Founded as a settlement by the Vikings in the 10th century, Copenhagen grew exponentially in the following centuries becoming the capital of Denmark in 1416. The inner city was destroyed several times by the plague and fires and was rebuilt in a neoclassic style during the so called Danish Golden Age in the early 19th century. Although many other parts of Copenhagen are modern and somewhat functionalist the inner city still represents the glory and richness of these past times. Photographies from a walk during late Summer 2019.
In relation to other European nations Germany is a big country with some interesting features. While the south of Germany is bordering with the Alps and is in parts quite mountainous, the north is a very different place. Not many know that the country lays ashore not to one large body of water but two. There is the more quiet and enclosed Baltic Sea in the east and the more wide and open Northern Sea in the west. At the shore there are endless sand beaches and many quiet islands to relax with these unique colourful beach chairs. The most interesting feature though is most probably the wadden sea (last three pictures). It is a kind of a muddy place which is flooded twice a day and reaches at some points deep into the sea. The wadden is one of the most diverse bio habitats on earth and home to many micro organisms because it is biologically very rich in nutrients. Also it is home to the sandworm and to many kind of birds.
Hallig Hooge is also called the Queen of the Halligen. The Halligen are very special islands in the wadden region of northern Germany. They are not protected by dykes and are very low, the inhabitants are used to the islands being flooded 40-50 times per year. So to be safe and dry the houses are built on so called warften, little villages built on earth mounds. Hallig Hooge and it’s nature is truly something extraordinary, a calm spot in midst of a rough sea.
At the latitude of 71° 10′ 21″ in Norway there is an island called Magerøya, a seemingly barren land with no trees and harsh weather conditions. The most northern tip of the island consists of a heavy rock reaching into the Arctic sea widely known as North Cape, the most northern part of Europe. I had the chance to visit this place a couple of times before but I saw it as most of the visitors experience the North Cape: With heavy fog and strong winds and slim chances to see the midnight sun. In July 2019 though this changed for me and I was finally able to see our home star on a blanket slate of a clear blue sky in the middle of the night.
The phenomenon occurs during the white nights in summer when the sun is not setting down, around midnight it reaches it’s lowest point on the horizon but is still shining brightly. It looks almost like a sunset, just that the sun is never setting behind the horizon and is getting up again. In these special and somewhat spiritual nights there is no darkness and this barren land seems to be alive like no other place. You see all the birds feeding of the waters, which are still rich in fish and sea animals. And there are reindeer grassing everywhere on the island, eating their beloved reindeer veil, which grows everywhere on Magerøya and is like candy for these animals.
Memories from a Journey to the Island. Shot in Chester, Bath, Salisbury and Bristol in July of 2019.
England is famous for it’s garden culture. The English garden was created in the 18th century in contrast to the French garden, which is very structured with symmetrical ways and central points. Hence it is a metaphor for the French absolutism of it’s time with the Sun king being in the center of power, all possible ways departing from him. The English system was more nuanced and unclear, hence there are more secret passage ways in the Gardens, an aura of mystery and uncertainty sometimes, the structures being not so clear and open to exploration. But of course the English garden like it’s French cousin is everything but natural, it is thoroughly human-made. One example being the Garden of Arundel at the grounds of the castle with the same name in Southern England. The temperated weather in this part of the UK allows for beautiful gardens with surprising diversity, consisting of local flowers but also more exotic ones.