Ms. Ducky Shows us Italy and Monaco

Ms. Ducky, our friend, continues traveling through Italy.

Ms. Ducky and Zeb

Ms. Ducky and Zeb

I, Ms. Ducky, decided to visit the Adriatic Sea and test the waters.   Here I am, on the beach.

Adriatic Sea

Adriatic Sea

Here is some really clear water.

Clear water

Clear water

I am on the Isle of Capri, now.

Isle of Capri

Isle of Capri

This a rocky island, but look at the view of the Mediterranean  Sea.

Isle of Capri. Very blue Mediterranean Sea

Isle of Capri. Very blue Mediterranean Sea

This water is so blue.   I love it.   The houses really are on the side of the cliffs here.

Isle of Capri. Homes built on cliffs

Isle of Capri. Homes built on cliffs

Look at this!

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa really is leaning.   And, it is not falling down.  Don’t you think I need something big?   And, of course, yellow to match me.   How about this for a shock.

Yellow submarine in Italy

Yellow submarine in Italy

A yellow submarine.    Now I, Ms. Ducky, am off to Monaco.   Here is the Royal Palace.

Monaco's Royal Palace

Monaco’s Royal Palace

Very nice place.   There are many beautiful fountains here.

Beautiful fountain

Beautiful fountain

The yachts of the rich and famous are very attractive.

Yachts in Monaco's harbor

Yachts in Monaco’s harbor

Monaco is a very pretty country.

Monaco

Monaco

No photos, but we did ride on the Grand Prix race track.   I am having a great time touring Europe.   And, I am not done yet.

Ms. Ducky Goes to Switzerland, Austria and Venice

Our friend, Ms. Ducky will tell us about her time in Switzerland today.   As you know Zeb, I, Ms. Duck, am very friendly.   Here I am with a new friend.

Ms. Ducky and friend

Ms. Ducky and friend

You will notice that we are near the beverage mugs.   These are some other new Swiss friends.

Swiss friends

Swiss friends

Aren’t they adorable?   I believe this white swan, swimming on Lake Lucerne want to visit with us for a while, but she was a little shy.

Swan on Lake Lucerne

Swan on Lake Lucerne

Nice bridge here in Lucerne, also.

Bridge in Lucerne

Bridge in Lucerne

Our tour bus took us to a farm in Switzerland.

Touring Switzerland

Touring Switzerland

This one is so cute.

So cute

So cute

We took a carriage ride here.

Ready for carriage ride

Ready for carriage ride

It was so much fun!   Later I made more friends.

Ms. Ducky and friend

Ms. Ducky and friend

Love her glasses.   This guy appears ready for anything.

Ms. Ducky and friend

Ms. Ducky and friend

Of course, European chocolates are also popular with ducks.

Mozart Duck and chocolate

Mozart Duck and chocolate

No trip to Europe would be complete without a visit to Swarovski.

So pretty here

So pretty here

Lots of pretty stuff here.   Europe has great shopping.   So many ornaments.

Friends and ornaments

Friends and ornaments

And chocolate.

Love chocolate

Love chocolate

And fountains.

Typical Europe

Typical Europe

And food.

Yum!

Yum!

Beautiful presentation of this meal.   The statues in Europe are very ornate and very old.   This one is great.

Old Statue

Old Statue

But not all statues are old and stone or marble.   I really like this big green rabbit.

Love the green rabbit

Love the green rabbit.   Another bright spot in Vienna

Adds great color to the city.   In Vienna, my friend and I felt so European, sitting here by the Danube River.

Danube River in Vienna

Danube River in Vienna

I loved the canals of Venice.

Canal in Venice

Canal in Venice

And the gondola. . .This man can help us float through Venice.

Gondola in Venice

Gondola in Venice

Just perfect.  I really like these water taxis, also.

Water taxi in Venice

Water taxi in Venice

Remember, I live in Colorado and I love it, but we don’t have this much water.   Venice is wonderful.   Thanks, Ms. Ducky, for sharing this with The Colorado Traveling Ducks.

Ms. Ducky Goes to Europe

I, Zeb the Duck, want you to meet my friend, Ms. Ducky.

