A Travellerspoint blog

Great week scuba diving on Bonaire - part 1

It was great spending a week with best friends on this island of 20,000 people; Bonaire is the easternmost of the ABC islands (Aruba is westernmost with Curacao in the middle)

It was great spending a week with best friends on this island of 20,000 people; Bonaire is the easternmost of the ABC islands (Aruba is westernmost with Curacao in the middle)

Scorpionfish have a type of sting in the form of sharp spines coated with venomous mucus; most species are bottom-dwellers that feed on crustaceans and smaller fish

Scorpionfish have a type of sting in the form of sharp spines coated with venomous mucus; most species are bottom-dwellers that feed on crustaceans and smaller fish

Goto Lake; Bonaire is home to one of only four nesting grounds for the Caribbean flamingo

Goto Lake; Bonaire is home to one of only four nesting grounds for the Caribbean flamingo

Bonaire is home to the ecologically vulnerable yellow-shouldered Amazon parrot; it exists only on Bonaire and in northern Venezuela

Bonaire is home to the ecologically vulnerable yellow-shouldered Amazon parrot; it exists only on Bonaire and in northern Venezuela

Green moray eel; there is no public transit on the island so getting a rental car is essential

Green moray eel; there is no public transit on the island so getting a rental car is essential

Celebrating birthdays of Gary and Chuck; Mike and Gary generously (again!) housed me during my short stay in Houston

Celebrating birthdays of Gary and Chuck; Mike and Gary generously (again!) housed me during my short stay in Houston

Pipe coral on mast of Hilma Hooker; the ship, built in 1951, sunk near the Dominican Republic in 1975 but was raised before being intentionally sunk here in 1984

Pipe coral on mast of Hilma Hooker; the ship, built in 1951, sunk near the Dominican Republic in 1975 but was raised before being intentionally sunk here in 1984

Donkey and me; in the 16th century, Europeans introduced sheep, goats, pigs, horses and donkeys on Bonaire, and the descendants of the donkeys, goats and pigs roam the island today

Donkey and me; in the 16th century, Europeans introduced sheep, goats, pigs, horses and donkeys on Bonaire, and the descendants of the donkeys, goats and pigs roam the island today

Our rental house was Spartan but it's redeeming feature was an outdoor patio on the water with an amazing view where we could watch the cruise ships which docked right in the center of the photo

Our rental house was Spartan but it's redeeming feature was an outdoor patio on the water with an amazing view where we could watch the cruise ships which docked right in the center of the photo

Cool rum in bottle designed like a scuba tank; bizarrely, the rum was made in France

Cool rum in bottle designed like a scuba tank; bizarrely, the rum was made in France

Bonaire is a special municipality within the Netherlands; 80% o Bonaire's population are Dutch nationals and nearly 60% o its residents were born in the former Netherlands Antilles or Aruba

Bonaire is a special municipality within the Netherlands; 80% of Bonaire's population are Dutch nationals and nearly 60% of its residents were born in the former Netherlands Antilles or Aruba

One of four green sea turtles we saw snorkeling from La Dania's Leap to Karpata; Bonaire lies only about 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela and lies outside Hurricane Alley

One of four green sea turtles we saw snorkeling from La Dania's Leap to Karpata; Bonaire lies only about 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela and lies outside Hurricane Alley

Chain moray eel; Bonaire is essentially a coral reef that has been geologically pushed up and out of the sea

Chain moray eel; Bonaire is essentially a coral reef that has been geologically pushed up and out of the sea

Spot winged comb jellyfish which I had never seen before; fortunately we only saw them at the Karpata dive site and we had no trouble avoiding them

Spot winged comb jellyfish which I had never seen before; fortunately we only saw them at the Karpata dive site and we had no trouble avoiding them

Most everyone diving wore a light wetsuit but I never did and never felt cold; the water temperature varies between 78 and 84 degrees

Most everyone diving wore a light wetsuit but I never did and never felt cold; the water temperature varies between 78 and 84 degrees

Octopus at Karpata dive site; Dutch is the official language of the island but is the main language of only 8.8% o the population

Octopus at Karpata dive site; Dutch is the official language of the island but is the main language of only 8.8% of the population

Less than 5% o the animal kingdom mate for life; included in this group are French angelfish, puffins, clownfish, and seahorses

Less than 5% of the animal kingdom mate for life; included in this group are French angelfish, puffins, clownfish, and seahorses

Elkhorn coral branches create habitats for many other reef species, such as lobsters, parrotfish, snapper, shrimps and other reef fish; this prominent Caribbean reef-building coral is still struggling to recover from white band disease

Elkhorn coral branches create habitats for many other reef species, such as lobsters, parrotfish, snapper, shrimps and other reef fish; this prominent Caribbean reef-building coral is still struggling to recover from white band disease

Karpata was my favorite dive and snorkel location; the area was covered with large, pristine corals and sponges and packed with a great variety of fish (turtles too!)

