Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum & its ‘Pet’ Exhibit, Puppy

Journey to Bilbao, Spain, and the city’s celebrated Guggenheim Museum, and you’ll no doubt find yourself charmed by the modern-art museum’s ‘pet’ exhibit, Puppy.

The 12 meter-tall canine (about 40 feet), modeled after a West Highland White Terrier pup, is comprised of thousands of flowers. It stands guard in front of the shimmering Guggenheim Museum, which was designed by architect Frank Gehry, and opened in 1997.

While I’m sure Puppy is probably effective at eliciting smiles from most passersby, I was personally fond of the flowery topiary since it reminded me of childhood dogs, Jenny and Bonnie, both Westies and real-life versions of Puppy.

Puppy’s creator, Jeff Koons, used computer modeling to design Puppy, and when we visited, the canine sported blooms ranging from begonias, to marigolds and petunias.

Continue reading “Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum & its ‘Pet’ Exhibit, Puppy”

The Roses of Bulgaria

Roses BulgariaIn May and June, residents of Bulgaria’s Rose Valley harvest the landscape’s roses, filling baskets with magnificent pink and red petals, which are then distilled and turned into rose oil for the cosmetic industry. Bulgaria produces the bulk of the world’s supply.

When you consider that it takes approximately 2,000 to 4,000 kgs. (4,000 – 8,000 pounds) of rose petals to make 1kg (2.2 pounds) of rose oil, it’s no surprise that rose oil is one of the most expensive oils in the world.

Continue reading “The Roses of Bulgaria”

The Last Days of Summer – Oberammergau, Germany

Oberammergau pictures

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
-Henry James

As we welcome autumn to Oberammergau – with its bounty of festivals and harvests – here is a peek at the scenes we glimpsed during our last summer strolls.

Here’s to beautiful fall foliage, and Bavaria’s winter wonderland vistas that await us just around the corner. I hope they’ll arrive fashionably late, though.

Oberammergau scenes 3

Flowers in Bavaria 2

Flowers in Bavaria

Kofel in Oberammergau

Oberammergau scenes 2

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Photo du Jour: The Flight of a Bumble Bee – Perast, Montenegro

In the sleepy town of Perast, Montenegro, we were drawn to a canopy of wisteria, intoxicated by its delicate perfume and enchanting, lavender hue. The symphony of hundreds of bees at work enhanced the moment.

Continue reading “Photo du Jour: The Flight of a Bumble Bee – Perast, Montenegro”

Photo du Jour: Spring Blooms – Keukenhof Gardens, the Netherlands

holland tulips, green grass and tree trunk, Keukenhof Gardens

In celebration of spring’s return here in Croatia, (and hopefully soon for those of you in chillier climes), I share this image from my photo archives, and the famous and magnificently-beautiful Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands.

When I’ve visited Holland during the spring months, I couldn’t decide which I preferred  – the perfectly-manicured gardens of Keukenhof, or the fields of tulips, awaiting harvest, that resemble vibrant carpets of red, yellow, or purple.

Enjoy the day!

Where in the World?

Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Photo du Jour: A Red Hibiscus in Buddha’s Hand – Ubud, Bali

Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
-Hans Christian Anderson

At our home away from home in Bali, Indonesia, this Buddha statue greeted us daily with a splendid flower in hand. The flowers — quite often hibiscuses or frangipanis — had been carefully selected and placed by the homestay’s hostess, Ayu. Like the practice of making canang sari, Ayu’s ritual is another example of the spiritual offerings regularly performed by residents of this gentle island. Continue reading “Photo du Jour: A Red Hibiscus in Buddha’s Hand – Ubud, Bali”

Photo du Jour #49: Mother & Child – Kochi, India

In the southern Indian city of Kochi, this mother and child sported bindis between their eyebrows, as well as sparkly bangles and dramatic eye makeup. The young mother’s hair was also trimmed with a garland of fresh, aromatic jasmine – a practice that is customary with many of the ladies in the state of Kerala. On two separate afternoons, locals treated me to jasmine garlands, purchasing them from a flower merchant’s stand and then tying them into my hair. It was such a beautiful gesture and a generous way of sharing this custom with us. I was so very touched by my new friends’ random acts of kindness!