Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cesky Krumlov

First layout done with Club Scrap Renaissance kit. The journaling note is hand made. The 'C' & 'K' are stickers. The rest of the words are hand written. Second layout uses printed paper from K & Co. Sticker in the circle is from Club Scrap. Title is again hand written and I made a hash of it. However since that little green card stock was my last bit I had to use it. The outlines are done with a gold-leaf marker from Krylon. Printed papers on the third layout is from 7 Gypsies. Title is hand written. Also some 'antique' rub-ons.

On our fifth day we woke early and boarded the bus. Today we would be leaving Austria and crossing the border into the Czech Republic. The fact that Austria is a pretty well-to-do country and it's neighbour is much poorer is underlined by the drastic change in scenery as soon as one crosses the border.

In the Czech Republic we stopped at a medieval town, beautifully preserved, called Cesky Krumlov. This is a UNESCO world heritage site and deservedly so. It is like being transported back in time! As I craned my head back to look at the fortress it took my breath away. Inside the town is quaint and we walked around with our guide Olly. She was the best guide yet on this trip and is even mentioned in the Rick Stevens guide book! I wish we had more time to explore but after a quick lunch of sandwiches and visiting the bears in the bear pit, we had to get back in the bus to continue towards Prague, the last Imperial City on our itinerary.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Salzburg (1)

Layouts done with papers from Basic Grey, Scenic Route. All from kits by Scrapologie.

At Melk we got back on the bus and drove to Salzburg. On the way, nestled in the beautiful countryside, I caught a glimpse of the church where Captain Von Trapp and Maria were married in the Sound of Music. The countryside is so beautiful! Just like in the Sound of Music – which is the movie we watched on the long drive there. After arriving into Salzburg we went for a stroll in the Mirabell Gardens, also featured in the Sound of Music – specifically in the song Doe a Deer. There is a part in this garden that has statues of midgets. Apparently the prince, who the gardens belonged to, employed midgets in his palace. And when they died he had a statue built in their remembrance in his garden.

Dinner that evening was at St. Peter’s, a restaurant, supposedly the oldest in Europe, established in 803. The lower parts of the restaurant are so fascinating – really old. We however were seated in a room on the third floor which was decidedly modern – at least compared to the rest of the establishment. A pity, that! The highlight of the dinner was a little Mozart who played for us. We thought it was a boy but later found out he was actually a ‘she’. She played for almost fifteen minutes completely from memory. Quite a feat! The food was good too. We walked back to the hotel through the shopping district and again the Mirabell Gardens, which were just outside our hotel.

Next day we started with an early morning walk around Salzburg. We strolled from the hotel through the new town and across one of the pedestrian bridges towards the old part of town. Basically we just retraced our steps back to the place where the St. Peter’s restaurant is. The old side of town is so pretty and we saw it much better in daylight – quaint streets, pretty squares all imbued with feeling of having stepped back in time. We went to see the Dome of Salzburg. This church was completely destroyed by Allied bombing during WWII. It has now been rebuilt most beautifully.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cruise on the Danube

First layout done with Club Scrap 'Sunken Treasure' kit & glitter chipboard letters from DCWV. Second layout uses paper from the KI Memories.

After our shopping spree in the beautiful town of Durnstein we took a three hour cruise on the Danube. What beautiful countryside we saw! There were castles towering over us from craggy cliffs. One of the ruins belonged to a family of robber barons. For over a thousand years this family attacked and stole from people passing on the river. Even today, as you pass under the castle you get the ominous feeling of being watched! There is another castle that shows distinct Turkish influence with a minaret and onion shaped domes. All these castles gave me a feeling of being in some historical romantic novel!

We had our lunch on the boat. It was extremely pleasant sipping chilled Riesling and meandering past the countryside where the wine is made. We disembarked at Melk, famous for its Abbey, which is an important seat of learning even today. The Abbey gained worldwide fame when Umberto Eco based his novel 'Nome Della Rosa' here. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit the Abbey becuase we had a bus to catch - to Salzburg!

Friday, January 18, 2008

For a friend's journal

Page done with Club Scrap 'To you with Love' kit papers. Calla Lily stamp from PSX.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Durnstein (2)

Again layout done with Club Scrap 'Road Trip' kit and 'Thickers' alphabets. For journaling please see previous post.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Both layouts done with Club Scrap Road Trip kit. Making Memories alpha stamps, acrylic inks, a few rub-ons etc. complete these very simple layouts.

Our visit to Vienna was over.

We had an early breakfast and by 8 am were rolling off in the bus towards Durnstein. This mediaeval village, about 45 minutes from Vienna, is famous because in 1193 duke Leopold of Austria captured Richard I (the Lionhearted) who was returning from the Crusades. He held Richard at the castle of Durnstein for over a year. A ransom of 150,000 marks (a huge amount in those days) was paid to free Richard.

We also heard a very romantic story of how Richard was found by his minstrel, singing outside various castles and hoping to hear a response, indicating the presence of his king. This part of the story is surely folklore!

The castle is now in ruins but still identifiable. The village is pretty and a regular tourist attraction. It is small and lined with quaint shops. We did our entire gift shopping here.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Vienna third day (2)

On our third day in Vienna we had the afternoon to ourselves. So we walked to St. Stephanplatz to see the church. Known as Stephansdom, it is the soul of the city itself. The giant doorway and the twin towers at the entrance are apparently from a 13th century heathen Romanesque shrine. The tiled roof of the church is very eye catching as is the steffl or spire, which is an important landmark in Vienna, towering over all nearby buildings. Once inside, I made it a point to search out the self portrait of Anton Pilgram, the master craftsman of the present church. Pilgrams pulpit, with its intricate gothic design and beautiful carved stairway is another stellar work not to be missed inside the church. The high altar, of course, is most impressive as is the Wiener Neustader altar, commissioned by Friedrich III in 1447.

The children then wanted ice cream. So we stopped at an ice cream store and paid outrageous prices for gelato. I managed to get pick pocketed ~ fortunately I lost only my mobile phone.

We decided to take a buggy ride around the town of Vienna. This is becoming quite a tradition for us! It cost us 65 Euro for a 40 minute ride. Getting off the buggy in front of the Hofburg palace we walked towards a multi ethnic food festival we had seen on our ride. This took us through some beautiful rose gardens which have hundreds of varieties of roses. The food festival was not bad at all with rows upon rows of stalls. Everything from Indian to Thai to Mexican was available. The only problem was the table we found – it was so close to a fountain that we shivered all through dinner! A brisk walk back to the hotel soon set us right and ready to pack to leave Vienna the next day.