Sunday 4 September 2022

pegelstand oder die grรผne herz deutschland (10. 108)


Afterwards we embarked on a circuit of the series of five progressively higher reservoirs (Stauseen) built from 1935 over the next decade to harness hydroelectric power by damming and flooding river valleys. 

Though a sparsely populated area, villages had to be abandoned and resettled when constructing the Hohenwarte and its gravitation cascade that turns potential energy kinetic were constructed and owing to the low water levels because of the global drought (and floods) we thought we might witness PreรŸwitz or others rise from the waters but we’ve been spared the worst so far. The forests were dry and the pines especially dying but an evening of steady rain was some reprieve. 

We saw various gradients and differentials from high vistas before choosing a campsite near Ziegenrรผck, heir to some more patrimony now underwater. 

Packing up the following day, we completed our tour with the reservoir at Burgk and its eponymous castle and keep, a quite well preserved residence dating from the Middle Ages and seat of the House of ReuรŸ, a princely line who named all male children Heinrich, in honour of Barbarossa’s son, Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI. 

The engineering and the attendant landscaping was impressive and inchoate. On the way back, we visited the town of Saalburg on the Bleiloch reservoir that had the atmophere of beach resorts along the Baltic Sea.


Tuesday 26 July 2022

inner hebrides ii (10. 019)

More impressions from the Isle of Skye, including some iconic Scottish cows.

Monday 25 July 2022

gorgeous on the contrary (10. 016)

Whilst waiting for us as well as our camping kit to hopefully air-dry back at the campgrounds near Ullapool on Broom Loch (Lochbraon, Gaelic for the Loch of Rain Showers—that ought to have been a clue), we hiked down the forested trail to view Corrieshalloch Gorge (Coire Shalach, ironically for unattractive corrie, ravine), hewn out of the monolithic landscape by retreating glaciers and torrents of melt water ten thousand years ago.

The bridge afforded views of the forty meter drop and rushing river below and there was an observation platform further on that extended over the edge. Smallest of Scotland‘s forty three nature preserves supporting populations of ferns, feather mosses and sansicle, the forty six meter cascade has the poetic name Easan na Miasaich, meaning Waterfall at the Place of Platters, for the Onomatopoeia and the plate shape bore holes the falling water forms.

Sunday 24 July 2022

reluctant spelunking (10. 015)

From the Old Norse smuga for a hidey hole and not be confused wIth the social media mascot Snoo, we hiked down to the not undiscovered but nonetheless spectacular Smoo sea cave.

The large cavern in Sangobeg in the parish of Durness is unique in the British Isles for being a geological formation hewn by freshwater and seawater.

Venturing inside the cave mouth—which was a  bit something out of a dinosaur adventure experience, we decided not to go further inside to get doused by the gushing waterfall from an above ground burn (river) that helped form the cave, having just recently dried off from a soggy start to the day decamping and ready to head towards Cape Wrath and points west.

Saturday 23 July 2022

secret spots (10. 012)

Presenting a pair of hidden places that H found—first in our campsite on the beach of Crackaig by Loth that’s buffered from traffic by a long path through the pasture and a rail underpass that keeps the bigger caravans away.

There were very few people, the larger campers perched on the dunes being permanent installations and presently vacant. It took some time to adjust to wind and the facilities were a bit lacking but no matter as we had a nice overnight stay.

The next was a hidden cove down a quite long, unmarked footpath through the heather (see previously) at an unassuming rest stop between Counties Caithness and Sutherland. The trail led by a gradual, rocky natural step descent to a stone and shale beach curtained by a protected cliff face host to hundreds of nesting puffins to observe from a distance. I was unsure whether I had ever seen the bird in flight (certainly not in person) but they were pretty cute and comical with their dangling little legs and deft crash landings.

Saturday 14 May 2022

mise of lewes

Reviewing the chronicle of historic events that happened on this day, I was reminded of something spotted on our 2016 trip across England and this marker in the town of Lewes that commemorated the settlement (a rare English term from legal French, the past participle of mettre—to put) struck on this day during the

Second Barons’ War in 1264 between embattled Henry III and the rebellious gentry under the leadership of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. On the brink of civil war, displeased with high taxation and tribute and foreign influence in the royal court, landholders and king negotiated a series of reforms that placed policy decisions in a council of magnates but was soon diluted and returned to status quo ante bellum, particularly after arbitration by Louis IX, a champion of royal prerogative and who certainly didn’t want a revolt on his hands, fighting broke out again at the fields of Lewes. Though with his victory,
Simon de Montfort was effectively made ruler of England, he was not able to hold power or maintain a stable government was was himself killed one year later during the Battle of Evesham. The monument to the battle and peace treaty was erected in 1964, the seven hundredth anniversary.  It was a nice occasion also to revisit some impressions (which I think we’ve not shared before) of this ancient town in Sussex with castle ruins and venerable brewery.