When traveling through the world, a lot of papers and funny things are wandering into pockets or travel bags which are normally just thrown away. For reconstructing what has been seen and visited a diary is always of great help. This here is an example for a possible visual retrospection in form of a collaged trails remembrance, all these pieces were collected during one single year in diverse countries.

lybische-etc-collageDiary of tracks – Libyan Alps

To be continued.


“In the Norse tradition ‘crossing the Black Forest’
came to signify penetrating the barriers between
one world and another.”              (Francis Gentry)

In the South-Western part of Germany you will find a wide mountainous area even called today Black Forest (Schwarzwald), and the name originates most probably from the Old Norse noun Myrkviðr (meaning mirky wood or black forest) as part of the Germanic-Scandinavian mythology Edda. In this context the woodlands were a holy place for magic rituals around the all-connecting world tree Yggdrasil. The German tales collected and published by Gebrüder Grimm in the 19th century tell us a lot of stories regarding these sometimes quite bizarre forest sites, while the author J. R. R. Tolkien adopted this dense and green place much more recently as the gloomy Mirkwood,  a Northern jungle full of primeval mysteries.

milne-bay-papua-new-guinea_1884Constructing a treehouse at Papua-New Guinea
Illustration by Otto Finsch, 1884

Our much older ancestors, the monkeys, once did a new thing. Hitherto there had been the earth-bound animals with legs and the air-borne animals with wings. The monkeys left the ground without riding the air and made the trees their habitation, and this was incorporated in our genetic codes while human children do like normally very much climbing or housing on trees as a self-evident game. So the green trees and the wide forests mean certainly our original (mostly previous) homeland here on Earth. Therefore it is also not astonishing that Buddha has only attained enlightenment under a tree, the sacred fig named Bodhi. Such natural mythological places and symbols were destroyed everywhere in Europe as part of a violent missioning Christian crusade starting in the 6th century which completely ignored the fact that plants and trees are living much longer and obviously in greater diversity than our species on this planet and deserve our full respect.

Destruction of the Saxonian Irminsul by Charlemagne 772,
illustration by Heinrich Leutemann 1882

Nowadays – as part of a recollection to nature as a value in itself which is not at all a romantic question – modern architecture discovers again trees as an integral part of constructing houses worldwide. This development gets most visible at the two Bosco Verticale towers at Milan where real trees and bushes have been set on its balconies with the aim to create one hectare of forest as part of a modern appartment building in the very centre of a densely populated big town. But here the basic materials of construction remain concrete and glass, so the trees and bushes resemble more or less just a green attachment, a planted facade. So I was really enthusiastic when I stumbled over the information some time ago that urban treehouses are existing not far away in my town, because in the concept of such buildings trees are standing in the centre of design and creation.

dsc_0281Sideview of ‘Urban Treehouse’ at Berlin / Germany

Cabanes La Grande Noë - MoulicentInviting terrace at ‘La Grande Noe’ / France  © Cabanes de la Grande Noe

A treehouse in a big city like Berlin, that sounds quite strange first of all. But for the architects & builders of the Urban Treehouse-project this is the most relevant part of their conceptual design in order to connect nature and a modern kind of urban living on a high level. So they have built two of these small treehouses on a premise directly situated at Berlin’s great forest Grunewald and not far away from the nice lake Krumme Lanke at the district of Zehlendorf. If you intend to go somewhere in the city centre, the next subway station can be reached from there easily and in short-time. So both can be appreciated when living in these houses: the joys of nature and the diverse advantages of a European capital. Hence, this is a mere private project which can be only used by family members for a very delightful stay someday. 

dsc_0269Streetview of ‘Urban Treehouse’ at Berlin / Germany

grandenoe_birdnestsBird-nests at ‘La Grande Noe’  / France   © Cabanes de la Grande Noe

As a part of a more adventure focused tourism treehouse hotels in Europe are quite popular in Germany and France, few others can be also found in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Great Britain and Turkey – in total at least 50 rural sites all around in Europe.  The accomodation prices are quite often comparable to a stay in a 5-star-hotel, as they definitely offer some kind of deluxe today, a place for dreaming like a bird. At Cabanes de la Grande Noe (being situated in the Normandy  countryside of France) six different houses can be rented for 2 or more people on a family run domain. All of them are built merely with wood around or in the trees, such reflecting the traditional way of constructing these kind of houses. So here you have the possibility to experience the rural and puristic treehouse feeling, but with breakfast served and brought to the treehouse each morning – what a luxury wilderness.

If you possibly intend to build a treehouse sometimes lateron just for yourself, the following book will be in any case helpful and animating:  Be in a Treehouse: Design / Construction / Inspiration by Pete Nelson also available in German Die wunderbare Welt der Baumhäuser: Design – Konstruktion – Inspiration, Pete Nelson.



midnightshineHere, the blue winter moon has just touched the forgotten place of the legendary moving rocks which loaf through these lonely landscapes since unknown times. A layer of translucent lightnings and radiance covers immediately all trees and each lost wanderer in the shadow of spooky moonbeams. So take care at midnight when you hear the owls howling seemingly from everywhere such converting harmless forests finally into ghosty realms, because a mysterious place like this is never very far away.




