Fotoeins Fotografie

the visible wor(l)d, between 🇨🇦 and 🇩🇪

Posts from the ‘Culture’ category

“Science is an integral part of culture. It’s not this foreign thing, done by an arcane priesthood. It’s one of the glories of the human intellectual tradition.” – S.J. Gould.

Fasching, Maschkera, Oimrausch: pre-Lent shenanigans in southern Germany

This ain’t no Hallowe’en*.

This is Fasching and Maschkera in southern Germany. It’s also about about distinctions and differences by comparison with Karneval on the Rhein.

Festivities take place before Catholic Lent, and the key idea behind the wild colourful costumes and wooden masks is the very pagan origin and ritual of driving out or driving away evil spirits of winter lurking inside people and their homes and welcoming the friendly spirits of spring for a productive growing season.

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Waitangi Day (6 Feb): 15 images of New Zealand

Above/featured: The kea is the world’s only alpine parrot and on the endangered list; on Milford Road near Homer Tunnel.

On the 6th of February, I’ll be humming “E Ihowa Atua” and “Pokarekare Ana”.

Waitangi Day is a national holiday in New Zealand to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840. As the founding document of the country, the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) is an accord agreed upon by representatives of the Crown (British Empire) and of indigenous Māori iwi (tribes) and hapū (sub-tribes). The agreement is named after the name of the location in the Bay of Islands where the Treaty was first signed. Despite continuing disagreements between the two parties about contemporary extent and redress, I think the conversation and interactions between the communities are at a more advanced stage of integration within the nation’s fabric by comparison with Australia and Canada.

For Aotearoa, the New Zealand government approved in October 2013 formal names of the two main islands in Māori and English:

•   Te Ika a Māui (“the fish of Māui”) for the North Island, and
•   Te Wai Pounamu (“the waters of greenstone”) for the South Island.

I highlight Aotearoa with 15 images of the following locations:

  1. Akaroa
  2. Auckland
  3. Dunedin
  4. Franz Josef Glacier *
  5. Greymouth
  6. Hapuku (Seaward Kaikouras)
  7. Homer Tunnel *
  8. Lake Matheson *
  9. Milford Sound *
  10. Queen Charlotte Sound
  11. Queenstown
  12. Southern Alps *
  13. Waimakariri River
  14. Wellington City
  15. Wellington Harbour

Asterisks identify locations within the Te Wāhipounamu area in South West New Zealand which was inscribed in 1990 as UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes four national parks: Aoraki/Mount Cook, Fiordland, Mount Aspiring, and Westland Tai Poutini.

1.   Akaroa

2.   Auckland

Rangitoto Island, Auckland, North Island, Te Ika a Maui, Aotearoa, New Zealand,

Auckland city skyline, from Rangitoto Island

3.   Dunedin

University of Otago, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, Te Waipounamu, New Zealand, Aotearoa,

University of Otago is also known as Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo; Māori is 1 of 3 official languages in New Zealand

4.   Franz Josef Glacier

5.   Greymouth

Flood Wall, Left Bank Art Gallery, Greymouth, South Island, Te Waipounamu, Aotearoa, New Zealand,

“A New Land” in Greymouth: Flood Wall, Left Bank Art Gallery

6.   Hapuku (Seaward Kaikouras)

7.   Homer Tunnel

Homer Tunnel, Milford Sound Highway (SH94), Fiordland National Park, Southland, South Island, New Zealand

Northwest from Homer Tunnel on Milford Road with Odyssey Peak at centre in background

8.   Lake Matheson

9.   Milford Sound

10.   Queen Charlotte Sound

11.   Queenstown

The Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, Otago, South Island, Te Waipounamu, Aotearoa, New Zealand,

The Remarkables (and Double Cone) over Lake Wakatipu

12.   Southern Alps, by plane

13.   Waimakariri River

14.   Wellington: the national capital

National Parliament, Beehive, Kaiwhakatere The Navigator, Wellington, North Island, Te Ika a Maui, Aotearoa, New Zealand,

At the national parliament: “Kaiwhakatere The Navigator” sculpture in the foreground and The Beehive at right.

