Thursday, May 18, 2017, Crossing the waters to Victoria / Butchart Gardens

SPOILER ALERT: Not interested in flowers? Skip this post… it’s going to have lots of flower photos….

The first challenge was getting out of the parking garage, which proved far easier than getting into it and parked.

This seemed really tight to me...

This seemed really tight to me…

We’re off on an adventure: taking the ferry (with the rental car) from Vancouver to Victoria, going to Butchart Gardens, and sailing onward from Victoria to Port Angeles, Washinton, Friday.

Using Google Maps on my iPhone we had a terrific tour of San Francisco and traffic congestion on the way to catch the ferry at Tsawassen, apparently close a First Nations facility. BC Ferries did a great job of getting the 200+ cars loaded (and unloaded) quickly. Note to self: these types of trips are best reserved in advance, not the same day.

View from the ferry, crossing from Vancouver to Vancouver Island

View from the ferry, crossing from Vancouver to Vancouver Island

Islands and boat through the window of the ferry to Victoria

Islands and boat through the window of the ferry to Victoria

We decided to spring for the CAD 12.00 a person and ride in luxury in the more private area. It was a great deal: quite, more comfortable seats, and all the coffee or tea and breakfast you wanted to eat.

Comfort area on the ferry to Victoria

Comfort area on the ferry to Victoria

The 1.5-hour ferry trip left us in Port Swartz. Thanks to my phone, we found Butchart Gardens, though signs seemed to be lacking. Also, it wasn’t on the map, though it’s a very major attraction. We’re still trying to figure that one out.

Flowers at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island

Flowers at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island

More painted daisies

More painted daisies

More purple flowers

More purple flowers

More painted daisies at Butchart Gardens

More painted daisies at Butchart Gardens

Painted daisies at Butchart Gardens

Painted daisies at Butchart Gardens

You may have guessed I like purple, and I went a little crazy with the photos of the purple flowers.

I’ve grouped the photos — the garden is huge, and this “tour” is in no particular order.

There’s a view of boats and water from the gardens:

Butchart Cove Lookout

Butchart Cove Lookout

Butchart Cove Lookout, without the trees

Butchart Cove Lookout, without the trees

Now for more flowers. I was fascinated by the variety of tulips.

Red/yellow tulip with yellow fringe

Red/yellow tulip with yellow fringe or spikes

Yellow tulip with red highlights

Yellow tulip with red highlights

Several purple tulips with little yellow spots.

Several purple tulips with little yellow spots. They all seemed that way, so I don’t think it was a disease….

Tulips in several shades

Tulips in several shades

Red tulips with fringed white edges

Red tulips with fringed white edges

Funky yellow tulips

Funky yellow tulips

Pink tulips

Pink tulips

Actually, there were lots of other flowers in bloom, too:

Narcissus

Narcissus

Canada is celebrating 150 years

Canada is celebrating 150 years

 

Interesting yellow flower

Interesting yellow flower

These leaves sprout flowers

These leaves sprout flowers

Lilacs

Lilacs

 Lilacs of another color

Lilacs of another color – I’d never seen this color before….

I've seen these before in orange.

I’ve seen these before in orange.

Most flowers that are blue aren’t really, really blue. But this one is:

Again, the rhododendrons were huge…

White rhododendron, among the largest I've ever seen

White rhododendron, among the largest I’ve ever seen

And had some colors I didn’t recall seeing:

Purple and white rhododendron

Purple and white rhododendron

Yellow rhododendron

Yellow rhododendron

Here and there we found glass:

Stained glass sign for ice cream at Butchart Gardens

Stained glass sign for ice cream at Butchart Gardens

Gorgeous fused glass piece in the artisan shop at Butchart Gardens

Gorgeous fused glass piece in the artisan shop at Butchart Gardens

Glass flowers, ones you can take home

Glass flowers, ones you can take home

And more flowers, with fountains:

Waterfall with flowers at Butchart Gardens

Waterfall with flowers at Butchart Gardens

Frog fountain

Frog fountain

Changing fountain

Changing fountain

Fish fountain

Fish fountain

Dragon Fountain

Dragon FountainLots of trees:

Trees in the garden

Trees in the garden

An interesting tree in Butchart Gardens

An interesting tree in Butchart Gardens

Up close , maybe a Japanese maple?