Karpata was my favorite dive and snorkel location; the area was covered with large, pristine corals and sponges and packed with a great variety of fish (turtles too!)

The green moray eel is a western Atlantic species found from New Jersey south to Brazil; green morays are sedentary predators with strong teeth and rather than hunting for food, they wait until food comes to them

The green moray eel is a western Atlantic species found from New Jersey south to Brazil; green morays are sedentary predators with strong teeth and rather than hunting for food, they wait until food comes to them

The orange elephant ear sponge is a filter feeder with flesh that is tough, firm and resilient; the thick surface skin is rough to the touch (so don't touch them!)

The orange elephant ear sponge is a filter feeder with flesh that is tough, firm and resilient; the thick surface skin is rough to the touch (so don't touch them!)

Lee and I saw a huge lionfish during our Karpata dive but he was under a ledge where I couldn't get a photo; this was another one seen on our dive

Lee and I saw a huge lionfish during our Karpata dive but he was under a ledge where I couldn't get a photo; this was another one seen on our dive

It is illegal to harvest parrotfish (this one was huge!) on Bonaire;  without constant grazing from herbivores like parrotfish, algae would grow tall and thick smothering coral so the parrotfish is very important for a healthy reef

It is illegal to harvest parrotfish (this one was huge!) on Bonaire; without constant grazing from herbivores like parrotfish, algae would grow tall and thick smothering coral so the parrotfish is very important for a healthy reef

I think this is a large column of fish eggs; it was such an unusual sight I'd love to hear from better informed individuals

I think this is a large column of fish eggs; it was such an unusual sight I'd love to hear from better informed individuals

Flounder (look for the eyes) perfectly blending into the sea floor; it's the only fish I've seen that doesn't swim vertically

Flounder (look for the eyes) perfectly blending into the sea floor; it's the only fish I've seen that doesn't swim vertically

Porcupinefish; my underwater camera died early in the week but fortunately there's a good camera store on the island where I found a replacement

Porcupinefish; my underwater camera died early in the week but fortunately there's a good camera store on the island where I found a replacement

Barrel sponge; I have a hard time distinguishing between corals and sponges since to me they seem structurally similar

Barrel sponge; I have a hard time distinguishing between corals and sponges since to me they seem structurally similar

Salt Pier; open only when no ship is present, this dive site is one of the most popular on the island

Salt Pier; open only when no ship is present, this dive site is one of the most popular on the island

Each head of brain coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate; there are more than 80 marked dive sites on the island

Each head of brain coral is formed by a colony of genetically identical polyps which secrete a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate; there are more than 80 marked dive sites on the island

This lavender stove-pipe sponge has a unique L shape; these sponges take hundreds of years to grow and never stop growing until they die

This lavender stove-pipe sponge has a unique L shape; these sponges take hundreds of years to grow and never stop growing until they die

Feather duster worm; United flies non-stop from Houston to Bonaire once a week on Saturdays and returns on Sundays

Feather duster worm; United flies non-stop from Houston to Bonaire once a week on Saturdays and returns on Sundays

Sand diver lizard fish is a lie-in-wait predator fish; the species is able to alter its color, becoming paler or darker to blend with the background

Sand diver lizard fish is a lie-in-wait predator fish; the species is able to alter its color, becoming paler or darker to blend with the background

Rock beauty; the roads on Bonaire are in pretty poor condition with nary a stoplight on the entire island

Rock beauty; the roads on Bonaire are in pretty poor condition with nary a stoplight on the entire island

Trumpetfish in blue phase; Bonaire is consistently rated as the number one shore diving destination in the world

Trumpetfish in blue phase; Bonaire is consistently rated as the number one shore diving destination in the world

Branching vase sponges feed on plankton and detritus; the sponge has very elastic tubes that vary in length and can stand singly or with other tubes

Branching vase sponges feed on plankton and detritus; the sponge has very elastic tubes that vary in length and can stand singly or with other tubes

Bonaire's Marine Park offers a total of 86 named dive sites and is home to over 57 species of soft and stony coral and more than 350 recorded fish species

Bonaire's Marine Park offers a total of 86 named dive sites and is home to over 57 species of soft and stony coral and more than 350 recorded fish species

Yellowhead wrasse; in the late 1600s, slaves were brought to Bonaire and worked tending crops and in the salt pans

Yellowhead wrasse; in the late 1600s, slaves were brought to Bonaire and worked tending crops and in the salt pans

