Archiv der Kategorie 'happy happy happy'

Deuter

It’s already out for a bit now but if you get hands on a recent Deuter catalogue (I suppose German only) you will be able to find some photos we took on our trip to Iceland last year. We managed to „test-walk“ their backpacks and other gear in exchange for the photos they can use in their promo-material. I‘m very happy with the backpack, though it’s huge, and I‘m fairly happy we we‘re actually chosen to be printed :) .


This is already up for a lot longer, click the image to see the website.

Lisboa

Well I meant to close this blog for good already for a while, there’s a lot going on but I didn‘t feel like publishing it in the web. I was quite amazed though when I saw the statistics that I have constant visitors (constantly low like always :) but constant).

Anyway I took the time to travel to Lisboa last weekend to visit Martin (have a look at his blog, his photos are great). It was my first time in the city, in Portugal in fact and I‘m sure it won‘t be the last time. The city’s touristic board advertises with the slogan „Em junho, Lisboa está em festa!“ (In June Lisbon is partying!) at the moment which is quite an ambitious ad. But to be honest I actually do believe them. The last weekend was the celebration of St. Antonio, the city’s patron and it was somewhat of an „Ausnahmezustand“ (state of emergency). Literally everyone was on the street and at 5 in the morning it felt like it was still just the beginning of the night. It was crazy but very relaxed, nobody was fighting or being aggressive, just some nice „let’s-get-drunk-and-celebrate-together“ feeling.
Other than partying in the evening I had enough time to just walk around, go to the beach or listen to live jazz music in a nice park above the city, great times.


view from Miradouros


Martins terrace is fairly beautiful


decent party decoration


midgets on the left, regular people on the right


I have no idea what this is but it looks quite nice


last sardines at 5 in the morning

the Highlands and onwards

I never actually finished up with Iceland so I guess it’s time for it now. As you might have read our last stop was Reykjavik. From there we decided we would love to head north and finish up the circle by crossing the Highlands. We felt fortunate after hearing that we had bought tickets for the last bus across the Highlands for this season. Well, it turned out to be not as great as we hoped. Most of the time we had gray sky and endless fields of dark gray rocks. Our bus was an old Toyota Van that was bumping along the gravel roads. The driver was probably in his early 60s and didn‘t speak much English except for telling us the time how long we would stop in the middle of nowhere as the schedule stated it. In the beginning we stopped once again at the famous sights of the Golden Circle near Reykjavik but after we had crossed the northern most sight of it everybody except us and the bus drivers‘ sister were left. We eventually reached Akureyri after 15 hours of rain and tons of rocks.


our private taxi across the Highlands – the bus driver and his sister somewhere in Iceland between glaciers

Luckily though the weather changed in Akureyri and in the following days we had bright sunshine and fairly high temperatures. We decided to leave Akureyri quickly to head to Myvatn (Mosquito Lake), again in a Geothermal area. From there we started our last hiking tour from Dettifoss, yet another waterfall, along the canyon northward towards Asbyrgi.


a local girl who gave us a ride told us that it was a good time of the year, the weather was perfect and the amount of mosquitoes rather fair, in summer (it was supposed to be fall already) you have black clouds of them flying all over the place


a skiing slope in Geothermal region, I really wonder if that made any sense

While you start your hike in a moon-like landscape with strangely-shaped, dark gray rocks all around you it keeps changing and getting greener with every kilometer you get closer to Asbyrgi and the coastal line. At one point you end up at a cliff and below you is – behold – one of Icelands few forests. Asbyrgi is a horseshoe-shaped cliff that protects the forest from wind which obviously is the biggest reason why there is almost no forest elsewhere. Our travel guide advised us in fact not to make fun of the forest of Iceland for reasons of politeness but we found out that the Icelandic themselves make jokes about it.