Up close , maybe a Japanese maple?

Sunken Garden at Butchart Gardens

Sunken Garden at Butchart Gardens

The merry-go-round cost a couple of dollars extra and had lots of less-than-traditional critters, such as this cat with a fish in its mouth.

Merry-go-round

Merry-go-round

Outside is a bronze merry-go-round horse, “Annabelle”:

Bronze merry-go-round horse, Annabelle

Bronze merry-go-round horse, Annabelle

And there’s a boar:

Bronze boar in the gardens

Bronze boar in the gardens

We can’t forget the totem poles. The gardens offers more, but here are two that lent themselves to photos:

Totem pole in the gardens

Totem pole in the gardens

Another totem pole

Another totem pole

And as we leave, some more of the painted daisies:

Painted daisies...more purple!

Painted daisies…more purple!

After about two hours of wandering the garden, snapping about 200 photos and having a gelato cone, we headed for the hotel.

Our stay in Victoria will be in the following post, though it’s the same day.

 

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017, Vancouver, B.C.

Today was our hop on-hop off day for Vancouver, B.C. First, we had to find the bus. A sign we had seen was not a stop. What we did see was a young homeless guy, asleep in front of a Tim Horton’s (like Dunkin’ Donuts).

Young homeless man in Vancouver, BC

Young homeless man in Vancouver, BC

He was still there, but in a different position, when we went to dinner several hours later. We were surprised by the number of apparent homeless folks wandering around. The city seems so vibrant and well-off, though apparently house prices are similar to those in California (not affordable for most people). We saw a lot of nice cars and well-dressed people, and the shops were not cheap.

After the false start, we did find the busstop, almost directly across from our hotel. The bus had rolled-down plastic windows, so it was warmer than the bus in San Francisco. We also couldn’t shoot photos through the plastic.

The weather was in the 50s and pretty overcast, until late in the day (for the second day it was this way). In the Robson area, where our hotel is and which is near Stanley Park, there are a lot of high-rise apartment buildings. Most have balconies, which reminds me a little of Bern (Switzerland), where I lived for a while.

Apartment building in Vancouver, BC

Apartment building in Vancouver, BC

Some buildings even have trees growing on their roofs…

Entrance to Trump Tower in Vancouver, BC

High-rise building with trees growing on the roof in Vancouver, BC

The Vancouver Public Library was an interesting building — round with a straight part that had coffee shops in it. The library itself seemed to have about eight floors.

Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library

Out front we found this sign:

Sign in front of the Vancouver Public Library

Sign in front of the Vancouver Public Library

Inside we found that Canadians really are much more open-minded than U.S. citizens:

Vancouver Public Library has NO problems...

Vancouver Public Library has NO problems…

One stop was Granville Island, a manmade island that began as a sandbar. It’s supposed to be home to all kinds of artists. However, we found mostly souvenir shops with stuff from China, India and the Philippines (wood). There was one really nice co-op gallery, with some interesting glass, but I didn’t take any photos. The take-away there was that the artists in the gallery were not allowed to sit the gallery, because of “conflict of interest”. Other members of the group sit the gallery. I should have asked for more details.

Granville Island, an artificial tourist place

Granville Island, an artificial tourist place

We found the Chinatown area in Vancouver:

Gate to Chinatown, Vancouver, BC

Gate to Chinatown, Vancouver, BC

Sign on a building in Chinatown, Vancouver, BC

Sign on a building in Chinatown, Vancouver, BC

Closed for fixing the pond was the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden:

View of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden in Vancouver, BC

View of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden in Vancouver, BC

One of the stops was in Gastown, which has a long story connected to it, as well as a steam-driven clock:

Steam-run clock, Gastown area of Vancouver, BC

Steam-run clock, Gastown area of Vancouver, BC

We stopped by the Convention Center area to find the tourism office. We also found a couple of ships. This is one:

Giant cruise ship docked in Vancouver, BC

Giant cruise ship docked in Vancouver, BC

And the Convention Center without its grassy roof:

Convention Center from below (grassy roof doesn't show)

Convention Center from below (grassy roof doesn’t show)

Although it seems like there are some glass artists around, I haven’t found tons of fused or other glass yet. This was in an empty shop window, advertising for Ethereal Glass.

