A week ago today I got back from another fabulous holiday. My Dad turned 85 recently and when I found out he and his partner were planning to do a Danube River cruise, my husband & I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend some time with Dad and see a part of the world neither of us had been to before. The lure of river cruising was very appealing too – the prospect of quietly sailing downstream while gorgeous scenery passed by our windows was too alluring to resist. And we would get to add 4 more countries to our list – Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary!
Our cruise started in Passau, a pretty town which I admit I had never heard of before. It’s about 2 hours by bus from Munich, so we spent a day and a half in Munich before the cruise, exploring the old city. We visited Dachau Concentration Camp, just outside Munich. Dachau was the first concentration camp and visiting was a sober reminder of the perils of rampant nationalism. It rained the whole time we were there, and it was cold and grey, which seemed fitting. It was an interesting introduction to the trip, because the whole area we would travel through has come through the ravages of Nazism, war (on the losing side) and then communism, and it was fascinating to see how these regions were recovering and planning for a bright future, while remembering and honouring the victims and heroes of the past.
We travelled from Passau to Linz, where we took a short road trip to Salzburg, the home of Mozart and the Von Trapp family. We visited a striking Benedictine Abbey in Melk, and learned about growing Saffron from the only Saffron farmer in Austria in the delightful riverside town of Durnstein. We walked till we dropped in Vienna, and visited castles and palaces of awesome grandeur. In Bratislava we found a vibrant town coming back to life after years of hardship. Finally in Budapest we admired a beautiful city with a strong connection to its turbulent past over a hundred centuries, but with eyes firmly fixed on the 21st century with hope and optimism. We visited a lot of baroque churches with their incredibly ornate and detailed architecture, contrasted with pretty riverside villages and vineyards. We ate gourmet food on the ship, while being very well looked after by charming and dedicated staff. I must be getting old, because I did enjoy the indolence of cruising! We got to spend lots of good times with Dad, and made some new friends too.
Each day as we took hundreds of pictures of neo-gothic buildings, cobbled streets, farmers’ markets and impressive churches I kept picturing the scrapbook pages I would create with them. You do that too, don’t you? The more I thought about it, with such ornate architecture, I was imagining simpler and cleaner pages. I was also aware that I haven’t finished the albums from my previous trips, so if I was to make this one at all, it needed to be easy and fast. Half way through the cruise I decided I would use the new Forever Design Maps series of templates. Simple templates that I can quickly drop my photos into, add a few background papers, a title & journaling and I’m done. From then on I could see the pages in my mind even as I visited the sites and captured the photos!
I’ve done 6 pages so far and I’m really happy with how they look, and how quickly they are coming together. I’m also planning on using only one journaling font throughout, and probably only one alphaset for titles (I may weaken on that one!). Although I love tweaking and stretching the capabilities of Artisan 5, I am very much enjoying the simplicity of these pages – both the simplicity of the layouts themselves, and the simplicity of putting a page together. I’ve started an album on our p2P facebook page to share the photos. I hope you’ll pop by from time to time to see how I’m going and hold me to account if I don’t post for a while!
Here are the pages I’ve done so far:
Content Used in these pages:
Forever Design Maps 2
DesignerDigitals Canvas Cardstocks Paper Pack No 4 & No 12
Seatrout Scraps 100% Country Alphaset
Font: KG Behind These Hazel Eyes