The nomads told me, if you ever going to visit the desert, you will never return as the same person. Somehow, they are absolutely right. There is this indescribable magic about this place. It‘s full of blessings and limitlessness, the sky is like an ocean and the crystal silence is like a great gospel.
After driving eight hours from Marrakesh to get here, I felt dizzy. Nevertheless, it only took me a few more minutes and a few more steps through the dark dunes, to feel the magic of that place.
There she was... the beautiful Sahara, straight in front of me. The immensity of this wide and open space was completely overwhelming.
My escorts were one local Moroccan, two nomads and three dromedaries which carried all the heavy loads. The dromedaries have an unrivaled capacity to endure long periods without water, up to five days, I was told, which makes for pretty uncomplicated companions though very stinky.
Every day we walked for around 7 hours. My state of mind needed around a day to really accept that fact. If you are once able to stop thinking, walking feels like a meditative act. And that's the hardest part – to really to stop thinking about anything. If you manage it, you find yourself in an inner space – only you, that place, and your feet on the ground.
The landscape in the Sahara is ever changing. From huge dunes and completely flat dried ground to green palm oasis and even water which makes the Draa river – Morocco's longest river.
As I was sitting on one of the sand dunes, overlooking the immenseness of this wide and open space, I was completely overwhelmed.
Beauty in its purest form as I never saw it before. I felt tiny, like a grain of sand. The nights are freezing cold. As soon as the sun disappears behind the dunes, the temperatures drop drastically. It seems the nomads don‘t even really care about it. The dunes are their blanket and the the moon their flashlight.
"You can‘t find more holiness of silence than you do in the Sahara“, Sai, on of the nomads, was telling me. "It is blending into your soul and your mind.“
Originally commissioned by London'sSerpentine Gallery last summer, Smiljan Radic's semi-translucent pavilion now sits in the grounds of Hauser & Wirth Somerset, as if transplanted from outer space. Occupying the far end of the site - which is both an art centre and a working farm - landscaped by Piet Oudolf of New York's High Line fame, the pavilion is part of a romantic tradition of so-called follies, designed to dissolve within, and enhance their surroundings. Coinciding with the opening of the Radic Pavilion are a series of sound installations by Susan Philipsz, and the Land Marks: Structures for a Poetic Universe exhibition of architectural models by the likes of Superstudio, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, to name just a few. Situated in Bruton, in England's idyllic Cotswolds, visitors to Hauser & Wirth Somerset can drink and dine at the Roth Bar & Grill, and have the option to rent out the Dursdale Farmhouse and live amongst a number of works created by the gallery's artists in residence, or to stay at the chic The Chapel hotel in the village nearby.
The first thing we remember about our trip to Iceland was the quiver of the luggage tag once confronted with the icy breeze. We went to visit our friend Einar who we found listening to some Dune. After pools and drinks in Reykjavik we headed out northwards to meet nature. Towards Blönduós, Iceland showed us its incredible force for the first time: our car almost blown off the road, only able to see 5 meters beyond and with no humans in sight. Leaving the hostile and at the same time stunningly beautiful northern fjords behind us, we got to Akureyri where a brewer invited us to watch the Handball World Championship with him. Going further east, Mývatn with its encompassing steam and rotten-egg-smell gave proof of the tremendous power from underneath. At the east fjords, reindeer-hunting Snorri and his family warmly invited us to stay with them. After rough and dark days in the north we were happy to join their cozy life in Reydharfjordhur with home-cooked meals and movies at night. Southbound from there, Iceland showed its gentle side and the sun came out for the first time in days. The route back to Reykjavik provided us with ice blocks on a black beach, dried ýsa and lessons about the hidden people.
During the month of January Hokkaido Japan is one of the snowiest places on earth. The architecture of snow is always very interesting to me, a temporary mass imposed on the existing social structure. In Hokkaido this mass is monumental, managed with extreme order and celebrated as a way of life. The trip was a combination of everything I love about Japan and everything I love about exploring the mountains on skis.
In 1946 former Navy man Newton Perry constructed a 18 seat submerged theater six feet below the surface of the Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida. Just an hour out of Tampa, Weeki Wachee was named by the Seminole Indians meaning “little spring.” Everyday about 117 gallons of water emerges from the subterranean caves below.
Perry arranged Weeki Wachee’s first underwater synchronized ballet in 1947 using his new underwater breathing method involving air hoses supplying oxygen from air compressors. In 1959 ABC purchased the attraction and built the current theatre, which sits 500 people. Today Weeki Wachee is now a Florida state park making it the only attraction of its kind in the world.