A Second Liebster Award: These are a Few of my Favourite Things!

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The Austrian Alps

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
 Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

I’d like to send a very big thank you to Sweetness6645 over at The Chronicles of a Public Transit User’s  Blogsite for nominating my Memoirs for a Liebster Award. Please everyone, do go on over and visit her wonderful blog. She has interesting tales and wonderful Black and White photos. Her own Liebster Award page can be found at:

http://publictransituser.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/liebster-award/

So what is a Liebster Award you may well ask?

Basically, a Liebster Award is like a “favorite blog award”. It’s given to writers of other blogs that you enjoy reading or looking at.

Liebster is the German word for favorite, beloved, or dearest. It’s mainly meant for the smaller blogs with less than two hundred followers to help expose them to the world and help them discover other new and upcoming bloggers. You can find a lot of further information regarding the Liebster Awards by clicking here on Lorraine Reguly’s Life. Lorraine also has some wonderful stories on her blog.

Liebster Award

A Liebster Award

What are the Liebster Award Rules?

Just briefly, in order to formally accept this award, the nominee must do several things

  1. Link back and recognize the blogger who nominated them
  2. Answer ten questions given to them by their nominee
  3. Nominate ten or so other bloggers for the award.
  4. Create ten questions for their own 10 nominees to answer.
  5. Notify your new nominees for the award

 So here are my responses to the 10 sizzling questions that Sweetness6645 has asked me to answer:

1. Who is your favorite superhero? Cat Woman-now how does she squeeze into that amazing suit of hers? Somehow I don’t really think it would actually be in my best interests to even try! Seems to look pretty good on her though.

2. How long have you been blogging? About four and a half months now

3. What did you want to be when you grew up? An Air hostess – it looked glamorous and worldly!

4. What is your dream vacation? To Travel around the this magical world on a one way ticket and have at least 12 months to explore the many corners of the Earth. I’d love to live in Vienna for a few months on this journey.

5. What would your kids be surprised to know about you? hmmm, since I don’t have kids …

6. Do you think your handwriting reveals anything? That I’m always rushing…it can be rather messy a lot of the time unless I consciously remember to slow down.

7. Are you scared of anything?( i.e. heights, spiders) I don’t like spiders and snakes! Crocodiles aren’t my favourite creatures either.

8. Has there been a catalyst in your life that changed your game plan? Travelling on Viking…now I just want to travel all the time!

9. Star Wars or Star Trek? I’d have to say Doctor Who….not sure if you’re allowed to do that but ah well!

10. Is there anything simple that you can’t figure out? I can never remember how to add the widgets for these awards. I always have to go back and read the instructions again!

And here are my ten very challenge questions for all you LUCKY newly nominated bloggers I’ve just nominated! You’re all so amazing and I do so love your blogs: (I’m afraid I’ve made these questions nearly all travel related. I hope you don’t mind! (It sort of fits with my Memoirs travel theme!)

What is your favourite thing to do when you have time to yourself at home on holidays?

What is your favourite wild animal and what country is it native to?

Do you prefer to stay home, visit family or travel overseas when you holiday?

What was the absolute best family holiday you remember having as a child?

What’s the most outstanding holiday you’ve ever had as an adult?

Where did you go on your last holiday?

What activities/entertainment do you look for when you start planning for a holiday period (i.e. time at home, markets, beaches, sightseeing, cultural pursuits etc?

What are your two favourite overseas countries?

Where would you go if you had about $1000 to plan a holiday right now?

If you had a Fairy God Mother who could grant you the holiday of a life time….whatever you wanted to do, wherever you wanted to go, however much it cost…what do you think you would choose?

WELL NOW DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!

My new Nominees for the Liebster Award are:

Random Rose – http://randomrose.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/birds-and-carving/

Nena Rebel – http://nenarebelshop.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/yarn-bomb-mushrooms/

Bound 4 Escape – http://bound4escape.com/

The Transplanted Gardener – http://elenawil.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/exploring-the-world-of-fuchsias-2/

Beautiful Botanicals – http://maryzworld.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/december-caterpillar/

Today was a Fairy Tale- http://todaywasafairytalex.wordpress.com/category/travel/

Royal Hats – http://royalhats.wordpress.com/

RV John – https://rvjohn.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/when/

Wide Bay High Desert – http://widebayhighdesert.wordpress.com/

Bright Ideas for Writers – http://brunsamanda3.wordpress.com/

Dreams and Escapes – http://arlene1956.wordpress.com/

A very big congratulations to you all. 