Ms. Ducky, our friend

Ms. Ducky, our friend

Her mom and my mom are friends, so Ms. Ducky and I, Zeb the Duck, are also friends.   Ms. Ducky and her humans flew to London, England and began sightseeing immediately.

Ms. Ducky taking in London

Ms. Ducky taking in London

She is seeing so many new and interesting things.   She visits the American Embassy and admires this statue.   She is sitting at the feet of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Statue of Pres. and Gen. Eisenhower in London

Statue of Pres. and Gen. Eisenhower in London

He was a very important American Army General during World War II, and later General Eisenhower was elected President of the United States, twice.   This is an exciting place at the London train station.  This is Platform 9  3/4.

Platform 9 3/4 for Harry Potter in London

Platform 9 3/4 for Harry Potter in London

Platform 9  3/4 is very important to Harry Potter.   While in London, Ms. Ducky and her humans visit many of the famous places.   They even saw the Royal Jewels.   Many places she loved but she told me it was difficult to get photos of places and Ms. Ducky.   So this is about Ms. Ducky, not just Europe.   Next she and her humans boarded the Eurostar Train heading for Brussels, Belgium.

Eurostar Train heading for Brussels

Eurostar Train heading for Brussels

The train ride was fun, but shortly after their arrival, Ms. Ducky’s mom fell.   And she fell hard.   They they rode in the ambulance, sirens blaring and paramedics helping her mom.

In Belgium's ambulance

In Belgium’s ambulance

It was very scary and also very exciting.   She sat on the stretcher after her mom was allowed to sit up.

Ms. Ducky in ambulance

Ms. Ducky in ambulance

This paramedic is her friend.

Ms. Ducky with paramedic

Ms. Ducky with paramedic

He helped her mom.   When they arrived at the hospital and after they said her mom could leave the hospital, Ms. Ducky relaxed for a moment on a bed in the emergency room.

Ms. Ducky in emergency room

Ms. Ducky in emergency room

They then went to Holland.   You know Holland–they are famous for tulips.

Ms. Ducky and Holland tulips

Ms. Ducky and Holland tulips

Beautiful tulips!   Here is Ms. Ducky touring the canals of Amsterdam.

Ms. Ducky touring canal

Ms. Ducky touring canal

Ms. Ducky is a very friendly duck.   Here she is with new friends, enjoying the canals in the evening.

Ms. Ducky and friends. Evening on canal in Amsterdam. Be careful there!

Ms. Ducky and friends. Evening on canal in Amsterdam. Be careful there!

Now Ms. Ducky and her friend from Holland are visiting Rhine Falls.

Ms. Ducky and friend at Rhine Falls

Ms. Ducky and friend at Rhine Falls

Wow!   Really beautiful.   Thanks for sharing with us, Ms. Ducky.   We look forward to more about your trip to Europe.

National Rubber Ducky Day 2016

Today, January 13, 2016, is National Rubber Ducky Day.   Of course, we the Colorado Traveling Ducks, think this is a very important day.   We thank Jim Henson for performing the song “Rubber Ducky” as Ernie on Sesame Street.

We love National Rubber Ducky Day!!

We love National Rubber Ducky Day!!

Happy National Rubber Ducky Day from the Colorado Traveling Ducks.

Zeb the Duck Admires Vasily Konovalenko’s Gem Carvings Without Visiting Moscow

Only to be seen in Moscow, Russian and in Denver, Colorado.   I, Zeb the Duck, saw gem carvings of Russian Folk Life.   According to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, I am enjoying the only public display of gem carvings by Vasily Konovalenko outside of Moscow, Russia.

Let's go inside

Let’s go inside

Come into the exhibit room with us.   Here are two gem carvings in a glass case.

On the Stroll and The Painter

On the Stroll and The Painter

The man and woman carving is On the Stroll.  Her boots are of red jasper, her blouse of variscite, and skit of nundoorite.    His shirt is opal, jacket is lapis and his pants are of jasper.    The next one is the Painter.   The Painter’s shirt is lapis and his eyes are sapphire.   The other clothes are various colors of jasper.   The floor is agate.   Konovalenko, the artist, was born in 1929 in the Ukraine.   While working in St. Petersburg, Russia, he produced gem carvings for the ballet , earned rave reviews and he became fascinated with the art of gem carving.   This carving is titled Grandmother.

