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Land of the Rising Sun

It’s the time of the year when you look back and appreciate. Personally the highlight of 2016 for me was a backpacking trip to the far east together with friends. I do my share of travelling especially in Europe as I work in tourism, but Japan was truly something else.

It is a fascinating country with a unique and foreign, yet familiar culture. We all know Japanese animes, videogames and films. They portrait a very busy and modern country, yet so rich in culture and history. What struck me the most was the friendly and welcoming nature of the Japanese. At the same time the social rules here are very different and one would certainly need more time to understand the inner workings of this society. So I am aware of the snapshot perspective I got. It’s a foreigners view for sure. Nonetheless I was eager to capture the spirit of what I was seeing; the magnificent  temple architecture, marvellous nature and last but not least the people of Japan themselves.

This one is just the first part of a longer series which will stretch into 2017, possibly over the whole winter. It takes some time to curate these and make them online-ready. So come back from time to time and dive in with me into the far east.

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Travelling Albania

Continuing the last photography series about Albania, in this one the focus lies on the beautiful nature and geography of the country. While being a relatively small country it offers a mix of different landscapes from Mediterranean sights to mountainous regions. On the coast more and more centers of tourism come in to being, while the center part of the country is still original and raw. Hence the aim of this particular series is to highlight the diversity of Albania.

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A Journey to Albania

Albania is situated in Southeastern Europe just north to Greece. Due to its long periods of isolation and the status of being the poorest country in Europe it is not well known and until recently just few travellers came to visit. This is changing in the last years. More and more backpackers come and discover the beauty of this hidden pearl in the Balkans. At the coastline more and more hotels are being built and the infrastructure is growing. There are even talks of reactivating the railway, which was put out of use in the last decades. Albania is a multireligious country, you will find beautiful old mosques in the Ottoman style (picture 1), as well as orthodox churches and catholic monasteries (pictures 4, 8). The people of different faiths live together in peace and no matter which cultural building you enter you will be received the Albanian way – warmly and with a smile.

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Greek Series: Santorini Sunsets

So finally, here comes the last part of my photographic journey through Greece in September 2013. It all started in Athens, where we found a lively metropole thorn between an ancient and heroic past and a troubled but somewhat forward looking present. Then the road trip through the Peloponnes began, which would lead us through places of myths and of nature. Later we left mainland Greece and continued our road trip on high sea, heading to the famous Cyclad islands. We experienced the young and open island of Mykonos, paid a short visit to the ancient Delos, but the highlight for me was Santorini without a doubt. It is such a photogenic island, it almost suspends any belief. And beyond being just photogenic, it is truly beautiful. And the most beautiful thing about it is something I didn’t show you yet. The sunsets here are out of this world, as kitschy it may sound. So I think that’s the way to end the series and say goodbye to Greece for now.. by showing you some of my favorite moments on Santorini at sunset.

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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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