15.   Wellington Harbour

Click on the arrow-window icon at the upper-left corner of the map for the legend.


•   Treaty of Waitangi, in brief and FAQs: from NZ History
•   Treaty of Waitangi, Nation & Government: Te Ara New Zealand Archives
•   Celebrating Waitangi Day
•   How New Zealand’s Waitangi Day differs from Australia Day: ABC, 25 January 2018

How do I love Te Waipounamu?

•   Akaroa: Akaroa’s Long Harbour with special guests
•   Akaroa: La petite ville française de Akaroa
•   Christchurch: Christchurch’s changing Red Zone
•   Christchurch: Christchurch’s Art Gallery: glass and light
•   Dunedin: Baldwin Street, steepest in the world
•   Fiordland: Cruising up and down Milford Sound
•   Fox Glacier: The slow forest walk up to Fox Glacier
•   Franz Josef Glacier: The slow approach to Franz Josef Glacier
•   Interislander Ferry: On the ferry between the North and South Islands
•   Lake Matheson: What are the sounds of a New Zealand sunset?
•   Southern Alps: Flying over the South Island’s Southern Alps
•   Southern Alps: The Southern Alps at sunset, from Lake Matheson
•   Train: Coastal Pacific train, from Picton to Christchurch
•   Train: TranzAlpine train, from Christchurch to Greymouth

•   Oh noae, I’m beached, bru. I’m beached az …”

I made the photos above in 2010 and 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

Maschkera, Fosnocht, Fasching, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Bayern, Germany,

Fotoeins Friday: pre-Lent Fasching in Partenkirchen

“These ‘hell riders’ are about to race hard …”

Around 1pm, the bicycle race “Tour de Badakurch” begins, but it’s no ordinary race. To mark the annual Fasching festival here in the Loisach river valley, the Sunday bike race through Partenkirchen involves decorated bicycles and riders outfitted with ridiculous costumes. I’m certain some folks are judging this race, and I’m also certain the race isn’t for the fastest time. I’m fascinated by the wood-carved masks (Maschkera) and the variety of colourful costumes, but this ain’t no “trick or treat”. North America has Hallowe’en in October; but, in February, the Rhineland has Karneval, and here in southern Germany there’s Maschkera, Fasching, or Fastnacht (Fosnocht). With its pagan origins and rituals to drive “evil spirits” away from people and town, festivities take place before (Catholic) Lent.

•   “Na ja, dumm gelaufen!”: 3-minute video from BR24/ARD, 27 Feb. 2017. I’m somewhere in that crowd of spectators …

I made this photo on 26 February 2017 with the Canon 6D, 24-105 glass, and the following settings: 1/400-sec, f/14, ISO5000 (yikes), and 47mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

IHolocaustdenkmal, Berlin, Germany,

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: observations from Germany

Primo Levi, Italian-Jewish author, chemist, and Auschwitz survivor, delivered a set of essays about life and survival in Nazi extermination camps in his 1986 book “The Drowned and the Saved”. Levi wrote:

… For us to speak with the young becomes even more difficult. We see it as a duty and, at the same time, as a risk: the risk of appearing anachronistic, of not being listened to. We must be listened to: above and beyond our personal experiences, we have collectively witnessed a fundamental, unexpected event, fundamental precisely because unexpected, not foreseen by anyone. It took place in the teeth of all forecasts; it happened in Europe; incredibly, it happened that an entire civilized people, just issued from the fervid cultural flowering of Weimar, followed a buffoon whose figure today inspires laughter, and yet Adolf Hitler was obeyed and his praises were sung right up to the catastrophe. It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.

On 27 January 1945, Soviet Red Army troops liberated the Nazi concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in south-central Poland. Over 1 million men, women, and children were murdered.

The United Nations declared January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day; the designation came during the 42nd plenary session of the United Stations when resolution 60/7 was passed on 1 November 2005.