„If you ever get lost in the woods in Iceland, just stand up.“ (Icelandic saying)


Dettifoss is Europes biggest waterfall in terms of the amount of water flowing down per second (which is a number I could tell you if I still remembered it but that really goes beyond imagination)


the canyon along the way to Asbyrgi just gets more and more fascinating, once again a nature highlight (as if Iceland hadn‘t „showed-off“ already)




and there we are in a forest which appears fairly odd

We hitchhiked back south on the eastern ridge of the canyon and headed further back to Seydisfjordur to catch the ferry a few days later. After four weeks in Iceland and another 3 days on the rather boring ferry we reached Germany again.


yeah well a cliché-photo and in fact we were picked up by pick-up truck at that point and had to throw the bags in the back


in Seydisfjordur we decided that it was time for another beer and were happy that there was a state-owned liquor store – „vinbudin“ – which is usually not the case for most place in Iceland…


… but we could only start laughing about the opening hours of the shop.

Reykjavik

With around 120.000 inhabitants Reykjavik is by far the biggest town in Iceland thus the capital of the state. I suppose it is not the smallest capital town in the world but I‘m sure it is the smallest capital that maintains such a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Apart from the architecture which is rather „down-to-earth“ the town is truly different. I have never seen such a wild nightlife in a small town like this (just come to Bolzano and find out yourself – we are about as big as Reykjavik), the music scene is as diverse as you hear it and yet the town is very relaxing and by far not chaotic or „never-resting“ like most other capital towns (I know it’s about the size…).

We spent a few days in Reykjavik mainly relaxing and regaining energy for the next hikes. So most of the time we just walked around and looked at what we saw or simply went to the pool to soak in the hot pools.

I checked my photos and the only place on this trip where I didn‘t take a lot of photos was Reykjavik. Here are just a few of the few that I really like.


The famous Hallgrímskirkja in the city center, its architect Guðjón Samúelsson was inspired by the basalt pillars created by volcanic activities. With it’s 74,5m high bell tower the church is among the highest buildings in Iceland.


who is watching who now?


probably the best website you could imagine for an erotic store

hot spring action

After the disappointment of the Laugavegur we headed to Selfoss, a town close to Reykjavik. The next town is Hveragerdi [Kverageri] which is the starting point of one of the geothermal regions in Iceland. Once you leave the town northward and hike for about 1-2 hours you reach a creek that has a nice temperature to take a bath. One of the smoky sulfur springs flows together with an ice cold mountain spring which creates a creek with an average temperature of around 40°C near the crossing. We spent the whole afternoon relaxing after the days of hiking and enjoyed it a lot.

On the following day we walked further towards Þingvallavatn, a lake that was created by the gap between the eurasian and the north American tectonic plate. It is supposed to be one of the Top 10 scubadiving spots on earth due to the clear water leaving sight of approximately 100-130m.

volcanic ashes

One of the most interesting treks in Iceland is the „Laugavegur“, a 4-6 day hike either starting in Landmannalaugar or in Skógar, a small town on the southern coast with one of the most famous waterfalls, the Skógafoss. We decided to hike northward starting in Skogar. The first day led across a small path between Myrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. After the eruption in March the trekking path has been changed and now leads across dark lava fields that are still hot inside.


In the higher parts of trek the landscape turns from grey rocks to black sand. After a while you realize that you are actually walking on snowfields covered by black ashes from the recent volcanoe eruption.


We weren‘t extremely lucky with the weather that day but a big part of the fog is also produced by steam from below.


Many people told us that we shouldn‘t put down our backpacks as they could catch fire very easily. I don‘t know if it’s more of a legend but the ground was hot in some parts.


A lava stream found its way down a valley.


On the first day we reached „Þórsmörk“, a mountain ridge facing Eyjafjallajökull. It’s name derives from the Norse god „Thor“.


The following days after Þórsmörk led across black sand deserts lined with green rock formations sticking out of the ground. Once again I was stunned by the landscape.


Several rivers have to be crossed on the hike which never was a problem except for the temperature.


