in the early hours of the day after a night’s snowfall and the traffic noise is muffed geometries and shapes look new and the tonal symmetry of the ground and the sky offer exceptional compositional settings.
leaving aside superlatives, Freyburg offers an out-of-the-crowd visit to a septentrional wine region with surprising views and very enjoyable wines. Free horses and flower gardens settled in disused old East-Germany-Era army training grounds. Following the river Unstrut to the south you find Naumburg (Saale), old light railways and a surprisingly large cathedral.
Sunday on a mid July afternoon at the lake, friends, a game of Kubb, laughter, competitiveness, teasing, focusing on the marks, joy, excitement. Winners and losers dining all together at sunset.
built between the 1920 and 1930, these rows of Gewofag social housing development in Neuhausen enjoy the protection of the city for its heritage value. Best enjoyed in the late afternoon, when the low sun beams brings the three-dimensionality of the details to the eye.
Not far from the habitation blocks of the Gewofag, the Kunstlerhof adds a new dimension to the neighbourhood. Old chained bicycles likely made to be here, waiting for the artist to come down her atelier with her smeared apron still on and take a ride to the café.
wagons once threaded this plain and filled the night with echos of metallic giggle, where now nature and new settlers walk around still puzzled how to classify what they see in their Saturday’s afternoon walk. Here and there, if you stop long enough to see through the signs, you can see the ghosts of those railroad tracks and ties under thickening vegetation. The sudden idle beds of track ballast stand questioning their purpose now like dry wounds in the meadows.
Hidden in the woods, old tracks, fallen lampposts, gates with nothing to gate, lost ponds. And an old adjoining settlement. Despite the looks, no vignetting is applied to the photographies.
The old bed wagons factory witness yet one other kind of resettlement: partly spooky, partly trashy, and certainly worth walking through.
grab a blanket, push the curtain aside, enter into the darkness of a cave of light and color, lay anywhere, listen, see, think, sleep.
Dust the paraffin off your clothes if you forgot laying on the blanket
a newly painted steam locomotive sitting on a section of old rack railroad exibits what passengers travelling to the sanctuary of Montserrat experienced between the 19th and the middle of the 20th Centuries. The steep climb with breathtaking views is nowadays negotiated by a modern 2001 commisioned electric rack railway.
Once in the sanctuary one can take a Funicular to the mountian top or walk either the path of the south over the moutain side or the more shadded ravine path. In a clear day the particular crevassed rock formations of the Montserrat (meaning the sawed mountain) make for a playful motive in the eye of the photographer.
not too far from Barcelona and overflown by landing planes on their way to the 07L/07R or 02 runways a low mountain range offers an unexpected landscape of shrubland and fan palms. Incidentally a former palace turned into a buddhist monastery is set in the midst of this denuded coastal range.
Barcelona’s townspeople can enjoy a neighbourhood cafe in a back street of a not so run by tourists area. Those with a passion for horse riding meet Sundays at the free municipal grounds. They chatter and greet excitedly as they meet with their horses. The light of January turns the most unexpected scenes into captivating motives for photography.
Along the streets of Valencia you can see the legacy of many architectonic styles from the gothic, renaissance, baroque, neoclassic, modernist, to bauhaus, constructivism, brutalism, and… well some things by Calatrava too.
The city seems big but not too big, modern but not too modern, opulent but not too opulent, burgeois but not too burgeois. It has it all but nothing becomes invasive. It may be that it is January, but Valencia still seems to belong to its citizens and not to the tourists. And I long with melancholy for this to stay this way, despite being an impossible act of balance in a world of seismic schockwaves of tourism.
The defensive Torres de Quart in the west-end of the old city of Valencia were made for one clear purpose. Being there you cannot help but imagine soldiers loaded with bows and quills hurrying upstairs, dropping boiling oil through the outlet above the doors, atop the towers scouting the horizon with squinted eyes under the sun of the afternoon.
The building of the Lonja de Valencia feels at the end game of commercial opulence but still displaying its former functionality: the polished by use floor tiles, twisted solomonic columns, gothic arches. A photographic feast indeed.
here I look back almost 50 years at the same streets, houses and windows of Tarragona were I grew up. The little park-inside-a-roundabout. Everything looks changed but not changed and certainly tiny now. The same aluminum late-60’s windowframes with possibly the same thin surviving windowpanes I looked out at the world. The same narrow walkways and small storefronts, but now mostly shut; They look like little cave entrances compared to the grandeur of nowadays’ retail-chain halls somewhere else.
The old harbour, once a row of small fishermen houses with workshops where wives tended to the blue nyon fishnets and boats docked just before the horn blew the end of the fishing day at 5 PM, is now a strolling alley decorated with fountains. Fishnets gave room to icecream and coffee shops. My uncle used to be one of about 50 fishermen captains. He had his own boat and a crew of 7. Now five boats with a crew of 2 are allowed to operate from a little corner of the harbour. Yet the same moon rise over Tarragona, come night.
Since the majority of native townspeople–being of German origin– had to leave the city of Cesky Krumlov in the middle of the 20th Century and the soviet years ignored it with contempt, this jewel of European Renaissance, turned asian tourism Mecca, struggles to redefine its “raison d’être”.
As the sun sets in the evening the unlit windows of the old town in the foreground tell me a sad story of forfeited past. A city who lost its townspeople, and became an empty shell preserved with UNESCO funds to one day hopefully rekindle life.