Hôtel de Ville, à Le Locle

I had a very intense bittersweet moment here, just as I was taking this snap. A big black crow came up to me – which crows very rarely do. Somehow we connected, albeit briefly, on that part of consciousness where man and crow overlap. After this spiritual bonding I tossed him a huge pecan nut from a bag I was carrying. Instead of enjoying it, he just carried it off to one of the bushes you see in this snap, and promptly buried it.  Did he truly think it was his nut – maybe a nut so good it could not be eaten today but best saved for a more festive time? Was he just showing me how much he cherished the nut, only to return to eat it after I left? Or . . . was he contributing to the foodstocks of all the crows in Le Locle – and if he was, would that somehow reduce the pleasure I took from this man/crow nutgiving gesture? Or rather, should I judge a community spirit like that to be both admirable as well as somewhat lacking in mankind?

What is worth mentioning now is that the famous science fiction writer Stephen Baxter has postulated that after the evolutionary fall of man, crows will ascend and become the dominant species. Maybe this little man/crow event today is a little evolutionary kick along that inevitable journey?

Street art in Biel / Bienne

If you’ve spent anytime skimming through my blog, you’d’ve (how’s that for a contraction!) picked up that I love street art.

Well, that doesn’t mean I love all street art. Here’s a snap from what directly in front of the main train station in the city of Biel/Bienne:

When you consider the location of this piece in the direct pedestrian traffic flow then it sort of makes sense. But, somehow its very tight integration into the landscape – no “buffer” to soften the effect . . . well, I’m not sure what it’s missing, but in its entirety, for me personally it is a bit lacking.

The mind-blowing painted houses of Stein am Rhein – 2

Continuing the series,

If you are not from Switzerland, you MUST exercise extreme caution before visiting this village.

Otherwise, there is a real possibility that your brain will explode!

Stein am Rhein is a little medieval village in north central Switzerland, and it’s famous for its medival houses that are elaborately painted, as these snaps show.

Here is one of many houses:

And here is a close-up of the bits that are elaborately painted:

 

The mind-blowing painted houses of Stein am Rhein – 3

Continuing the series,

If you are not from Switzerland, you MUST exercise extreme caution before visiting this village.

Otherwise, there is a real possibility that your brain will explode!

Stein am Rhein is a little medieval village in north central Switzerland, and it’s famous for its medival houses that are elaborately painted, as these snaps show.

Here is one of many houses:

And here is a close-up of the bits that are elaborately painted:

 

The mind-blowing dormer cranes of Le Landeron – 2

Continuing the series, Le Landeron is a medieval village in central western Swiss canton of Neuchatel that is one of a very tiny minority of Swiss villages in which most of the houses have been equipped with medieval dormer cranes, used for lifting things to the highest level:

For a long time I wondered about this, until I spoke with a historian in the German village of Villingen-Schweningen. He told me that people are lazy, if they can they prefer to keep their grain in their basement, and only in cases where the water table was very high were the higher floors of buildings used for grain storage. Et viola, dormer cranes.

The mind-blowing painted houses of Stein am Rhein

If you are not from Switzerland, you MUST exercise extreme caution before visiting this village.

Otherwise, there is a real possibility that your brain will explode!

Stein am Rhein is a little medieval village in north central Switzerland, and it’s famous for its medival houses that are elaborately painted, as these snaps show.

Here is one of many houses:

And here is a close-up of the bits that are elaborately painted:

Stein am Rhein – autostretched

Stein am Rhein is a very unusual medieval Swiss village, in which a majority of the historical buildings have painted facades. I’ll show more snaps in upcoming blogs, but first a view of Stein am Rhein from high on a hilltop, looking south:

In this region there is no way to describe the border between Switzerland and Germany except to say highly irregular. Sometimes Germany is north of the Rhein, sometimes it’s south, same with Switzerland. The border takes zillions of twists and turns.