Spring in tropical Queensland is all but a non-event. Arriving in Haarlem, Holland on the 25 May, I soon realised I was in for a treat of amazing spring colour.
The vibrant greens of magnificent shady oaks, beech, and many others, had me in awe.
The 'wildflowers,' many of which I had tried to cultivate in my 'cottage garden' many years ago, had me spellbound as they flourished in fields, verges, drains, rock walls and endless unusual crevices.
Pastoral vistas, spotted with the red of poppies, were wondrous to behold.
The luxuriant growth of vines, fruit trees and vegetables seen in private gardens was stunning.
Then to step into a marketplace to wander the aisles and try to resist the temptation to not buy too much, was another joy.
Vibrant colours and unfamilar plants were found.
Wonderment at how every small space is cleverly created into garden space.
Time was happily lost in public gardens.
The garden of the Presidential Palace, Bratislava.
Church of St Anne, Senkvice, Slovakia. Alas the gates were locked, but I loved the peek view through the archway.
And then there were the roses!!! Words cannot portray their rich beauty seen in every city, town and village.
Gardens of Melk Abbey.
Gardens of Liebfrauenkirchen, Catholic Church, Koblenz.
Gardens of the Residential Palace of the Bishop, Wurzburg.
The rose garden of the 17th Century Palace, Bamburg.
A wall, Wertheim.
After our wonderful visit to the Residential Palce of Bamburg, our group of six friends wandered through Bamburg's markets. Greg [below] disappeared momentarily from the group. He returned with 3 single roses and presented them to 3 very delighted 'young' women. Definitely a 'wow' moment of this cruise, especially given the 'romatic' feel of this wonderful old historic town.
I now knew what to do with my boots that needed to be retired after hiking well over a 1000 kms in Canada, The Dolomites, Andalusia, across England and many trails in Oz.
My favourite snap of the holiday.
It was taken to capture the untamed beauty of this lawn. Jayne happened to have one of the ship's umbrellas, as it was drizzling when we set off exploring. An accidental but perfect capture of the joy of spring in Europe!
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