Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz - 2002

The central church is tiny and very plain even without comparison to all the big cathedrals, monastery abbeys, and coronation churches we have been seeing. In earlier days, roofs were thatched and houses were taxed by the number of chimneys they had; so the clever people devised a way of venting their smoke out of the front of the house through a decorative cut-outs in the wooden gable, shaped like crosses, or flowers or whatever caught the owner’s fancy. So, in general, the old houses have a wood “filigree” effect in the front gable.

There were flowers everywhere in the little community, some familiar like salvia, zinnias, marigolds, and others completely new to us—but all quite merry and attractive. Fruit trees heavy with peaches, pears, and apples were flanked by grape arbors filled with the new crop of grapes. Every yard had its own fruit trees and grapes.

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