Tag Archives: black and white

Stuff boys dream of

Men are simple beings. So simple, that reading our minds is no big thing, everybody can do it. I mean, look at these two guys, just have look at their face and you know what they are dreaming of.

The one on the right is admiring the simple yet beautiful lines of the bike. And a beauty she is, there is no doubt. Sleek, compact, oozing power, no matter where you look. He sees himself grab the handlebar, and almost feels the vibrtions ofthe bike shaking his body as he unleashes its raw power.

The other one? He’s probably imagining how he and his girlfriend ride the bike on alpine roads, how she hugs him from behind, how she clings to him, how he feels her soft …. hold on, there is no back seat!

So you see, it’s easy to get boys dreaming and read their minds.

I on the other side, I am a grown man, calm, relaxeds, one could even say I’m wise. There is no way I would get carried away by just a piece of rubber and metal. I am ….

Hold on, did you see that bike over there? God, let me sit on it, just for a moment, I’ll be right back!

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I’ll get that guy in front of me, just wait! After the next bend you’ll eat my duuuuuust!
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What are your travel plans?

For the first time in years it is January and I have no idea, where I will spend my vacation. Maybe it is time to start planning? Do you already know, where you plan to go? I hope it will be a dream location and a dream vacation!

when planning vacation there is of course always the question whether I would like to revisit a place I have been already or venture into a new place. For a photographer, it is at least an easy thing to decide where we would like to be once again. After all, we have our vast photo library and it is of course well organized. So is yours, isn’t it? (If not, why not spend a few rainy days doing that?)

Maybe a short trip to Provence, France? It is a lovely place, very mediterranean, sunny, friendly people, good food and as you can see in the photo, also very nice to take pictures. Or maybe a bit further south, to the Isle of Corsica? It has been a while since I’ve been there.

There won’t be a big motorbike tour with my buddies this year, as I simply don’t have the time to go with them on the tour they will be doing. Island… It is for sure a place on my travel list, but I just can’t afford to take three weeks in a row this year. Too bad. But there will be other occasions.

So it will be Europe, that much is sure. And as the weather is quite miserable lately, it will most likely be a place in the sun 🙂

But enough about my plans. What are yours? Anybody having inspiring ideas, maybe coupled with some photos?

Madonna del Sasso

In 2012, I visited Locarno for the first time and then wanted to hike up to the church which is high above the town. It is called Madonna del Sasso and is part of the “Camina di Santiago”, the pilgrim way to Santiago in Spain. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovation back then and covered in scaffolds. Here’s the wikipedia article about it:

The Madonna del Sasso is a sanctuary and pilgrimage church in Orselina, above the city of Locarno in Switzerland. It is the principal sight and goal of pilgrimage in the city.
The founding of the sanctuary goes back to a vision of the Virgin Mary that the Franciscan brother Bartolomeo d’Ivrea experienced in the night of 14/15 August 1480. The interior is highly decorated, and a platform gives a magnificent view of the city.
The sanctuary is linked to Locarno city centre by the Locarno–Madonna del Sasso funicular.

So, when I decided to to on an extended photowalk last week, it was a no brainer what I wanted to visit in Locarno. it was a nice walk from the hotel. Speaking of hotel, I can really recommend touring Switzerland in November, the hotel rate was way down, I got two nights in the four star hotel Belvedere in a nice room with a lovely view for 310 Swiss Franks.

Locarno is always worth a visit, and being just a three hour drive from where I live, I guess, I’ll be back in Spring, I think it will look lovely in April or May. And I’ll have to go back anyways, as the church seems only to be open when mass is celebrated and of course I was there at the wrong time 🙂

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Madonna del Sasso, a beautiful view high over Lago Maggiore. I’m quite happy with the way the lens flare worked in this picture 🙂
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Entrance to the church. I don’t know why, but for some reason the view reminded me of architecture I would expect to find in Spain or Mexico

Passes are open!

Oh joy, oh joy!

It’s June, and this means only one thing. I get on the motorbike and drive to the heart of Switzerland, where all the beautiful passes are strung together like pearls on a string.

You can start with Susten, then cross the Grimsel, head down the Vallais to the Nufenenpass which will bring you to the italian side of Switzerland. There you stop for a nice Capuchino and if you feel like it, you head south to the Lago maggiore and visit Locarno. I’m sure, you’ll find some nice spot by the lake to have yummy ice cream and then you head back north, using the old cobble stone road over the Gotthard and if you feel like adding one more pass on your way home, you simply add the Klausenpass. Although, this is a road I only recommend if you’re not afraid of heights….

It will be a very nice day and you will see some stunning landscapes on your way, not to mention beautiful roads that make your head go dizzy. It is basically a 500 kilometer roller coaster ride. Ideally you don’t go during summer holiday season and not on the weekend, that gives you empty roads (and fewer speed checking police officers).

