blue ice
photography places I love

Home is where one starts from

I think this quote from T.S. Eliot fits perfectly when I think about ‚home‘, or more precisely, ‚Heimat‘. Because ‚home‘ can be everywhere I have lived for some time, home is my flat, the town I am living in right now. Home is the place I come back to after work. But ‚Heimat‘ is the place I was born, the town or village I grew up in. It is the place where my family is rooted, where I learned how to live my life. It was where I saw my first tree, heard my first bird, learned how to walk, how to swim, how to ride a bicycle. And since my family has been living in this village since forever, I have a very deep emotional connection with the place I call ‚Heimat‘. Which of course does not mean that I don’t feel at home in Berlin. But the connection can never be that strong. 

From time to time I take the train back home and spend a weekend with my family. And every visit is like a small holiday because there is no noise at night, it is absolutely quiet. The air is fresh and there are fields, forests and a big lake surrounding us. I always meet people on the street I have known for ages. You cannot take a single short walk without bumping into someone you know. Some might find that overwhelming, I enjoy it (most of the time). For a few days it’s nice not to be an anonymous person in a crowd of 3.5 million people. 

Another positive thing about returning home occasionally is that you see familiar places from a different, fresh perspective. What had been boring and stifling when growing up (‚why am I stuck in the middle of nowhere‘ –  teenager logic) is now liberating. Places are familiar, bring back long forgotten or cherished memories.

Needless to say I had to get on a train when the weather report promised a week of very low, below zero, temperatures. Because every other year, the freezes up and you can go ice skating. Sadly that wasn’t the case two weeks ago but in the end it didn’t really matter. Instead I spent the entire weekend being outside taking pictures, recharging my batteries so to say.


covered in ice
In some areas the ice was thick enough to walk on but near the shore, parts had opened up and frozen over multiple times. You could not tell how thick the ice was so it was safer to stay off it.
layers of thin ice
Usually the area close to the shore is frozen solid and you can go ice skating there (and avoid walking further away from the shore). Not this time. Ice piled up there, pushed together by strong winds.
slowly melting piece of ice
I just had to 😉
night shot at steinhuder meer
I arrived on Friday night around 11pm and decided to take a walk. My mum and I stayed outside until almost 1:30am.
ice at sunset
The ice had this nice, deep blue colour at sunset.
frozen lake
…and I only stopped taking pictures when the battery of my camera died. The sunset was perfect.
ice floe catching last sunlight
The light reflects in the tiny ice floes. People had thrown stones and sticks onto the ice, trying to crack it. Most of the time without success.
birds flying in the evening sky
Some birds crossed the evening sky and the only sound I heard while taking that picture was their quacking.
foggy day at steinhuder meer
Sunday started as a very dark and foggy day. And all afternoon the fog didn’t lift at all. In the distance you can only just see the „Wilhelmstein“, an artificial island in the Steinhuder Meer. It dates back to the 18th century.
cracked ice
That’s the reason why it was very dangerous to step on the ice. The lake is not very deep but when you fall through the ice the cold water will make it difficult for you to breathe and your temperature drops fast. So: stay off it! 


Should you ever feel the need to escape busy city life, I recommend visiting the Steinhuder Meer. In summer it offers you a beach, sailing boats, kite surfing and wind surfing. In winter the total quiet and maybe ice skating. The area is not hilly and is perfect for cycling. 





1 Comment

  1. When Mella says it is not hilly, she means it isn’t for the area 😉
    But this describes perfectly the difference between ‚huis‘ and ‚thuis‘ – the things that change and remain the same and that make you who you are. The photos are of course absolutely wonderful – clear but soft, even if they depict hard, cold ice. Wonderful post.

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