Zagreb, Croatia

One of the most different paintings that we collected. What makes this different is that the painting is on a 6×6 inch block of wood and captures the famous red umbrellas of the Dolac market with the twin steeples of Zagreb Cathedral rising into the sky behind it.

We purchased this from a small shop located at the rear end of the Dolac market and thought that it would be great to a picture in this different format.

Rome, Italy

Probably one of the few European cities that we really loved, Rome encapsulating the Holy City of Vatican was the only place we couldn’t decide on which piece of art we should select.

We purchased the paintings from an artist couple who were creating their art works in the piazza, surrounding by live music and the throng of tourists. The city is littered with monuments and the artists had managed to capture each of them with a deft touch of their brush.

We selected the monument that defines the country within the country; St. Peters Square at Vatican City and the might Colosseum, as the paintings that would continue to make memories for years to come.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

One of the most vibrant city centers at any time of the day was Ljubljana, Slovenia. Street performers, musicians, restaurants galore and of course gelato was available at this city center, framed by their famous triple bridge and pink colored church.

The painting depicts just that church and the triple bridge framed in front of it. Unfortunately, the vibrancy of the place could not be captured in this painting.

Den Hague, The Netherlands

The streets of Amsterdam had offered us magnets, history, the canals and chaos. The streets of Haarlem were quaint but deserted. And hence, we did not expect to find this masterpiece on the streets of Den Hague, a place known for its Embassies and the International Court of Justice.

And why we call this a masterpiece is for the simple reason that the old man painting it was doing it in freehand and on wood.

Yes, this picture is not one of a prominent location in the country, but the sheer passion that the artist put behind creating this was worth breaking the rule. With pictures painted on all sizes of thin wooden sheets, this was the smallest one we could purchase, also keeping in mind that our flight was scheduled to depart in a little more than eight hours.

Bruges, Belgium

Walking the quaint stone paved streets of ancient Bruges, across delightful bridges set over meandering rivers, we came to an open-air market that was just about closing down for the day. Apparently, the people really know how to live life, starting the market at six in the morning and closing at noon!

There was only one artist still selling, although she too just seemed to be there, to chill with her friends. She spoke funny, looked just out of a bad production of Cats, but she tried to sell bigger paintings with passion, even opening up the ones already packed for the day.

Such was her charm, that we decided to get this really odd shaped, vertical painting that showed the steeped roofs of the charming belfry that dominates the old town skyline of Bruges.

Split, Croatia

Up until now, it’s the only black and white portrait we have from our travels. We were on a whirlwind trip of Split, having reached the city, late morning from Zagreb and knowing that the next day we had a five-hour early morning bus ride to reach our next destination.

In the midst of this chaos, we came across this tiny shop with hand drawn pictures hanging on the door. The one we selected, as told by the owner, who also was the artist, was that it was one of the most famous alleys of the old town of Split.

Unfortunately, we never did find the time to locate this alley, but hopefully that day will come soon.

Neuschwanstein, Germany

The picturesque fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein took our breath away. So did the crowds that were piled up to see this Gothic monument. We had reached the castle with enough time to spare, for our inside walking tour, that we decided to get out of the heat and head towards Marienbrucke or Marien Bridge, to take the ‘classic’ shot of the building from afar.

Standing in line for the viewing on the hilly slopes that led to the bridge that is suspended over a ravine, we spied the artist at work, creating this masterpiece that you see below.

We weren’t even looking for someone painting in the middle of what could probably be described as a non-touristy place in the middle of the jungle!

Brussels, Belgium

If there is one thing, we collect on our trips it is hand painted pictures depicting the city square or a monument from that city and fridge magnets. While on our trip to Belgium, magnets were not an issue, but since the trip happen in late summer, when the days tended to get cooler and rain heavier, getting a hand painted picture was proving to be a task.

We scoured the city center and its myriad of alleys, keeping on eye out for the elusive street artists that we had glimpsed while on our walking tour on the first day. We had almost lost hope, when on our last day in Brussels, we finally managed to find not one but three street artists clustered close together.

The one we picked from one of them, captured the city center or Grote Markt, as it is called in the local language.

The Picture Story

They say that a picture speaks a thousand words. Well, we like hand drawn / painted ones better, especially if they tell a story of the place that you are visiting.

The pictures, when viewed years later have the ability to transport us back leading us on a memory trail of how we came across them in the first place.

In the coming weeks, we hope to put up just such short picture stories – hope you enjoy them!

Paraphernalia
A collection of paraphernalia from our trips that we have made a picture collage of.