Ethereal Art, handblown glass from the area

Ethereal Art, handblown glass from the area

On the way back to the hotel at the end, we came across this display case of what may be Dale Chihuly glass, with a fountain:

Blown glass in a display case by a high-rise apartment building. Chihuly???

Blown glass in a display case by a high-rise apartment building. Chihuly???

Tomorrow Vancouver Island / Victoria /Butchart Gardens

 

Excitement on the way to Oregon, May 13, 2017

The Best Western at Fort Bragg, California, (not to be confused –as I did, for no good reason– with Fort Bragg, North Carolina) overlooks the ocean. This morning I took this photo of a boardwalk across the street from the window of our room (upstairs, on the end):

View from our room at the Best Western in Ft. Bragg, CA

View from our room at the Best Western in Ft. Bragg, CA

Then we were off, headed towards Redwood National & State Parks and then Oregon. As we were whipping along the narrow, winding road, we whipped by these two good-sized fellows, still with velvet on their antlers. Needless to say, we stopped and walked back to get a better look. The elk checked us out, too, but continued to munch away. Several other cars after us stopped to look and photograph, too.

Elk through the trees by the road

Elk through the trees by the road

A second elk by the side of the road

A second elk by the side of the road

And this is why you need a viewfinder on your digital camera. I missed both large elk…

Why you need a viewfinder (no elk)

Why you need a viewfinder (no elk)

We stopped eventually for lunch and a brief visit to a thrift shop (thanks to the wonder of Google and the iPhone) in McKinleyville, then went on to the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center for the Redwood National & State Parks.

From the beach at the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center, Redwood National & State Parks

From the beach at the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center, Redwood National & State Parks

A Park ranger explained where the tree you could drive through was, and we picked up a map of the park. We set off to see if we could find more elk, since my photos this morning weren’t too good.

We found the tree, though I drove by it first, because the sign to turn wasn’t too clear.

A redwood that you can drive through, but we didn't (it looked awfully narrow)

A redwood that you can drive through, but we didn’t (it looked awfully narrow)

We found lots of elk at Elk Meadow. Here are a few:

Young-looking elk, shedding it winter coat, in Elk Meadow

Young-looking elk, shedding it winter coat, in Elk Meadow

Elk in Elk Meadow

Female elk in Elk Meadow

Elk digesting dinner in Elk Meadow

Elk digesting dinner in Elk Meadow

They were really savage-looking beasts, you notice:

Sign at Elk Meadow, Redwood National & State Parks

Sign at Elk Meadow, Redwood National & State Parks

It was getting late, and the sky was spitting at us off and on, and I wanted to get into Oregon before we stopped for the evening. A stop at a Starbucks gave us new energy, and Google and my iPhone (I’ve had it now about a week) helped us find a motel in Port Orford, Oregon.

It was after 7 p.m. when we arrived. We checked in, then took off to find food. Jacqueline wanted fish by the ocean. This was the best we could do:

Griff's on the Docks, Coast Gifts & Seafood Market -- and Restaurant. Port Orford, OR

Griff’s on the Docks, Coast Gifts & Seafood Market — and Restaurant. Port Orford, OR

The man was just putting the CLOSED sign in the window, but after some discussion, he let us eat. The food was quite good, the atmosphere what you’d expect of a little, informal place by the ocean. Since this blog focusses on glass, I took photos of the two really nice stained glass pieces in the windows:

Stained glass dolphins, in the window of Griff's Restaurant

Stained glass dolphins, in the window of Griff’s Restaurant

Stained glass turtle and fish in the window at Griff's Restaurant, Port Orford, OR

Stained glass turtle and fish in the window at Griff’s Restaurant, Port Orford, OR

The background is actually:

View of the Pacific Ocean from Griff's gifts and restaurant, Port Orford, OR

View of the Pacific Ocean from Griff’s gifts and restaurant, Port Orford, OR

Next to the restaurant were several boats:

Boats out of the water and on the dock at Port Orford, Oregon

Boats out of the water and on the dock at Port Orford, Oregon

Tomorrow we head north, aiming for Washington, as close to Seattle as possible.