Flower Coral; during the day the polyps appear fleshy, but at the night they expand further and each is fringed by a rim of short tentacles

Flower Coral; during the day the polyps appear fleshy, but at the night they expand further and each is fringed by a rim of short tentacles

Blue tangs and surgeonfish; Bonaire has taken a very proactive approach to protecting its reefs and we saw virtually no trash in the water

Blue tangs and surgeonfish; Bonaire has taken a very proactive approach to protecting its reefs and we saw virtually no trash in the water

Endangered Kemps-Ridley turtle; these are smaller than the green sea turtles also present in Bonaire waters

Endangered Kemps-Ridley turtle; these are smaller than the green sea turtles also present in Bonaire waters

In 1499, (possibly September 6th) Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci arrived in Bonaire and claimed it for the Spaniards

In 1499, (possibly September 6th) Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci arrived in Bonaire and claimed it for the Spaniards

Green iguana; this species typically grows to 5 feet long, can swim and can survive falls of 50 feet landing unhurt

Green iguana; this species typically grows to 5 feet long, can swim and can survive falls of 50 feet landing unhurt

Foureye butterflyfish; a black vertical bar on the head runs through the true eye, making it hard to see

Foureye butterflyfish; a black vertical bar on the head runs through the true eye, making it hard to see

Yellowtail damselfish; when juvenile it has brilliant (metallic) blue spots on a dark blue background and is normally found among branches of yellow stinging coral

Yellowtail damselfish; when juvenile it has brilliant (metallic) blue spots on a dark blue background and is normally found among branches of yellow stinging coral

Whitespotted filefish; these fish can rapidly change appearance to a high contrast color pattern with a much darker background and many light colored spots

Whitespotted filefish; these fish can rapidly change appearance to a high contrast color pattern with a much darker background and many light colored spots

West Indian sea egg; the most widely spoken language is the creole language of Papiamento, which is the primary language of 74.7% o the populace

West Indian sea egg; the most widely spoken language is the creole language of Papiamento, which is the primary language of 74.7% of the populace

Photogenic Courtyard by Marriott is part of a new development by the airport built along man-made canals; the marsh in the foreground is home to flamingos

Photogenic Courtyard by Marriott is part of a new development by the airport built along man-made canals; the marsh in the foreground is home to flamingos

Vertical trumpetfish; this species is highly carnivorous fish and they stalk their dinner by hovering almost motionlessly a few inches above the substrate, inching their way towards unsuspecting prey

Vertical trumpetfish; this species is highly carnivorous fish and they stalk their dinner by hovering almost motionlessly a few inches above the substrate, inching their way towards unsuspecting prey

School of yellowtail snapper; yellowtail snapper is highly prized for its light, flaky meat and is considered by some to be one of the best of the snapper family

School of yellowtail snapper; yellowtail snapper is highly prized for its light, flaky meat and is considered by some to be one of the best of the snapper family

Black and white crinoid (also called sea lilies); these animals are characterized by a mouth on the top surface that is surrounded by feeding arms

Black and white crinoid (also called sea lilies); these animals are characterized by a mouth on the top surface that is surrounded by feeding arms

Stoplight parrotfish; like most of its relatives, it is able to change sex; these fish are typically 12-18 inches long

Stoplight parrotfish; like most of its relatives, it is able to change sex; these fish are typically 12-18 inches long

The guys enjoyed lunch at this food truck where Mike and Gary tried a lionfish wrap as environmentalists try to develop a demand so the predatory fish will get harvested

The guys enjoyed lunch at this food truck where Mike and Gary tried a lionfish wrap as environmentalists try to develop a demand so the predatory fish will get harvested

Tube sponges are animals although they lack organs and true tissues; the shapes of their bodies are adapted for maximal efficiency of water flow through the central cavity, where it deposits nutrients

Tube sponges are animals although they lack organs and true tissues; the shapes of their bodies are adapted for maximal efficiency of water flow through the central cavity, where it deposits nutrients

Blue chromis; this damselfish species makes up the most intensely collected fish group, representing almost half of the aquarium trade

Blue chromis; this damselfish species makes up the most intensely collected fish group, representing almost half of the aquarium trade

Posted by RNRiggins 19:15 Comments (0)

Musee Marmottan, known for Monet's, was a disappointment

Monet, Impression: Sunrise, 1872; this is one of the paintings that gave the Impressionist movement its name

Monet, Impression: Sunrise, 1872; this is one of the paintings that gave the Impressionist movement its name

The museum is much less crowded than the Louvre or the Orsay but many of its better works were not on display; in 1985, armed gunmen made off with several masterpieces which were eventually recovered

