27 May 2010

Photography Friday (5)

"Knowing glances passed around the Palace bar on Lake Lucerne."

So goes the single-line entry for 14 June 2004 in my oft-neglected journal. After traveling eastward overseas, usually on the second night, the lag hits me hard. I find myself not merely awake, but energized—and strongly desiring smoke and drink. So, around 2:45 in the morning I made my way downstairs in the
Hotel Palace to the Palace bar and found a dark corner. It wasn't dark enough. That's when the knowing glances began among the lounge lizards.

If you've traveled much at all, you'd know to be distrusting of the over-friendly native. An older man stumbled over to my table and asked, in surprisingly good English, if I'd like to buy the middle-aged lady at the bar a drink. She swiped me furtively with her eyes. I imagined she was a classy whore and he her pimp, hoping to end the soirĂ©e with a last-ditch effort to pick up a young American and drain him of his spending cash. Usually I'm game for an anonymous drink or two, but not this time. It wasn't the seediness of the whole thing as much as the fact that I just wasn't in the mood to talk, but rather drink and smoke, which is serious business. I politely declined with a firm, bugger-off look in my eye.

(Just in case your wondering, no, I'm not wealthy. In the early 2000s, my wife and I had the privilege of going overseas a few times, mostly to Europe, to work on a history project. Basically, I served as her
grip, while she shot tons of B-roll.)

In this photographic series I've included a few pictures from Lucerne and a couple from Bavaria. As usual, all of them were taken on a Canon AE-1 with E100VS (slide film). Click on an image to get a closer look.

Lake Lucerne. In Photoshop I gave it a tilt-shift feel. Behind the foreground 
bridge you can see the famous Chapel Bridge (the tower on the left), 
and behind that the exterior of the Jesuitenkirche (see next pic).

The interior of the Lucerne Jesuit Church, which above almost every other
building I've seen drives the traveler to contemplate the majesty of God. 
Note in the description how this church served as an architectural 
Catholic counter-reformation to Protestant theology and practice.

An interior of a church apparently in or around Lucerne.
The composition of this photo is just okay, but particularly I 
like the baptismal font. One of the best I've seen.

Hohenschwangau Castle, located in southwest Bavaria (see some
interior shots here). It was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II.
Not too shabby. My summer residence as a kid was a big hole entangled in
large roots next to a huge oak tree in our backyard. Mine was better.

Look familiar? No, it's not Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle, but it
did serve as its inspiration. Neuschwanstein Castle, also situated in southwest 
Bavaria, was commissioned by the aforementioned Ludwig II, in homage 
of Richard Wagner (and inevitably I think of Larry David whistling 
Wagner's Siegfried Idyll—note also the connection to Lucerne).


Evan said...

Great story, great photographs... I always enjoy these posts.

Chris Donato said...

Thanks, Evan.

RoverHaus said...

Great reflection.

I've been there, but I didn't get to meet these two.

Great photo of Lucerne. You have to teach me how to do the tilt-shift. Very cool!

Chris Donato said...

Thanks, Rover. Always a pleasure to have you stopping by.

Regarding the tilt-shift thing, I had this link from my bookmarks that may prove useful: http://gimparoo.blogspot.com/2007/02/fake-tilt-shift.html

After reading it again, I found that I could've done a better job on the Lucerne photo (I left out a step or two)!

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha