More from St. Maarten…

My selfies are getting better. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.


We went on a snorkel tour on boat with Octopus Diving. The fish were pretty, the water was warm, and the Dramamine kept me from getting motion sickness. All good.


We snorkeled out by that rocky island. IMG_8055

When I wasn’t snorkeling, I was visiting with Captain Kyle who is 27, has lived all over the world, and who can put all he owns in a small duffle bag. His life sounds really interesting, probably because it is so different from my own life. Just thinking about how to live that way and still quilt was enough to make my head hurt.


Shadow selfie…


I’ll sign off with these two beach photos. St. Maarten was wonderful, and the vacation shared with friends made it even better!


I took this with the iPhone Camera+ app which is a very cool app. I used the in-app editing tool that is a whole lot like Lightroom. I’m visiting St Maarten and I thought I’d have my big camera out and about with me but it’s not working out that way. My iPhone is turning into my camera on this trip and it’s working pretty well.

Hiking on St. Maarten…

There is a zip line course at Loterie Farm near the high point of St. Maarten. Julie and Wayne have ‘zipped’ before and while it sounded like (dangerous) fun, we decided that hiking was more our style. Julie opted to read a book on the beach and Steve, Wayne and I set off for the jungle.


It was hot and humid and sort of jungle-y.


It was uphill mostly going in, and downhill mostly going out. In some spots it was very rocky. I’m not sure how far we hiked but we all felt like we had accomplished something when it was over.

There used to be a sugar plantation on the property and this is a ruin of a well…


This was one of the overlooks on the trail…


We got to the top and were stopped by this gate. We did not try ringing Nils Larsen, the name by the buzzer, to see if he’d let us in.


The view beyond the gate:


I got the guys to stand by this blue pole…


And then I got them to strike a pose. Wayne and Steve were very good sports about the whole photo thing.


The trail back down started here, just to the right of the concrete wall. Look close and you can see the arrows pointing us down the trail.


It started to rain as we walked the trail out. We spotted a monkey who didn’t seem to mind us but took off when the thunder started and the rain began to fall in earnest.


And that was the end of the hike picture taking!

St. Maarten, continued…

There were lots of photo ops. In fact, I could turn into one of those people who makes little forward progress because they are too busy taking pictures. That used to drive me crazy with other people, so I try not to overdo it.


Sometimes I like to play with filters or other editing options. (Camera+ has some really great built-in editing features.) There is never only one perfect choice so it’s hard to know when to stop..


This photo in color is not nearly as good…


The same is true with this photo. In black and white is looks very retro.


There was one wall with a broken glass bottle ridge along its top that looked like dangerous flowers.


It was more interesting in black and white.


Sint Maarten…

AKA St Maarten, is an island in the Caribbean that is split between the Netherlands and France. We stayed on the Dutch side, at Dawn Beach. By ‘we’, I mean Julie, Wayne, Steve, and me.


We were in an lovely condo and could look out from the living room onto the balcony, over the next building to the ocean. I’m not sure why, but I really liked the view through the doors to the balcony.


This was our view…


Even the cloudy days were beautiful…


In case you are wondering, I took all of these photos with my iPhone using the Camera+ app.

We walked on the beach…




I’ll post more photos from our trip over the next few days. It’s nice to re-visit the ocean!

More Photos from Sazlburg…

We got up early and walked more of Salzburg on our second morning. If you go, know that you can spend a lot more time in Salzburg and still not see it all. Salzburg is Mozart’s birthplace and we didn’t go into any of the Mozart-related places. There just wasn’t time. We did walk the square and streets around those places.


St. Peter’s Cemetery is lovely. In fact, all of the the cemeteries we visited on this trip were places I would be happy to be buried (except that I prefer cremation but that’s a story for another day). Each plot is like a garden and because there are many names on most of the plot markers, it appears that people are buried in layers.



Even though the marker above is a little creepy, it is an arresting image. The marker below is a bit more restful.


We walked and walked and after a while I got a little lost. It was good that Jeff was keeping up with where we were going.


DSC_0801 1


Fountain detail.

It is an uphill walk to the Nonnberg Abbey, where Maria von Trapp of Sound of Music fame was a postulant before deciding not to become a nun. This is the cemetery outside of the church.


The views from each of the high places we visited were different.


We shopped at a street fair…


…had a bit of lunch and headed back to Munich on the train. More after the 4th of July holiday.

Photos from Salzburg…

We took the subway (the U-Bahn) to the main train station (the Hauptbahnhof) where we caught a train to Salzburg. Jeff navigated the subway and train systems for us. He and Celia both are from NYC and it didn’t take long for them to figure it out. It took Steve and I a bit longer.

DSC_0683 1

photo by celia goldsmith

Salzburg is beautiful. The old part of the city, called Getreidegasse, is overlooked by the Hehensalzburg Fortress. It is easy to spot from just about anywhere in the city. I took the next photo from the Mirabell Palace Garden.


We were only in Salzburg for 1 1/2 days. We walked through the Mirabell Garden on our way to the hotel. We (and just about everyone else) took pictures, with both cameras and iPhones. But I have to say that it’s an eye-opener to see so many people ignoring what’s right in front of them in favor of their device. I try not to do that so much.


Our hotel, the Blaue Gans Arthotel (which was truly wonderful!), is on this street:


The business signs are much like the decorations you see on Bavarian maypoles, but bigger and fancier. The blue goose (blaue gans) is the sign for our hotel.


After checking in, we went up to the cafe at the Museum of Modern Art which is located at the top of Mount Mönchsberg. The views are spectacular! That’s the Fortress in the distance.



The structures and vehicles almost look like toys.


DSC_0719 1

More tomorrow…

From Munich…

We arrived after an overnight flight to Munich in the morning. We are staying in an apartment and got checked in by midday. Before long we were out walking around to see the sites. It was rainy, but nice. These shots were taken from the bell tower of St. Peter’s church.

Munich City Scape Munich City Scape

There are many, many churches in Munich and many of them are Catholic. I feel right at home :-).

Today we went on a tour to Neuschwanstein, the castle build by King Ludwig in Bavaria. I have wanted to see this castle since I was a girl so it was great fun and I do so appreciate Celia for finding the tour. Below is Mario, our guide.

Mario - tour guide

We stopped at two lovely churches, one Baroque and one Rococo, on the way to the castle.

Bavarian Church Visit

Neuschwanstein is the castle that Cinderella’s castle at Disneyworld is based on.


If you are interested in the castle, you can find better photos than I took online. The best shots are from from the bridge behind the castle that is closed for repairs. Deep sighs on our part. No matter—it was a beautiful day, no rain, cool weather, and great company!



We stopped for cheese, sausage, and beer at a cheese farm on the way back to Munich. I’ve never seen cows this color before… they were more taupe than brown. They all wore bells and it was fun to sit by them as we ate a late lunch.

Bavarian Dairy Cow


Tomorrow we head to Salzburg!