The museum is much less crowded than the Louvre or the Orsay but many of its better works were not on display; in 1985, armed gunmen made off with several masterpieces which were eventually recovered

Gauguin, Bouquet of Flowers, 1897

Gauguin, Bouquet of Flowers, 1897

Corot, The Gardens of the Villa de Este, Tivoli, 1843; there was a special exhibition of Corot's works

Corot, The Gardens of the Villa de Este, Tivoli, 1843; there was a special exhibition of Corot's works

The Musee Marmottan was originally a hunting lodge on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne that was purchased by Jules Marmottan in 1882; it opened as a museum in 1934 and is famous for the world's largest collection of Monet paintings

The Musee Marmottan was originally a hunting lodge on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne that was purchased by Jules Marmottan in 1882; it opened as a museum in 1934 and is famous for the world's largest collection of Monet paintings

Monet, Rouen Cathedral, effects of sun at the end of the day, 1892; I felt the Monet's at the Orsay were superior works to those here

Monet, Rouen Cathedral, effects of sun at the end of the day, 1892; I felt the Monet's at the Orsay were superior works to those here

Corot, The Lady in Blue, 1874; considered Corot's masterpiece

Corot, The Lady in Blue, 1874; considered Corot's masterpiece

Marble Table, 1814; hotels are expensive so I stayed in the more affordable 16th within walking distance of the Musee Marmottan

Marble Table, 1814; hotels are expensive so I stayed in the more affordable 16th within walking distance of the Musee Marmottan

The collection of water lily paintings by Monet here are not his best; the Marmottan was given the Monet's by his last descendant in 1966

The collection of water lily paintings by Monet here are not his best; the Marmottan was given the Monet's by his last descendant in 1966

Corot, L'Atelier de Corot, jeune femme assise devant un chevalet, 1873; the audioguide provided little information beyond what the painting labels said

Corot, L'Atelier de Corot, jeune femme assise devant un chevalet, 1873; the audioguide provided little information beyond what the painting labels said

Viger, La Toilette Avant le Sacre, 1865

Viger, La Toilette Avant le Sacre, 1865

Monet, Japanese Bridge, 1924; I love Monet but this looks like it was done finger painting

Monet, Japanese Bridge, 1924; I love Monet but this looks like it was done finger painting

Corot, La Moissonneuse Tenant sa Faucille, la tête appuyée sur la main, 1888

Corot, La Moissonneuse Tenant sa Faucille, la tête appuyée sur la main, 1888

Sevres porcelain clock took 8 years to make and is the largest of its kind in the world

Sevres porcelain clock took 8 years to make and is the largest of its kind in the world

Posted by RNRiggins 17:23 Comments (0)

World-famous photography exhibit Clervaux Castle, Luxembourg

Clervaux Castle stands at a height of 365 meters on a rocky spur above the town, surrounded on 3 sides by a loop in the River Clerve

Clervaux Castle stands at a height of 365 meters on a rocky spur above the town, surrounded on 3 sides by a loop in the River Clerve

The exhibit of 500  photographs progresses from babies to death with no descriptions, just the name of the photographer; I had an audioguide which provided more info like this being the drum major at the University of Michigan

The exhibit of 500+ photographs progresses from babies to death with no descriptions, just the name of the photographer; I had an audioguide which provided more info like this being the drum major at the University of Michigan

Carl Sandburg was brother-in-law to Edward Steichen who curated The Family of Man exhibit while he was director of the photography department at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art

Carl Sandburg was brother-in-law to Edward Steichen who curated The Family of Man exhibit while he was director of the photography department at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art

Steichen wanted the photos to tell a story about life in a post-World World 2 era but also facing the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war

Steichen wanted the photos to tell a story about life in a post-World World 2 era but also facing the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war

Steichen was said to have reviewed more than a million photographs for the exhibit; the final photographs were taken by 273 different photographers

Steichen was said to have reviewed more than a million photographs for the exhibit; the final photographs were taken by 273 different photographers

In 2003 the Family of Man photographic collection was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register; it originally ran in 1955 at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art

In 2003 the Family of Man photographic collection was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register; it originally ran in 1955 at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art

Without a caption it's fun to think of what you would call the photograph; this Dorothea Lange photo makes you feel sorry for the little boy

Without a caption it's fun to think of what you would call the photograph; this Dorothea Lange photo makes you feel sorry for the little boy

Clervaux Castle, in addition to The Family of Man Exhibition, also houses a Castles in Miniature Museum and a Museum of the Battle of the Bulge

Clervaux Castle, in addition to The Family of Man Exhibition, also houses a Castles in Miniature Museum and a Museum of the Battle of the Bulge

