A Summer Visit to the Summer Palace

Schonbrunn Palace

A busy summer day at the Summer Palace

This is the Summer Palace outside Vienna, the Schonbrunn Imperial Palace.  It’s the summer palace of the Hapsburg family, and the land has been in their family since 1569.   The wife of the Emperor Ferdinand had a palace built here in 1696, and nowadays it is a very popular tourist attraction, with some of the rooms in the palace open to the public, together with the magnificient maze, the gloriette, amazing sculptures and waterfalls like the photo below, with Neptune and his nymphs enjoying the waters

Schonbrunn Palace

One of the sculptures of Neptune

There are so many different and interesting buildings and sculptures to see at the Gardens that we spent almost a whole day wandering around, taking lots of photos, enjoyed a gelato and coffee at the cafe in the Gloriette and caught a tram home, happy to sit and rest our aching feet at the end of the day.

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge : Week 22 : Group

Graben, Vienna

Stephensplatz, Vienna

Vienna on a Saturday is the place to see groups of people, making music, having coffee, singing, strolling around, or just people watching.    We were staying in an apartment right above the square, which was the perfect place for watching all the different groups below us.

Jewish Synagogue, Budapest

Tourists in Budapest

Outside the Jewish Synagogue in Budapest, there were lots of people waiting to go inside and enjoy the beautiful building.

Visit Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge for more photos.


I often post photos of being outdoors in the mountains when hillwalking, but here are a few different photos of the great outdoors, discovering new places and ancient monuments.

The ancient city of Ephesus

The ancient city of Ephesus

Sometimes it is hard to avoid crowds in places of great beauty and historical interest.

Crowds in Venice

Crowds in Venice

But sometimes the place is so beautiful that you ignore the crowds (and the scaffolding!), and the queues to get inside.

St Marks Square, Venice

But I think I still prefer to be in the outdoors with nature.

Resting from a hike

Resting from a hike

Check out Ailsa’s page for more Outdoorsy photos.


A Walk at The Wallace

The Wallace Collection in London is a national museum which displays art collections collected by Sir Richard Wallace and his ancestors, and the Collection was bequeathed to the British nation by Lady Wallace in 1897.

In the gallery is a huge collection of  18th century French art and furniture, and many important paintings and, for the military minded among us, a huge display of swords, old arms and suits of armour.

Let’s start with the Front State Room, with lots of paintings of birds and animals, and wonderful furniture.

Painting in the Front State Room

Painting in the Front State Room

French writing desk

French writing desk

Beautiful wardrobe

Beautiful wardrobe

The above French wardrobe dates back to 1715, and was designed by Italian craftsmen.    Would it fit in your home?

The East Gallery

The East Gallery

Each room had a different colour theme, with fabulous wallpapers as a background to the paintings and furniture

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There is a Front State Room, Back State Room, Dining Room, Billiard Room, Smoking Room, Armouries and a 16th century gallery on the ground floor, all full to the brim with fabulous paintings and furniture, and on the first floor there are Drawing Rooms, Boudoirs, and more galleries.

16th century gallery

The Great Gallery

In the Great Gallery downstairs, there were lots of budding artists sketching some of the paintings, there were folding stools and plenty of art paper and pencils supplied for anyone who cared to sketch their favourite.


Painting by Velazquez

Painting by Velazquez

Another Velazquez

Another Velazquez

And my favourite is this shot of the Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals, and a possible future famous artist!

The Laughing Cavalier and friend

The Laughing Cavalier and friend

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk

The Wild Atlantic Way

Tourism Ireland have recently opened up a new tourist trail around the west coast of Ireland, called the Wild Atlantic Way, stretching from the north of Donegal all the way down to Kinsale in County Cork.  The trail is 2500 km of coastline, which you can drive/walk/run/cycle/jog, all at once or county by county. The route is very well signposted and there are great suggestions and itineraries and maps on the website, to help people plan their trip.

It is hard to believe that a country as small as Ireland would have a coastline on its western side of 2500 km, when the direct route from Kinsale to Donegal is about 420 km, but if you have ever been to Ireland, and driven on the narrow, twisting country roads, you will be able to imagine what this route is like.
Here are a few photos taken at Coolmore Beach, in my little section of the Wild Atlantic Way, in County Cork. There is so much information on the whole trail on the Tourism Ireland website, it is well worth a visit if you are thinking of exploring in Ireland.

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Wordless Wednesday : Are We Too Late for the Theater?

Ruins of the Roman Theatre in Ephesus, Turkey

Ruins of the Roman Theater in Ephesus, Turkey

Views of Venice from a Height

Venice is a wonderful city, full of great old buildings, churches, castles, spires, an architectural dream – all criss crossed with canals and marvellous bridges.    More than 60 000 people visit Venice each day, and this number is more than the entire local  population of  Venice.

Everywhere one goes, especially in summer, there are many people, all wanting to see the beautiful buildings, and there is a lot to see in a small area.

Many of the tourists inVenice come here by cruise ship.   The big ships dock very close to the old part of Venice, and this is an increasing worry for environmentalists ,and bodies such as UNESCO claim that the big cruise ships cause tides that damage the foundations of the old buildings, and cause pollution.   On the other hand, the cruise ships say that they are conscious of the fragile nature of the old city,and are committed to protecting the environment, as well as contributing to the economy of Venice.

Venice needs tourists, which the cruise ships bring in, and a compromise has to be found that will keep the tourists coming to visit this beautiful historic city.   The authorities realise this, and have recently put a cap on the number of cruise ships allowed into Venice port each day, and plans are underway for the bigger ships to dock at another nearby port.

We were fortunate to leave on a cruise ship from Venice recently, on the day we left the port, there were 2 other ships tied up beside ours, and as we slowly made our way out of the port we had a fantastic view of all the iconic buildings like the Doges Palace and St Marks Square, and the many church spires on the skyline, along with the beautiful bridges over the canals.


Terrific Tuesday Trials : Candid Capture

The fun part of photography is when you catch your subject unaware

I was able to take a lot of candid photos when we went on a tour of Ephesus in Turkey recently, as everyone was so busy looking at the ruins, listening to the guide, and taking their own photos, that they were completely unaware that they were being photographed themselves.

Head on over to Preeti at Lenz Experiments to see some more Candid Captures, she will be delighted to see you.

Wordless Wednesday : Welcome to Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris


The One Word Photo Challenge this week is to show a photo that means ‘Carry’.   Here is one I like, its a jaunting car in Killarney National Park, taking tourists through the park to admire the beautiful scenery.

Being carried along to view the scenery

Being carried along to view the scenery

Head on over to Sue’s blog to see more posts in this theme

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