Visiting a place with primary intention of photography is tricky. That too if one wants to cover whole of lot of photographic genre at one go. Macro, nature landscape, architecture, street photography etc.
If one is seriously interested in getting quality images, it would be a waste of effort to cover all types of images. Plan the genre, plan the location, time of the day and research the location of subject before you go there.
If one is traveling with restricted time then it takes quite an effort to make the day enjoyable and fruitful.
Well, my interest was to spend time with nature, find some architectural marvels, and capture the interesting subjects. Some images would somehow be suitable for stock as well.
I had to execute my plan with quite a number of constraints. I had a day from early morning to late evening including travel time to base location. Travel time was about an hour, one way. I could not leave before seven the morning. I had to come back by seven in the evening. Some places in any chosen location would open only by 0900 hrs to 1000 hrs.(So, reaching early also would not help) The would be chosen place had to have train connectivity, Since I am dependant on public transport or on my legs.
Surely I was not expecting to go macro. In a cold climate of 10 to 12 ‘ c temperature in day time, you do not find exotic insects even in the deep woods. You could find some beautiful tiny flowers, not more.
I randomly picked a place on google map and explored and did some “research” . This time “Wiesbaden” met the most of the constraints.
Next thing was to pinpoint the spots and plan the sequence with least time in walking. As I said, I was dependant on public transport and on my legs. If the spot is in less than 5 km range I would walk all the way enjoying the walk. It is not harsh summer, isn’t it? Advantage of walking is that you can click anything on the way. You might get to see some wonderful subjects while on the walk. Bus or car make you miss this opportunity. But it will be uninteresting and waste of time if you are walking on the same path on the back. Take a public transport then, if available or take a detour to reach back.
Planning to reach these spots is very similar to “transportation model” or “travelling sales mans problem model”. These are some well-known very interesting optimisation techniques in the field of Industrial Engineering. You have to be there at the desired time, you want to walk least and not repeating the same path, touching all the spots. Task would be easier if all the desired spots are in a straight line with in 2 km range.
Where on earth would you find such a great location. Hold on – Wiesbaden is not so bad in that sense. Though not in a straight line many interesting spots lie with in 5 km range.
Moral of the story is that research well, plan well, and enjoy the day. Wiesbaden is an example for me.
Wiesbaden is a city in the western German state of Hesse. Its neoclassical Kurhaus now houses a convention center and a casino. The Kurpark is an English-style landscaped garden designed in 1852. The red, neo-Gothic Market Church on Schlossplatz is flanked by the neoclassical City Palace, seat of State Parliament. Museum Wiesbaden displays expressionist paintings by Alexej von Jawlensky and natural history exhibits.
It is 13 minutes from Mainz and 46 minutes from Frankfurt, 69 minutes from Osthofen, where I stay, by train.
I wanted to cover market church, city palace, Museum Wiesbaden, Luisenplatz, Kurpark, Kurhaus, Hessisches Staatstheater, Russian orthodox church, Neroberg on train and the trail back, kochbrunnen (hot water spring ). I did cover all of them, except Luisenplatz and missing few points like desired time of the day for photography in specific. All in all it was a day well spent.
I followed the route as I planned and more or less it worked out well.
I boarded 0700 hrs train from Osthofen to Mainz and from Mainz to Wiesbaden. By 0830 I landed at Wiesbaden HBF (Train station)
Morning 0700 was quite cold and chilly. (Official sunrise time is around 0700 hrs here during this time of the year (October)
Just in front of train station, across the road, a large green landscaped park. Quite nice.
As I said the advantage of walking towards your destination is that you get to see some beautiful structures and of course some empty roads too.
In Germany I understood that every Saturday there is farmer’s market. Local farmers and vendors put up their shops in the centre of the city market and sell their produce. The fruits, vegetables, fruit juices, home made jams, breads, street food, meat, vine, flowers………whole lot. People throng here to buy their weekly needs and enjoys sunny day and some good food and wine. I will write on it separately. Here was my first destination the church. Evangelical Market church.
It is a beautiful red stone church built between 1853 to 1863.
It was still not open hence I had to come back few hours later to find out the beauty inside. You can walk around the church to see from all angles. This is best view. Another good view below here.
Next I moved to kurpark.
The Kurpark, German for “Spa Park”, is a public park in the centre of Wiesbaden, stretching from the Wilhelmstraße to the southern borders of the district of Sonneberg and lying immediately behind the Kurhaus convention center.
Autumn is here……………………………………
Below are few modern sculpture in the park. They have some local significance I guess.
Hesse State Theatre
It is a majestic building just on the edge of the kurpark. Unfortunately I could not get to go inside. It was closed. I believe it is far more pretty inside. It is one of the famous and best theatres in Germany known for drama, ballets, concerts etc. Click here for more details. Click here for an inside view.