Once again thanks to Sweetness6645 for my nomination.

Austrian Alps

Austrian Alps

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Day 13 – Budapest; Like a Fairy Tale Kingdom after Dark

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Sailing into the Fairy Tale Kingdom of Budapest, Hungary.

Sailing into the Fairy Tale Kingdom of Budapest, Hungary.

Some six months have now passed since our first magical Viking River Cruise, yet it can still be a little difficult to determine whether Day 13 was actually the grandest or perhaps even the most dismal of days.

On the one hand we’d been relaxing, yes we’d actually been socialising and partying whilst sailing on towards what can only be described as the a most Spectacular Panorama…. Budapest by Night”.

But on the other we were now beginning our sad farewells. We’d actually spent time today catching up with other guests to discuss their plans for post-cruise journeys and of course to wish them well as they made their way back home.

Day 13 was going to be our very last day of sailing along the mighty Danube. By tomorrow we would have just one more day of precious luxury to enjoy.

By early evening we would be dressing in our glittering finery….attending the Captain’s elegant Farewell Reception and Formal Dinner.

Amazingly D.B. and I had managed to spend some time during the early afternoon hours just lazing in the Viking Longship’s main lounge, enjoying the comforts and, at times. soaking up the gentle Spring Breeze out on the lovely alfresco Aquavit Terrace.

Later in the afternoon our Longship Tor had passed by the famous Danube Bend along with the notable Eszgertom Basilica which is said to be the largest catholic cathedral in Hungary.

Esztergom Catholic Cathedral on the Danube

Esztergom Catholic Cathedral on the Danube

Esztergom  Cathedral from a different perspective.

Esztergom Cathedral from a different perspective.

We’d been cocktailed, we’d been champagned, we’d been wined and dined, and YES….all in a most convivial atmosphere right throughout the evening.

Many guests  were now starting to trade Email addresses and contact information with their new found friends.

But I will never forget…..it was some time shortly after 10.00pm that the real magic began to crescendo as Viking Tor started it’s culminating cruise into the sparkling city of Budapest.

I don’t think very many of us were actually expecting the level of fairy tale enchantment that was soon infusing the night’s atmosphere. We drank it all in….the sparkling architectural wonder. There was the stately parliament building, there were so many historical bridges, there was an ABSOLUTELY GLISTENING display of city lights, and a very romantic…… almost magical castle. There were many beautiful old buildings lining the banks of the Danube. They all seemed to add their own aura to the breathtaking vista of this evening. Yes Budapest was just like a fairy tale kingdom after dark.

Parliament throught one of the Bridges. Budapest, Hungary.

Parliament and one of the Bridges. Budapest, Hungary.

An Architectural Wonder, Parliament House, Budapest, Hungary.

An Architectural Wonder, Parliament House, Budapest, Hungary.

More of Parliment House, Budapest, Hungary.

More of Parliment House, Budapest, Hungary.

The Castle, Budapest, Hungary.

The Castle, Budapest, Hungary.

One more shot of the Castle, Budapest, Hungary.

One more shot of the Castle, Budapest, Hungary.

Stateroom, Day 13, a small visitor, Budapest, Hungary.

Stateroom, Day 13, a small visitor, Budapest, Hungary.

The Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary.

The Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary.

It was all a most amazing and satisfying climax to our truly remarkable cruise.

A Sunshine Award – Well Thank You Tails from Paris!

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You are my sunshine!

You are my sunshine!

I’ve begun humming a favourite old song of mine again lately:

“You are my sunshine,

My only sunshine.

You make me happy,

When skies are grey!”………

Sunshine

Well today I’d like to say a BIG thank you to Tails from Paris for this new Sunshine Award they sent my way a few weeks ago. I really appreciate your nomination of my travel memoir blog at Kidazzleink.com…. Yeahhhh. Please everyone, do make sure you shoot over and check out the wonderful little comic sketches and jokes that are regularly posted on the Tails from Paris Blog site.

