One year ago

A few days ago we had some snowfall and really cold temperatures in Hamburg. This reminded me of last year’s trip to the Swedish village Nikkaluokta in early March, just before the pandemic fully started. Nikkaluokta is located about 50 km from Kiruna.

This time my wife and I took a relaxed approach. We rented a small cabin and did some excursions on skis in the surrounding area. We knew Nikkaluokta from a summer backpacking trip. In comparison to summer it was not very crowded. There are marked winter trails in the area, in particular one section of the famous Kungsleden starts here.

We enjoyed the Vistas valley the most. Very few people and almost no snow scooters. A quiet and beautiful place.

The following short video is documenting our trip.

Winter Days in Nikkaluokta (Swedish Lapland)

Two sides of autumn in Germany

It’s winter now and Corona lockdown is in full force again. In autumn less restrictions applied. The following images show two sides of autumn in Germany.

The first images have been taken in the Palatinate forest in south-western Germany where I was greeted with wet and foggy conditions. While it was not the most comfortable, I believe it was a great fit for the castle ruins near the small town of Annweiler.

Castle ruin Scharfenberg (Closeup)
Castle ruin Scharfenberg (Closeup)
Colorful forest with castle ruin Scharfenberg
Colorful forest with castle ruin Scharfenberg
Castles Trifels and Scharfenberg in the fog
Castles Trifels and Scharfenberg in the fog (on the horizon)

In the Palatinate forest there are small managed campsites that are only reachable by hikers. I stayed at two of those during this wet three-day trip. Highly recommended!

The second set of images has been taken in a small nature reserve in Hamburg, the city where I live. It was a beautiful day in November where the autumn colors were bright and prominent.

The moorland Duvenstedter Brook
The moorland Duvenstedter Brook
Glowing tree
Glowing tree

Heather bloom at its best

Violet sunset
Violet sunset

From mid August the heather is blooming in northern Germany. A famous location where this spectacle can be observed is the Lüneburg Heath (German: Lüneburger Heide) which is located between Hamburg and Hannover.

During the heather bloom you will encounter many visitors, but in the mornings and evenings it’s usually far less crowded. Then, due to the directional light, the colors seem even more vibrant.

To preserve the landscape in its current state, the grazing of sheep is necessary. There is a special breed of sheep (“Heidschnucke”) which can be encountered in herds.

Heidschnucken and one goat

If you visit the area be sure to take your time and explore the area on foot on one of the many hiking trails. Below you find some more images.

What’s new?

It took me longer to update the website than I’d have liked – as usual ;-). Last year I was fortunate to conduct two longer backpacking trips in Lapland:

Summer hike from Katterat to Nikkaluokta

Some time ago, I already posted a video about this trip that I did together with my wife. Finally, I uploaded some of the new images from this trip to the image gallery Lapland – Kebnekaisefjäll. I used this opportunity to also optimize some of the older images from this gallery.

Traversing the national parks Rago, Padjelanta and Sarek in September

Starting in Norway and the Norwegian Rago NP, I crossed over to Sweden where I traversed the Padjelanta and Sarek NPs. My endpoint was Kvikkjokk. Also for this adventure, I created a short video:

Rago, Padjelanta and Sarek - One Hike, Three National Parks

In addition, I updated the image galleries about Sarek, and created a new gallery displaying  some of the images from the Rago and Padjelanta NPs that I captured on this hike.

New image gallery about German landscapes

Finally, I decided to create a new image gallery about German landscapes. Reviewing my image database, I discovered that I haven’t done a lot of “serious” photography in Germany. My plan is to change this. In particular, I want to do more local landscape photography around the city of Hamburg.

My backlog is still big

As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m slow in updating things on the website. But I’m not quick either in reviewing and editing images – it’s a hobby after all. The good news is that you can look forward to images and possibly videos in the future :-). Those include:

  • Images from Wales (including lots of waterfalls)
  • Images + video from a relaxed winter trip to Lapland (this time only day trips with skis)
  • Very recently my wife and I have been to Iceland as there was the chance for a visit with less tourists. Our highlight was the crowded but beautiful Laugavegur trail. (We can only imagine how full it is in normal years…)

Painting with Light