Symbols of Love

One of the things that we have found interesting during our time here in Germany are the bridges that are covered in “love locks”, which are various locks clamped to the sides of the bridges. They are meant to be a sign of enduring love, an opportunity to show that couples are bound to each other throughout time, that they are one with each other. We are sure that some people find them to be a bit of an eyesore, but considering their message of optimism and hope, we have found them to be more of an image of beauty rather than of defecation. This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Repurpose, so we thought that we would share a few photos of the love locks that we have seen since our arrival here in Europe.

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Cologne Germany
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Frankfurt, Germany
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The Two of Us on the Bridge in Cologne
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Growing Signs of Love

 

Castle Dracula, Bran Romania

Let us be clear, this is a complete tourist trap and has absolutely nothing to do with Vlad Dracula, the inspiration behind the Dracula legend. It isn’t really a castle, not in the true sense of gentry living, but literally the offices of border control agents. So why go? Well, despite knowing the truth, there is no Dracula, that the legendary leader of ancient Romania never lived here, perhaps stayed here, it is still an interesting place to visit. At the end of the day, it was more about Brasov and the general vicinity that we enjoyed the most, but seeing the castle was definitely a must for us to visit.

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Bran Castle
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The Courtyard
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Enjoying the Day

We read a lot of complaints about the size of the crowds visiting the castle before our arrival and needless to say, it is true. As with any popular tourist destination, complaining about the crowds is beyond ridiculous, what else would you truly expect. With that said, we were fortunate to be there during the off-season, so it could have definitely been worse. The second thing that we read was that the castle has been refurbished, not restored. There is old furniture, paintings, pieces from the period, but again, if you think about the fact that it was an office building, why would they have restored it, who would want to come? Give the tourists what they want and they will come, like we did.

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Inside of the Castle
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Looking Up at the Tower
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Inside of the Castle

Beyond that, it is truly a beautiful part of the country and although it isn’t as glamorous as castles in other parts of Europe, we did enjoy seeing it. Maybe it is the romantic notion of the folklore, the desire to transcend time and live forever, or just to say we have been there, we enjoyed our brief visit to the castle. We don’t need to encourage or discourage people to visit, they will come either way. We have seen many more beautiful castles, more historic sites, and even more popular destinations, but we will remember our visit to Bran Castle. Don’t go out of your way to go there, but if you get the chance, visit Transylvania. There are plenty of things to see within the region, even if you don’t go to Dracula’s castle.

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From Inside of the Courtyard
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Gorgeous Views
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Medieval Architecture

 

Humanity Triumphs in the End

Throughout history, people have found new and different ways to inflict pain and suffering on one another. Unfortunately, we have seen too many of these throughout our lifetime, but at the same time, we have seen the very best of people in response to these atrocities. When we saw that this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge was Good and Bad, we had several thoughts about what represented such a theme. In the end, we ended up thinking about the good and bad of our human species. Just recently we went to Nuremberg and visited the court house where the Nazi war criminals were prosecuted and brought to justice. Having been to the holocaust museum in Washington D.C., it was somewhat surreal to step back in time revisit such a historic site where we, as a global community, stepped up and brought evil to justice. Even more poignant for ourselves was visiting the September 11 Memorial in New York. To see how first responders and others sacrificed in the face of such unimaginable hatred is as humbling as any experience could ever be. Photographs will certainly not capture the depth of the emotion, but here are a couple of images of these two special places that remind us not only of the bad things that people are capable of, but more importantly, of the good that arises to overcome any evil in our societies.

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Inside of the Nuremberg Court House
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One of the Fire Trucks from September 11
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View of the Nuremberg Court House
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Photograph of a Photograph from the 9/11 Memorial

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Another View of the Nuremberg Court House
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Infinity Pool at the September 11 Memorial