Sunshine Award

Sunshine Award

Now for 10 Interesting  things about me (well I hope they’re a little bit interesting):

  1. I love taking photos and I love my D7000.
  2. I’ve just started travelling a lot more in recent years and love it way too much. So much so that D.B. recently asked if I’d like to get another puppy!
  3. I look forward to retiring soon so I can travel even more.
  4. My name should be Michelle Stuhmcke by now but I haven’t got around to changing it from Michelle Davies yet despite being married for more than a half a decade…some things just seem to take a bit of time you know!
  5. Blogging is becoming a passion at the moment because everyone in the blogosphere is so positive and so very entertaining…just love you all
  6. I live on the beautiful Gold Coast in Australia – you should come on over a take a look sometime.
  7. Crème Brulee Chocolate from Lindt is very delicious and I think my absolute favourite.
  8. D.B. and I hope to visit China in 2014.
  9. The older I get the younger I seem to feel.
  10. I’m loving learning to write creatively all over again…Haven’t written anything but work reports etc for many years.

Now for my list of “Sunshine” blog nominations.

These bloggers continue to add their wonderful little rays of sunshine to my own life on a fairly regular basis. I believe they can help to positively and creatively inspire all of us in this wonderful blogosphere. And they’re all such wonderfu people as well. Hop on over and take a look at their entertaining WordPress sites.

Dawn Hosking

Tina’s Rabbit Hole

Toni Andrukaitis

Margaret Lynette Sharp

Nia Simone

Mindful Magpie

Cindy Knoke

Sweetness

Sharechair

Heartafire

Green Eyed Chess

Edith Levy Photography

Now it’s their turn…to accept this award, all of my awardees must do the following :

  1. Display the Award on your blog.
  2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who awarded you.
  3. Present around 10 deserving bloggers with the Award – “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”
  4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment.
  5. Write 10 interesting things about you

To be continued in coming days with more fun & awards (sorry but I’ve been storing them up as I’ve been so very busy at work…my apologies) …

Blue Ocean

WOW! Make that a Double Honour – Blog of the Year 2013 a Second Star!

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OH WOW - Very Cheery and Chirpy Tonight

OH WOW – Very Cheery and Chirpy Tonight

I would like to thank wonderful Dawny Hosking for nominating me for this award.
Please do go over and check out her entertaining and informative blog.

This is what the Blog of the Year 2013 – Two star Award looks like.

Blog of the Year 2013 -2star

Blog of the Year 2013 -2star

The idea as always when you receive one of these lovely awards is to choose some other blogs to nominate for the same award.

Well here are my nominees: there is really just such a plethora of blogs to choose from, it was indeed very difficult for me to choose again.

Once again I should also let you know that I do still have several other awards to give out over the next week or so as well ….so please do  keep dropping by. If I haven’t nominated you for this I’m still very likely to be nominating many of you for another different award.

Well here are my new nominees for round 2 of “Blog of the Year 2013:


Humbuzzwhistle

Heni’s Happy Paintings

Wiley Schmidt

Jardin

Anotherday2paradise

Pooky’s Poems

Bug Photo

Lynda Michele

Dawny Hosking

Sweetness

The instructions for this award are simple:

1-Select the blogs you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them – (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page.Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear

Share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

Yes – That’s right-There are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once-this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award- and every time you are given the award by another blog- you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs- and even if they have already been given the award by someone else- you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum of 6 stars! You can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award- or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award 6 times!

You can find all the badges and banners and information you need via this link: ‘Blog of The Year 2013′ Award Badges.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Best of luck to every one!

And of course a very big thank you once again to lovely Dawn for nominating my blog a second time for this Award. Hugs to everyone.

Once again Warrm Hugs to Everyone at WordPress

Once again Warm Hugs to Everyone at WordPress

Gosh What an Honour – A Blog of the Year Award 2013

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Feeling very Chipper and Chirpy today!

Feeling very Chipper and Chirpy today!

I would like to thank wonderful Sweetness for nominating me for this award.
Please do go over and check out her entertaining blog called The Chronicles of a Public Transit User.

This is what the Blog of thre Year 2013 – One star Award looks like.

Blog of the Year Award 1 star

Blog of the Year Award 1 star

The idea as always when you receive one of these lovely awards is to choose some other blogs to nominate for the same award.

Well here are my nominees: there is such a plethora of blogs to choose from, it was very difficult for me to choose. I should also let you know that I have several other awards to give out over the next week or so as well ….do keep dropping by. If I haven’t nominated you for this I’m still likely to be nominating you for another different award.