This photo was part of a series with the cheater shown to be winning at the end of the hand; the photo exhibition toured the world in the 1950s and 1960s with millions viewing it

This photo was part of a series with the cheater shown to be winning at the end of the hand; the photo exhibition toured the world in the 1950s and 1960s with millions viewing it

Each room of the exhibition had a different theme; The Family of Man has a permanent home at Clervaux Castle since that was the wish of Edward Steichen who was born in Luxembourg

Each room of the exhibition had a different theme; The Family of Man has a permanent home at Clervaux Castle since that was the wish of Edward Steichen who was born in Luxembourg

This large photo shows a patchwork of fields atop a ridge in France; the exhibition was almost like a National Geographic view of people's lives at the time

This large photo shows a patchwork of fields atop a ridge in France; the exhibition was almost like a National Geographic view of people's lives at the time

This photo was taken in Texas but it didn't say where; before the internet and social media people used to actually chat with their neighbors

This photo was taken in Texas but it didn't say where; before the internet and social media people used to actually chat with their neighbors

This Indiana crowd was enjoying a local variety show; the homogeneity of the audience struck me in these photos from the 1950s

This Indiana crowd was enjoying a local variety show; the homogeneity of the audience struck me in these photos from the 1950s

I recognized the Opera Garnier in Paris from just having been there; after the devastating war years, people really seemed to have a zest for life

I recognized the Opera Garnier in Paris from just having been there; after the devastating war years, people really seemed to have a zest for life

These lines of laundry were photographed in Hoboken, NJ; 75 photos originally appeared in Life magazine before being included in The Family of Man

These lines of laundry were photographed in Hoboken, NJ; 75 photos originally appeared in Life magazine before being included in The Family of Man

The photos were taken in 68 different countries during the 1950s; while the clothes and physical characteristics differ, the human emotions were strikingly similar

The photos were taken in 68 different countries during the 1950s; while the clothes and physical characteristics differ, the human emotions were strikingly similar

Steichen was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by LBJ in 1963; in 2006, one of Steichen's earliest photos was sold at auction for $2.9 million which was a record at the time

Steichen was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by LBJ in 1963; in 2006, one of Steichen's earliest photos was sold at auction for $2.9 million which was a record at the time

From 1923 to 1938 Steichen was a photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair; he also did work for advertising agencies including J Walter Thompson

From 1923 to 1938 Steichen was a photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair; he also did work for advertising agencies including J Walter Thompson

This was the only photograph in the exhibition that showed black and white individuals together; for my generation, it's hard to imagine such a segregated society

This was the only photograph in the exhibition that showed black and white individuals together; for my generation, it's hard to imagine such a segregated society

These ladies just attended mass in Paris; they remind me of the strict nuns at Catholics schools I always heard about

These ladies just attended mass in Paris; they remind me of the strict nuns at Catholics schools I always heard about

Medical school lecture in Hungary; many of my favorite photos in the exhibition were, like this one, by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Medical school lecture in Hungary; many of my favorite photos in the exhibition were, like this one, by Alfred Eisenstaedt

A ball hosted by French royalty; Steichen is credited as being the first fashion photographer with photos of gowns from 1911

A ball hosted by French royalty; Steichen is credited as being the first fashion photographer with photos of gowns from 1911

This somber photo shows a German child going to school in his bombed out city; the castle is closed on Mondays and in January and February

This somber photo shows a German child going to school in his bombed out city; the castle is closed on Mondays and in January and February

This Sherman tank is the last surviving vehicle of the 9th armored division; it was put out of action here at the gate defending Clervaux Castle

This Sherman tank is the last surviving vehicle of the 9th armored division; it was put out of action here at the gate defending Clervaux Castle

Einstein ponders a problem in his paper-filled study in Princeton, NJ; Steichen only had 5 of his own photos included in the exhibition

Einstein ponders a problem in his paper-filled study in Princeton, NJ; Steichen only had 5 of his own photos included in the exhibition

Dr. Robert Oppenheimer discussing quantum theory with students at Princeton; the exhibition opened to rave reviews with praise for the universal themes shown

Dr. Robert Oppenheimer discussing quantum theory with students at Princeton; the exhibition opened to rave reviews with praise for the universal themes shown

Lunch hour on Fifth Avenue in NYC; it seems strange that there would be so many more people in 1948 than in the same area today

Lunch hour on Fifth Avenue in NYC; it seems strange that there would be so many more people in 1948 than in the same area today

Clervaux Castle was destroyed by fire during the Battle of the Bulge in WW2 but has not been fully rebuilt

Clervaux Castle was destroyed by fire during the Battle of the Bulge in WW2 but has not been fully rebuilt

