2012 has blessed me with beautiful travel experiences. As I look back on them, I feel very lucky. I haven’t left Europe much for travelling – but going through my pictures I don’t regret that. There is so much to discover in close proximity to my home. Join me on a quick recap of the beauty I have experienced in 2012:
This was Chemnitz in Saxony in March. While everyone always claims it to be rather ugly, I was surprised at how much beauty could be found there. It is much more than just its socialist past.
Istanbul – my Place of Desire, my Sehnsucht, my love. The first words I ever wrote about it were: „Istanbul und ich, das ist die ganz große Liebe“ – Istanbul and I, that is love for life. My trip in March, the second one I took there, will be followed by many more.
Wittenberg – the city of Luther and reformation. The church tower holds writing that says: „Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott“, a famous Luther quote translating to „A mighty fortress is our God„. I went there in April on a volunteer gathering.
At the Elbe river in Hamburg on the Saturday before Easter Sunday, there’s Easter bonfires every year. An old tradition, pagan, driving out the evil spirits of winter. Something I grew up with and that always makes me feel like home. Also I love fire. And I love water. And when the flames are reflected in the river, it is divine beauty.
In Szczytno, Poland, my father was born when it was still called Ortelsburg. This is one of the famous Mazurian lakes in early August summer sun. It had a touch of eternity to it.
This is Olsztyn in Poland. I just adore red brick stone…
… and because I love it, I loved this church in Vilnius, Lithuania!!
But the Baltics had more to offer than city life. This is a castle park in Cesis in Gauja national park in Latvia, named after…
… the river Gauja!!
The Latvian capital Riga was possibly my favorite city in the Baltics. It reminds me a lot of my mother’s home town, Bremen – no wonder, since Riga was founded by monks who came from exactly that German city in the middle ages.
Riga was followed by Estonia’s Tallinn in all its medieval beauty. This is a modern site though – the Song Festival Grounds where music festivals are held and just recently before we got there the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a gig too. Imagine all of this filled with a huge choir singing folk songs… one day I will go to the Tallinn Song Festival. High on my bucket list!
On my birthday we went to see the Estonian National Park Lahemaa. Bogs, swamps, forests and relics of Soviet times, a lovely tour guide who explained to us about cultural and social whatabouts in Estonia as well – it was a lovely start into the new year of my life!!
The trip to the Baltics finished in late August with a three day stay on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania. Endless beaches, deep dark forests and the lovely sounds of the Baltic Sea – my heart grows wide even at the thought of it!
In September I discovered a small part of the deep West of Germany – this is a shot of Hambach castle, an important place for the German national movement in the 19th century and one of the birthplaces of our modern democracy.
My finish is my discovery of the year – Gdańsk! I fell for it long and hard. There is much more to discover about Tricity and the whole Kashubian area in the North of Poland. I am nothing but grateful for the fact that 2012 has given me a place that I could love so deeply. I hope you will follow me as I explore it further!