Welcome/Willkommen!

Hello and welcome. Hope you enjoy the images I have posted. Please do not reproduce them without my permission. Most are available as note/greeting cards or as prints/enlargements. Thank you for visiting my site and your comments.
Many have asked about the Header image above, which I named 'Eerie Genny'. It was originally shot with film [taken on the shore of the Genesee River near the Univ. of Rochester]. During the darkroom development, I flashed a light above the tray. The process, known as 'solarization', produces eerie, ghostlike effects; some have mistaken this image as an infra-red photo. Some 35+ years later, I scanned and digitized the print, and did a little modern day editing, and, voila.
« I confirm the subscription of this blog to the Paperblog service under the username shattman ».

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Grand Circle River Tour 15: Vienna [Sky Watch Friday]

A short ride from the hotel began our last day of the tour, to be spent in Vienna [Wien]. While Rosemarie and I were there last year on our own [prior to a Road Scholar tour of Budapest and Prague], much of what we saw this time turned out to be different. This is not surprising since there is so much to see in Vienna.
We begin this year’s visit with a visit to the baroque Belvedere Palace, actually a complex of two palaces and a museum set within a beautiful park landscape.




The museum contains the largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt, some of which are also in Wien’s Leopold Museum [see my 2017 posting]. One of Klimt’s most famous paintings is The Kiss, which explains its display on the side of a delivery truck parked at the Palace. My wife does not look impressed….

After departing the palace, we took a bus tour through the city and then stopped off at a central location. We had some free time to lunch [a street Bratwurst on a hard roll] and walk about in an area near St. Stephan’s Dom.


Some of the exterior figures were particularly interesting to me. The Romanesque reliefs caught my eye, as well as a representation of the Beschneidung Christi [Circumcision of Christ], which is actually a day of celebration in Germany and Austria.



 Here our sightseeing/picture taking concludes. At night we celebrated a farewell dinner at our hotel, an early morning wake-up and transfer to the airport. Grand Circle Tours really delivered on its promises, especially when nature didn't cooperate by having too low water levels for our ship to sail. I want to say thanks to those of you who have followed this adventure over the last 15 postings. I hope you enjoyed/learned something from them.
Unfortunately, Google+ has informed me that they are going to remove all my blog postings by April 2 [all previous Comments have already been expunged]. I think other bloggers using Google+ will have the same fate. Hopefully, I will find a way to get my posts back up without them....




Thursday, February 7, 2019

Grand Circle River Tour 14: Melk Abbey [Sky Watch Friday]


As I noted in last week’s posting, our ship was not able to risk sailing further on the  Danube [Donau] due to the low water level. So, while we again went by bus to our next destination, the 900 year old baroque Abbey of Melk in Austria, our luggage was transported to a hotel just outside of Vienna [Wien], where we would stay the remaining two nights of our trip.
The Abbey became a Benedictine monastery in 1089 and a center for medieval scholarship. Its library contains more than 70,000 books and 2,000 manuscripts. The other rooms were breathtakingly ornate, so much so that I thought it ‘obscene’. Photography was strictly verboten, so I cannot document the interior, but I have several shots of the surrounding area.





Thursday, January 31, 2019

Grand Circle River Tour 13: München [Sky Watch Friday]

In Regensburg we experienced another glitch in our itinerary. We were supposed to sail from there southward towards München [Munich] and catch the last day of the Oktoberfest. However, once again, the low water level of the river precluded that. So, we made our way there by bus. Our rest stop was at the BMW headquarters and museum [located in the northern part of the city] turned out to be an unexpected treat. 



We then proceeded into the heart of town where we parked just outside the Residenz. Across the street was the Italian Baroque-style church, the Theatinerkirche. The lower image is from another time in Munich. It was shot northwards towards the area known as Schwabing; a tower of the Ludwigskirche is visible in the background along with the Siegestor [Arch of Victory].


My wife and I again separated from our walking tour to meet a dear old friend, Eva Z., whom we have known since the mid 1960s. The next few photos of iconic structures are also from a previous visit. The double towers of the brick Liebfraukirche are visible from all around the city. It suffered heavy damage in WWII and underwent massive rebuilding. Part of the new City Hall [in neo-Gothic style] is in the foreground of both images. At 11:00 am each day, throngs of people assemble in the square below to listen to its magnificent Glockenspiel and watch a drama unfold.


