Category Travel

A Feeling of Emptiness

The retail sector has taken a beating this year, with lockdowns and enforced closures. The number of bankruptcies is soaring. Many stores, especially small ones, are not expected to survive the pandemic. Living in Sulzburg I knew that intellectually, but it hadn’t really hit home. Our stores haven’t been hurt. That may be because there […]

Reflections on Advent

This is the second Sunday of the Advent season, the time set aside to prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a time of anticipation, and spiritual reflection. Most years there is a Christmas Market in in front of the Rathaus (city hall) in Vienna. It is big and colorful with lots for […]

Is This Overkill?

It was more than 30 years that I first saw a group of Asian tourists wearing face masks. I was not impressed. I understood that the air might be polluted wherever they were coming from, but this was Canada. You would think they would take off their masks and enjoy our fresh air. In 2020 […]

The Christmas Market

One of the big casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the cancelation of Europe’s many Christmas markets. These colorful Advent celebrations just aren’t happening this year. At various points this month I might give you a glimpse of what we are missing, starting with photos I took in 2017 in Colmar, France, which traditionally […]

Security Issues

“It’s about my rock, isn’t it?” I asked. The security officer laughed.  I knew it was the rock because it wasn’t the first flight of the day. Or the first time I had been asked to open my carry-on. In Frankfurt were was a small cluster of people gathered around the screen looking at the […]

More Than A Pile Of Sticks

I must have walked by this pile of old wood in the vineyard on the edge of Sulzburg a dozen times in the past two weeks, never giving it a second thought. Until the last time. I should have wondered why the pile was there when I first saw it, but my mind tends to […]

Ever Heard of Him?

One of the delights about visiting someplace new is learning bits of local history, things you don’t read in history books. I, for example, had never heard of Saint Arbogast. Had you? Walking through Dottingen one afternoon, I visited St. Arbogast’s Chapel on the spur of the moment. I’d seen the tower from a distance […]

What Is This?

Are you sure? I know it looks like a lemon, but maybe it is an artist’s conception of a canary. I love public art. I get frustrated though when there is no accompanying plaque to tell me what the significance of the piece is. This one can be found just outside the pedestrian core of […]

At Essex Farm

I listened to the national Remembrance Day ceremonies from Ottawa on the radio this year. Felt strange to be observing a time of silence at 5 p.m. my time instead of the traditional 11 a.m. As always on November 11, I was thinking of my maternal grandfather, who came home from that First World War, […]

Remembrance Day 2020

I’m not sure what the ceremonies in Ottawa will look like today. Normally I would tune in for the 11 a.m. service, and will probably still do so. Here in Germany they don’t remember their war dead on November 11, so I won’t be attending anything locally. Over the years I have taken many pictures […]