Friday, December 2, 2016

Scorpions for dinner?

Our first night in Beijing we did a bit of shopping. These little buggers were wriggling on their sticks. It can't be any fresher than that


Unknown balls of an unknown mix look better than the scorpions
Pear soup anyone?
It's duck, not KFC

Betsy and jane are enjoying fresh potato chips. They were delicious. I have no way to compare their taste to the scorpions


This consumer looks pleased with his lunch of scorpion
Chestnuts, anyone. We bought some. Taste was good, but they were a bit mushy
Jane and betsy liked them

The candy man stretches his ware

Lets Go To China

Flying to Beijing on Hainan airlines. Boing 787 Dreamliner. Good service. Good seating, ok food Very good flight. Hard to sleep of course, but it's only 13.5 hours.
Safety intro is the same on Chinese airlines Be sure to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others
Our first outing was to the Great Wall. Wow! It's quite great. And guess what, building this massive wall didn't keep the Huns out of China.
This group of Chinese tourists on the wall asked to take my picture with them. Betsy told me later that I was blond with round blue eyes. There are not many minorities in China that we saw. Later two other Chinese groups also asked for pictures. I felt quite special
This view is out the window of one of the guard towers along the wall. Guards had to live here and watch forthe enemy. Bad assignment.
When we returned to Beijing, we went to the sight of the 2012 Olympic Games. To quite our guide, "this is where Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals. The swimming cube.

To the right of the swimming cube is the birds nest where the opening ceremonies were held.
While on the bus we received this direction on the seat in front of us


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My last day with Jordan

Jordan and I took the subway to the main train station where we got on a bus for Bratislava, the capital of Slovokia. The ride is 1 1/2 hours and the cost is $8 round trip.  Bus had sketchy wifi and the one on the way back also had movies on the back of each seat.  Amazing. 

Lots of windmills on the way.

We stopped in at a pretty swishy hotel for lunch. This is Jordan's appetizer course.  One dish has a potato/cod dish and the other a green salad. 

I had to have borsch which was delicious

This is my dessert.  It is a purée of chestnuts. Weird texture, but delicious.

Our main place to visit in Bratislava was their modern art museum, Nedbalka Gallery.   It reminded me of the Guggenheim in New York.  At the Guggenheim you ride an elevator to the top and walk a spiral down.  Here there are actually four separate floors.  The top floor is early twentieth century and by the time you get to the bottom you are in the 21st century.  There is a whole in the center so you can see to the bottom

Each door of the elevator is painted. This is the first floor elevator door

Nice shapes on the stairway

Could be a quilt

Walking street in Bratislava

We got back to Vienna by bus at about 7:30. About 10 Richard and jordan went with me to the train station. My train to Munich left at 11:55 pm. New in the trip to the railway station was a ride on a trolley. 
I got lucky in the train.  I was in a compartment for 6 by myself and was able to lock the door so I could try to sleep and not be concerned that I might wake up with new friends

At the Munich station I found a ticket kiosk and the train which heads for the airport. Amazing how much easier this was than a week ago.  United gave me a first class ticket for the ride back to Chicago. Yea!!!,

Lunch on this flight involved:

Warm nuts and Chardonnay 

Followed by chicken skewer with coriander sauce and tabbouleh salad 

Followed by zucchini and Parmesan cheese soup 

Followed by  a salad with passion fruit dressing 

Followed by Indian spiced shrimp, julienned vegetables and basmati rice

Followed by cheese, grapes and port wine

Followed by a Carmel sundae

And a cup of coffee

What a wonderful trip!  

Another day soloing in Vienna

I rode the subway with Jordan who was on his way to work. He opened up the store and pointed me toward the market we had visited our first day in Vienna.  Today, because it was Saturday, there was also a flea market.  At the end of the day Saturday everything that is not removed is bulldozed and thrown away.  The Saturday before we had seen people picking over the rubble for treasures.  I bought two pieces of hand woven linen at the market.  

The pickle man was doing a big business.  

This cheese was beautiful.  I bought a small piece because the sample tasted so good.

This is the guy I bought my cheese from and this is the cheese my piece came from. He was a very good salesman.

In the afternoon I found my way to the Belvedere Palace because that is where Klimpt's The Kiss is hung. The palace and gardens are quite spectacular.  

And here is the kiss

This palace is now totally used as an art museum. It also had a few French impressionists. Here is a piece by Monet called The Chef. Never saw this one before.

Today was fun. Finding my way was really fun.  Amazing how easy it is to learn to navigate in a new place

Friday, March 11, 2016

A day on my own in Vienna, Friday, March 10, 2016

Today jordan had a job interview at his school in the morning.  It will be a work study job in the psych office.  Then this afternoon he had to work at his job in the grocery store.  I kept trusty subway map in my coat pocket and headed for down town.  The subway system is easy to navigate. My main destination was the Leopoldo art museum.  I ended up spending 4 hours there.  It is primarily modern Austrian art.  Their main claim to fame is the large Schiele collection as well as much from Klimt

This is the most famous Klimt picture in the museum.  It's name is death and life. The one I like best, The Kiss, is somewhere else.

At first I didn't like Schiele, but he grew on me during the visit.  This is one of his self portraits.  He did several nude self portraits.  

One of his landscapes

I really liked his buildings

After four hours, lunch was required.  I ate in the Karlsplatz subway station.  

Took the subway to St Stevens platz.  Two events occurring.  The first I saw was a Samsung introduction of a new phone.  They were having drawings and giving away phones.  This drew quite a crowd. More interesting across the square was a demonstration by a Palestinian group about their decreasing amount of land.  briefly I saw two women carrying Israeli flags.  The police moved them to a different area.

To watch what was happening I went into a cafe for coffee and a view out the window. 

We were well supervised and protected.  Lots of police present

Returned to Richards home by subway to rest up for out late dinner.  I'm taking us all, including Richards mother, who does not speak english, to a Turkish restaurant for dinner.