I just loved this ivy-covered house right in the center of Clervaux; the trees, flowers and outdoor spaces are so typical as locals enjoy their summers since their winters are so long

I just loved this ivy-covered house right in the center of Clervaux; the trees, flowers and outdoor spaces are so typical as locals enjoy their summers since their winters are so long

The UN General Assembly; Steichen worked at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art until 1962 when he retired to Connecticut

The UN General Assembly; Steichen worked at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art until 1962 when he retired to Connecticut

1526 Basilica of Saint Hubert; this is the former church of the Benedictine abbey, founded in the 7th century

1526 Basilica of Saint Hubert; this is the former church of the Benedictine abbey, founded in the 7th century

This nuclear bomb test in the Marshall Islands destroyed the atoll it hit; having seen the destruction in Japan, Steichen was concerned about the use of nuclear weapons

This nuclear bomb test in the Marshall Islands destroyed the atoll it hit; having seen the destruction in Japan, Steichen was concerned about the use of nuclear weapons

Posted by RNRiggins 20:58 Comments (0)

The grandest casino of them all - Monte Carlo

Residents from Monaco are not allowed to gamble in the casino; leaders didn't want them wasting their money

Residents from Monaco are not allowed to gamble in the casino; leaders didn't want them wasting their money

No expense was spared in decorating the Casino; crystal chandeliers, Swiss clocks, French  artwork and marble throughout

No expense was spared in decorating the Casino; crystal chandeliers, Swiss clocks, French artwork and marble throughout

The idea to open a gambling business in Monaco came from Princess Caroline in the late 1840s

The idea to open a gambling business in Monaco came from Princess Caroline in the late 1840s

I'm not sure I like the latest tacky American slot machines in such European elegance; the table games have a certain refinement that slot machines lack

I'm not sure I like the latest tacky American slot machines in such European elegance; the table games have a certain refinement that slot machines lack

The casino has some tables where you can play with a great view of the Mediterranean; I can only imagine the amounts lost at these tables

The casino has some tables where you can play with a great view of the Mediterranean; I can only imagine the amounts lost at these tables

Magnificent 1889 Art Nouveau stained glass ceiling at the Casino; surprisingly, man buns still seem all the rage

Magnificent 1889 Art Nouveau stained glass ceiling at the Casino; surprisingly, man buns still seem all the rage

The Europeans have put in place many rules limiting how long people can play and how much they can lose; the American system is exactly the opposite

The Europeans have put in place many rules limiting how long people can play and how much they can lose; the American system is exactly the opposite

The casino has been featured in many films including the original 1953 Casino Royale, Golden Eye, Never Say Never Again and Once Upon A Crime

The casino has been featured in many films including the original 1953 Casino Royale, Golden Eye, Never Say Never Again and Once Upon A Crime

1947 slot machine; famous Monaco residents include Azarenka, Cilic, Dimitrov, Djokovic, Henin, Kvitova, Wozniacki and both Zverevs

1947 slot machine; famous Monaco residents include Azarenka, Cilic, Dimitrov, Djokovic, Henin, Kvitova, Wozniacki and both Zverevs

View east from inside the casino; at some point in the 1950s, the casino was controlled by Aristotle Onassis

View east from inside the casino; at some point in the 1950s, the casino was controlled by Aristotle Onassis

In addition to James Bond films, the casino has been the setting for many others including Ocean's Twelve in 2004

In addition to James Bond films, the casino has been the setting for many others including Ocean's Twelve in 2004

Splendid marble art at the Casino; the first ever women's Olympiad was held in the Casino gardens in 1921 to protest the International Olympic Committee's decision to not have women's events in the 1924 Olympics

Splendid marble art at the Casino; the first ever women's Olympiad was held in the Casino gardens in 1921 to protest the International Olympic Committee's decision to not have women's events in the 1924 Olympics

The ceilings in the Casino were works of art; supposedly 7 million people a year take selfies in front of the Casino

The ceilings in the Casino were works of art; supposedly 7 million people a year take selfies in front of the Casino

1948 slot machine; in the good old days you actually had to feed coins to the machine and then, hopefully, heard the glorious sound of your winnings falling out of the machine

1948 slot machine; in the good old days you actually had to feed coins to the machine and then, hopefully, heard the glorious sound of your winnings falling out of the machine

Renaissance Hall in the Casino; the Casino was famous for roulette which means little wheel in French

Renaissance Hall in the Casino; the Casino was famous for roulette which means little wheel in French

There are several other casinos in Monaco but I can't imagine they can outdo the original

There are several other casinos in Monaco but I can't imagine they can outdo the original

Europe Hall in the Casino; commoners can tour the casino from 9-1 for 17 euros before play begins at 2 pm

