Autumn in Wiesbaden, Germany

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC are in Wiesbaden, Germany, where she will be attending a conference for the next few days. We took advantage of some free time before the conference started, to see this spa town in its autumn colours.

My impressions? Quiet beauty and comfort.

Recommended café

L’Art Sucré, Am Römertor 7, Wiesbaden, for chocolate treats and other süßen Kleinigkeiten.

The book I’m in

The Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch. Funny, full of action, with a touch of darkness and not a little magic.

Travel tip

Dress in layers for an autumnal Wiesbaden. It’s surprisingly warm during the day.

The photos

Me at Kochbrunnen in Wiesbaden, German. This is one of the spas in the town. You can actually drink the water, from a couple of spouts in the little pavilion visible in this photograph. The TC, cautious as she is, did not try it.

The Heidenmauer, a Roman wall built by the emperor Valentinian in 364 AD:

Some architecture that’s slightly newer: Der Eimer (The Bucket) seems squished and skew amongst the other buildings:

Autumn leaves on the walk towards the Nerobergbahn:

The Nerobergbahn is a water-powered funicular railway that takes you up the Neroberg hill in the middle of Wiesbaden. It was opened in 1888. Here is the Nerobergbahn carriage at its top station:

Before the carriage goes down the hill, its water tanks are filled with water to make sure it is heavier than the upward-bound carriage. It then pulls the other carriage up the hill on a steel cable. The water is discharged at the bottom of the hill, and pumped back up to the top.

The driver carefully monitors the water meter on the way down the hill:

Passing the other carriage:

A view of Wiesbaden from the top of the Neroberg:

That’s all for today, dudes.

Advertisements
Published in: on 23 October 2012 at 2:47 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Temples of Bangkok

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

One night in Bangkok… Well, to be exact, it was two halves of a night, separated by a full day. Me and the TC spent 24 hours in the city of angels, on our way from Australia to Germany.

City of angels? That’s a translation of the first part of Bangkok’s real name, as it’s known to people in Thailand. Here is the full name of the city:

กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยามหาดิลก ภพนพรัตน์ ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์ มหาสถาน อมรพิมาน อวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะ วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์

Me and the TC spent the day on a guided tour of three temples: Wat Traimit, Wat Pho, and the Marble Temple. The images of the Buddha in the temples are quite breathtaking. We saw a bit of the bustling city from the windows of the bus. Colour, food, smiles, and ramshackle poverty.

My impressions? A merry mix of magnificence and mundanity.

The book I’m in

The Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch. Funny, full of action, with a touch of darkness and not a little magic.

Travel tip

When visiting temples, wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Especially if you have a few feet.

The photos

Me keeping a low profile at Wat Pho:

Wat Traimit

Wat Traimit is the home of the Golden Buddha statue:

The image of the Golden Buddha is very beautiful and very impressive indeed. At a height of 3 metres, it towers over you. At 5.5 tonnes of solid gold, it is the biggest solid gold statue in the world, and the one with the highest intrinsic value: around $250 million. I was surprised at the low level of security around the statue. I suppose it would be hard to steal!

When first built, 700 years ago, the statue was encased in a layer of plaster, presumably to hide the valuable gold. Only in 1955, when people were moving the statue to its new home at Wat Traimit, did they chip the casing by mistake and discover the pure gold underneath. “Wat Traimit is a lucky temple,” remarked our guide. This worm was rather taken with the statue’s noble profile:

Wat Pho

Wat Pho is a complex of temples, pagodas and galleries. It also houses the original college of Thai massage. Here is the entrance to Wat Pho:

The image of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho exudes serenity:

All round the Reclining Buddha are murals depicting the life of Buddha. This is just a small part of one of the scenes, partly picked out in gold leaf:

The feet of the Reclining Buddha image give an idea of its scale:

The bottoms of the feet are inlaid with mother of pearl:

Here is a close up view of one of the mother-of-pearl scenes on the feet:

Another lovely image of the Buddha at Wat Pho:

Wat Pho is a garden of pagodas:

A closer look at some of the tiling on a pagoda:

There’s so much to see, sometimes it’s hard to know which way to turn:

Twirling rooftops:

Dragons and flowers:

At the school of Thai massage within the grounds of Wat Pho, murals depict the human anatomy demonstrating massage techniques:

A closer look at a diagram for massage students:

Small statues in the garden, also demonstrating Thai massage:

Marble Temple

The Marble Temple is made of Italian marble:

This worm found the windows intriguing: they’re stained glass, in the Italian style, but depicting Thai scenes:

Here is the gorgeous image of the Buddha in the Marble Temple:

This statue is a copy of the image in Northern Thailand, the Phra Buddha Chinnarat, which our guide says is the most beautiful image of Buddha in the world. Here is a closer look at the image in the Marble Temple:

Bringing us back to earth, the Marble Temple has more than 50 images of the Buddha, including this one of Buddha the aesthete:

This worm is drawn by some of the statues’ eyes:

That’s all for today, dudes.