In the footsteps of knights and celts

By: barbamz , 6:24 PM GMT on October 25, 2013

I'm back from some days of autumnal vacation, and as I've promised before I'm going to post some pics and informations about the places where I've been.

I've stayed in Büdingen, a little town northeast of Frankfurt which is known for its very well conserved medieval center with a lot of framework houses and massive town walls. Origins of the medieval settlement in the 8th century were at nearby church Saint Remigius.

Distance from Frankfurt to Büdingen by road: about 50km/30miles. From my home location in Mainz to the southwest of Frankfurt I had to drive about 100km/62miles.

1. Some pictures from the old center of Büdingen:

The massive outer town walls with the "Jerusalem Gate", built in the years around 1500.

Part of the older inner town wall with "Devil's tower".

Framework house on top of the inner town wall.

When you saunter through the narrow alleys you'll find a lot of interesting items:

Stone with a grotesque face.

Head of a boar on the wall.

Sleeping Beauty Car in a backyard, lol.

Premature Halloween happening in the main street of Büdingen at Sunday evening. Medieval "House of Stones" (16th century) in the background.

A resident is inspecting his alley garden, raised in pots.

So called "Oberhof", now used as a center of arts and culture.

2. The old castle of Büdingen

Even older than the historic city of Büdingen is its amazing moated castle. The first roundish part, built in the 12th century, was completely surrounded by water.

This is what the castle was looking back then (pic is from a public information panel).

This is how it's looking today from the adjacent hillside. Unfortunately I couldn't rent a heli to get an even better view, lol. Wiki has a ground plot of the castle.

View to the castle from the historic town.

Entrance to the inner court.

View into the inner court, the oldest part.

What's left from the former water moat in the park of the castle.

The tower of the castle (13th century), constructed in the so called "butter tub style". Picture was taken from the window of the flat I'd rented adjacent to the castle and its park.

3. Hiking around Büdingen

As nearly every countryside in Germany the hilly area of Büdingen (Wetterau / Vogelsberg) with its woods, fields, lawns and ponds is great for hiking. There are a lot of older and newer marked trails for hikers or bikers to chose.

For example, if you would follow the upper sign to the right you'll reach the Baltic sea, if you follow it to the left you'll reach the Alpes - after some weeks of course :)

If you follow this sign to the right you'd nearly reach my doorsteps in Mainz after some days. If you follow it to the left, you'll end at the doorsteps of the grave of Saint Boniface in the cathedral of Fulda. Saint Boniface was murdered by the heathens in the Netherlands at 754. His body was carried back by ship on Rhine River to Mainz, his residence as archbishop, and then on land from Mainz to his new foundation amid the wildernis, the monastery of Fulda, where he wanted to be buried. In 2004 (1250th anniversary of his death) the old path from Mainz to Fulda was reconstructed and marked as a trail for pilgrims and hikers ("Bonifatius-Route"). It's length is 172km/106miles.

Some impressions while hiking the countryside:

Roof of an old barn.

Pond for fishing.

Rose hip.

Curious squirrel.


Sheep. Okay, I spare you the cows, mushrooms and more sensations, lol ...

4. Some geology

The region is interesting because of its geology as well. Büdingen is situated in a valley of the southwestern outer slopes of the extinct volcano Vogelsberg (means Bird's mountain). That's why you find a lot of basalts from former magma channels and lava outflow, often used as quarries.

Basalt rocks above Büdingen. The location is called "Wilder Stein" (Wild Rock). In former times it has been a ritual place; since medieval times it was feared as a meeting place for witches and used as place of judgement; later it served as a quarry.

Dauntless nephew on top of the Wild Rock, ts ts ...

But there aren't only basalts but bunters (sandstones) as well, left by an ocean long ago. These are also used for building purposes.

Historic sandstone quarrel near my vacation flat.

When the prehistoric ocean was gone, a lot of clay and loess soils had been drifted into the plains west of the volcanic massif. This soil is very fertile, and that's why you find indications of human settlement in this area since the stoneage.

Today's agriculture between Büdingen and Glauberg. There were five tractors at once operating on this hill the evening I passed by. Dooh! No calm evening, lol.

5. Finally, the Celts

Speaking of the attractive fertile soils of the Wetterau-Region we finally will meet some of its most interesting former residents, the Celts.

Celtic settlements in the region (pic is from a public information panel).

Of course, besides the above mentioned hiking trails there is a "Trail of Celts" as well, and this one leads you f.e. to a hill with a lot of celtic burial mounds on top. There isn't much to be seen though:

One of many celtic burial mounds in the woods above the village of Dudenrod.