Sonoma Wineries, Friday, May 12, 2017

We got off to a late start, since the wineries don’t open until at least 10:30. We had some coupons from the ladies at the front desk, but the first winery had a full parking lot, so we kept going. The second, Dry Creek Winery, not only had lots of parking spaces, it had several stained glass bonuses.

Entrance to Dry Creek Winery, with stained glass sailboat

Entrance to Dry Creek Winery, with stained glass sailboat

Close-up of saiiboat, stained glass window at Dry Creek Winery

Close-up of stained glass window with sailboat at Dry Creek Winery. The owner’s other love, the kind employee who helped us explained, is sailing.

Stained glass window at Dry Creek Winery, Healdsburg

Stained glass window with grapes at Dry Creek Winery, Healdsburg

Stained glass window at Dry Creek Winery

Stained glass window of wine bottles at Dry Creek Winery

After tasting a couple of wines, scrutinizing the gifts and buying a few things (not wine), we set off to get lost finding Francis Ford Coppola Winery, which we’d been told was very special.

Yes. An experience. You can swim there, eat, drink, buy a lot of souvenirs and even sample wines. You’ll find lots of memorabilia from Coppola’s films plus food items and much, much more.

Coppola Winery, Geyserville, CA

Front entrance of the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville, CA

Building by the swimming pool at Francis Ford Coppola's winery

Building by the swimming pool at Francis Ford Coppola’s winery

It was chilly and windy, so we had our lunch inside. Jacqueline had a side order of spinach, cooked with garlic. I had the fried zucchini, so she could try that, too. The pieces were cut thin, like French fries, and battered in something well seasoned. They were quite good, even without my usual ranch dressing (none served there, according to the waiter. Coppola doesn’t allow it.)

Outdoor patio at the restaurant at Francis Ford Coppola's winery

Outdoor patio at the restaurant at Francis Ford Coppola’s winery, Geyserville, CA

Looking out over the grape vines from the patio of Francis Ford Coppola's winery

Looking out over the grape vines from the patio of Francis Ford Coppola’s winery

Then it was onward, Route 128 and Route 1, scenic (that is, narrow and winding) to Mendocino, which I’d heard was a picturesque little town. At the outskirts we found a beach where we could dip our toes into the Pacific. We wandered around the town, were ignored at a few galleries, and went on to Fort Bragg, which was not at all what I thought it was.

The Pacific Ocean at Mendocino, CA

The Pacific Ocean at Mendocino, CA

As we went off to dinner, it began to rain. We had a nice dinner, with view of the ocean and excellent service, at the Point Noyo Restaurant.

I was trying to stay relaxed, but we’re headed to Vancouver, B.C., and we’re running behind a little. So much to see, so little time…

San Francisco, May 10, 2017

Yesterday I flew Southwest Airlines to San Francisco via San Diego to meet my friend Jacqueline, coming from Paris.

Note to self: Never fly through San Diego. It’s an antiquated airport, with long lines for the Ladies’ Room. Plus to get from one gate to the next, I had to leave the security area and go back through security. And the flight was late leaving Tucson, so I just barely made it.

Jacqueline’s flight from France worked well, and we met up without problem. I’d already gotten the rental car and put my stuff in it, so all I had to do was collect her and take off.

Getting to the hotel in the heart of San Francisco, near Union Square, was not a problem. Directions from Mapquest plus the GPS on my new iPhone helped a lot.

Today we took a GrayLine Hop on/Hop off tour. The young woman in the office where I thought I had exchanged my voucher for a ticket wasn’t very friendly. A young guy, a friendly employee, walked with us to the Union Square pick-up spot, since it was not near the office. We apparently just missed the bus, because we had a long wait. GrayLine buses are every 30 minutes (or so)…long if it’s cold and windy and you’re waiting to get started. While we were waiting:

A Japanese-influenced heart at Union Square near our Hop on/Hop off bus stop.

A Japanese-influenced heart at Union Square near our Hop on/Hop off bus stop.

The cautions I found online about the open-air doubledecker buses were really true: it was cold and windy upstairs, but we got better photos without glass.

