Feb 242016
 

The funny thing is, that at first I thought we were too late. A sign at the entrance to the monastery complex indicated that we had missed the second and last guided tour by an hour. I would never have thought that we could be admitted outside of a guided tour at all.

When I entered the building, I only did it in hope of a souvenir shop, where I probably could buy at least a book.

Well, never give up without trying. Not only were we allowed to roam freely, for a fee I was also given a photo permit!

By the way, if you’re interested in what a professional can do in such a location, just have a look at this blog 🙂

Feb 232016
 

I own a fair number of books, and having moved them three times during the last ten years, I think I have enough of them. It’s not that I consider moving again in the forseeable future, but you never know. I’ll keep to ebooks 🙂

It’s nothing though against the sheer number of old leather-bound tomes in this magnificent library of Admont Abbey.

What my own collection of books lacks in style and splendor, here we have it in abundance. It’s the same story as in Lisbon. Monasteries like this were not meant as modest places of prayer, they were big enterprises and their heads were always second or third sons of high nobility. Basically these were palaces, and just like the palaces of kings and dukes, they were places of immense worldly power. Fair enough that their libraries matched in representative glory 🙂

Feb 222016
 

You may remember my image of the cross in Lisbon’s Jeronimos monastery.

Well, when I saw this cross a few days later, I was struck by the similarity.

Of course the actual distance between me and the cross is much longer, the cross itself is bigger than that in Lisbon, but using my widest lens and framing with the pillars, I arrived at a solution that left at least me satisfied 🙂

Of the two images, my choice for the Image of the Day is more or less random. I like both, the wide one is probably the more unusual view, therefore it made it.

3412 – Looks Old, Is Not

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Feb 212016
 

The Benedictine monastery Admont was where I was heading. The abbey was founded in 1074, but in 1865 an enormous fire destroyed almost all of it. Unlike other, similar cases, the monastery was rebuilt though.

To be honest, the church looks new. Somehow the patina is missing, and although it is not apparent upon first view, a feeling of fake is always present. Nevertheless, the architecture is pretty impressing. You’ll see more of it in the next post.

3411 – A Photographer’s Shop in Schladming

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Feb 202016
 

Schladming is one of those places in Austria where high-profile ski world cup races take place. It’s among the likes of Kitzbühl and Sankt Anton am Arlberg. It’s less glamorous than the other two, but it is famous nevertheless.

I was there on my way to the monastery that we’ll visit in the next post. I’ve never been there and it was exactly the right time and place for lunch.

Sitting outside, waiting for my meal, I noticed the sign of a photographer’s shop, a mural on the side wall of the house, and I found it sufficiently interesting to dedicate a post to it.

Thus: if you’re ever in Schladming and you need a photo to be taken of you, Foto Kaserer is the place.

Oct 162015
 

A few days ago Svetlana Alexievich received the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. At 1 pm the Committee announced the decision, one hour later I saw the news, five minutes later I had her book “Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster” on my tablet. That’s what I currently read.

I chose that book, because I know a lot obout the catastrophe, because it happened in my early adult life, and because I often think about it. At that time we were told not to eat mushrooms. So much time has passed since, but it is just about the half-life of Cesium-137 or Strontium-90. Half of what rained down on Europe is still here. What do we do now? We eat mushrooms and call ourselves an intelligent species 🙂

How the book is? Well, it’s a collection of short chapters, each one based on one or more interviews with survivors and people who lived there, were evacuated and returned. It is a book that does not try to relate the events, instead it tries to give us a feeling for how it is to have been there, to have lost a beloved partner or a child. There is this certain mix of love and death, that is heart-wrenching. Absolutely recommended.

2386 – Forever Shall We Wait

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May 052013
 

Last Sunday’s nightly commute to Vienna came with a twist, or maybe I should say with a turn. I had to return midway, and because I still needed to be in in my new apartment in Vienna on Monday at 9:00, I took the car early in the morning. But that was later.

My last chance to leave the train and actually have a connection back to Villach was Knittelfeld, a small town in Styria, about one third of way from Villach. I left there and then had to wait 40 minutes for the train from Vienna to Rome. This is how I discovered this old wooden shelter, that has been gracing the railway station for more then a hundred years. It’s a small wooden building the size of a bus shelter, and if you look at the full size, there is an old photo hanging on the wall, showing how it looked like, when the railway line was still called “Kronprinz Rudolf Bahn”, named after the Archduke Rudolf, son of Emperor Franz Joseph, who died from his own hand in Mayerling.

There is a year in the caption of the image. I read it as 1879, but even at 3:1 magnification in Lightroom I am not completely sure about it. Anyway, for a night image taken at an effective focal length of 150 mm, ISO 1600 and handheld, it is a pretty detailed image 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Forever Shall We Wait” from the new Leisure Society album “Alone Aboard the Ark”. I could already buy it via Amazon.de, while Amazon.com will start selling it from July 2. Heaven knows why they do that. Maybe it’s to better bitch about music piracy. Oh well! Hear it already on YouTube.

Jan 272013
 

We’ve been here, only it’s colder now. It’s still the same park in Styria, but this time it’s all snow and ice.

I won’t be back in that place in spring or summer, but I found that I really enjoy looking at the same things as time passes. On the other hand, isn’t this what we do all the time?

We really better start linking it 😀

The Song of the Day is “Cold Cold Ground” from Tom Waits’ 1987 album “Franks Wild Years”. Hear it on YouTube.

2280 – Caught Between

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Jan 132013
 

I didn’t make any photos today. Instead of taking the car back to Carinthia, leaving it there and taking the train to Vienna, I drove to Vienna directly. It’s not much of a difference, and that way I escaped the snow front coming up from the south.

The image is another one taken yesterday. I guess it would have looked better today, amid the falling snow, but I was eager to leave, worrying about road conditions.

The Song of the Day is “Caught Between” from Brian Eno’s 2005 masterpiece “Another Day on Earth”. Hear it on YouTube.