International Museum Day 2019 – The European Hansemuseum

The International Museum Day this year happened on the 19th May. The day was created in 1977 where museums in all the world were invited to promote the role of museums by creating unique and free activities for everyone. Today there are participating more than 150 countries and more than 40.000 museums. In 2018 there were 41 languages and nearly 1 billion people taking information about the event.

The International Museum Day is organized by ICOM – the International Council of Museums. It organizes also the European Night of Museums, which was held this year during the night of the 18th to the 19th May. Museums will be open until 1 am and free of charge. For some reason in Lübeck it will be on the 31st August.

I decided to visit on this years Museum Day the European Hansemuseum together with some friends. It’s a long time that I wanted to jump in the Middle Ages and learn more about the famous Hanseatic League but for one or the other reason it never happened before. This was the occasion!

I started from Travemünde (where I am located currently) in a thick foggy weather condition. Luckily in Lübeck it was sunny and nice. Parking space was available and after a short walk I arrived at the Burgtor/Castle Gate where the Hansemuseum is located. I just had to follow a man from the Middle Ages…

The museum offered a reduced entrance fee but also a great Medieval market with stands of food, cooking like they did in that period, handcrafts and music. Waiting for my friends I had a look around.

We paid a reduced entrance fee and with a lift we got to the basement. Here we had the possibility to learn about one of the greatest periods of the city which is also European history.

The museum was built in 2004 where once was an air raid shelter and a sailors home. Nearby there is the castle (Dominican) friary, the castle gate and the mews. The opening was in April 2015 after a multiple delay because of the many archaeological excavations in site. On 7.000 sqm/75.000 sqf there is a permanent exhibition with original artifacts, interactive sites and much more. It is the largest museum about the Hanseatic League. The architecture of the museum building is modern though in bricks (recalling the brick architecture of the Middle Ages).

The many, many explanation boards don’t leave out even one historical moment and are overwhelming in information. It is very interesting to see the many written letters and documents. The museum itself is located in the basement and pretty dark but everything is displayed with a lot of light. On the top of the new building there is a terrace which gives a beautiful view on the river Trave and the port constructions. Vis-à-vis you can see the ‘Lisa’, a Hanseatic cog.

From this terrace you go also to the friary which is not connected internally with the museum itself but should be visited definitely. I wrote a separate article about it.

I am very glad that I finally have been in this so interesting and exciting museum. It gives a really great overview of a remarkable period, about the Queen of the Hanseatic League and historical moments like the ‘Black Death’, when a third of the people in Europe died. Even though I wrote about the Hanse several times, I still found a lot of things I didn’t know. I think the museum should be a ‘must’ during a stay in North Germany, in Lübeck and at the Baltic Sea.

Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein/Germany:

For further information:
Europäisches Hansemuseum
A little bit about Lübeck and the ICOM

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Hidden Lake in the Woods

Some days on my way home from shopping I took another road than normally and passed in an area with woods. Honestly I know that road for a while but never take it on the way home.

This time I was pretty early in the morning, sun came up only shortly ago, and so I stopped. And yes, I had my camera with me, because I thought to go somewhere else for maybe some shootings. Though passing in this little wood I thought why not starting here with having a look. Instead, I stopped only here… it’s a super peaceful place!

There are some little lakes right going through a short part of wood, all natural and a perfect place for animals. On the other side of the lakes are some huge meadows where I saw a lot of geese.

I walked around one bigger lake, found a little bench where to sit. I stayed for at least one hour just sitting and observing the swans and other water birds. Here are some of the photos I took that early morning. I will return there, so peaceful and beautiful!

Enjoy some impressions!

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A Canyon in the Middle of the City – Tecolote Canyon

San Diego is a city in the south of California and located in a desert-like area but on the Pacific ocean shore. Coastal sage scrub is one of the most common plants here. The city with it’s more than a million people is streaked with canyons which are very often parks and natural areas. I hiked once in the Torrey Pines State Reserve north of the city. This time I explored the visitor center of the Tecolote Canyon Nature Park.

Originally in this area there lived the Kumeyaay Indians before the Europeans came and they found food and shelter here in the Tecolote Canyon. Since 1872 there was living one of the first settlers right in this canyon. Since 1978 the land is owned by the city and now a Natural Park of which City Park Rangers take care.

The name Tecolote comes from the middle and south American Spanish word for a small owl. The canyon has nearly 10.5 km/6.5 miles of hiking trails. Classes, workshops or special events are possible here.

