words, worldly wisdoms & wanna-be photography

Archive for July, 2011

a trip to lucerne, part 1: falling in love with pilatus

Have you ever lived in an other country or just an other region than your original one and then get so accustomed – to its shape, its look and smell and traditions – that you got, after some time, bored by it? You thought you’d seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already?

I did. I got bored with my country. I thought I’d seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already.

Truth is, I didn’t. I haven’t seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already. Truth is, there’s no way that in a region, as small as it may be, you could have ever seen everything. Everyday new things happen, occur, come along and add itself to this very region. Or old things change, turning and twisting into a new shape. I guess, there’s no way that you could have seen everything there is to see in a certain area or even in this whole world. There’s no way you could have seen everything because in this world there is so much undiscovered for each one of us; so much left to see, when we thought we’d already seen everything – so much that no amount of time – except eternity maybe – can give us the time space we need to discover all these wonders.

For many of you this may seem like ancient history; a matter of fact so clear to you that you even forgot it’s something one has probably had to experience first to understand. But not for me: The truth of this epiphany was in fact something I had to realize first.

About a week ago, my mum, me and my sister went on a trip. We had these super convenient day tickets which were valid for whole Switzerland (and which you can get via your municipality) and agreed to spend the day in the region around Lucerne.
The thing is, when we came to Switzerland about 10 years ago we all were very interested in getting to know this country. We travelled quite a lot within Switzerland: we visited the French-speaking part, the Italian-speaking part and even the Rhaeto-Romanic part of Switzerland. We visited a lot of cities, saw almost all places of interests and so on. It never came to my mind that almost is not equal to everything, concerning this topic.
So when we decided to spend the morning on visiting the Pilatus, the local mountain of Lucerne, I didn’t really care much. I’ve never been there before (and my mum was there 17 years ago) but I thought it’d look no different that all the other Swiss mountains I’ve already seen.

Of course, I thought wrong.

It wasn’t a particularly wonderful day, when we went for our trip: it was quite cloudy and I worried that it might even rain. But when we were sitting in the train, we saw a blue sky, and I hoped, that maybe the sun will shine up there. Not that I cared very much – yes, my mum had gushed a lot about the view from up there, on the mountain, but as I said before I thought it’d be like any other Swiss mountain. I just thought it’d be nice if I could get some photos with a blue sky in them. (Yes, that was what was important to me.)

But then standing in Alpnachstad, the station from where we would have a ride with the cog railway up the mountain, I felt excited. I don’t know if this was because of the fresh air surrounding me or because the sky was blue at that moment or just because I somehow knew that it’d be a good day – but I was suddenly in a very cheerful mood and wanted to be up there as fast as possible.

As you have all guessed by now, I, of course, have not been disappointed. My mother was right. I still didn’t know if the fresh air had any influence on me at that moment, but it  everything was beautiful. The view was stunning. Plain stunning and amazing and captivating and fascinating and a lot of other nice adjectives. It was a bit foggy, rather cool, and the sky wasn’t partly that clear any more the higher we went, but somehow the landscape of Pilatus managed to enchant me.
Still have in mind that I thought it’d look like on any other Swiss mountain? Well… yes, partly the landscape looked the same of course. Many cows, very green landscape, big parts of forest, steep, rocky flanks and some of these little cottages… everything known as a Swiss trademark could be found there. (We even saw some farmers up there.)
But on the other side it looked very different too. I remember that I couldn’t describe what it really was that made the Pilatus so special – I still can’t – but there is something. Yes of course the view on the Lake Lucerne and Central Switzerland that could only be seen from this mountain, but also a certain charm that belongs to this mountain and makes you fall in love with it.
Sitting in the cabin of the cog railway and just admiring this beautiful, stunning countryside I realized that, once again, I shouldn’t judge so fast. I was so wrong and big-headed to think I’ve seen this all before – I completely forgot that although I’ve seen much of Switzerland, I haven’t seen everything. And that there really are many mountains, but somehow each one of them is unique in their own way. And that this revelation applies on the rest of the world as well; no matter where I’m going I’ll never be able to see everything in that part of the world. There’ll always be something left to see, something you have yet to discover. And with that in mind, I went silent for the rest of the way up.

Gotta love that one, single tree in front of this “cave”!

Besides the cog railway you could also reach the top by cable railway.

Then we were at the top. I’d like to think that it was quiet up there, very idyllic and such but that would be one big, enormous lie. Of course, there were loads of tourists there (mostly Japanese). But the nice thing was, I was such in a good mood, that they didn’t stop me from enjoying the nice, fresh mountain air and the glorious view. I made quite a few photos up there; I chose the best ones to share with you here: They are all the “rawest” I could find. I didn’t want to edit them so they’d rather look like art; I wanted them to look as “raw” as possible, as true as possible so you’d get to see what I saw in its (hopefully) original way. Here they are:

I love this picture; it’s my favourite one, in fact. I love these flowers – and the fact that they grow in such heights and at the very end of these steep mountain slopes; it reminds me that the fewest things in this world are impossible to reach. There are no boundaries for true beauty.

We were really lucky to see this guy here paragliding around the Pilatus: Above the start and below…

how he flew around the mountain.

Right at the “foot” of this part of the mountain you can see the rails of our cog railway.

When the fog disappeared for a while we even saw a red cable car on its way up! (And in the distance: Lake Lucerne)

Already on our way down: we went the same way back with the cog railway.

I just love these zigzag hiking trails!

Typical Switzerland: Just cows everywhere!

Bye-bye Pilatus and I hope I’ll see you soon again! (I so want to go up there again.)

So that was it for part one. Part two will be posted next week (probably) and will be about the following shipping on the Lake Lucerne. See you soon!

