An Adventure A Day

Because "life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" – Helen Keller

Friday Photo: Happy Place

October 16, 2015


I enjoy the city, I am at home in the country, I appreciate the ocean, but I love the mountains.

And while I adore spending time exploring just about any mountain, it is in the Austrian Alps that I find my happy place.

I must admit that I’m hard-pressed to find a spot anywhere in the Alps that I don’t enjoy, but the Austrian Alps hold a special place in my heart.

I love the people who live in the mountains of Austria, I have always found them warm, welcoming, friendly, and aware of just how fortunate they are to call such a spectacular place home.

The landscape is overpowering, it is a place that puts the world into perspective, and I cherish every moment I am able to escape to these breathtaking environs.

Whether it’s a hike through an alpine meadow, a swim in an alpine lake, or hitting one of the countless ski slopes, there is an amazing and unequaled beauty in the mountains. It’s no mystery to me why Maria (from The Sound of Music) goes to the hills when her heart is lonely.

 

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Travel Theme: Paint

October 15, 2015


In keeping with this week’s travel theme at Where’s My Backpack?, I thought I’d take a look at some of the paint I’ve seen around Europe.

When you think of paint and Europe, you probably first envision the masterpieces, then maybe the great churches,  or the magnificent murals. Perhaps you think a particular artist who leaves you mesmerized by their work.  I admit, I do to. Until I go for a walk that is. When you vacation somewhere, you are looking for what’s special, but in doing so, you often overlook what’s special in the ordinary things around you. One of the nice things about living somewhere new is being able to look beyond the main attractions of a town to find the beauty in everyday. To stop and admire how the people who live somewhere have added color to their lives.

Some of the most lovely buildings I’ve seen were simpler than the grand palaces and cathedrals, yet no less beautiful.

 

Even in the mountains, paint adds a touch of color and accentuates the beauty around every corner of a trail.

And of course no painted tale would be complete without a few fishing boats.

 

For more examples of paint in travels, head over to Where’s My Backpack?

Travel Theme: Intense

October 3, 2015


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To travel is to live intensely. You are constantly inundated by new sights, new sounds, new smells, new languages, and new experiences. To travel is to learn intensely. History leaves the pages when you see the places, walk in the footsteps, visualize the realities of the people who lived their lives in times that shaped the world.

Travel can elicit intense emotions, especially when you encounter memorials. In Europe, you’ll pass a memorial in nearly every town. There are war memorials, memorials to Christian Martyrs, memorials to victims of plague, to victims of communism, and to victims of the holocaust. There are large memorials, and small memorials, memorials that are well-known and well-attended, and memorials that are all but forgotten.

The travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? is intense, and I wanted to focus on one of the most intense memorials I’ve observed. The story behind the memorial is a lesser known event in the history of World War II, intense in its callousness. The memorial itself is simple, and the intensity lies in the simplicity of design, of what is given to you to interpret. The memorial is Budapest’s Shoes on the Danube.

Within sight of the Chain Bridge, in the shadow of the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, sixty pairs of metal shoes line the banks of the Danube. They remain a silent reminder of a horrific period of history. The monument was erected in 2005, conceived by film-maker Can Togay and sculptor Gyula Pauer to honor the memories of the Hungarian Jews who were lined up and shot by the Arrow Cross Militia on the banks of the Danube River between 1944 and 1945. The location was chosen to allow the Danube to sweep away the bodies – after the victims removed their shoes.

The memorial includes shoes in all sizes and styles. There are men’s shoes, women’s shoes, and children’s shoes. There are work shoes, and dress shoes, old shoes and new. Standing before this row of shoes you are forced to consider not only the individuals who faced such an undeserved death, but the perpetrators of such a crime. Intense indeed.

Visit Where’s My Backpack to view more Intense travel.

 

Friday Photo: Change

October 2, 2015


“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…”  C. S. Lewis

Change. So much is held in this one small word. One word that can simultaneously represent fear, excitement, anxiety, anticipation, dread, happiness, sadness, gain, and loss. They are found in each passing year, season, day, each moment. Some slip quietly by, unnoticed. Others immediately alter your world. Change is a challenge, change is an opportunity. It is an inevitability that is always just around the next corner. This week, the them of the WordPress photo challenge is Change. I thought for this challenge I would share just a few pictures from a handful of the places I’ve called home over the years. Home, a constant for many, is an ever-changing entity for my family. For us, change is all of those emotions, and more. Change is home.

You can see more Change here.