A different thing is the large hillside "Glauberg" nearby. The vast plateau on top of the ridge was inhabited until medieval times (spare the Romans who had different locations), and the archeologians found traces especially from an early celtic settlement (called an "oppidum") and afterwards from a medieval village and castle:

Part of the huge celtic ringfort on top of Glauberg.

Ruins of the gate to the castle in medieval times.

All the before mentioned settlements were long known. But it was only in the 1990ies that in an adjacent field some roundish structures were detected which could only be seen from the air and during certain growth periods (pic is from a public information panel).

Excarvations were started, and in 1998 the sensation was perfect: They detected two undisturbed celtic graveyards from 500 B.C.

Archeological site of Glauberg (map: Wiki).

In one of the graves the remains of so called "Earl of Glauberg" were found with his weaponry and gold jewellery:

The original weapons (sorry for cutting the sword) and jewels in the museum which was newly built to show all these findings at the very place where they had been excarvated.

And, apart from two scattered statues, an amazingly well conserved statue of this very earl, decorated with the same sort of weapons and jewels, was found (only the feet are missing). This was the high point of the excarvation and of international importance.

This is His Highness, the Earl of Glauberg:

And no, he wasn't a precursor of Mickey Mouse, lol. He doesn't have large ears but is wearing a crown of leaves.

The statue of the Earl of Glauberg in the newly built museum, surrounded by his modern admirers. He's got his own guard who told me that soon they will have to shelter the Earl by bulletproof glas, but I still was lucky to see him without this protection.

This may have been the scenery when the Earl once was buried, 2500 years ago (pic is from a public information panel).

In the mean time the grave mound was reconstructed as well, together with the street of procession which leads to the mound, and some wooden pales.

Mystical evening light near the celtic grave mound.

And, at last, two evening pics from Büdingen:

View of the rising moon from one of the windows in my flat.

The spire of St. Mary's in Büdingen.

Now I'm finished with showing a (small!) collection of my vacation pics, apart from some videos I'll insert later, and, for sure, some correction work which should be necessary in respect to my poor skills of English.

Hope you've enjoyed the tour nevertheless :)

Edit: Here some bumpy videos:

View out of "my" window while the carillon of the castle is playing.

Hmm, the kite of the man on top of the grave yard is hardly to be seen on the video. But anyway, lol ...

During a calm and sunny autumn day a little breeze caused a heavy downpour of leaves and acorns in the woods near Büdingen.

Sunday afternoon happening in Büdingen (note: children screaming at the end of the video were only very excited by the view of the fire).

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138. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:46 PM GMT on December 01, 2013
barbamz has created a new entry.
137. GardenGrrl
11:10 AM GMT on December 01, 2013
White Rabbits, White Rabbits, White Rabbits!

Happy December :)
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11471
136. barbamz
6:58 PM GMT on November 30, 2013

As Comet ISON finally seems to fade out after a short comeback (*sniff*), I put up my own star-comet into my window, as every year when Advent arrives. Of course with a low energy bulb, lol.

I have to be busy the next two weeks at least, but hope to manage a new blog at some time during December ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
135. barbamz
1:53 AM GMT on November 29, 2013

You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side, yeah

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
134. barbamz
10:37 PM GMT on November 27, 2013
Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Blinded By The Light

Animation of ISON going to be blinded by the light ...

Nice Thanksgiving to all of you, random or regular visitors from the US! (No holiday in Germany, unfortunately)
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
133. barbamz
2:30 PM GMT on November 26, 2013
Two extracts, concerning environment and science, of the new programmatic document by Pope Francis (head of a church with 1.2 billion members; and one of them is me), which was published today, November 26:

"...215. There are other weak and defenceless beings who are frequently at the mercy of economic interests or indiscriminate exploitation. I am speaking of creation as a whole. We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures. Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations. Here I would make my own the touching and prophetic lament voiced some years ago by the bishops of the Philippines: "An incredible variety of insects lived in the forest and were busy with all kinds of tasks ... Birds flew through the air, their bright plumes and varying calls adding color and song to the green of the forests ... God intended this land for us, his special creatures, but not so that we might destroy it and turn it into a wasteland ... After a single night's rain, look at the chocolate brown rivers in your locality and remember that they are carrying the life blood of the land into the sea ... How can fish swim in sewers like the Pasig and so many more rivers which we have polluted? Who has turned the wonderworld of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of color and life?" ...

