July 30, 2015

Photo & Video Finish and Balance Sheet in... (Rheinberg - 9009 km)

Zigzag Ride Sucevița - Moldovița on DN17A

Distance: 9,009 kilometers = 5,598 miles
Travel period: 07.06.2014 - 27.07.2013 = 51 days
Difference in temperature: 11°C = 52°F (Red Lake) / 40°C = 104°F (Bucharest)
Photos: more than 3,300
Traffic tickets: none
Major Problem: Punctured tire in Ladyzhyn (tire change in Odessa)
Bakshish: affordable
Travel expenses: Don't ask!
Personal meetings: innumerable
Experiences: priceless
Fun factor and risk of repetition: extremely high

Stages (23 = 9,009 km = 51 days)

Photographic Supplement

It's time for an adventure!
Ceiling of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Bike Art in Lemberg
Lenin in Vinnytsia
Lavender Farm in Bulgaria
Street Art in Varna
Fair in Sozopol
Spectacular Bosphorus View
Istanbul Narghiles
Istanbul Scrap Dealer
Istanbul Guitars
Czernowitz Cable Tangle
Nepolokivtsi Headstone Art
Nepolokivtsi Street Life
Street Art in Romania
Next year in...?!

Photo Albums at OneDrive

July 28, 2015

Meeting Friends on the Way Home from... (Nuremberg - 8476 km)

(Nuremberg, 26.07.2015 - 27.07.2015) From Nuremberg I started the last stage of my ride on my way home and had the outstanding opportunity to meet friend, globetrotter and Czernowitz enthusiast Friedrich J. Ortwein in Hennef (Sieg). Friedrich is author of the booklet "Czernowitz - Jüdische Stadt deutscher Sprache" [Czernowitz - Jewish City of German Language].

But different from usual, it's not the guest but the host, who makes a generous present. From his latest journey to Alaska, Montana and Wyoming, more precisely from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody/Wyoming, Friedrich supplies unequivocal evidence, that William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody visited Czernowitz, namely on July 24-25, 1906.

Buffalo Bill received wide attention in the contemporary press, not necessarily in a very friendly manner, as you may track by the reading of following Czernowitz newspaper editions:

Well, thanks to Friedrich J. Ortwein, this posting closes the circle from the first travel log entry "Meeting Friends in Berlin", seven weeks and 7900 km earlier; the next one will be at my final destination back home in Rheinberg!

July 26, 2015

Strange Creatures in... (Vienna - 7921 km)

(Vienna, 24.07.2015 - 26.07.2015) From Arad in Romania, across Hungary, back to Western Europe, my first stop is Vienna. Very strange but apparently inoffensive creatures are populating the place in front of the Hofburg Palace and the Museumsquartier (MQ).

Have I spent too much time outside of Western Europe? What's wrong with it? All's right with the world! It's just the Vienna Nippon Nation Anime Convention for all nerds. It's all Greek to you? Ask your children, or even better, your grandchildren.

Nature Watch in Roșia Montană Enroute to... (Arad - 7380 km)

(Arad, 23.07.2015 - 24.07.2015) First time I've been in Roșia Montană was in June 2012 as per my posting "The Two Sides of the Gold Coin in...". Now, three years later, nothing has changed. Roșia Montană is still a dying town, a cluster of crumbling buildings and rutted roads at the end of a valley deep in Transylvania. The oft proffered notion that tourism could revive it is a fiction.

No visitors at the nature watch bench in Roșia Montană, but instead of this more than 635,000 visitors, who viewed the Romanian and another 65,000 visitors, who viewed the English version of Maia Morgenstern's most disturbing video clip "Save Roșia Montană".

It seems so, that a 14 years enduring environmental battle comes to an end, since the Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources admitted on 20.07.2015 in a press release that they have lost hope in ever mining Europe’s largest gold deposit. At the same time Gabriel Resources announced the submission of a request for arbitration at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

July 24, 2015

Meeting Friends in... (Cluj-Napoca - 7040 km)

(Cluj-Napoca, 22.07.2015 - 23.07.2015) There were good reasons to deflect from my initially scheduled return trip via Ukraine and Poland to Germany and to go back to Romania. In Cluj-Napoca I had the opportunity to meet (f.r.t.l.) Prof. Dr. Ossi Horovitz as well as Irene Ciobotaru and her daughter Ingrid Ventuneac.

