Ilha de Moçambique

A dhow is about to set sail in Ilha de Moçambique.

Ilha de Moçambique was the colonial capital of Portuguese East Africa for four centuries and one of the main ports of the Swahili coast. A stroll through the town is a walk through history. Beyond Cape Bojador When Vasco da Gama landed in Mozambique in 1499, Ilha de Moçambique was already an important port for Arab traders. Vasco…… Continue reading Ilha de Moçambique

BBC Proms

Albert Hall concert hall in South Kensington, London. The hall was built in 1871 and hosts the Proms concerts since 1941.

The BBC Proms are an eight-week series of music concerts in London that go back to the 19th century when promenade concerts for a strolling outdoor audience were popular. In 1895, the aim was to introduce a wider public to classical music. Nowadays, the Proms are mostly known for the Last Night of the Proms…… Continue reading BBC Proms

Pinda Lighthouse

Pinda lighthouse oversees Mozambique's Memba bay. The tower was built in 1923 with a height of 31 metres.

Sailing across the Indian Ocean to East Africa is a century-old trading route. Today’s container ships can rely on satellites, radar, and radio. There are still maps on the bridge though, and these maps show the position and light characteristic of each lighthouse on the coast. Pinda lighthouse oversees Mozambique’s Memba bay. The tower was…… Continue reading Pinda Lighthouse

Le Petit Barrier

Left: Early morning in a village near Rubona in Rwanda. Right: Petit Barrier: A tricycle carries goods over the border between Gisenyi and Goma.

In a cloud of smoke and dust sits volcano Nyiragongo behind the twin towns Goma and Gisenyi at the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. It’s before dawn in the hills at Lake Kivu. On the road winding through small villages, people march in the direction of Gisenyi at the usual brisk Rwandan pace.…… Continue reading Le Petit Barrier

Night trains and ferries

Amsterdam, city of bicycles.

Our Interrail trip through Europe in fall 2015: Basel, night train to Berlin, reminiscences of the Wall in 1989. Currywurst from a jovial salesgirl and Jazz concert in A-Trane. Overcrowded train to Amsterdam. Jazz Cafe Alto and FOAM photo museum. Short walk in Rotterdam. Overnight ferry from Hoek van Holland to Harwich. London was jammed and we were late…… Continue reading Night trains and ferries

Cadiz after Midnight

Night in Cadiz.

Cadiz is not only a beautiful city with a picturesque old town, but also evaporates history with every step you take through its narrow alleys. The atmosphere of an old harbour town comes alive as the sun goes down and you feel moved back in time some hundred years. The cobblestones have seen many poor souls…… Continue reading Cadiz after Midnight

A Postcard from Cadiz

Fisherboats lie at the beach La Caleta in Cadiz. The fort San Sebastian (left) and the Santa Catalina castle (right) were built in 1598 to deter further British attacks in the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604).

Cadiz is among the oldest cities of Western Europe founded around 1100 BC by the Phoenicians of Tyre, a maritime trading people of the Eastern Mediterranean coast (today’s Libanon). However, acording to Greek mythology, Cadiz (Gadeira) was founded by Hercules just west to the Pillars of Hercules formed by the Strait of Gibraltar. Cadiz neighboured…… Continue reading A Postcard from Cadiz

Postcard from Provence

Lavender field in Provence.

Sault is a village in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in France with hundreds of lavender fields in the area. The historical use of lavender goes back more than two thousand years. Lavender is essential for perfumes and cosmetics and has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects. Lavender is also insect repellant – although bees visiting lavender…… Continue reading Postcard from Provence

Rwanda’s March Through Hell

Historical map of central Africa, 1914.

April 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. The hundred days after 6 April 1994 saw the murder of 800’000 of the 930’000 Tutsi living in Rwanda. Every single day, Hutu beat 8’000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu to death, on some days up to 45’000. In contrast to the Nazi concentration camps, the…… Continue reading Rwanda’s March Through Hell