Dialogue between faith, reason and science

242. Dialogue between science and faith also belongs to the work of evangelization at the service of peace. Whereas positivism and scientism "refuse to admit the validity of forms of knowledge other than those of the positive sciences", the Church proposes another path, which calls for a synthesis between the responsible use of methods proper to the empirical sciences and other areas of knowledge such as philosophy, theology, as well as faith itself, which elevates us to the mystery transcending nature and human intelligence. Faith is not fearful of reason; on the contrary, it seeks and trusts reason, since "the light of reason and the light of faith both come from God" and cannot contradict each other. Evangelization is attentive to scientific advances and wishes to shed on them the light of faith and the natural law so that they will remain respectful of the centrality and supreme value of the human person at every stage of life. All of society can be enriched thanks to this dialogue, which opens up new horizons for thought and expands the possibilities of reason. This too is a path of harmony and peace.

243. The Church has no wish to hold back the marvellous progress of science. On the contrary, she rejoices and even delights in acknowledging the enormous potential that God has given to the human mind. Whenever the sciences - rigorously focused on their specific field of inquiry - arrive at a conclusion which reason cannot refute, faith does not contradict it. Neither can believers claim that a scientific opinion which is attractive but not sufficiently verified has the same weight as a dogma of faith. At times some scientists have exceeded the limits of their scientific competence by making certain statements or claims. But here the problem is not with reason itself, but with the promotion of a particular ideology which blocks the path to authentic, serene and productive dialogue. ..."
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
132. barbamz
6:30 PM GMT on November 25, 2013
Concerning a possible desintegration of comet ISON right now, I think, this thread is the source of the present rumor on Twitter:

Dramatic fading of ISON's molecular emission lines

But I couldn't find any confirmation by other observatories right now, so - of course - I hope the comet will survive and provide us a great show next week!

New article on Ison:

Comet Ison to light up morning skies in the run-up to Christmas
The best time to see Ison in the UK will be the first two weeks of December - if it survives a close encounter with the sun
The Guardian, Monday 25 November 2013 16.43 GMT

Moreover a video version of the great sight from top of Teide/Teneriffa has been published (and here is a new photo by this photographer Casado available). Enjoy!

Edit: Another news source about Ison's problems.

Update Nov 26:

NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign
Comet ISON's Current Status
Latest Update: November 25th, 2013

In our November 23, the overall message was that not much had changed, and the comet appeared to be keeping it all together as it approached the Sun.

That situation may now have changed.

We are seeing reports online that molecular emission from the comet has fallen dramatically, meanwhile dust production seems to be enormous. What this could indicate is that the nucleus has completely disrupted, releasing an enormous volume of dust while significantly reducing emission rates. Fragmentation or disruption of the nucleus has always been the highest risk factor for this comet so if this has indeed happened then while unfortunate, it would not be a surprise.

However, these reports are new, and while they are undoubtedly valid, we do still need to keep observing the comet to be sure what it happening. Remember: Comet ISON is a dynamically new sungrazing comet, fresh in from the Oort Cloud, and the last time we saw an object like this was never! Furthermore, a sungrazing comet just three days from perihelion has never been studied in this kind of detail - we're breaking new ground here! When we factor in your standard "comets are unpredictable" disclaimer, what we have is a huge recipe for the unknown. ...

Latest stereo image of the comet form today. Source.

Source: Live-Tracker.

Yahoo-thread collecting very bad news about ISON.

(Edit Nov 27: now the threads are more hopeful as ISON still keeps its acts together, lol.]

Quoting 122. barbamz:
Starting right now:
LIVE NOW: NASA Teleconference to Discuss Comet Nearing Sun (Start time 1 p.m. EST)

Press conference just was finished (and it was really interesting!). For all who are interested from a lay perspective: NASA scientists aren't convinced right now, that comet ISON already fell apart. If it's not they give it a 30-40 percent chance to survive the closest encounter with sun the next days. But even if it will fall apart we nevertheless may get our great show at sunrise as well as at sunset in the first and second week of December - if at least some bigger chunks of the comet (it's diameter is estimated as two thirds of a mile) will survive. If it would have been totally evaporated until then we might see nothing though.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
131. barbamz
1:43 PM GMT on November 25, 2013
Nice sat-loop of the eruption of Etna/Sicily Nov 23 on CIMSS

Damaging "rain":

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
130. barbamz
8:22 PM GMT on November 24, 2013
Germans and their woods, lol. Follow up to post #177. A mythical relationship at least since the romantic epoch. I like the idea of waldkindergartens, as I was free to play around in a nearby forest when I was a (elderly) child.

Photo Spiegel

Campfire Kids: Going Back to Nature with Forest Kindergartens
Spiegel English, By Rupert Neate, November 22, 2013 %u2013 06:12 PM

Radical back-to-nature forest kindergartens where children are allowed to climb trees and play with fire have spread across the country. Will the concept of the Waldkindergarten become Germany's next export success?

