are so close together when you look to the left or right you see nothing but trees.

 Every now and then I would get really cocky and try to bike and take pictures at the same time.

 Some of the earliest drissly days brought some of the most dramatic skys and colors....I just loved being in the countryside. Almost always we are not far from the river (the Vltava, the Danube and the Inn) but to the other side there are usually great sites as well.

After this days biking we are taken to the town of Passau on bus where we spend the next two days in an old hotel right on the Danube. The Baroque city of Passau borders Austria and is located where the Danube the Ilz and the Inn river come together.

                                          Sweet little arts alleyway in the city of Passau.

 The tall building in the center is the Rathaus. (City Hall) it is over 500 years old and we were facinated by the markings on the front. They each corresponded to a year and flood water level dating back to 1501 (Jim took this snap of me for perspective)- Sadly two weeks later after returning home this would all be in the news again........

This is a photo I stole from the internet after returning home and a week later hearing and reading of flooding in all of the very same areas we had been biking in a week earlier. Turns out the sun came out for the second part of our trip, but after we left the rains came and didn't let up until quite a bit of flooding had gone on. You can just make out the building with the red top in the bottom left (boat in front) the arch is completely submerged.

One of the oldest restaurants in Passau right across from the Rathause. We enjoyed another (very) filling meal. Took the above photo just because I love the feel and simplicity of the place. Felt so homey and Bavarian. The window and door glass was about an inch thick. So sad to think it would all be underwater in a week or two. I know they are digging out and will recover though. They have before.

We say Aufedersein to Passau and are treated to a fancy-pants two hour boat ride down the danube towards our next biking destination. (I loved this -very picturesque)

One of our two group leaders Bodhi goes through that days rout map. This is a daily routine- they hand out a map of where we are going with written directions. The fit in a handy dandy sleeve that Velcros to bike handles and you are on your own.......'Proceed 2.8 Kilometers to red barn at T in road. Turn left and proceed 5.2 kilometers to 4 way stop.......' etc. - I was a good map reader when I didn't get lazy and start relying on someone in front to know what they are doing. Not always so good at getting the feel of kilometers though. (only got slightly lost once or twice)

                                                 Going through a lock on the Danube

When we got off the boat our bikes where all waiting there for us. (now which one is mine?.....)

 We bike into the Wachau Valley A region of stunningly beautiful and ancient towns along the Danube known for white wine vineyards. We arrive at our next hotel  in the town of WeissenKirchen built in the 1200's sometime.

We end up in a sweet little room on the tip floor. I poor us some wine from the courtyard lounge and go  up to admire our new view for the next couple of days.

 Our room is set of windows from the top. This is everyone's favorite hotel. All stone work and courtyards and at the same time elegant and small.

 After the next morning's maps are handed out and we go over what 'tricky spots' to watch out for we head off through one beautiful scenic village after the next. There were many great highlights of this trip but I loved this day especially. -Little small towns AND the water by side.

                             Lots of photos of Jim's butt. (And I think he got lots of mine-)

 As our trip arrives shortly after May Day these quaint poles toped with trees are in every town and village center. I't could be hokeyiest thing to someone growing up there but to an outsider it is an ancient tradition that just seems so sweet. I just want to put flowers in my hair and prance around with ribbons...

 We bike to the city of Melk (yes it too flooded). We get a tour here of one of Europe's largest monasteries. This photo is from the Benedictine Abbey looking down on the village.

                          The library where we were not allowed to take pictures. OOPS.

 These people spend some serious cash. Me thinks the massive gap between the rich and poor has been around for quite some time.

           We bike back and take and itty bitty 'ferry' boat across the river to get back to our hotel

I think these are some how out of sequence but just to show what sort of yummies we were stuffing ourselves with on this trip. This was a restaurant that had the theme of potatoes and apples. Yes that is a stuffed potato as big as Jim's head and yes he ate it all as did I.

One of the other members of our group said she'd taken a tour with VBT before and gained 8 pounds. Somehow I thought all the biking neutralized the rich and amazing food, but my tight pants now have me wondering.

We arrive at the end our tip in Vienna. Here we have purchased an extra three day stay over. - So our biking butts are free to relax and our walking shoes now get the workout. We discover an amazing collection of ancient instruments at the Museum. These are beautiful works of art to both of us and I love just imagining their history.

 The main square holds the ancient gothic church. I'd been before but Jim had not. We happened upon a quire preforming off to one side of the church that added a sweet and magical quality that helped to diffuse my cranky reaction to the fact that for some reason they had the interior all lit up with these weird day-glow gells.

 I remembered enjoying going up one of the spires to take in the Vienna view so talked Jim into doing it. I forgot how he can be afraid of heights.........

                                                       He did not like this part one bit.

                                           Jim takes a picture of me taking a picture of him.

 We head over to the big 'Flomarkt' on Saturday where I see lots of weird colorful food and all kinds of  antiques and stuff I don't need but of course still want anyway. - Good thing we have just small suitcases

 We discover an even better Gothic church as it away from the tourist crowds and is eerily sort of falling apart. I remember going here with Baby Joe and it was still only half restored.

 We decide to spring for an expensive glass of wine and dessert at an old hang out of all the old famous artists and musicians.  Perhaps Motzart sat where Jim is now.

                         We tire out our feet, legs, eyeballs and head home to our sweetie.

Thank you George Tune for taking such good care of Abby and the rest.


dianne bennett said...

beautiful pictures Chris! Your trip looks fabulous. Did not know Jim was afraid of heights poor baby. I'll bet Abby was overjoyed to see you! Sophie was beside herself when we got home. xxoo

Anonymous said...

Ive always admired your art, now I like your stamina and photos too.
John Brooks oak view

Anonymous said...

Sehr gut euer Bike-Trip und die sehr schönen Fotos. Danke für die Präsentation.