Du pain, du vin…

I don’t know what it is about french bread that is so special. But only very few breads beat the taste of a fresh Baguette. Add some cheese, a bit of parma ham and I’m a very happy camper. So, when you visit France, take your time to visit a local bakery. Step inside, inhale deeply and I bet the smell will put a smile on your face.

Should you not feel like getting some fresh bread, just have a look at the other counter and you will find some creamy sweet delights that will melt on your tongue. And if these don’t put a smile on your face, you’re probably dead :)

I guess by now you can imagine the joy I felt when I discovered this little marvel here. And it was right next to a lovely cheese shop and the butcher wasn’t far away either. Life got even better when I saw the sandwiches they had prepared. They were just perfect, so I skipped the trip to the little cheese shop and the butcher. Which maybe was a mistake…

Hmmm… maybe i’ll have to go back :)

Tales of a little car

The bike opened it’s sleepy eyes when the garage door opened late in the evening. It blinked, the headlights of the car were terribly bright. The bike was just ending it’s hibernation cycle and as you can probably well imagine, it wasn’t pleased by being awaken by big bright lights shining at it’s face. It took a long look at the car that was about to roll into the garage. It was a small red convertible and it had a bit smile on it’s face as it looked at the big bike.

“I’ve done it”, the little red car said proudly.

“You’ve done what?” the big bike asked, still a bit grumpy for being pulled so rudely from it’s hibernation sleep.

“I’ve been on a big tour. You know like the one’s you’ve been with him. It was so cool!

“Oh you were? Where have you been? I’m sorry that I didn’t see you leave, I was sleeping.” The big bike remembering its tours it had been with the man, yawned once more, but the news that its little friend had been on a tour chased the sleep from his system. It always loved to hear about foreign places.

The little care admiring the view. It had never ever been so far away!
The little care admiring the view. It had never ever been so far away!

“We were all the way to the South you know? The sun was shining and it was already getting warm, so I had the roof down all day and it was really beautiful, with palm trees and colorful houses and there was a lake, a lake so big you couldn’t see the shore on the other side!”

The big bike chuckled. “It’s called the sea you know. And yes, it is really huge. Just don’t go into it, the waster is salty and before you know you’re all rusty. So the South you say. You were in Italy?”

The car shook its head. “No, when he talked on the phone about where he was, he called the place Provence. He said he’s in France now.”

The bike nodded slowly. “Ah, I’ve heard from this place. I’ve never been there, but some of my ancestors have bee there with him. It’s a nice place, isn’t it. They told of small bendy roads and how much fun they had. How was it?”

The little car’s headlights shone with excitement. “Oh it was so much fun! Those roads are really cool, going up and down, left and right like crazy. We even played a bit with a bike and he really let me go like wheeeee! but then we ran into traffic and he let the bike pass.” The little care was all excited as it remembered how it was chased by the bike and how much fun it had been to zip around the corners as fast as it could.

The big bike listened and smiled, remembering the times when it had been chasing cars. “So you liked it? The pesky little french cars didn’t scare you?”

The little red car grinned. “Naw, you know, I’m a mean little car myself. And you know, I even speak a little bit french now, beep beep!”

They both laughed and the little car kept talking of the journey, it told of the pretty villages, how it saw the first trees start to blossom and how nice it was to feel the warm Spring air in it’s face.

“You know, it’s a shame you were not with us, you would have loved it.”, the little red car said, it’s voice finally getting sleepy.

“Maybe another time, when it is a little bit warmer and I don’t have to drive back through snow like you had to on the way home. You know how much I hate snow.”

The little car smiled, remembering how glad it was it still had snow tires mounted as it felt asleep, dreaming of the big journey it had just done.

The big bike watched it with a smile and then inhaled deeply. Yes. The air smelled like Spring. It stretched it’s legs and yawned. Yes, Spring was around the corner but it sure could not hurt to get a bit more sleep. Just a few more days and then  Winter would finally be over.

Pont du Gard, I finally managed to visit it!
Pont du Gard, I finally managed to visit it!
In Summer, there will be a yellow corn field here, i'm sure
In Summer, there will be a yellow corn field here, i’m sure
Lonely tree
Lonely tree by the sea
Lonely seagull
Lonely seagull… can you spot it? :)

It’s time to go south

It’s been a long winter, a winter with a nice amount of snow. And although the days are sunny now, it is still below freezing in the morning and it somehow feels as if Spring is just teasing.

The clouds yesterday promised a change in the weather and I think I’m gonna travel with them. I’ll go south, where the air is warmer, Spring has arrived and people speak french.

I feel like I deserve a nice glass of red wine, some baguette, fine french food and the smells and windy streets of La Provence.

So, stay tuned for a few pictures and impressions of southern France, captured in black and white as you know, 2015 is the year of black and white photography for me :)

Lake Zürich, Leica Monochrom, 24mm and red filter
Lake Zürich, Leica Monochrom, 24mm and red filter

Where the Snow Queen lives

Many of us have heard of her. Either through fairy tales or by watching a Disney movie. The queen with the cold heart, who turns the world into ice and covers it in snow, a woman of such cold beauty that no man can resist her once he has tasted her pale white kiss.. What ever she touches freezes and she is watching it with a cold, icy smile. You know who I’m talking about, It is her, the Ice Queen.

