Sunday, May 09, 2010

Interesting buildings: the Salzburg edition

After the conference, I spent a couple of days in Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and setting of The Sound of Music. The town is essentially nestled between two hills, with a river running through the middle. On top of one hill looms the Hohensalzburg fortress. You have to try very hard to take a picture without this huge fortress somewhere in the background.

On the right side of the picture above is the very steep funicular that takes you up to the fortress with incredible speed. Here is the view from the fortress.

If you would rather get a little exercise (we didn't), you can instead take the long walk up.

On the other side of the river is the Schloss Mirabell and its beautiful gardens. The Von Trapp kids sing Do-re-mi while dancing around that fountain in The Sound of Music.

And here is the Mozart bridge, which I think also makes a showing in the film (see what I mean about the fortress - it's everywhere!)

In the old part of town you can traverse through narrow shopping streets to buy your kugel or beer steins or what have you.

And in the middle of the old center of town is a big square where they still host ceremonies.

Interesting buildings and fabulous interiors: Paris

This is a Tokyo blog, so I don't want to spend too much time talking about my recent trip to Europe. However, I would remiss to not share at least a few photos with the friends and fam back home. Here are some highlights of the trip arranged around some kind of a theme, if possible. In this entry I will share some of the amazing and quirky buildings that I saw while in Paris. The first is of course the Louvre with its glass entrance pyramid by I.M.Pei.
Here's another glass and metal modern building that was on the Champs-Elysees, a street of high end boutiques and restaurant near the Arc de Triomphe.Both of which are in stark contrast to this random old building, where it looks like you could tie your horse up out front and order an ale.
I love these next few examples of using every available space (even vertical) to make green spaces.

And back to the modern: below is the exterior of the Pompidou Center, the museum of modern art. There is a great cafe at the top of the building, from which you can see all of Paris...

including this guy, the Sacre Coeur Basilica, which sits atop the hill of Montmartre. I trekked up there with my friend Kristen and saw many of the locations featured in one of my all-time favorite movies, "Amelie".

And this bad boy needs no introduction.
I also saw some amazing interiors. Here is just one of the many beautiful halls of the Louvre. I could have spent the entire five days just wandering the halls of this museum.
But then I wouldn't have had time to see some of Paris' other amazing sights. Here is the interior of the Musee D'Orsay, which is housed in a former railway station that was build in the 1900's. They have signs all over the place about not taking pictures so this initial picture (taken before I saw the sign) is the only one I have. There are many famous sculptures and a big collection of Impressionist paintings. When I was there, they were having a special collection around the themes of crime and punishment that was really fascinating.

And just to give you a bit of vertigo, here is a portion of ceiling from the Cluny Museum, which houses art from the middle ages, and below that is my friend Kristen descending her apartment's endless spiral staircase (there is no elevator).