Saturday 8 June 2024

ellertshäusen see (11. 614)

Described as a deserted village since the fifteenth century despite joint efforts of the Teutonic Order of Münnerstadt and the Bishopric of Würzburg 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 (Begrüßungsbier), delivering your breakfast Brötchen 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 Fränkisher 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 Rückert 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 schutzwälder (11. 583)

Traveling a bit further on towards Suhl, we came to a crossroads of many trails through the Thüringer 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

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 Neustädter numbering around a dozen—and saw the old town, which was cultivated through the auspices of House Hohenzollern under the burgraves of Nürnberg into a cultural, political and economic hub along the main overland trade route between Würzburg and Nürnberg 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 Kästel 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: Nōn nōbīs, Domine, nōn nōbīs, sed nōminī tuō dā glōriam 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

einöde (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

Tuesday 7 May 2024

7x7 (11. 544)

group tape №1: a 1981 compilation from the International Electronic Music Association collective  

the light eaters: plant cognition and agency—see previously  

hardfork: the duality of Vernor Vinge’s Singularity 

to share something is to risk losing it: an update on the beloved Broccoli Tree (not pictured), which was loved to death—see also  

mai-1: Microsofts new AI model could potentially over take rivals 

pod squad: Project CETI gains more insights into whale communication  

haus 33: a ride on the Techno Train that loops from Nürnberg to Würzburg


one year ago: the Devil’s Bible

two years ago: a classic from Spandau Ballet

three years ago: cheugy plus Kraft Television Theatre

four years ago: cereal and straw craft, Kraftwerk plus Shelter-in-Place

five years ago: the long-delayed passage of a US constitutional amendment, designer Georg Elliot Olden, the unending attraction of nature plus haunted dolls 


Sunday 17 March 2024

wüstungsperioden (11. 432)

Travelling a few villages over towards the former border, driving past some abandoned settlements, vacated owing to they’re being a liability too close to the boundary, we took another nice hike with the dog up to the ruins of Hutsburg on the summit of the Hutsberg, which also was a victim of its formerly strategic location and shifting allegiances.

On the way back, we stopped in Filke to revisit the so called Mauerschädel, another ruined remains, this time of early abandonment and then rendered inaccessible, like the above stronghold, during DDR times and its nave acting as the line of demarcation. 


Saturday 16 March 2024

heimatblick (11. 428)

 Before the weather turned, we took the dog on a hike up above Stockheim for a panoramic view of the village below. The diversion in the trail up the Tanzberg was a bequest from a local landowner stipulated in his will after an unfortunate farming accident. A bit further along the main path, we encountered a Blitzstein, a memorial for an anonymous resident and likely not the above donor struck and killed by lightning though now an unlikely occurrence given tree height in the vicinity though yet memorable and cautionary. 

I’ve noticed such small headstones before and wondered if they memorialised similar Acts of God—and wondered whether if this was all the individual received for funerary rites since it did sort of seem like divine punishment. When I first came to Germany and began noticing makeshift cenotaphs the just off the shoulder of the road, commemorating the victims of a traffic accident, I remember first thinking, there sure are a lot of people walking on the side of the road and getting killed by cars and thought that the country must have a problem with pedestrian deaths. 

Of course, during our walkies, I wasn’t preoccupied with such morbid thoughts, just wanted to know more about the practise and customs but was not able to find anything else out. Both spots were equipped with a nice picnic area and a wooden sun lounger for warmer weather.  It was a beautiful early spring day and we went on down the valley with a glimpse of the next town of Mellrichstadt off in the distance.