PhotoPOSTcard: Olomouc’s Holy Trinity Column

Olomouc’s Holy Trinity Column in the Lower Town Square is one of the many UNESCO listed heritage sites in the Czech Republic.The highly ornate baroque design was built between 1716 to 1754 as an expression of gratitude at the ending of the plague that had infected the region between 1713 and 1715. The column was as much an expression of patriotism as it was of faith. All the sculptured saints decorating the column have a connection to the town and the craftsman that produced the column were also all locals. Inside, there is actually a little chapel.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Climbing to New Heights in Ostrava’s Bolt Tower

The Bolt Tower in Ostrava, Czech Republic is a unique glass cafe and observation tower that was built on top of what was once an ironworks blast furnace. The wrap-around glass walkway is meant to look like the fire that once burned for real in the metal producing furnace below. At 250 feet high the Bolt Tower is the highest point in Ostrava and provides the best views of the city, especially at sunset. Would you have the nerve to stroll this glass walkway?

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: A Salty Last Supper

Opened in the 13th century, the Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow, Poland was one of the oldest operating salt mines in the world until it ceased production in 2007. But what put this mine on the original UNESCO list was the chapels and and intricate statues carved out of salt or carved directly into salt walls of the mine. In the largest and most elaborate St. Kinga’s Chapel, one of the wall reliefs is a salt carved version of Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Colorful Street Art in Krakow

Most of the old protective wall that once encircled Krakow’s Old Town is now gone, but a small section still remains on either side of the Florian Gate. Here, the old wall acts as an outdoor gallery for local artists displaying their colorful canvases. Each morning the artists use ladders to hang their creations, filling all the available vertical and horizontal wall space. An ever changing collage of street art in Krakow.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

 

Finding Craftsmanship Among the Kitsch in Zanzibar

“Please. Come into my shop. Let me show you what I have. I will make you a good deal”.  This was the constant litany that accosted us as we wandered the narrow lanes and tried to do some last minute shopping in Stone Town, on the Island of Zanzibar.

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This is Africa Beyond the Big 5

An African safari should be more than just seeing the BIG 5. The extent of the animal diversity in this part of the planet was amazing. This photo essay shares the great 55 that I saw on my recent Kenya and Tanzania safari experience.

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PhotoPOSTcard: A Baobab Sunset

We were treated to a spectacular sunset on our last evening on safari in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park. One of the things that made this park unique from the others we had visited was not the animal life, but rather, the plant life – the baobab trees to be specific. The distinctly wide and bulbous shaped tree trunk stores water for the tree so that it can survive drought conditions, thereby its other name “Tree of Life”.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Yes – It’s Hippo Porn

Sex in the jungle. Can’t say I really ever thought much about how hippos procreate – that is, until I saw it happen in the Ngrongoro crater in Tanzania. Hippos are mammals, but spend most of their time in the water so it seems natural that mating should occur there as well. This large group of hippos was hanging out in this, muddy, smelly, swampy watering hole, mostly submerged. All of a sudden, a big male lifted himself up, dragged himself on top of the nearby female, and grunted there for a few minutes, with the smaller female trying to keep her head above water the whole time. Our guide told us that the hippos can stay under water for up to six minutes, but that sometimes females can end up drowning during this “romantic” interlude. Eventually the male rolled off back into the murky mess, only to start all over again a few minutes later.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: A Nursing Zebra

We saw many zebras throughout our safari in the various East Africa parks, and many baby animals, but this was the first very young zebra that we saw on the whole 10 day trek. Mom waits patiently as he gets his fill nursing. This was inside the Ngorongoro crater, where the animals do not migrate and have to make do with whatever food is available year round.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: No Privacy in the Savanna

It’s World Lion Day today, so I have to share another lion photo from our African safari – this time in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This mating lion couple had gone off quite a distance from the rest of the pride to….well….mate. They were a couple of hundred yards away from the road, and even at that distance it was easy to see how much bigger the male was than his female companion. The lighter colored female blends into the surrounding grass well which makes hunting easier for her. The much darker and bigger male is an imposing sight for his job of protecting the pride.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose