on the road: Blog http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Ralf Holzem kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:43:00 GMT Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:43:00 GMT http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v19/u678624517-o903751228-50.jpg on the road: Blog http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Framing Berlin: Random Berlin, pt. 4 http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/framing-berlin-random-berlin-pt-4  



Random Berlin, Part 4







Berlin-Mitte. Backside of the controversial reconstruction of the old palace. The exterior of the palace will have the old looks but the interior will supposedly be a modern cultural multi-purpose meeting place. The whole complex is going to be the Humboldt-Forum






Berlin-Mitte. A staircase in one of Berlin´s typical endless courtyards.






Berlin-Mitte. This is a very unusual picture for Mitte, as it has become the epitome for rising neo smugness

and the nouveau-riche normally don´t have Refugees on their agenda.






Berlin-Mitte. Rough corresponding translation: In Berlin please take care, ´tis construction fury - so beware.

Some things never change. A photograph and a cartoon from almost a hundred years ago (early 1920s) on

a present-day construction-site fence, prove that Berliners are used to unsystematic construction madness.







Berlin-Mitte. The domes of the newly constructed palace and of the Berlin Cathedral

reflect in the glass front of the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).






Berlin-Mitte. Pock-marked facade next to Sophienkirche in Spandauer Vorstadt of Mitte. Confusing, because this is nowhere near Spandau. In the olden days this was the part of old town close to the Spandau-Gate. The road leaving Spandau-Gate led to the next town, which was Spandau, some 13 km to the west. Some bullet-riddled facades are kept this way as a reminder of the fierce street fighting that was going on when Soviet Forces liberated the city.






Berlin-Kreuzberg. The Fatih-Mosque and the Catholic Church Of Our Lady in close proximity. Both are involved in neighborhood projects in one of the poorest boroughs of Berlin. The catholic church also houses a branch of the Missionaries Of Charity, the congegration founded by Mother Teresa.






Berlin-Mitte adjacent to Berlin-Friedrichshain. The iconic trio towers of the BVG headquarters,

the Berlin Public Transport Company. 





Berlin Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Berlin Castle Humboldt Forum Kreuzberg Mitte Moschee Mosque Schloss http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/framing-berlin-random-berlin-pt-4 Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:43:13 GMT
Close to Home: A Walk In The North http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/close-to-home-a-walk-in-the-north  



A Walk In The North - King´s Harbor in List



King´s Harbor (Königshafen) is not actually a harbor but a bay in List, close to Germany´s northernmost point on the island of Sylt. A good place to meet wind and rain, but on this day it was dry and nice. Cloud patterns changed by the minute and the sun was out quite a bit. It´s a bay that faces it´s open end to the east, towards the mainland; i.e., towards Denmark. The bay is named after Danish King Christian IV., who successfully defeated the Swedish-Dutch fleet at this spot during the Thirty Years´War in 1644. Instead of cannons and blood it´s oysters and birds nowadays, the bay is a bird sanctuary and part of the cross border Wadden Sea National Park. After the fishing industry had to endure losses due to quotas and other measures against overfishing, the idea of oyster farms came up again, reviving an almost lost thousand year old tradition.







All pictures were shot facing north across the bay.


























Sylt Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Denmark Dänemark King´s Harbor Königshafen List National Park Nationalpark Sylt Wadden Sea Wattenmeer http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/close-to-home-a-walk-in-the-north Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:37:38 GMT
Rückblende: Steaming Jungle http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/r-ckblende-steaming-jungle  



Steaming Jungle in Kakum, Ghana



I never really made it into the jungle, not this one at least. Kakum is a leftover jungle famous for it´s canopy skywalk. Once the strip of jungle ran all the way through Westafrica parallel to the coastline. But with the urban sprawl and hunger for tropical wood there are only a few patches of it left, this being one of them. It is supposedly home to the last Westafrican Forest Elephants. They were the reason why I always wanted to make a jungle hike, but unfortunately the plan never materialized. Exactly thirteen years ago, in June 2005, while visiting the canopy skywalk once again, I stood at a point at the edge of the jungle where I had this grand view. It was steamy, very humid and filled with pleasant natural noise.


























