This is the Salzburg Fort. You can walk up to it. You can even follow the signs to the funicular, end up on the now-abandoned midway platform where the funicular doesn't stop, walk up the last bit, realize that you're one euro short of the admission fee and that they don't take any cards and walk down promising yourself that the fortress will be among the first buildings to go once nuclear weapons become ubiquitous, but once you hit ground level again you'll probably just gorge youself silly on pastries. Then you take the funicular up.
The only time the fortress was beseiged was in 1525 when a group of miners and townspeople tried to oust Prince Archbishop Cardinal Matthäus Lang. The fort was surrendered without a fight during the Napoleonic Wars, by which time it had ceased to have any military significance.
While I did my photography a small photo crew was finishing up their fashion shots just outside the top cable car station. Here they are, walking away (the model in high heels and walking sticks) toward the sun-lit, covered-in-ice, side of the peak. The designer's name was Lisa Salvador - and I haven't been able to find any pictures of her clothes, but then again she probably isn't designing them for people who buy clothes on the web.
This water-spiral is found in the lobby. The water is pumped upwards along the spiral to fall from it's peak at the center. Similarly, the stairwell is built so that the spiralling stairs are centered above the water-spiral (although the stairs twist in the opposite direction going up).
The entrance to the KunstHausWien. On top of the building flies the Koru Flag[e], an alternative flag for New Zealand designed by Hundertwasser. It includes the spiral, one of Hundertwasser's trademark shapes (if not the trademark shape):
The spiral is where lifeless matter is transformed into life.
A "transformer chain". The chain is charged by turning the crank at the far left, and then proceeds to pump water to the top tank, which drives a generator, which powers the two spotlights on the little car, which illuminates the solar cell, which drives the car up the slope...
This pretty much sums up the first couple of decades with cars. As always, it took quite some time to work out the kinks in the system. For example:
How do you mark pedestrian crossings? (First attempt to do so was in 1926, when cars had been in Vienna for at least twenty years. In 1910 Vienna had about 4000 cars.)
How many traffic signs should there be? (Drivers thought sixteen were far too many.)
...and so on...
Cliffs near the starting point. These in particular are on the other side of a dam that bottles up the Eralaufstausee and keeps it from pouring out northward. (The picture was taken from the west end of the dam - on the map[i] this would be where the Ötscherstrasse crosses the northward pointing stream.)
Well, you know what to expect. The coastline has been formed by erosion of the hills when rainwater flowing down into the sea carved out a myriad v-shaped canyons.
On the way down I went past Santa Cruz[l] and did the 17 mile drive[m] at Pebble Beach, but then I went down toward Point Sur to enjoy the sunset. This is Andrew Molera State Park just south of Point Sur.
The weather was only so-so when I started out at SF. Understandable, since San Francisco had an almost central-northern European weather when I was there. No running around in shorts in late September here.
My two teas - the left one is "Monkey Picked Tieguanyin" and the right one is "Silver Needles". You start off by soaking the leaves in a splash of water and smelling them. Then you fill the cup with water and use the lid to push the leaves around, squeeze them against the side of the cup and push them into the water. (The people working there will give you a quick rundown on how to do this.)
Judge Lillian Sing (...) made history when she was appointed as the first Chinese American woman judge in 1981. Serving as a judge for 22 years, Judge Sing held almost every type of assignment in both criminal and civil courts, and also pioneered Drug Court, where drug addicted persons receive treatment and counseling, before retiring from the bench last year.
- Asian American Bar Association
The Transamerica Pyramid[q], one of the easiest recognizable landmarks of San Francisco. While it no longer houses the Transamerica insurance company, the company still has the pyramid in its logo, as you can see on their website[r].
A tram. The trams are driven by cables being pulled through the "middle rail" that you can see. The cables are continuously running and the car is driven by gripping the cable or by applying brakes. You can try driving a tram at Gripman's[t].
I drove from Modesto to Oakland and over the bay to San Rafael (in which the term "420[v]"[w] originated), driving over the rollercoaster-shaped Richmond-San Rafael Bridge[x]. From there I went south to Point Spencer.
The "tunnel view" of the Yosemite Valley. It is called "tunnel view" since it is right at the mouth of a tunnel that you drive through to enter the valley from the south. From this point you can see El Capitan (the steep bare rock face to the left), Half-Dome (the almost white peak curving up in the background in the middle of the picture) and Bridal Veil Falls (just to the left of the top of the right foreground pine trees - you only see a small vertical white line).
Saleen is an auto parts store for people with deep pockets. (It is also a t-shirt and baseball cap shop for people with shallower pockets.) Their specialty is to modify Mustangs - give them a new gearbox, add a supercharger, racing seats and so on. Their motto - as can be seen here on this Mustang parked right smack in the middle of the Spectrum - is "Power in the hands of a few".
Arrangement in the nearby mall. Look at the white stone between the two light-green plants... Looks strange, right? Well, it is a loudspeaker. Playing soothing shopping music. Am I the only one who gets associations to the comedy scenes about the old Soviet Union where they would find microphones in flower boquets?
This time I took the Ortega Highway to Temecula. When I lived in Irvine it was alwas easier to take the I-405 to the 55 to the 91 to the I-15 (look that up on a map if you have to...), but living in Dana Point the Ortega Highway was much easier.
The "energy ring". The white blocks which can be seen on the underside of the beam connected to the top of the ring can move (the whole inside of the ring is essentially a giant led display), and are "injected" into the ring where they spin around and illustrate the transfer of energy.
Just beyond the entrance is this big hall with a model of the Earth. The escalator leads to the Earth galleries, where exhibitions show the structure and composition of the Earth.
Signs in the trenches of World War I showed the way to company headquarters, important points etc. Mostly the sections of trench were named after nearby villages or landmarks. Obviously someone thought that more descriptive names were called for.
Thw "War Clock" counts the dead in armed conflicts around the globe. Armed warfare managed to rack up 100 million dead during the 20th century, which translates to about two dead every minute. The clock was reset to 100 million on the eve of the new millennium and has been counting deaths at that rate ever since.
A gallery of contemporary Mid East art[ae] was open. This is one of the three statues by Parviz Tanavoli on the way to the gallery. All statues depict the word "heech", meaning "nothingness", as written in farsi.
A reproduction of the multicolored decorations that greek columns originally had. This, called polychrome[af], had completely worn off by the time the ancient Greek temples were inspected by the Victorian English, and so they were left with the impression that classical architecture completely lacked color. Later analysis of the stone revealed the colorful patterns that had once been painted on it, and the replica of the Parthenon in Nashville[ag] reproduces what is thought to be the original colors.
A relief depicting Durga[ah]'s battle with Mahishasura[ai]. Durga is essentially the wife of Shiva transformed by the gods into a goddess of destruction in order to have someone who could defeat Mahishasura. With a body forged by the most powerful gods, weapons ranging from Shiva's trident to Vishnu's discus and just a little feeling of being totally über, she made short work of the demon.
The "Wiener Neustädter" altar. The base of the altar has Emperor Frederick III's A.E.I.O.U.[aq] inscription on it. Too bad he forgot to tell anyone just what the inscription meant - maybe it's one of those "you just had to be there to get it"[ar] things.
Looking down at Vienna from Leopoldberg. The river is of course the Danube, with the Old and New Danube rivers on each side of the Donauinsel ("Danube Island")[as]. The Leopoldberg was the site of the Battle of Vienna[at], where the Holy League[au] routed the forces of the Ottoman Empire[av] in 1683.