“The world cannot be translated; it can only be dreamed of and touched.” — Dejan Stojanovic

IMG_0698“Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.” — Italo Calvino

No translation necessary here…

The Best!

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Photos by Mary O’Connor © 2016 (The last in a series of Danube River cruise photos)


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“You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.” — Doug Floyd

IMG_0689“Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed how deeply it moves our souls.” — David O. McKay

With more than 17,000 pipes, the world’s largest pipe organ is housed in Passau, Germany’s baroque 17th century St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where its magnificent sound is said to have inspired Liszt to write his “Hungarian Coronation Mass.”

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Photos by Mary O’Connor © 2016 (part of a continuing series of photos taken on a recent Danube River cruise.)


IMG_0647“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” — Coco Chanel


The high altar and ceiling frescoes in Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria, combine to create a symphony of form and color, adding to the church’s reputation as one of the most significant structures of the Baroque era. Yet it is one of its simplistic shadowed gold statues that, arguably, is among the 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey’s most memorable displays.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci

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Photos by Mary O’Connor © 2016 (part of an ongoing series of a recent Danube River cruise photos)



“The search for wisdom is like a search for gold.” — Lajlah Gifty Akita

The Vienna Secession, a group of artists who resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists due to differences of opinion over artistic concepts, constructed what remains today as one of Vienna’s best known buildings. The stark white building with beautiful, gold natural imagery, topped with an ornate dome of gold foliage and berries, was designed to be a total work of art. Gold leaf letters spell the group’s maxim, which translates as “To every generation, its art, to every art its freedom.”

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Photo by Mary O’Connor © 2016 (part of an ongoing series of Danube River cruise photos)



“If you want to experience joy, stop, slow down, and begin to pay attention to what you taste and smell when you’re making breakfast, when you’re in a restaurant, when you’re having wine, when you’re outside and it’s the beginning of spring and you can smell the earth getting soft under your feet.

IMG_0427 - CopyPay attention to these things happening all around you. You’ll be amazed at what you discover.” — Michelle Krell Kydd

Traditional Hungarian meals blend eastern mystique with the traditions of the west. A favorite ingredient is paprika (sweet or hot), found in most markets and shops. Hungarian goulash (Gulyás), as well as the lighter Goulash Soup, are culinary favorites.

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Quote by Michelle Krell Kydd excerpted from interview on flavor and fragrance in Life Is Full of Sweet Spots, An Exploration of Joy.

Photos by Mary O’Connor © 2016 (from ongoing series of Danube River cruise photos)



“You have no need to travel anywhere. Journey within yourself, enter a mine of rubies and bathe in the splendor of your own light. — Rumi

IMG_0431“Light, that first phenomenon of the world, reveals to us the spirit and living soul of this world through color.” — Johannes Itten

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The Chain Bridge and Buda Castle Palace, (above), are bathed in light at dusk on the Blue Danube. Mátyás Church, with its landmark Gothic spire, was used as a kitchen by German soldiers during World War II, then as a Soviet stable, before being restored to its original glory. — Photos by Mary O’Connor © 2016 (part of an ongoing series of Danube River cruise photos)



“It takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory” — Paulo Coelho

IMG_0478“The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.” — Czeslaw Milosz

Shoes on the Danube Promenade ― A haunting and moving memorial to the Jewish victims shot into the Danube in 1944-45 by fascist Arrow Cross Militiamen, 60 pairs of rusted men’s, women’s and children’s shoes sit at the edge of the water, as if their owners had just stepped out and left them there.

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Photos by Mary O’Connor © 2016 (Part of an ongoing series of Danube River cruise photos)