Category: Travel

Beautiful Blue Danube 8: There and Back

Posted June 12th, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 8: There and Back

Was getting a bit worried we weren’t going to get out of Budport. No, not a bar for rowdy boys but Budapest Airport aka Liszt Ferenc Airport. We are charmed that the airport is named for one of Hungary’s creative greats. Sort of like Rome’s Fiumicino being Leonardo da Vinci. My Dear One and I…

Beautiful Blue Danube 7: Hungarian Rhapsody

Posted June 11th, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 7: Hungarian Rhapsody

The evening on the Danube, buildings floodlit and bridges a-twinkle, was the cruise’s grand finale. As Captain Igor set a course downstream, the breeze, after an unseasonably hot day, lifted spirits as well as locks of hair damp with sweat. We passed Margaret’s Island as the sun snuffed out behind low hills textured with trees….

Beautiful Blue Danube 6: A Viking Cruise

Posted June 9th, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 6: A Viking Cruise

As we approached Vienna, the sun shone steadily and the Danube momentarily reflected blue. We passed through another lock, dropping to match the water level to the east, watching as massive gates swung toward us, a vertical opening that widened and widened, a sort of concrete-and-steel proscenium curtain. As the Atla moved forward a light…

Beautiful Blue Danube 5: Dancing With Horses

Posted June 8th, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 5: Dancing With Horses

  They moved with power and precision underneath that great Baroque ceiling as riders sat in near perfect stillness. They ranged from the sooty gray to nearly pure white, manes sometimes braided up, fetlock-length tails blunt-cut at the bottom. Uniforms signaled place in the professional hierarchy: novices in blue hacking jackets, powder-blue shirts and dark…

Beautiful Blue Danube 4: Pilgrimage

Posted June 6th, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 4: Pilgrimage

I was alone in the church, and the two people I saw as a reached the summit had gone when I came out. A slight breeze tousled my hair away from perspiring neck, a mother’s caress; I was still slightly breathless after the climb. Birds sang and the sun shone on Mariahilf, deepening the colors…

Beautiful Blue Danube 3: Dienstag in Regensburg

Posted June 4th, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 3: Dienstag in Regensburg

Under the metallic light in Regensburg on this March-like day in May, the Beautiful Blue Danube flows southeasterly with vigor. The water is definitely not blue; mostly it is greenish with brown reflections, and glints of pewter on the wavelets. Regensburg is crawling with tour groups, way too many of them following the red lollipops…

Beautiful Blue Danube 2: Through A Dozen Locks

Posted June 4th, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 2: Through A Dozen Locks

We are cruisin’, really bookin’ down the Am Europakanal (aka the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal) toward Regensburg and our hook-up with the Danube. The water rippling by in he damp, gray chill is all I can hear–although a few kilometers back the birds were in forte chorus. A flock of sheep surged onto the shore for a…

Beautiful Blue Danube 1: Departure

Posted June 1st, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 1: Departure

We are deeply grateful to be sitting at PHI and not at Dulles, the airport from hell that sits at the other end of the drive from hell. Nor did the choke points between our home and the departure gate make us gag. I-95 traffic was sluggish now and then but not jammed. A 1:15…

Listen and Follow Directions

Posted March 13th, 2016
Listen and Follow Directions

The most common comment on any report card I received in elementary school was, “Ellen would do well if she would just learn to follow directions.” Teachers stopped saying that as I got older but only because the grading system was about the mark and not about any insight into my approach to learning and…

La Jolla 3: Why can’t the writers…learn…to…think?

Posted January 27th, 2016
La Jolla 3: Why can’t the writers…learn…to…think?

Professor Henry Higgins—or the voice of Rex Harrison—is stuck in my brain. It is not so much that I lament English ill-organized and -enunciated in ordinary communications. It is more a matter of abuse heaped on words and syntax by whoever is writing those damned labels for modern art. This is not a new whine…