I found a couple of interesting façades:

Interesting building I saw on the tour.

Interesting building I saw on the tour.

I liked the patterns…

One of our stops was near the Golden Gate Bridge:

The Golden Gate Bridge, from the tour bus

The Golden Gate Bridge, from the tour bus

I follow a Murals blog in Tucson, so I’ve started noticing murals more. Here are a few examples that we saw on our tour which I found interesting:

Mural found during our tour.

Mural found during our tour. I follow a Murals blog in Tucson, so I’ve gotten “in tune” with murals. I found this one quite interesting.

A neighboring wall...

A neighboring wall–I think there were some musicians painted underneath. I just found it different.

Yet another mural in San Francisco.

Yet another mural in San Francisco.

Then there was the dome of the City Hall and cultural venues, seen from the doubledecker bus, so only the ornate top shows:

Dome of the City Hall in San Francisco, taken from the bus.

Dome of the City Hall in San Francisco, taken from the bus.

We rode through most of the circle of the tour, till we got to Pier 39. I’d heard about the sea lions, and I wanted to see them.

A couple of sea lions at play at Pier 39

A couple of sea lions at play at Pier 39

A slew of sea lions basking in the sun at Pier 39

A slew of sea lions basking in the sun at Pier 39

Two sea lions at play under a friendly sign at Pier 39

Two sea lions at play under a friendly sign at Pier 39

I also found some GLASS! This was in the Musée Méchanique, free admission but you have to pay to work all the moving games and items in it.

Stained glass window over a player piano in the Musée Méchanique at Pier 39

Stained glass window over a player piano in the Musée Méchanique at Pier 39

The gulls near the food stands at Pier 39 are absolutely bold and unafraid.

The gulls near the food stands at Pier 39 are absolutely bold and unafraid.

The gulls pretty much dive-bombed anyone silly enough to carry food around. This appeared to be mostly Japanese tourists.

Hard Rock Cafes are everywhere, including Pier 39, with this interesting entrance

Hard Rock Cafes are everywhere, including Pier 39, with this interesting entrance

Looking around Pier 39 we saw a lot of chain-type places. Hard Rock Cafe was one, but I don’t recall weeing the guitar entrance before.

Alcatraz, as seen from Pier 39

Alcatraz, as seen from Pier 39

While I was looking at the sea lions, I also found a good view of Alcatraz, the maximum-security prison no longer in use.

We got back on the tour bus at Fisherman’s Wharf after a lunch of pizza for me and fried fish tacos, a first, for Jacqueline. At the end, we headed for Eddie Bauer to see about another jacket (we bought a total of three last year during our trip to New York and Washington, D.C., I never got around to posting). She was out of luck this year — we were out of season. Then it was on to Chinatown.

Dragon Gate, at the entrance of Chinatown

Dragon Gate, at the entrance of Chinatown

Just to the right of the Dragon Gate I found a shop with this lamp in the window:

Glass lilies form a cool lamp in a shop on the edge of Chinatown.

Glass lilies form a cool lamp in a shop on the edge of Chinatown.

Nearby was a shop with several blown glass “flowers” à la Dale Chihuly (or perhaps Chihuly himself, I didn’t ask) in the top window. We found a lot of glass from Murano in Chinatown, including some quite large and heavy pieces:

Glass flowers, à la Dale Chihuly, in a shop window in Chinatown.

Glass flowers, à la Dale Chihuly, in a shop window in Chinatown.

Here’s a shot of a main street in Chinatown, with lanterns strung across the street.

View of Chinatown with its lanterns

View of Chinatown with its lanterns

Our final shopping was back at Union Square. We went into Neiman Marcus, because Jacqueline wasn’t familiar with it. The ship in the ceiling, stained glass, was pretty spectacular:

Stained glass ship in the very high ceiling at the Neiman-Marcus store at Union Square

Stained glass ship in the very high ceiling at the Neiman Marcus store at Union Square

For May 11, it’s on to lunch at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, followed by a night in Healdsburg, heart of the Sonoma Valley wine country.

Tucson, Arizona, June 12, 2016

June 16 was a big day for a lot of people. Nancy Elliott, owner of Katy’s Cache at Monterey Court / super seamstress and designer / singer and guitarist, put on her first fashion show.

