EXPLORING THE ISLAND OF USEDOM / BALTIC SEA

In early June 2019 we spent again some days on the varied and ancient island of Usedom in the Baltic Sea which is connected by two shorter bridges with the German mainland being separated from the island only by the river Peene and huge coastal backwaters.

Anklam Gate in the old Hanseatic City of Usedom

Rural countryside near Mellenthin Castle

Usedom lies in Western-Pomerania (Vorpommern) and on the European Route of Brick Gothic architecture. In German there exists an old lullaby featuring Pomerania and sounding in fact more like a nightmare: “Maikäfer flieg, der Vater ist im Krieg, die Mutter ist im Pommernland, Pommernland ist abgebrannt.”  The besetting content most probably goes back to the Seven-Years-War (1756-1763) when the Swedish army devastated great parts of Pomerania. Why this dramatical song is used for making children sleep, likely remains a secret for me.

Abandoned barn near Grüssow

Hiking on the coastal path from Grüssow to Warthe

Today however, the island of Usedom means just a real nice and peaceful place at the wild shores of the Baltic Sea. In hot summers it is usually much cooler than on the mainland. You will find there long white beaches and spas, big forests with inland lakes, dreamy villages, old castles and beautiful natural reserves.

The medieval church of Rankwitz

Wildness at the natural reserve Lieper Winkel

We did some hiking on bikes which allows very well to reach the remote and original sites of this island. Some of these amazing and stunning places are featured here on a few photos which require to return sometime in the very future.

Ancient blue fisher house with a thatched roof at Warthe

Bathing area of Dewichow with view on the backwaters

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Ancient

BRITTLE COASTAL BEAUTY VISTAS

Beautiness means not gazing in a perfect mirror while these instants do often not last much longer than early fragile dewdrops sparkling also in  curious minds.

Cliffs seen from the coastal path near Luz

Eroded rock formation in the turquoise sea near Benagil

A view from a cave at the beach of Olhos de Agua

All photos were made at the Algarve / Portugal in late October 2018.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Vista

 

ARCHAIC ENCOUNTER AT LAKE CONSTANCE

In Unteruhldingen, Germany, on Lake Constance, wooden posts in the water still serve as reminders of the houses that once stood there.

During the Neolithic Period (4,000 BC), the first farmers settled by the lakes around the Alps. They often built their villages directly in or by the water and protected themselves from the wet grounds and floods by building their homes on wooden stilts. These pile dwellings are an early form of settlement offering the people protection against enemies and predators. And the close proximity to water was also vital for survival by the direct access to the lucrative fishing grounds.

The pictures here were all taken some days ago at the Pile Dwellings Museum of Unteruhldingen, Lake Constance. This site comprises an open-air museum with 23 reconstructed houses from the Stone and Bronze Age (4,000 until 850 BC). After archeological excavations in the lake the first houses were reconstructed in 1922 based on replicas and original findings making a fascinating submerged world visible again.

Towards the end of the Bronze Age (approximately 850 BC), a dramatically worsening climate and rising lake level pushed the settlers back inland into the surrounding hills. Since then, the remains of the sunken villages have been resting well protected at the bottom of Lake Constance. Complex underwater excavations brought numerous finds of building parts which allowed for accurate reconstruction of the houses.

Other diverse finds can be seen in a small museum, and in the houses you get also a deep insight of ancient living conditions being really worth a visit.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Connections

ROCKY AND SPIKY TENERIFE

Tenerife, the main island of the Canarian archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, is a place full of contrasts, that it’s almost impossible to find an adjective that describes them all.  Created by volcanic forces long time ago the centre of the island is dominated by an impressive huge caldera and the highest mountain of Spain. Besides there are canyons, trails, abrupt coastlines, spectacular cliffs, sand dunes, semideserts, tropical plants, pine or laurel forests which are perfect for hiking and wandering in the diverse biospheres and climate zones. The following pictures taken by my loved Beatrice during our various visits show more the multiple rocky aspects of Tenerife.

Cactees in the semi-desert

Layers of lava stream

View on Mt. Teide (3718 m) seen from Mt. Guajara (2715 m)

Abandoned cottage in the countryside

At the edge of the volcanic caldera

Cliffs at Costa del Silencio during low tide

View on the Atlantic Ocean near El Puertito

Field of succulents

At the edge of the volcanic caldera

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rock