22.06.2008 - 22.06.2008 25 °C
Yesterday we drove to Insel Hombroich with Lutes sister and her family. This is a place that strives to put "Kunst parallel zur Natur". If you are partial to wandering around rambling parks filled with ponds, sculptures and architecturally inspired buildings housing modern art and antiquities ripped from the four corners of the globe - then this is for you. I thought it was awesome and it reminded me of how important such excursions are for filling the cup of inspiration.
I put some more snaps at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537281358#/album.php?aid=29831&id=537281358
The park is two hours drive from Antwerp and not far from Dusseldorf. If your German is Ok then you can get a good route description and overview at http://www.inselhombroich.de/tour.htm
Make sure you allow a full day and get the combined ticket to see the Langen Museum. We thought the tickets were a little bit pricey (20Euro adults 11Euro Kids) until we realised that there is an excellent vegetarian lunch included. This is served from the cafeteria inside Insel Hombroich, so our strategy of walking from the carpark at Insel and seeing the museum first worked out well. By coincidence we happened to meet Crystal and Gert (an architect couple and friends of Bram and Lute) whilst lunching at Insel - we are going to catch up with them in August. Below is a little sign I saw which I was told translates to, "Art is finding yourself"....nice!
Afterwards we went off in search of a place to have a drink and stumbled upon a large medieval gathering/fair which was being held in the grounds of a castle in the nearby village of Hulcrath. It was a wonderful discovery. The grounds of the castle very picturesque and were filled with dozens of medieval style tents selling medieval wares to hundreds of crazy Germans, many who were dressed in medieval costumes and drinking from buffalo horns. Of course there was a couple of schmids there for me to cast my firey gaze over and I had a good chat to one of them who was casting and making bronze objects in a fire fanned by a big leather bellow. He told me that most of the store owners don't make much money but do it out of love for the lost crafts and the atmosphere - which was certainly amazing. It seems these festivals do a circuit in Germany, starting in Spring and ending in Autumn. The relaxed vibe of the festival reminded me of Confest although it certainly wasn't the hippy trippy alternative set - these Germans are serious when they go medieval. Check out some photos Bram took at
It makes me think I will have to look up similar events when I get home to Oz - blacksmiths have a place at such. We all got home tired and I was thankful for Bram doing the driving.