Ghana Gallery













kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Ghana Westafrica canopy skywalk jungle kakum http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/r-ckblende-steaming-jungle Thu, 15 Jun 2017 15:33:27 GMT
Focus Photography: The Bauhaus Series http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/focus-photography-the-bauhaus-series  



The Bauhaus Series



I have a lot of fun creating photographic series. There is no particular concept behind the idea, except that most series have the same, or a very similar object in mind. But even this is not always true, there are series in which I took pictures of different objects in different places. What got them together into a series was the similar mood and atmosphere. There are already quite a few series I´ve presented in this blog, just punch series into the search field above and they´ll pop up, or visit the Photography Gallery.

The idea to present series came by coincidence. Ever since I started with photography, I´ve been collecting pictures that normally would´ve been a case for the bin. Not pictures for show but for my personal archive, to remember certain situations and moods. Only later did I recognize their potential for a series. Gradually I started to set pictures together that somehow belonged together, or had a similar topic. And only with my start into digital photography did the series of one and the same object increase. Most of us know the situation: you take hundreds of pictures of the same motif, just to pick the best one. You´re plannng to trash the others. This is the moment where I hesitate, I delete a lot but also save some for later use. 

And here is a classic example. I took a lot of pictures of a staircase in the Bauhaus building in Dessau just to get that one nice shot. Most of these pictures were planned for the wastebasket but in the end found an afterlife as a series.





























The Photography Gallery








kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Bauhaus Dessau fotografie photography series http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/focus-photography-the-bauhaus-series Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:37:55 GMT
Close to Home: Northern Dyke http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/close-to-home-northern-dyke  



Sylt´s Northern Dyke



So it was Sylt once again. On our diverse trips in Germany, since we returned from abroad three years ago, we´ve been on all major islands Germany has to offer along it´s North Sea and Baltic coasts. Usedom, Rügen and Sylt are the three largest, the first two being in the Baltic Sea and the latter in the North Sea. And now we´ve been on Sylt for the third time within a year, whereas we´ve been to Usedom and Rügen only once respectively in the past three years. Why? Well, to break it down to a very short answer: it´s the ruggedness of the North Sea. Obviously it must be more than just this one reason, but it really brings it down to everything the rugged sea influences. Apart from the North Sea itself, it´s the wonderful dune landscape, the super unforeseeable weather and the location of the island in the northernmost part of Germany, it almost has a feel of isolation to it.

The following images are not the tourist brochure images, but a snapshot of a very particular walk on a very particular part of Sylt. The Mövenbergdeich (Gull-hill-dyke) is a recently renovated dyke along a bay in the northern part of the island that has also been elevated to an up to date coastal protection height.






Before we got on to the dyke, we passed the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, a polar and marine research institute.

What I like particularly about the area around the dyke, are the curves and straight

lines in structures and landscape.










You know you´re in Germany when a bench in public has to fulfill some absurd safety norm.

Reflectors at the edges of the bench prevents absent-minded tourists to kill themselves

in foggy and dark circumstances.




















The Sylt Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) List Mövenbergdeich Sylt deich dyke insel island http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/close-to-home-northern-dyke Tue, 13 Jun 2017 07:00:20 GMT
Zeitperle: Memorial Day http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/zeitperle-memorial-day  



Memorial Day - A Gay Veteran



Congressional Cemetery, Washington D.C.

February 2014




Gay VeteranGay Veteran





It´s Rolling Thunder time again and a lot of veterans and supporters have their big day. But apart from the bike show it´s really about actual soldiers who fought and died, who went missing in action or were held prisoner and often not properly released as intended by the Third Geneva Convention. Memorial Day is about commemoration and to solemnly remember and reflect sacrifices that were made - by all who fought.

There is a similar holiday in most countries and there is also a similar way of viewing the dirty business of war as something extremely masculine and testosterone driven. Which is true for the most part, but there are and were those soldiers who don´t quite fit the general picture. One group are the homosexuals of both sexes. The issue of homosexuality in the military has progressed somewhat in recent years, but there is still widespread homophobia amongst uniform-bearers.

Memorial Day can also be a day of reflection for what lies ahead. How can conflicts of the future be solved in a less violent but more effective and sustainable way? A big question that needs many answers. Along the way the problems with LGBT topics should be small ones to solve, not only in the military but in free and open societies in general.






Zeitperle Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Congressional Cemetery Memorial Day military soldiers http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/zeitperle-memorial-day Mon, 29 May 2017 22:11:49 GMT
Close to Home: Prora http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/close-to-home-prora  



The Lunacy Of Prora



The craziness and monstrosity of Prora can only be fully grasped when one is actually on location. The sheer lunacy of the project can´t really fit in a blogpost, so whenever you´re close-by, please convince yourself of the existence of one of those weird things you´d never thought could possibly exist, albeit in the minds of alien-controlled conspiracy psychopaths. It´s crazy, it´s huge and it´s mind-boggling.

