We spent the morning investigating the Fürst Pückler Park on our bikes - old trees, a viaduct, views to the palace, a little lake.
Out of curiosity we had a look at the enormous outdoor market at the Polish border. Many German shoppers there saving money on cigarettes and other goods that are cheaper in Poland. A rather tawdry scene. No pictures.
Around noon we were ready to be on our way to Berlin. We had several heavy downpours before we arrived. It is now raining again as I write and we are comfortably ensconced in our hotel.
Before checking out of our hotel in Görlitz, we took another walk through the city. We were even more amazed than yesterday at the extent of the restoration of this city which is truly unique in its wealth of historical architecture.
For contrast I took some shots of buildings not yet restored as well as of the impressive restorations.
A short drive took us to the town of Leknica on the Polish side of the Neiße River where we had booked a room for the night. On the way we stopped for coffee in Rothenburg - not the world famous Rothenburg on the Tauber but Rothenburg on the Neiße. It had the feeling of a village of dolls houses, all in such good repair.
What are we doing in Poland? From our little hotel close to the German border we have easy access to the splendid Muskauer Park. As soon as we had carried our bags to our room, we got on our bikes to get a first impression of the carefully planned, English style park and the palace of Prince Pückler, its architect. .
After a short walk in Marienbad's park and dodging showers, we were on our way. Quickly moving dark grey clouds and short downpours made us happy that we weren't on our bikes yet. Then the heavy traffic on the autobahn made us wish we were on our bikes (and quiet roads).
We are now in Görlitz, a city that survived the war without being bombed, but hardly survived the severe neglect during 40 years of socialism.
It has now been magnificently restored - Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau, you name it, all polished to perfection. It's a bit like a museum, some patina will do it good.
There's a lot more than what we got to see on our evening walk.
We're on our way. By car and with our bikes. A leisurely drive through Bavarian countryside, past fields and fields of hops.
With a stop in Rohr to visit the Asam church there, splendid baroque.
We almost visited Marienbad last year by bike, but didn't quite make it. Now we're here although the film "Last Year in Marienbad" wasn't filmed in Marienbad anyway, but in Nymphenburg in Munich.
Last but not least, we enjoyed an excellent meal with Bohemian bread dumplings and Czech beer.
A perfect day.
Janos and I will soon be on our way to Berlin, and from there our bike tour will start. With some trepidation. We are experienced bicycle tourers but we are getting older... need I say more?
A few things I want to keep in mind:
1. We are not competing with our former achievements.
2. Whenever we stop, be it after one day, one week or three, it will not be considered quitting, failure or giving up; it will simply mean we had enough.
3. If it's not enjoyable, it's not worth the effort.
4. At the age of 76 and 78 it's time to think about what is really important.
I'm hoping to blog and post pictures made with my smartphone while traveling. This post is a trial run.
PS The picture of the youthful cyclists in this post is not of Janos and me, in case you didn't guess.
Janos and I celebrated a belated birthday party with a small group of friends and family, a lovely afternoon and evening. Such nice people, such thoughtful presents ... and flowers. The next morning, as groggy as I was from celebrating, I couldn't resist having a go at a still life with the little bouquet that one of my guests had picked on the roadside.
Last Sunday some Munich photographers from the Flickr photo website met for a little photowalk in the Botnaical Garden where we walked, photographed and chatted. It was a congenial group of ten sharing a common interest.
Here are some of my photos from our walk.
In preparation for a photowalk with other photographers from the Flickr Photosite starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, I visited the Botanical Garden and tried to envision where we might like to spend an hour or two as a group. I've never organized a photowalk before and don't want to over-organize it, but I thought a bit of preparation before hand might not be a bad idea. The weather forecast says to expect a hot day with nary a cloud, not ideal conditions for photographing flowers. But flowers like sun, and it won't be easy to find any in the shade. The theme Flickr proposed for the photowalk is "macro", so I'm thinking of tree trunks, bark, leaves, grass ... Or just bring a diffusor.
Here are some pictures, focusing on color, from while I was scouting.
We took a short trip to Budapest, stopping on the way in Bratislava. Why Budapest? My husband, native to Budapest, attended his 60th (!) class reunion. We had lots of bright sun and high temperatures, at least by our standards. My shots aren't particularly representative of either city, just scenes that caught my eye.
An evening in Bratislava, Slovakia
Some snapshots from Budapest
Photos from Memento Park, an open-air museum in Budapest, dedicated to monumental statues and sculpted plaques from Hungary's Communist period.
A quote by the architect on the project: "This park is about dictatorship. And at the same time, because it can be talked about, described, built, this park is about democracy. After all, only democracy is able to give the opportunity to let us think freely about dictatorship.
... is up and running again. It is a space for notes on my daily doings - walks, bike rides, photo outings, travel. Thanks for reading.