Last weekend I went into the mountains, hoping for some sun, but was instead greeted by a world hiding in white fog. I ventured on never the less, after all, I wanted to stretch my legs a bit too. It was a quiet walk, nothing but the sound of my boots in the cold frozen snow could be heard. Although I knew I was alone, I somehow felt watched. I even at some point thought I hear a woman laugh, a sound that sent chills down my spine as it was a cold sound, like Ice shattering a frozen lake.

A cold wind had started to blow, making my ears hurt and I wished, I would have remembered to bring a warm cap with me. I thought the sun would melt the fog, but I was wrong, it even seemed the world got colder with each step. The wind carried the laughter to my ears again, a cold chilling sound that made me feel cold from inside.

The track turned around a bend and, across a clearing, I could see the trees, standing tall and frozen. The woman laughed again and despite the coldness of it, it taunted me to get closer. I watched the fog move across the trees towards me, slowly, at a steady pace and I heard the trees crackle as it covered them making them freeze and I suddenly realized who was hiding in the fog, coming slowly towards me.

I turned and walked back the way I came from, hearing her whispers behind me, feeling her cold embrace as she hugged me and made my ears freeze. I walked quickly, only looking back once I reached my car. I heard the laughter again, chilling and haunting. Maybe my eyes tricked me, but, as the fog withdrew, I thought, that only for a moment I saw a glimpse of her, her white skin and the icy blue eyes as she looked back at me with a smile that made my heart freeze in fear and longing.

I know where she lives, just don’t ask me where this is. it’s better fi you don’t know it, trust me.

On a cold winter day

streetpixels:

Just in case you folks didn’t notice I plan to concentrate on black and white this year and therefore opened a new blog dedicated to this type of photography :)

Originally posted on Going Monochrom:

On a cold winter day, the world gets very quiet. No sound, just wind, a very cold wind, moving through the branches of the tree. The world is frozen, silent.

At least it is, until the moment a crazy Swiss photographer appears on scene, singing Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind” on top of his lungs. I admit, the hikers I later met gave me quite a strange look. But hey, that’s me and my internal iPod. In summer when it’s hot I sing “White Christmas” to cool me down and in Winter, when my ears are numb of cold and the wind tries to turn me into an icicle, I’m all summer songs.

And it’s a lot of Frank Sinatra lately, when taking photos, when working on them at home and even now. But hey’s it’s all nice and easy, night and day and I do it my way ;)

The…

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I didn’t take notes – Do you recognize the place?

As (almost) every year since I got more serious with my hobby, I was collecting photos for my yearbook during the Christmas break.  I took a second look at my Photos from the Cornwall trip, wondering why I had only a small handful of photos out of over 700 I liked. So I had another go a the shots and this is one of my second round.

It’s just unfortunate i don’t know where I took the shot. According to the date I took the shot, it is somewhere between Keverne and Padstowe.

Which reminds me I really should take notes when I stop somewhere to take photos. I mean, it’s not as if it would be terribly difficult today, considering we have are never without our cell phones to take GPS tagged photos.

On the other hand, looking at the photo brought back memories of a nice morning when the weather started to change from a constant threat of rain to lovely spring weather. I almost smelled the sea, remembered the curiosity I felt when i looked at the boats at low tide in the harbour. it was a lovely day, the day I really started to slow down and enjoy the trip.

So, who needs to know where this was anyway?

The old house and #jesuisCharlie

What an old house can teach us about dealing with terrorism.

Let’s imagine for a moment we live in an old house. Just like the one in this picture. It’s a comfy old house with lots of charme. Our friends love to visit us and we party often and loud in the old rooms.

The only problem is the old electric infrastructure. When we vacuum, we need to turn off the stereo or we blow a fuse. After the first short circuit when it smelled like burned wood, we get a fire extinguisher. Just in case. Then we blow another fuse and we barely manage to stop the fire before our living room was a smoldering disaster area. Trembling like leaves we rush to get a fire alarm and a sprinkler system. Or friends look a bit puzzled the next time they visit, seeing the installation, but hey, we feel better.

A few weeks later, sparks set our office ablaze and after we manage to kill the fire, we decide to install a fire alarm and sprinkler in every room. Just to be safe. Next to each socket and each lamp. From the top floor down to the basement. Total surveillance.

It’s strange that friends no longer visit us since they got soaked last time time by the sprinklers when we blew a fuse. But hey, lets be fair, why did they have to turn on the TV while the huge electric grill is still on?

Much more important is that we feel safe. Lonely, but safe.

However… what about tackling the problem at it’s root and replace the ailing electric installation with a new, modern one? One that can handle modern life? Sure, our house would turn into a construction site for a while. It would be costly, complicated and noisy.

But renovating would not mean our house would loose its charm. It would just be – more modern and safer. If we want, everything would look just like before.

And most importantly: We could party again. With loud music, having old and new friends come over and have a good time. Without being afraid we blow a fuse and burn the house into ashes.

We could keep a fire extinguisher, back there in the corner next to the stove. Just in case our exotic flambé dessert gets a bit too…. fiery next time.

Pictures and thoughts from someone exploring photography

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