It's a chilly November morning, and half a dozen children are sitting in a circle singing songs and playing games. Pretty standard kindergarten fare the world over, but these children are sitting on logs in a forest around a campfire. This no ordinary day care center, this a Waldkindergarten. ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
129. barbamz
5:19 PM GMT on November 24, 2013
Hey Bug. True about the old man Gurlitt.

In Rhodes death toll unfortunately is now at three:

Flooding in Greece: Missing 63-Year-Old in Rhodes Found Dead
By Ioanna Zikakou on November 24, 2013 in News

Shortly after 2 pm, the body of 63-year-old missing person, Giannis Bairamis was found by rescuers. He is the third person to lose his life in the deadly natural disaster that struck the island of Rhodes, Greece.

The island is currently counting its wounds, while relatives and friends mourn the loss of their loved ones .

Most rescuers make superhuman efforts to locate the last missing person, a 50-year teacher, colleague of the dead 27-year old woman. They were riding together in a vehicle that was swept away by the torrent.

The extended rescue mission, which continued into this morning, involved the Greek Fire Department, the Special Unit Dealing with Catastrophes, the Hellenic Coast Guard and two Super Pumas. Later in the day, rescuers will be assisted by army forces, 8 commandos, 50 soldiers of the military command in Rhodes, and an excavator and a loader.

Another video was published, showing how floods swept away some cars on the street.

Bad quality, but showing what was going on in these valleys:
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
128. palmettobug53
4:55 PM GMT on November 24, 2013
Hello, Barb.

Such horrible news coming out of that storm in the Med. I had no idea they had cyclones like that.

I read the links about Mr. Gurlitt. Such a sad story about a sad and lonely old man, who is having trouble understanding why these things have happened to him, wanting the paintings back and for people to leave him alone. He's lived a very isolated life and has had little interaction with society. I feel rather sorry for him.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 246 Comments: 26342
127. barbamz
2:58 AM GMT on November 24, 2013
Thanks Max, nice to see you!
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
126. trHUrrIXC5MMX
1:52 PM GMT on November 23, 2013
Gutten tag Barb

I love the pictures you put up.
Amazing views of Deutschland

TJust stopping by to say hi.
Take care
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14876
125. barbamz
1:48 PM GMT on November 23, 2013
Greece floods leave one dead on tourist island of Rhodes
The Telegraph / AFP, 10:30AM GMT 23 Nov 2013
One body recovered from river bank and two people still missing after heavy rains caused flooding and damage to infrastructure ... More see link above.

According to more recent international news unfortunately two are dead and at least one person missing.

Update Nov 24: Three are dead.

Source see link above.

I've saved the below sat animation yesterday morning when this strong line of thunderstorms developed over the island of Rhodes and the southwestern coast of Turkey (right side of the sat pic section). Similar weather conditions like earlier in Sardinia, I guess.

Saved animation Nov 22, 2013.

Long video showing severe floodings in the streets of Rhodes. Showing as well some rescue operations from a flat after a flashflood hit.

This one just was uploaded. Not as long as the previous one.

Here one more quite dramatic youtube video:

This one is from more rural areas (in the second part):

In Greece news authorities are quoted, that an "unprecendented amount" of rain fell just within an hour.

English news: "Rhodes has been hit by up to 173mm of rainfall, according to Greece's meteorological service."

Edit Nov 24:

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
124. barbamz
11:36 PM GMT on November 22, 2013
Ahh, Mike, thanks, you've spotted the news fitting our old treasury thread already, lol. But right now I can only counter with a simple, but special ring:

Swedish woman finds 2,000-year-old gold ring
The Local Swedish, Published: 22 Nov 2013 16:23 GMT+01:00

A woman was left gobsmacked when she learned the gold ring she stumbled across in a field was 2,000 years old. ...

Unfortunaltely I won't have much time in the next days to post. So see you some days later again!
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
123. clearlakemike
5:22 PM GMT on November 22, 2013

$1.2 million in gold bars found stashed in Boeing 737's bathroom
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2584
122. clearlakemike
5:15 PM GMT on November 22, 2013
Thank you, Barb, for the exhaustively complete (lol) answer...It will take me awhile to wade through it all, but I will, eventually. I had no earthly idea that they even had cyclones in the Mediterranean. I am now wondering if a similar Wasserbombe might drop on the island I live on? Although, the general climatic conditions are very different from Sardinia, I think.

Thanks also for the update on Mr. Gurlitt, who continues to be as interesting a part of the story as the art itself. I think he just wants to be left alone, with his beloved paintings. My advice to him is just to ignore what is written about him, if he so chooses to, but as for the legal and other stuff he faces...

