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Holy Deer of Nara

The city of Nara once used to be the proud capital of Japan. It is well known for temples from the 8th century and large Buddha statues. But the most famous sights of Nara are not built of stone or wood but rather of flesh and blood. Among the temples, parks and tourists there are around 1,200 Japanese deer (or sika deer) sleeping, eating and running around. They are all but shy and like to eat corn from the hands of visitors and like to be pet by children. The animals have a symbiotic relationship with people for a long time already and are seen as holy. The legend says that once a mythological god arrived in Nara on a white deer and began to guard the new capital. Since then the animals are regarded as heavenly and are protected by the city and the country.

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Nature of Latvia

Last summer I had the privilege to spend again some weeks in Latvia. The country situated in the center of the Baltics in Northeastern Europe. The population is concentrated mostly in the capital Riga and in other larger cities, while the countryside still maintained a lot of charm and beauty which is already gone elsewhere in Europe. Some impressions.

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Greek Series: Greece in Black and White

This post is part of the so called “Greek Series”, consisting of photographies I shot while backpacking Greece in September 2013. You’ll find a basic introduction to the series here and a list of all previous posts over here.

Without any doubt Greece is a colorful country and I myself am very fond of powerful colors in photographs. But interestingly sometimes the absence of color brings focus and a certain sharpness to pictures.

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Greek Series: Nafplio

This post is part of the so called “Greek Series”, consisting of photographies shot while backpacking Greece in September 2013. You’ll find a basic introduction to the series here and a list of all previous posts over here.

Nafplio is a port city in the western part of the Peloponnes peninsula. The former capital of Greece today is mostly a vacation destination for tourists from Athens due to proximity and good ferry connections. People from Athens escape here for weekend trips to shop and enjoy themselves. It is a touristy place for sure with shopping boulevards and many luxury brand stores. The economic crisis Greece is facing was not very obvious and we saw a lot less graffiti and poverty then in other urban areas. Though the city as we saw it definitely didn’t represent the living reality of most of Greek people it was definitely a good place for going out and having a good time in general. There are two castles / fortresses to see here, one on the top of the hill behind the city with a great landscape view over the buildings and the sea and a small fortress on an artificial island within the bay itself.

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