ON THE TRACKS OF HEMINGWAY IN WEST-AUSTRIA, 1925-1926

“The world is so full of many things that I am sure we shall be all happy as kings. How happy are kings?” (1)

Mountain path to Kreuzjoch (2,450 m) near Schruns

This summer we have visited again the Montafon Valley for nice and real summerfreshness, this place to be found in the utmost Western part of Austria right to the border of Switzerland. In 1925 and 1926 the still unknown author Ernest Hemingway spent also quite some time here and in fact left lasting personal impressions with the local people.

Hotel Taube at Schruns around 1920 (2)

The budding writer had come to Montafon Valley with his wife and son from Paris, because he had little money and good friends had told him that in Schruns there would be the nice Hotel Taube, that the Montafon was cheap and the mountains just ravishing. Hemingway liked it so much that he spent two winters here in 1924/25 and 1925/26, six months amidst the dazzling white snow world and surrounded by the tranquility he needed to rewrite his first novel “The Sun also rises”. The local people called him the “black Kirsch drinking Christ”, because he liked to stay in the diverse taverns of the valley. 

Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Gerald Murphy at Silvretta, 1925 (3)

The young author with his wife Hudley and son at Schruns, 1926 (3)

Wiesbadener Hütte at Silvretta in the 1920s, here Hemingway stayed for ski tours (3)

Hemingway, then in his mid-20s, was very fine, on wooden skis and sealskins he climbed up into the Ochsental, climbed the glaciers on the Piz Buin at Silvretta, he loved the mountains, and in Schruns he sipped the homemade schnapps of the peasants, plus lots of Fohrenburger beer, and he beat them all down in the bar of Hotel Taube: the host, his ski instructor Walter Lent, even the local gendarmerie captain participated in the evening poker rounds. Quite how influential those visits to Montafon were for Hemingway gets clear in his last book “A Moveable Feast” because therein he left a memorial to Montafon. So the very last chapter of this book is devoted to this Austrian region, his private paradise, he describes the valley enthusiastically as a real romance.

Löwen Tavern founded 1500 at Tschagguns where Hemingway often accompanied hunters and woodcutters

Portrait of Hemingway to be found at Kreuzkeller-Bar in Schruns
And Ernest Hemingway was here in fact a welcomed guest, the people of Montafon really liked him. On the wall of the dining room at Hotel Taube hang today some small black and white photos, Hemingway with beard, Hemingway on skis. John, the writer’s first son, sent it to the hotel himself after visiting the place in his father’s footsteps. Otherwise Hotel Taube makes no fuss over the legendary Nobel laureate, who once resided in this house. A small brass board next to the entrance, which tourism wanted so, and a casual note in the hotel brochure. Not more. No logos, no fussed bar, no Hemingway fuss as to be found elsewhere.
Above the clouds at Innerberg
But Hemingway has become a real myth here, and now his name hangs over the region like the wet-gray clouds moving over the valleys. Even today, the Hotel Taube stands at the church square in Schruns, tidy and neatly the little streets of the small city, and in the background you can still admire today the stunning peaks of seemingly eternal Rätikon waiting for our final discovery.
Wiegensee in the mountains of Partenen
Old smuggler trail near the Swiss border
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  1. Ernest Hemingway in a letter to his colleague F. Scott Fitzgerald, September 1926
  2. photo from an old marketing flyer of ‘Hotel Taube’
  3. photos from the archive of ‘Montafon Tourismus’

 

BINDING THE BEAST

Northern Dragon

In
1776 the Scottish economist and philosopher, Adam Smith, released his
magnum opus, “The Wealth of Nations” and laid the foundation for
classical economic theory – and modern Capitalism.

The world at that time was significantly simpler in many ways than
it is today, and our knowledge of economics, sociology, and politics
has advanced considerably since then. But underneath all of our
modern-day complexity, the economic foundation is the same:
Capitalism – private ownership of the means of production and their
operation for profit.

As an economic system, it has served us very well. In the last
couple of centuries, our industrialised societies have developed at a
totally unprecedented speed, both economically and technologically.
And the enormous wealth generated is mainly attributed to Capitalism.
It can come as no surprise then, that Capitalism is often viewed as a
universal panacea for all the ills of society, and as an ideal…

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WALKING OVER THE WATERS

Echoes in the Mist

The Great White Egret

By the smoke-ringed rains,

Where a time that never really was,

Of butterflies

And bees

That buzz,

Begins,

A tall bird stood

Who came from the forest

Of alder trees

From the winding wood,

Alone, wandering,

Seeking a way of speaking,

Remembering the tales of an ancient day,

Forgetting the present,

Standing still in the wind,

Watching the fish for a moment,

In the sea, leaping

In the sunlit sea,

In the lights that danced,

Star-finned,

Hearing the distant call

Of dolphins,

And the laughter of otters

Who lived in the bay,

In the haunted lagoon,

Among the phantom ships,

So tall,

With opalescent sails.

But no one is there,

Where

The seas on the shore so gently fall

Where the melodies of the moon

Encircle the stones that arise

Where the fairies

Sang and spun their magic spells

Still the tall bird dwells

By the shore, wading,

His toes…

View original post 79 more words

THE ROUTE IS THE FINAL DESTINATION IN AUSTRIA

Since the Romantic period, people have discovered nature for themselves, exploring it on foot and looking at it from new angles. Such wanderlust and outdooring (as well on very high mountains) has enabled a new direct, physical and sensual encounter with the also harsh heart of nature itself because the final goal of these rural ambitions may be also unreachable at times.

Sunrise on the road near Bartholomäberg

On the trail from Falla to Silbertal

Swiss horses on Gargellenalpe

Trail from Gargellen to St. Antönier Joch

Mural at the old city of Bludenz

Foggy morning view at Innerberg

Mountain huts on Kristberg

Finish area of a mountain-bike event at Schruns

 

Linked to:

Capelas, Sáo Miguel- not quite a Monday walk

 

A PROMENADE THROUGH OLD BEESKOW, GERMANY

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)

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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.
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hallo – галдеж – ahoi – שלום – salve – 你们好 – cześć – hello – こんにちは – salut – ola – ciao – السلام عليكم

WHEN YOU MEET A STRANGER IN POSTMODERN SOLITUDES

RAISING THE RIGHT HAND GENTLY AS A WORDLESS SIGN

YOU WILL SURELY KNOW: MAY PEACE BE HERE WITH US

 

linked to

Dutch goes the Photo / Tuesday Photo Challenge Signs