Nancy Elliott, with beaded necklace by Gale Thomssen of Cactus Wren Artisans Too

Nancy Elliott, with wonderful beaded necklace by Gale Thomssen of Cactus Wren Artisans Too

Nancy had five models: Andra, Bobbi Jeen (the most famous of the group), Cory, Martha and Sherry. With Nancy’s creations they wore jewelry from Cactus Wren Artisans, creations by Gale Thomssen, Emily Hall, Pam Conner and me. Since this is my blog, I’ll just show my work (except for the photo of Nancy, with Gale’s wonderful beaded piece). The models were super; I found, though, that fashion photography is not my calling. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to show the models alphabetically.

Nancy talked about doing another fashion show in the fall. To find out more, sign up for the Monterey Court newsletter at montereycourtaz.com.

Andra in red pendant

Here’s Andra in a red pendant on red cord. I’d pretty much given up on this piece, but it worked wonderfully with this dress of Nancy’s.

Andra in aqua vertical necklace

Andra selected a 3-piece vertical necklace in aqua (I would call it “teal”, producer CBS calls it “aqua”) for this bright piece by Nancy.

Andra in iridized white pyramid pendant + earrings

For this mainly-red-and-white dress, Andra picked the iridized white version of my upside down pyramid pendant on a gold wire, with matching earrings.

Andra in purple pyramid

Andra wears the purple dichroic version, which goes well with this dress.

Bobbi Jeen in gold pyramid plus earrings

Bobbi Jeen, the real professional of the models, selected the gold version of the upside down pyramid pendant and earrings for this outfit. The dichroic glass started out “salmon”, but for some reason fired gold.

Bobbi Jeen in 5-piece red glass necklace and earrings

For this blouse, Bobbi Jeen picked the 5-piece red necklace with matching earrings. My camera and I weren’t fast enough to get really good shots of her.

Corey in green pendant

Cory, Nancy’s daughter, found a multi-hued green pendant on a copper neckwire to go with this purple dress with sheer, multicolored covering.

Corey, same pendant, different outfit.

Cory, same pendant, different outfit.

This shot of Cory, in a red/yellow/lime green pendant, was done by professional photographer Robert Block.

This shot of Cory, in a red/yellow/ lime green pendant, was done by professional photographer Robert Block.

Martha in magenta pyramid necklace

Moving on to Martha, who picked the magenta version of the upside down pyramid pendant. I could have gotten a better angle….

Martha in beige earrings with salmon dichro

Martha matched one of  Gale Thomssen’s beaded necklaces with my beige + salmon dichroic clip earrings.

Martha in multi-barrette

Martha pulled her long hair back in one of my black barrettes with multi-colored dichroic glass highlights.

Sherrie in 5 pc red necklace w matching earrings

A serious Sherry picked the 5-piece red necklace with matching hanging earrings to highlight this blue-and-white dress.

Sherrie in 5-pc red necklace

And again for this outfit… I’ve heard that red jewelry is difficult to find.

Sherrie in lime green

This time Sherry picked a lime green / yellow pendant and hanging earrings.

herry in 5-pc multi necklace w earrings

To add a little pizzazz to the white blouse, Sherry selected a 5-piece black necklace with multi-colored dichroic centers and matching earrings.

France, October 25-28, 2015

First thing Sunday morning I’m on the train to Saverne, France, just outside of Strasbourg. My friend Jacqueline picks me up, we have lunch and then we head for the Musée Lalique in Wingen sur Moder. We had tried to go there during my visit in January, only to find it closed for the month.

 

Musée Lalique in Wingen sur Moder, France

Musée Lalique in Wingen sur Moder, France

Lalique perfume bottles

Lalique perfume bottles

Then it’s off to the Centre international d’Art Verrier (CiAV) in Meisenthal, also closed when we went in January. Here we watch artisans blow glass. The specialty here is a special ornament each year for Christmas. After a short visit to the gift shop, we’re off to Seichamps, outside of Nancy, and home.

Monday is a rest day, preparation for Tuesday and a visit to Vittel and Jacqueline’s daughter’s potential in-laws. Vittel is a beautiful little spa town in the Vosges and the source of the mineral water of the same name.