Grandmother

Grandmother

Her dress is snowflake obsidian and we love the malachite base.   These Prisoners look so real.

Prisoners

Prisoners.   Even with prison numbers and a ruby target on their backs

You can see that each carving is in a glass case and  there are many mirrors.   The reflections are great also.   In Russia, Vasily Konovalenko continued making gem sculptures, and around 1974 an American wholesale diamond dealer saw the sculptures and offered Konovalenko a house in the United States, machinery and minerals if he would emigrate to the United States and continue gem carving.   Vasily and his wife, in the pursuit of freedom, quickly emigrated to the United States.   This carving, named Spring, was one of my favorites.

Spring

Spring

Under each carving, you can read what gems were used.  That is very convenient and informative.   Swan Song is also great.

Swan Song

Swan Song

Each gem carving we saw became one of our favorites.   Here is In the Sultry Afternoon II.

In the Sultry Afternoon II

In the Sultry Afternoon II

And of course, The Barrel Bath is another favorite.

Barrel Bath

Barrel Bath

You can tell, we really liked them all.   In the early 1980s, Museum trustee Alvin Cohen purchased 20 of the Konovalenko sculptures and made them available to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.   The display opened March 1984 where they have been on display ever since, the only public display outside of Moscow, Russia.   This is called Walruses.

Walruses

Walruses

We liked the man and especially like the woman in the water.     Look closely at In the Sultry Afternoon I.

In the Sultry Afternoon I

In the Sultry Afternoon I

Isn’t the watermelon made of ruby wonderful?   I love it!  Bosom Pals, of course, is another favorite.

Bosom Pals

Bosom Pals

We like these three carvings, especially with the exhibit information on the wall.

Gem Carvings by Konovalenko

Gem Carvings by Konovalenko

There is also another gem carving on the first floor of this museum in the gem display.   Mom and I really like gems, whether carved, set in jewelry, in natural form or still in the mine.   You will love some time in Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science.   They are so many different things.   We come often and we always find something fascinating.  Check out the museum offerings at http://www.dmns.org   There really is something for everyone.

Australian Reflections Before Zeb and Eider Return to Colorado

So many stalagmites and stalagtites inside the Naracoorte Caves.

Inside cave

Inside Naracoorte Caves

We are near the Great Ocean Road on Australia’s southern coastline.   This arch commemorates the men that built The Great Ocean Road with only axes, shovels and picks.

Memorial Arch

Memorial Arch

No explosives were used building this road.    London Bridge is one of the famous rock formations.

London Bridge

London Bridge

The bridge collapsed in January 1990.   Fortunately no one was injured.   Our last stop was Sydney.   This photo, from a boat in Sydney Harbor, shows the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Leaving Sydney Harbor, we look back at the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge

Leaving Sydney Harbor, we look back at the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge

These are possibly the most famous landmarks in Sydney.   This boat carried us to see the migrating Humpback Whales.

Tail of humpback whale

Tail of humpback whale

We love whales!   We believe we should show you a few of the Australian animals.   We saw so many that we admired, but here are a few of our favorites.   Emus were in several locations of Australia.

First emu sighting after crossing into the state of Victoria

First emu sighting after crossing into the state of Victoria

The females lay the eggs and the males care for the young.   Of course, koala visits are a necessity when visiting Australia.

Koala on the move

Koala on the move

The kangaroos and the smaller wallabies are just so cute.

Mom with her baby "joey"

Mom with her baby “joey”

These pink and gray galah were one of our first birds of Australia, and mom’s favorite.

Pink and Gray Galah. Wild and beautiful

Pink and Gray Galah.  Wild and beautiful

These white Sulphur Crested Cockatoos seem so exotic to us.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are plentiful. Considered exotic birds in US and farmers pest here.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are plentiful.   Considered exotic birds in US and farmers pest here.

They have very strong beaks.   While eating out of mom’s hand, a cockatoo bit her finger.   No blood, but some pain.   Australia is an island, so spectacular sunsets are plentiful.   Some of the best were over the Indian Ocean.

