a new adventure

Dawn and Steve

a new adventure

We were married in 2005. We share a love of early jazz and swing music from the 40's, nature, birds, good food, and each other. We travelled a lot earlier in our marriage, but the last few years have been hindered by Dawn's poor health. But, you only live once, right? We have decided to continue our travels, albeit taking shorter and less strenuous trips, and travelling at a much more relaxed pace. Steve is a photographer, and Dawn does the writing, and this way we thought we could share our travel adventures with our friends and families.

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest December 11th 2016

The very last thing we did before leaving Europe was to take the special night tour offered by the Hop-on, Hop-off bus. The night tour is non-stop, so no hopping on or off. The buildings that are the sights we stop to see during the day time are light up at night, and provide a different kind of beauty. Steve made sure that we went almost an hour early, so that we could get at or near the front of the line, so that we could go up the stairs to the second floor of the bus and sit right in the front seats, so we had nothing in front of us but window glass. Luckily, we were able to get those seats, and they really were the best seats in the house for the night ... read more

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest December 10th 2016

Budapest was a city that was every bit as pretty, in terms of architecture, and interesting, for the history, as Prague was. It's hard to pick a favorite place, but judging from the number of pictures we took, it has to be a tie between Prague and Budapest. Of course, we spent additional time before and after the river cruise in these two cities too, which may be the reason why we have so many more pictures of these. I am glad that we decided to do that, since we had the ability to go out and see more of the city during the days in the hotel than we would have if we had just had the days on the boat. Plus, if you are anything like me, and don't always feel up to walking, ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna December 8th 2016

It seems the longer I'm home, the harder it is to get at finishing my blog. Countries and continents away -- and a week later -- it's hard to remember what we did already. We went to a different place every day. We saw new things every day. It was amazing, and almost overwhelming. I haven't talked at all about the ship. It was always there, warm and waiting for us to come back with tired feet and sore backs, and cameras full of pictures. Dinner was always a three course affair, with appetiser, main course, and dessert. And the wine flowed freely too. The food was great, and the staff treated us like royalty. The only thing I could have wished for is more time. I didn't have enough energy to cram in everything that ... read more
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Europe » Austria » Vienna December 7th 2016

We set our alarms to wake us up early this morning, as we were scheduled to sail through the scenic Wachau Valley in the state of Vienna, country of Austria. Unfortunately, heavy fog blanketed the valley, obscuring some of the farther sights, and shrouding the buildings close to the water in fog. It almost looked like the scene from a scary movie, with the old buildings surrounded by fog. Ruined castles, medieval towns, and churches, all made for an interesting and pretty cruise through this part of Austria. If you look closely, you can see some of the hillsides covered with rows of grapevines. It's winter here, so there are no leaves on the plants and they stand as bare sticks in terraced rows across the hillsides. It seems strange to me, with it being winter, ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Passau December 6th 2016

I'm so behind on my blogs. Going somewhere new every day is exhausting, and it's all we can do to get all the pictures into the computer before falling into bed. Today is our final day in Europe; going home tomorrow, but I am only posting pics from our third cruising day. Plus, if you have ever been on a cruise before, you know that the meals are elaborate affairs, with multiple courses, and so take up a lot of time too. I think we have both gained at least 10 pounds. Sheesh! Passau is situated at the meeting of three rivers: the Inn, the Danube, and the Ilz, and is at the very edge of Germany where it borders Austria. The history here is mind boggling. They know that in the year 739 an English ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Regensburg December 5th 2016

Regensburg is the best preserved medieval city in Germany, and the old town is a UNESCO World heritage site. We bundled up and had a 2 hour walking tour of old town. The names and history of all the wonderful old buildings were pointed out to us, and I promptly forgot them all. But they are impressive examples of Gothic architecture, so were still interesting to see. Plus the streets are so narrow that pedestrians have to glue themselves to the side of a building to not get squashed when a car drove by. That was amusing for the first one or two times. After that, not so much. All of the streets and sidewalks are cobblestone, which is harder to walk on for extended periods of time than you would think. Especially when the streets ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Nuremberg December 4th 2016

Hi all, We did have a third day in Prague, but I figured that I had already posted enough pictures of Prague, so I will spare you. I can tell you that I was feeling better, so I was able to go explore too, which was nicer than just looking at pictures Steve had taken. We took the Hop-on-Hop-Off bus, which took us to all the sights, with narration, without me having to walk all around. So, that was nice. There are lots of little Christmas markets in different places around the city, so we visited two more. A little the same, a little different. We mostly drank hot mulled (spiced) wine and Christmas punch (non-alcoholic for me), and sampled a few different foods. It was fun. So, the next day was Sunday, and we hopped ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town December 1st 2016

The second day in Prague started off with an early walking tour of all the major sights in and around old town, and across the Vltava river at the Prague Castle. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well, so I decided not to go with them (3 1/2 hours of walking just sounded too much for me), but Steve still went, so he got lots of nice pictures. I have to tell you that it was really difficult to pick out just a few pictures for this blog from the over 200 that he took. Unfortunately, it was overcast, so they aren't the best pictures ever taken, but hey, we are only here for a few days, so we have to take what we get. I will try to fill in the names of the buildings on any ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague November 30th 2016

Well, despite the airline Lufthansa's strike, we made it to Prague. It was a long travel day and night, and half of the next day. Neither Steve nor I could sleep on the plane, save for a few minutes dozing here and there through the night. Once we arrived in the Prague airport, a guide from Viking (the cruise line) met us and arranged transport for a whole group of us to the Palace hotel, which is in the middle of the historic old part of town. The Palace hotel was built in 1909 in Viennese Art Nouveau Style, whatever that is, but is sure is fancy. Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic, and has around 1.2 million people. It has a long history, back to around the forth or fifth century BC. ... read more

North America » United States » Florida » Vero Beach November 27th 2016

One of the nice things about our condo here is that our second floor balcony looks over a small lake that is stocked with fish, and is teeming with birds. I love sitting out on the balcony watching the birds. We have both great blue herons and little blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, cattle egrets, ibis, various ducks, and lots more that I don't know the names of. There is even a bald eagle that takes a bath in the lake sometimes, but I haven't been able to catch it with the camera yet. We also have cormorants and anhingas (diving and swimming birds) that hang out fishing in the lake, then they hop up onto the fake geese to dry their wings out. We caught a great blue heron with a fish that was ... read more

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