I made a homemade fat ball and was promptly visited by a fat ball (obese robins FTW).
Not at all.
Damn you, January.
Seven landscapes seen from seat 7A during the last seven minutes of flight DY617.
According to the ancient Mayan calendar, January 21st, 2019, is the day that a reasonably young man in Bergen, Norway, were to goof around in his garden with a cup of coffee, a really long lens and a thermal skirt borrowed from his girlfriend. The Mayans sure hit pretty close with that prophecy!
(Photo from my backyard, 6:40 this morning. I had this sneaking feeling that I hadn’t posted anything to this blog for a few months, and just realized «a few months» actually meant 16 months…)
A month of looking out windows, seeing Eastern Europe pass by, scene by scene.
I spent a month looking out the windows of trains and buses, passing great murders of crows, power plants and haystacks, empty billboards, roadside crosses and teenagers bored at weddings.
Some views repeated themselves: endless fields of sunflowers; railway workers not working.
On a late Saturday evening this July, I boarded the sleeper train from Istanbul to Sophia. From there on, I travelled through Bulgaria and Romania, to Hungary, Ukraine and Poland.
Through thousands of kilometres on rail and road I followed the passing landscapes of Eastern Europe and recorded some moments, some views: Each a glimpse and gone forever, to quote the closing line in Robert Louis Stevenson’s railway poem.
“That’s a pike. I don’t like pikes. They’re bitey but not tasty.” (American tourist couple overheard at the local public aquarium.)
Since acquiring its very first marble sculpture 500 years ago, the Vatican museums have grown to become one of the largest museums in the world with over 70,000 works attracting some 28 billion visitors a year.*
Behold the Laocöon sculpture, the Raphael rooms, the Transfiguration, St. Jerome in Wilderness and the ticket line longer than the 3.2 kilometre Vatican state perimeter!
See the Sistine Chapel with its ceiling and Last Supper by Michelangelo and its silence continuously broken by guards shouting Silenzio!
See the crowds, see the back of the person in front of you, get a contraband selfie stick poked in your ear.
So I recently visited the Vatican Museums for the first time in ten years. Not much have changed since my last time. I still love the place. I still tried to beat the crowds. I still failed spectacularly.
* number based on a rough guesstimate.
Giddy tourists petting stone genitalia. Families collecting pokemonkeys. Terrified small children whose fathers, inspired by the sculptures, try to juggle them. Yup. It’s the Vigeland sculpture park.
My girlfriend and I rented a lighthouse on an uninhabited islet.