Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, Austria

While we were in Vienna, we made a point of visiting the Sigmund Freud Museum. We have always been fascinated with the famous psychiatrist and were looking forward to seeing what the museum had to offer. Our opinion of the museum is a little mixed. The museum is set in Freud’s apartment where he would see patients, but don’t expect to see it as it would have been when he lived there as the only furniture is in the waiting room and the famous couch where clients would lay as they recited their dreams, aspirations, and fears now resides in the museum in London.

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Waiting Room with Interesting Artwork

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Freud’s Chair

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Writings and Exhibits

You are given a map as you enter and you proceed on a self-guided tour of the apartment. There is a wealth of information on the life of Freud displayed through writings, pictures, newspaper articles, and other documentation. The net result is that it is a little like trying to read a book spread out across the walls of several rooms, so it becomes overwhelming quickly and much is lost.

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The Meaning of Dreams

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Academia

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Photos of the Room with Furniture

The building was built in 1891 and Freud moved in after its completion. He lived in the apartment for 47 years where he produced a wealth of writings that were extremely influential to the growth of psychoanalysis and the science of mental health. There has always been some controversy over some of his theories, but it is fascinating to imagine him discussing them with his contemporaries.

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Pictures and Writings

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Influences of the Time

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Overwhelming

We would still recommend that people visit the Sigmund Freud Museum when they are in Vienna, but it is helpful to know what to expect in advance. If you are expecting a refurbished home or typical museum exhibits, you might end up being disappointed. If you understand that it is more of a academic experience, then you will find certain aspects extremely interesting.

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Waiting Room Coat Closet

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We All Have Tribal Roots

If you go back in history, we all come from some sort of nomadic group that dared to migrate and populate the various parts of the world. If you look around the world, there are still obvious tribal influences in places like the Middle East, Africa, India, and South America. But being part of a tribe is not necessarily what most people envision when then think about tribes. They picture nomads on camels, families living off of the land living in huts, or performing rituals with spears and shields. The reality is that there are tribes all around the world. The definition of a tribe is a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader. There are tribal divisions in Europe, Asia, and the United States. We just think of them as regional differences, such as Sicily versus the people from Tuscany, but ultimately these cultural and even linguistic differences help define the people who live there. Not true in the melting pot that is the United States some might say, then visit Louisiana or Texas and then consider the definition of a tribe. Lets celebrate our differences instead of hoping for a homogenized world. This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Transient (drifters and nomads). Here are some photos of a couple of tourist activities that celebrate our nomadic past.

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Camels on the Beach in Morocco

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Horses in Mexico

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More Camels

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Ready for a Ride

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Forgotten Rooms

Whenever you take a tour of a historic place, the rooms are usually decorated with period pieces to represent what it would have been like for the people that lived there. This can be a good way to truly see how opulent certain lifestyles were, but there are times when it just feels like a family abandoned the room. This is especially true when it is a child’s room or bedroom with children’s toys. For this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Teddy Bears, Dolls, and Toys, we have chosen a few pictures from the Kilkenny Castle as well as the fortress churches of Romania.

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Bedroom in Kilkenny Castle

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Bedroom in Romania

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Another Room in Romania

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More of the Room in Kilkenny

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Steak Braciole

When most people think of Italian food, they generally think of pasta, red sauces, and pizza, but there is much more to the rich gastronomical heritage of Italy. We enjoyed a wonderful variety of food during our time in Italy, so we thought that we would attempt to create a different style of Italian food for ourselves. Braciole is a thin steak that is stuffed with bread crumbs, vegetables, cheese, and then rolled to create a pinwheel of flavor. We adapted our recipe from one that we saw Chef Jeff Mauro cook on an episode of a television show. It has so much flavor and made for a wonderful dinner for the two of us.