Check for timing, holidays before you visit. It follows scheduled timing.
Next one is Kurhaus
It is a massive, well ornate building – a convention centre and a Casino. A massive lawn in front with water fountains.
A Casino ? I could not understand the connection between a convention centre and a Casino. A Casino is out of bounds for me. But I just pushed open the massive doors at the entrance just to have a look of the Casino. I was relieved to see a beautiful, but almost empty hall . I was expecting lot of people playing at gaming stations and slot machines . I believe there are other halls where these machines are placed.
Kochbrunnen – Hot water spring
Wiesbaden was known for its hot water springs from Roman’s time. The Kochbrunnen in Wiesbaden is the most famous hot spring in city. It is a sodium chloride hot spring. Its name refers to the water temperature of about 66 °C. The spring in the Kochbrunnenplatz was first mentioned in 1366 as Bryeborn and 1536 as Syedenborn. Its is about 360 litres every minute.
I felt bit disappointed to see the kochbrunnen. I was expecting to see a hot water pond with facility to take a bath or so. Nothing of that sort. To experience the hot Sauna you better visit a spa. This city was known as spa city in earlier times.
Neroberg is city’s hill side estate situated on outskirts of the city. I walked up the base of the hill through lush green park.
Wiesbaden’s own hillside estate, is one of the city’s most popular leisure-time destinations. The 245 metre high hill offers many rest and recreational options – a visit to the Russian Church, a walk on the Neroberg Nature Trail and of course an panoramic view of the city of Wiesbaden.
A small toy train runs up and down the hill every 15 minutes. Since the year 1888 the carriages have moved up and down the Neroberg Mountain with 7.3 kilometers per hour. It takes 3.5 minutes to reach the station on top of the 245 metres high Wiesbaden hillside estate. The ingenious technique still enthuses the passengers today, as it had done in the former times. The down hill carriage is filled with up to 7,000 litres of water and pulls the second carriage uphill by means of a 452 m long steel cable during its downward descent. When the downhill carriage arrives at the bottom, the water is let off and pumped uphill once again. The speed is regulated by the downhill driver. The railway is secured by pinions under the carriage that latch into a toothed rack fastened to the rails.
It operates from 24 March until 30 October and transports its passengers up and down every 15 minutes.
The ticket cost 3.5 euros per adult per one way trip. People normally go up and then walk back through a nice green patch.
There is a nice restaurant and a beautiful structure with a canopy. There is an open air theatre, a Russian church and another hotel with swimming pool and fine dine.
I saw few brides in their wedding gown with photographers, for pre wedding shoot here. Nice location for pre wedding shoot, no doubt.
Strange looking Church. I mean, strange because of the onion dome with golden gild. Yeah it is the Russian Church.
This is Wiesbaden’s only Russian-Orthodox church and is called the Greek Chapel by local residents. Duke Adolph von Nassau had the church built between 1849 and 1855 to house the funerary monument of his wife who died while giving birth, the Russian Princess Elisabeth Michailowna, Grand Duchess of Russia and Duchess of Nassau. Today, the Russian-Orthodox church is the parish church of Wiesbaden’s Russian community. The Russian Orthodox cemetery adjacent to the building contains interesting graves from the 19th century.
Walk back through the green trail from Neroberg
You could come back through the train as well. But it is worth walking down the trail. It takes 15 minutes walk down. Lush green all along. From the base station I took a bus to come back to city center.
I all the way walked to my next destination – the Museum.
I wanted to spend little more time at Museum, hence decided to skip Luisenplatz.
The Museum Wiesbaden is a two-branch museum of art and natural history in the Hessian capital of Wiesbaden, Germany. It is one of the three Hessian State museums, in addition to the museum in Kassel and Darmstadt.
It was Saturday. I was lucky. I entered the museum and was looking for ticket counter. Some official just came to me and said ” Huete frei” Means today it is free. The museum offers free day on some Saturdays I learnt later. For more information click here
The museum is based on two main themes that Natural history and Art of Nature. There are many original paintings of yesteryears of different artists. I can not dwell much on these themes except showing some of fascinating colours and art of the nature.
Pictures below depict the head gears and other ornamental wear used by north American natives , made of natural feathers.
The point here is the natural art of nature itself, of course man used these colours further for his use.
Here below are the fantastic colours and art of the nature that exist around us.
There were collections of paintings from various artists of 19th and early 20th century.
There were many other paintings but mostly nude. If I post them here my blog could be declared as Nude blog.
I think the message is to look around – get closer to nature. You will find beauty and art all around. Do not mess up with it otherwise, the very nature could be furious and dreadful at times. Stay closer to nature and get along with nature.
Commercial tour operator would take three days to cover what I covered in a day and a handsome fee for the same.
It is your choice when you travel, how you want to travel. Your comfort level, purpose of travel and the money you want to shell out for the experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day with Wiesbaden.