In Alftavatn, about 1 day trip before Landmannalaugar, we had to turn around and take the bus back to the coast. On the day of our arrival severe snowstorms were raging on the last mountain pass and on the morning of our departure it still didn‘t look very promising. Another reason to turn around was our food calculation, we made a mistake and were running out of food.
The bus was fun though, an old offroad bus that is crossing rivers and rocky paths, rumbling on southwards.


It was cloudy unfortunately but you can still see the volcano smoking white steam into the sky.

Jökulsárlón

Taking a long-distance bus in Iceland is fairly expensive so at some point we decided to hitchhike to reach our next destination. One day I got a ride from the campsite with two Germans we had met on the ferry so we split up considering that just two will be picked up more easily. Well this day we were wrong. While I reached Jökulsárlón in no time, together with Anna & Simon, Stanzi and Max were stuck in Höfn a small coastal town in the far south-east.

I decided to stay over night so I could spend the whole day relaxing in the sun with the spectacular scenery of Jökulsárlón. The lake/lagoon is situated on the southern end of Vatnajökull, the biggest ice cap in Europe covering about 8% of Iceland, which constantly spits icebergs that slowly float in the crystal-clear water. You turn around and just a few meters behind you is a black sand beach that is also flooded with melting ice. In between all this you constantly spot seals diving up from the ocean into the lagoon to hunt herring.

One very happy coincidence was that I met Johanna (my flat- and „soulmate“ from China) who I knew was in Iceland but we didn‘t talk before we both left to exchange travel plans (well I didn‘t have any until I reached the island). We sat for a great while talking and watching the sun set behind the glacier leaving the lagoon in a spectacular light. Despite the trouble Stanzi and Max had it was a wonderful day for me.

Just imagine flapping your tent open in the morning to see the lake just right in front of you. It wasn‘t my last time in Iceland when I thought that this scenery is just extremely absurd.



up north

After a night of heavy drinking with two guys from Stuttgart and a Dane who was riding his Chinese motorcycle across Iceland I got up around 7 in the morning because the air in our 9-bed cabin was horrible. Traveling in the cheapest category on the ferry to Iceland means staying below the car deck in a cabin that has beds (quite a luxury I admit) but is far from being „spacious“ and comfortable. When I got on deck the sun was already up and the sky was clear blue. There was no wind and so the ocean was calm. When I looked up front I was a little worried though. In the near distance a banner of clouds was going from one end of the horizon to the other. Iceland was ahead of us and I started thinking that everything that is told about the weather on the island was true at last.

It is said that traveling by ship to Iceland is the best way to experience how this rather unusual strip of land is raising up in front of you. And indeed it was wonderful. While we were standing in the cold fog trying to recover from the evening before we could see the land slowly appearing right next to the ferry. Once we had crossed the clouds the sight was open into a vast green fjord landscape that was shaped abrasively.

Seyðisfjörður is described as the „boom town“ of the east and „town of arrival“. The sleepy village, if I may call it this, is at the end of a fjord with the same name and has been a strategically interesting place ever since it was founded. Not only is it harbour for the one ferry to the island it was also the first town to receive a telephone line and has played a major role as a Marine harbour for Allied troops during WW2.
We were all a bit disappointed because Torshavn seemed a lot nicer but the sourrounding nature made up for a lot of it. And in fact, Iceland isn‘t exactly famous for its beautiful coast towns but rather its spectacular natural highlights.


I didn‘t take a single photo of the architecture of Seyðisfjörður that is supposedly special and still mainly in its original state. Instead I found this photo of a house that was on the northern end of the town. I have no idea why the owners painted this pink monster on their wall but it was definitely special so I took a photo of it.

We decided that it was time to hike on south from Seyðisfjörður into the next two fjords instead of leaving the valley by bus or car like most travelers on the ferry. Together with two Swiss we took a path, which proved to be an unmarked path described as being „rather difficult“ which took us from Sea level to about 1000m in a fairly short distance. In the beginning it was a nice hike across green fields and numerous small streams and waterfalls. In the upper part it became a bit more rocky and extremely loose in addition to snow fields. We ended up climbing the last few meters on a rock wall that was crumbling away under our steps. The way down was similar but not impossible.