Also, thank you for the link about Germany's old trees. Very interesting!
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2584
121. barbamz
8:58 PM GMT on November 21, 2013
More about the owner of the hidden art collection in Munich now on Spiegel English:

Time Machine: Munich Art Collector Lives in the Past
Nov 21, 2013, By Özlem Gezer

SPIEGEL reporter Özlem Gezer spent four days with reclusive art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, the man at the center of the sensational Munich art discovery. She found a man at odds with the modern world. ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
120. barbamz
7:30 PM GMT on November 20, 2013
Hey Sandi! Yesterday we got some rains from the moisture "Cleopatra" pulled up in the Mediterranean and send it over the Alps to the North, but this was all. System is moving into the eastern parts of Europe. Instead we'll have to deal with the cold stuff you are sending south from the British Islands, brrr.

BriarCraft, thank you. This is an amazing video of these cranes, especially with beautiful Venice in the background. I really enjoyed watching it! And your new blog about Longview, too.

And concerning rainfalls: Yes, I've also got the impression, that there are more "tropical elements" in our northern atmosphere. But maybe it's just because I spend too much time on WU, lol.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
119. BriarCraft
7:13 PM GMT on November 20, 2013
That is an amazing amount of rain dumped by Cleopatra. I read of a similar event on a small island in Japan just a few weeks ago. It seems to me that there have been an amazing number of severe and record-breaking rainfall and flooding events around the world this year.

Your new camera takes very nice videos. I noted the crane flight you shared in #105. I very much enjoyed a series on Nature by the BBC and broadcast recently in the U.S. It had a segment on the European Crane migration and I found a clip on YouTube:

If you get a chance to see Earthflight, it has some amazing scenes from all around the world.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
118. sandiquiz
3:11 PM GMT on November 20, 2013
Saw the news about Cleopatra on the BBC...We were told there was over 17 inches of rain in 2 hours!!
No wonder there were catastrophic floods!

Is it heading your way, now?
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29633
117. barbamz
10:55 AM GMT on November 20, 2013
Protecting Germany's old forests
Video, Deutesche Welle English, November 19, 2013
Peter Wohlleben is responsible for a forest that is over 4,000 years old. He says it's one of only a few untouched patches of land that still exist in Germany.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
116. barbamz
9:48 AM GMT on November 20, 2013
Something additional to the catastrophic rainfall in Sardinia two days ago: Yesterday a metereological explanation was published by Consorzio Lamma, an institute for metereolocial research and forecast especially for Tuscany. Of course the explanation is in Italian language. I've tried to translate it into English, so blame it on me [and a bit on google translator as well, lol] if there is something strange or nonsensical in this text:

Flood event in Sardinia

The flood event that has shocked Sardinia yesterday was not caused by an abnormal weather configuration, but by excessive energy at disposal of a low pressure system.

The satellite photo shows the two main thunderstorm systems, one activated inland, the other one offshore. Both are related to the convergence between Scirocco and Libeccio but are distinguished by different types of primers.

The vortex, in fact, was not yet comparable to a Tropical Like System (TLC), but rather to a normal cyclogenesis in the Mediterranean. In the past, depressions much more profound and intense have often been observed, but without the same catastrophic effects.

Then, why such large quantities of rain did occur?
We've mentioned the main reason at the beginning, namely the excessive heat which was available for the cyclogenesis. In fact, the perturbation passed over a sea well warmer than normal, and this has provided additional energy to the connected systems of thunderstorms.

To be more specific: In the afternoon of November 18, we have witnessed the convergence of current hot and humid Scirocco caused by a low between Algeria and Tunisia, and cooler westerly winds connected to a vortex in the Baleares. This evoked an extensive line of self-refreshing thunderstorms which affected Sardinia for several hours; the phenomenon was enhanced not only by the excess of latent heat supplied from the sea, but as well by the complex topography of the island. The mountains, in fact, often act as "trigger" for convective systems, as they force the air mass to rise and, therefore, to condense. Therefore, in addition to the main thunderstorms, numerous secondary cells had been active that have helped to make the system even more intense. Currently (at 16 UTC [Nov 19]), the cyclogenesis moves over Sardinia, and should reach the coast of Lazio [Italy] in the evening, favoring gradual improvement in the weather conditions on the Island.
It is not excluded that the depression evolves into a fully TLC [Tropical Like System].


Approaching thunderstorm at Olbia, Northeastern Sardinia, in November 18.

Concerning the last sentence in the text above about the possible transition into a fully Tropical Like System: Someone else smarter than me should have a look whether this has panned out or not.

Here is a recent sat pic of the landfalling COC in Croatia this morning:

Sounding Nov 20, 00Z, I think in the landfall area and near the time the system went onshore in Lazio/Italy.


