Sunday, 27 November 2011

A November trip through the Donau-Auen National Park

Last Saturday my friend and I went by train to a place called Wolfsthal, 70 km East of Vienna.

Originally we had planned to follow the St. James' Way, but soon St. James' Way led us to the banks of the river Danube and we followed the hidden paths throuhg the riparian forests instead.

The sandbanks of the river were much larger than usual.
Due to a very dry autumn season, the water-level of the Danube is extremely low.

We had not expected to see Devín castle on the other side of the Danube in such beauty.
The afternoon light was picture perfect, and so we walked down to the dry sandbanks to get a closer look.

Devín castle (Burg Theben) is situated on a 212 m high cliff at the confluence of the Danube and Moravian rivers in Slovakia.
The place has been settled since the Neolithic and fortified since the Bronce and Iron Age.
We plan to visit the cliff next summer to explore the ruins!

We walked on through the riparian forests along the old arms of the Danube.
The path is so romantic! It strongly reminded me of the fantastic settings of the Kingdom Hearts video games series. I even expected to find Kairi and Riku around the corner :)

Of course we were not on Riku's Island, but in the Donau-Auen National Park near Hainburg, one of the largest remaining floodplains of the Danube in Middle Europe.

Also the history of the National Park Donau-Auen is remarkable:
In 1984, Austrian environmental activists began a successful fight against plans to build another hydro-electric power plant at the Danube which would have destroyed the unique area.
Clearing operations had already begun and the first trees had been chopped when the activists began to occupy the area.
The occupation of the floodplains in Hainburg led to a significant change in Austria's idea of the meaning of democracy and of the protection of the enviroment.

Thus the Donau-Auen National Park was founded and designated an IUCN category II national park.
It spans the areas of Vienna (Lobau), Groß-Enzersdorf, Orth an der Donau, Eckartsau, Engelhartstetten, Hainburg, Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, Petronell-Carnuntum, Regelsbrunn, Haslau-Maria Ellend, Fischamend and Schwechat,
which is an area of 93 square kilometers (3.900ha).

After a three hours walk, we arrived in Hainburg and had a delicious meal at the elegant local Gasthaus Zum goldenen Anker.

If you want to see some more pictures, please follow this link !

Monday, 31 October 2011

A visit to Telč - UNESCO World Heritage

Telč is a town in southern Moravia, in the Czech Republic. The town was founded in the 13th century as a royal water fort on the crossroads of busy merchant routes between Bohemia, Moravia and Austria.

The most significant sight is the town square, a unique complex of long urban plaza with well-conserved Renaissance and
Baroque houses with high gables and arcades; since 1992 all of this has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1979
Werner Herzog filmed the movie Woyzeck in Telč.

It's only 2 hours by car from Vienna to Telč!
Sometimes it's really good to make a weekend trip to a neighbouring country!

We had coffee and sweets under the arcades at the plaza, and afterwards we strolled around the lake and enjoyed the reflections of the town in the clear blue water.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Today's Flowers - Late Autumn Flowers

September in Austria was very warm this year, up to 25° C /77° F!
And the weather will be warm also next week!

And the gardens in Vienna are still full of colourful flowers!

See flowers all around the globe here!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Autumn is on its way!

On my trip this afternoon I saw

Crystal raindrops on spiderwebs

Delicate butterflies in autumn colours

Bizarre flowers of late summer

In a softly rolling landscape

A roadside shrine unter trees

amidst wineyards full of grapes

in red and blue and gold

and sooo delicious!

What a fabulous season!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A wonderful end of summer and flowers on my window

We had a wonderful second half of August here in Vienna this year,
warm, hot, sunny, temperatures inviting you to swim in the Old and the New Danube.
Today the sky was as blue as the morning glories in the Pawlatsche, the arcade, leading to the doors of our apartments on our floor.

On my window, the flowers celebrate the end of summer.

I spent the whole day at the the New Danube today, swimming, dozing in the sun, walking along the beach, my doggy trying to catch fish in the shallow water. Now she is satisfied and sleepy! So am I!

Have a pleasant week ahead!

Friday, 22 July 2011

A Kiss on the Hand

On our hiking tour in Slovenia we came across two happy free-ranging pigs. The piggies were willing to establish contact with us!

My friend put fourth her hand and one of the curious little fellows came near!

After a careful examination, he gently kissed her hand!

A perfect cavalier!

But one kiss is not enough!
The devoted gentleman did not refuse my hand too, and so I could also feel the cool touch of his little wet snout!

He was a perfect charmer! And I guess he was well aware of that!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Skies in Egypt

Sky Watch Friday:
Here are some pictures I made in Egypt in November last year!
Sky watch pictures, of course :)

Here are our first impressions of the African sky :
White feathery clouds over pink desert sands!
I was really stunned!

I think I made 100 pictures or even more!

And then the blue-green strip of the river Nile appeared!

Egypt's lifeline in the desert!

The white sails of a felucca boat brought us to the Botanical Garden in Assuan.

The subtropical vegetation of Kitchener's island gave us pleasant shadow in the heat of the Assuan skies!

Mimosa bushes perfumed the sky over the eternal temples of Abu Simbel.

In Edfu, antique columns worshipped the sky since ancient times.

Finally we reached the Red Sea at Hurghada,
with desert moutains in the evening light hovering over bizarre tourist palaces...

Ahhh... romantic, though,...

We visited a Bedouin-village in the desert mountains at dusk.
A camel ride, Bedouin dishes, Bedouin carpets...

Bedouin children
going home when the sky was getting pale.

Sunset over the desert!

We went back to Europe and wished to come back soon!

Sky Watch Friday!
All around the globe!