The river Rhine: Wine, castles, romanticism. And aren’t those castles intriguing? Well they are as long as they are medieval… On the Ehrenbreitstein rock, just above the city of Koblenz and Deutsches Eck, where the Moselle meets the Rhine, somebody called Ehrenbrecht or Ehrenbert built a castle near the end of the 10th century. For strategic reasons they kept adding to it, fortifying it until the 19th century, when the buildings were given today’s classicist look. Thus we are now facing a Prussian fortress quite lacking in romanticism despite its location.
The battlements were really not that exciting when I visited with Grandfather as a child, nothing much there but a youth hostel, it seemed.
In 2011 the premises opened for Bundesgartenschau though (a garden exhibition that moves from town to town and gives our cities an incentive to become greener), and it now sports a couple of gardens and museums well worth a visit. However, in some places you can still breathe its drab history as a military installment.
A visit can take a couple of hours – and we still missed on of the outer forts and an art installation – so I consider this a walk: not a Monday Walk but this year’s Good Friday walk.
My favourite walk, and a great place to smooth the creases out of my soul, as a German poet (almost) put it: This is an area where I do not feel there is a thing like poor weather; and so this walk in the fog was extremely nice. As for the route, there is none, especially when I bring my camera. I just roam about which much to everybody’s delight leads to bringing home loads of mud on my shoes… Maybe this ‘method’ has to do with what Robert Adams writes about the relation between photographers and dogs:
“My guess […] is that what sustained the artists’ affection for dogs was above all the animals’ enlivening sense of possibility. Artists live by curiosity and enthusiasm, qualities readily evident as inspiration in dogs. Propose a dog a walk and its response is absolutely yes. As a terrier of ours once exclaimed to Kerstin, in a dream of hers, ‘Let’s, Kerstin!’ Those were the only words that anyone had ever heard a dog speak – a wide-open program of unqualified eagerness, delivered from her characteristic posture of readiness to bolt for the kitchen, town, or filed.” (Robert Adams, Why People Photograph, New York: Aperture, 1994. p. 47)
In the end I should not forget to mention Jo’s Monday Walk, because if you like walking as much as I do, that’s a great place to visit and get inspired and participate.
When we walk, it is often without a planned route, just seeing where our feet take us (I will elaborate on that later, when I show photos from my favourite walk, and when it will be more appropriate). Strolling in Hamburg, we visited Chilehaus (above, top left) and the Danske Hus just opposite (bottom left). We also lingered around St. Nikolai (above, top right, and mirrored in the modernist building beyond) and wondered just how many buildings were undergoing reconstruction.
When in Hamburg, one cannot help going maritime. Close to the harbour, someone will inevitably display a ship’s propeller. This one had a brass plaque mirroring the opposite building…
Once we reach the water, we find a variety of bollards with a variety of coins on them.
If you have enjoyed this walk, head over to Jo’s Monday Walk for more walking, strolling and looking around other corners of the world.