Doorway to a small building in Vittel park

Doorway to a small building in the park at Vittel

Stained glass window in Vittel spa

Huge stained glass window in the mineral water source of the Vittel spa

 

for repairs"

Sign at the mineral water source, “Closed for repairs”

Huge stained glass window in closed area at Vittel spa

Huge stained glass window in closed area at Vittel spa

Vittel spa hotel

Vittel spa hotel

After a delicious lunch, we set off for La Rochère, a glass production facility dating from 1475. We watch glass blowing/molding and check out the large store.

I was fascinated by this lamp in the store.

I was fascinated by this lamp in the store.

On the way back to Vittel, we find another museum of old glass and old jobs in the forest, Nusée d’Hennezel-Clairey (http://www.monthureux.fr/musee%20hennezel.htm). The curator lets us look and give us lots of history, even though we arrive right at closing time.

Then it’s back to Vittel and on to Seichamps. The Mercedes of Jacqueline’s future son-in-law, complete with GPS, gets us home easily, even in the dark.

The next morning, I’m on the train to Wädenswil, via Zurich, and my friend Kaisu, from the first days of the trip.

Luzern / Hergiswil, October 19-20, 2015

Monday morning I hopped on a train for Lucerne / Luzern, Switzerland. My goal was to see Luzern again, with its bridge across the lake, and to go back to the Glasi at Hergiswil, about a 10-minute train ride from Luzern. The Glasi is the only glass production facility in Switzerland.

Leather protective mask for workers in the glass shop. In order to work with free hands, the workers held the mask on with their teeth.

The iconic bridge in Luzern

The old part of Luzern is right out of a picture book — except for the hordes of Japanese tourists. This must be vacation time there.

I wandered around the old part of town and just took a lot of pictures.

Luzern

Luzern

Luzern along the lake

Luzern along the lake

Jesuitenkirche / Jesuit Church in Luzern

Jesuitenkirche / Jesuit Church in Luzern

 

A little humor by an optician's shop in Luzern

A little humor in front of an optician’s shop in Luzern

The next day I went to Hergiswil. Thanks to the train ticket I had, I didn’t have to pay to get into the facility.

The home of the Glasi in Hergiswil

The home of the Glasi in Hergiswil

The visit began with a well-done tour through time of glass blowing in Switzerland and Hergiswil, ending in the glass blowing area. After watching for a few minutes, I wandered over to the part where visitors can blow their own Christmas ball. This, too, was included in the train ticket (otherwise, it would have cost CHF 20).

Bar in the Glasi, with top and side out of glass

Bar in the Glasi, with top and side out of glass

The Glasi also has a small bar/café, with glass stairs, a glass-topped and glass-sided bar and, of course, a glass lighting fixture. It’s next to one of the two shops where visitors can buy vases, plates, bowls and other items created by the artisans.

Glass sculptures by the lake at the Glasi in Hergiswil

Glass sculptures by the lake at the Glasi in Hergiswil

Like Luzern, the Glasi is on the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne). It offers a variety of visitor-operated fountains plus some glass sculptures on a patio outside the bar/café. There’s a small science section for children and a labyrinth, created with the company Glas Trösch (a friend used to work there), and a second, much larger shop with firsts and seconds. You can spend a lot of time there, and I did.

Then it was back to Luzern. I found these stained glass “windows”, an ad for a bank, in the underground passageway near the train station.

Stained glass ad in the underground passageway at the train station in Luzern

Stained glass ad in the underground passageway at the train station in Luzern

Stained glass ad in the underground passageway at the train station in Luzern

Stained glass ad in the underground passageway at the train station in Luzern

The next day I happened on the market, on the path by the lake.

Market in Luzern

Squash at the market in Luzern

Coburg, Germany, October 14, 2015

The hotel is right on the market place, and this morning was the market.

