Category: Travel

Christmas Letter 2016

Posted December 13th, 2016
Christmas Letter 2016

Dearest all, I made the pilgrimage on my own, from our moorage on the Danube in Passau, Germany, up the Wallfahrtsstiege, the 321 steps to the Mariahilf.  I counted off the Stations of the Cross and contemplated the gifts people had left, pleas for help and expressions of gratitude. No one else was there, no…

I-35: Minneapolis

Posted October 12th, 2016
I-35: Minneapolis

The Mall of America is… just…horrible. My Dear One suggested we visit. We weren’t in the mood to shop but we were curious about this place that is a destination for visitors from around the world. Parking was well-nigh impossible. There were lots outside and multilevel structures under cover. Having no idea as to how…

I-35: Mason City

Posted October 12th, 2016
I-35: Mason City

There is sculpture everywhere. Sofas, side tables and chairs in the park, children playing, bears looking confused, a marching band worth of horns, welded dinosaurs, silvery dancers, and even Frank Lloyd Wright looking approvingly at his hotel and bank downtown. Realism, abstraction, high art and humor. Who knew. And who knew that Mason City, a…

I-35: Des Moines

Posted October 12th, 2016
I-35: Des Moines

There were dropped jaws and more polite phrasings like, “What has persuaded you to make this move?” when I told people that I was moving to Iowa, in 1985 for a job as curator of education at the Des Moines Art Center. “Big careers are made in smaller museums,” I often answered. But the truth…

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…