Not So Modern Art, Hue Citadel

A gray day and drizzling rain provided the flat light needed to illuminate the rich, beautifully saturated colors in this arched doorway. The Hue Citadel was the official seat of government and the home of Vietnam’s Nguyen dynasty emperors (1802-1945). It is a huge, sprawling walled area, a wonderful place to explore in any kind of weather.

The Oldest Pub in Town, Prague

The round sign in the window claims the Tavern U Krále Brabantského was established in 1375 and is the oldest pub in Prague. The tavern’s website equivocates, informing us that the place is “one of the oldest” pubs in Prague. When I walked by at 8:30 on a Sunday morning trudging up the hill to Prague Castle, the place was closed and I was unable to go inside and look around. In any case, it was a little early for a pint, though I did try the beer mentioned on the sign, Pilsner Urquell, elsewhere during my stay in Prague. Excellent. In fact, I did not have a glass of anything but world-class beer during my stay in Prague. The Czechs know how to make – and drink – their beer.

30 Jahngasse, Vienna

A Belle Époque arrangement frames the entrance to 30 Jahngasse in Vienna’s Margareten district. Vienna, an elegant but relaxed city of tremendous charm, steeped in history and visually lush with architectural monuments to its illustrious past everywhere one looks. Great coffee, tasty food, excellent beer; the pastries and cakes require no comment. I could not have chosen a better place to start my journey.

I am just home from three and a half wonderful weeks of travel through central Europe, with a brief diversion to the Adriatic Sea and Venice, which is in its own world, defying geographical categorization. The trip began in Vienna, where I landed at the end of September after a long flight from Saigon, via Doha in Qatar. I posted an image from my first dinner in Vienna on the evening I arrived and had planned to post more as I moved along my itinerary. But finally, I posted nothing, deciding I was better off focusing on the places I visited without giving any thought to social media posts. Be that as it may, I arrived back in Hoi An with lots of photos from the trip – lots – and I am going to share a few of them in the days to come, beginning with several from my first stop in Vienna. There will also, no doubt, be some commentary included with the pictures. Because I like to ramble.

Colonial-style Home, New England

The area around Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, is affluent and appealing. If you like, as I do, various flavors of American colonial style architecture floating in a rich broth – play on words intended – of manicured small town landscapes and privileged academia, you’ll enjoy a visit to Smith. Some of the buildings and homes are historic sites that were actually built during the colonial era. Others are relatively new structures, like the home pictured here, which apparently was built in the second half of the previous century.

I visited Northampton on a very gray, rainy day; travelers cannot be picky. The heavy overcast creates soft, but very saturated, colors. Working in this kind of light is challenging, and I enjoy it. I am a fan of doors and entrance ways as subjects; this image is an example.