Friday, May 3, 2019

Four Cities, Four Stars

Me: I will miss you.
Paul: Nah. You will be too busy having fun.
Me: I had so much travel last year. I wanted to take it easy this year.
Paul: But here you go again and to Europe this time.
Me: Last year I went to Canada, Mexico and India.
Paul: And which countries will you visit this year?
Me: Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
Paul: What if they run out of room in your passport for stamps?
Me: You are being silly.
Paul: Have fun.

And I had so much fun.  You know when you have an extraordinary experience, the memory lingers long after the actual event is over?  I have been back for a week now and I am still smiling.
And the stories...oh the stories of the handsome ticket agent, the cute waiter, the night we broke the key in the lock, the day when Nina and I had a fight and went in different directions...and eventually made up.

But let's start from the beginning. Our first stop was Amsterdam.

Just the right color

But slightly big
 I am not wealthy.  But I do live a rich life :-)
Windmill Cruise, Lisse. Near Amsterdam

Windmill. Can you spot the clogs?

The following pictures are from the Keukenhof tulip gardens near Amsterdam.  The challenge was to pick a few pictures from the 200+ that I took.

Just wow!!!

Indoor display

So happy to be here

Look at the thick whorls

This is how sunshine is captured!!!

Still tulips - but unlike any other

Second stop - Hamburg.  Mell came to the airport.
with Mell near Alster river

We went to see the famous church lovingly called Michel by the locals.  A very long wait for the very tiny elevator led us to the top for gorgeous views of the city.

View from Michel
 See the space needle in the back?  We saw that again next day.

View of the Harbor
You know, we quilters can find fabric anywhere.  A woman in the church was carrying this bag with cute cat fabric. Forgive me, lord for my eyes strayed away from the altar.

Cute cats 

After a long day of flying in plane, sightseeing on foot, traveling in car, boat and train, I suggested to eat dinner at home. Mell prepared the vegetables and I made the chicken.

Making Coconut Chicken in Mell's kitchen

I was done. Exhausted. Ready to pass out. But Mell had other ideas. We are going to the fair, she declared.

Poffertjes - a Dutch treat
I am glad I went because I loved these sweet treats at the fair. Similar to silver dollar pancakes, they are eaten with nutella, bananas or caramel.

At the fair
At night, I got to sleep with friendly ghosts :-D
Nina said that the ghosts are upside down.  And I said - Not from my perspective :-)

Tired but Happy
Nina had brought a saree for Mell.  Of course, Mell is free to cut it up and use it as fabric for whatever.  But just once, we wanted to see her dressed in a saree. Mell let us.

Doesn't she look lovely?
 Please  ignore my pink/orange sock in the background.  And focus on the beautiful garden below.

Planten un Blomen

Japanese Garden within the Planten un Blomen
I am still eating and sharing the candy that Mell gave us.
My co-worker loves the candy

The candy that comes with a legend

I also managed to get some of Mell's scraps. They are going to find their way in the next scrap vortex quilt.

Mell's scraps for me
And they came in this cute zippered bag. How appropriate!!!

Hamburg is beautiful and the weather could not have been better. Mell was a terrific hostess. She made sure that Nina and I were spoiled rotten. I wish I could have spent more time with her but Cologne beckoned to us.

If you go to Cologne and want to see the Cathedral, ask for directions to the Dom.
It has two spires, no dome, I complained to the local lady.
Oh and the Neumarkt is actually old and the Hauptmarkt is new, she added with eyes twinkling.

Inside the Cologne Cathedral (Dom to the locals)

Made sure to experience the city from the boat - a short cruise on the Rhein river.

Along the river Rhein
I am sure I could (ahem) afford an apartment overlooking the Rhein, just suspended over it.  But I am afraid of heights :-p  So I let it pass.

Brand new
There are over 250 churches in Cologne. I am sure that everyone is very devout :-)
We had just one day in Cologne so much left to be done.

And ancient

Really wanted to experience the trolley car but what was a gentle breeze for me was considered too windy for the trolley. The service was suspended :-(

I am sure I will revisit...

Vienna was the fourth and the last city on our trip.

Schonbrun Palace

A very windy day
There is picturesque architecture everywhere.
What to us in America will be a heritage site, tickets, no food allowed, do not touch etc, is just another retail/office area in Vienna. Drool away!!!

