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Mandarins in Baden-Baden~


These guys weren’t part of my plan for the day!


I was going to show you Baden-Baden,

but the Mandarins got in my way!

Why are Mandarin Ducks swimming wild in Germany you may well wonder?


Although Mandarin Duck populations are dwindling in their native Russia and Asia, some escapees from captivity are breeding in the wild in Germany and The UK. I happened upon these guys today on the Oos River in Baden-Baden Germany.


So, it is cheers to you, and Happy Spring, from the gorgeous German Mandarins~

Kayserberg in Alsace~


seems to be a magical,

hobbit Village,

where Bilbo Baggins,


will appear,

around a corner.

A Tolkien world,

you never want to leave.
Cheers to you from Kayserberg France~

Alsatian Heart~


Pair of White Storks mating in Alsace France. (Click on photos to view full size).

The White Stork is the beloved emblem of the Alsace region of France and appears in symbols and art everywhere in the region.


Yet, by mid-1970, there were only ten mating pairs of White Storks left in Alsace.


They were virtually extinct in this area, although thriving in other parts of the world.


Today, due to local co-operative conservation efforts, there are now an estimated 600 mating pairs of White Storks in Alsace.


Stork populations were decimated mostly by power line electrocution and habitat destruction.

I was fortunate to see this pair in the process of mating and nest-building.

When we returned to our apartment after a day of stork watching, I photographed a pair of local falcon’s mating on a nearby balcony. It is springtime in France after all! Vive La France!

White Storks mate for life, and return to the same nests each year.

Cheers to you from Alsace’s beautiful, White Storks~

Strasbourg in Color~


Strasbourg Cathedral,

bursts into color,

during Palm Sunday full moon.


Wisteria blooms,


all over the city,

while city squares erupt in color!


Strasbourg itself is full of color,


both in the buildings and the rivers.

Jim adds to the colorful variety,

while Strasbourgians bring the color indoors!
Cheers to you from the stunning old city of Strasbourg~

Kotor Montenegro~


If ‘beauty is truth,


and truth beauty,’


both can be most perfectly seen,


in age,

and innocence.


Kotor Montenegro possesses both the beauty of age,

and the appeal of innocence.


It seems unspoiled by the modern world.

Staying here one feels removed from the stress and strife of our messy contemporary lives.


Cheers to you from beautiful Kotor Montenegro~

Awestruck~


by Dubrovnik!


George Bernard Shaw called the city “paradise on earth,”

and it is easy to see why.

Dubrovnik is a 12th Century masterpiece sitting on the jewel like Adriatic Sea.

The old city is surrounded by towering medieval walls, looming up to 80 feet over the city.

The walls can be walked in entirety,

offerring incredible views over the old city and the sea.

Game of Thrones was filmed here,


because the city retains a magical sense of unique ancientness.

Cheers to you from magical old Dubrovnik~
(Excuse my absence, but I should be returning to available wifi in a few days!)

Seaside Santorini~


Sun kissed,

white washed,

azure accented,

bliss!

Especially quiet,

and lovely,

off season.

Cheers to you from stunning Santorini~

Intermittent island internet, so please bear with me!