It doesn‘t look nearly as impressive on a photo, but our „campsite“ was definitely beautiful.

The guidebook describes the sight of a reindeer as a rare experience we did see them right on our first day in Iceland – browsing in the green moss fields below us and later on this skeletton that was nearly intact and was just below our „camp site“.

straight from offline

Well long time no see, I suppose (in a digital sense). There hasn‘t been much update here lately which has a reason of course, so now I‘ll start again. After my graduation in Bolzano (see last post) I had to leave the town and headed north for a few weeks. We booked a ferry a while ago to go to Iceland, and we didn‘t do it because of the volcano but simply because we all wanted to see Iceland for a long time. And I wasn‘t disappointed at all, in fact Iceland is wonderful.
But since the ferry has a stopover and we actually took the long stay we went to the Faroe Islands before heading further. Well in case you don‘t know where the Faroe Islands are, pretty much straight up North from England, see here if you still don‘t have an idea.

Politically this small group of 18 islands belongs to Denmark, but due to their geography they‘re obviously an autonomous region, maybe in a way like South Tyrol (just a little at least).

In these 3 days we stayed, we had a great time crossing the biggest islands by foot or hitchhiking and getting used to the island and nature life. So in this sense we were quite successful, the weather was perfect* and so was this start of our trip.

*The people on the Faroe Islands have a joke on their rather unstable weather: „February is the best month for rain – It can only rain 28 days.“


The capital Torshavn has about 18 000 inhabitants (from the total of around 55 000 on all islands) and is much more colourful and authentic than most cities we saw later on in Iceland. The oldtown consists of the harbour area with old wooden houses with grass roofs.


The spots for villages or towns are always quite spectacular giving sight to a beautiful fjord landscape.


The weather was slightly strange and could change within 15 minutes. Sometimes we had no wind on the ground but clouds literally racing across the sky above us.


Our first waterfall and according to our free guidebook the highest waterfall and therefore one of THE tourist attractions. Well, we‘ve seen much more impressive in Iceland, but everything has to start small, I suppose.

More to follow within the next days, so stay tune.

photos

da!

So after all the hours in front of the screen it’s finally done. I picked up the stack of printed magazines at the print shop last night. It was quite a sensation to see the guy coming in with the packs of a magazine that you actually made and put a lot of effort in. I‘m happy for now. Let’s see what the presentation on wednesday will do…

I‘ll post more photos later on.

special guest

We had a real shooting star in our little improvised photo studio last night. I think he really enjoyed being under the spotlight.

The Apples in Stereo

It’s sunday morning, the weather is extremely shitty and I‘m already back at where I‘m most of the time – my studio at the university. Time is still running – how could it be different? – and I‘m finally turning into a workaholic maniac who is barely meeting his flatmate (we talk on skype though :D ) and really only goes home to sleep. Fortunate enough I‘m not the only one, we‘re at least 3 here at the university outpost far off the city center (far in Bolzano measures).
So while I started preparing my day and thinking what my steps for today were I came across a nice song on the radio.
The Band is called „The Apples in Stereo“, yet another American Indie Rock Band that apparently exists for quite a while now (since 1991). I haven‘t listened to more of their music but the song „Floating in Space“ sounds promising, though not revolutionary.

The Apples in Stereo – Floating in Space

Bicycle Portraits

Stephanie Baker

It seems to be all about bicycles lately… So what? Bicycles are great. Martin just sent me a link to the „Bicycle Portraits“ from South Africa. The website is full of very nice photos and the stories behind the people riding bikes. Absolutely worth checking out.