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Steak Rolled and Tied

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb Thinly Cut or Butterflied Top Round or Strip Steak (We used top round steak)
  • 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 cloves Garlic – minced
  • 4 to 6 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese – sliced
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 16 Asparagus Stalks – cut to width
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
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Rolling the Steak

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Just Before Rolling

INSTRUCTIONS

Blanch the asparagus by boiling or steaming them for about two to three minutes and then shocking them in an ice bath. If necessary, butterfly the steak and then pound out until about an eighth of inch thin. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Combine the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl. Place the mozzarella cheese onto the steak, leaving about an inch perimeter all of the way around. Cover with the bread crumb mixture and then place the asparagus on the steak leaving about a half inch in between each stalk. Roll the steak as tightly as possible and then tie it with butcher twine. Sear the steak on all four sides for about three minutes per side in a skillet with olive oil at medium-high heat. Place the steak in a 250 degree oven for about forty minutes or until the desired temperature. Remove the butcher twine and cut the steak into about one inch pinwheels. If desired, serve with a sauce such as your favorite tomato sauce, but it can be served as is.

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Blanching the Asparagus

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Shock the Asparagus

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Steak with Cheese and Bread Crumb Mixture

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Sear the Steak

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Steak Braciole

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Sightseeing River Cruises

A great way to see a city from a different perspective is to take a sightseeing river cruise. We have taken several over the years and have enjoyed each of them. We have taken them during the day as well as at night when the city is lit up, but our preference is to take them during the day. Our very first sightseeing trip of a city from the river was in Paris, France, and it gave us wonderful views of the Eiffel Tower. Another one of our favorite tours was an architectural tour of Chicago done from the waterways. For this week’s Cee’s Which Way Challenge, we are sharing some photos of our favorite river cruises.

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Eiffel Tower from the Seine

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Amsterdam Canal Tours

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Architectural River Tour in Chicago

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Holiday Light Tour in Strasbourg

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Touring Prague

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Enjoying the Views of Paris

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Chicago Tour

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Strasbourg at Sunset

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Wonderful Tour in Prague

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Amsterdam by Water

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Aim for Your Goals

If you don’t set any goals for yourself, how can you know if you are making progress to whatever you deem as success? Goals help you remain focused and moving towards your desired target. It is important to revisit and adjust your goals throughout the year so that you can be sure that they remain realistic and achievable. Sometimes something happens that will cause you to change your goals as life sometimes takes you in different directions. We set one goal for ourselves after spending time in Europe and that was to visit more of Central and South America. With that in mind, we booked our trip to visit Ecuador in September. We are also planning on seeing more of our own state as well as nearby states, assuming that our work schedules cooperate. This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Focus, so while we ponder what we’re focused on, here are some close-up photos that focus on various flowers.

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Flower in Our Backyard

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Beautiful Wildflower

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Flower in Denver’s Civic Center Park

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Mushroom Caps

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Catamount Trail in Green Mountain Falls

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View of the Falls

The weather was beautiful this weekend, so we decided to get up into the mountains and go for a hike. We drove to the quaint town of Green Mountain Falls to hike the Catamount Trail, which is a trail that we haven’t done before. You aren’t able to park on the road where the trail starts, so you have walk about a mile on a very steep road to reach the trailhead. Walking up the road was almost as hard as hiking on the trail itself.

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Trailhead

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Gorgeous Views along the Trail

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One of the Waterfalls

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Wildflowers are Starting to Bloom

The trail is considered to be moderate, but anytime you go hiking in the mountains, it is likely to be fairly difficult and this trail is no different. The entire trail is about three miles one way and the first two miles are steep switchbacks with a lot of rocky steps. At the start of the trail, there are a couple of wonderful waterfalls where you can stop and enjoy the beauty of nature. There is a reservoir at the end of the trail, but we didn’t make it all of the way to the end on this hike, but we will definitely return another time and complete the hike.

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Looking Up Through the Branches

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Tree Stump

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Amazing Views

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Hiking the Trail

The scenery was absolutely stunning, especially as you near the summit where you are rewarded with incredible views of the valley below. There isn’t much to the town of Green Mountain Falls, it is really just a community of homes for people who want to live in the mountains and don’t mind having to drive a ways to do their shopping. It must be a relaxing way to live, but we’re not sure that we would want to be that isolated.

