Thursday’s Lingering Windows: Pretty, delicious, and strange.

This week, for Dawns window challenge, I have a few more windows to show you from my recent tour of France and Germany, but let’s start in England, where the window boxes and flower baskets, beautifully decorated this 19th century department store in the small town of Cranleigh.


This restaurant in Cologne has a really pretty window above the doorway.


Les Pâtisseries in Strasbourg had an amazing selection of cakes and cookies, and especially gingerbread men.


This tiny shop right next to La Petite France, also specialised in gingerbread of all shapes and flavours. I thought it looked very elegant, and in fact at first glance, I mistook it for an interior design store.


So many windows with temptingly delicious goodies on display; best to just take a pic and walk on. 🙂


Whilst on a walking tour in La Petite France, our guide showed us this strange sight. A house had been built right up against the windows of the adjacent house, obscuring the view.  Very odd indeed. I’m sure those neighbours can’t have been on very good terms with one another. I can’t imagine how the building regulations would allow this to happen, but maybe in the Middle Ages, there weren’t any.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my windows this week. To see more, go to Dawn’s ‘Thursday’s Lingering Windows’ post.


Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Multicoloured

“It’s a good thing that when God created the rainbow he didn’t consult a decorator or he would still be picking colors.” ~ Sam Levenson

So many of the sights we see are multicoloured, and it’s amazing to me how a seeming mishmash of random colours can looks so right together.

For example, the multicoloured blossoms in this beautiful garden at the Imperial Palace Museum garden in Beijing.


The main rose window in the Gothic cathedral of Strasbourg, looks quite impressive from the outside,


but when viewed from inside the cathedral, it’s colours are astounding.


Stained glass windows are almost always multicoloured, and these in Chichester Cathedral are no exception.


Some of you may remember this pic taken at a market in the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu, but as it’s the most multicoloured pic I have, I’m posting it again. As you can see, the dazzling colours were just too much for the stallholder, and she just had to close her eyes. 🙂


The floating market in Bangkok was also really full of vibrant colours.


Lastly, my sister’s bathroom is really brightened up after she decided to paint the blind in these multicolours.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my multicoloured pics. To see more, go to Ailsa’s post.

Sunday Stills: Boats from Bangkok to South Africa.

This is my first entry for Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge. This week the theme is boats of any shape or size, so here are a few boat pics which I managed to source in a bit of a hurry, as Sunday is almost over.

Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River.

Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River.

Long-tail boats in Phuket

Long-tail boats in Phuket

Yacht in San Pedro, Belize.

Yacht in San Pedro, Belize.

Seen from the beach in Umhlanga Rocks, with the city of Durban in the distance.

Seen from the beach in Umhlanga Rocks, with the city of Durban in the distance.

A somewhat drenched me with 'Jack Sparrow' in rough seas, on a dive boat in Belize.

A somewhat drenched me with ‘Jack Sparrow’ in rough seas, on a dive boat in Belize.

River Thames, London.

River Thames, London.

Beautiful  Bahamas.

Beautiful Bahamas.

Rhine River.

Rhine River, Rotterdam.

A barge on the canal in La Petite France, Strasbourg.

A pleasure boat on the canal in La Petite France, Strasbourg.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my boats for Sunday Stills. To see more entries, go here.

Sue’s Word a Week Challenge: Anyone for chess?

This pic was taken on the deck of our cruise ship as we sailed into Amsterdam at the end of our Rhine cruise.


Some of the houses we saw in Le Petite France in Strasbourg, were decorated with squares and crosses.


With their solid, half-timbered exteriors and rather small windows, I thought they were really charming, and they reminded me of some of the Tudor style houses I’ve seen in England.


My last squares pic is a fun painting done by my sister. Lately, she had been experimenting with different styles, and I really like this. I’m so proud of her. She has been chosen to represent South Africa in an International Arts and Culture exhibition in Russia, and leaves for Moscow on 23rd of this month, together with dozens of her paintings. To see more of her work you can click here.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my pics for Sue’s ‘Word a Week Challenge’. To visit her blog and see more bloggers’ interpretations, just click here.

Travel Theme: Hidden

I see that Ailsa has already posted a new travel theme, and I haven’t done the last one yet. Here are my photos for the ‘Hidden’ theme..

