Montag, November 28, 2005

It has been a snowy weekend in Linz. Saturday evening I had the privilege of visiting some people in the country near here, and there was so much snow there. It was absolutely lovely driving through the hills. But it's also beautiful in the city. Makes everything look so clean.

Samstag, November 26, 2005

The spire of the new cathedral rises towards the sun along with some birds out for a relaxing fly.

Donnerstag, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving! I have so many things to be thankful for, I don't know where to start. But one of the things I'm reminded of every day is beauty. It can present itself in so many forms. Even an ordinary alley, such as the one above, has an appeal. I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend time here in Linz surrounded by so many new and exciting things and learning more than I realize. But most of all I'm thankful for the people in my life who are making it not only possible, but pleasurable. What are you thankful for?

Dienstag, November 22, 2005

East and West

It is not the view that determines character,
but character that determines the view.

Here is a photo to give you an idea about the size of Linz. This is looking north across the Danube (you can see a bit of water on the right) from the top floor of my building. The blue building towards the right of the picture is the bank next to my school, so now you have a rough idea of how far away the university is from my home. If I could fly it wouldn't be far, but I have to go a ways to get to a bridge. Now that you've had your geography lesson for the day... isn't the snow on the hills lovely?

Montag, November 21, 2005

These roses were a bit surpised to wake up and find themselves covered with a blanket of snow.

Sonntag, November 20, 2005

My feet weren't the only things the snow was sticking to. It must have blown in pretty strong last night. When I saw this car I couldn't resist. Talk about customizing!
This was amazing packing snow! Just look at the pile collected on my foot. Both feet were collecting snow like crazy. Every few feet I'd have to stop and try to scrape it all off, just to continue the process a few minutes later. I now know what it feels like to be six feet and also a bit of what those poor Chinese women who had their feet wrapped felt like. I almost broke my ankles 100 times and my neck 3 or 4! I think these shoes will be put in hibernation until the snow passes.
I posted a photo of this sculpture near my arrival. It looks a bit different now with snow all over.
Today is the first day of the Advent Market held in the Hauptplatz. I walked around for a bit smelling all the wonderful aromas and looking at the interesting little booths. The snow was falling quite hard as you can see. I still can't believe that 2 days ago it was relatively nice and dry and then suddenly everything is white!
Well, I thought the flurries yesterday might have been just a quick visit, but I woke up this morning and apparently winter has decided to stick around for awhile. So I took my camera with me to mass and afterward spent some time playing in the snow.

Samstag, November 19, 2005

Es schneit! Ready or not, here comes winter. My roommate called me silly as I was hanging out the window taking pictures of the snow flakes. The wind was blowing quite hard and sending papers off her desk not to mention cooling our room quite rapidly! Oh well. It only snows for the first time once a year. After that we sat down and had a German/English lesson for almost an hour. Who would have guessed one could have that much fun with a handful of dictionaries?!
I live in a building with 9 floors, but since I live on the 1st I've never taken the time to go up past 2nd, where one of my friends lives. However, today I decided to venture up and see what Linz looks like from up high. I was greeted with a beautiful view of the city that can't really be shown in a photo. I like this one because it shows the snow falling in the valley as well as the blue sky above the clouds.
Look closely and you can see snowflakes flying through the air.
Ah, the beauty of a first snow! While it probably looks more like a heavy frost, it really was snow. I saw it on top of cars and felt it dripping off roofs onto my head as I walked to church. Have you ever noticed how it smells after the first snow? I opened the door and was greeted with such fresh, clean-smelling crisp air. It's like all the impurity were washed right out of the air. Really puts a spring in your step!

Freitag, November 18, 2005

Even with the winter cloud cover settling in, Linz is beautiful at sunset. It's certainly getting colder and I won't be surprised to see snow flakes falling one of these days.

Donnerstag, November 17, 2005

Sunday afternoon I was perusing the paper and stumbled across a photo from 1905. I just had to share what Linz looked like 100 years ago. You can see the sign reading Haltestelle. This is where the tram stops today and is still known as the Taubenmarkt stop. Below is a picture taken looking the same direction on Landstrasse. In some ways many things have changed and in others it's very much the same. I bet the people above never imagined there would be a McDonald's on that corner!

