Photo (and Poetry) Blog

In My Garden

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In my garden right now: the grass is blooming.


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Not really in my garden, but very close: a wild bees hotel! There are over six hundred (!) types of wild bees in Switzerland.



The Rainbow

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Just now, a beautiful rainbow.




Throwback Thursday/Saturday

Tower Bridge with the Olympic Circles, London


Time for throwback Thursday! I know it's actually Saturday, but both last Thursday and the week before I didn't have any time to do this on Thursday, so Saturday will have to do. Today we go back to London and Hampshire.

Above: Tower Bridge, London


London Eye, London


The London Eye


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The Tower Bridge


The Palace of Westminster and Big Ben, London


The Palace of Westminster and Big Ben.


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Gate Details, Buckingham Palace


Buckingham Palace, London


Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

This is the principal façade, th East Front, originally constructed by Edward Blore and completed in 1850. It acquired its present appearance following a remodeling in 1913 by Sir Aston Webb.


Guard, Sentry, Buckingham Palace


Buckingham Palace - Queen's Guard. The Queen's Guard and Queen's Life Guard are the contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in London. The British Army has regiments of both Horse Guards and Foot Guards and since the reign of King Charles II (1649-1651) these have been responsible for guarding the Sovereign's palaces. They are not purely ceremonial as some may believe, they are real soldiers serving in the army.


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The Atrium, Brittish Museum

People relaxing on the lawn, Kensington Palace, London


Kensington Palace, set in Kensington Gardens in London, is one of the royal residences. The palace has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. The splendid State Apartments and The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, which includes dresses worn by Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, are open to the public. Kensington's best known resident in recent years was Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) who occupied apartments in the north-west part of the palace from 1981 to 1997.


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The National History Museum


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The Victoria and Albert Museum, often called V&A. Great museum, lovely garden where you can chill and enjoy the yummy icecream.


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Harrods. Shopping heaven. Need I say more?


Kensington, Chelsea Houses, Street, London


Kensington, Chelsea Houses, Street, London (2)


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Kensington, Chelsea Houses, Street, London (1)


The streets of Kensington. Lovely houses. Expensive too. Not to mention the (expensive) cars that line the streets.


Mihaela Limberea - Come on, show me the nuts!


Lawn Chairs, Hyde Park, London


Hyde Park, Garden, London, People laying in the sun


Hyde Park, London, on a sunny summer Sunday. The park, which opened to the public in 1637, is the largest of several royal parks in London that are connected to each other, forming one large green lung in the center of the city. 

The other parks are neighboring Kensington GardensGreen Park and St. James's Park. Hyde Park covers more than 142 hectares (360 acres) and hosts many large events, such as celebrations or concerts. The park is also a popular place for jogging, swimming, rowing, picknicking and even horse riding.


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The Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire, a restored historic Georgian manor house seamlessly blending English country living with 21st century modernity. If you're out after a peaceful vacation in the English country side, this is the place to go. Nice surroundings, beautiful rooms, great service, lots of activities. Just perfect. 


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The Walled Garden is a very beautiful English garden where you can enjoy a good book while sipping a glass of chilled Champagne while the sun sets. Hmmm, you don't really need the book...


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View from the library into the garden.


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English country side, so lovely! We were so lucky not to see a single drop of rain. And that's saying something in that country, wouldn't you agree?




Fall

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Without us noticing, summer turned into fall. The weather is still beautiful, but the light has changed, shadows smuggled in as cool as the vibrant blue sky. 


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Ripening grapes on the slopes of Oberwinterthur. 


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The woods are still green, but slowly turning into yellows and oranges.


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Cool blue skies - I love that special light that goldens everyhting in touches in September / October.




Zermatt Part One

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And here they are, the first photos from Zermatt! The town itself is tiny, clinging to the high mountains that suround it from all sides. Zermatt lies at 1.620 m (5.310 ft) and all around it you can see the highest peaks in Switzerland: Monte Rosa, Switzerland's highest peak at 4.634m (15.203 ft); Dom (4.545 m, 14.911 ft), Lyskamm (4.527 m, 14.852 ft), Weisshorn (4.505 m, 14.780 ft) and the Matterhorn (4.478 m, 14.692 ft). Breathtaking. 

Above you can see the Matter Vispa river, the tourist apartment houses and the imposing silhouette of Matterhorn in the background.


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Matterhorn dominates the town in more ways than just its' physical presence. The small mountain village was "discovered" by mid-nineteenth-century British mountaineer Edward Whymper, whose conquest of the Matterhorn in 1865 made the village famous.


Zermatt is a tiny town with about 5.000 inhabitants, and several times more tourists, whose economy is mainly based on tourism. Most of the apartments are vacation apartments, and its' three streets (!) are lined with tourist shops and restaurants.


The town is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort of the Swiss Alps. Zermatt is the starting point for hikes into the mountains, including the Haute Route that leads to Chamonix in France. Cable cars and chair lifts carry skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer. As the town is surounded by high mountains, it's possible to sky even in the summer, which makes it a very populat destination for the sky fantasts.


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Clocks are to be seen everywhere, of course. Swiss clocks.


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Combustion-engine cars are forbidden in the city to prevent air pollution, which could obscure the town's view of the Matterhorn. Almost all vehicles in Zermatt are battery driven and almost completely silent. Since there are hardly any pavements, they creep on you silently so you need to be carefully when walking in the town. You simply can't hear them until they are very close, so caution is needed before crossing the street or changing direction.


Almost all hotels have their own electric shuttles to carry visitors from or to the main train station. Most visitors reach Zermatt by cog railway train from the nearby town of Täsch.


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Hotel Romantica


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The few streets of the town are picturesque, with cascades of flowers on the balconies and on the lamp posts.


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Souvenirs - Zermatt cow bells in a tourist shop on the main street.


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A food store on the main street.


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This is our apartment hotel, Suitenhotel Zurbriggen. The hotel is owned by Pirmin Zurbriggen, the former alpine ski racer and one of the "All Times Great" of the alpine skiing. We were very happy with the hotel and the service, and can recommend it if you're planning to staying in Zermatt. Bonus: only a few meters to the cable car station.


We had a two rooms apartment, with a combined living room and kitchen (fully equipped), bedroom and bathroom, and two balconies. It's much more practical to live in such an apartment rather than in a traditional hotel. If you want to go hiking or skying early in the morning, you can have breakfast in the room, then when you're back in the afternoon/evening, you can prepare dinner - you don't have to go out to eat. After spending the day hiking in those high mountains, going out to a restaurant is the last thing you want to do. What you do want to do is to take a long, hot bath, then have something to eat in the room and go to bed early so that you can get up early the next morning for more hiking.


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Our room with a breathtaking view of the Matterhorn, and the Matter Vispa river. 


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The apartment had two balconies, both with Matterhorn view (if you are in a hotel in Zermatt, you want to be able to see Matterhorn!). Perfect to relax in the evening in one of the chaiselongues, listening to the cicadas and looking at the stars - there are no many lights out there, and you can only see the stars and the ethereal silhouhette of the snow topped Matterhorn.


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Breakfast is served in the room.


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Flowers on the balcony - of course.


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Zermatt viewed from one of the Matterhorn Express cable cars.



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