Situation in Sardinia is very dire. Death toll still isn't confirmed as far as I can see. It varies between 16 to 18 in the news [edit: Latest from Italy: 16 dead, one still missing]. Mainland Italy was hit by torrential rains yesterday and during the night, but I spare you the details.

Cyclone Cleopatra traumatises people of Sardinia
BBC, 19 November 2013 Last updated at 22:13 GMT
By Matthew Price BBC News, Sardinia

Calabria/Southern Italy

High waters in Venice/Italy. Caption (in Italian) on youtube: Acqua Alta [high waters] in Venice on 19 nov.2013. When the streets (calli) and places become canals and one has to walk with rubber boots, ... we must go into one of the last old libraries, the most original one: the "Libreria Acqua Alta" in Calle Longa SMFarmosa to n 5176. Visit in the library starts at 0:50 (Uuuh!).
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
115. barbamz
2:18 PM GMT on November 19, 2013

Waterspout November 19 in the harbour of Gallipoli at the southeastern tip of Italy (Ionian Sea). Pretty wild!

Probably the same one when developing.

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
114. barbamz
10:02 AM GMT on November 19, 2013
Thanks Mike for the posts and links. Bad news from "Cleopatra", not an unsual weather constellation but an unusual strong one in the Mediterranean as far as I know:

Raw-Video with aerial views.

Sardinia hit by deadly cyclone and flooding
BBC News, 19 November 2013 Last updated at 09:11 GMT

At least 16 people have been killed in flooding prompted by a cyclone and heavy rain that swept through the Italian island of Sardinia.

A number of people are reported missing after rivers burst their banks, sweeping cars away and causing bridges to collapse.

The worst-hit area appears to be in and around the north-eastern city of Olbia.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta has spoken of a "national tragedy" and a state of emergency is expected to be declared.

"We're at maximum alert," Giorgio Cicalo, an official from Sardinia's civil protection authority, told Italy's Rai TV.

"We haven't seen a situation as extreme as this, perhaps for decades. Especially because it's been across the whole island."

Hundreds of people across the Mediterranean island have been moved from their homes because of the flooding caused by Cyclone Cleopatra.

Sardinian Governor Ugo Cappellacci told Italian TV that the situation on the island was "dramatic".

Olbia Mayor Gianni Giovanelli was quoted by Sky TG24 as saying that the city had been hit by an "apocalyptic"' storm.

Cyclones are extremely rare in the Mediterranean. ...

Whole article see link above.

And "Cleopatra" keeps on dumping rain onto Sardinia:

Cleopatra (saved image). Source.

(Saved image)
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
113. clearlakemike
5:02 AM GMT on November 19, 2013
Barb, I read the story about Mr. Gurlitt, thank you. Wow, I don't what to say...kind of sad? And for whom?

This is the latest from The New Yorker, ART HERMIT
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2584
112. clearlakemike
4:59 PM GMT on November 18, 2013
Barb, is this current weather in the Mediterranean "strange" weather or normal weather seen there this time of the year? btw, like the name of the storm...did it come up from Egypt - Saharan Africa? I saw another headline as I was scrolling down the blogs that there are monsoon in the States. That seems kind of unusual also. It seems like the warmer type weather is moving north. I am admittedly not that much of a weather geek but am interested in climate change.

I haven't read the latest on the art stuff but caught a headline that "he" wants the art yes, it is getting weird. I will try and get caught up on that news today, thank you.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2584
111. barbamz
3:30 PM GMT on November 18, 2013
Current weather in the Mediterranean: Another circulating cut-off low - called cyclone "Cleopatra" by the Italian Med Office - is dumping torrential rains to the coastlines of the western part of this Sea. Ongoing special alerts for Sardinia which is already severely affected by flooding and heavy winds, causing damage and evacuations. Reports about more than 4 inches (100mm) rain and locally considerably more are out.

Clouds over Sardinia (left side).

GFS 06Z. Accumulating precipitation forecast from today until Wednesday.

Saved animation, showing the excessive thunderstorms over Sardinia.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
110. barbamz
12:35 AM GMT on November 18, 2013
Uh, Mike, strange skull. Haven't notice those news until now. Thank you!

Thanks bug, for commenting on the cranes. Strangely it was only this one day I've seen them lately; but in other places of Germany this huge amount was noticed too. Seems to have been the big departure day, lol.

That's their two main routes across Europe in autumn. The western one would lead right over my head, lol.

See you some days later, as I have to do some work in office.

Meanwhile there is an update on the art stuff. Getting more weird and complicated.

Interview with a Phantom: Cornelius Gurlitt Shares the Secrets of His Pictures
Spiegel English, Nov 17, 2013.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
109. palmettobug53
4:37 PM GMT on November 17, 2013
Hi, Barb.

Haven't been by in a while; work and home has limited some of my online time.