Europe Hall in the Casino; commoners can tour the casino from 9-1 for 17 euros before play begins at 2 pm

Supposedly, Monaco has the largest number of police per capita of any country in the world; I think most are just guarding all of the money here

Supposedly, Monaco has the largest number of police per capita of any country in the world; I think most are just guarding all of the money here

The Belle Epoque, between 1871 and 1914, saw the creation of many of France's landmark buildings as well as the Monte Carlo Casino

The Belle Epoque, between 1871 and 1914, saw the creation of many of France's landmark buildings as well as the Monte Carlo Casino

The casino had my mom's favorite video poker games, but the minimum bet was one euro which she would view as too much

The casino had my mom's favorite video poker games, but the minimum bet was one euro which she would view as too much

Passengers on planes taking off from and landing at the Nice airport have one of the most scenic panoramas you can imagine

Passengers on planes taking off from and landing at the Nice airport have one of the most scenic panoramas you can imagine

Touzet Salon at the Casino; normal shopping hours in Monaco are 9AM-noon and 3-7pm

Touzet Salon at the Casino; normal shopping hours in Monaco are 9AM-noon and 3-7pm

The Casino has several restaurants but doesn't have a hotel associated with it; there is a 5 star hotel right across the street though

The Casino has several restaurants but doesn't have a hotel associated with it; there is a 5 star hotel right across the street though

Medecin Hall in the Casino; in 1873, most of the European gambling houses were closed as part of governments' policy to prevent people from losing their fortunes; the Monte Carlo Casino didn't close and business took off

Medecin Hall in the Casino; in 1873, most of the European gambling houses were closed as part of governments' policy to prevent people from losing their fortunes; the Monte Carlo Casino didn't close and business took off

Rose Salon in the Casino; I wonder how the games pay here compared to Las Vegas or Cherokee

Rose Salon in the Casino; I wonder how the games pay here compared to Las Vegas or Cherokee

Reflection of the Monte Carlo Casino; a strict dress code requires men to have jackets and ties with no tennis shoes allowed

Reflection of the Monte Carlo Casino; a strict dress code requires men to have jackets and ties with no tennis shoes allowed

Most of the casino is dedicated to roulette and table games but there are a couple of salons with slot machines

Most of the casino is dedicated to roulette and table games but there are a couple of salons with slot machines

My tour of the casino came with an informative audio guide; I was there at 9am when they opened to beat the tour bus crowds

My tour of the casino came with an informative audio guide; I was there at 9am when they opened to beat the tour bus crowds

1947 slot machine; famous Monaco residents include Bono, Safin, Safarova, Ringo Starr, Raonic and marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe

1947 slot machine; famous Monaco residents include Bono, Safin, Safarova, Ringo Starr, Raonic and marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe

Posted by RNRiggins 04:36 Comments (0)

Bavarian Treasury displays incredible riches of the Kingdom

The Crown of Princess Blanche is the oldest surviving English royal crown (1370); made of gold with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, enamel and pearls, it has been described as one of the finest achievements of the Gothic goldsmith

The Crown of Princess Blanche is the oldest surviving English royal crown (1370); made of gold with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, enamel and pearls, it has been described as one of the finest achievements of the Gothic goldsmith

This 1540 piece, like all of the works in the Treasury, was described only in German; there was an audioguide available but I had read reviews that said it would take weeks to get through all the info

This 1540 piece, like all of the works in the Treasury, was described only in German; there was an audioguide available but I had read reviews that said it would take weeks to get through all the info

1550 jewelry box (schmuckkasette in German); the Treasury collection is one of the most important in the world and spans 1000 years from the early Middle Ages to Neo-classicism

1550 jewelry box (schmuckkasette in German); the Treasury collection is one of the most important in the world and spans 1000 years from the early Middle Ages to Neo-classicism

Founded by Duke Albert V the Treasury houses the jewels of the Wittelsbach dynasty; I wonder if the people would have revolted if they'd seen the extent of the rulers wealth

Founded by Duke Albert V the Treasury houses the jewels of the Wittelsbach dynasty; I wonder if the people would have revolted if they'd seen the extent of the rulers wealth

Limoges, 1375; with 300,000  coins, medals and banknotes from the ancient world to the present time, the treasury is one of the world's leading collections

Limoges, 1375; with 300,000+ coins, medals and banknotes from the ancient world to the present time, the treasury is one of the world's leading collections

For centuries the Munich Residenz was the political and cultural center of first the dukes, then the electors (from 1623) and, finally, the kings of Bavaria (1806-1918)

For centuries the Munich Residenz was the political and cultural center of first the dukes, then the electors (from 1623) and, finally, the kings of Bavaria (1806-1918)

