THE LIBRARY ROAD TRIP GOES GLOBAL!
6/15/16 – San Francisco to Boston. Boston to Lisbon. Lisbon to Munich.all in four days. I don’t want to bore you with the details of our cancelled flight, no sleep, etc. Because of this the 2016 Global Library Road Trip began a day late in Munich. We met our son Walker at the airport and spent the rest of the afternoon jet-lagged and road weary looking at this beautiful city for the first time. We scouted out the big Bavarian State Library which we will photograph tomorrow. The highlight of the bleary afternoon was visiting Munich’s English Garden. I have never seen people surfing a river before but the surf was really up that day.
6/16/16 – The morning was spent photographing the fabulous Bavarian State Library. This is one of the largest research libraries in the world with one of the world’s largest collections of books maps, and manuscripts.
I photographed an amazing exhibit of medieval illuminated manuscripts and the massive interior of the library.
We spent several hours there while I photographed with my film and digital cameras. The beginning of this trip is a trial to figure out how to work with both my Mamiya 7 and the digital Nikon D800. It is also time for Ellen and Walker to define their roles in this multi-faceted, complex project. After walking through the old part of touristy but beautiful Munich. We spent the rest of the afternoon back at our Ibis Hotel getting organized.
6/17/16 – After a few more exterior shots of the Bavarian State Library we leave Munich through the green Bavarian countryside. Off in the distance we see the breathtakingly beautiful, snow covered Alps. I can’t imagine WW II being fought here. I can’t imagine how insane a Nazified Germany must have been. It is scary to think how this rich, beautiful, civilized country could have lost its mind under Hitler. We drive south while Ellen is driving, Walker is navigating and I’m in the back seat writing this blog. We eventually drive into Austria and then immediately drive into Switzerland. The Abby Library of St. Gall in St. Gallum is a jewel-like architectural masterpiece. I am stunned and have a hard time comprehending the beauty and history surrounding me. The two women accompanying us are very patient and allow us to extend our half an hour time period to an hour. I am like a kid in a candy store and make use of every precious minute I have. Afterwards, we walk out and find the main plaza of this small medieval town filled with books. It is fascinating to see the Swiss so rich with a love of reading. After dinner I drive two hours back north to the old village of Ulm. I am so exhausted that it is only talking with Walker about his work with LensCulture that I’m able to stay awake. We collapse into a deep sleep in Ulm.
6/18/16 – I thought we had seen the most beautiful library yesterday in St. Gallum. But this morning outside of Ulm I photographed the equally fantastic Wiblingen Library. Located in a former monastery this rococo fantasy is a perfect expression of Enlightenment exuberance and religious piety. While i was photographing, a large group of tourists came into the Library. Then a second group consisting of a bride in a white dress, the groom, a photographer and videographer and others started posing for photographs. Of course, this all wound up in my photographs of this spectacular library.
Later, we visited the old center of Ulm and walked through the 16th century cathedral which was the tallest building in the world for hundreds of years. We also photographed the ultra modern, pyramid shaped City Library.
Stuttgart was our next destination. The modern City Library there has a spectacular view from the eight floor looking down into the library. I spent a few happy hours photographing the view while switching lenses on both my digital and film cameras.