Kaligrafi

Window into the Woods

Restless Jo

Tails from Paris

Janalines’ World Journey

The World’s Top 10 of Everything

Booknvolume

Ajaytao

Dawny Hosking

Tracie Louise Photography

The instructions for this award are simple:

1-Select the blogs you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page.Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear

Share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

Yes – That’s right-There are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once-this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award- and every time you are given the award by another blog- you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs- and even if they have already been given the award by someone else- you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum of 6 stars! You can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award- or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award 6 times!

You can find all the badges and banners and information you need via this link: ‘Blog of The Year 2013′ Award Badges.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Best of luck to every one!

And of course a very big thank you once again to lovely Sweetness for nominating my blog. Hugs to everyone.

Hugs to everyone at WordPress.

Hugs to everyone at WordPress.

Day 13 – Bratislava; The City of Fun.

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A City of Fun. Bratislava.

A City of Fun. Bratislava.

I thought I was going to be the first to call it this….but NO…evidently not so.

Bratislava in Slovakia (Pop about 470,000) has actually been labeled the “City Of Fun” by several others in the past, and long before our visit in the Spring of 2013 (well this is what I’ve recently read on the almighty Google network anyway).

Bratislava Castle, Slovakia on a warm hazy day.

Bratislava Castle, Slovakia on a warm hazy day.

Mind you it’s really not at all surprising that others have also graced it with this name. With its oh-so-charmingly comical elements and its deeply embedded sense of humour, this tag just seems to be a rather perfect fit somehow. I believe it describes modern day Bratislava remarkably well. And after our early info-walk around the old town area, on what was now Day 13 of our wonderful river cruise, this was precisely the catch phrase that had begun to echo in my brain as we’d soaked up the cities new contemporary atmosphere.

Bratislava Slovakia, a city with a sense  of fun.

Bratislava Slovakia, so enjoyed this playful City.

More of Bratislava the city with a sense of Fun.

More of Bratislava the city with a wonderful atmosphere of Fun.

However, I should probably also add, our visit just happened to coincide with a sort of “Schoolies” day in the city. Many of Bratislava’s final year High School students were out and about, wandering the old town areas, looking to create some mischief of their own and having, what looked like, a jolly good time.

Schoolies in Bratislava, Slovakia, 2013.

Schoolies in Bratislava, Slovakia, 2013.

They were obviously fund raising…..trying to collect donations (more precious penny treasure from we, the  impoverished river cruise tourists, who had already given all of our carefully saved pennies away to the wonderful Viking Company LOL– see my post Lost in Regensberg for more about how our personal penny treasure had already disappeared).

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

More Penny Treasure

Schoolie funds raised would soon be put towards their own after dark celebrations that evening. These, we were told, would begin just after sun-down that same evening. As the moon began to rise and the sun began to set and sink behind the old city horizon, the young were obviously about to put on their new shoes and party like they’d never done before!

By then it would be time for all self-respecting Viking River Cruise Tourists to be sailing on!

Moon Rising, Schoolies Party Time.

Moon Rising, Schoolies Party Time, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Well I guess many people would have cringed at the thought of having a bunch of rowdy, out-of-control Schoolies partying all around on the streets as they explored a new city, but actually ….this was NOT the case at all. These excited young people appeared to be quite well-behaved albeit VERY VERY boisterous, VERY VERY happy and VERY VERY  noisy. I found it a most convivial atmosphere and I believe it actually added to, rather than subtracted from, our morning visit to this wonderful mid-sized city.

Day 13 -  Viking River Cruise, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Day 13 – Viking River Cruise Info-Walk Morning, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Geographically, Bratislava, Slavakia is close by the Carpathian Mountain range of Central Europe. According to Wikipedia, it occupies the Southwestern corner of the new nation. Sprawling around the Danube, the little Danube and the Morava River. It is actually renowned as the only independent National Capital to border two independent countries….namely Austria and Hungary.

View of the Danube and surrounding Mountains from Bratislava Castle,Slovakia.

View of the Danube and surrounding Mountains from Bratislava Castle,Slovakia.

Indeed at one time in this cities’ early history (1526 -1867) Bratislavia had been the grand capital of the Kingdom of Hungary and part of the larger Habsburg Family ruled territories. At that time it had been called Pressburg (1536-1783).

