My Virtual Vacation Day 8—Versailes France

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is the Paris suburb of Versailles. There are so many reasonable day trips from Paris. Unpack once and train your way to a variety of amazing places.

The Palace of Versailles is an amazing world herbage site, It was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometers southwest of the centre of Paris.

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My Virtual Vacation Day 7—Orléans France

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is Orléans France. I was so excited to visit this city since I have spent a fair amount of time in its sister city of New Orleans.

It is a short train ride from Paris and provides a wonderful day away from the vibrant Capitol. The setting is beautiful along the banks of the Loire river. The culture and history is fascinating and best known as the home of Joan of Arc and her statute dominates the main square. The statue was partially destroyed during World War Two and rebuilt with help from the city of New Orleans in the USA. I hope some day to cruise the river and hopefully return.

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Orléans France

Orléans City Hall

Joan of Arc

Siam Restaurant

Saint Anne

Barcelona in Monochrome

Barcelona is a colorful and vibrant city. The buildings are colorful and so are the people. Eating at a tapas restaurant is colorful as is the color of Mediterranean sea. Everywhere you go you see color yet the city is also perfect for monochrome photography. Here are a few from our trip last year.

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Sculpture and Man

My Virtual Vacation Day 5—Milan Italy

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop Milan in Northern Italy. Many bypass this city for Rome or Florence but Milan has its own fascinating history and is the gateway to the beautiful lakes of Tuscany.

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Candidate#3–Canals of Milan

The Girl in The Blue Dress

Milanese Fashion

At Prayer

My Virtual Vacation Day 5—Hohenschwangau Bavaria

We had hoped in retirement to travel the world. So far we have done a pretty good job with trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and The Czech Republic. However the pandemic has stopped all of that for a while. So while waiting for Africa, Alaska and Scandinavia, our current travel is going to have to be virtual. Today’s stop is Hohenschwangau Bavaria. It is a small German village near the Austrian border, It is most famous as the home of Neuschwanstein Castle. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of Richard Wagner. The castle was used by Disney as a model for their theme parks.

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Bavaria

Schloss Hohenschwangau

Candiate #1–Schloss Schwangau

Summer Sunday at Jardin du Luxembourg

I miss traveling so I have been been looking through old files for summertime images. This was taken in Paris at the Jardin du Luxembourg in 2009. Every time I visit Paris we go to this garden. Paris is like any other major city, things slow down on Sunday. In the summer people have a lot of Parks to choose from in Paris. Parc Monceau,Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin du Palais Royal are some of the better known spots. However, my favorite is the Jardin du Luxembourg adjacent to Luxembourg Palace which is the center of the French Government. It is very large with many different spaces and you can see lovers kissing, joggers jogging and some of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

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Sunday In Paris


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Cathedral of Learning 4/28/2020

It’s strange to be able to stand in the middle of the street and take this shot. No cars, one person walking at high noon. This is our second outing in 7 weeks and still Pittsburghers seem to be following the guidelines for social distancing. This is probably the reason there has not been a big surge in cases here. I hope we have the stamina to keep it up.

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Cathedral of Learning

A Moment of Hope #5

We are living in some scary times right now. I am old and have lived through others but this one is somehow different and maybe more frightening. So until it is over each day I plan to post an image that provides calmness and a moment of zen. We all need a lot of moments like these right now.

I am a spiritual but not religious person. Dogma is not my thing. However religion gives many people hope and to not allow people to attend services must add an additional level of anxiety. So I am pleased to see that most religious services are available online.

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Basilica of Santa Maria Pipe Organ

Desert Fountains

One expects the desert to have little water. Of course that’s true. Try driving the back roads from California to Nevada if you need proof. However people who own property in the Palm Springs area seem obsessed with water. Small houses will frequently have fountains and large resorts have many water features from large fountains on golf courses to small little ones in gardens. Here are a couple from our recent trip.

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Desert Fountains

Desert Fountains

The Tuscan Island of Elba

Our cruise ship, The Azamara Pursuit was a small luxury cruise liner. Because of that we could visit smaller ports that can’t be reached by the large cruise ships.

When The Pursuit docked in Portoferraio it was the largest ship in the harbor and the only cruise liner there on that day. This made our stay on Elba more enjoyable. Portoferraio is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful and filled with shops, cafe’s and beautiful beaches.

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Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Portoferraio

Portoferraio