Just call me tripod

For the record and as a disclaimer, this is a very lighthearted post. No offense meant anywhere, and don’t click past this introduction if you don’t like pictures of words that rhyme with “witch”.

I thought of this title before I took a single picture the day I thought of it and wondered if I could keep a straight face until I posted the blog. As it turns out, no, I couldn’t.

I woke up around 11 AM on Sunday, going to sleep the night before rather certain that I wouldn’t go to Heidelberg the next day. Problem was, it was sunny when I awoke, and as my sorties toward Switzerland show, I’m a sucker for good weather. Plus, I had a premonition that the clouds would be just right for a really colorful sunset. I decided to skip planning my following weekend and got dressed, made and ate a sandwich, grabbed my camera gear and tripod, and headed for the Hauptbahnhof. I made it all the way to Heidelberg before I realized I forgot to bring the plate that attaches my camera to the tripod, rendering the nine additional pounds of aluminum hanging off my back completely useless. Then I couldn’t figure out how to get to the castle and nearly turned around and took the next train back to Stuttgart. I picked a direction that I thought was right and followed it, however, and eventually arrived to the roads that lead up to the castle.

It’s an interesting city to say the least.

I ignored the suggestion, whatever it means

The castle was demolished in various stages around the turn of the 18th century, and as such some sections of the castle appear freestanding. Sorry, folks; I didn’t find my photographic evidence very interesting, so this is all I’ve got for the blog. Google would be a better source for more castle lore. :-(

I did see leaves on a railing and on the sidewalk far below, though, and took a picture for proof that at least one other thing in Germany matches my bright yellow jacket. If my lack of German and generally harried nature weren’t giveaways enough, a yellow coat in a sea of black, grey, and dark blue peacoats makes it pretty obvious: this guy isn’t from around here.

On the way down, I saw lots of spires but was too lazy to change lenses, which could have made a more interesting composition.

Walking down a street parallel to the Hauptstraße, I saw an epitomization of German food. The only word missing would be “& FLEISCH”.

You’re probably wondering where exactly the tripod comes into play. Well, here we go. Tripods are usually useful at night, because the amount of light required to hit the sensor to expose the picture as the eye sees the scene typically necessitates that the shutter stay open a long time. I, sillyily having forgotten to bring the plate for the tripod, carried the tripod from the train station up to the castle, around the castle, down from the castle, back up to the castle (I forgot about the gardens of the castle the first time), and then back to the train station for absolutely nothing. This is the same tripod I had to pay to ship over because it caused my checked bag to be too heavy, and it’s the same tripod that caused my camera to fall in the Detroit River in May. (I obviously had nothing to do with that.) As I headed down toward the Altstadt, the sky turned into the shades I had wisely predicted without having even looked at the sky. Of course by now I was among the buildings and couldn’t see anything — but I did have a tripod on me I couldn’t use! I used settings I wasn’t happy about using and documented my stupidity for leaving the castle early and for bringing a tripod. Or not bringing a tripod plate. You pick. Either way, imagine seeing this from about 80 m in the air. Wouldn’t be too shabby, would it? This post could just have easily been titled, “Just call me forgetful.” Tripod is a bit more provocative.

I stopped to get a bite to eat at a random… grill, I guess it’d be called? along the way to the Altstadt. Germany makes very good sausages. (How do I say that without laughing?)

Across from the train station, there’s a big silver sculpture thing. The head in the middle of the dinosaur’s (?) hip rotates, which creeped me out when I looked at a my pictures afterwards, finding that something peculiar was different about each one. Oh. There’s a mask that turns. Maybe the whole thing is a clock with no discernible hands.

More to the point: did I use a tripod for this?

Leider nicht. It makes me wonder why on Earth I brought it. I wasn’t at the right place at the right time (i.e. sunset), and I could squeak by, though unhappily, without it for the night shots. Made for some great exercise walking those 7 km, though — so next time you see me, just call me — yes, it’s okay to say it — forgetful.

Just call me tripod

2 thoughts on “Just call me tripod

  1. Isn’t that always the way…forgetting something essential.

    Hi there, this is Kim from Fieldfare (thanks for finding my blog and for the compliments- the marathon was a very exciting accomplishment for me…as it’s a tough hike without the running). I’ll write in English as my French is not very good, despite living here for 2 years, I can’t communicate as well as I should… Also an apology for the delayed response since I have been in Madrid/Barcelona since the start of November.

    Writing back about hiking near Chamonix- I haven’t done extensive hiking there, near some of the main ski areas- Saint Gervais has some nice hiking, I didn’t enjoy Avoriaz as much, but the trails right near Chamonix that I have been on have all been good- usually decently steep- challenging but not too tough. Unfortunately the weather is in that unpredictable time when snow can come in quickly, but might be gone the next day, so between now and December there may be ski days. I really like hiking in the Bernese Oberland- I’d say compairable conditions to French Alpine hiking, but I have not yet been to Zermatt. I also like hiking in the French Jura, since they are even closer for me. Considerably smaller, but still offer good day hikes and spectacular views of the Alps on a clear day. Have you been to Chamonix yet? If not, I would say it is a must before heading home, even for lower elevation hiking, there are great views and accessible, well marked trails leaving from the town.

    Happy hiking :)

    1. Tigerotor77W says:

      Hey Kim!

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply, and no worries on a late reply. I’m happy you took the time to write back! (And I don’t mind English, as you can see from the language of my blog haha. I wasn’t sure where you were from and guessed you were French or Swiss, which is why I had chosen French initially.)

      Anyhow, I forgot to reply to this when I saw it first. I did end up going to Chamonix this weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect (I brought far too many warm clothes, actually), but I only spent Saturday hiking. I was hoping to go from Chamonix to La Flégère (arriving there by noon) and then continuing to Lac Blanc and perhaps beyond to les Lac de Chéserys, but as I mentioned in the blog post I got lost a few times before finding the right trail up — and this is with a topo! I debated continuing to the lake but decided that given my success finding the route in daylight, going down at night — even with a headlamp and a flashlight — wouldn’t be worth the risk. Even so, I enjoyed the hike. There’s a certain smell to the forests in the Pacific Northwest that I’ve missed here, and I occasionally got whiffs of it when I was in the forests this weekend. I’m jealous that you’re able to live here and get to explore the area.

      If you’re in Stuttgart in the next six weeks or so, let me know — I’ll be here until the end of the year, then head back to the States.

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