Post World War 1 it became part of the new nation of Czechoslovakia.

Post World War 2 it was forced into a far more serious chapter in history when it became part of the organised communist block of countries. Bratslavia then remained oppressed, socialist and centrally ruled for near on 5 decades until, in early 1993,  it is described as undergoing the Velvet Divorce from these restrictive socialist ties.

The separation heralded in a whole new era as Bratislava became part of the new Republic of Slovakia.

A city with heart, Bratislava, Slovakia.

A city with a new heart, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Perhaps it is because of,  or indeed perhaps it is in spite of….. all those years of strict control (I’m not actually sure which), but Bratislava today exudes the most wonderful sense of humour.

While the city was largely refurbished in the late 20th century, its historical town centre remains fairly intact. But wherever you go, wherever you look as you wander the city’s streets today, there’s evidence of so many new and lighter, one could even say, more whimsical touches. They all add to the cities new and cheerful atmosphere. As you can see from my photos, modern  Bratislava is indeed a most wonderful experience…..a city just brimful of fun. Today it could easily become a new centre for the arts.

The longest legs I'veever seen, Bratislava, Slovakia.

The longest legs I’ve ever seen, Bratislava, Slovakia.

A family of hedgehogs in the Market Square, Bratislavia, Slovakia.

A rather sweet little family of hedgehogs in the Market Square, Bratislavia, Slovakia.

Ice Creams Bratislava, Slovakia.

Ice Creams Bratislava, Slovakia.

Pretty Flower Box, Bratislava, Sovakia.

Pretty Flower Box, Bratislava, Sovakia.

For more informative reflections on Bratislavia, Slovakia you might like to read these wonderful posts from Terri and James Vance at Gallivance on WordPress:

http://gallivance.net/2013/11/04/bratislavas-hidden-gems/

http://gallivance.net/2013/10/28/bratislava-a-delightful-chance-to-recharge-the-batteries/

http://gallivance.net/2013/11/02/bratislava-its-all-in-the-details/

 

RELATED VIDEOS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KybTbyqgd0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwtxOpJh-Hs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-_73Jr6f3E

 

RELATED BLOG POSTS:

Day 12 – Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna.

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Schonbronn Palace,Vienna

Schonbronn Palace,Vienna

Less than one hundred years ago, Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna had been the enormous Summer Residence of the Imperial Habsburg Family.

The Habsburgs had ruled over an extensive Austrian/Hungarian Empire for several hundred years. Many generations of reigning Habsburgs had gone about their daily life inside this Enormous Palace. They had called it home from about the 17th right through to the early 20th Century. Every Summer they’d returned to open up both the family residential rooms and the stately Imperial Rooms. Amazingly there were over 1,400 rooms in all. This video below will give you a great overview of this enchanting palace in all its glory.

So on the afternoon of Day 12 of our river cruise, we were rather excited to be heading off for yet another afternoon of exploration…we would be spending some time wandering this spellbinding castle and its absolutely magical grounds. During this time we’d have opportunity to view both the internal rooms and the historically prized formal gardens.

To say Schonbrunn is architecturally ornate would be an understatement. It was rich, it was lavish and there had obviously been no expense spared during its creation.

It’s beautiful Baroque Exterior gives way to all the glorious detail contained in its royal Rococo Interior decor. It was truly just like a fairy tale palace and so befitting the King and Queen of this large and strictly ruled European empire.

But by 1919, the end of World War 1, ownership of Schonbrunn Palace was finally transferred from the royal family to the new Austrian Republic that had just come into power.

Today Schonbrunn Palace mainly serves as a tourist destination. Some 2,000,000 people are said to visit this popular sightseeing area every year. They come from all around the globe to view its beautiful  finery and learn more about its history.

The sheer size of Schonbrunn is almost unbelievable. Who among us would ever have lived  in a home of such grand proportions? Most certainly not D.B. or I.

Along with its 1441 rooms, there were also many acres of beautiful statued formal gardens, a most impressive Gloriette which offers absolutely enchanting views over the palace, a zoo and even an enormous palm house for exotics.

Garden statues, Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

Garden statues, Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

We spent over 2 hours viewing the stunning interior and the gardens but it was most certainly not enough. I personally could easily have spent the whole day there. WOW what another amazing place…it was just like stepping into your very own Fairy Tale.

