Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh Venice.. City of dreams...

When entering Venice
come in through the back canals

away from the crowds of the inevitable tourists
away from the noisy water taxis and buses

and glide in a gondola
in the silence of the magic

under the arches of ancient bridges

for this is the secret Venice
that enchants
and you whisper
I am here again..

what is it about your watery ways

your aged tatty self

that makes you seem a lover

that bewitches

and confuses


here I am again
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Friday, October 28, 2011

A doodle..thoughts on Kehlstein mountain

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Kehlsteinhaus . Hitler's Eerie..

...from Obersalzberg, 12 miles from Salzberg,
we are taken by shuttle bus up the amazing 6.5 km road
that was built by Borman in 13 months,costing 30million ReichMarks,
as part of the 50th birthday gift for Hitler.

With five tunnels and a scary hairpin bend,
sheer drops and fabulous views.. it certainly is a thrilling ride.

Obersalzberg was Hitler's home and the second seat of the Third Reich.

To reach Kehlsteinhaus - the lodge that was the birthday gift-
we walk through a tunnel and take the lift. A marvel in itself.
The lift shaft is 407 feet bored straight up through the mountain and the lift is
made of polished brass with venetian glass mirrors and green leather.

The tunnel to the lift.
Apart from the cost of construction in RMs it also cost the
lives of 12 construction workers, so dangerous it was and relentless
in the speed of construction, to be ready for the birthday in 1939.

At the summit is the lodge.
I felt a deep sadness thinking how power can go so wrong
and the consequences so terrible.
Standing in Eva's bedroom, looking out over the mountains,
I pondered how easily I can shut out the realities of our world.

The views are stunning..

I sat on a quiet seat alone and listened to the silence
and breathed the mountain air..

I remembered the story of how the devil took Jesus up a mountain
and offered him the whole world.
Jesus said .. no thank you.

I imagined the devil taking Hitler up this mountain..

and I prayed for all the leaders in our world today.. 

An interesting observation .. Hitler rarely visited the house on Kehlstein Mountain..using it
mainly to impress VIP's, and staying no longer than 20 minutes.
He was afraid of heights, of lightning strikes.. and didn't trust the lift!
His girlfriend Eva loved it.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Memories of Mozart...

The lovely Gaby dancing outside
summer house.
Gaby took us on a walking tour around the city ..

Lovely Salzburg.
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Salzburg, Austria....

Our stay in Salzburg
was sunshine, music and Mozart.

The gardens

the baroque architecture


and statues
(of Sound of Music fame).

The castle that keeps watch over the old town and the River Salzach

and houses that witnessed the gifted Mozart during his life

and the very beginning of it.

Peaceful corners

and baroque fountains..
just the setting for young women dressed in dirndls
for a pre-wedding hen party.

A famous cafe..
(  imagine a cafe founded in 1703 ! )

the cathedral..

more horses..


and bishops.

An evening stroll around the castle on the hill

rewards us with a fabulous view
of a beautiful city
never to be forgotten.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

'Tis a strange thing to fly to the north
and travel in lands where autumn is arriving
in tones of golds and reds and browns
and the dry leaves falling are blown about by the chill  from a cold north wind..

then to fly home again to the south and
discover spring has arrived
and the blackbirds are singing songs of passion in the early mornings
and winter bare trees are once again decked in 
 greenery that dances in a warm north wind..

I have been dancing in that dance of the seasons
that never ends..
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

NZ All Blacks are Rugby World Champions!!!

I have just watched the final of the Rugby World cup in NZ!
New Zealand versus France

What a fight!
NZ won by one point!

I feel a proud kiwi tonight.
As I go off to bed at midnight
I can hear the celebrations down in the city.
I'm not the only happy kiwi tonight!

As we left the airport it was such a surprise
to see black flags with the silver fern and little flags of
New Zealand flying from the cars.
It looked such a celebration.

I love you NZ, my country..
the way you pull together be it for A Rugby World Cup,
a terrible earthquake or a disasterous oil spill.
How wonderful to have this successful festival to cheer everyone!

Now I can return to my  no-tv-sport zone!
Where's my book...

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How beautiful this city with the mountains surrounding it ..

At the end of the square there is the Golden Roof
on the balcony built for Maximilian1.

I love the national costume of Austria / Tyrol.

Beautiful colours and styles for the women

and handsome suits for the men.

Gracious and ornate architecture

and that balcony with the Gold Roof so Maximilian
can sit and watch his people in the square and feel very important.

We visit the shops and here are my feet on the Swarovski Crystal
shop glass stairs.

A most picturesque place

with awe inspiring scenery.
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