Kolner Rathaus (Cologne Town Hall)

For a city that was almost bombed out of existence, Cologne (Koln) has a historic sense of humor. The old city hall has been restored including the statue at its base of a man mooning the tax collector. The late Gothic style tower has an impressive 130 stone statues and the famous “Platzjabbeck”. This is a an ugly human male face that sticks its tongue out when the tower clock strikes the hour.

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Kolner Rathaus (Cologne Town Hall)

Catawba Island Ohio

When i was a child we spent a summer vacation on Catawba Island, We stayed in a rustic cabin along the lake. We took the Ferry to Put-in-Bay on Bass Island and visited the memorial to Admiral Perry celebrating his naval victories on Lake Erie during the war of 1812. It was a great childhood memory. This year we visited on my birthday and the area was still fantastic. I didn’t see any rustic cabins but instead exquisite waterfront homes.

We had a great birthday dinner at the 1812 Restaurant and visited the State Park and Marblehead Lighthouse. All in all it was a great trip and we plan to go back for a longer visit next year.

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Catawba Island Ohio

Catawba Island Ohio

Spring Pond

Catawba Island Ohio

Spring Pond

North of Sandusky Ohio lies Port Clinton and Catawba Island. The island is assessable by bridge and from the island you can take ferries to the other islands of Lake Erie like Bass Island. Bass Island has a port known as Put-In-Bay and is the site of where Admiral Perry fought famous battles during the War of 1812.

On the east end of Catawba island is Catawba Island State Park. There are many trails, beaches and boat launches and this lovely spring pond we found along a beach trail.

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Spring Pond

Also Santa Monica

Yesterday I posted Santa Monica and extolled on the virtues of this wonderful beach town. Although as Dr Phil says, no mater how flat you make a pancake it has two side.

Another view from the Santa Monica Pier.

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Also Santa Monica

Santa Monica

The first time I saw the beach at Santa Monica was in 1967. The pier looks pretty much the same today and the beach is still a spectacular stretch of white sand. Of course the neighborhood is even more upscale and wealthy then it was in the 1960’s. They were just building the Interstate 10 and back then Santa Monica couldn’t compete with Westwood and Beverly Hills. Of course it is beachfront and as Los Angeles grew so did the price tag in Santa Monica.

It is a public beach so you see all kinds of people there from hippies and families to bodybuilders and of course tourists. There is a wonderful bike and pedestrian path that runs all the way from the Pier to Venice and Muscle Beach. It is a great walk for people watching and exercise.

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Santa Monica

Santa Monica

The Dragon of San Monica Pier

Santa Monica

Magnificent Ceiling

We wandered in to a small dark Church in Munich. It was very dark, small and not real impressive. We went through the small Church museum and the place was also small and relatively unimpressive. Then we went upstairs and discovered another another hall of worship and wow, it was flooded with light, stain glass windows and one of the most beautiful ceilings I have ever seen.

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Magnificent Ceiling

The Holy Crucifix and Calvary on the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge is an historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. Construction began in 1357 and for a long time it was the only way to cross the river in Prague. The bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town. The bridge is lined with sculptures and always filled with vendors, street musicians and tourists from all over the world.
The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in the 1970’s and had to undergo significant repairs. It was decided to make it only pedestrian traffic and has become a famous tourist location. You stroll on the bridge, but it is not a good place for excercize although you see some attempting to jog.

The balustrade of the bridge is lined with 30 baroque sculptures created between 1683 and 1714.The Holy Crucifix and Calvary is one of the most famous and as you can see difficult to photograph on a crowded bridge. I do believe the young lady’s face adds more to the composition than would the top of the cross. Although at the very top are the Hebrew words “Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh” which is part of an ancient and important Jewish prayer.

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The Holy Crucifix and Calvary on the Charles Bridge