Prora was planned by the Nazis as a centralized vacation and recreation factory for the masses. The ideological motivation was to keep the Germanic race in a good temper amidst all the consolidation that was transforming German society. A happy and content Nazi won´t question the leadership and its plans and goals - such was the reasoning of the propaganda masterminds. The plan never took action because the war interfered with the completion of the project, even though more than half had been constructed. The concrete nightmare fell into oblivion, and after the war the East German Army used parts of it.

Now, parts of the ruined buildings are being renovated and rebuilt for touristic and money generating reasons - real estate firms set up and sell luxury apartments for prices that would be asked for in the Hamptons. But the east coast of Rügen and its beaches are not the Hamptons and still there seems to be a clientele ready to pay any asked price. Apart from that, other parts are being used as a youth hostel, a high-end hotel, and a museum about the place and its history. 






Berlin wall artists on the move, or does Rügen have its own sub-culture?





Redevelopment underway...




...old windows are replaced by up-to-date ones.









Just a small part of the 2.5 km (1.5 miles). The original plan was allotted for 4.5 km (2.8 miles).





Just a few yards from the colossus lies one of the most beautiful beaches of Rügen.





Part of the planned shipping pier...




...where cruise ships of the national "Kraft durch Freude" organization were to

pick up the masses and make them even happier than they already were.





The signs read Education by the sea  and  ...more education.

Absolutely compulsory in these times.









The ruins, the beaches and redevelopment efforts attract a lot of tourists.





Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Architecture Architektur Prora Ruegen Rügen http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/close-to-home-prora Wed, 10 May 2017 09:02:47 GMT
Zeitperle: Rowing Party http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/zeitperle-rowing-party  



Rowing Party

Latvia, 2004





Rowing PartyRowing PartyLatvia 2004





Just one of those many family photographs. Yet, while sifting through older family photos, this picture stood apart from the others. A cloudy afternoon on a lake in Latvia with my son and my father. I can´t remember how exactly this picture came about, wether my son turned by chance or if I called him. But the mischievous look is just great, and my father wasn´t aware that I had him in the frame as well. 






Zeitperle Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Fotografie Lake Latvia Lettland Photography Rowing Rowing Boat Zeitperle http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/zeitperle-rowing-party Tue, 09 May 2017 20:19:05 GMT
Framing Berlin: Myfest http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/framing-berlin-myfest  



Myfest in Kreuzberg



May 1st is a date on which every common-sense Kreuzberger tries leaving the city, or at least the borough, for the sake of saving ones ears and nerves. The demonstrations by unions and socio-political, very often far-left leaning groups have become small and insignificant. Instead, Kreuzberg officials support the widely popular Myfest, a non-political fun event, that draws tens of thousands mostly young people into the beat infested streets. The major reason for this support was the violence of past political and pseudo-political demonstrations that often ended in senseless destruction and chaos. In this sense the Myfest is a big success, ever since it was introduced 14 years ago, violence has ceased. On the other hand It´s a sad fact that people, especially young people, aren´t interested enough in the idea behind the international May 1st movement. But that´s a different matter altogether.

A lot of locals roll their eyes when the noise starts and people come dancing through the streets. The party-goers are mostly into drugs and huge amounts of booze, leaving behind an impressive trail of refuse and excrements. Doorways, parks and greeneries are being used as public toilets, the temporarily provided sanitary utilities are more than insufficient. But that´s the way it is. Even though there is room for improvement in organisational matters, the choice between a fun fest and a violence-ridden demonstration is easy to make. Living in the middle of it all and being locals ourselves, we went out to get an impression. 














The jute bag reads "Froh dabei zu sein" - happy to be part of it.




























Such days are good ones for deposit collectors.