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More Wildflowers

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Another Waterfall

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Rocky Terrain

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Perfect Weather

This was our first real hike of the season, so climbing the steep switchbacks took its toll on our legs and we decided to keep it to a two-hour hike and turned around after making it a little over the halfway point. For us, hiking is all about getting out into nature and getting some exercise, which made this a wonderful hike. Although it was our first time doing the Catamount Trail, it most certainly won’t be the last time we hike there.

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Boulders along the Trail

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Moss Covered Rocks

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Rocks on the Trail

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Getting into Nature

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Steep Trail

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Butterfly

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The Agora of Athens

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Walking the Agora of Athens

Obviously the highlight of any visit to Athens, Greece, probably starts with the Acropolis, but there is so much more to see in this wonderful city. For us, our second favorite location was the Agora of Athens with the Temple of Hephaestus. The agora was a gathering place for the people of ancient Greece and contains many different structures. It is truly a fascinating place to walk and imagine yourself discussing philosophy or the benefits of a democratic society. When you go to the Acropolis, you can buy a bundled ticket that includes other attractions, including the agora, which makes it well worth the extra money as it will save you money in the long run.

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Temple of Hephaestus from the Distance

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The Ruins of the Agora

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Approaching the Temple of Hephaestus

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Artifacts at the Museum

The Temple of Hephaestus, which sits high upon a hill looking over the agora, is one of the best preserved ancient temples in all of Greece. One of the reasons that it is so well preserved is that it had been in continual use for more than two thousand years, even serving as a Greek Orthodox church until the early 1800’s. Hephaestus was the god of metal working, craftsmanship, and fire, perhaps a fitting choice for it to have remained in almost its original condition.

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Looking Up at the Temple Hephaestus

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Preserved Reliefs above the Columns

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Up Close and Personal

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We are on Our Way to the Temple

There are so many fascinating ruins to see as you walk through the agora including several statues such as the remaining torso of a statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The ancient roads can still be detected as you walk among the ancient ruins. There is also the Museum of the Agora on the grounds, which displays some interesting pieces that have been unearthed during the excavation of the site.

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Roman Emperor Hadrian

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Fascinating Museum Artifact

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Statue Column

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Back of the Temple

Some people may feel that they have had their fill of ancient ruins and temples after visiting the Acropolis, but we feel that it is well worth taking the time to visit the other sights that Athens has to offer. At least during our visit, there were less tourists at places like the agora and it made walking among those ruins that much more enjoyable. We found the Agora of Athens to be an almost magical place with so much history and so many artifacts that it can a little overwhelming.

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So Much to See

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The Temple above the Agora

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Ancient Wall

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Building Walls

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Row of Statues

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The Versatile NeatPack

Every now and then, we come across a product for traveling that we want to share our thoughts about. When it comes to having something to carry around everything you need while touring a city or even going on a short hike, the NeatPack by Neatpackbags has everything that we are looking for. We chose the Sling Bag, which has a handy spot for a cell phone on the shoulder strap and pockets to store a wide variety of items you might bring with you. There is ample space in the center for our camera equipment and there is a spot for a water bottle as well. The bag itself is lightweight and comfortable to carry, even when full of our various travel needs such as maps, first aid kit, and photography equipment.

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NeatPack Sling Bag

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Taking it for a Hike

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Cooking Like a Local

Not only are there a lot of different styles and tastes of food around the world, but there are also a wide variety of cooking styles. It isn’t always easy to find the proper cooking utensils or replicate the cooking techniques, but we try our best. We also look for opportunities to buy local cookware while we are traveling, if possible. When we were in Morocco, we looked for and found a tajine in the markets. There were definitely plenty to choose from and it is as decorative as it is functional. We would have loved to have purchased a set of dishes while we were there as well, but it is hard to bring that much home with you on such a long trip.  On that same trip, we had a day layover in Zurich, Switzerland, and went out for an authentic fondue meal and came close to buying a fondue pot from the restaurant since they sold them, but decided that we could get that at home. This week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Dishes, Pots, Pans, Silverware, so here are a couple of photos from the market in Morocco.

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Tajines and Dishes for Sale in Morocco

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Tagines

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View of the Market

Finally, here is a photo from our dinner in Zurich.

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Fondue in Zurich

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