The Marktplatz in Coburg

The Marktplatz in Coburg

Painted pumpkins in the Marktplatz, Coburg

Painted pumpkins in the Marktplatz, Coburg

The Marktplatz in Coburg

The Marktplatz in Coburg

 

One of the oldest pharmacies, on the Marktplatz in Coburg

One of the oldest pharmacies, on the Marktplatz in Coburg

This morning we looked around Coburg a little, then went on a walking tour of the old part of town. I found a glass studio that seemed to make fused glass windows plus Vero Vetro, a nice stained glass studio with some really nice fused bowls, as well. We chatted with the owner/artist for a few minutes. Kaisu ended up buying some intersting painted globs.

Stadt Theater in Coburg

Stadt Theater in Coburg

After cake and coffee, we set off by taxi to the Vesta, the fortress on the hill with a selection of Venetian and Venetian-like glass, as well as some more modern pieces. we spent about three hours,with glass and a variety of other exhibits in the buildings that pre-date the US….

Near the Vesta

Near the Vesta

Henkelschale, 2nd half of the 17th century at the Vesta

Henkelschale, 2nd half of the 17th century at the Vesta

Venetian chandelier at the Vesta

Venetian chandelier at the Vesta

 Bowl by Daum, from around 1920, at the Vesta

Bowl by Daum, from around 1920, at the Vesta

Galle, Vase w anemones, around 1900, in the Vesta

Galle, Vase w anemones, around 1900, in the Vesta

Tiffany, bowl, around 1900, in the Vesta

Tiffany, bowl, around 1900, in the Vesta

Vase by Witwe / Peche, around 1920, in the Vesta

Vase by Witwe / Peche, around 1920, in the Vesta

 

European Jaunt – October 11 – 13, 2015

The reason for this trip, if I needed one, is the 20th anniversary of the institute I worked for in Bern, Switzerland, to take place Oct 22-23, 2015. Being too old for long weekends, I set out earlier.

This time the United flight from Tucson left me with 45 minutes to change planes enroute to Dulles airport and then Zurich. I couldn’t take the chance, so I flew from Phoenix, with just one change of plane. Rather than drive and park in Phoenix, I rode up on the shuttle. Rather than take the shuttle at 2:30 a.m., I went up on Oct. 10 and spent the night at the La Quinta hotel near the airport. All went well, except the hotel does NOT have a phone at the airport (or a toll-free number, for that matter). I waited 40 minutes for the hotel shuttle, because the driver had been sent on another errand. At least the 5 a.m. Shuttle, for my 7:20 flight, went well. (Sorry for odd capitalization. I’m trying to streamline and use an iPad. Apple has a worse idea.)

Phoenix is always a pain. United is in an old, small terminal, and getting my bag checked was somewhat chaotic, but it worked. Gate personnel tried to take away my carry-on bag because of lack of space. I insisted, and it turned out there was a lot of space in the overhead bins. I don’t know how the misinformation happened.

The flights were uneventful, my bag was there, I got my train ticket for Zurich airport to Karlsruhe, Germany, in record time and was off to the Zurich main station.

Fountain in underground at Zurich Main Train Station

Fountain in underground at Zurich Main Train Station

There I met my friend Kaisu, who lives in Wädenswil, and we took off for Coburg, Germany. First stop: Hotel The Square. Next stop: Rödental and the Europäisches Museum für Modernes Glas, my second visit and Kaisu’s first.

It’s an impressive little museum, and this time there might have been 10 visitors while we were there, not just two or three, like last year. The big disappointment was that the restaurant next door was closed on Mondays….

It's still a long walk to the museum.

It’s still a long walk to the museum.

A letter to the organization last year suggesting better directions for people not driving brought nothing. Apparently, during the week no buses run to the museum, which is a good half-hour hike. It seemed a lot shorter with a friend, of course.

Udo Zembok, Simultankontrast 2

Udo Zembok, Simultankontrast 2

Libensky + Brychtova, Cube in a Sphere

Libensky + Brychtova, Cube in a Sphere

 

John Zinner, Island Plate

John Zinner, Island Plate

 

Lázló Lukásci, Jewel (dichroic glass laminated + polished)

Lázló Lukásci, Jewel (dichroic glass laminated + polished) 

On the way back to the hotel I found this building with a nice stained glass window in it:

Stained glass window in a store in Coburg

Stained glass window in a store in Coburg 

I’m home now and can select and manipulate the hundreds of photos I took (according to the numbers of the photos.)