Die Winter im Erzgebirge (Krušné hory), egal ob auf deutscher oder tschechischer Seite, sind oft ähnlich kalt und frostig wie in Skandinavien klimatisch gesehen, wenn sie dann erst einmal richtig anfangen. Der höchste Berg im Erzgebirge, sogar mit echter Seilbahn ausgestattet, ist der Fichtelberg in Oberwiesenthal, jedoch die fast-alpine Fahrt mit der Seilbahn dauert nicht allzu lange, da er nur eine Seehöhe von 1215 m hat. Runter geht es dann halt mit Ski, Snowboard oder Rennrodel, denn eine schöne Naturrodelbahn kann hier auch genutzt werden mit einigen echten Adrenalin-Kurven. Ansonsten gibt es wirklich sehr viele schöne Loipen in der Region von Oberwiesenthal und Božidar, die zum Erkunden der Landschaft einladen, im beschaulichen Božidar kann man die Langlauf-Skier bereits schon in der Unterkunft anschnallen, denn die nächste Loipe ist nie wirklich weit entfernt. Und die Wahrscheinlichkeit, daß hier Schnee liegt, ist wesentlich höher als in anderen Mittelgebirgen.

Der Pöhlbach (Polava) in der Nähe von Oberwiesenthal.

dsc_0563Bergfan mit Rennrodel kurz vor Abfahrt vom eisigen Fichtelberg (1215 m)

tellerhauser_loipeLoipe am Tellerhäuser entlang der deutsch-tschechischen Grenze

Die Erzgebirgs-Region kann auf eine bewegte Geschichte mit ganz unterschiedlichen Bevölkerungen zurückblicken, denn in der Geschichte bleibt in der Regel nichts so, wie es einmal war. So wohnte vor rd. 2000 Jahren in dieser Gegend der germanische Stamm der Semnonen. Im 4. Jahrhundert wanderten diese jedoch dann im Rahmen der großen Völkerwanderung in das heutige Südwest-Deutschland aus, nur wenige Semnonen blieben dabei zurück. Im 6. Jahrhundert kamen die slawischen Sorben von jenseits der Oder in die Region, die wenigen verbliebenen Semnonen verloren dabei ihre Eigenständigkeit und wurden im Laufe der Zeit sorbisch. Die sorbische Kultur und Sprache existiert heute allerdings nur noch in Ostdeutschland in der Region um die Städte Cottbus und Bautzen, überall anders wurden die Sorben kulturell assimiliert (letzte sorbische Spuren zum Beispiel in Polen noch in der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts zu finden). Der Name der Stadt Božidar erinnert noch an diese vergangene Zeit, denn er entstammt dem Obersorbischen und bedeutet ‘Gottesgab‘, ein Geschenk hoch oben auf dem Berg. Der beschauliche Ort in 1.028 m Seehöhe direkt an der deutsch-tschechischen Grenze gelegen ist heute ein beliebter Wintersportort im tschechischen Böhmen.

dsc_0555Arktischer Biergarten auf dem Fichtelberg (1215 m) bei – 18° Celsius

dsc_0602Eiszapfen wachsen scheinbar endlos im Erzgebirgswinter oben in Božidar.

dsc_0486In der Nähe von Božidar – Waldweg zur deutschen Grenze

dsc_0502Hochplateau in der Nähe von Božidar mit Blick auf Klínovec (Keilberg)

Sehr entspannend ist eine gemütliche Fahrt mit der historischen Schmalspurbahn, der Fichtelberg-Bahn, die 1897 endgültig fertiggestellt wurde und heute immer noch zwischen Oberwiesenthal und Cranzahl verkehrt. Was gibt es sonst noch in der Region zu entdecken oder zu erleben: zum Beispiel die alte Renaissance-Stadt Horní Blatná (Platten), das kuriose Suppenmuseum in Neudorf, den bekannten Kurort Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) sowie das Kulturfestival ‚artmontan‘ mit Kulturevents über das ganze Jahr verteilt an allen möglichen ungewöhnlichen industriellen Orten (im Januar 2017 in der Kaverne des Pumpspeicher-Kraftwerkes Markersbach). Man muss nicht immer gleich in die Alpen fahren, das Erzgebirge als altes Grenzland bietet auch viele Berge und interessante Abwechslungen.

dsc_0745Typische Schwibbögen in den Fenstern bringen Licht in die dunkle Jahreszeit.

dsc_0614Alter Feldweg in Hammer-Unterwiesenthal

Wohin führt uns nur der weitere Weg, während die Lok schnaubend durch die klirrend eiskalte Winterlandschaft des Erzgebirges dem so immer fernen Horizont entgegenstrebt?


As the twelve nights of the wild hunt have meanwhile nearly passed by, and for the beginning of the new Year time has come to have a look on some other and new subjects. So here on top you can observe my scanned personal right foot-signature with typical claw toes like those of a wild brown bear. One of the toes seems to be obviously missing but the picture comprises just a further coloured illusion in this regard – a situationistic puzzle.

eintrittskartenspuren1988bBut are you somehow aware of the general mantrap that in every second we are leaving here and there unnoticed and unseen trails at each paced location of our lives? In hurry and movement we simply forget these small gifts to our environment while you can discover them anywhere. And now these left symbols of modern civilization also smirk digitally right here in order to bewilder secret service web searching systems. What does all this possibly mean?

This old xerox-copy from the 90s of the last century here could represent a wire fence used for protection of the next nuclear power plant site, but in fact it just shows a soft mesh for the packing of sweet oranges. How nice and delicate such a found rubbish aesthetics can in fact sometimes be!

To be continued in the New Year.