Cruising Part 2: Warnemunde, German

So, our first port of call was advertised as Berlin, but anyone who knows geography knows Berlin is no where near the sea. We actually docked in Warnemunde which is a small, sleepy resort town, certainly not big enough to entertain you for a full day. Rather than take the train 3 hours into Berlin for a whirlwind tour, we chose to arrange a tour with Friends of Dave that took us to Wismar and Schwerin after a short tour of Warnemunde. 

I would recommend Friends of Dave for the traveler who is perhaps timid and wants to be dropped off and picked up at every step. For those who are more adventurous, you could totally do this tour on your own. In hindsight, we should have rented a car. We like to be a bit more autonomous, but the tour was good and sometimes it is nice to just go with easy. We had great weather as we explored 3 new towns.
The nice thing about Germany is that the architecture never disappoints. Castles, churches and hamlets abound.






Cruising Part 1: Copenhagen

We took a cruise--our first one ever--back at the beginning of September. I formulated all these opinions I planned to share, but at the end of the day who really cares.  No two opinions are ever the same, as evidenced in my own family. While I did not enjoy the cruise concept, my husband thought it was great! I've found cruise opinions vary widely depending on which demographic you are speaking to, so while my photos will  highlight some of the sights, I will share what worked and didn't work for our family.

Our cruise was on the Norwegian Getaway. The itinerary, the Baltic Sea, our disembarkation point was Copenhagen. With only a day and a half to explore and suffering from lack of sleep we only scratched the surface of what I am sure is a great European city.

We took a free walking tour which was literally one of the best I've taken in Europe. Our guide was young, energetic, clever, funny and full of interesting information about not just his city, but politics and government. He moved quickly which meant we covered a lot of ground in just a few hours.
Those life jackets are an art piece bringing light to the many refugees who put their lives at risk on the open waters in hopes of reaching a better life on some other distant shore.

The embarkation process in Copenhagen could not have been easier. I was impressed with Norwegian's check in procedures. They were clear, efficient and within about 45 minutes we were sitting in our cabin. Getting out to the port was simple--we took a taxi to save time,  but upon our return we used public transportation to get back into the city--it was cheap and efficient.

I will continue to review the cruise over the next few days.

Monet's Gardens at Giverney

Monet's Garden at Giverny needs no introduction. It is an understatement to say the gardens are splendid! I will let my pictures speak for themselves. Giverny is an easy day trip from Paris.  




Versailles

The main draw to Versailles is to see the splendid palace and it was for me too, although this time not only did I come to see an incredible palace built for kings, I came to see the Versailles temple built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For members of the church temples are the most holy buildings where marriages and other ordinances are performed. Prior to a temple being dedicated, the public is invited to tour the building, but once it is dedicated only members of the church are allowed inside. 

The Versailles temple is a beautiful nod to Parisian artistry in its stained glass windows, art deco motifs and floral patterns. Enjoy the photos of both buildings--one built for an earthly king, who lost his head, the other built for one who willingly gave his.  






Silent Sunday

Linking with Photalife

North Utah Pioneer Architecture

Utah was settled by Mormon pioneers in the mid 1800's. Brigham Young (leader of the LDS church at the time) was determined not to just settle Salt Lake, but the entire the entire Utah territory. This decision can be seen in the continuity of architecture from St. George in the south to Logan in the north. I love 19th century Mormon architecture, it seems to call upon their European roots to build something grand in the worship of Deity.  



Paris: Springtime Highlights

In May I went to Paris to meet some friends and tour the newly opened LDS temple. Spring time in Europe can be fickle and I didn't always appreciate it, but now that I live in a place with hardly any variety to the seasons, it was a welcome relief. Needing a jacket and scarf, breathing in the brisk morning air. Not so much a fan of rain, but I was weather prepared, so even rain didn't get me down. Having already been to Paris, I wanted to take it a little slower, try new things, walk new neighborhoods and hit a few favorites.
First stop the Orsay Museum. World known, it needs no explanation or introduction. Do you know how nice it is to wander a museum on your own--refreshing! 
We were there on election night. I cautiously made my way down to the Tulleries where the after party for Macron was being held. Crowds came with flags, car horns honked and the general vibe was jubilant.
Naturally, we hit the Louvre, but this time I wanted to see something new--the Napoleon living rooms. As you can imagine, they were sumptuous.
My friend Jen and I ate one fancy dinner at Le Train Bleu--I could get used to dining like this!  But perhaps the best activity of the week was our Chocolate Walk. Oh my word, delicious! It was pricey, but I am telling you, if you like chocolate in all its forms, you must do a chocolate walk, your tongue will thank you for it!   


 I love this flea market find! Not the greatest picture, but I wanted to see how it looked on. We went to 3 different flea markets because what I really wanted to find was a piece of artwork. Something that said Paris which out screaming, Eiffel Tour. I was unsuccessful, so my green dress will have to do.
Love this wall art--so many different interpretations!