If you’re interested, more on Pilatus, the local mountain of Lucerne here.


waiting for the sun to come out

About 2 weeks ago I went for a stroll outside; it was one of the rare times without many grey clouds. Well, unfortunately, they reappeared quite a few times during my stroll, so that’s why probably these following pictures won’t have the same sky.
It took me quite a while to edit them; I wanted to keep them as natural as possible. I don’t know if I succeeded in them since they’re clearly not my best ones but I hope you’ll still enjoy them.

PS: In case you’re interested: all the extras or alternatives to these photos will be posted in about one or two weeks time on breaking out of the golden cage.


dustitis

Hi guys.

I’m sorry I won’t be able to post anything this week – since this very day I’m suffering from dustitis – unfortunately. Never heard of dustitis?
Well, yeah, I’ve just made it up. True is, I’m having a cold and terrible concentrating problems. While I’m writing this, my mind’s wandering and my gaze keeps changing its focus.
The thing is I’ve been cleaning up my room this weekend. It’s the first weekend of my summer holidays and (it’s pathetic I know, but certain things just need to be done) and I’m tidying my room. Which, of course, meant that I have to sort out my school stuff. Sadly I haven’t done this since 2 years and so there were loads of paper stacks and notebooks overflowing with loose papers and – oh, how much I hate it – dust. Just dust everywhere. It made me go crazy, really, I had to sneeze every 5 minutes (in the end I spent about 6 hours sorting out my school stuff). And so I blame my current miserable state on my cold and I blame my cold on the dust. (See? I don’t make any sense anymore.)

But don’t worry. I should be writing again very soon; there will be a post with photos included, a post about photography or rather cameras and maybe finally my Hungary post. Hope to see you soon!

Stella


Weekly Photo Challenge: Old Fashioned

I’ve only got 27 minutes left until midnight – which is not enough time for me to write something real. So I decided to post – once again – a WeeklyPhotoChallenge with the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” in mind.
Short info: I took this picture this december, when our class was rehearsing the play “Communicating Doors” by Alan Ayckbourn. In spite of the many time leaps in this play we wanted to keep the stage design as simple as possible and one of the few indicators of the time were the different typewriters.
When I had time, I would just roam on the set and take photos of just everything coming into my way and this photo was exactly one of them. I just love typewriters (just the nostalgic person I am) and I love the way the light shines on these keys.


from the cd stack: those dancing days

As you probably know by now, I’m a great fan of indie music (and everything else indie, of course). And normally, I have a great interest at keeping this music indie – which means not spreading them to, like, everybody. But then again, they won’t get the attention and support they deserve and worked hard for in each country or in my example – in Switzerland. That’s why I usually recommend bands to maximum three different persons.

But a few weeks ago, I was sick and laid in bed almost all day long. It was incredibly annoying and the only thing that cheered me up was my music. In fact only one band. Listening to them made me so happy and cheerful that I just thought: “I have to recommend this.” They’re already quite famous by now – internationally, but they’re not all too known yet (I asked some people in my circle of friends and none of them knew this band). So this is “Those Dancing Days” for you:

It’s probably no surprise to you when I tell you that these girls are Swedish. Because, let’s face it, Sweden has emerged to one of the most musical talented countries. Remember? There are The Hives, Mando Diao, Shout Out Louds, Sugarplum Fairy… and I only mentioned a few of them. So it was really no surprise to me when I read that they were from Sweden.
And concerning the alternative music scene, I find it hard to find good girl bands. You know, there would be female singers or female guitarists or bassists, sometimes even drummers – but only one or two per band. Rarely in large groups. Which is sad, I think. Half of my iPod consists of bands consisting of a majority of males – and maybe one, maximum two females participating in it.
In my opinion, it shouldn’t be like this – I’m all for girl power and I was so, so happy to find this amazing band.

Those Dancing Days were founded in 2005 by drummer Cissi Efraimsson and guitarist Rebecka Rolfart. Gradually the other members – singer Linnea Jönsson, organist Lisa Pyk and bassist Mimmi Evrell – also came along and they started playing local gigs. Not long after they got their MySpace site – like any other band – and did a lot to get attention. It was in 2007, when they got their first gigs in Stockholm that they were discovered by a blogger and since then their career has been going on upwards.
One year later their debut album – In Our Space Hero Suits – was released and this year their second album brought out: Daydreams and Nightmares.

What I personally like about them is their attitude. Just by looking at their style, whether it is their album booklet, their videos or just themselves, I kind of get a total cheerful mood. I literally feel like dancing. It’s also in the way that they’re able to do good sad songs. I think, that it’s really difficult to write good sad songs. Normally, when someone writes a sad song, it consist of a sad lyrics and an unbearably slow melody (Well, of course this is just a generalisation. There are many people who don’t do it that way, but still, to me, you have to be talented to write a perfect sad song.). As a listener I often think: “Well, it’s not like I haven’t heard this before.” Those Dancing Days put some of their not so happy texts with the exact speed of melody – check out their song Actionman.
What I also like about them are their lyrics: Somehow they’re really touching because they seem (and surely are) very truthful; you can relate to them very easily without having them to use clichéd phrases. For example this passage from the song Hitten:

Slow down, please slow down
I need to find peace, anywhere in me
I feel like I’m under water
struggling to get air
I feel like I’m lost in this body
trying to get inside my head

You probably didn’t know before but I really, really like deep voices. I myself sing alto in our school choir and I prefer to listen to rather deep voices – and also one of the reason I love Those Dancing Days is surely Linnea Jönsson voice, which is really unique and catchy, I think.
So please check them out! They really do great music (and their videos are just so cute…) and are fantastic in any other way as well.

PS: Oh my. I feel like this post needs a lot of editing… I’m only writing shit tonight, sorry.