Kreuzberg Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Erster Mai Kreuzberg May 1st Mayday Myfest http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/framing-berlin-myfest Fri, 05 May 2017 09:05:48 GMT
Framing Berlin: Cherry Blossom Walk http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/framing-berlin-cherry-blossom-walk  



Cherry Blossom Walk



Time for another walk in the neighborhood. It´s blossom time for many plants and trees and walking the urban parks and greeneries is particularly nice at the moment. From our house there are many possibilities to walk and explore, one of our favorite standard tours is the three-boroughs-walk. We start in our beloved Kreuzberg district, walk along the canal (Landwehrkanal) for about ten minutes until we cross the canal into Neukölln, then walk another ten minutes along the bank towards Treptow. Once we cross another bridge over the canal we´re walking along the former course of the Berlin Wall. It is here along the wall-strip-turned-into-a-public-park in Treptow where we find the prettiest blossoms.

The cherry trees are the result of the Sakura Campaign, a call by Japanese TV station Asahi to donate money for the sheer joy over German Reunification. More than a million Euros were collected, enough for some 9,000 trees which were eventually shipped to Germany and planted in various places across Berlin and Brandenburg. In Treptow they symbolize the course of the wall along the bank of the canal, but more than that they symbolize peace, departure and transience. Of course they also symbolize the friendship between the Japanese and German people. As the trees grow older, their blossom splendor increases.

Finally, after another ten minute walk we cross the canal for the last time to get back into Kreuzberg and to the front of our house. A truly pretty and historic walk, enjoyable over and over again.






Looking at the canal junction and from the Neukölln bank into Kreuzberg. The houses to the right are in Treptow.





Beginning of the former wall strip in Treptow.

The wall took the course of the paved path.









The strip.





Bushes along the canal, Kreuzberg on the other side.










Actually my very first blogpost on April 25th, 2013 was about the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.




The Berlin Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Berlin Cherry Blossom Kreuzberg Neukölln Trees Treptow Walk http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/framing-berlin-cherry-blossom-walk Sun, 23 Apr 2017 12:52:03 GMT
Close to Home: Sachsenhausen http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/close-to-home-sachsenhausen  






To the day exactly 72 years ago the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was liberated by Polish and Soviet Forces advancing from the east. They encountered about 3,000 survivors and some nurses and doctors who were left behind by the Nazis who evacuated the camp shortly before, taking with them the prisoners who could walk. Thousands of those did not survive the death march.

What happened in Sachsenhausen is not different from what happened in other camps: Hard labor, pseudo scientific medical experimentation, random torture and executions, and of course the usual sadistic and perverse show of power and brutality over helpless and innocent inmates. What made this camp different from others was its status as the administrative headquarters of all concentration camps. Also, it was designed as being the ideal camp, a model for others to be established. The triangular shape and the layout of the barracks was supposedly perfect for total supervision and control. Needless to say that the arrangement also intended to crush every mind, soul and psyche. The proximity of the camp to Berlin was convenient for inspection and visits of high-ranking officials for show and propaganda purposes.

The following pictures were taken on a recent visit to the Memorial and Museum. What really got to me during the visit was the absurd smugness and banality around the Memorial. Family homes, snack bars and the clean and shiny evidence of urban infrastructure (Oranienburg). I suppose life goes on in a town, even when unspeakable horror unfolded itself within viewing and hearing distance. But strange it is. I am convinced back then everyone knew everything, there was nothing like innocence and ignorance. Oranienburg had a huge industrial and labor infrastructure around the camp that was maintained by the prisoners. The no see-no hear-no speak doctrine doesn´t count in my view. Most Germans were Nazis, most Germans knew all, most Germans raised their right arm with enthusiasm and ecstasy. Very very few exeptions. This is important to understand, to acknowledge and to spread in times of growing efforts to make neo-nazism, populism and nationalism seem like part of normality. The Nazi crimes were everything but banal and are absolutely not comparable to other atrocities commited by other terror regimes. The Nazi reign of 1933 - 1945 was the single-most horrific catastrophe that humans ever cast on themselves. There is no way around it. That´s why it´s so important to keep the memory alive, to keep the facts together and to show how the camp-terror worked. That´s why it´s so important to visit the Memorials in Germany and other parts of Europe.

I´m glad to have grown up into a post-war prosperousness, Germany came a long way since 1945. And even though there is so much pessimism and personal frustration nowadays that finds its vents in political blindness and convenient mind patterns, I´m convinced that the road ahead is safe because most people are willing to keep on learning what the past was about, and what our chances are today. German society moves on a strong platform of democracy that made remarkable progress, and has become a role model for others.







The infamous slogan drawn into cynical mockery.






A glimpse into the death-strip with barbed wire.










Most of the barracks have been demolished. Framed pebble stone fields outline the spaces where they once stood.










