Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Landscapes of the Mountain Alps

These days waiting for the new gardening season I want to recollect warm autumn in Austria. That time I was looking forward to the pleasure of traveling by train through the Alps. I've been glad that the train I traveled through the Alps was not speed one and I could enjoy the scenery passing outside the window.  
The Alps  is an area of really diverse beautiful landscapes. There are mountains and valleys, dense forests, high plateaus. Sunlit meadows with grazing cows on alpine pastures, vineyards and villages.

For me who lived all my life on the plain far from any mountains it is always interesting to visit the mountainous area, especially to see the nature of the Alps. These old mountains in Europe are located on the territory of several countries. Since time immemorial, people have settled here. 
The bright sun, blue sky, thick white clouds over the mountains, bright green sown fields, all these reminded of postcards that are sent in travels. Looking at tidy farm houses I thought that Alpine farms produce butter, milk, a large selection of cheese, especially cheese with mold, that I like very much.

There came a moment when I noticed that the train started to go up into the mountain, the road became winding passing through the tunnels. The landscape was changing, houses and farms began to rarer appear, clouds were up in the sky then the heavy fog fell. The grazing cows, lovely houses and churches sank in a fog.

It was amazing to see a fog in highland. The train was going through tunnels, then I saw the valleys between the foggy mountains. One more tunnel, another road turn and the train has gone lower, we arrived again to a valley.
The sun came out of the clouds, a fog dissipated. Birds flew over the corn field, it was a nice view of white houses with red roofs and farms. 

The train was going ever lower, the valleys became wider and more populated. I saw shopping centers, parking lots, wide and narrow roads, fast rivers running through valleys. The journey across the mountain Alps has finished.

Have you ever traveled or lived in mountains?

Video from the 1965 film The Sound of Music about the family of 7 children in the Alps



For those who celebrate tomorrow

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Ceramic Vase for Tulips, Delft, The Netherlands

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Crocuses in One Cold Day

It's mid-March, we're finally going to spring. The weather is getting 'warmer' - it's  +3 C (32 F), hurray!
On a shelf at the window a pot of crocuses pleases me. A week ago when I bought crocuses I took them home as quickly as I could because of the frosty weather outside. It's a treat they are in bloom now.

I suppose past February was one of the coldest month here in Saint Petersburg, that frost  -19  C (5 F) I can't remember in some previous years.
On Tuesday when I was driving along the river Neva embankment a view was amazing that I decided to take some photos. 

A view of the St Isaak Cathedral (1846) and the Annunciation Bridge. As you see the river Neva has been partly covered with ice in this area due to the strong river flow.

A view of the Annunciation Bridge and the museum Hermitage (green building in a distance). On the right the Admiralty golden steeple is seen. There has been more ice closer to an embankment.

Above the English embankment is, the small chapel (on the right) and the frozen sailing vessel near a pier (below). This is the Young Sailor Academy vessel.

Since the water wasn't still totally frozen ducks and seagulls have occupied the spots of open warm water. They tried to find some food there. Looking at water evaporation I thought this open spot will have been iced soon.

Going farther I was utterly astonished looking at the people crossing Neva from one embankment to another. Despite the strong river flow, the insufficiently thick ice and billboards "Is prohibited to walk on ice" there were brave souls or better to say reckless people who decided to shorten their way bypassing the bridge.

A view of the museum Hermitage (Winter Palace, 1762) and the Palace bridge. You can see paths and imprudent people on the river ice.

The St. Isaak Cathedral, the Senate and Synod buildings (1824)  
I've read on internet newspaper that the rescue ships are on duty on the river Neva ice. They are air-cushion ships that might come closer to sinking people.


When I was back home I gladly sat in the armchair and enjoyed the warmth and comfort. Dark purple crocuses with yellow stamens stretched to the sunlight. It's good that spring will soon come to St. Petersburg.