We had no idea what little jewel of a town was just an hour with the train away. Soest has a lovely old town with a large part of the old city walls still there, lots of old buildings and fascinating churches. It has interesting history, too due to it's position as one of the major westphalian cities during the Hanse (actually Lubeck was founded by - among others - merchants from Soest, and the Soest' city rules were exported to many cities in the baltic area due to that during the Hanse time) and the cities decision to switch to the protestant faction during reformation has some really interesting situations with the large cathedral buildings in Soest beeing protestant (which is quite rare in Westphalia). Spent a great time there and had lots of fun exploring Soest.
We visited Trier and some places near Trier - the river valley of the Mosel river, Luxembourg (the city), Idar-Oberstein, a jewellers town in the Hunsrück mountain ranges and other littles Towns like Bernkastel-Krues and Lieser. A lovely and relaxing weekend.
Trier was fascinating with it many remains of the Romans. Luxembourg with it's fascinating placement over several hill plateaus, connected by bridges. Bern-Kastel and Lieser for their lovely old architectures and the whole river valley because of the great landscape. In Idar-Oberstein we visited the jewel mines, where they were digging for several jewels until the 19th century. All places well worth the visit.
For our summer vacation we decided to do something different - we took a car and drove all over Germany and Austria to Slovenia, traveling through Slovenia from the east border near Hungary to the slovenian Adria near Italy. On our way up, we took a first break at Bamberg, visiting it's world heritage old city.
After Bamberg, we went into Austria and stayed for a few days in Graz. There again we visited the (again world heritage) old city, the castle mountain and took a stroll all around it.
Next was Ptuj, our first stay in Slovenia. It is in the eastern part, close to Hungary. There are some interesting places close by, especially Jeruzalem, a hilly region that was once given to the knights of the cross by some caesar or other, and so really is connected in a way to Jerusalem. Nowadays it is dominated by whineries and their whine yards.
We went into the middle of Slovenia next, staying in a farm near the town Skofia Loka. It was a great place with great hosts, we really enjoyed it. And we really enjoyed the Julich Alps and the Kranj mountains close by and the little mountain villages and the scenery. Definitely a place we want to visit again some time. While there we visited Ljubljana, too.
On we went after a few days to Piran, or actually to Portoroz, a city at the slovenian Adria, quite close to the italian border near Triest. So we got some ocean action in and got a chance to visit Italy. The old city of Piran is a crazy place to visit!
We originally planned for a trip to Triest, but due to weather problems (rain in Portoroz and Triest) we went to Venice. Worse things could happen to travellers, I guess.
On the end of our travels we went to Villach in Austria, but didn't take a lot of photos there - guess some kind of vacation burn out or something. We did take a bunch again when we did a stop in Salzburg on our last days, though. And we had Salzburger Nockerl.
That's it from our summer vacation in 2014. Lots of fun, lots of great places to visit and a big success. I guess this roadtrip kind of vacation will happen in the future, again.
We went to Leiden in the Netherlands as a hub for a four day trip. Visiting the Keuckenhof near Lisse, the North Sea at Katwijk and the famous Gouda cheese in Gouda. The weather wasn't too agreeable, especially starting thursday, but hey, why again did I buy a weather proofed camera?
The flowers at Keuckenhof were quite impressive, even though I probably would have liked a bit more intellectual "flesh" to the colorful "bones" - a bit more about the history of tulips would have been fun. Oh well, we got orchids and lilies in addition to the tulips instead of education, so at least it was a feast for the eyes.
Gouda itself is a nice little town, and luckily we were there at the cheese market, so we got to see the touristy show. Since it is done by normal people, don't expect a highly tuned professional show. Fun anyway. And we like cheese.
Oh yeah, the sea - we got some in between by visiting Katwijk, where they were actually rebuilding the beach and embankment. Woops. Not something you get to see every day.
Well, the weather didn't really agree with our travel plans to Madeira, so we got far less hikes than we would have wished, but we did get a few in. And we got the wine. And a lovely place to stay - right in a botanical garden.
We longed for some sun after the long and chilly winter and spring. So we went to Santorin - what better place to enjoy the sun than a volcano in th emiddle of the greek mediteranean sea? And we enjoyed it. Yes, this is one of those boring holiday photo albums. Sorry!
To see all the photos, just click on the photo below and wait for the page to load.
We stayed in a little village at the edge of the island - Megalochori. That's "big village" translated, quite a mouthful for a vilage of 250 inhabitants. But it was lovely and a great place to start tours all over the island, wether it was for hitting the beach at Perissa, the ancient prehistoric city at Akrotiri or the capital Thira or the lovely villages Oya, Finikia, Pyrgos or Firostefani.
Photography is all about the light. So cut out the color, and just leave the light - and that is the fascination of black and white. I have a collection of my black and white photography on my site, best way to visit them is to use the "monochrome" link in the top of the site, since it is an album that will be building up over time, newest show at the top.
Vienna called and we listened. Well, actually it called twice, but only the second time we were able to visit. And so we got to see all the treasures of Vienna - both in the streets and in the museums. And what museum it was - the Kunsthistorisches Museum reopened it's Kunstkammer just starting this month (so in the end we were lucky in having to skip the first vacation), packed with the treasures of the House of Habsburg.
The weather wasn't the best, but not the worst, either. But it leaves some of the photographs with a bit murky sky. At least we didn't drown and didn't freeze to death (although the latter was a close call with snow on our last day). But we had a lot of fun and a lot of culture (sadly the Mozart museum didn't allow photographs and so did the Musikverein where we went for a concert) and can share this with you. Have fun.