Archiv für April 2010

Renon in spring

I should be working hard by now since time is proceeding fast but of course this makes you usually step back a little for some enjoyment. The weather in Bolzano is perfect, it really feels like summer and the mood of everyone is getting better and better. Yesterday we decided though that it was time for a mountain hike. We went up Renon to catch the last bit of snow and jump around a little with our snowboards. Seeing a half brown, half white scenery with the lifts in between looked a little strange and the snow was horribly wet but it was a great day anyway :)


I just came across some more photos of the ‚Eyjafjallajökull‘ which are truly amazing. Check the website to see more of it.
(AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)
(AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)
(AP Photo/Omar Oskarsson)

freedom of travel

When we talk about the term ‚freedom of travel‘ [German: ‚Reisefreiheit‘] we assume a restriction by political force for example the restrictions a government lays upon their people to keep them ‚locked‘ in their own country.
As I was thinking about it though I realised that there is more to it. Of course the Chinese are restricted to travel, the East Germans were restricted as well but just look at the most recent news. The outburst of the icelandic volcano ‚Eyjafjallajökull‘ caused a massive air traffic problem. Due to a high amount of ashes in the atmosphere authorities canceled flights which caused many people to be stranded at airports, some even only in the Transit area. So in this sense it gets a whole new meaning to be able to travel freely. Not only humans cause restrictions but nature can do so as well. Should we be looking for a different way to surmount long distances then (once again ‚beaming‘ comes in mind)? Or should we consider to stop traveling or at least reduce it to a reasonable level?

The photos below show the outburst of the ‚Eyjafjallajökull‘:

photos by


I really like the short jingle before they announce the arrival or departure of a train at french train stations.


Although Cuba was among the socialist friends of the GDR it was of course almost impossible to travel there. Interflug, the one and only East German flight carrier, had flights to Cuba in its program but the price for a plane ticket was certainly way too high for the average income.
And not only that it was impossible to reach the island the distribution of books was also highly limited. The photos below show a photo book from 1964 by VEB Brockhaus Publishing. We found it on a street market a few years back and gave it to our parents. A little note inside quotes that it was formerly a present to somebody working in the publishers business.

‚In acknowledgement for your help in the design and publication of our company paper.‘

The socialist education is of course never far – the description of the photos translates to ‚For Zafra, the harvest of sugar cane, thousands of volunteers go to the countryside. – The liberated Cuban farmers work together in a state-owned farm.‘

Budapest ’81

…and that would be the equivalent photo taken in 1981 from the ‚Gellértberg‘ (see the second image in the previous post).

Spaziergänge in Budapest

While looking through my parents‘ library I came across this very nice travel guide about ‚walking tours in Budapest‘. It was made in 1974 and due to the high cost of photo prints supplemented with very nice illustrations and hand-drawn maps by Attila Emödy.

Chris & Thomas

I can‘t remember where I found ‚Chris & Thomas‘ but I definitely like their singer-songwriter music. Be sure to check out their song ‚broken chair‘ on myspace also if you like them. The song above is called ‚Take these Thoughts‘.


I have absolutely no idea what went wrong on the GEOaudio (audio travel guide) website. The screenshot above tells me that ‚Wandern im Ruhrgebiet‘ (hiking in the urban area around the Ruhr river) is situated in Africa, close Ethiopia and Yemen. And that was not the only mistake…

Haslach // Lido

lovely Haslach architecture just below Mt. Kohlern

camper housing behind the highway bridge

official mailboxes underneath the highway bridge



the Lido (public pool) in Spring time – a little spooky without anyone

Day Tripper

„Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferryboat or something. But [the song] was kind of . . . you‘re just a weekend hippie. Get it?“

all my bags are packed

Once again it’s been done before but it was still interesting to see what I usually take with me as ‚essential‘ luggage. One thing in the image is already wrong – my camera equipment is much bigger. Here I only put the small camera in the lower part as example. Other that that I carry the usual in my big red backpack: some clothes (including shoes, underwear and weather-proof pants and jacket), passport, headphones and MP3 Player, a cellphone (as alarm clock, usually not as a phone), a pocket knife, a pen and notebook, a toothbrush and -paste, a very handy sewing kit (served me already many times), super glue (also this can help in the worst case), a book, a towel, my house keys, a bag for daily use (camera bag, etc.), sunglasses and some spare shoe laces.

I wonder how far I could reduce it and still be able to help me out in the most situations?!

thesis on the run

While thinking of my thesis and what direction I could steer to I started writing down how many kilometers and hours I spent traveling in 2009. The numbers are really only based on my memories, Google Earth and other route planning software and do not represent an accurate result (Iran for example is surprisingly not included in Google Maps). The second point is that 2009 is not representative for myself nor for the average person, I assume at least.
Anyway the outcome surprised me of course. According to my calculation I traveled around 62,000 km last year – around 33,000 km of this in airplanes which equals around 50 hours of time, almost 12,500 km in busses which means about 140 hours and about 10,500 km in trains with about 160 hours time spent. The rest was spent in cars (~5,500 km / 60 hours), Moped (~120km / 3 hours) and on ferries (~450 km / 7 hours).

The result really doesn‘t tell me much about my topic and was yet another ‚time-consuming‘ activity but still it brought me back to a very essential question. Is travel necessary at all? Most of the distances I traveled were for personal and therefore rather egoistic reason. I can certainly say that it broadened my personal horizon, showed me many different places which were extremely different to what I have seen before, I met great people of which most don‘t have the possibility to travel as free and as much as I did and I have a huge amount of photos that I still haven‘t looked through completely (or properly). But why did I really decide to go through all this? It’s really not because I personally like spending time in travel busses :) .