That was an amazing video of the cranes migrating. I've never seen that many migratory birds going overhead at one time, like that.

I see the periodic small V's of geese and cranes.

Good grief! They found a Conehead!

Did a little online looking and found that it was more widespread than I thought. I knew some Native American tribes practiced skull reshaping or artificial cranial deformation, as it is called. Interesting.

It falls into the same catagory as foot binding in China, neck rings in Africa and Asia and lip/ear plugs in various other cultures and are usually related to an ideal of beauty or social status.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 246 Comments: 26342
108. clearlakemike
1:30 AM GMT on November 17, 2013 skull-dark-ages-uncovered-france-20131116.

Deformed, Pointy Skull From Dark Ages Uncovered in France
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2584
107. barbamz
4:57 PM GMT on November 13, 2013
Thanks, Mike, very interesting!
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
106. clearlakemike
8:39 PM GMT on November 12, 2013

Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2584
105. barbamz
4:56 PM GMT on November 12, 2013
Well, my quite new camera (Nikon Coolpix 7700) with its video tools doesn't get a break this autumn, lol.

This afternoon and evening there was and is a lot of traffic and noise in the sky above me - but this time not from airplanes (they today thankfully approach Frankfurt from the other side) but from row after row of cranes, heading south. I think they use Rhine River for their navigation.

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
104. barbamz
10:39 PM GMT on November 11, 2013
Hey Marvin, checking the European weather sites first time for a week woke me up a bit. But now it's really time to look for my cushions. Thanks for stopping by!
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
103. pcola57
10:21 PM GMT on November 11, 2013
Quoting 102. barbamz:
As I've totally neglected our European weather in the last days, I just realized that a cyclone (not a tropical one though) developed in the Mediterranean Sea. Lots of flooding and wind damage Italy and adjacent countries (of course, nothing compared with Hayian, but at least interesting).

At the coast of Croatia today (pretty wild!)

Saved pic.

Infrared loop.

Hey barb..
Very interesting weather indeed..
I realize you stated you were tired..
So a wonderful and blessed good evening to you.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7033
102. barbamz
10:16 PM GMT on November 11, 2013
As I've totally neglected our European weather in the last days, I just realized that a cyclone (not a tropical one though) developed in the Mediterranean Sea. Lots of flooding and wind damage Italy and adjacent countries (of course, nothing compared with Haiyan, but at least interesting).

At the coast of Croatia today (pretty wild!)

Saved pic.

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
101. barbamz
7:55 PM GMT on November 11, 2013
Short video I took this evening in my town Mainz: Children with lanterns follow "Saint Martin", the great saint who shared his coat with a beggar. These processions are a widespread custom in Germany, loved by the children. Message of this feast day: Share what you've got to others in need.

Translation of one of the verses in the most common song this evening, as a little dedication to those who were in the path of the horrible winds from typhoon Haiyan:

Lantern, lantern,
sun, moon and stars.
Hold back the wind,
Hold back the wind
until we reach our home.

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
100. palmettobug53
4:44 PM GMT on November 10, 2013
Hi, Barb.

Just a quick hello, as I've been pottering about online for far too long this morning and need to get up and going with some needed errands.

There was one small blurb about the art work find in our local paper, buried in the back pages. I'm about fed up with our local paper, as well as our local news stations. National and international news doesn't seem as important to them as entertainment and (in my mind) non news-worthy local items.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 246 Comments: 26342
99. barbamz
8:08 PM GMT on November 09, 2013
Lucky Mike, living in the neighbourhood of the stars! Hope Ison will be visible for us Europeans as well.


Watching all the horrible destruction by Haiyan I was curious about what was done in Davao Oriental/Mindanao (especially Cateel at the coast) which was severely damaged and at some places totally destroyed by Bopha/Pablo in December 2013 (death toll about 2000). We often us to watch destruction and immediate aftermaths but rarely look how affected people would fare some months later. Here a selection of what I found.



April 2013:

April 2013: Reconstruction

April 2013:

May 2013: Experiencing Davao Oriental (Post-Pablo Escapades)


June 2013: Art Therapy Workshop for the Kids of Cateel

May 2013:

June 2013:

October 2013:

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
98. clearlakemike
7:21 PM GMT on November 08, 2013
Quoting 97. barbamz:
We had the subject of preserving the night sky in Germany earlier on one of my blogs, but this new article contains much more research in depth:

A Brighter, Dimmer Future: Germany's Saviors of the Night
Spiegel English, November 9, 2013, by Marco Evers

The eastern German area of Westhavelland is blessed with magical night skies, darker than almost anyplace else in the country. A "dark-sky park" for amateur astronomers and nature lovers is in the works for the region, and idealists are championing efforts to reduce light pollution elsewhere. ...