Just beautiful

Just beautiful

We truly enjoyed our Australian adventures.   We hope you will visit there soon.   It is fun and the people we met were all very friendly.

More Australian Reflections with Zeb and Eider Part II

Driving through Broome, we entered the Kimberley.   Derby is one of the major cities here.   We loved Derby but we were fascinated by the Boab Tree.   This is the Boab Prison Tree.

Prison Boab Tree

Prison Boab Tree

Legend says that prisoners we put inside this tree at night, while being transported to Derby.    That is rather scary.   Back in Broome, Cable Beach is a wonderful place.   A meal or snack at Zander’s on the beach and fabulous sunsets viewed from a camel create unforgettable memories.

So cool

So cool

At Broome’s Town Park we were fortunate to witness Stairway to the Moon.

Stairway to the Moon in Broome, Western Australia

Stairway to the Moon in Broome, Western Australia

This experience is also forever in our memory.   Australia has many beautiful national parks.  There are over 500 Australian national parks.   In Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory we gazed at Aboriginal Rock Art

Aboriginal rock art

Aboriginal rock art

and watched huge crocodiles.

A really big crocodile at Kakadu

A really big crocodile at Kakadu

Thankfully the crocodiles were more interested in the warm sun than tasting Colorado Traveling Ducks.  We rode the Ghan, Australia’s other main railroad, to the red center of Australia.   Another fascinating train ride.   We believe sunrise at Kata Tjuta was beautiful.

Sunrise over Kata Tjuta

Sunrise over Kata Tjuta

Uluru, formerly called Ayers Rock, is huge.

Not just a smooth rock

Not just a smooth rock

Scientists say most of the rock, or monolith,  is still underground.   The above ground height is 863 meters or 1,141 feet.   More than that amount is still hidden underground.   Next we took a public bus to Coober Pedy.   This opal mining town celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years

Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years

Inside an opal mine, the opal is beautiful in the rock.

Opal still in rock

Opal still in rock

Just waiting to be mined.     Much of this town is underground, living in cave live areas.   The Underground Serbian Orthodox Church was spectacular.

From church balcony

From church balcony

A short flight to Adelaide and we rode another bus into the wine country.   Here we saw beautiful countryside and, of course, tasted some good wine.

Wine was sampled at Henry's Drive Winery

Wine was sampled at Henry’s Drive Winery

Our time in Australia was so much fun.   Tomorrow we will finish our reflections of our wonderful vacation.

Australia Reflections with Zeb and Eider Duck Part 1

Zeb and Eider Duck spent a couple months in 2015 exploring Australia.   We have been showing you what we found during our time, but this week we want to share our favorite Australian memories with you.   We liked this post card from Australia showing a map of Australia on the map of the United States.

Australian map over US map and where we visited

Australian map over US map and where we visited

Gives a good idea of the distances involved.   The red yarn shows where we went.     After a couple days in Sydney, we flew to Hobart, Tasmania.   Such a beautiful island!   The Tasmanian Devil is now found in the wild only in Tasmania.

This Tasmanian Devil was running a lot. He has nice red ears.

This Tasmanian Devil was running a lot.  He has nice red ears.

We thought he was rather cute.   Another famous destination in Tasmania is the Bay of Fires.   These rocks gain color from the lichen on them, and the white sand was so soft and the water so blue.

Sitting in soft white sand, near orange boulders and blue water.

Sitting in soft white sand, near orange boulders and blue water.

There is only ocean between Antarctica and Tasmania, so the water is pretty cold.  Tasmania is perfect for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities.   The St. Columba Falls are spectacular.

St Columba Falls

St Columba Falls

From Tasmania, a short flight to Adelaide and a short boat trip took us to Kangaroo Island.   Of course, the kangaroos, white and brown, were the stars of the island.

Aren't they adorable. Our first white kangaroos

Aren’t they adorable.  Our first white kangaroos

There was much competition for top spot with the seals and sea lions and the breathtaking scenery.

Love the beach with sea lions

Love the beach with sea lions

These guys were so cute!   A few days later we took the boat to Adelaide.   While in Adelaide, we enjoyed the free city buses.   In the city park, the pelican was friendly and curious.

