THE COLOR PALETTE IN THE STREETS OF HAMBURG

When visiting good friends last weekend at Hamburg this led to the welcomed opportunity to pass some striking colourful hidden corners at the district of Altona. 

During early Sunday morning I strolled in and nearby the street Bahrenfelder Steindamm and found astonishingly a lot of creative images and graffitis in a quite small radius.

Unfortunately we had no time to stay a bit longer, as the weather was really very nice this time.

Jo’s Monday walk : A Tale of three Castles- 3. Dunstanburgh

 

 

IMMEMORIAL CENTRES AT THE NILE – LUXOR AND ASWAN

The last station of my journey, Oasis of Siwa, near the border to Lybia had been a bit stressful overall. When returning from Siwa to Marsa Matruh at the sea, I got ill with bronchitis and was out of order for a few days.  In order to reach Aswan in the very South near the border to Sudan, I had to go by bus and train to Cairo via Alexandria. In Cairo I had to find somehow the right train station where I bought successfully a train ticket to Aswan. So even without internet, all this worked quite fine in 1985. I refrained from buying the cheapest class because this could have meant to travel together with living chickens and ducks, onions or garlic in the compartment what might have been a bit uncomfortable.

The trip with the train from Cairo to Aswan took nearly a complete day, it was really pleasant to travel through the green valley of the Nile with its long history. The train was partially very slow (ca. 25 km) due to bad rails, so it is very much advisable to be patient when travelling like this through all Egypt. The next photo shows Lake Nasr near Aswan, a water reservoir stretching to the South over a far distance in the former Nubia. From Aswan you can also visit Abu Simbel, the famous Pharaonic site, which had to be rescued and removed in the 60s of the last century when the water reservoir of Lake Nasr was constructed here.

When I was loafing through Aswan one evening, this drew the attention of a friendly and well educated Egyptian. He was interested to learn what a foreigner is doing all alone in his nice home-town. The Arabic culture implies certain ritualized forms of greeting and getting aquainted to be adhered to as a very relevant question of politeness. So diverse questioning by the guy from Aswan led to a slight cultural shock, because I admitted the truth of not being married, not having childrens and worst of all not following any kind of religion. May be he thought that I am some kind of alien now invading his life? So he was cautious but stayed relaxed when replying: “So you are a child of the wildness.” and in the same moment pointing to the South and the black heart of Africa. For me an interesting and fascinating idea and the Egyptian also remained friendly. I have often thought of this situation again lateron and still think that it is just very remarkable weird in a positive sense. The Nile means the old lifeline of all Egypt, but its green valley is just a tiny part of the big country covered mostly with endless desert land. So most people live really in this small stretch and the delta of the river, here people find fertile soil for successful agriculture since eons and hopefully forever. From Aswan I took again the train to reach the famous city of Luxor in the middle of Egypt being known also as fabulous ancient Theben.

The ancient metropole of Luxor is homeland of huge former temples, impressive monuments and archeological sites. How the old Egyptians managed to move all these heavy stones and columns is hardly imaginable today. But they did it, and their great and amazing works can still be admired today. And the analog photos shown here are now also somehow antique after a period of only 33 years.

These proofs of a high developped and sophisticated human culture thousands of years ago have always attracted other people for long time. When moving and loafing through these gigantic buildings of Luxor I felt quite small like a tiny ant, so even the antique world was able to create an own also technical cosmos beyound our individual frames. So plenty of phantastic opportunities do exist  here in Egypt for travelling, seeing and thinking about past and present times.

#######

Next and final Egyptian tour:  Cairo (in a few days)

Report on Abu Simbel: https://transmutation.me/2018/06/13/oriental-spotlights/
Report on Mt. Sinai: https://transmutation.me/2018/08/05/sinais-ancient-traditions/
Report on Alexandria: https://transmutation.me/2018/08/30/alexandria-greek/
Report on Oasis of Siwa: https://transmutation.me/2018/09/06/marsa-matruh-siwa/

 

STRUCTURES ON THE RUN

When gazing through the eternal holes of reality all seems just to be immediately escaping to nowhere. Now face the real urgent need to put again together the pieces which desiring belong to each other since eons in order to stumble over a weird glimpse on the distant horizon vanishing in darkblue fragile stretches of water – our original homeland. 