More of Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

More of Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nZ1QCktfgw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3UQaKJFcgQ

Day 12 – Vienna; City of Enchantment, My City of Dreams.

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Global City of Enchantment, Vienna.

My favourite, a Global City of Enchantment, Vienna.

If you think Mozart, or Strauss, Freud or Adler, Buber or Wagner, Zinnemann or Menger…… if you think any of these great people, well of course…. you’re probably thinking pure Vienna. So many astoundingly gifted minds of the 20th century were either born in, or lived close by Vienna.

Vienna, Beautiful Imperia Architecture.

Vienna, Beautiful Imperia Architecture.

From music, to philosophy, from architecture to  psychiatry, from 20th century film direction to pure mathematical tables, this magical city has been called home by many of the world’s greatest thinkers in all areas of human endeavour.

Vienna's Classical Buildings

Classical Buildings

It’s operas, universities, theatres, and cultural pursuits have continued to be at the cutting edge of human endeavour over the past couple of centuries.

Culturally,  aesthetically and academically, Vienna has always been at the forefront of visionary thought and cultural advancement.

Personally I just simply continue to love everything about Vienna.

Grand Vista's, Vienna.

Grand Vista’s, Vienna.

Ask me why….and sadly I won’t be able to tell you. Perhaps it is buried deep within my early inner layers, or maybe even perhaps behind a past life’s door!

But one thing I can tell you for sure,  I’ve been mesmerized by Vienna for far longer than I  care to remember….for some reason it has always held a  strange romantic appeal which I believe must have seeded in childhood, if not, perhaps a long time before!

Just as the diamond sparkles and radiates its crystal inner beauty, so too does Vienna radiate its mesmerizing and spellbinding magical aura for me…and in the most enchanting of ways. Yes everything Viennese continues to attract and even intrigue me…..right down inside my own secluded inner core.

The streets of Vienna, 2013.

Promoting the arts in Vienna, 2013.

It was now day 12 of our wonderful river cruise and for the first time in my life we were able to tour this most enchanting of cities…..first by bus, then later by foot.

The architecture was everything I thought it would be. I’d heard so much about it. Some people love it… some dislike it’s grand decore.

Yes it’s so very ornate, so decorative and so classically imperial. There’s the early Romanesque, the Gothic, the captivatingly, beautiful Baroque and the oh-so-pretty Rococo. And of course as well there’s the ultra modern, architecturally pleasant modern contemporary.

I was most certainly not disappointed by the short few hours we had there. I only wish there had been more. I REALLY THINK AN OVERNIGHT STAY in Vienna and a SECOND DAY of sightseeing in this Imperial City would have been so very wonderful.

More of Vienna's architectural lovelyness.

More of Vienna’s architectural loveliness.

Dearly Beloved (D.B.) probably still doesn’t fully understand my par amour and neither do I in fact.

But we had a lovely day. We saw the sprawling, majestic palaces such as The Hofburg or Imperial Palace, The Belvedere Palace and Schonnbrunn Palace.

The Magical Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna.

The Magical Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna.

There were so many ornately detailed stately buildings such as the famous Vienna Opera House,  the Kunsthistorisches Museum, The Natural History Museum, the Albertina Museum, The Parliament Building and the Seccession Building and of course the classical Rathaus.

There were the beautiful Gothic and Baroque churches interwoven through the streets of the city center; architectural marvels such as St Stephen’s Cathedral, St Peters and St Charles along with many other wonderful kirche.

St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna.

St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna.

Then of course there were also the many many highly decorative statues and the neo-classical fountains scattered throughout the city.

Ornate statue, Vienna.

Ornate statue, Vienna.

A real highlight of Vienna that continues to add immensely to it’s captivating imperial enchantment is of course, its beautiful horses.

Beautiful Horses, Vienna.

Beautiful Horses, Vienna.

The Spanish Riding School in the centre of Vienna houses the most exquisitely trained Lipizzan dressage horses. These beautiful animals regularly entertain the public with morning performances. If you would like to experience some even more personal equine adventures, there are also the captivating horse and carriage tours that can also be hired to transport you in style as you take a look around the this lovely city.

More of Vienna's beautiful horses.

More of Vienna’s beautiful horses.

Vienna is such a timelessly beautiful city.

I do so LOVE..yes truly LOVE LOVE  LOVE it all…

So much so I often tell D.B. to just look for me in Vienna if I decide to go on a little personal sojurn.

