Saturday 8 June 2024

ellertshรคusen see (11. 614)

Described as a deserted village since the fifteenth century despite joint efforts of the Teutonic Order of Mรผnnerstadt and the Bishopric of Wรผrzburg to resettle the area that never materialised, the artificial reservoir near Schweinfurt, the largest of its kind in Lower Franconia, was created in the mid-1950s in order to provide irrigation for local farmers and as a means to mediate flooding. The former use-case however proved not to make economic sense and the lake was eventually developed as a recreational destination with beaches, jetties and a nature reserve.

H and I joined another couple and stayed at an eccentric but very hospitable campsite in the forest just behind the dam that provided some nice personal touches, like welcome beers (BegrรผรŸungsbier), delivering your breakfast Brรถtchen order and handing out tiki-torches in the evening. There is no Dana—only Zuul!

We took a nice walk through the woods that is part of the Frรคnkisher Mairenweg (a long-distance wandering trail that features several pilgrimage from the region) intersecting with a mediative path dedicated to local poet and orientalist Friedrich Rรผckert and completed a circuit around the lake, the trail at times submerged and making the loop a bit challenging but very rewarding. 

one year ago: assorted links to revisit plus ventriloquism and witchcraft

two years ago: a banger from Tears for Fears, more links to enjoy, record temperatures plus the ash heap of history

three years ago: composer Carl Orff, America’s first supermodel, a classic from Procol Harum, more links worth the revisit plus corresponding city maps

four years ago: the Festival of the Supreme Being plus pipeline funk

five years ago: buried urban rivers

Sunday 26 May 2024

schutzzieles schutzwรคlder (11. 583)

Traveling a bit further on towards Suhl, we came to a crossroads of many trails through the Thรผringer Wald but with an an embarrassment of choices but finite time could only pursue hiking a segment instead of the proper loop that was nearly thirty kilometers to see all the highlights and returning to the campsite, we picked a peak in the Rennsteig and walked to Adlersberg through the protected landscape, sensibly managed since 1937 after exploitation dating from the Middle Ages. 

There we found a restored observation tower from the late seventeen-hundreds that afforded a really commanding view of the region, with summits of the Kreuzberg. Gleichberge and Wasserkuppe in the panorama


one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: more links to enjoy

three years ago: your daily demon: Leraje, Johnny Mnemonic, the murder of George Floyd one year on, an educational short, more links to revisit plus a precursor to NFTs

four years ago: Dracula (1897) plus a cursed alignment chart

five years ago: Sweden traffic switches orientation, the EU votes plus a trip to Saxony’s Elbsandsteingebirge

Saturday 25 May 2024

fairytale jungle trail (11. 582)

For another long-weekend getaway, H and I traveled an hour northeast back to the Thรผringerwald nature reserve and found a campsite in Breitenbach along the Vesser river valley and southwest entrance to the park, with a lot of paths for wandering in the forest. 

Officially called straightforwardly “Urwaldpfad,” the app that we were using gave it the rather creatively translated name above and had a nice long hike along both banks of the river—originally planning to return via a second trail but it was proving too rough with a series of felled trees that had collapsed on the bank of the stream. 

The trail had advertised some attractions along the way like a Sensenhammer, an early industrial water-powered scythe forge for making tools and machine parts, and a historic mill (see also), but these were only waypoints with markers for installations gone and never rebuilt. 

Still the walk in the ancient woods was very pleasant with a stand of super-high firs and a nice stroll along the river—plus lots of lupines. On the way back, we stopped at a fine guesthouse with character perched on a hill overlooking the forest and village.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit

two years ago: Ciao! Manhattan, Return of the Jedi (1983) plus investigating Partygate

three years ago: HMS Pinafore, synchronisation plus Bosch with emoji

four years ago: Toki Pona, a delightfully translated menu, the Interregnum plus artist Nikolas Knรผpfer

five years ago: Towel Day

Sunday 19 May 2024

pfingstsonntag (11. 566)

Courtesy of H’s fancy drone piloting we had a nice bird‘s eye view of the grounds but we were soon sharing the airspace with avian friends (I had never heard the belching cries of swans or the clapping of a stork before) and craft launching from a nearby strip built for model airplanes which could really do some impressive stunt maneuvers—none of which I could manage to capture, not for the lack of trying. 

Later we took a longer hike in the opposite direction through a stand of forest to a Biergarten outside of Oberreichenbach and back again.


one year ago: St Ivo, The Phantom Menace (1999), assorted links to revisit plus more medieval collective nouns

two years ago: Amy Fisher (1992), St Dunstan, an altarpiece by Titian plus the zine of William Blake

three years ago: a birthday wish (1962), an animated stratified map, a classic by Paul Simon plus the stadio typeface

four years ago: the UK public terror alert system plus unsustainable arbitrage

five years ago: the Dutch Venice, etiquette as a social wedge, a tardigrade stress-ball plus flora and fauna of the New World charted out

Saturday 18 May 2024

neustadt a. / a. (11. 565)

We ventured out to visit the main town of the region, Neustadt an der Aisch—a member of the cohort of European municipalities called Neustรคdter numbering around a dozen—and saw the old town, which was cultivated through the auspices of House Hohenzollern under the burgraves of Nรผrnberg into a cultural, political and economic hub along the main overland trade route between Wรผrzburg and Nรผrnberg already by the twelfth century but ending after the Thirty Years War in the mid-1600s and falling under Prussian sovereignty. Neustadt faded in importance but due to subsequent developments in the rail network (which followed those ancient merchant roads) and repopulated with Germans expelled from the Sudatenland, Neustadt regained some of its former prominence.

We saw the Altes Schloss that now hosts a carp and aquaculture museum and the old town square that features a Neptune, referred to as the Gabelmensch like its former diocese of Bamberg, in front of the Rathaus. 

Afterwards we made loop along a hiking path through the forest from the campgrounds to a little community called Kรคstel with a twelfth century church dedicated to St Mauritius next to this ivy covered guesthouse. The church was closed by a tablet indicated that it was founded by the Knights Templar with the incipit Non nobis—from the Latin prayer of thanksgiving and humility: Nลn nลbฤซs, Domine, nลn nลbฤซs, sed nลminฤซ tuล dฤ glลriam or ”Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give the glory.“


one year ago: a classic from Looking Glass plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: the Geneva Convention on Environmental Modification (1977), another MST3K classic, a national assembly in Frankfurt (1848) plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: even more links plus the plan to put a roller coaster on the Golden Gate Bridge

four years ago: the eruption of Mt Saint Helens plus more links

five years ago: an old/new painting by Vermeer 

Friday 17 May 2024

einรถde (11. 564)

For a weekend getaway, H found a camping spot on a carp aquaculture site in the single settlement of Sintmannsbuch in the Aisch valley, a tributary of the Regnitz. 

The country estate (Guthof) with fish farm was informal campgrounds with room for a few pitches (surely usually outnumbering the nine residents of the community) has its first documented mention in 1348 on the rolls of the provost of Bamberg and in the imperially immediate city of Nuremberg and the tradition of raising fish in captivity (see previously) goes back over a millennium and the scheme saw a marked

increase from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries following the enforcement of fasting and dietary abstention and could be sold for a premium as free-range supplies failed to meet demand with secular landlords and monastic communities especially encouraging pond management.


one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: the first colour photography

three years ago: the East German film industry, Bob Dylan in Manchester plus more on Morse code

four years ago: the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Bifobia, last normal photo plus a windshield tour around the region

five years ago: Morning Edition’s new theme, more on the TWA hotel, celebrating the work of IM Pei, mall muzak plus same-sex marriage legalised in Taiwan