A group gets some information before entering the central Memorial site,

where some of the ovens of the crematorium remain.






The sub-terranean firing trench where prisoners were shot. The cenotaph in the background.






The medical barracks and the pathology.












The "neutral zone", also called the death strip. The sign reads: "Neutral Zone - shooting live ammunition without warning".

The barbed wire fence was electrically charged.





Interested in learning more? See my blogpost about Buchenwald.









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Concentration Camp Konzentrationslager Oranienburg Sachsenhausen http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/close-to-home-sachsenhausen Sat, 22 Apr 2017 10:22:56 GMT
Focus Photography: Restaurant TV http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/focus-photography-restaurant-tv  



Restaurant TV



Another series from the photography archives. The blurred and unsharp impressions of a tv screen in a restaurant in rural Turkey, some 260 km (about 160 miles) southeast of Ankara. We were a group of hikers spending the night in a hotel, and for lack of alternatives we spent time in the hotel restaurant before going to bed. The next morning we would try hiking up snowy Hasan Dağı, an extinct volcano of 3,268 m (about 10,700 ft.). These pictures came about as I was trying out and playing around with my camera, preparing for a good shoot the next day. I delete most pictures I take, but often enough I keep pics from the playing around phases because I like to look at them later. In retrospect it´s interesting to see why and how certain pictures were taken, how they are part of a certain event; They become part of a private gallery, a sort of private art forum. I remember keeping these pictures because of the bluish hue of the tv screen and the cold and uncosy atmosphere it creates. Also, the woman on the screen seems to have waited, not just posing for the primary camera, but for interacting with my camera as well.





















The Photography Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) #fotografie #photography Fotografie Photography Restaurant TV serie series http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/focus-photography-restaurant-tv Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:00:09 GMT
Close to Home: Seaside Design http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/close-to-home-seaside-design  



Seaside Design And Architecture



On the island of Rügen there is quite a bit of Resort Architecture (Bäderarchitektur), a distinctive design of houses and hotels that is connected with the aura of light and airy summer breezes dating back to the mid-1800s. Whereas this style is well represented and has luckily been thoroughly renovated after reunification, there is not so much of the more modern designs of the German Avantgarde movement from the 1920s and early 30s around. East German architecture sometimes also came up with daring designs, but the more unspecific typical concrete slab style was dominant most times. But when one casts an watchful eye on the smaller things in the background, some surprises might reveal themselves. I found a few on our recent trip.






Ulrich Müther was a local building engineer and architect who specialized in concrete designs.

This is the shell (Kurmuschel) by the beach in Sassnitz for open air events.

















The Art Deco pavillon style extension of the Kurhaus (a health care and spa resort) in Binz.





Another design by Ulrich Müther, the life guard station in Binz. Binz was his hometown.













Life guard station on the pier of Sellin.





At the end of the pier in Sellin is the diving gondola. A contraption for 30 persons

that dives to the bottom of the sea.








Rügen Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Architecture Architektur Binz Design Ruegen Rügen Sassnitz Sellin http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/close-to-home-seaside-design Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:28:53 GMT
Framing Berlin: Tempelhof - The Space http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/framing-berlin-tempelhof  



Tempelhof - The Space



The unique open space at the Tempelhof Field is something very special in a country where each and every square meter is scrutinized for its next use and purpose, and where, especially in cities the real estate and property prizes have reached indecent and vulgar proportions. To know what vastness and space in urban centres means, one has just to come to this field and marvel at the openness. 






In the midle of the picture one can see the newly erected big tops of the Cabuwazi Circus, a cultural institution that is more than just a circus. Cabuwazi has different locations in Berlin, the one in Friedrichshain was gentrified away and now found this location to pitch its tents. The radar tower was built after plans of German engineer Adolf Behrens by the US Air Force in 1982, who used this part of the former Airport as a military base. Apart from actually being used as a plane tracker, the tower was one of the major eyes and ears scanning East Germany and beyond.





This container-village style refugee camp nearby the circus will host up to 1,100 refugees starting in July 2017.





Lots of tarmac and the tower of the former airport.





The vastness of the terrain is just mind boggling, all of it quasi very close to the city centre. The successful referendum of 2014 to keep the entire plot as a public space and park, is probably the single most luxurious urban-planning decision ever made. Berlin most definitely can not afford to let this sort of space not being developed. Even a compromise to develop at least a quarter of the field for desperately needed housing projects was rejected by the referendum. But then again, there is the uniqueness mentioned above...