Accepting and openly stating responsibility are critical first steps, but spending time, money, and effort to ensure the simple motto of “never again” is also an ongoing reality that isn’t solely up to the citizens of Germany. It’s a collective responsibility that we all should have to remain vigilant; that we all have to recognize and bolster actions which encourage and strengthen the universality of human rights, and reject the erosion and withdrawal of those rights.

I also believe responsible tourism includes paying appropriate respect at a memorial, especially the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. It’s my view this important memorial is not (supposed to be) a playground.

And yet, there’s something to be said about freedom in the early 21st-century which allows people to laugh and frolic in the public space, an undulating sculpture of featureless massive grey cement blocks, a testimonial to the systematic murder of millions of people.

Naturally, you have the freedom to take selfies and play here. But it doesn’t mean I’m gonna laugh with you.

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Halle (Saale): Making White Gold Since 3000 BC

What do the following six towns and cities have in common?

  • Hall in Tirol, Austria
  • Hallein, Austria
  • Hallstatt, Austria
  • Schwäbisch Hall, Germany
  • Bad Reichenhall, Germany
  • Halle an der Saale, Germany

Where Hall is more than a large covered room

With “hall” in their names, all six towns listed above are historically associated with salt production1,2,3. The word “salt” is represented in Greek as hals and in Celtic (Brythonic) as hal. In pre-Roman Europe, the towns of Halle, Hallstatt, and Hallein were three centres for salt-evaporation4 which eventually became salt-making centres for the surrounding regions of Prussian Saxony, Salzkammergut, and Salzburg, respectively. Archaeological finds around Halle and along the Saale river5 uncovered evidence of heated brine (at Doläuer Heide) from the mid-neolithic age (about 3000 BCE) and briquetage ceramic vessels from the late-Bronze age (about 1000 BCE).

Mark Kurlansky wrote1: “… Salt is so common, so easy to obtain, and so inexpensive that we have forgotten that from the beginning of civilization until about 100 years ago, salt was one of the most sought after commodities in human history.

Once a rarity, salt was a unique additive to improve quality of food preparation and consumption. Food preservation with salt also became a critical measure for survival, but also for improving the quality of food preparation and consumption. Whoever controlled salt production, sales, and distribution held power, wealth, and prestige.

Brine sources

A small geologic fault, the Halleschen Marktplatzverwerfung, runs underneath Halle through present-day Marktplatz (Market Square), creating the right conditions for rock salt deposits and salt leached and dissolved by groundwater into trapped pools within the bedrock. With their presence recorded as early as the 8th-century AD/CE, discovered about 20 metres underneath present-day Hallmarkt (“Das Thal”) were four brine springs6 which were significant to the city’s history of salt production. Systematic mining of salt began as early as the 10th-century AD/CE, and by the late 13th-century, Halle became a member of the Hanseatic League, providing further wealth and prestige to the region in the Middle Ages. Town residents who worked in the extraction and production of salt earned great respect and became known as the “Halloren”.

Siedessalz (evaporated salt)

Salt was extracted from the brine springs with the evaporation method. In large boiling pans, brine with a saturation rate about 20 percent is heated and boiled to temperatures of at least 70 degrees Celsius which removes water content and leaving behind salt crystal deposits; higher boiling temperatures creates finer crystals. The deposits are removed from the pans, then dried, ground, sifted, and packaged for culinary or commercial use.


The Königlich Preußische Saline (Royal Prussian Saline Works) was founded in 1721 on an island in the river Saale to create competition with primary salt production at the Thalsaline (Thal salt works at Hallmarkt) by the Halleschen Pfännerschaft (Panners Brotherhood); ironically, the latter took over operations in 1868. After operations halted in 1964, the facility was eventually converted to the Technisches Halloren- und Salinemuseum. The museum continues to produce salt using traditional boiling and panning methods.