The Residenz just opened its doors this summer after a 10 year renovation period; I wish the items had more detail on why they were important

The Residenz just opened its doors this summer after a 10 year renovation period; I wish the items had more detail on why they were important

About 10 rooms of the palace's 130  rooms are dedicated to the Treasury; the Residenz became a museum after the revolution of 1918

About 10 rooms of the palace's 130+ rooms are dedicated to the Treasury; the Residenz became a museum after the revolution of 1918

1560 jewelry box; much of the Wittelsbach collection was confiscated from the church although I'm not sure why they would have pieces like this

1560 jewelry box; much of the Wittelsbach collection was confiscated from the church although I'm not sure why they would have pieces like this

Ivory case, 1720; I wonder how many elephants or other mammals were killed so the rich here could have this collectible

Ivory case, 1720; I wonder how many elephants or other mammals were killed so the rich here could have this collectible

The best porcelain centers in the world, Meissen and Sevres, sent their finest collections to the Munich Residenz; they had to have place settings for 200

The best porcelain centers in the world, Meissen and Sevres, sent their finest collections to the Munich Residenz; they had to have place settings for 200+

Qing Dynasty Chinese vases, 1720; European royalty were huge collectors of valuable porcelain and especially Asian porcelain

Qing Dynasty Chinese vases, 1720; European royalty were huge collectors of valuable porcelain and especially Asian porcelain

Candlestick in the form of foo dogs made of Japanese porcelain, 1670

Candlestick in the form of foo dogs made of Japanese porcelain, 1670

Mirror black vases, 1700; this Chinese porcelain, which isn't very durable, was intended just for the local market so it's a rarity in Europe

Mirror black vases, 1700; this Chinese porcelain, which isn't very durable, was intended just for the local market so it's a rarity in Europe

In this era, the ruler's meals were public shows, court events with enormous symbolic significance; if you had the best that showed where you stood in the social hierarchy

In this era, the ruler's meals were public shows, court events with enormous symbolic significance; if you had the best that showed where you stood in the social hierarchy

As a wedding gift in 1842 from the Berlin court, Princess Marie brought this set (only a fraction shown) to Munich from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory

As a wedding gift in 1842 from the Berlin court, Princess Marie brought this set (only a fraction shown) to Munich from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory

I can hear my mom wondering who is going to polish all this!; the royal family must have had an enormous staff and businesses that worked primarily for them

I can hear my mom wondering who is going to polish all this!; the royal family must have had an enormous staff and businesses that worked primarily for them

The Residenz has an extensive collection of the finest miniatures from the late 16th to mid-19th centuries; the wide spectrum of techniques represented includes watercolor on vellum or ivory, oil on silver or copper and enamel painting

The Residenz has an extensive collection of the finest miniatures from the late 16th to mid-19th centuries; the wide spectrum of techniques represented includes watercolor on vellum or ivory, oil on silver or copper and enamel painting

I would love to see how someone created these miniature paintings and enamels before modern technology; they contain such minute details!

I would love to see how someone created these miniature paintings and enamels before modern technology; they contain such minute details!

Admire the craftsmanship in this 1543 chest with all of the inlays; it's very artistic and I wonder how long it took to make

Admire the craftsmanship in this 1543 chest with all of the inlays; it's very artistic and I wonder how long it took to make

I should have bought a book describing this collection since I don't remember the specifics of each item; I just photographed the ones that impressed me

I should have bought a book describing this collection since I don't remember the specifics of each item; I just photographed the ones that impressed me

I'm glad the Wittelsbachs took care of this fragile 1579 piece; my photos of Emperor Charles the Bald's prayer-book from around 860 were, unfortunately, blurry

I'm glad the Wittelsbachs took care of this fragile 1579 piece; my photos of Emperor Charles the Bald's prayer-book from around 860 were, unfortunately, blurry

Crown of the Kingdom of Bavaria, 1806

Crown of the Kingdom of Bavaria, 1806

St. George's Reliquary (with 2000 precious stones), Munich goldsmith work between 1586 and 1597; the golden box below supposedly contains the relics of St. George

St. George's Reliquary (with 2000 precious stones), Munich goldsmith work between 1586 and 1597; the golden box below supposedly contains the relics of St. George

This intricately carved wood pendant is from around 1500; just look at the minute detail!

This intricately carved wood pendant is from around 1500; just look at the minute detail!

1520 plate; touring the Residenz and the Treasury makes me wonder if the Wittelsbachs ever felt they might have too much and maybe they should share their wealth

1520 plate; touring the Residenz and the Treasury makes me wonder if the Wittelsbachs ever felt they might have too much and maybe they should share their wealth

Posted by RNRiggins 21:46 Comments (0)

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