Maybe they will get a good view of Comet ISON from the "dark-sky-park". I live in sort of one beneath the Mauna Kea observatories and am hoping ISON will provide a good view soon.

Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2584
97. barbamz
3:41 PM GMT on November 08, 2013
We had the subject of preserving the night sky in Germany earlier on one of my blogs, but this new article contains much more research in depth:

A Brighter, Dimmer Future: Germany's Saviors of the Night
Spiegel English, November 9, 2013, by Marco Evers

The eastern German area of Westhavelland is blessed with magical night skies, darker than almost anyplace else in the country. A "dark-sky park" for amateur astronomers and nature lovers is in the works for the region, and idealists are championing efforts to reduce light pollution elsewhere. ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
96. barbamz
12:29 PM GMT on November 06, 2013
Saving my today's weather post about Greece.

Greece / Ionian Sea / Aegean Sea obviously is providing a lightning show today. Check out the greek weather service (in English).

And the political situation is matching the weather:

General strike against cuts brings Greece to a halt
BBC, 6 November 2013 Last updated at 10:13 GMT

(Saved image)

Precipitation in Greece today.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
95. barbamz
11:01 AM GMT on November 06, 2013
Thank you very much, Dave. I'm glad you like the photos.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
94. DaveFive
10:49 AM GMT on November 06, 2013
Hello, those are excellent photos of Germany.
Member Since: August 16, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 311
93. barbamz
7:12 PM GMT on November 05, 2013
Detecting a hidden treasure always is thrilling. And to find some new masterpieces, totally unknown to the world until now ... Well, I sometimes do some research in old archives and I know the feeling when something new and important suddenly is before your eyes.

BTW: In the press conference this morning it was denied that the paintings were stored under bad conditions. They'd got their own darkened room with appropriate shelves, and the paintings were in a bit dusty but well preserved condition. Guess the mess was elsewhere in the flat.

The first report by investigating magazine "Focus" obviously wasn't very accurate, but some sensational items of these first reports now will stuck in public memory.

Edit November 6th, 2013:

Spiegel English:
Munich Find: Allies Briefly Confiscated Artworks after WWII
New details continue to emerge following the astounding discovery of more than 1,400 valuable paintings in a Munich apartment. Some of the works, including unknown masterpieces by Dix and Chagall, were reportedly confiscated by the Allies after World War II and then returned to the collector in 1950.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
92. airman45
7:00 PM GMT on November 05, 2013
I don't know much about art, but the fact he hid so much for so long, and the bad conditions the art was kept in, make this very interesting. Watched the headlines and arguments on RTL this evening.
Member Since: April 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3514
91. barbamz
6:52 PM GMT on November 05, 2013
Yes, Scott, very exciting - for me, too (three decades ago I've studied a little bit of history of arts at the University, but didn't finish this part). - Guess we'll hear about the find in Munich and ongoing quarrels for quite a while. I've just edited my last post with a link to a BBC report about the complicated legal situation ... And I wonder where the owner is right now.

Unfortunately a search in my own attic won't unearth anything valuable :(

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
90. airman45
6:45 PM GMT on November 05, 2013
This sure has become big news here, hasn't it Barbara??
Member Since: April 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3514
89. barbamz
1:00 PM GMT on November 05, 2013
More details and some important corrections of earlier pretensions about the seized collection of paintings and drawings in a flat in Munich emerged today in a press conference:

Nazi trove in Munich contains unknown works by masters
BBC, 5 November 2013 Last updated at 12:15 GMT

German Officials Provide Details on Looted Art Trove
New York Times, by MELISSA EDDY, Published: November 5, 2013

Photo gallery with snapshots of new master pieces here on Spiegel

Painting probably from Henri Matisse.

Edit: Photo Gallery on BBC with English explanations
In pictures: Long-lost art unveiled in Germany

Nazi-looted art trove raises host of legal questions
BBC, 5 November 2013 Last updated at 18:12 GMT
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939
88. barbamz
4:31 PM GMT on November 04, 2013

The unfinished art business of World War Two

By Godfrey Barker Art market expert and journalist
BBC, 4 November 2013 Last updated at 19:36 GMT

The astonishing find in a Munich flat of 1,500 paintings missing since 1939 points to two art crimes.

The first is Adolf Hitler's crusade to fill his Fuehrermuseum at Linz, Austria, with the supreme paintings of the world - looted, confiscated and purchased by the Nazis in the occupied countries of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Russia.

The second is the crime of covering up the truth ever since. ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 76 Comments: 8939

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About barbamz

I'm Barbara in Germany (Mainz), and I'm interested in weather already for decades.

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