Tuesday, May 19, 2015


We've arrived in Lisbon and its seven hills. It feels a bit like being in a crumbly film set. The sun was setting by the time we had wandered down to the river. A chilly Atlantic breeze hurried us along before ducking into a side street restaurant for seared salmon and boiled potatoes brought by the wizen faced man with a single tooth.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Munich's Glyptothek is almost compulsory regardless of how often before.

The Barberini Faun :

The short hair and exaggerated musculature of youth :

Athena :

Apollo, looking half male half female :

And Vita Sackville-West :

Lots of heads :

                                                                    (click to enlarge)


Salzburg to one side, the furthest you can see about 11 o'clock:

Konigssee on the other:

It's only looking back that you get some perspective.

Trudging, idling, posing, lunching, hanging gliding, forgetting ...

Inside is unsettling. A huge fireplace has no meaning in a vast room relentlessly brutal and cold regardless of temperature. You just want to get out. There is no beauty, no where. This is a view you never want to see again.


Two hours from Munich by car is the very beautiful Berchtesgaden region of lush meadows around the Obersalzberg mountain.

From 1920 Adolf Hitler spent increasing amounts of time here under the alias 'Herr Wolf', eventually renting a house. Largely driven by Martin Bormannm, Hess's chief of staff rising to Hitler's private secretary, the Nazi Party, with party funds equivalent to half a billion euros in today's terms, built Hitler a Teehaus on the top of Kehlstein Mountain for his 50th birthday. Perched at 1834 metres, it assumed the name Eagle's Nest during the liberation.

Although he visited infrequently, fourteen times actually, it was nonetheless the place where major decisions were made about the terror and horror, persecution and murder of millions. Today it swarms with visitors. You reach it by bus for the giddy final 7km climb to the entry platform and bone chilling stone tunnel into the mountain where an obscenely over-dressed lift in green leather, brass and venetian glass takes you the final 120 metres.

You wonder what you are doing there. There is the view, spectacular on a fine day. But it really is to do with walking in the shoes, as asinine as that may seem to be, and is.

From the bus

That's Konigssee mid background just left of centre.

There's a huge bus turn around and waiting platform, touristy shop, and the mouth of the tunnel (1938) before the walk into the mountain and into the lift.  


When you need weeks there's only days. But I did manage a quick visit to the newish extensions to the Lenbacchaus especially to see what I could of the Blue Rider and see some of Kandinsky's partner Gabriele M√ľnter's work. It was her massive donation that constitutes the great collection.

The entrance drop chandelier evokes the V&A.

A film crew were making a promo video with some celebrities, in front of Jawlensky's arresting Portrait of the Dancer Alexander Sacharoff 1909.

More Jawlensky, if my memory serves correctly:

Kandinsky's Lady in Moscow 1912 :

We lingered a while at Kolle's The Suicide. Hans said it was his favourite painting in the collection.


Admission on Sunday is 1 Euro for an adult. Under 16 is free. There were children everywhere with guide headphones and iPads.

                                      (As usual, click to enlarge and slide from photo to photo.)