At a modest haul of 70 tonnes (over 150-thousand pounds) per year, the Salinemusum is presently the smallest salt producer in Germany and the only museum in Europe to produce organically-certified salt regularly for tourism for visitors to buy and commerce to bakers, butchers, and grocers in Halle. The museum houses exhibitions of the city’s history; of the history of salt extraction and production; and of the Halloren, including their customs, privileges, and traditions. The museum has operated under the sponsorship by a non-profit association since 2010.

salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany,

Salt extraction from brine pools.

salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany,

Crystals of white gold.

salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany,

Depending on purity and quality, the Siedesalz (evaporated salt) is packaged into a variety of different commercial products.

salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany,

Commercial products: bath salts (Badesalz), coarse-grain (Mühlensalz) and fine-grain (Feinsalz) cooking salts.

salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany,

Luther Rose made with salt.

salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany,


salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany,

Schlackwurst sausage, Soleier eggs, Saline-Bräu: all made with salt produced at the Salinemuseum.

Food and drink also highlighted salt made in the museum. Soleier are eggs (Eier) hard-boiled in a brine solution (Sole). The solution preserves the eggs without the necessity of keeping the eggs cool. The production and sale of Soleier was and is among the privileges and traditions of the Halloren. That privilege also extends to the Schlackwurst (German salami) whose tradition goes back to 1704. Fresh Schlackwurst starts with ground or minced pork, Halle salt, and herbs and spices. The mixture is stuffed into natural casings and smoked with beech wood, followed by a three-week maturation period before consumption. Both eggs and salami are delicious and are easily washed down with the Saline-Bräu, a Oktoberfest-Märzen style beer from the Brauerei Landsberg near Halle.

salt-making, Halloren- und Salinemuseum Halle, Halloren, Salinemuseum, Halle (Saale), Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany,

The museum’s general manager, S. Kohlert, with my generous serving of beer.

The museum’s general manager, Mr. Kohlert, in traditional Halloren attire serves me a 2-litre glass of beer, because yes, I am served! The silver sphere buttons (Kugeln) on his red coat are the basis for Halloren-Kugeln chocolates about which I will also write in a future post.

My thanks to the museum’s general manager Steffen Kohlert, IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus, Isabel Hermann and Julia Oppat from Halle Stadtmarketing/Tourismus, Claudia Böttcher for her time, and Dorint Charlottenhof Halle (Saale) for their hospitality. I made the photos above on 1 November 2016. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus supported my visit to the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt from 25 October to 3 November 2016 inclusive. I also received assistance from the cities of Eisleben, Mansfeld, Dessau, Wittenberg, and Halle (Saale).

Notes & Sources

1   “Salt: A World History”, by Kurlansky, Mark, Penguin Books, 2003 (Google Books).

2 The present-day words for “salt” are halen in Welsh and Salz in German. A halophile is an organism which can tolerate and thrive in saline conditions. A halogen is any chemical element (e.g., chlorine) from which strong acids are produced with hydrogen and from which salts are produced. For example, high-school students can make a soluble salt by neutralization whereby an acid (hydrochloric acid, Hl) and an alkali (sodium hydroxide, NaOH) react to form a soluble salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in a water-solution.

3   “Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia,” Volume IV (M—S), pg. 1555. Editor J. T. Koch, ABC-CLIO, 2006 (Google Books).

4   “Salt and Civilization”, by Adshead, S.A.M., Palgrave Macmillan, 1st ed. 1992 (Google Books).

6   The name of the “Saale” river is related to the German “Salz” for salt. Halle (Saale) is located in the southeast corner of Saxony-Anhalt, and is not to be confused with Halle in North Rhine Westphalia.

6   “Geschichte der Stadt Halle an der Saale von den Anfängen bis zur Neuzeit”, by Hertzberg, Gustav Friedrich, Halle an der Saale, Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses, 1889 (British Library image scan).

7   “Halloren Lexikon”, von Jugendwerkstatt “Frohe Zukunft” Halle-Saalekreis e.V. 2016 (PDF).

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