On our last day of vacation in the Alps I was lucky to discover today even here a little bit of street-art at a quite remote place in the city of Lienz being situated in Eastern-Tyrole, a more rural area with a lot of nature and mountains – so rather untypical mosaic stones of this very nice Austrian region.


After my arrival in Egypt in October 1985, Alexandria was one of the first places I did visit. It is a real Mediterranean metropole with a long and diverse history. Being founded in 331 by Alexander the Great  the Greek people and culture being and living there played an important role for long time. With the uprise of Arabic nationalism after WW II most of the Greeks however left the town and Egypt, the same applies for the Jews. So historical important aspects of this town, the culture and the country are today just missing.

We entered Alexandria on Wednesday, the 13th day of the month of Sha’ban, and spent twenty-three days at the palace of the Benefactor. We rarely went into the city and so it is difficult for me to say anything about it. Nevertheless, it seemed to me that in terms of both its geographical location and its general condition it closely resembles Frankish cities.”

Rifa’a Rafi’ al-Tahtawi, “An Imam in Paris”, 1st essay
reporting here about his arrival at Alexandria in 1826 on his way to Paris

Egypt was one of the first places where the Christian belief settled down long before this could be said about Europe. The original inhabitants of Egypt, the Copts still living there as a minority, have their own style of Christian philosophy, the Coptic Orthodox Church. They have to maintain their way of interpreting the world in a country with a predominant Arabic-Muslim way of thinking since long time.  Government authorities do not support any hatred between the two religions while Jesus is regarded as well as a prophet in Islam for example.

In Alexandria I stayed in the centre of town in a normal Egyptian hotel being situated in a skyscraper of the 70s. The hotel hosted their guests in the 6th floor of this building such offering nice views on the town and the sea. In general I was content with it but one thing I did not like at all: the other inhabitants of the building. So one night I had to get up for a visit of the toilet being outside of my hotel room. So when approaching the toilet on the corridor being more sleepy than awaken, I suddenly saw a long procession of big, well nourished and black cockroaches passing my way. But I had no choice and made my way to the toilet where I did not stay longer than necessary. I have refrained from using the toilet again by night afterwards.

In the photo above you see the old Qaitbay Citadel from the 15th century being erected on the ruins of the antique Pharos. The constructors also used the materials and debris of the already destroyed famous lighttower of Pharos, one of the seven wonders of the antique world. The citadel was erected at the seaside by the Mamluks sultan as a protection against the Osmanic threat. Today it is just a peaceful, calm and historical place which reminds us to the past.

These are just some impressions from this old Egyptian town and metropole. 33 years after the visit I do not remember all what might be of further importance. 


Next Egyptian tour:  Marsa Matruh / Oasis of Siwa (in a few days)

Report on Abu Simbel:
Report on Mt. Sinai:







In the British movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Judi Dench plays Evelyn Greenslade, a newly widowed housewife whose house must be sold to pay off her husband’s debts.  She goes to India with a group of elderly British characters, whose motives for coming to India are as varied as their eccentric personalities.  They choose to spend their retirement years at Sonny’s Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a home for the “elderly and beautiful,” based on pictures on the hotel’s website.  Upon arrival, they find the hotel to be dilapidated and mismanaged.  Some of the characters embrace the experience, while others seem determined to be miserable.

While staying at the hotel, Evelyn keeps a blog of her activities. She narrates throughout, to her Day 51 moral at the end:

The only real failure is the failure to try.
The measure of success is how we cope with disappointment, as we always must.
We came here and we tried, all of us in our different ways.
Can we be blamed for feeling that we’re too old to change?
Too scared of disappointment to start it all again?
We get up in the morning.  We do our best.  Nothing else matters.
But it’s also true that the person who risks nothing does nothing.  Has nothing.
All we know about the future is that it will be different.  Perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same, so we must celebrate the changes.

Because as someone once said, “Everything will be all right in the end, and if it’s not all right, then trust me, it’s not yet the end.”

I understand Evelyn’s sentiments. Sometimes we feel we’re too old to change. I believed that was the case in my early 50s. I thought nothing would ever change in my humdrum existence.  However, at age 54, I went to work abroad in South Korea for the first time ever in my life.  From the ages of 55 to 57, I lived and worked in the Sultanate of Oman. I would never have imagined doing such a thing when I was in my thirties and forties, married, raising a family, and doing all the things that were expected of me.

I could have been too scared of disappointment to start it all again.  But the life I was living at the time was already a disappointment.  What did I have to lose, after all? I couldn’t say about myself that my only real failure was a failure to try.  For I did try.  I tried, and for better or worse, my life changed …………….


>> Read and find the full original post with more photos here:



I am happy to return quite soon again to the much cooler mountains and fresh heights of the Alps because this year was simply tropical hot and too dry till now. And summerfreshness in this regard means also a nice passion and annual recurring ritual while passing by old stony paths, gorges, meadows or mudslides and focussing the mountain’s top. When getting up late or in case it is simply really just too hot at all, a nearby chilly lake or coffee-shop may also be very stimulating targets.  So in the time being this blog will  relax a little bit in creative tranquility until beginning of September. Cheerio.





“Getting to the top is optional.
Getting down is mandatory.” (Ed Viesturs)

How good to have been in the mountains of the Austrian Alps again for enjoying the fresh air, a tremendous nature and much cooler temperatures in the amazing and varied heights of Eastern-Tyrole. So here you will find some photographic impressions as a result of our excursions in order to escape the very pressing  summer’s heat of 2013.

linked to:   Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge – Time to relax



The last ice-age holds responsibility for this wonder of nature in Finland’s region South-Karelia being situated in the Southeastern part of the country. Its name Kummakivi translates simply as strange rock, a suitable description for this balancing sculpture consisting of two boulders, one perched precariously on the top of the other. If a human were to apply heavy force to one of these really heavy stones, the balancing rock would not move even a little bit.



Chichen_Itza_Castillo_Frederick Catherwood_1843_drawingThe Castle of Chichen-Itza, 1843, graphic by Frederick Catherwood

“In 1519 Hernan Cortez, the great Spanish conquistador stormed and took the city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. He did not then, and he never knew, that it was built upon the ruins of the Mayan civilization. Five years later he travelled across what is now the little republic of Honduras, hacking his way foot by foot through an almost impenetrable forest given over to reptiles and insects and the odours of putrefaction. Had he turned aside from the path he was cutting, by only a fraction, he would have come to a little stream where he would have found in the midst of all this luxuriant foliage the ruins of what had once been a great city. It was the city of Copan, the chief light amongst others such as Tikal or Palenque of the Mayan civilization which existed between A.D. 176 and A.D. 620. They are still, far from all other human habitations, lost in the powerful tropical forest which like some sylvan boa-constrictor, has literally swallowed them up and is now devouring them at its leisure, prising the finehewn, close-laid stones apart with its writhing roots and tendrils.”

John Stewart Collis in “The Vision of Glory, The extraordinary Nature of the Ordinary”

Façade_principale_du_palais_des_Nonnes_Désiré Charnay_1859AMain Front of the Palace of the Nuns, Chichen-Itza 1859, graphic by Désiré Charnay