I am more than happy to have visited Syria…! The country plunged into complete disaster as the civil war threw the country at incredible turmoil. The war tore families, friends and everyday life apart and had a massive impact on all cultural sites as well of course. Nothing is like it was before…, which is pretty inconceivable for us stability-blessed westerners. As an hommage to a country with an incredible hospitality and a worlwide unique historic substance I have put the photo material taken in 2007 to a revision, also because the software side of digital photography is subject to technical evolution. Nowadays, only 7 years after my journey, writing down the word Syria rather leads to receiving intelligence service attention instead of awakening excitement for a genuine Crusader fortress, thousands of years old settlements or ancient Roman ruins. Sad…!
What do Ebba, Knut, Greta and Elvis have in common? Correct: all of them are true blue, come across the “wrong” side and run in Stockholm’s underground solely. But what sounds a bit like a scattered group of weirdoes is actually black-blue, made of metal and dedicated to transport people: the Tunnelbana, Stockholm’s metro, where every of its coaches has its own name. Quite likeable, isn’t it? But the real gem of the Swedish metropolitan underground is the variety of its stations since in particular the subterranean stops are brought to the fore artistically making every stage telling a very own optically exciting story.
The Fiji archipelago is the perfect melting pot of the South Seas. In a very charming way its 332 small as well as big islands unite the culture of Melanesia and Polynesia plus the influences of British colonial times and the Indians being brought into the country back then by the Britons. There are three places that exemplify this melange best: Levuka’s old town, which is Fiji’s old capital on Ovalau Island, as well as the country’s new capital bustling Suva and its market plus the Naag Mandir temple on Vanua Levu, a place being more Indian than India itself
With a length of only 1,8km and merely 3 stops being served, the U55 is currently Berlin’s shortest underground but that will change as it is an isolated subsection of the U5 and will join forces with its mother in 2019 after the construction works at Unter den Linden as well as Alexanderplatz get finished. Since primarily it runs under the governmental district Berliner’s call it cheekily as The Chancellor’s U or Angie’s private metro
The German capital can look back on a worldwide unique history and of course the city’s constructional countenance gives a very good reflection of that. Against the background of other European capitals Berlin seems to skip a couple of urban development stages. Despite constructional blunders and demolition one of the best history tellers is still around, that is the city’s infrastructure, in particular the underground transportation, its diverse tunnels and various stations. When having a closer look they reveal a stunning piece of Berlin’s chronicles as well as contemporary stories
Having a look at its actual landmass, Tuvalu is the second smallest nation in the world. Some of its islands are so tiny and narrow that you can literally spit from one side to another. The heart of Tuvalu is the Funafuti atoll being embraced in the east by the main island Fongafale. Airplanes can land there, on the highest spot of the nation, which is 5 metres above sea level. Along that airstrip the life of Funafuti atoll takes place and even if islands are generally pretty limited, Tuvalu gave me the most important moment of authentic Polynesian culture along with a dinner with the Prime Minister
What does the Island Kingdom of Tonga have in common with a high voltage cable? Correct, both things are pretty much isolated. The 136 islands of Tonga are the only Polynesian nation that never got colonialized by the west. The archipelago being called “The Friendly Islands” lies at the 10.8km deep Tonga trench, a fault where the Pacific plates submerges the Australian, which is at the same time also the International Date Line; a place where you can meet the new year as being one of the very few first people on the planet. Since the white man hadn’t his finger in the Tongan pie many unique Polynesian cultural assets like f.e. the Ha’amonga Trilithon could survive. With pleasure locals take the “palangi” by the hand and show him the island’s highlights, such as the Blow Holes, Flying Foxes or the magic Anahulu Cave, a limestone cave having a pristine fresh water pool inviting to have a swim
Berlin-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
As 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