 

COME THE REVOLUTION

Good to learn that other kind of visions regarding future still exist in the trumped Americas.

Jack Shalom

68400843_High-Resolution-Front-Cover_7502482-200x300

***

***

It’s the year 2044, and praise to the goddesses, a socialist revolution in the United States is well in progress. How did it happen? Fortunately we have an account of the 2044 revolution in this set of oral histories that journalist Miguel Guevera has conducted with many of the heroes of the revolution. Guevera (aka 2018 activist Mike Albert) talks about the workings of a Revolutionary Participatory Society and economy in this interview I produced, broadcast yesterday for the Arts Express radio program on WBAI 99.5 FM NY.

(And for local listeners to the show, be advised that Arts Express has been moved to the new edgier time slot of Tuesdays at 11pm.)

View original post

PRAVCICKA BRANA – GATE TO CZECH SWITZERLAND

Pravčická Brána is the largest natural stone bridge in Europe and a natural Czech monument, truly one of the most striking natural sites in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and symbol of the whole region. It is located approximately 3 km North-West of Hrensko in the national park Czech Switzerland not far away from the border to Germany. Wandering paths are leading there both from Czech and German side where Saxonian Switzerland stretches.

Barberine Rock in Saxonian Switzerland, Germany
Postcard from 1906 showing the very first ascent

So this gate and bridge is connecting both countries in a beautiful and stunning landscape and may be visited during opening times for an entry fee. In 1826 an inn was constructed by the gate, and in 1881 Prince Edmund of Clary-Aldringen built there the romantical hotel Sokolí hnízdo (English: Falcon’s Nest) with 50 beds which you can see in the photo hereunder. 

Jo’s Monday walk : A tale of three castles- 2. Alnwick

 

RUPIN PASS – NINE DAYS OF PARADISE BY NEELSTORIA

Am I dreaming or is this for real! I questioned my wakefulness trying to comprehend the unbelievably gorgeous milk-white sprawling vista that lay before my eyes – a widespread fluffy blanket of untouched snow, sharp and pointed peaks of the Dhauladhar range, clear blue skies with no cloud in sight, early morning warm sunshine, and not a hint of the expected gusty winds.

The ecstatic bunch of us hooted and cheered at 15,380 ft. Our child-like innocent glee reverberated in the pristine surroundings. We couldn’t have asked for more but the mountains were extraordinarily gracious that morning and had another delightful surprise in store for us. A herd of sheep came strolling by with their shepherds and sheep dogs only to exhilarate the already intoxicated us.

This was the moment we were waiting for and all the days of long walks, difficult climbs, and cold weather was more than worth it ……

 

>>> Read and find the full original post with more photos here:

https://neelstoria.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/trekking-rupin-pass-himalayas/

 

MYSTERIES OF A BACKYARD

SOME BACKYARDS TO BE FOUND ARE COMPLETE STILL-LIFES IN ITSELF WHERE A SURPRISE TO WAIT AT EACH CORNER AND TRACKS OF FORMER INHABITANTS WHO HAVE ALREADY LEFT THIS PLACE LONG TIME AGO.

THE MYSTERIES OF SUCH A PLACE ARE CHALLENGING AND LEAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS WHICH LEAD US TO FURTHER UNCOMMON RIDDLES DEALING ABOUT OBJECTS MONITORING US HERE AT EACH OF THESE AWESOME MOMENTS SPENT WITHIN SUCH AN ENTANGLED YARD.

linked to:   Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Backyard

 

EGYPT – TO THE OASIS OF SIWA VIA MARSA MATRUH

“A sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to our steps as we walk the tightrope of life.”  (Arabic proverb)

Another mythological place in Egypt is the Oasis of Siwa which was not so easy to reach in 1985. From Alexandria I took again a regional bus to the small town of Marsa Matruh being situated at the coast not far away from the Libyan border in the very West. On the photo above and hereunder you see a typical street-scene with a donkey cart and of course the old bazaar there. But I had to stay in this town in order to get a special permission from the local authorities for visiting the Oasis of Siwa (being also a military’s exclusion zone), this alone took me around 2 days. It is a rural area, just normal life and more unspectacular except one very strange and bizarre exhibition on the outskirts of Marsa Matruh.