Prof. Dr. Ossi Horovitz lectured and carried out researches - and still does - on Chemical Thermodynamics, Materials Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Nanobiochemistry at the Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. He was born in Czernowitz on 20.08.1945 as the son of Bernhard and Laura Horowitz, Holocaust survivors of the Bershad Ghetto. Ossi made it possible that rediscovered poems, written by his parents in Transnistria between 1941-1944, survived under the title "Stimmen der Nacht" [Voices of the Night], edited by Erhard Roy Wiehn and published by Hartung-Gorre Publishers, Konstanz. But above all, Ossi is a very pleasant dialog partner, erudite but nevertheless modest.

Even an "Interethnic Marriage - October 1941" didn't defend Jewish spouses from deportation to Transnistria. This was deeply revolting for Dr. Albert Twers (Radautz 1904 - 1972 Radautz), a lawyer of German ethnic origin, who succeeded to rescue his Jewish wife Debora Alpern (Siret 1910 - 1997 Cluj-Napoca) and other relatives from the clutches of the Romanian authorities, but not only: It was Dr. Albert Twers, who acted as messenger between the deportees in Transnistria and their relatives and friends from Bukovina.

On 03.01.1942 Dr. Albert Twers was captured and arrested by the police at the Czernowitz Central Station, carrying 213 "Undelivered Letters from the Death Camps of Transnistria". These letters, paraphrased as "Bottles in the Sea" by Florence Heymann and/or "Voices From the Past" by Christian Herrmann, retrieved from the deeps of the State Archives of Chernivtsi Oblast, were transcribed/translated into German, Ukrainian, Romanian, English and published under the title "Schwarze Milch" [Black Milk] by Dr. Benjamin Grilj.

It was my privilege to meet Dr. Albert Twers' daughter Irene Ciobotaru and his granddaughter Ingrid Ventuneac, to learn more on their family history and to get access to additional documents and photos, such as this one above, never published before. Ingrid wrote in December 2013 to Dr. Benjamin Grilj: "Albert Twers was my grandfather, the father of my mother. My grandmother Debora (Musia) Twers, born Alpern, was Jewish. She told me much about World War II. My grand grandfather, Naftali Alpern was teacher for Greek and Latin in Radautz. At the end of the 19th century he studied in Vienna. My grandfather was his pupil and so he met his soon-to-be wife. During the war my grand grandparents and three brothers of my grandmother were deported to Transnistria. A brother of my grandfather was in a high position at the court in Iassy and had direct contact to Marshall Ion Antonescu. So the whole family of my grandmother got an authorization by Antonescu to come back to Radautz. After the war my grandfather was deported to Siberia because he was ethnic german. After three years working in a copper mine he came back to his wife and daughter, the elder sister of my mother, sick and nearly dead. Before he was deported, the Jewish Community of Radautz tried to save him, remembering what he did, during the war. They wrote a letter, signed by everybody to declare Albert Twers as ethnical Czech. But the Soviets ignored the letter. [...]". What a story on humanity! Irene and Ingrid, thank you both so much for sharing!

July 22, 2015

Zigzag Ride to... (Vatra Dornei - 6815 km)

(Vatra Dornei, 21.07.2015 - 22.07.2015) Cruising from Czernowitz to Vatra Dornei, the road leads across the Ciumarna Mountain Pass located in the Romanian Carpathians between Sucevița and Moldovița. The pass is traversed at an elevation of 1109 m above the sea level by the asphalted DN17A.

I was very lucky that Gabriel Coșoreanu, a biker fellow from Bucharest, equipped by a motorbike-mounted action cam, followed me through the zigzag course for a while.

July 21, 2015

Meeting Even More Friends in... (Czernowitz - 6633 km)

(Czernowitz, 12.07.2015 - 21.07.2015) In Czernowitz, at the sentimental - not geographical - destination of my journey, I had the privilege to meet even more friends from far and wide. Arthur Rindner from Israel, Christian Herrmann and the ASF volunteer group from Germany as well as the SCI/SVIT volunteers from Finland, France, Germany and Ukraine.

Waiting for the different people to get to the town, I took the oppportunity for another photo shooting in Czernowitz. Subsequent to "One Street and Thirty-Two Backyards" from 2012 and "Let's Take a Seat" as well as "Following the Backyard Photographer to the Jewish Quarter" from 2014, this year's expedition pointed the camera at the "Segmented Houses of Czernowitz". Privatization of residential apartments without functioning owners corporation regulations leads to a bizarre uncontrolled growth!

Beyond that, day trips to Nepolokivtsi and to Budenets' as well as research works at the State Archives of Chernivtsi Oblast completed my stay, all of them subject to separate postings upon my return back home.