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Madrid – Valencia – Toledo

Palacio Real de Madrid (front) Palacio Real de Madrid (front) I visited the 14th European capital last week – Monday to Friday. This time, I went to Madrid. I flew with Ryanair from Frankfurt International. You get what you pay for… Low fares and great service are naturally a contradiction. I had flown with Ryanair in 2005 already so I was prepared for cheap looking interior, no food, and a lack of cleanliness. After many flights were cancelled thanks to Ryanair’s bad planning of their pilots’ vacation, I was happy to be able to fly anyways.

It was still very warm in Madrid. This was very welcome as it was quite gloomy and cold here in Germany already. The hotel was right in the middle of the city, close to Tribunal. The entry and the staircase looked very uninviting but inside, the accommodation was comparably clean and modern. I usually only use the hotels as a base for my long walks in any case. I do not spend much time there so I do not need the highest standard. I just need to rest my feet from time to time. During this trip, I Continue reading →

Baltic Sea, Darß

The beech grove of Rügen The beech grove of Rügen At the beginning of September, I spent four days at the coast of Eastern Germany – Darß to be precise. I had never been there before and only knew the Baltic Sea from one vacation in Danmark in the 1990s and the year abroad in Sweden. In my mind, I always regarded it as dull as compared to the North Sea with its much rougher climate.

The weather was rather not so nice. It was pretty gloomy and rainy for a good part of the time. There was still a lot to explore. The chalk cliff of Rügen is facinating although the tree cover is quite high and you hardly ever get to see the cliff itself. Also, since the stairs which led down to the beach at the central section were damaged by erosion in 2016, you cannot get down to the bottom of the cliff anymore. There does not seem to be any solution anytime soon. You can drive to either end of the cliff (i.e. Lohme or Sassnitz) but then its a quite long walk until you reach the stunning part of the cliff and you have to walk all the way back. The beach is covered with rocks and pebbles! The cliff and the surrounding nature was stunning anyways. In the evening, I visited Stralsund. It is a pretty city. It is basically the gate to Rügen. However, since it was raining there again, I did not take any pictures.

On the next day, I rode to Darßer Ort which is the heart of the national park in the area. It is the northernmost part of the peninsula and the beach is shaped by the erosion at other parts of the coast. Later that day, the sun finally came out so I could go for another walk at a beach in Continue reading →

Athens and documenta 14

Akropolis as seen from near the top of Mount Lycabettus Akropolis as seen from near the top of Mount Lycabettus From Monday to Friday, I finally visited Athens. I also went to the four major venues of documenta 14. It was incredibly hot down there but I managed to survive. Yet, 36-40 degrees is tough if you are not used to it. The flight to Athens was smooth and calm. I can recommend Aegean. Young airline, new planes, propper food… I arrived at the hotel rather late. The room was clean and had everything that I needed but was far from “modernised” as they claimed on the website. Athens itself was incredibly dirty. The waste management is poor anyways but if the garbage collection is on strike, it becomes a nightmare. Poverty is also an issue in Greece. Two thirds of the shops in the more remote streets were permanently closed and there were quite a few people sleeping in the street. It was less bad than I had expected though and nothing sincere happened.

On Tuesday morning, I visited the Akropolis. Documenta would not open before 10am but I was awake much earlier and wanted to use the time. I do not want to imagine how crowded Athens’ main attraction is during the day. I came there early but it was packed with people already. The entry fee is 20€ but for just 10€ more you get a ticket that is valid for five days and gives you entry to five different archeological sites. You can visit each of them once within those five days. Even if you visit just one other site apart from the Akropolis, it already pays off. The Akropolis is as impressive as you would expect and I can confirm that the copy on the Friedrichsplatz in Kassel is as big as the original. Once I had seen everything, I went to EMST which is the mueseum of modern art in Athens. It is the main site of documenta in Greece. The building is very modern – white cube architecture – and a good place to show modern art. The documenta artworks were interesting and nice. However, I had been to different documenta sites in Kassel already and I could spot several artworks that I had seen in Kassel also (meaning that an artist had painted a series of pictures and half of them were shown in Athens and the other half in Kassel). In the evening, I travelled to Mount Lycabettus. It is a Continue reading →

documenta @ night

Here are a few images of documenta @ night. I guess no further explanation is needed. Note that the laser on the roof of the Zwehrenturm from an earlier documenta was on as well.

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