Mittwoch, November 16, 2005

If you have been faithfully following my blog, you probably remember a photo of my room taken just after I arrived in Linz. Today is two months from that post, so I thought I'd give you an update. Still the same room, but with a few more things in it including my wonderful roommate who joined me for the photo below. I can't believe it has been two months already! Seems like just yesterday I was on my way to the airport with my stomach in my throat, and yet in other ways it seems like I've always been here. So much has happened I don't know where to begin. I've attended many concerts, seen and played many organs, met many wonderful people and this week started an intense German course. I'm the only American, so no worries about me speaking English in class! Linz feels like home. There are trials, but that happens wherever one is, and having a better grasp of the language will certainly make things easier. I'm being exposed to a whole new world of music and trying to absorb it all is a bit overwhelming, but I have a fabulous teacher who is very understanding. If the next two months are as good as the last then I can't wait to get started! Bring on the German, bring on the music, bring on the cold weather! I'm living in Austria!!!!

Nothing like self-portraits, eh? Isn't my roomie cute? We've worked out a system where I speak German to her and she speaks English to me. We both get practice that way! And she takes like 5 minute showers! Who can complain about someone who is that efficient?

Samstag, November 12, 2005

Landstrasse on a Saturday night! This is the main center for shopping in Linz and, as you can see, many people come out either to buy or just window shop. It's very pretty with all the lights in the shops and restaurants. Notice the angel heralding the coming of Christmas. I can't wait to see all the decorations!
"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."
- Gautama Siddharta
I went to a Bach organ concert this evening in the Herr Jesu Kirche. I arrived a little early and spent the time taking pictures in the church before others came.

Freitag, November 11, 2005

The hills surrounding Linz make a nice backdrop for anything that's in front of them. I like when it's clear enough to see them. Makes me feel like I live in the country, even though I'm in town. Some day when I'm free I plan to ride my bike up into them and do some sight-seeing.

Donnerstag, November 10, 2005

It's concert time in Linz! I love the nights when something is being held in the Brucknerhaus. All the lights are on and reflecting on the river and from streets and alleys everywhere people are walking towards the hall. Some are dressed in traditional Austrian attire, which they usually only bring out for special occasions. You hear the click of heels on cobblestone and can sense the excitement in the air. There's a feeling of unity as people from different countries, backgrounds and beliefs come together to enjoy a language all can understand: music.

Dienstag, November 08, 2005

Lest you think Linz is full of 17th century buildings, here is a photo of a bank in the newer part of town just across the street from my university. It was a beautiful clear day and if you look in the distance you can see the Postlingberg church on top of the hill.

Montag, November 07, 2005

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. ~Vincent Van Gogh

Sonntag, November 06, 2005

I thought I would take the opportunity to post this photo before fall has completely past. I don't remember fall colors lasting so long! October was a beautiful month with the trees changing and sunny, mild days. I'm told that it's the nicest they've had in about 20 years, so I'm fairly sure Linz was putting its best foot forward for me. Well, it worked.
As I've mentioned before, windows intrigue me. This one has a very unique shape that you won't find in many contemporary buildings, yet it nicely frames some of the German countryside. I took this in an upper level of the Frauenstein Castle.

Samstag, November 05, 2005

Yup, even swans blink when there is flash in their eyes. I was experimenting here to see if I could accentuate the swans and still have the lights reflecting on the river.

Freitag, November 04, 2005

Looking across the river to the Schlossmuseum. Linz is a beautiful city and they really play it up at night. They use lights and the river to make it truly spectacular. I went for a long walk down one side of the river, across a bridge, back up the other side of the river and crossed a second bridge to return to my starting point. Taking pictures was just an excuse to get out and enjoy yet another extraordinary evening along the Danube.
Swany river? Hmm, maybe not. But I did enjoy spending this evening with the swans on the Danube. They are graceful regardless of the time of day.

Mittwoch, November 02, 2005

I arrived in Leipzig at 7am on the day I was to meet the Netherlands crew for our organ tour, which left me several hours to sight-see before they arrived. For future reference tourists don't show up until around 10am, so the best time for photography and just overall pleasant perusing is before then. These buildings are across from Nikolaikirche, which doesn't open until 10am and is then crowded with visitors but is still an interesting place to see. It's probably around 8am in this photo and the sun is rising and casting shadows on a portion of the buildings. I want an apartment in the roof of the yellow building. (What is it with me and windows?)

Dienstag, November 01, 2005

Happy November 1st! As you can see from the trees, fall is just about over and winter is knocking at the door. One thing I've noticed in the short time I've been here is that Europeans love holidays. Today is All Saint's Day and some of the people from my building took the time for a friendly game of football (soccer) in the back yard. My roommate is the one in the festive red jacket. She loves to play football and went with me Sunday night to play with the church group. We had lots of fun. I took this picture from my window, so now you know what I see every day. If you look closely you can see my bike in the foreground. The Danube is just beyond those buildings.

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