The Bicycle Portraits project was initiated by Stan Engelbrecht (Cape Town, South Africa) and Nic Grobler (Johannesburg, South Africa) early in 2010. Whenever they can, together or separately, they’re on the lookout for fellow commuters, and people who use bicycles as part of their everyday work, to meet and photograph.

that’s why

bicycle benefits

I guess I‘m in a bicycle-loving mood but I liked this little drawing. I just bought my 4th bike, the „President“, and there are still some models that I would like to get or at least ride for a while :)

via fixpatrix

bike accessory

I just came across this very easy and still nice solution of a bicycle basket. It’s made by Mio Design a company from Philadelphia specialised on Eco Design.
I like the look of it but was wondering whether the laser cut metal sheet is that much more ecological compared to a regular basket. The energy used in the production process is assumably high but then again the welding of regular baskets is probably taking a lot of energy either.

via fixpatrix

thesis website

Well it’s done, the website for my final thesis project is online. I wrote before that my topic is ‚travel‘ or ‚journey‘ so I ended up with the idea of creating a magazine that includes more or less exceptional travel stories. Unlike other travel magazines that try to inform their readers about certain countries giving them hints on where to stay or when to travel, I aim to put the traveler in the centre. Traveling cannot be experienced in the exact same ways others did. There is no conformity so to say.

I‘m still at the beginning of the actual design process but to reach potential authors and readers I decided to launch a website already that serves as an example and showcase of what I have in mind.

The first issue will cover the topic ‚freedom of travel‘ so if anyone who is reading this would like to contribute a story, photos, etc. feel free to contact me and I will tell you more. Contributions are certainly possible in English as well.

Sorry though that the website and the magazine will be in German.

president

I just went to the flea market and simply couldn‘t resist when I saw this treasure: a beautiful metallic-red steel frame, 28″ chrome wheels, 3-Speed „gear-box“ that is working very smooth, a carrier that works fine for a second person (we tried right away), ecc.

The seller told me that it comes from the late 60s. So far I couldn‘t find out anything about the brand, ‚President‘ from Austria, but it’s definitely an old bike and it’s in great condition. I really had to have it and to be honest it is majestic to ride :)

The only part I don‘t like is the headlight which is quite ugly but since the light isn‘t working anyway I might just change it to a nicer looking model.

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 :)

TGV

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

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‘.

GEO

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…

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?!

studio view

‚Just‘ another video clip, this time a time-lapse I made from a pile of photos I took out of my studio window. So yes, this is my view, it’s quite a luxury I admit.

*** Update: same song different perspective and shot at dawn – unfortunately it’s getting a little shaky once the exposure is getting longer

type in auction

The second ‚big‘ event of last week was the ‚typo auction‘ initiated by Martin. For his last semester project ‚UN-TYPE-ISCH‘ he collected letters from old neon signs and used them to create a book about typography that has a great 3D effect when using colored glasses.
After taking photos of the letters they were ’stuck‘ in our studio for a while until he decided to sell them in an auction and give the money to Designistan (our unofficial student group) to finance our blog, etc.

I was recording with very shaky hands and ‚editing the video afterwards.

The Great Eiermann Competition

We finally did it we had our first Ping Pong Competition at the university. The Competition table was a regular Eiermann table we have in our studios. It was a great success with 14 people participating actively and many spectators stopping by to have a beer or watch the games.

Sara & Martin as well as myself filmed during the whole evening, I did the ‚editing‘ afterwards. I like the rather ‚trashy‘ style very much but I have to admit that it is due to the little time I have to edit it properly. And besides it fits into the image of the evening and Simones pink bike tights :)

thesis, studio, weird neighbors, summer’s approaching etc.