Promoting music and the arts in modern Vienna.

Promoting music and the arts in modern Vienna.

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Shop front, Vienna Style.

Shop front, Vienna Style.

Contemporary architecture, Vienna.

Contemporary architecture, Vienna.
More of Classical Vienna.

More of Classical Vienna.

A different angle St Stephen's Vienna.
A different angle St Stephen’s Vienna.

One last photo of beautiful Vienna.

One last photo of beautiful Vienna.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7iclRWuGgA

Day 11 – Krems; Wandering the old Cobblestone Streets

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Magnificent Melk Abbey, Austria.

Magnificent Melk Abbey, Austria.

After a wonderful morning spent exploring the magnificent Melk Abbey D.B. and I had walked down from the hill overlooking the little township and then back towards the river through the little shopping precinct. We had stopped to browse and buy a couple of souvenirs along the way.

Melk Abbey sits on a rocky outcrop in Austria.

Melk Abbey sits on a rocky outcrop in Austria.

Soon back on board our longship, the Viking Tor,  we set sail towards Vienna in the early afternoon. We were now passing through the emerald green landscape of the UNESCO protected Wachau Valley.

Emerald Green Wachau Valley, Austria.

Emerald Green Wachau Valley, Austria.

The valley itself is famous for its rolling hills, old monasteries, castle ruins and fertile grape growing soils. We spent much of the early afternoon just relaxing  on the lovely glassed-in aquavit terrace of our riverboat, enjoying the scenery of this wonderful picturesque countryside as we sampled a glass or two of the local produce.

Viking Tor tied up at Krems, Austria.

Viking Tor tied up at Krems, Austria.

By about mid-afternoon we’d tied up in a little riverside township called Krems (population about 23,000).

Krems, Austria.

Krems, Austria.

Dearly beloved D.B. and I decided we’d like to do a little bit of exploring on our own this time rather than joining the optional winery tour group.

Spotting a smart little red and green sightseeing train, we thought we might be able to get some bearings on this little place by boarding it for a short tour around the small township.  Unfortunately it was already 4.00 p.m. and the train was in fact returning from its final run for the day. D.B. decided to have a bit of a chat to the rather friendly local train driver while I encouraged them both to pose for the camera. D.B. being in a teaching frame of mind, decided to give the friendly local train driver some good old Aussie lessons on how to signal a thumbs up! It made for a fun photo anyway.

Red and Green Sightseeing Train, Krems, Austria.

Red and Green Sightseeing Train, Krems, Austria.

D.B. and I then continued on our way, exploring the beautiful old cobblestone streets in pretty little Krems on foot.

As we wandered around we saw;

The cobblestoned streets of the old town area.

Cobble Stone Streets, Krems, Austria.

Some long avenues of flowering horse chestnut trees.

Horse Chestnut Flowers, Krems, Austria.

A most beautiful rambling wisteria.

Rambling Westeria, Krems, Austria.

More of the Rambling Wisteria in Krems, Austria.

The Pfarrkirche or Parish Church of St Vitus.

The Exterior of the Parish  Church of St Vitus, Krems, Austria.

Old Brass Plate on the Parish Church of St Vitus, Krems, Austria.

Stained Glass in the St Vitus Church, Krems, Austria.

More Stained Glass in St Vitus Church, Krems, Austria.

Station inside St Vitus Church, Krems, Austria.

The Organ, St Vitus Church, Krems, Austria.

The Dreifaltigkeitssaule or Holy Trinity Column dating from 1738.

Dreifaltigkeitssaule, Krems, Austria.

A delightful old vine-covered building.

Vine covered building, Krems, Austria.

Nicely renovated little frontages to very old homes with showy little flower boxes to attract attention.

Flower Box, Krems, Austria.

And lastly some beautiful purple bearded iris.

Purple Iris.

After about an hour or two spent just wandering we ambled back to the comfort of our ever comfortable floating hotel for yet another sumptuous dinner.  Life on board was so relaxed and carefree. Not even a bed to make come morning. D.B. and I just wish we had someone to spoil us like this all the time!

Dining Room onboard Viking Tor.

Dining Room onboard Viking Tor.

Here are some video links to see more of the beautiful Golden Wachau Valley and Krems:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1qJDBTxFj8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4sD6IjgH4k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_1yGmvcDZk