Vienna City Center

A desire to capture the bygone era

But people also want retail and restaurants
So there it is all mashed together - beautiful buildings with exquisite Gothic architecture serving as retail and office locations.

Beauty is everywhere

The next day we took a trip to Wachau valley, famous for its apricots.  The trip included a bus ride to the village of Durnstein on the banks of Danube.  Natural beauty on one side and ruins of a Medieval castle on the other. That is a rare combination.

Durnstein. Remnants of a medieval castle

 I did dip my feet into the water.  But for just 20 seconds. The water was very cold. YIKES.

Cobble stone path to the village

The second part of the trip consisted of a cruise on the Danube.  Extraordinary beauty along the way - ancient monasteries, old viaducts and cute little villages.

Schonbuhel Monastery

Don't know what this was - just picturesque

The cruise brought us to the town of Melk, home to one of the oldest monasteries - the Melk Abbey.  And although photography is not allowed inside, the pictures from the top of the Abbey are the best.


Gorgeous views!!!

Beautiful town
 Of course the actual Abbey has been destroyed, built and rebuilt a few times.
Melk Abbey

This is just a small sample of the pictures I took.  The hard part was picking just a few to share.

Question - What is the purpose of a first date?
Answer - To make the second date.

And Vienna made sure that I will return a second time.

As I showed pictures to Paul...
Me: Babe, we should go to Vienna. It is absolutely beautiful and there is so much to do.
Paul: Such as?
Me: Other than sights in the city, exquisite architecture, museums, palaces etc. we can take side trips to places like Budapest, Bratislava and the cruise on Danube.
Paul: Cruise on Danube?
Me: Yes, it was so romantic. I believe that my life will be incomplete if I don't do it with you.
Paul: What about my life?
Me: Let's not talk about that.
Paul: Such a brat.

I had been away from sewing/quilting for long enough. I dived into my UFO and finished a mini quilt. It has four interconnected stars.

Four Stars Mini

Love the greens

Rust and Orange

Purple with Stars

Yellow & Red - Like the tulips?

What a whirlwind of a trip that was?

Cute Cat Backing
Do you think this backing was inspired by the cute cat fabric I saw in Hamburg church? May be.
But then four cities mini trip were followed by a Four Stars mini quilt.  Guess coincidence is everywhere  :-)

In any case, finishing this mini felt awesome.  Do you have a Friday finish?
I will be checking out what others have been up to when I connect with all my favorite linky parties.
See full list on the sidebar.

A Friday Finish!!!

You'd think that the trip created a dent in my budget and so I would behave myself. I did too.
But then Connecting Threads announced wide backing is on sale...and I caved.

Wide Backing from Connecting Threads

Maisie's Daisies

I got all the four colors of Maisie's Daisies.
I mean how do you say no to 104" wide fabric priced at under $9/yard?

Angela has just announced the RSC 2019 color for May. It is ORANGE!!!
Did I scream? Just a bit :-)
Orange Fabrics :-)

Don't you look. Stop peeping. My ladies are getting dressed.
They will step out once they are ready. So what have you been up to?
I'd love to know.

Paul: This looks like a very long blogpost.
Me: Oh you don't know the half of it.
Paul: Will you tell?
Me: That is another blogpost :-)


  1. It looks like you had a delightful trip, Preeti! Did you sneakily snag that photo of the cat fabric in Hamburg, or did she know you were taking a pic? Just curious :-) Love those little bright stars on the quilt! Welcome home!

  2. What a wonderful trip, Preeti! Thanks for sharing it with us! I love your Four Stars mini, too. The bright fabrics against the dark background make a beautiful combination!

  3. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful pictures! I'll never take a trip like I'll live it through you!!

  4. Wow I felt like I just went on a great vacation and I didn't even leave my chair and the best part it was free, LOL. Cute little quilt too;)

  5. Thank you for the lovely travelogue, Preeti! The photos of the architectural sites and countryside are breathtaking. Go ahead and share more photos if you like--I love these little online trips that I know won't be taking myself. Your mini quilt really captured your pleasure in the trip, I think. I wonder what else you will make this year from the inspiration of your trip.

  6. What an awesome post! Sounds like you had a fantastic time! I’ve been to Schonbrunn Palace (summer school in Austria/Germany), Vienna and have cruised the Danube. Life doesn’t get much better than that! Your pictures are beautiful! And speaking of beautiful, the little mini quilt you just whipped up is darling. And your quilting is, as always, spot on! Welcome home!

