Tag Archives: lake

The Alster // Hamburg, Germany


Leica Minizoom // 35 mm, 200 ISO

Hamburg is a city defined by water, weaving between centuries old factories and centers of trade, churches and modern flats under a vast network of bridges that outnumber Venice and Amsterdam combined. The chief body of water in Hamburg is the Alster, a tributary of the river Elbe, forming two lakes in the center that give the city its identity, not necessarily by what the water adds, but by the space it takes and the land it leaves to man. Giving one the sense that from the Alster’s edge, one finally has the requisite distance to appreciate what’s in front of them, on the far side of the shore.



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The Three Pagodas — Dali

I finally decided to give in and visit somewhere touristy. Somewhere touristy that – gasp – charges an entrance fee. (Note to students and recent graduates: Hold on to your student ID cards, they will often get you a major discount at places like the three pagodas — in this case half off.)

I went an hour before closing time allowing me to have the place pretty much to myself, and after being adrift in a sea of tourists throughout the town, these were some welcome moments of peace.

The pagodas were build in the 9th and 10th centuries as a means of protection against natural disasters caused by dragons. So far, they’ve worked, and not a single dragon has been spotted since. (Can you believe it?) The unique architecture in addition to the excellent view over the lake and surrounding mountains has earned the Pagodas a spot on my list of places actually worth paying for.


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