Without a doubt Switzerland lives up to its hype. The Matterhorn, The Eiger, Bern, Lucerne--just great, all of it.
The Matterhorn, 40 years after Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny introduced me to it on TV. Impossible to capture its immense presence with an a camera.
Aare Gorge. Quietly impressive in scale and length.
Near Reichenbach Falls, where Sherlock and Moriarty met their supposed ends. But you knew that, of course.
Trift Suspension Bridge, traversing the mouth of an enormous glacier. Not for the weak of heart.
The Kappellbrucke in Lucerne. Originally built in 1333.
Me. In a tree. In an Irish botanical garden.
A private works project of sorts, to help stave off starvation of the people during the Famine.
Impromptu ensemble in a local Dublin bar.
I can't think of a single relative I could take to this park.
Flashback to 2012, the Sullivan-Hayford wedding.
Tre Cime, in the Dolomites. It's really, really hard to absorb the enormity of these peaks, and their ridge line, in a photo. Just spectacular.
Museum dedicated to mountain climbing. The ladder next to the front door was used on a Mt. Everest expedition.
Me and an Austrian cow. If you look at his eyes, he is calculating how quickly he can charge over and catapult me off his lawn.
Stewart, somewhere in Italy near the Austrian border.
The Rittner Earth Pyramids. Completely natural.
Ok, technically just south of the Danish border, in Germany. What we believe to be Stewart's ancestral grounds.
Tivoli Gardens, the oldest amusement park in the world. That's me in the orange coat.
Yes, we did the Viking thing.
The expanse of Copenhagen.
The traffic lights on the right of the pole are for the hordes of bicyclists.
Ok fine there are more than 5 photos, but it's Italy.
Venice Naval Base
The front of the Italian Naval Base in Venice. I'm guessing this is one of the more choice assignments as a naval officer; if nothing else one could soak in the culture whilst defending the ancient city.
A funicular is, essentially, a super-steep railroad. Which can be useful if you don't have the real estate to snake a regular train back and forth up a steep grade. The old city of Bergamo has two of them, and in addition to being a novelty they are quite useful if one doesn't want to make the hike on foot.
Piazza San Marco, Venice
I don't normally advocate intermingling with pigeons, but these are essentially domesticated ones who suffer the vanities of the persons intent upon feeding them free food, in exchange for a photo. And since there are more than enough tourists every single day of the year in the Piazza, the fact that the pigeons might not be so great at finding food any other way doesn't present itself as much of a problem. Liam (and Stewart joined in as well).
Cascate Del Serio
One of the tallest waterfalls in Italy. Some time ago the Italians put a dam at the head of the falls, and so nixed the presence of a continuous flow of water. But the upshot is that several times a year they open the flood gates, and droves of people come to watch the spectacle of large volumes of water cascading down the mountainside.
The REAL David, in Forence. I try to avoid looking like an obvious tourist everywhere I go, but stood there and snapped photos like everyone else. And by no means was this the only incredible sculpture there.
This was in Milan's Duomo, strangely. It wasn't uncommon to find pieces like this, that didn't quite fit the official Catholic narrative.
The famous Milan Mall. Hundreds of years old.
Cemetery in Genoa. Went on forever, and literally hundreds of intricate statuaries adorning the gravesides.
Rome + Vatican
Temple of Saturn, at the foot of the Capitoline Hill. Traditionally dated to 497 BC.
Winged chariot driver on top of the Alter of the Fatherland.
If you zoom in on the picture, that is The Pope, with a capital 'P'. We, along with a few thousand others, were getting blessed. Or cursed, we couldn't really tell, it was all in Italian.
On top of St. Peter's Basilica, looking out towards the square.
Marienplatz Christmas Tree
The tree is situated next to the New City Hall, and stands watch over the Christkindlmarkt below. Marienplatz has been Munich's central square since 1158.
Somewhere West of Innsbruck
On our trip up to Munich, we took the road less traveled, westward from Innsbruck rather than east. We were rewarded by the scenery and the lack of highway driving monotony, but then it started snowing. And then the snow plow trucks began zipping by.
This sculpture is inside the foyer of an extremely ornate Catholic church. Death, depicted by the skeleton on the right, is reaching over with a pair of scissors and cutting the life string of the poor chap on the right, ending his life. Bit of somber reminder of life's fickleness, right before you head in for the Sunday service.
