An unplanned road trip to somewhere else finally led me to an old charming small city named Beeskow in Brandenburg (approx. 50 km South-Eastern of Berlin) which was founded in the 13th century. Fortunately great parts of the medieval city wall with now open gates and the usual guarding towers do still exist and really deliver a vivid and direct impression of times passed by.
Northern city gate leading to Storkow
View on St. Mary’s Church, 15th century, red brick Gothic style
Nice walk along the city wall
Urban scenery near the market-place
Stork Tower, 14th century
The beekeeper’s store in town
Description of the town from 17th century in ancient German:
“Besekau / An der Spree / 5. Meilen von der Chur-Brandeburgischen Vestung Beytzen / der Peyze und 3. Meilen von Fürstenwald gelegen / ein Städtlein / so albereit zur Nideren Laußnitz in der Land-Tafel gezogen wird; aber noch Brandeburgisch gestalt auch alhie ein Churfürstlich Hauß und Ampt ist. Es ligen herumb Storkaw / Mulrose / nahend Franckfurt / Schlaube / Mertensdorff / zur Fehre / Ledeleben / etc. so alle für etwas sonderbares gezeichnet werden; wir aber davon fast nichts zu berichten finden.” (Topographia Electoratus Brandenburgici et Ducatus Pomeraniae, Merian, Frankfurt am Main, 1652, p. 30)
P. S. The medieval author of 17th century was really looking here for something extraordinary but could not find it however in the small and charming city.
If you are looking for some special comfort or experience, you will find it possibly at Hotel Sidi Driss in old Matmata, Southern-Tunisia. We had the opportunitiy to visit the site during a round trip through all Tunisia in 2006, and it attracts not only fans of Star Wars in which this filming location featured as the home of Luke Skywalker on the planet Tatooine for the 4th film episode in 1976.
The contemporary hotel was designed as a traditional Berber troglodyte underground building at medieval times. The Berbers created them by digging a large pit in the ground with a depth of ca. 10 m. Around the perimeter of this pit artificial caves were then dug to be used as rooms, with some homes comprising multiple pits, connected by trench-like passageways. These structures in the ground were much cooler than buildings on the surface, ancient airconditions not requiring any energy like today.
Actual accomodation fares at Hotel Sidi Driss are not really high, as the standard is obviously quite simple, rural and original. Room numbers are pinned on the long existing old walls, but we did not test it as we had already a booked accomodation at the oasis of Tozeur. Besides a lot of people are passing by for a short visit to feel a little bit of multiple Star Wars ambitions and more here in the vast desert of the Sahara.
Tuesday Photo Challenge – Comfort
In the desert each drop of sweet water is just more worth than a sack of gold.
Water is our cool elixir being unfortunately not everywhere in the world, and we are also mainly consisting of water together with some other elements, thus we really deserve it for being. However, with the ongoing climate change the desert and semi-arid areas will expand even more globally while water shortages even occurr today in countries like Spain or Italy during the summer.
So the question of water will become an elemental challenge and possible crisis trigger of the 21st century. The following photos of Tunisia shall allow not only a short glimpse on this nice North-African country, but may also give an idea what can be the result of fundamental climate changes while this area used to be very fertile only 2,000 years ago when serving also as the breadbasket of the Roman Empire.
Water reservoir Barrage-Sidi-el-Barrak in the still green North near Nefza
This water reservoir is a complete non-touristic place but during this moment of a late afternoon the sentiment and interaction of light, clouds and water revealed something else.
Small paradise with tiny water fountain near Douz, Sahara
Oasis areas in the endless width of the great Sahara desert are often to be found in geological break zones and depressions such as here.
Death zone of the huge salt lake Chott-el-Jerid after sunset, Sahara
The tremendous salt lake Chott-el-Jerid can be traversed today safely on a solid dam with street which is also connecting the oasis areas Nefzaoua and Tozeur. In former times such travel turned out to be a real dangerous adventure.
All photos were made on a self-organized roundtrip through Tunisia in 2006 with a rather simple, but already digital camera.
linked to Dutch goes the Photo / Tuesday Photo Challenge Water
I made this photograph long time ago with analog technique in the Sahara of Southern-Tunisia during an oasis trip from Tozeur to Tamerza – still one of my favourite travel remembrances showing a single bush in an area of burst soil most likely due to more heavy rainfalls some time ago. When ever I watch this photograph again, the quite bizarre scenery reminds me of the power and resilience in life and nature against all the odds.