To be repeated: V A S T N E S S in the middle of town.


This is the fourth part of the Tempelhof series. Check out the other three:

Tempelhof Airport

Tempelhof Exteriors

Tempelhof Interiors




Tempelhof Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) #berlin #flughafen Berlin Tempelhof Tempelhof Airport Tempelhof Flughafen http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/framing-berlin-tempelhof Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:47:43 GMT
Close to Home: Walking the Cliffs of Rügen http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/close-to-home-walking-the-cliffs-of-r-gen  


Walking the Cliffs of Rügen



Been there, done it. For spring break we finally managed to take a trip to Rügen, Germanys largest island off the Baltic Coast. The Chalk Cliffs of the Jasmund National Park are a top destination in Germany, and are now another check mark on the bucket list. The cliffs themselves aren´t the only sensation, but the hike along the rugged edge is a highlight in unison with the views. Some parts of the edge are off limits for hikers because of the danger of erosion related break-offs. Sometimes huge slabs of rock with beech trees on top crash onto the beach, causing a significant hazard for hikers and bathers below. This part of the islands coast changes its look on a regular basis due to the constant erosion. Despite of natures exploitations there are still many beautiful viewpoints along the path that remind one of the well known painting The Chalk Cliffs On Rügen by Caspar David Friedrich. 






The crystal clear Baltic Sea on a calm and sunny day.

















Strong winds blow around chalk powder leaving some

tree branches with a whitish hue.













A nice view of the edge and the shallow layer of earth on the chalk ground.














Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Chalk Cliffs Jasmund Kreidefelsen Rügen http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/close-to-home-walking-the-cliffs-of-r-gen Sun, 16 Apr 2017 20:30:26 GMT
Close to Home: Elbphilharmonie Pathétique http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/close-to-home-elbphilharmonie-path-tique  



Elbphilharmonie Pathétique 2013 - 2016



In the course of three years I´ve taken pictures of Hamburgs Elbphilharmonie. The never-ending construction site was one of Germanys infamous gigantomanic and money devouring incompetency nightmares; in company with Berlin Brandenburg Airport and Stuttgart 21 Railway station it represents the sick alpha male domination of the German political decision-making process. Unlike the other two, the Elbphilharmonie has finally come to a "happy" end (who would´ve thought? Certainly not me), celebrating its grand opening with a spectacular show in January of 2017. Reasonable suspicion of corruption, politicians bowing to lobbyists and the bill finally being paid by the ever patient taxpayer, all forgotten with a grand concert and lightshow in one night.

The pictures were taken when the building was still under construction. I never intended to make a series from them, I just took the pictures as I strolled around the area on numerous visits to Hamburg, after all, it is quite an eye-catcher. Now, in retrospect I find the pictures quite interesting. Different angles, different times of day, different moods, different camera equipment and different stages of nearly finished construction. The Elbphilharmonie had become another icon of Hamburg even in its unfinished stages. It is a superlative in its purposes and from an architectural viewpoint.


Pics are in (almost) chronological order.






I wasn´t aware that I´d taken these two pictures from an almost identical position until I

scanned through the Hamburg collection. Two years lie between them.



































































































The Hamburg Gallery








kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Architecture Elbphilharmonie Hamburg http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/close-to-home-elbphilharmonie-path-tique Sat, 15 Apr 2017 21:13:11 GMT
Framing Berlin: Foggy Days In Treptow http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/framing-berlin-foggy-days-in-treptow  




Foggy Days In Treptow



Once the seasons move along and the weather patterns change along with the temperatures, it´s sometimes hard to believe that recent impressions were actually part of reality. As happens right now, spring is here and the thermometer soars into almost forgotten regions. What happened to the gloomy winter mood from just a few days ago? It almost feels wrong to post pictures from a recent walk along the River Spree in Berlin-Treptow, but here we go.
