It’s almost one week now that I have my studio at the university ‚outpost‘ for my thesis. One week without much progress except on the theoretic part but even though the time is short the first week should be used for adapting to the new situation I guess :) .
Well this post is just to show how much time I use for doing non-thesis nonsense work together with drinking coffee next door and so on.


my strange neighbors ;)

heile Welt shirts

I spent some time in the silkscreen lab yesterday and made new ‚heile Welt‘ shirts. It’s a very limited edition so if you‘re interested send an e-Mail to heilewelt2010 [at] gmail.com (prizes are negotiable)

male shirts are available in the colors above (light blue w/ neon green & brown w/ light yellow) in sizes medium & large

female shirts in a darker blue (don‘t have a photo, yet) and the same brown, sizes medium, small & large

The shirts are 100% cotton in a really good quality.

it’s done

Monday was the opening for the exhibition ‚Persianissimo‘, an exhibition of about 50 posters made by iranian artists and graphic designers. By coincidence I became part with an own photo exhibition. I was a little late with everything and then of course the technical problems occured so in the end everything was finished by the time of the opening.
I chose to display only black & white photos on the one hand for aesthetic reasons ;) and on the other hand because a selection of these photos was used for a magazine article in ROest Magazine (#39) from Rotterdam (I wrote about that last year). As I had to say it during the ‚vernissage‘ also, it was not my intention to go and take these photos and I did not follow a certain topic. The photos are my personal travel documentation and are therefore taken in a spontaneous matter.

The press was quite positive about my photos also (unfortunately only in Italian):

CASA – Corriere della Sera
Press Release – undo.net

Iran – exhibition

Next monday – 08/03/2010 – I have the great opportunity to open* my first photo exhibition at the university. On display will be black & white photos from my trip to Iran last year. I‘m not quite sure about the closing day but I guess it will be on for about 3 weeks.

*if I will manage to print and hang everything until monday :) Time is running and nothing is working out so far.

Hamam

I saw this sign this morning while waiting for the ski lifts to open up in Selva Gardena (Wolkenstein) in Val Gardena (Gröden). Just a very lovely use of english at the fassade of a 4-star Hotel.

Gerhard Richter

Images are never ‚blurry‘.
What we define in photography as ‚blur‘ is the aberration of the object depicted. But as images are not made to be compared with reality they cannot be ‚blurred‘ or ‚imprecise‘ or ‚different‘ (different than what?).

(Gerhard Richter)

question

I‘m more and more thinking about my upcoming thesis and started writing down any kind of thought that seems appropriate for my topic. In general the topic will be ‚travel‘ or ‚journey‘ which sound and are actually quite huge terms that don‘t really give me a point to start. Or I simply would need to choose a ’sub-topic‘ and start from there which of course seems easier to find than it is. I still have time to cut it down a little but then again I would like to do that soon.
So this morning I had a question in mind that is a little abstract but follows the idea of ‚Fischli/Weiß':

„If my mind is traveling can I say I‘m on vacation?“

Well I didn‘t find an answer, yet. Maybe I will be soon…

Bolzano streets

Another video clip that caused my computer to crash several times (also caused by power cuts in our flat) but that came out alright. I‘m still not extremely satisfied with the end result – the close-up of the highway jumps a little too fast (rendering it again only takes about 6 hours ;) ) – but it’s already much much better than the first one.
Enjoy.

the peak

I was just messing around with a photo I took last week on the peak we walked up to. I like it.

Flamenco

another short clip I made for a friend at the university, this time even with recorded audio (the actual quality is pretty good, when rendering it for the web it was messed up a little)

mission accomplished

I was on a rescue mission sunday morning and boy I was lucky…I recovered my lost snow shoe just below the peak. Luckily there wasn‘t too much snow on it so we could see it.
The weather was perfect too so basically a great day.

lucky me with the missing snow shoe

Turbo Ping Pong

Another day, another video this time a turbo version of a ping pong match in our atelier. I even won the game!

video test

Before I came back to Europe I really couldn‘t resist and scraped together all my money to get a new camera, an awesome Canon 7D. Some photos on here come already from it but now I have a premiere. I have to admit that I‘m far from being satisfied with the end result but I really didn‘t have the time and will to get more into the video function of the camera. The scenes are recorded off the roof from our university, my room and the weekly market on saturday. The quality of the videos I think is pretty amazing (from the technical point of view), the way I filmed it is still developable ;) .