Eve gets to tell about 2011 States / Europe trip

Apple has had some time to add a blog entry of his Chicago architecture shots. As per usual, I have been busy with lots of things, including a couple of Apple&Eve assignments. So, my turn to add my say and some shots of our latest States and Europe trip…On our way home away from home… Minnesota!  We took the scenic route this time from Chicago, up the Mississippi, past Redwing and then on to the Twin Cities. You can see it is mid summer with all the sailboats on the river.



After driving about nine hours to get from Saint Paul, Minnesota to Rapid City, South Dakota, the rolling Prairies suddenly is interrupted with what can only be described as a moonscape. Notice the grasslands on the top left corner of the picture? That is all you see while traversing the Prairies. If anything will give you a good idea of just how large the U.S. is, crossing the Prairies will do so. And it is exactly this amount of time spent that makes the Badlands stand out like a sore thumb.

Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park, South Dakota. Also featuring a few years ago in the movie National Treasure: Book of Secrets, it is easy to understand why this area was selected as the location. What is harder to understand is how they choose where to film from. Natural beauty at its best.
Sylvan Lake

Sylvan lake


Highway 87, also known as Needles Highway, is one of the many scenic highways in the south-western part of South Dakota. The Highway winds its way through granite “needles”. It also has two tunnels blasted through sheer granite walls.




No need for introduction here. Mount Rushmore, having the faces of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln lit by the early morning sun.



Definitely one of our top three finds on this trip. One of the lakes alongside Beartooth Pass.

I partially quote from Wikipedia: The Beartooth Highway is an All-American Road that has been called “the most beautiful drive in America”.  Because of heavy snowfall at the top, the pass is usually open each year only from mid May through mid October, weather conditions permitting. This highway stretches on U.S. Highway 212 between Red Lodge, Montana and Cooke City, Montana. It traces a series of steep zigzags and switchbacks, along the Montana-Wyoming border to the 10,947 ft (3,337 m) high Beartooth Pass. The approximate elevation rise is from 5,200 ft (1,600 m) to 8,000 ft (2,400 m) in 12 mi (19 km) in the most daring landscapes.



Still on Beartooth Pass, look at the snow banks. And this is in the middle of the summer, two days after Independence Day.



Shoshone Falls on the Snake River, just east of Twin Falls in the southern part of Idaho. It is sometimes called Niagara of the West, and is indeed higher than Niagara Falls. In my opinion, it is even more impressive, and most definitely less crowded and commercialised.



Dinner view from the Seattle Space Needle. Pretty pricey to dine here, but so well worth it!



And the view of it leaving much later. image018


Amsterdam… Raining, like last time. And the time before! We’ll find something to capture on camera though:-) image020


Luxembourg would be the second pleasant surprise of the trip. Sometimes one finds less than what you hope for. On this trip, Oregon and Belgium fall in that category. Perhaps because we were at the wrong place at the wrong time. But sometimes you find a gem, under-emphasised. Luxembourg the city, and the country fall in this latter category. image022


Rome, need I say more. The first city to impress me up to the point where I would like to return to again, again, and again. This was our second visit to this intriguing place of wonder. And yes, we made sure that we got to Trevi Fountain again in order to pay the necessary gods for the privilege of being able to return again. image024


Not the greatest photograph ever taken, but for me, capturing the essence of the magic of Rome.image026


One of the Bernini’s angels on Ponte Sant Angelo, Rome. image028


Early evening, close to our selected accommodation in Florence.


 Variety inTuscany…

Little girl dreams coming true amongst the seven towers of San Gimignano. And an enchanted forest in the mountains west of Florence.

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Could be anywhere, right? Perhaps. But say buona sera to Venice.



Venice… A feast for the senses from early to late!

Early morning, close to Piazza San Marco… Late afternoon in the northern part of the city…

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and evening, in the heart of The City of Canals.



As always, hard to say good bye to Italy. Last stop for our six week long tour:Switzerland, the third pleasant discovery of our latest travels!


How to describe Switzerland? Precision; Respect; Beauty; Order; Doing their own thing.

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Flowers in abundance in the town of Montreux on Lake Geneva.



Let me end this blog of our six weeks in the U.S.and Europe at this point. The trip was my gift to Apple (Jacques) for his sixtieth birthday. Happy birthday to my friend, partner in cahoots and sharer of my passion for life!

Drum roll please? Team Apple&Eve, at leisure 😉

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