What’s New?

You might have noticed that I am blogging less often as I used to. It’s not that I have nothing to say or write about. And it’s definitely not that I don’t want to keep blogging. I do. Life is simply keeping me very busy these days.

But here are the good news: I keep on photographing. That’s why I recently updated most of my photo galleries on this site and you are welcome to have a look at what I’ve been up to in 2016 and at the beginning of this year.

I updated Landscapes, Weather, Nature, Animals, People and Urban to include photos from France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

We are planning to travel quite a bit in 2017. New and old destinations are on our list and I promise that you will be able to read about our adventures over here 🌋🏕️🏖️🏜️🏙️

Dangerous Winter Wonderland

Before blogging about the first signs of spring I would like to share some winter photos with you that I took in Germany last year. They depict a weather phenomenon, which is both beautiful and dangerous at once.

Fichtelberg ski lift Germany

Frozen ski lift on the Fichtelberg, the highest peak of the German Erzgebirge

In December, Saxony’s low mountain range (Erzgebirge, East Germany) was wrapped into thick fog layers lasting for weeks. The high air humidity coming along with the fog covered the region’s trees with hoar frost, which built up to a 30 to 40 cm thick ice crust. Needless to say that trees snapped off like matches under the heavy weight.

To avoid accidents, local public services decided to impose a ban to enter the forest above 800 metres. Streets were blocked for days and ski lifts had to shut down when some tree branches threatened to fall on the ropes.

Once streets reopened, we wanted to have a closer look at this newly created winter wonderland and went on a day trip to the highest point of the German Erzgebirge, the Fichtelberg (1,215 m), which looked as stunning as I had never seen it before. Me and my camera(s) got all excited; I could have easily spent the day looking at the most bizarre ice formations, but the cold…the severe cold…

If you like this post you might also like Witnessing Australian Bushfires

Dresden And The Frauenkirche

I was born in a town not far away from Dresden. Back then, the city had no Frauenkirche yet. Or should I say no more Frauenkirche?

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Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady)

The history of the Church of our Lady (Frauenkirche in German) is as complex as long. In a nutshell: The church was first built in the 11th century – torn down and rebuilt in the 18th century to offer the growing community more space – surviving over 100 cannonball fires during the 7 Year’s War as well as the May Uprisings during the 19th century – and finally succumbing to the heat generated by over 600,000 bombs that the Anglo-American allied forces dropped on the city during World War II in the 20th century.

The political situation and lack of money in the GDR nipped all intentions to rebuild the church in the bud. Only after the German reunification, a few citizens created an initiative to promote the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche. I always thought they must have been marketing masterminds; or how do you explain that they managed to gather 5,000 members in 20 different countries when there was no internet or smartphone technology available yet?

Rebuilding the church cost 180 million Euro. The biggest part of that money came in through private donations only! The reconstructions started in 1993 and lasted more than 12 years. The idea was to use the original church plans and even as much of the original church material as possible. Approximately 3,800 original stones have been reused and are easy to spot due to their darker colour from weathering and fire damage.

The Frauenkirche reopened in 2005, 60 years after it had been destroyed, and serves as symbol of reconciliation between former warring enemies. Since I had left my home town in 2005 I actually never made it to see the church after its completion. A visit was therefore on the top of my To Do list for this year’s “holidays at home”. I hope you enjoy my photos.

Please also visit my Instagram account for more holiday impressions from Dresden!

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Panorama of the church’s north side and the largest remaining original structure (dark stones) interoperated with the restored work.

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It is not allowed to take photos in the church, but you can take plenty from the viewing platform above the cupola.
Top: View towards the Elbe (river), the famous Semperoper (opera house), Zwinger (palace) and the Kreuzkirche (another recently reconstructed church).
Bottom: typical architecture and colouring of the houses surrounding the Frauenirche.

Dresden Staatliche Kunstsammlung

On the black and white image above you can see a round glass roof on the left side. It’s the roof of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden’s cultural art institution. This is a panorama of the entrance hall.

Dresden QF

Also on the black and white photo above, at the very bottom left, you see the building in which you find the Dresden Tourist Information – offering plenty of tips when you want to visit the Church of our Lady – as well as some fantastic light installations. Look up!