Category Archives: Travel

Crystal Worlds

Swarovski Kristallwelten. Do I even need to say more about Swarovski crystals? It’s likely the largest crystal manufacturer to produce precisely cut crystal jewelries, mini-sculptures and other home decorations, and has its products, if not it’s own stores, in almost every shopping district, displaying it’s famous swan company logo. Much less expensive than diamonds, yet still presented elegantly with a rainbow appearance (by the use of special metallic coatings), no wonder they are popular in jewelries. Their figurines, especially the miniature animals, are also very adorable.

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Funny Things, Travel


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The Alps near Innsbruck

Most of the pictures here were taken on the way from Innsbruck to Crystal World (of which I will talk about next time). Since the tour bus was moving at speed of 60 to 100 miles per hour, I chose to use the continuous mode on the camera and hope I could later find a good one out of each scene.

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“bruck”, derived from German word, brücke, means bridge. The name Innsbruck has the meaning of “the bridge over the Inn River”. Situated on the Inn River and in a valley surrounded by mountains of central Alps, it’s regarded as “the jewel of the Alps”. Innsbruck is the cultural and economic centre of western Austria. It became the capital of all Tyrol in 1429. In the fifteenth century the city became the European politics and culture center as Roman emperor Maximilian I who reigned and also resided in Innsbruck in the 1490. 300 years later, it’s prosperous again under the reign of Maria Theresia.

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Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Travel


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Hallstätter See

Before continuing to the west in our Austrian tour, we took a detour south east to this charming little town. As there is no direct train from Salzburg, we needed to travel east to Attnang Puchheim, then hopped onto another train south to Hallstatt station.

Since the very first time we set foot on European soil and visited various cities in Germany in 2009, we felt in love with the railway system in Europe. It’s just so convenient. You can reach almost all areas in the region, and there are multiple schedules to fit in your itinerary. In comparison, the railway systems in US and Canada is not so broadly available. One would argue that North America is not so crowded and people can have their own vehicles – parking space is comparatively more available, and since they have cars, might as well drive them between cities. But driving is no comparison to being able to relax for a couple of hours, enjoy the country sights, read a book or two, have a nice long conversation with your company or maybe just someone you get to know on the train, without being distressed by the traffics, road and weather conditions, or exhaustion which could induce accidents.

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Flower, Travel


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Salzburg Dom

Folks who are familiar with European history, especially the histories about religion, will know the German word Dom means Cathedral in English. (On another note, when we visited these foreign countries, I was always fascinated by their cultures and I always wished I could speak some of their languages. I wish I could speak some French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese (which we haven’t been to yet, but hope soon), etc and etc. Not just for buying things at the local markets, or ordering meals in restaurants, but to chat with the local people and learn from them. Therefore, I always admire people who are multilingual. One example is Susan in our office at work who has backgrounds from many different countries and speaks 6 languages fluently. To me, she’s just amazing. Anyway, I am not gonna drift too far because it’s not really my topic today.)

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Posted by on December 17, 2011 in Travel


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Salzburg: City of Mozart

This is the second time we went to Salzburg in 13 months, as mentioned previously. It’s one of the major cities of Austria and I think many people has been there as it’s also a popular place for tourists. It’s not large – size-wise. But it’s surely a beautiful city and we were just awed by the Austrian culture.

The Salzach River runs through the city and divides it by two. The Old Town lies on the west side of the river, where a monastery and bishopric were founded in 700 A.D. The city and the river got their name from early residents who earned their living in the region’s salt mines.

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Posted by on December 10, 2011 in Flower, Garden, Travel


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Small Austrian Towns on Danube River (II)

Dürnstein is a small (with less than 1,000 residents) but lovely town on the Donau. It’s a popular place for tourists, especially in the summer.

These are the ruins of the castle fortress, where in 1193, Duke Leopold V who was ruling Austria at that time held King Richard I Lionheart of England prisoner. The story goes: For quite some time, nobody knew exactly where King Richard was imprisoned in Austria. But his loyal minstrel companion, Blondel, had an idea. He went from castle to castle, playing his lute and singing Richard’s favorite songs. The tactic paid off, the legend says, for at Dürnstein, Richard heard Blondel’s singing and sang the lyrics in reply. Then everybody knew where he was. The castle was virtually demolished by the troops of the Swedish Empire in 1645.

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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Photography Techniques, Travel


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