I am quite sure that this must be the only place in the world where a museum honours the Nazi general Erwin Rommel with the still existing Rommel’s Cave Museum (see photo hereunder). Just before Rommel’s Beach is the cave system where Rommel planned the axis forces’s military operation during WW II. The caves are now home to a small museum that displays some of his personnel effects and the maps he drew up here presenting him as a hero. The Egyptians did not like very much to be part of the British Empire while their great hope to become independent after WW I was not respected by the colonial powers at Versailles. So the Egyptians appreciated when the German Wehrmacht invaded Northern-Egypt in the naive hope for a principal change of their fate after being first occupied by the Osmans for long time and then later by the British. And they especially admired the combat strategy of Rommel in North-Africa standing in the tradition of the Bedouins. Although Rommel committed suicide in October 1944 due to imminent punishment after a rebellion of officers against Hitler, this place made me dazzled and speechless however as the complete museum did simply ignore the devastation of great parts of Europe, the holocaust and the millions of deaths as a result of Nazi-German cruelties.

After this unexpected historical abyss, I was happy to leave Marsa Matruh for my visit of the Oasis of Siwa which was also reachable by a daily bus through the Libyan desert. On the way to Siwa a lot of military vehicles could be seen because the Egyptian army held some military compounds in the oasis. Those days the crazy colonel Muammar Ghaddafi was the revolutionary head of the Libyan state, and the Egyptians simply did not trust him. Therefore, the whole territory stood under special military’s control. The street to Siwa was not in the very best condition but this is nothing unusual in a desert with great differences in temperature from day to night. It took around 3.5 hours with the bus from Marsa Matruh to Siwa, so I did arrive in the early afternoon when it was really hot, not surprisingly hardly anybody on the streets of Siwa upon my arrival.Not far away from the bus station I found a rather simple hotel in the oasis, I think it was the only one, but it offered good protection against the burning sun and strong heat, what was the most important here. The breakfast and meals were of more modest character, and in the oasis in general a mediaval feeling struck my mind as if being hardly put back in time.

The oasic region of Siwa is the only place in Egypt with a Berber population (ca. 23,000), culture and language called Siwi. It is lying in the Qattara depression around 18 m under sea-level, therefore water finds very easily its way to the surface being the basis for life in a desert. The agriculture of Siwa comprises mainly the massive production of dates and olives but as well also diverse vegetables for daily life and local consumption. So vast areas are simply covered by the evergreen date palm-trees.

The history of the oasis can be followed back in history till the 18th Pharaonic dystany (1,500 B.C.). At that time the climate was much better and North-Africa much greener, hence the Egyptians erected here an important Temple of Amun – a location with a very well-known oracle. Even Alexander the Great made use of this powerful oracle of Siwa and upon his visit was welcomed as the true sun of Zeus. The next two photos show the debris and ruins of the Temple of Amun in Siwa.

The course of time created surreal landscapes here being once the meeting rooms of famous and powerful people. But I had more places to discover in Egypt, so my time in Siwa was limited because now the endless Nile valley was calling me.

##############

Next Egyptian tour:  Luxor and Assuan (in a few days)

Report on Abu Simbel: https://transmutation.me/2018/06/13/oriental-spotlights/
Report on Mt. Sinai: https://transmutation.me/2018/08/05/sinais-ancient-traditions/
Report on Alexandria: https://transmutation.me/2018/08/30/alexandria-greek/

 

lens-artists photo challenge