Anything for me?

Anything for me?

Black swans very plentiful.

Too close mom

Too close mom

We were told that black swans are only native to areas south of the equator.   Australia has great trains.   The Indian Pacific Railway took us across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth.

The Indian Pacific Railway

The Indian Pacific Railway connects the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

From Perth a great boat trip took us to Rottnest Island, a pretty island and home to the quokkas.

The quokka is our new friend

The quokka is our new friend.  He is a marsupial and hops similar to a kangaroo.

Back in Perth, we again utilized free city buses to explore the city.  Obtaining a rental car, we drove up the west coast of Australia.   We highly recommending driving along the coast.   The roads are good, the scenery perfect and people very friendly and helpful.   Also free tourist information is available.   At Hamlin Pool, we went inside the telegraph station.   This is where an Australian lady, using Morse code, helped NASA when our communications system had problems during a space mission.

Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station of 1884

Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station of 1884

The shell blocks were great to see.

Shell Blocks at Hamelin Pool

Shell Blocks at Hamelin Pool

This area of Australia was the only time we saw these shell blocks.   We visited the second and smallest country on the Australian continent, The Principality of Hutt River.   We needed and had our passports stamped here.

Stamped passports

Stamped passports

If you are in the area, visit Hutt River and learn about the establishment of this independent principality.   Continuing north along the Indian Ocean, we learned of several joint projects between Australia and the United States during World War II.   This is the monument to Operation Potshot, one of those cooperative missions.

Operation Potshot Monument

Operation Potshot Monument on the Indian Ocean

We will continue with our Australian memories this week.   We hope you will reminisce with us this week.

The Rocks of Sydney Harbor with Zeb and Eider

This is our last night in Australia.   Zeb and Eider are taking the humans to The Rocks.

Going to The Rocks

Going to The Rocks

This was Sydney’s first European settlement near Circular Quay at Sydney Harbor.   It has been renovated and now it is a “place to be”.   First stop is Cadman’s Cottage.

Cadmans Cottage Historic Site in Sydney

Cadmans Cottage Historic Site in Sydney

Cadman’s Cottage, built in 1816, is the oldest house in Sydney.   It once housed longboats and was the home of the last government coxswain, John Cadman.    The area, now known as The Rocks, is one street away from Sydney Harbor and Circular Quay.   These steps have been here for many years.

Well worn steps

Well worn steps

The stones have certainly been worn over the past couple hundred years.   Crossing to the older area, we see the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the narrow streets.

Sydney Harbor Bridge from the Rocks

Sydney Harbor Bridge from the Rocks

The bridge crosses from the harbor from the western side to the North Shore.   Here is the Observer Hotel.

Observer Hotel

Observer Hotel

The historical Rawson Institute for Seaman is in great shape.   Built in 1859, it was formerly Mariner’s Church.

Rawson Institute for Seamen

Rawson Institute for Seamen

Then the Rawson Institute for Seamen.   Then it was an art gallery.    Since 2011, the building houses a bar and night club.   There are several cafes and restaurants here with outside seating.   We liked this one with the heaters.

Eat outside with heat towers

Eat outside with heat towers

It was a cool evening.    These old buildings have been carefully maintained.

Great building. Love the red phone booth!

Great building. Love the red phone booth!

Check out the bright red telephone booth.   In the late 1800’s this area was a bustling business center.   Steel shod horses and carriages put much dirt and dust into the air, causing problems for pedestrians and shopkeepers.   They needed streets with a firm, stable surface and good traction, that wouldn’t make too much noise.    The solution was woodblocks.

Streets made of woodblocks

Streets made of woodblocks

Australian class 1 hardwoods, including blue gum, red gum, ironbark, blackbutt, tallowwood, mahogany and turpentine worked best.   They were durable, looked good and minimized noise and dust.   There was an ample local supply of wood and the streets were washed every night.   We really liked the silhouettes of blue lights in the alley.

Great silhouettes

Great silhouettes

The old buildings are just great.

Great old buildings

Great old buildings

We liked The Rocks, but if it had been a warm evening, we would have spent more time here.   Maybe we can come back in the spring or summer??