Monday, April 27, 2009


• complete absence of sound
• the fact or state of abstaining from speech
• the avoidance of mentioning or discussing something
• the state of standing still and not speaking as a sign of respect for someone deceased or in an opportunity for prayer
• substitute for an inability to express emotions

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Click on photo to view it in different sizes on my Flickr account

Halt ein, was willst du tun, sie morden?
Grausame, weißt du, was du tust?
Ein Tag ist ihr zuteil geworden
Ein Tag des Leids, ein Tag der Lust
Oh lass’ sie leben, lass’ sie schweben
bis ihre Feierstunde schlug -
Ihr Himmel ist ein Eintagsleben
Ihr Paradies ein Abendflug.

I met this fly today and the poem last year in the wonderful German movie "Hanami - Kirschblueten". I am not going to translate it because I would kill the essence and this poem is about the opposite of killing.
I hope you live your life every day like a mayfly would do - like an unique experience.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Small Guys and Big Obstacles

Click on photo for an enlarged version.

If you are little and young in experience you are confronted with a lot of new situations, hurdles, obstacles and gaps to jump over.
Almost every minute you are challenged by life.
The astonishing thing is that you take it easy and just dare. Fear doesn't seem to exist.
The root of a big tree suddenly turns from an obstacle into a funny jumping game accessory.

When you grow older some of the obstacles seem to be bigger than you - even if they look small for all other people around you.

Why is that? Any hints appreciated.


I saw the baby wild boars in a big enclosure in a forest near my city today and the gang of little striped guys made me grin. My gigantic zoom lens helped to get close.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Road to Hana / Maui, Hawaii

Click on photo for an enlarged version.

There is this one road on Maui connecting the main city Kahului with the sleepy village of Hana. I would call it THE road on Hawaii and I had a brilliant day driving it.
Imagine a 60 km road with 54 bridges and more than 600 curves, partly only one lane.
Put very thick rain forest, loads of small waterfalls, exotic flowers and a stunning coast line with lava rocks and palm trees beside the road and you have 'the road to Hana'.

Click on photo for an enlarged version.

I had the huge advantage of having a rental car giving me the chance to be as slow as I wanted to be - and I WAS slow. I met a fellow traveler in my hostel with the same plan and we decided to spend the day together. She was from Germany and beside a whole bunch of deep (and funny) topics it was relaxing to talk German again for a whole day.

One of the many waterfalls beside the road
Click on photo for an enlarged version.

We passed bridges over small waterfalls every few kilometers and stopped frequently. One time I wanted to check a waterfall by getting closer and climbed above the railing of the bridge and down the pillar. After a short hike through thick banana plants on steep slippery ground I found a hidden natural pool at the base of the waterfall. A hidden secret place completely out of sight from the road. Wow! Well, to be honest I disturbed a couple doing some special relaxation stuff - hey, they were still dressed but I think it was close.

Johanna, my adventure partner on the road to Hana
Click on photo for an enlarged version.

Don't even think about it!
Click on photo for an enlarged version.

It is always funny for me to see what kind of dangers exist in other countries. Sometimes it is about wild animals, sometimes about strong current and sometimes just about human skin.

Maui - The place to be if you are a Flip Flop
Click on photo for an enlarged version.

Have you ever been washed away by the current? I haven't until that day. We stopped on a very small beach with black lava sand for a swim. The waves overthrew me as soon as I waded into the water to my knees. It literally took my breath away and I was completely exhausted after 10 minutes of fighting against the waves. Great!

"If in doubt, don't go out"
Click on photo for an enlarged version.

During our day we listened to Coldplay and whenever I hear the song 'Lost' from their album 'Viva la Vida' now it beams me into the rain forest on the road to Hana.

One of the hundreds of empty black lava sand beaches
Click on photo for an enlarged version.

As expected the actual arrival in Hana was very unspectacular. It was only a very sleepy place with only one restaurant. The funny waiter insisted of seating us although we were the only customers and all tables were empty. Funny friendly folks these Hawaiians.

Some of the 'dunnothename' wild flowers
Click on photo for an enlarged version.

Of course I bothered Johanna with tightening my slack line between two palm trees near a beach. It was so unreal to balance in these paradise-like environment with the sound of the shore and all the birds' voices in my ear and a wonderful sunset just behind me.

One more of the many many highlight of my trip.

Hawaii Slacklining
Click on photo for an enlarged version.

On our way back Johanna wanted to try a coconut and we stopped at a very small vending stall. Actually it was only a pile of coconuts and three guys sitting on a cooling box. The guys were really drunk because the cooling box was full of beer. They were so drunk that two guys destroyed two coconuts by mistake while trying to cut them open with a machete. I was a bit worried about their fingers and arms but in the end it worked and we had a funny talk with them while Johanna sipped her coconut (and didn't like it).

We arrived back in Kahului late at night and our conclusion was that this day was the perfect example that sometimes it is not about the destination but about the journey.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Der alte Winter

Der alte Winter in seiner Schwäche zog sich in raue Berge zurueck.
Von daher sendet er
- fliehend nur
ohnmächtige Schauer körnigen Eises in Streifen über die grünende Flur.
Doch die Sonne duldet kein Weisses.
Ueberall regt sich Bildung und Streben,
alles will sie mit Farben beleben.
Doch an Blumen fehlt's im Revier,
sie nimmt geputzte Menschen dafür.


