German Adventures: A Sunday afternoon walk in the Rheingau region

One of my many foreign friends is coming over from New Zealand pretty soon and we’ll be taking a trip around the Southern part of Germany. More about this to follow, but it made me think about a few funny facts about myself. Many of the places on our tour itinerary are new to me. They are not far, they are pretty famous, like Castle Neuschwanstein, but I’ve just never been.

I shared the itinerary with a few people and some of them have laughed, asking me if I haven’t really been to these places and why. I actually don’t have an answer, only that I’ve eaten fried quail eggs on the streets of Myanmar, encountered a wild elephant 30 steps ahead in the bush of Botswana, seen beautiful whales a few times already and have done plenty of other things around the world, but actually haven’t seen my own home country too much.

If you’re a traveler and have the same problem, tell me about it. It is mostly visitors that get us out and make us take a look at our own neighborhood.

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Hattenheim

A friend asked me if I wanted to join him today, he was planning on visiting his parents, who own a weekend house in the Rheingau region. If you’re not too familiar with it, this is close to the cities of Wiesbaden and more famously known by tourists, the town of Rüdesheim. Rhein is the German word for the river Rhine and that is exactly where the region is located. Hattenheim (Google Maps Link) is a small town with a population of around 2200 people. It became part of Eltville in 1972 and is a typical small German town with lots of timber frame buildings. I’ll have to go back and shoot the buildings another time, light and limited time didn’t allow it. Check these pics out until I get back there!

This is one of these places I’ve been talking about a few lines up. Not even an hours drive away from my house, it is a beautiful place on earth and well worth visiting.

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After a coffee at the parents house, we took off for a 3 hour walk around the vineyards. Thee area is pretty well known for their wines (mostly white) and the hills are plastered with grapevines.

One problem when just visiting and walking around with 3 other people who are not really interested in waiting for you ALL THE TIME? You can’t wait for the light to appear and give you the best shot available. It would be worth going back, bringing a tripod and do exactly that.

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I knew beforehand that this wasn’t a photography crowd per se, even though my friends mum actually owns a Fuji X-T10 with two lenses that I helped her buy. So I had one partner in crime to take a few photos with, while my friend and his dad often continued on, as I tried to get good light and find the right angles.

My camera today was the Fuji X100F and I like it more and more every day. I’ve talked about this in the last blog already, but it does everything I didn’t like about the predecessor, including giving me extended battery life. It is also so easy to take with you and I didn’t miss the bigger X-T1 at all. I’m also a big fan of the 23mm focal length, which translates to 35mm in the full frame world. It can be used as a landscape camera (in a way – before you start complaining) and has a minimal focus distance of 10 centimeters, so you can actually get really close. The f2 lens also helps in putting some details in focus of course.

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As we moved along the vineyards, I kept running into little details on the side. We found, ate and photographed fruit (sooo good) and encountered also a few funny things, like this big pile of dung , that a few mushrooms now call their home. We didn’t collect them, don’t worry.

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All in all a great day out and I’m happy that I went, even though I was first a bit lazy on a typical Sunday morning.

So go out tomorrow and tell / show me what you found in your neighborhood!

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