This afternoon I caught a public bus out of town traveling 10k up the Danube to the Hrad Devon, the remains of an old castle. It has been incredibly hot these few days with temperatures reaching 37-38 degrees Celsius. Best I could do was to find shade and hide from the sub while I painted this picture.
After getting back to town in the evening I drew a quick sketch of the crowds while waiting for my dinner to be served.
I was eating the hotel breakfast before 7am, but already there was a crowd of people and I had to wait to get a self serve cappuccino. I ate quickly and hit the streets.that was all for the good. I was finishing my sketch of St. Michael’s Gate just as the first tour groups began to gather in front of me. So I went to the river and sat by the Danube and drew this bridge.
In Bratislava is a strange blue church. Very beautiful and rich in mosaic detail. It also has an Illuminati eye at the top. Well worth the trip to this side of town.
I woke up and sought coffee in the early morning quiet. I found a nice cafe and ordered a cappuccino and a slice of honey cake. After debating on a second round of both I chose to seek another cafe and see if I could expand my cake variety. But after a brief walk I ended up drawing this picture instead. I can always get cake, but I may never be back this way again.
Next stop is Bratislava. The train was packed and I didn’t have a reservation. I was able to secure a fold down seat in the baggage area at the end of the car, riding with stowed bicycles and backpackers. I played a game for the four hour journey: shut my eyes and then look quickly out the window and draw whatever I happen to see. This sketch is the result.
I got up early, mainly because off jet lag, and got a cup of coffee and wandered round Prague. It was good to see what the city looked like. Yesterday I could barely see anything around me for the throngs off people. But today I going for a 40k bike ride to Karlstejn Castle. I’ve enjoyed biking all over Europe and this seemed like just to way to get a feel for the Czech country side. The bike path followed the Berounka River. The water was cool and felt great after a few kilometers of pedaling.
Passing through weddings, stone carvers and other bikers along the way was a wonderful way to explore the country and get exposed to local flavor. Lunch of roast duck and dumplings was tasty, but very filling and was my greatest obstacle to finishing the ride. Around 4 in the afternoon I made it to the base of the castle, found a good seat to eat ice cream and draw.
I took a bike tour to get out to the castle and I want to say hello to everyone else on the tour. Hi all! Safe journies home!
I finally arrived in Prague after being delayed by the Chinese. They held my flight so long I couldn’t make my connection in Vienna. So instead of making it to my hotel in Prague I spent the night in Vienna at a hotel provide by Austria Airlines. It’s common enough for the Chinese to delay flights and it’s the second time this month it’s happened to me. Oh well. I finally made it and that’s good enough.
My first day in Prague was filled with great smells of cooking sausages and these wonderful pastries that are fire roasted and filled with ice cream and fruit. I was not prepared the crowds though. Even Hong Kong doesn’t can’t compete with the huge amounts of people out and about. It was amazing. I don’t think I saw the ground floor of any building until late at night. When I tried to draw, I never saw anything but roof tops above people’s heads. Very impressive. But, even though my room was in the heart of Centrum, I was down at the end of a long ally and hat a peaceful night and left my windows open for a cool breeze.
Tomorrow I’m going on a 40k bike ride into the countryside. Looking forward to it.
This is my last night in Disney World and the States. I’ll be getting up at 5am to take an early flight home to Hong Kong. First leg of the flight is 4 hours to Dallas, then another 16! hours to HKG. Ouch. To make up for it I’m finally treating myself to the buffet I smell every night. Getting a reservation requires getting your name in the hat early. I’ve always been out playing in the park and never had a chance.
I drew this picture of the view out the main lobby’s window. I liked the natural overlaid with man made overlaid with natural again.
I left Hong Kong Sunday night 6 hours late due to heavy thunderstorms around the Pearl River basin. The flight to LAX was direct, so at least I didn’t have to make a connection after clearing US immigration or I never would have made it. I am off to the States to spend a week at Disneyland followed by another week in Disney World. It’s my first time to visit these Disneyland since 1971 when I was too young to remember, and 15 years ago when I took my 4 year old son. A lot has changed since then.
I met David C. backstage of the park and had the best 3 days talking about castles, cars and superheros. David is responsible for maintaining the quality of the park and gave me free access to explore and learn about how things are done on this side of the world. So, a very special thanks to him and his team who were so generous with their time. Thank you.
When I wasn’t following the Show Quality team around, I drew pictures. Here they are:
Mt. Hakone is an active volcano at the South end of Mt. Fuji. Steam and Sulphur pour out of small craters at the top. I took a cable car to the top and did a few sketches of Mt. Fuji, ate some blackened eggs cooked in the volcanic steam, then took a very pleasant walk around Hakone Lake.
I arrived in Tokyo a few days back and hopped a bus to the Five Lakes region. Five lakes is at the base of Mt. Fuji on the eastern slope. The weather was spectacular and Fuji was clear as day against a brilliant blue sky. I rented a small paddle boat and drew a picture of the surrounding mountains and one Of Mt. Fuji using my water soluble pen.