Oberbaum – Where all Cardinal Directions meet

October 24th, 2013

Oberbaum – Where all Cardinal Directions meetBerlin-based bridge Oberbaumbrücke is a symbol for many things: Where nowadays cars, metros and tourists cross Spree River from north to south, was once the border between the East and the West. The former border strip was guided by the course of the river; a route, that today is famous for pleasure boat trips. The towers of Oberbaumbrücke are not only identity-establishing for the directly neighbouring club Watergate, but stand first and foremost for the vicinity of Berlin and Brandenburg. Also in my life Oberbaumbrücke played an important role, as it was my first contact with the West after the Berlin Wall fell down »»

Avacha, Kamchatka’s Red Riding Hood

September 3rd, 2013

Avacha, Kamchatka’s Red Riding HoodAvachinskaya Sopka – colloquially also known as Avachinsky or Avacha – is the backyard volcano of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the regional capital of Far East Russia’s volcano peninsula. It is a ~4000 years old Somma-type volcano, meaning it is growing and prospering inside the caldera of a historic fire mountain. The magma rising up inside the Avacha contains more iron ore than usual. That again reacts with the omnipresent magmatic gas carried along and iron oxides, in particular iron(III) oxide, emerge. Latter one dresses the volcano with a literally fiery red coat »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The Treptow War Memorial in Berlin

June 25th, 2013

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The Treptow War Memorial in BerlinAs a small boy I was pretty much impressed by the Soviet War Memorial being located in Berlin’s Treptower Park and even today that place has quite some impact. However, nowadays such a visit is generally voluntary than back in the days, as the whole school had got to show up there. Though, that wasn’t a loss as independent from the system one’s living in one could get a feeling for what history means, war stands for and what has to be prevented from happening again. The memorial site lies a bit hidden behind the trees of Treptower Park and only the granite triumphal arches give a hint what can be seen when going further. The war memorial played an important role when the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSFG) backed out on June 25th 19 years ago »»

Berlin’s Olympia Stadium in Black and White

May 10th, 2013

Berlin’s Olympia Stadium in Black and WhiteMany of Berlin’s places of interest, no matter if built for “perpetuity” or perpetually not being accomplished, are often hard-wired to a single name. Ulbricht has his TV Tower, Wowereit his BBI airport desaster and Honecker dreamed of a 100 years lasting wall. In the 1930’s such dreams year-lasting-wise even had one more zero in the end and threw Germany as well as the rest of the world into turmoil. Only a few witnesses reminding of that time are left, for example Berlin’s mighty Olympiastadion, a massive stadium built by Werner March in the west of the city. Photographically I am interpreting its lines and geometry in dramatic contrasts and in Black and White only »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The mighty Wünsdorf garrison

February 25th, 2013

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The mighty Wünsdorf garrisonVillage of 6.000 souls versus military town with up to 75.000 soldiers – Back in the days the Soviets knew very well how to make use of Wünsdorf (Вюнсдорф), a settlement being located in Berlin’s south along the railroad leading to Dresden. Even if the whole territory is abandoned for several years now and completely fenced, it is possible to have a closer look at the heart of the complex, the today’s House of Officers, a building telling manifold stories of times when it was Army Sports School for the Nazi as well as even before for the emperor »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Vogelsang’s abandoned Military Garrison

February 1st, 2013

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Vogelsang’s abandoned Military GarrisonAfter World War II a huge area being located less than a 1 hour car drive away from the highway ring surrounding Berlin became one of Soviet Army’s most important military sites. This abandoned garrison is located near the city of Zehdenick, in the north of the village Vogelsang. At peak time up to 15.000 people lived and worked in the present-day ghost town; soldiers, their relatives as well as civil associates. Some of them controlled nuclear missiles pointing to the west – a piece of Cold War and living history »»

Kamchatka in the Net

December 18th, 2012

Interesting and informative links featuring the Russian peninsula in the Far East »»

Fissure Eruption 2012 at Tolbachik

December 17th, 2012

Link collection of the best photos and videos showing the fissure eruption 2012 at southern flank of Tolbachik volcano on Kamchatka peninsula in Russia »»

Ice Caves and Fumaroles – South Kamchatka’s volcanic Soul

December 13th, 2012

Ice Caves and Fumaroles – South Kamchatka’s volcanic SoulMutnovsky and Gorely are the names of the volcanic protagonists in Kamchatka’s South; two places known to many tourists visiting Kamchatka as almost every tour makes a stop over there to bring humans in touch with the admittedly weaker appearances of the biggest force on our planet. South Kamchatka is more inhabited than the north, which is no surprise as it is home of the regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and its suburb Yelizovo, the airfield welcoming the big and small airplanes from coming from Moscow and elsewhere. Landing there is something absolutely unique in the world since you automatically make contact with Kamchatka’s volcanic soul when hovering along an impressive guard of honour formed by majestic Koryakskaya Sopka and fiery red Avachinskaya Sopka volcanoes. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky lives its own way and in particular at rain and wind bad weather mingles inseparably with the rough charm of the market-women »»

Kliuchevskoi and Tolbachik – The northern Volcano Giants

October 10th, 2012

Kliuchevskoi and Tolbachik – The northern Volcano GiantsKliuchevskoi – an impressive name reminding of a Russian poet and thinker. Actually the official name of Russia’s pyramid is Klyuchevskaya Sopka (Ключевская сопка) but even for the locals this title seems to be a little too long. The fire mountain stands for quite a bunch of superlatives, for example being with an altitude of about 4800 meters the highest volcano not only on Eurasian continental plate but also in northern hemisphere. It is majestic, tall, snow covered and farouche, having a perfectly shaped cone and it is part of one of the biggest volcanic systems on our planet; a volcano cluster being that large being easily visible to the unaided eye even from space. To the north of Kliuchevskoi the name giving village of Klyuchi (Ключи) is located, a small settlement at the banks of yet another name giver, the Kamchatka River. Klyuchi is the gate to the northern territories of the Kamchatka peninsula such as the unpredictable, old and wide spread Shiveluch (Шивелуч) volcano. From Klyuchi you can also access the uninhabited East by serpentine endless tracks cutting through the forest and also the South of the volcano mountain cluster with impressive Tolbachik (Толбачик) volcano isn’t that far away anymore »»