We met up with our tour group in the square and headed by bus out to the Theresienwiese to celebrate Oktoberfest. Unfortunately, we had to park quite a distance from the grounds, so we were obliged to make our way on foot along with thousands of others streaming there from all directions. Suffice it to say, the walk was unpleasant. The 'Wiese', a huge meadow, is a giant fairground filled with beer gardens, carnival rides, food stalls, souvenir stands and masses of people. Wisely, I did not bring my Canon DSLR camera along; also, the crowds were simply too much to bother with cell phone shots. So the remaining images below are drawn from my archive [dating back to 1967]. The Löwenbrau tent exterior [top] and interior [next three] are followed by a ride and souvenir dolls. The bottom image is a directional to the public toilet facilities. The German text translates literally to, ‘There can one - if one must’! More than sixty years later, this figure is still posted at various sites along the grounds.







After lunch we trekked back to the buses and returned to our ship still docked in Regensburg...more to follow next week.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Grand Circle River Tour 12: Regensburg [Sky Watch Friday]

As we proceeded towards Regensburg through the Rhein-Main-Donau Canal, we encountered some of the highest locks along the route. The Captain gave us a heads-up to go up on deck and see this one [a change in water level of over 60 feet ].



In the morning  we arrived in Regensburg, one of Gemany’s largest and best preserved medieval cities. A long walk along the river took us to the old Stone Bridge, built in the 12th century (Germany’s oldest bridge) at the time the Cathedral was also under construction. As you can see, a lot of other folks were heading in the same direction.


                                 I couldn’t resist getting a shot of this young Bavarian’s hat.


                                    We finally arrived in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral.


 
It was just as impressive on the inside. Particularly fascinating for me was the smiling figure [bottom image].




Wandering through the streets there were frequently little surprises, such as a passageway or a sausage stand. The Wurstkuchl, located right next to the old Stone Bridge, is regarded as the oldest takeout restaurant in the world (over 500 years old). I tried their Bratwurstkipfel, a bratwurst on a hard roll with Wurstkuchl’s famous sweet mustard. That was a special treat.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Grand Circle River Tour 11: Nürnberg [Sky Watch Friday]

I am back from winter vacation and ready to continue our itinerary. Our next port of call was Nürnberg, (in)famous for the Nazi rallies in the 1930s and 40s, as well as for the post war trials. Our first bus stop was to visit Zeppelin Field where those massive rallies were held [the name derives from the fact that Count Zeppelin once landed his dirigible there]. Surrounding this enormous field are the stands that held 150,000 spectators; just a small number of the pedestals for the light and flag towers is shown [top image]. The bottom image is of the tribune where the Nazi hierarchy sat and delivered their speeches. It is illegal today to make the Nazi salute, and someone taking a selfie might be mistaken for making the salute gesture…and end up speaking to authorities.



We left the field and drove to the hall of justice, hoping to gain entrance into courtroom where the original trial took place. Since the room is still used today, we were fortunate that it was available for tour groups to enter. The present courtroom [top image] has undergone some changes from the original [bottom image]. Still, it was an emotional experience being there.



After the lecture we headed for the main market place. It was at this point that Rosemarie and I separated from the group to meet with her cousin, Hans Jürgen, and his wife, Maria, who happen to live in Nürnberg. Our meeting place was at the famous Schöner Brunnen [Beautiful Fountain], a 14th century stone structure that was originally supposed to be the tower for the Frauenkirche located behind it. It turned out to be way too heavy, so a Plan B had to be devised; viz. make it a fountain and leave it there. Closeups of some of the fountain’s stone figures are shown. Getting those shots was difficult due to the fencing surrounding the fountain.






We passed the next several hours walking around, having lunch and catching up on family news. Eventually it was necessary to say Auf Wiedersehen, as we had to join up with our group on the bus.
In closing, I have to say here that to me Nürnberg is one of the most fascinating small cities in Germany. I know from several prior visits that there is so much more in the way of religious, cultural and art historical significance than I have shown here.  For example, there are two other churches [the Sebaldus Kirche and Lorenz Kirche] that contain some wonderful works of the late 15th century  stone sculptor and architect, Adam Kraft. His masterpiece is a tabernacle in the Lorenz church. At its base is a figure that is his 'self-portrait'. Since there was not enough time to revisit either church this trip, I will show a pair of photos from 2012 illustrating this unusual work.



So, if you are ever planning a trip to Germany, I recommend that you do a little research beforehand; I trust you will want to add Nürnberg to your itinerary.