AU, HU – Vienna vs Budapest – Two cities in five days, p1

Once sisters of the one of the greatest powers of the world, Austro-Hungarian Empire, both Austria and Hungary have now been separated for the last 100 years. Years that took each of them on different paths, even though sometimes they were intertwined. Part of European Union and part of UNESCO Heritage, Vienna and Budapest are 2 centerpieces of Europe that justify their fame, no need for an introduction.

Cityscape

Vienna, known as a capital of music welcomed us in a waltz pace, as all the airport hallways resounded with Mozart tunes. A hot August morning was beckoning to us after we picked up our luggage and Vienna Pass, which made us wonder how hot a day can be in the middle of Europe, which we found out later on, after visiting Budapest as well, but this is another story.

A city with so many architectural styles, Vienna’s roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements. Now it is known as one of the most developed cities in Europe, being selected one of the most livable cities in the world. From the abundance of baroque style buildings in city centre (which was designed in 2001 UNESCO World Heritage Site) to some of the most interesting, colourful, or bizarre buildings, Vienna hasn’t faltered to offer us unique views.

In order to protect the cityscape, high-rise projects are totally excluded in certain zones. In Vienna there are about 100 buildings higher than 40 m, reason the city maintains the old historical charm, the panoramic viewpoints, and existing lookouts.

 

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HU, Budapest: A night cruise on the Danube River

After 2 days of walking in a sunny and hot Budapest, the time has come, finally. Time to rest our legs, to enjoy the cold drinks and the exceptional views of the Danube shore. Time to have a cruise on the Danube River to see the glowing Budapest.

Budapest - Buda, Danube Western shore
Buda, Danube Western shore

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CA, Ontario: Evening walks & Birdwatching – Riverwood Conservancy

The caressing sun is whispering promises to melt the snow by the end of the day.

Two years ago I spent Earth Day planting some trees. This year I’m still looking at the melting snow. And it will melt soon, as the Mother Nature was very generous with us this weekend (after last weekend lashes of freezing rain, snow, ice pellets and strong wind). But the nature is always recovering, and we along with her.

I invite you today for a walk in the park.

Pine Sanctuary - contemplative art at the entrance of Riverwood Conservancy
Pine Sanctuary – contemplative art at the entrance of Riverwood Conservancy

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US, Michigan: Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Around Huron Lake in 8 days: Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Even though we wanted to be at the Refuge entrance before sunrise, we were not able to be there. We were wondering if the late barbeque we had the night before or the stars I couldn’t stop gazing at in the middle of the night had something to do with this. Anyway, with a fresh enthusiasm we got to the Refuge gate around 10 am, an hour drive from Munising, where our host was living. The late August sun was up in the sky, and I knew the wildlife was well hidden at that late hour of the morning. The refuge is vast, and has several trails for hikers, or bikers, and needs a lot of time to have it explored. Since we were late already, we decided to have only the drive-through ride, with few stops along the way.

Seney one quiet and calm pond

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Don’t miss them..

I was having this collage of sunsets on my desktop for awhile, and holding them close to me every day. For me, these are not only places, these are dear memories as well. But the inspiration came one day through Alison (and one of her beautiful sunset photos), and suddenly I thought to share my little collection with you. Dear reader, I hope you will also enjoy!

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