Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 18, 2014
This curious guy introduced himself while I was in the Arctic Circle. He was curious but shy: we both kept our distance of safety. He was in a small group of about 8 while the rest of the crowd stayed in a pile on the beach down the way from where I was. What an experience! 
More photos of Svalbard to come as I get to them and over the jet lag...

This landscape had our guides on constant alert for polar bears.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Puget Sound Spring Sunset

Spring twilight on the Puget Sound
 Flowers growing wild along the beach

The first Farmer's Market of the season in Steilacoom. Fairly sparsely attended by farmers but that should improve when the free concerts begin. 
                                    The balloon lady listening intently
                                                Rainier Cheeries!
                                                    Bing Cheeries!
                                       Flowers are always a big hit

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Finished the book for the April 2014 trip to Holland and Belgium!
Go here for a full preview look:   http://www.blurb.com/b/5370758-holland-and-belgium-april-2014
It says here not available for preview but use the link, trust me, it IS available for full preview.











    Holland and Belgium April 2014 by Paula Varner


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

 Canal houses in Amsterdam are interesting. Most of them lean. If they lean forward, this is the way they were built. Ground floor was always a shop and the top floor storage for what ever was being sold on the ground floor with living space for the family between. At the top of the buildings there is a hook extending from the building. This was used to haul goods up to the warehouse attic. Today they are still used when moving or renovating.
 Amsterdamers lose their bicycles all the time and small wonder when they are parked like this as they often are. The one in the foreground has over parked (see the orange tag and the lock seems to have been cut off. If this bike is not claimed by the next time the area is inspected, it will be collected to be resold for about 25 euro at the auction where many buy their bikes. Often people will have more than one bicycle in case they forget where they parked, they can still get around.
 Typical Amsterdam canal view of town.
 Amsterdam "flatiron" building. The streets do not run on a grid but more concentrically but not uniformly so. Streets run next to canals or where canals were originally.
Buildings with shutters were typically warehouses. The shutters kept the light out as it might damage the goods inside.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day as seen in Flander's Field, Ipers, Belgium

Poppies are the traditional flower to leave here

                                       "Their name shall live forever"