Berlin Gallery








kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Berlin Fog Treptow Winter http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/framing-berlin-foggy-days-in-treptow Fri, 31 Mar 2017 20:47:53 GMT
Zeitperle: Navajo Generating Station http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/zeitperle-navajo-generating-station  




Navajo Generating Station


Page, Arizona





Navajo Generating StationNavajo Generating StationPage, Arizona, USA 2013





The first time I saw the generating station was in 1993 when I traveled around Arizona and pitched up a tent close-by. It was further away than in this shot, and I remember being quite impressed as it was the only man made structure for miles around, and it glowed brightly in the night like a recently landed ufo. I never had the chance to move closer as my route back then led me into another direction. This shot is from 2013 when I was traveling around Arizona once more some 20 years later. The kids and I had just come from a tour of the Antelope Canyon, when we drove by the generating station on our way back to the hotel in Page. I stopped at the side of the road to have a closer look and to take this picture. The appearance wasn´t as impressive as the first time, but still interesting enough as it still is the only building in the surrounding area.

The station is a 2250 megawatt powerplant providing electrical power to parts of Arizona, Nevada and California. It feeds off the water of the Colorado River and also pumps the rivers water for the Central Arizona Project, which in turn supplies water to central and southern Arizona.









Zeitperle Gallery







kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Arizona Navajo Generating Station USA Zeitperle http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/zeitperle-navajo-generating-station Fri, 31 Mar 2017 20:27:48 GMT
Close to Home: Romans in Xanten http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/close-to-home-romans-in-xanten  



Romans in Xanten, Germania Inferior



Evertytime I come across a site with traces of Roman civilization, a city founded by Romans or where they have left other conspicuous evidence, I am amazed by their high level of everything - from living standards to technology. Like a kid I stand there and let my imagination go wild at the sight of columns, old roads or leftover water runs. Even more astonishing in this context is the plunge into the thousand year, Vatican controlled barbaric dark age rule, that followed the Greco-Roman period of early enlightenment and globalization. The medieval period in Europe seems to me the peak of forced human primitivism and a stark contrast to the previous eras.

Mid-western Germany, east of the Rhine River, was a Roman province called Germania Inferior. One of the camps and city foundings was Vetera, or Colonia Ulpia Traiana, present-day Xanten. It´s one of many excavation sites I´ve visited over time, and this one is a special site because of the reconstruction efforts going on. Archeological excavations have allowed a deeper understanding of the extremely high level of Roman domestic life. Housing, sanitation, heating, the system of water supply, only to be surpassed by present-day technology, give insight into the superior art of Roman engineering. Things come to life that have to be imagined elsewhere.

I guess that Roman rule was only possible through cruel and ferocious suppression of the conquered, in that sense it was also an era enabled by barbaric methods. Surely it was no comfort zone being a slave or a patriotic local trying to resist the invaders. But in comparison with the medieval period, Romans embraced many when they were willing to assimilate, offering everything Roman society had in its repertoire. Chances of rising to the top of the economical or political ladder was the same for all subjects within the realm.






Just like the block down the road - except that the original of this structure stood here almost two thousand years ago.


Smart design - a covered arcade against fowl teutonic weather.











Colored walls, carpets and furniture - the banality of everyday life today and back then.












Matter of course today, but a luxury in Roman times: Glass windows.





Citizens and leaders.








The colosseum built with local materials still being used today.










































Every civilization has its deities - even in the furthest province.




Germany Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Colonia Ulpia Traiana Germania Inferior Romans Römer Vetera Xanten http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/close-to-home-romans-in-xanten Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:59:23 GMT
Close to Home: Saxony Winterwonderland http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/close-to-home-saxony-winterwonderland  



Saxony Winterwonderland



A few days ago a good friend of mine asked me to join him for some cross-country skiing. Along the northerly Czech-German border lies a low mountain range called Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains - part of Germanys wild wild east), which has an interesting character in terms of mentality and laid-back attitude. In some wooded parts it has an end-of-the-world-feel to it. This is where one part of Germany ends, and beyond a part of the mysterious slavic world begins; feeling-wise that is. But as a matter of course for any proper European border area, it´s not visible where one country ends and the other begins. This mountain range is a stronghold for cross-country skiing, and ski-runs moving along natural features, cross the invisible border line constantly. Because of its heights of up to 1,000 meters (roughly 3,300 ft) winters often end up with a serene white blanket, muffling the quiet area even more. The perfect antithesis to loud and dirty Berlin, which is a mere two and a half hours away. Erzgebirge is a rustic landscape with rustic but very friendly people, offering rustic accommodation and food (the latter is a minor downside when considering the overall feel-good-factor). I´m very glad that I could go along when my friend asked me. The pictures speak for themselves.































































Saxony Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Erzgebirge Ore Mountains Sachsen Saxony Ski Skiing Snow http://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/close-to-home-saxony-winterwonderland Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:11:28 GMT