Beautiful Prague

Prague in April was beautiful. It was my third visit so it was much easier getting around. The weather was fantastic about 65 degrees or (18 Celsius).  It was perfect walking weather and Prague is definitely a walking city.  

One of the great things about Prague is that’s it’s still cheap compared to the rest of Europe. A delicious three course lunch with a glass of wine at the Four Seasons was only $18.  And beer is cheaper than water.  

Some photos from my walks

                               

March Visit to Cologne, Germany

In March we had the opportunity to drive to Cologne from Dusseldorf.  It’s about 45 minutes south and a very nice drive on the autobahn.   The Cathedral can be seen from nearly every point in the city center and from many places elsewhere: The magnificent Cologne Cathedral hovers above the roofs and chimneys of the city. Once we reached Cologne it is very easy to find parking by the Cathedral (Kölner Dom). 

Construction started in 1248 but was not finished until 1880.  In 1996 it became a UNESCO Heritage Site.  The stained glass windows have more than 11,500 panes of glass.

The Cologne CathedralThe Cologne Cathedral

The interior is stunning

The interior is stunning

4711 is a traditional German Eau de Cologne that has been produced since 1799.  The flagship store is next to the Cathedral.

The Original Cologne from 4711

The Original Cologne from 4711

No visit to a city in Germany is complete without a coffee and Baumkuchen.  Cafe Reichard is one of the cities oldest and is located right next to the Cathedral.

A wonderful Coffee

A wonderful Coffee

Cafe Reichard

Cafe Reichard

Slow Dance

I came across this poem by David Weatherford that shares a powerful life lesson on what’s important in life.  In 2005 Steve Jobs gave a speech at Stanford where he said “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower, hear the music before your song is over.

Keukenhof in Holland the Flower Basket of Europe

In early May with the luck of the Irish on our side we found ourselves in Amsterdam for a few days.  As we arrived in Holland we quickly learned that the prime season to visit Keukenhof ends in late May.  So we took a 45 min taxi ride to the gardens.  There are many ways to get there but we found that taking a taxi was by the simplest method.   We were also able to purchase entrance tickets directly through our hotel concierge.

Keukenhof means the “kitchen garden” in Dutch and was started in the 15th Century.  Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria gathered fruit and vegtables from the woods and dunes for her kitchen of Teylingen Castle. Subsequently, Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641, and the estate grew to an area of over 200 hectares.

Keukenhof is used as a showcase for the Dutch floricultural sector, with 7 million spring-flowering bulbs displayed. It only lasts about 8 weeks in April/May of each year.

It is just a lovely place to walk, breathe, admire beauty and forget the headaches of life.  Here are a small number of the pictures I took.

Entrance to KeukenhofThe Gardens The Gardens The Gardens   The Gardens The Gardens The Gardens The Gardens