Category: TRAVEL

Trip To Czechia: Telč

Telc 7

In 1550, Zachariáš of Hradec assumed authority over several Czech towns and villages. He was 24 years old. Telč, his inheritance’s leading town, had suffered a fire 20 years earlier. Zachariáš visited Italy in 1551 and brought the renaissance home to Telč. New projects were commissioned that looked to improve the towns appearance and function. Stone replaced wood as the principal building material. A large central square dominates the town. Zachariáš upgraded the castle, added city walls, and created lakes to surround the town. The lakes aided security and provided a food source. After Zachariáš died in 1589, Telč continued to flourish becoming an important trade center. Many of the town’s home adopted Baroque facades during later renovations. However, the town maintained many 16th Century characteristics. Telč was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. We made a quick visit to Telč in March 2018. Unfortunately, we did not have an opportunity to visit the castle. We walked around the town and ate lunch at a restaurant on the main square. I hope you enjoy the pictures we enjoyed the town.

Trip To Austria: St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St Stephens Ext 2

Our visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna was the first time we experienced the interior of a European Cathedral. We were awestruck. It is hard to describe the magnitude of everything I sensed, including sacredness, the expression of culture, and weight of history. We have visited others since, and the experience is the same. Although I had read about the symbolism of cathedrals, I did not grasp their beauty (even the less ornate ones) until I had visited one. This is a selection of pictures we took during our visit to St. Stephens. I hope you enjoy.

Trip To Ireland: Ruins

One of the more fascinating things we noticed on our trip to Ireland was the many stone ruins. Everything from castles and churches to farm houses and barns. We visited several preserved/ restored structures but we did not have an opportunity to explore any of the ruins. These are ten of the ones I was able to photograph from the bus. There were many others I was not able to photograph. I have identified them by their approximate location, usually the section of road we were traveling. I would be grateful if any of my Irish friends could help identify the ones I have not, or correct any miss-identifications.

1 Between Galway and Moher

Between Galway and Moher

Ramsdell House: Ceredo, West Virginia

Exterior 2

Z.D. Ramsdell House

Back in May, Mrs. Present and I traveled to nearby Ceredo, WV for a sneak peek of the recently restored Ramsdell House. Many of the objects displayed were found in the home. Please enjoy the pictures. I have a bit of history concerning Z.D. Ramsdell, his house, and the town of Ceredo at the end of the post. Links to more information on Eli Thayer, Ramsdell, and Ceredo are also provided.

The New Tygart Flyer

High Bridge

New Tygart Flyer on the High Bridge over Shavers Fork. Photo accessed at: mountainrailwv.com

A few weeks ago, Mrs. Present and I needed a short get-away. Central Appalachia has experienced a bit of heat this summer, so we wanted to do something relaxing. Elkins, WV is just two-and-a-half hours away and is home to the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad. Part of the Mountain Rails family of scenic railroads, the D&GVRR offers several routes and packages. We chose to ride the New Tygart Flyer, a four-hour round trip into the beautiful mountain valley of the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. We booked the Parlor Car, an all adult car with a cold cut sandwich buffet, desert, soft drinks, wine, and a host. After passing through a tunnel, trout camps, and some very rugged terrain, the out-bound trip ends at the Upper Falls of the Cheat. A severe rainstorm the previous evening left the river high. It also stranded several hikers at the railroad’s shelter at the falls. They rode back with us for the return trip. If you are visiting the area, and want to relax while taking in pretty views, I recommend the New Tygart Flyer.

Trip To Ireland: Dublin

The Liffey River Dublin

River Liffey Dublin

We had so much fun visiting Europe last year that we decided to book another Globus tour this year. This time we booked the Irish Escape, a 7-day tour of the Republic of Ireland that begins and ends in Dublin. Globus Escapes are a great introductory tour that visits many of the highlights associated with the tour’s given nation(s). We elected to travel in off-season again, March in celebration of my 60th birthday, as the prices are much reduced.

Trip To Austria: Vienna

SCHONBRUNN

Schönbrunn Palace

It was very cold when we visited Vienna. However, we had an excellent time.  While we enjoyed everything about the trip, these are pictures from three things we found special.

Trip To Austria: Belvedere Museum, Vienna

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Shortly after leading an Austrian Army to a remarkable victory over the Turks at Zenta in 1697, Prince Eugene of Savoy purchased a large plot of land outside Vienna. Eugene plan for the property included palaces and gardens. Johann Lukas Hildebrandt was selected as the project’s lead architect. Setting on a slope, the property rises gently from the front. Plans called for two palaces. The first, smaller palace, was built on the front (or lower part) of the property with a larger palace occupying the upper end. A large garden would stretch between the two palaces. Construction of the Lower Palace began sometime before 1712, and the Upper Palace was completed in 1723. Artists commissioned to work on the project include: painters Marcontonio Chiarini, Francesco Solimena, Carlo Carlone; and sculpture Giovanni Stanetti.

Trip To Hungary: Budapest Pictures

Kossuth Heros Square 3

Heroes’ Square: Statues and memorials tell the history of the Hungarian nation. At the base of the central column are the Seven Chieftains that lead the Magyar people to what is now Hungary. On top column the Archangel Gabriel holds the Hungarian Crown. In front of the central column is a monument to all heroes who fought for the Hungarian nation. Two colonnades form a semi-circle in the background. Statues depicting fourteen national heroes occupy the spaces between columns. Four statues above the colonnades represent (from left to right): Labor & Wealth, War, Peace, and Knowledge & Glory. For a list of the heroes depicted in the colonnades please click the link.