A duplicate of the Florence Boar. I'm drinking Gluwein, and don't mind the cold so much.
Ok this is not Munich but Stenghe Falls near Vipiteno. Beautiful place.
2014. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York (I know, not New England), Connecticut, Rhode Island, and then Massachusetts. 1,600 miles in a rental car, which translates into some serious leaf peeping. But what a great trip.
Beautiful coastlines, this one in Portland. Plus the signature lighthouse, the slightly foreboding sky, and a chill in the air.
Sarah Ware, brutally murdered in 1898, and buried without her head which has since been lost. Or so the story goes. But one never really knows...
Stewart loves ice cream. Even in New England in the Fall. And what better combination than ice cream and lobster. When in Rome.
The author Stephen King's house, just as you would expect it to be. Except for the Pontiacs parked in the driveway, which otherwise kill the aura.
Mt. Washington, New Hampshire
Home of the world's worst weather. A little hard to believe, until you spend a half an hour watching frontal passages whip over the top of the peak with near gale force winds, and a temperature drop to match. I cannot imagine these freestanding rock pyramids stay up for very long, but there were quite a few of them around.
September 2014, with daughter Caroline and grandson Liam. We started in Hobart and worked our way up the east coast, then inland (and briefly to the west coast), then back around. Not what you think of when you think of Australia, but it was beautiful.
Stewart and Caroline wading over to Diamond Island at low tide. The water was just a tad bit chilly. Ok, really, really, chilly. Penguins nest on the island, but they were out and about so we missed them.
The ferry ride to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), replete with sheep and cows one could ride on. Liam wasn't unhappy, but was trying out his brooding teenager expression for future use. The gentlemen on the far left is Ed, Caroline's boyfriend.
Me in front of a haunted house (one of the top three in Australia). It lacked the haunted house decorum inside, so one had to imagine it looked spookier at night than it did then. Also, on a related note, I don't think ghosts would sound quite as scary if they were sporting an Australian accent.
This is tessellated pavement, along the shoreline. Nature does, on occasion, make very straight lines, as she did here. I found this absolutely fascinating. Check out wikipedia for more info, including the loaf and pan formations we saw here.
These are fruit bats on the banks of the Yarra in Melbourne. Thousands of them, and they are LARGE, and hanging out in broad daylight quite near the walking path. Did I mention there were THOUSANDS of them? Holy crap.
August 2014, traveling to Lexington for the McNabb family reunion/picnic.
McNabb family reunion. The "second generation" cousins, from left to right: Stewart, me, Amy, Lisa Ann, Jamie, Bert, Laura, Brian, Cheri, Lisa Kay, and Bo.
Me and an enormous vat of fermenting bourbon at Town Ranch Distillery in Lexington. They let us stick our finger in to get a taste, ooo eee.
Mom and Dad at the UK Arboretum.
Mark Beckett, Stewart and me at the wildcat statue at UK.
Stephanie Gardner with two plates of deviled eggs topped with bacon.
2014, the continuation of our adventure trip.
This was actually at the end of our Galapagos Trip, in a barbershop. The barber, far left, just gave one of our group a mohawk (Daniel, center).
Team Crusty Mushroom poses on top of a lava field that looked more like an eerie moonscape with the occasional cactus that survived the volcano's eruption.
Stewart and me hiking the Galapagos highlands, which would morph into a desert-scape, or an arid-scrub brush landscape, depending upon altitude and which side of the islands you were on.
Kayaking with Jessi and Stewart. Should have worked on my upper body strength before attempting to paddle for several hours.
The infamous Galapagos land tortoise. Enormous, and generally of ill-temper if approached too closely.
2014. A combination adventure trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands.
Stewart next to the famous 12-sided stone. Okay admittedly the Incans got utterly steamrolled by the Spanish in the 1500's, but their masonry was impeccable.
While many hours each day were spent doing some outdoor activity, the evenings were often spent in four and five star hotels. This one included a personal cirque du soliel show after dinner.
You might have to zoom in on this one, but this is an incredibly complex structure of salt flats. Hundreds of them, all fed by one saline stream coming out of the mountain.
The train ride to Machu Picchu, which also involved a slightly freaky costumed guy running up and down the aisle at one point.