October 2015: back to my beloved Wrocław for a conference.
... I don't call it "Photo of the Week" or "Photo of the Month" because I want to be free to change it whenever I feel like to, or not.
Photo of a Special MomentSee more +
October 2015: back to my beloved Wrocław for a conference.
Street view in Wismar
About My Pages
Writing travel pages means some kind of "diary" or repetitions of my travels to me, but they are also written with the intention to help other travellers who are interested in a location and not only the top sights, but also the lesser known attractions and hidden gems. So I hope they will be of help. Due to my profession and interests there is a focus on architecture and history.
Born and raised in the North of Germany, I then spent long years in Hessen before work took me to Karlsruhe. After six years I'm still here, happily struggling to make a living as a freelancer. I'm an art historian, so travelling and sightseeing are part of my profession.
On my pages I'd rather present some unknown, off the beaten track places and events than describe the same five-star tourist attractions others have already presented a dozen times. There are already several pages about my chosen hometown Karlsruhe, but in regard of the upcoming Euromeet I've finally convinced myself to make one of my own. Since this was a tough process I'm really proud and grateful to see that my Karlsruhe page has made it to the Top 5 now (May 12, 2008)...
In addition to that I wanto to show you my discoveries in (and hopefully also outside) Baden-Württemberg. I've got so many plans and ideas what pages to create and tips to write, how shall I ever make it? But work is in progress, step by step!
One of my 'specials' is the carnival tradition of our region, even though I'm not a native and my activities are limited to being a spectator. I've never liked carnival (the Rhineland type), but when I came here I was impressed with the variety of the South West, the alemannic Fastnacht or Fasnet. Right now I'm in the process of making pages about the traditional places where to see the best Fastnacht events. I hope others will be as fascinated as I am...
The Red Admiral
This little animal gave me a very special and moving moment last summer. Yes, the photo is real.
I visited my recently widowed grandmother. One afternoon I saw the butterfly sunbathing on her balcony, grabbed my camera and went out, hoping for some close-up snapshots (which I got). Then, just for fun, I held my hand into the last afternoon sunrays and waited. Indeed the butterfly came, sat down in the palm of my hand and stayed for several minutes. Luckily I had the camera ready...
Later I learned that a butterfly sitting down on you means that the soul of a dead person is trying to get in touch with you. A legend, maybe, but...
Grandpa had died half a year earlier in that very apartment.
What else should a retired officer send but ... a Red Admiral?
Laughing roo at Perth zoo
My Style Of Travelling
I prefer a slow pace. I plan an itinerary in the sense of booking accommodation and organizing travel. I simply hate the idea of being stuck somewhere without a place to stay or wasting my arrival day looking for accommodation.
The 'itinerary' defines staying x days in place A, y days in place B and so on. Rule of thumb: the longer the better, no matter where. I want a minimum of four or five days in each place, better more if it's a large city. I rather do day trips from one base than drag my luggage along every day. I want spare time for strolling around and exploring, taking photos, browsing the local shops.
Then I make a list of things to see and do. Some 'must sees' are marked as such - a 'must see' to me is something I really really want to see, not something a tour guide tells me. The rest of the list, usually far too long for the duration of my stay, serves as collection of ideas and is treated like a menu. Every day I pick what I feel like doing, taking aspects like weather, opening hours, time (did I get up early or sleep late?), tired feet, momentary interest etc. into consideration. If there is not enough time I rather skip something than rush through.
As for forum questions like, “Are x days too long in *insert location*?”, they make me laugh. I have never stayed too long anywhere. There is so much more to do and see everywhere than just ticking off the five-star sights mentioned in a See-Europe-In-14-Days guidebook. After four entire months in Florence I had still not seen everything I wanted to…
Due to my profession, seeing historical architecture, churches and museums is often the purpose of my travels. On the other hand, even an art historian sometimes wants to go on holiday and relax in an "art history free zone" instead of doing just another study trip. Thus my love for destinations like the North Sea coast and islands, and most of all Australia.
Some Thoughts About Friendship
People say about North Germans that you have to eat a bucket full of salt with a person before making him or her your friend (think how long it takes to consume a bucket full of salt for your food), but then you have a true friend you can rely on. I'm very North German in that respect.
VT allows having 4096 friends on your list - who has more than 4000 real friends? Eh, sorry, no one. I prefer keeping my friends list short and handpicked instead of making it some kind of stamp collection. Please ask first. If we already got to know each other virtually (or even in real life), then I feel honoured by a friendship notice.
I won't add someone, though, with whom I have never communicated before. Friendship notices arriving 'out of the blue' from complete strangers won't be answered.
A remark to that certain type of guys looking for easy female prey in the Western world and sending around heaps of "friendship notices" the very day they registered on VT: Forget it.
Happy travel companions in Sagadi, Estonia
My Travel Companion
Did you know that wombats make the greatest travel companions ever? i had no idea until I got adopted by this furry little fellow during my second Australia trip. He decided he wanted to move to Europe with me, and since then we have been a travelling dream team. I have in the meantime taken him round quite a bit of Germany, he has been in Switzerland five times, in France once, joined me on a very short visit to Poland and also on my trip to Estonia. In 2010 he joined the big Euromeet in Krakow including the pre-meeting in Vienna. In 2012 we participated in the Euromeet in Bergamo and the premeets in Kempten and Molveno. We had also planned to attend the meeting in Antwerp but our Belgium trip ended on the first afternoon in Liège with a sprained ankle (mine, not his). Russell loves exploring new places and having his photo taken everywhere.
Needless to say that he is, of course, a VT member! Meet Russell the Wombat. Enjoy an Aussie's view of Europe on his travel pages.
All pictures on my pages have been taken by me (with the exception of those showing me, of course), if not marked otherwise. All texts were written by me unless stated as quotations.
Please do not use any material, neither texts nor photos, from my pages without asking my permission first.