The Bignor Roman Villa site in West Sussex, was discovered in 1811 by a farmer who was ploughing his field. The earliest buildings date back to 190 AD, and the mosaics which had been hidden for centuries, are really lovely. Here is an example.


Whilst excavating the mosaics, a couple of child skeletons were uncovered, which had obviously been buried in the foundations. Our guide told us that the Romans did not consider infants to be fully developed people, so when they died young they were not given a proper burial, but just interred wherever a spot could be found, which in this case was under the floor.


My next two photos were taken just inside the gate of our housing complex in Florida. It’s always reassuring to see the Sheriff’s car parked there 24/7, and in all weathers too, even if he is hidden by the dark tinted windows. It must be unbearably hot sitting there all day in this heat, and I was feeling quite sorry for him.


On closer inspection though, the hidden Sheriff was revealed, and turned out to be nothing but a faceless dummy wearing sunglasses. 😀  This really gives meaning to the cliché, “Being lulled into a false sense of security.”


I hope you enjoyed my pics for this theme. To visit Ailsa’s blog, and to see her new theme, just click here.

Thursday’s Pretty Windows in Germany and France.

For Dawn’s “Lingering Windows” challenge this week, here are a few more which I spotted recently in Germany.


Flowers were everywhere, and really prettied up this rather plain town hall,


as well as most of the houses.


This popular restaurant in Strasbourg was built as an a tannery in 1572. It became a restaurant in 1949, and was renovated for its fourth centenary in 1972.


This one was really nicely planted out, and now the windows aren’t very visible at all. 🙂


I hope you’ve enjoyed my pretty windows this week. To see more, just click here.

Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Loneliness

“I want to be alone, I just want to be alone.” 

This is one of the most memorable movie quotes of all time and was spoken by the Swedish actress, Greta Garbo in the film, ‘Grand Hotel’. The word “alone” features in many of her films, beginning with the caption cards in her silent movies. In 1927, “I like to be alone” appeared in her film ‘Love’, and in the 1929 movie ‘The Single Standard’, her character says, “I’m walking alone because I want to be alone.” She was said to be the most beautiful woman in the world, but wasn’t renowned for being sociable at all. She had an innate need for solitude, and was often reclusive, maintaining her elusive mystique right to the end, when she died in 1990 at the age of 84.

Jean Paul Sartre once said, “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”  I leave it up to you to decide whether the subjects in my photos are lonely, or whether they are merely choosing solitude.

A juvenile heron strutting around the lake outside my house here in Florida.

A juvenile heron strutting around the lake outside my house here in Florida.

A lone seagull on the road in Polperro, Cornwall.

A rather cross looking seagull on the road in the seaside town of Polperro, Cornwall.

A lone hang glider in Polperro.

A lone paraglider high above the beach in Perranporth, Cornwall.

A statue of a lone deer stands atop the towering cliffs at Hirschsprung 'Deer's Jump' in the Black Forest, Germany.

A statue of a  deer stands alone, atop the towering cliffs at Hirschsprung ‘Deer’s Jump’ in the Black Forest, Germany.

A poor little captive Kinkajou in San Pedro, Belize.

A poor little captive Kinkajou in San Pedro, Belize. His owner was trying to get money out of tourists for having their photos taken with him. He really needed to be back with his mates in the rain forest. 😦

Lastly, but by no means least, here is a pic that my sister in South Africa sent me, with the caption, “Greta Garbo got nothing on Mom!” 🙂


I hope you’ve enjoyed my quotes and pics for Ese’s challenge. To join in, or to see what other entries there are, just click here.

WPC: Unusual Point of View.

I think that most people, when they go to a restaurant, focus on the menu, wine list and then their food. I was so fascinated by the ceiling fans at Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro, that I just had to snap a pic.


When my brother-in-law was showing me around his lovely country garden in England, I was more fascinated by the foxholes in the river bank, than the flowers.


Lastly, here are the wooden cogs inside the top of the windmill we visited at Kinderdijk in Holland. These cogs are used to transfer power from the sails, to pump the water. Not your usual view of a windmill. 🙂


I’m pleased to report that Apple repaired my MacBook Air in double-quick time. We’d hardly got home after dropping it off at the store, when they called to say it was ready. They replaced the whole top cover, keyboard and track pad and gave me a new power supply charger too, all under warranty, even after two and a half years! So now it’s like new, and all set for the next 500 posts. 🙂

To see more takes on this week’s WPC, just click here.