The Winter old and weak ascends back to the rugged mountain slope.
From there, as he flees, he downward sends an impotent shower of icy hail
Streaking over the verdant vale.
Ah! but the Sun will suffer no white,

Growth and formation stir everywhere,
Twould fain with colours make all things bright,
Though in the landscape are no blossoms fair.
Instead it takes gay-decked humanity.


This weekend I asked a friend via a text message what he is looking forward to during this Easter-weekend. He answered 'I am looking forward to my very own Easter walk'. He was one of the guys reciting Goethe's poem in the park in the summer of 2005 together with me and I know he can still remember it, too.
I hope he had a peaceful walk beyond 'der Strassen quetschender Enge'.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Postcard Time Journey Nuremberg

Insel Schuett, looks completely different. The synagogue with its dome was destroyed by the Nazis even before the 'Reichskristallnacht'
Click on photo to enlarge

Last year I found a big box of old postcards on a flee market in Munich. I rummaged in it and found a bunch of postcards from my city Nuremberg. They were shot before WW2 in the 1920s or 1930s.
I had the idea of looking for the exact spots were the photos have been taken and take a photo from today's Nuremberg just to compare old and new Nuremberg.

Last weekend I did it and strolled two days through the city in the footsteps of an unknown photographer from the last century.

During a breakfast in a cafe with a friend before my walk I showed my postcards to an old lady sitting on a table nearby. We talked and she explained some details on the old photos. It felt very intense when she told me about her memories of a bombing night. I can't imagine sitting in a dark cellar, feeling the earth shake and when you go outside again after an eternal night you see nothing but smoking debris where your city has been.

Main Square with the famous fountain. Everything except the re-built Church of our Lady is gone. The fountain survived the bombings in a shell of bricks. But nowadays it is a replica because the original is in a museum.
Click on photo to enlarge

The whole walk was like constantly jumping back and forth in time. A glimpse at the postcard in my hand and I was in medieval Nuremberg and looking up again threw me back to a modern city with some ancient remains.

Henkersteg and Weinstadel (Hangman Bridge and Wine Barn). It looks almost the same. The trees on the island in the middle of the river are big and majestic now.
Click on photo to enlarge

From a photographer's point of view it was very hard to shoot the photos because I had to use a very high aperture value to get enough depth of field while focusing on the dark postcard in the foreground. I had to post-process them a lot to repair all the dark spots. This is why some of the photos look so artificial.

View to the Imperial Castle from the Spittler Gate.
Click on photo to enlarge

I figured that the view on the postcard above is from on of the old towers in the city wall. It is now a museum for experiencing the senses and called 'Tower of the Senses'. I talk to the guy at the entrance and told him about my little 'post postcard walk'. He smiled and let my up the tower for some photos without paying the entrance fee.

View towards the Haller Gate.
Click on photo to enlarge

The photo above was difficult to reproduce because it was taken above street level. Nowadays the area outside the Haller Gate is full of ugly 1950s multi-story apartment buildings.
A old man in a undershirt was leaning on the window sill in the 6th floor of one of the buildings.
I decided to dare it and screamed up to him. I told him my story about the old postcards and asked him whether he could let me in for a photo from the upper stairway window.
Guess what - he screamed down in a grumpy voice 'hm, I let you in'. Unbelievable.

Actually I think his sentence was his way to show extreme excitement about my postcard story. He was one of the prototypes of an old grumpy Franconian man.
Unfortunately he was gone afterwards to I couldn't thank him or even show him the photo.

West Facade of the Imperial Castle. The jutty is gone.
Click on photo to enlarge

The Imperial Castle suffered hard in the bombing nights but it was one of the few parts of the medieval city that was rebuilt after the war. This is why the reality in 2009 looks kind of similar to the old postcards. But if you look closely you can see a lot of little differences between the old and the new castle.

The back side of the castle with the Five-Cornered-Tower looks almost the same.
Click on photo to enlarge

I love the view of the back side of the castle. The tower to the right is called Fuenfeckturm (Five-Cornered-Tower) and the tower on the left has the funny German name 'Luginsland' ('Peek-into-the-land').

The courtyard of the Imperial Castle. The big trunk in the middle is now a young tree.
Click on photo to enlarge

I liked my little time journey a lot and I want to do it again with more old photos from not so touristy spots.

If you want you can see the photos in higher resolution on my Flickr account [here].

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Grave Beer / Maui, Hawaii

There was a small graveyard near a wild green coastline. I stumbled into it by chance.

Beside one of the graves stood two beers. I felt touched. It seemed as if the friends of this guy really missed him. They missed him in a positive way, I guess. The kind of missing that involves drinking some beers on a warm Hawaiian eve while sitting beside the grave of a dear old friend, laughing about his strange habits and staring at the waves.
Not a bad way to be missed like that, is it?

It is strange how different cemeteries are. One I visited a year ago in Vienna was the maximum depressing contrast to the small one on Maui. Click [here] to read more.