VIENNA’S OPULENT CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS

If Paris is The City Of Lights, Vienna is the City Of Christmas Lights. Known as a romantic city with The Blue Danube Waltz, its wickedly rich food and gorgeous architecture, it pulls all stops out to set the town ablaze for Christmas.

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These delicate hand-blown glass ornaments are in shop windows everywhere.

IMG_0410 I copyViennese pastries and chocolates define the word “Heaven”.

 

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This gigantic ball or red lights hangs next to the famed St. Stephen’s Cathedral (see it lower left?)

 

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The spirit of Christmas resounds in Vienna.

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Lions Eating Zebra

This is a once in a lifetime image. It was taken standing in a jeep about twelve feet away from the lionesses. They were busy feasting which was happily more interesting to them than charging me. When one of them suddenly glanced up and looked right into the lens with the glare that jolted me almost out of my boots I shot the image. Of three rolls of film of them this was the most dramatic image of the event

Curve of Nevis

Curve, Nevis

You could wake up to uglier views. I woke up and stepped out on the patio of my hotel room on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean.I don’t have a very rich fantasy life. My real life is far more fantastic that anything I could imagine.

SIBERIA!

One of the most exotic locations on the planet. It conjures up 50 degrees below zero winters. I crossed from Beijing to Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Orient Express and arrived in Siberia in August. This image of a farm there has stuck in my head because it looked the opposite of what I’ve heard all my life about its weather.

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This farmer’s face will tell you a lot about his life.

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A folk singer entertaining the train passengers.

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 Farm people depend on a growing season that is less than 90 days for winter food.

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Farmer-scythe

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world. In winter, eighteen-wheeler trucks cross the lake with full loads with no danger of falling through the ice. Here it is on a peaceful summer afternoon.

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On the 3614 mile journey, Siberia was the destination that left me with the indelible impression of the spirit of the people and how hard but pure life can be.