The visitor center gives a wonderful overview on this big, wild area. It offers educational AND recreational opportunities for children and adults. The visitor center shows a map of the canyon, there are good explanations about the flora and fauna and there are also some snakes in terrariums which are interesting to see. It shows as well some objects of the original human inhabitants and their life before the European settlers arrived.

When reading of the work they do I was astonished that they actually go around in the canyon to see if there are plants growing that are not natural in this environment. They pull them out then. Very interesting, indeed. They offer to go around and explain the nature to children which I think is very important. They are also active in promoting to preserve the integrity of the canyon and the Tecolote Creek (to keep it free from pollution).

I visited the center around noon. It was sunny and warm, ideal for hiking but I had no time for an extended canyon inspection. The center itself is nice and has a lot of information. Right behind the building there is a kind of bigger closed area where many different shrubs, trees and flowers are explained. We had a kind of little guided tour talking to a Park Ranger and some people working in the visitor center. I hope one day I can go and hike also some trails, it looks very good to me.

Tecolote Canyon, California/USA:

For further information:
About the Tecolote Canyon Nature Parkvisitor center
Who wants to hike there, here is the Tecolote Canyon Nature Parks Trail map

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The Big Carlsbad Village Faire

I love flea markets and thrift stores where I can find props, old used kitchen utensils, candelabras and endless much more. For decoration, for shooting with them or very often just using what I buy.

I was thrilled when I read there is a street village fair in Carlsbad right when I was in San Diego. More than 850 vendors! Oh my goodness… lots to see, much ‘danger’ and hopefully not too overcrowded. I asked my better half if we could, maybe, if… we could go and eat at ‘TipTop Meats’ (a German restaurant and store he likes a lot). And yes, it was OK also for him and so with a lot of courage he ventured with me in the largest street fair I have ever been.

We walked up and down the streets, had same snacks somewhere and enjoyed the many stands with all sorts of products. Even real estate agents were there!

I was very much interested in the many photographers who used this place to sell their photography. I thought that is a great idea. Some were spectacular.. oftentimes also the pricing, I confess.

The fair was in the center of the city, near to the beach. There are two fairs a year, one in May and one in November, both the first Sunday of the month. It starts early in the morning at 8 am and ends in the afternoon at 4 pm. People are coming also from other states! Vendors, musicians, local businesses and handcrafted arts… also for children there is a lot to do. Hungry? We had something yummy to eat in the ‘International Food Court’. The only downer: parking is miserable. You have to drive around a little in the nearby neighborhood to find a spot right at the moment someone else leaves. Or you go to the nearby ‘The Shoppers’ or ‘Poinsettia Coaster Station’ and take a shuttle bus that is offered.

I enjoyed very much the fair, though I didn’t spend nearly anything, and my sweetie was alright, too. After the fair, there was still the stop at ‘Tip Top Meats’ restaurant…

Carlsbad, California/USA:

For further information:
Visit Carlsbad

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Puxa – (Photo)Goodness of Wilderness by Kenda & Peter Francis

Puxa is the name of the exhibition a friend in San Diego is currently doing in San Diego. It is a photo exhibition about her and her husband’s weeks in the Pantanal area in Brazil.

Pantanal is the largest inland wetland of the world and still pretty untouched. It is located at the borders to Paraguay and Bolivia and has a spread of nearly 200.000 km². It has a huge biodiversity and is flooded about 80 % during the rain season.

Kenda and Peter had a sponsored trip to the area and could shoot the many beautiful animals.

Wonderful photos of jaguars, hyacinth macaws, giant anteaters, several birds and monkeys and much more are shown in the exhibition which is also a fundraiser for the ‘Lions Tigers Bears of Alpine’, a sanctuary taking care of illegal animals. 60% of their sales of the Vernissage or Opening Day has been donated to the non-profit organization.

Both the photographers, Kenda and Peter, were at their opening to answer the many questions everyone had. We talked about the wetlands, the animal encounters they had and how some of the shots were done.

For me personally it was interesting to see how a professional exhibition looks like in the US. In the small gallery there are exposed around 30 photos of different sizes, all on sale of course and can be also ordered in different sizes.

I really enjoyed those photos and the many people that arrived during the one and a half hour I was there were the same way amazed like me. BTW: the snacks were good, too!

El Cajon, San Diego, California/USA:

For further information:
The exhibition adresse:
Studio C Gallery
128 East Main Street
El Cajon, California 92021

Exhebition: 4th of May to 25th of May 2019
opening hours: Thursday to Saturday 10 am to 2 pm, and by appointment

Kenda’s artwork homepage

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