Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #27: My Travel to Alpine Countries (Part 1)

This is my submission for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #27: My Travels.

It is easy to talk about something I like, but it is difficult to talk about something I deeply love. My trip to Alpine Countries is one of those hard-to-talk trips. (Thanks to Amy… now I will push myself a little harder. 😉

We flew to Frankfurt, and spent one night there. Near our hotel, I was introduced to “garden houses”. A piece of land in the city, it looks like our mobile home park, contains many small houses with gardens. Someone told me these families would spend weekends here to get away from their city life in the city.

(A small garden house in front of a tall building)

Walking back to the hotel from those garden houses, I saw a bus stop at the bus stop. It took me a while to notice the driver was waving to me. He pointed at himself suggesting me to take a photo of him. I did and he was very happy (He didn’t know how bad the photo had turned out. Ha.) A good start of the trip, I thought to myself.

From Frankfurt, we went to…

We were delighted when we found out there were less than 30 people on the bus, which would usually fit near 50 people. Wei and I happily occupied 2 seats toward the back.


At Marienplatz, we got some free time. Our tour guide instructed us to meet back at 12:30 and he added, “If you are not here by that time, I will assume you have walked back to the hotel by yourself. It’s hard to find a parking spot. We will not wait.” He showed all of us how to get back to our hotel, and said, “It’s very simple.”

There was a parade on that day; Marienplatz was very crowded. After taking some photos, Wei and I decided to head back to the hotel. The walk was much longer than I thought, but we survived. Our tour bus came back late (we were waiting for the bus to continue our afternoon program). When it finally arrived at the hotel, we were told that our tour guide had asked the driver to circle around 3 times looking for us. “Didn’t he say if we were not there, he would assume we had walked back by ourselves?” I asked. Everyone smiled. Apparently, no one had taken our tour guide’s words seriously (not even himself) except us.

One famous local dish around here is German Pork Knuckle (roasted pig feet). “Since we are here, we may as well try it,” I said to Wei. We found a restaurant; German Pork Knuckle and German beer was our yummy dinner! After eating the meal, we wondered how much to tip. We gave some money to our service person and told her to keep the change; I saw a huge smile on her face. OK, we over tipped, I thought to myself, and then turned around said, “It’s all right, we are on vacation.” I said it to Wei and to myself.

(German Pork Knuckle)

Tipping is very confusing in Europe; no tip in some countries; 10% other countries, which we often forgot because we were so used to 15% or more. (Would someone create an iPhone app for this, please?)


(Linderhof Castle)


(The fountain that was filmed in The Sound of Music)

(Hohensalzburg Fortress)


(Schonbrunn Palace)

(Schonbrunn Palace)

Five days into this trip, we hadn’t seen a single mountain. “Did we sign up for the right trip?” we wondered. I had been Vienna before, but hadn’t visited the other cities. They are all beautiful cities in their own ways. Still, we yearned to see mountains and we were getting more and more impatient.

I’ll stop here for part one. Maybe that was why I hesitated to write about this trip – I don’t know how to make it short.

Thank you for visiting my blog.


About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo, Trips, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #27: My Travel to Alpine Countries (Part 1)

  1. Denzil says:

    Lovely photos and great idea for a Resto Tip App!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    You have captured some majestic buildings. 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Cee. Wei and I, actually, had some conversation about those buildings. Europe seems having lots of those majestic buildings. Living in it is hard to imagine for me.
      Have a wonderful day!


  3. GP Cox says:

    Well I can see why you end up making it a longer post, it was a very exciting trip and thankfully, you brought back some wonderful photos for us!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy says:

    Beautiful photos, Helen! I remember hubby and I enjoyed the German Pork Knuckle very much! I cook it every once a while. Looking forward to reading about your Alpine part II. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely! I have been to Munich and Salzburg, but so long ago I don’t remember much about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Anabel. I admit I had some expectation for Salzburg, and it wasn’t what I thought it was. But to be fair, it’s hard to know the place if you only spend an hour or two there. I wish we could stay at each place for at least 3 days 😉
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. loisajay says:

    What a trip, Helen! Looking forward tot he next part. Oh…..I would have believed the bus driver, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Lois. Actually, the tour guide told us twice that we could walk back to the hotel: once on the night before and once on that day. I almost thought he would be disappointed if no one listened to him 😉
      Lois, you probably don’t remember that I had posted some parade photos after the trip and you commented that you would like to know more about it. After reading your comment, I had writing-this-trip on my to-do list. Sorry it took so long, and thanks for your comment.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Tina Schell says:

    LOL re making it short Helen. All beautiful cities, with many majestic sites. Looking forward to the mts😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. carol1945 says:

    I really enjoyed your travelogue. When I was young, I never thought I would go on a tour. But now that is really the only way I can travel. I really like the Road Scholar tours. Your photos and words inspire me to go on a trip to Europe. I worry about the long plane ride and my knees, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Carol, flying to Europe is not too bad. Longer than that will be terrible to me, but I still do. I believe we should travel when we can, and write about it when we can’t. Ha. If we remember it, that is.
      I had problem with my knees, too. It seems getting better after I started walking at least an hour every day. I don’t really know. It seems that way…
      One time, on my way to Europe (river cruise), I fell on the airport escalator and hurt my ankle pretty badly. Every step hurt, but since we were on river cruise, it wasn’t too bad. And a few days later, it healed. Maybe try river cruise first?
      Have a great day, Carol.

      Liked by 1 person

      • carol1945 says:

        Yes, I was thinking of a river cruise. Also I was thinking of flying first to New York, staying a couple of days, going to the Met, then to Europe. That would shorten the time on the plane, break up the trip. Do the same thing on the way back. Maybe Chicago; I love the Chicago Art Institute. It would make the whole trip longer, but it is horrifying to me to think of being in a plane for 12 hours straight. By the way, my knees got better since I last visited WordPress, and I don’t know why!!! (well, I am doing strengthening exercises, but have only done them for a week, the body is mysterious)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          I am so glad that your knees are better now. Do you take Glucosamine Chondroitin, like Move Free? It seems helping me. Like you said, the body is mysterious…
          We really enjoy our river cruise, much more than the ocean cruise. I think it is 8 hour flight to Amsterdam, which is acceptable. 😉
          Have a wonderful evening.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. “Five days into this trip, we hadn’t seen a single mountain.” This sentence, together with the title, made me chuckle out loud. 😀 Oh my! I hope you got some later on! 😉 I’m from Slovenia but live in Italy now, in Tuscany where there are no high mountains, and I miss them so much! You photos are beautiful though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Manja. Slovenia is beautiful. I think our tour guide lives there. We were thinking to spend some time there in one of our future trips.
      Those mountains are something, aren’t they. I could just sit there, drinking coffee or tea or wine or even just water and starting at mountains. I am pretty sure we will go back to visit again.
      Have a wonderful day, Manja.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a super collection of wonderful buildings … I’m yet to get to these places, one day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, Julie. Thank you! I was so excited when I saw your new post, and want to read it again to comment. 😉 You live in a pretty place, so maybe you don’t have the need to visit other places. Ha.
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks Helen for sharing your photos, beautiful places!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jim says:

    Vienna and Salzburg and Munich! what a great time of year to tour there.

    Liked by 1 person

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