Unless of course, mother nature decides to throw a few rocks down a hill and block the road as it happened to me last weekend. But hey, it was a nice ride never the less, even if I could not add all pearls to the string 🙂

Clouds over Klausenpass
Clouds over Klausenpass

The secret society

Most people don’t know about it as it is not a very well known fact. Actually, its a rather well kept secret. Mostly, because if people knew about it, they would not understand it, it might even cause great harm to the members of the society. After all, it is less than 250 years since the last member of the society has been publicly executed. To the public, they don’t exist. Well, there are of course tales about them, but if you ask people on the streets of Zürich if they have heard of them or believe in what they practice, you’ll get a puzzled look and if you insist, people will probably look at you as if you’ve lost your mind.

After all, nobody believes in magic these days and to insist that magic exists and is practiced within our city is puts you on the doorsteps of Burghölzli, Zürich’s infamous asylum. And yet, the little signs are there, if you walk the city with open eyes. People who remain dry when it’s raining. Or the old woman you watch on a full moon night, who vanishes the moment you look away and the only living being you see crossing the moonlight street is a black cat.

Though sometimes, they drop their guard and can be caught practicing their art. Either, when they think they are alone and nobody will see them or when they get incautious while playing with their kids. Needless to say they don’t like being caught and more than one person has vanished from the face of the planet after having seen things she or he was not supposed to see. After all, they are a secret society and the really prefer keeping it that way.

I think you might now understand my surprise when I caught this magician practicing his telekinesis spell. At a first glance, it looked as if he would, like anybody else, give the person on the swing a push, but a closer look revealed, he actually never touched the swing! Don’t ask me, how he did it, but boy, did he make that swing fly! As you can see, he didn’t use a magic wand to practice his art (so much about that, Harry Potter) nor did he whisper mysterious words. He was simply standing there, his hands pointing a the swing and made it swing so violently that I was afraid the chain holding the seat might brake and make his friend fly across the place.

To witness such an even and even more, being able to take a photo is an event that is rather unheard of and I consider myself being lucky to have done it. Or maybe not so much, should he ever find out I saw it and am crazy enough to show it to the world…

The old tree

The old tree looked at the metal structure that slowly rose next to the place he was living and sighed. He had been here for many years, not as long as the mountains that surrounded him but long enough that even the oldest of the people who lived nearby only remembered him as an old tree. The tree of course remembered how they arrived many many years ago, first only a few and how they only stayed for the warm summer months, but then they stayed for the winter as well. He watched them cut down his neighbors, old friends and family members to build the structures they lived in until the forrest was gone and he was the only tree standing and sometimes he wondered ,why they had not cut him down as well.

He didn’t mind the little people gather old branches that fell off like old hair and carry them to the houses, but one day, when he watched a small group of men approach him with saws and axes, his heart sank. They came closer, looking up at him and discussed, as the old tree told himself that maybe, it would not be so bad to meet his old friends and family soon again. To it’s amazement, one of the men started to climb up his body and out to his many arms and started to cut away those old aching branches that hurt so much when the cold winter winds howled from the icy mountains.

And so, over the years, the little men and the tree became something similar to a family with children playing in his shadows at day and lovers whispering words about eternal love at night as they kissed and he spread the branches and leaves to keep them dry when rain started to fall.

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He watched them change the wold around him, houses grew and roads started to cover the hills like cobwebs, one after another, connecting the houses to each other and the outside world. It amazed him how these little beings were able do all this, first slowly, as men worked using only the strength of their arms and little tools, but soon they invented machines and they changed the land like children playing in the sand. He sighed again. He definitely preferred the gentle, slow way mother nature changed the world.

While he had been pondering what happened to the world around him, the metal structure had been built and now it was as tall as him if not taller, a slim metal tree with cold steel cables connecting it to it’s neighbors. In a strange way it was majestic, but it was also without life, as everything the little men had built. The old tree tried to talk to it, after all, it looked like a tree and maybe they could become friends but the metal tree never answered. The old tree sighed. Sometimes he felt very lonely, being the only tree standing.

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Then, one day, a wind swept across the land from the mountains. It was the warm wind from the south, the old tree new it well, as it always liked how the wind played with his leaves. Sometimes the wind was a very strong, rough wind and the tree had to dig his roots firmly into the ground, but this day it was a gentle wind, playing with his leaves like a lover plays with his dearest soft hair. The leaves rustled in the wind, giggling and chattering like little children.

The old tree suddenly got aware of a sound he had never heard before. It was a soft humming sound, faintly first but as the wind grew stronger, it changed and to the old trees amazement, the cables hanging from the metal tree started to sing. He listened to them and as a sudden gust made all his leaves laugh loud, the cables answered with a deep, humming sound. The wind chimed in, adding his howling voice and the sounds filled the night as the old tree and the power lines slowly began to learn each others language. As the sun rose, the wind ebbed, retreating to the mountains heights it came from and the world was silent until birds welcomed the new day.

The old tree looked at the metal structure that stood cold and silently next to him and smiled lightly. He knew the wind would raise again soon and he and the cables would sing again and he would listen to the stories they would tell him.

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 🙂