  7. Fun scraps in an awesome bag!! You took some really incredible photos on your trip. Thanks for sharing with us!

  8. Loved seeing all these beautiful sites and gorgeous architecture that I probably won't get to see in person. I truly enjoyed that!

  9. Great travel story! You're so lucky to have seen the tulips in bloom, and a quilting friend, and the buildings, and... The mini will be a great reminder of the jewels of the trip.

  10. Oh I am so happy for you that you went on this trip and also jealous as a dear friend lives near Hamburg. You always take such great photos and I am glad you met Mel.

  11. Looks like a wonderful trip with good friends. Those are the best. Congrats on your UFO finish. Looking forward to seeing your orange blocks this month.

  12. Looks like you had a lot of fun -- really, you broke the key in the lock 8) and what about the cute waiter, hmm?? ;) -- beautiful photos!

  13. I loved "having you". It was so much fun! And it is not often that I get to play tourist in my own city :) And that weather... I still can't believe we got this lucky. Your other stops also sound and look impressive and I hope you enjoy the vacation memories for a long time. xo

  14. Hi Preeti! I wanted to assure Paul that if you run out of passport pages, they have two solutions: a) you can get extra blank pages (at no charge no less!), or b) they just stamp over old stamps very inconsiderately so that you can no longer read any of the stamps. So there you go about that from first hand experience. What - I didn't know about the Connecting Threads sale. Geez whiz - now I have to go peek. A sale is a sale AND 104" fabric under $10 . . . well nothing more need be said. I enjoyed your travel journey so much! All of these places are on the top of my travel-soon list, and you surely showed them to their best advantage. Those apartments over the Reine?!!! Talk about cool engineering - well that wasn't even mentioned but it is so cool. ~smile~ Roseanne

  15. I enjoyed reading your story and seeing the many great photos, Preeti! Holland during tulip season?! Perfect!! Japanese gardens, yes, please! And those beautiful cathedrals. Wow! Love that your quilt commemorates your visit.

  16. Beautiful photos of your visit. Love the ghost quilt.

  17. it looks like you had so much fun! what a wonderful trip seeing all of those places.

  18. Such a wonderful trip... I enjoyed peaking over your shoulder at the sights!
    And you're such a good writer... so fun to read along!

  19. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful trip-such a beautiful landscape.
    This was a fun post. I love that star mini quilt. Kind of appropriate I think. mary

  20. I'm late to the party once again, but I loved reading about your adventures. Lucky duck! And I love your star mini, too.

  21. I so enjoy your posts and travels. You saw so many things and shared them beautifully. I love Mel in her Sari.

  22. Your trip looks like it was amazing! I'm so happy you had wonderful time. Those pale pink tulips are stunning!

  23. Read this in my email, and forgot to comment! Looks like a fabulous time despite some bumps (seem to recall there may have been some in Niagara area too...) Oh those tulips, such a riot of colour. Lovely four-star quilt too, and I love seeing your ladies appear each month.

  24. Oh do tell more - and show more photos!! oh my they were so amazing!! You do live a rich life and I hope you enjoy every minute of it! I love every minute that you shared... fingers crossed for your romantic Danube Cruise!!

  25. That was some trip. I would love to go to Amsterdam, particularly at this time of year. And Cologne. And you had the energy to sew when you came home! Without sounding like a greetings card, travel and the ability to see what's around us, certainly makes us rich

  26. That mini quilt will be a sweet reminder of your four cities trip. It's as cute as can be.
    Love your travel post and pictures. It's obvious you had a wonderful time. And really, Paul is bound to come around, don't you think?

  27. Such a lovely trip - brought back some memories from my visit a few years ago. Love your star mini!

  28. Oh, I am super-jealous of what looks to have been a fantastic trip! Gorgeous photos, you make me want to hop on the next flight to Europe. I also love your mini-quilt, will be copying your idea someday. Enjoying your blog very much!
    ~Diana from Toronto
    p.s. I think that fabric you saw in the church is owls rather than cats (but I could be wrong!).

  29. Thank you for sharing the photos of your trip. You had such a wonderful time! I LOVE the mini quilt. Everything, from the fabrics, placement of the stars, the backing and the binding, is perfect.