“To stand atop the Jungfrau and feast the eyes on a white world of snow and ice is an experience akin to high drama”
October 27, 2016 § Leave a comment
“To stand atop the Jungfrau and feast the eyes on a white world of snow and ice is an experience akin to high drama.” This was how my first visits to Munich, Vienna and Berlin felt, back in 1999 initially and then intensely in 2002-2005. I felt like a mountaineer in the ice and high mountains, though my peaks were erotic and sensual in nature. The Eurostar from Brussels and then straight on to the night train on the long 12 or 14 hour journeys to Munich Hauptbahnhof, Vienna Westbahnhof or Berlin Zoo, before the pace and frequency of my visits quickened and I relied on air travel. Those years were my Golden Age. In New Year 2006, however, I fell in love, and I lost four years in the pursuit of my beloved, followed by two years of marriage. From the sublime to the ridiculous! Tentatively, over the last year or so, I have begun to return to my travels. I cannot help it, I love the thrill of travelling alone, to feel the cold icy air of the mountains again. It is shocking to discover how much that ice has retreated and vanished it is true, but still there is a thrill to travelling alone, that extreme solitude, that I cannot give up. My wife thinks I have a mistress in Germany. I do not. Now I travel again to Munich, the town of Franz von Stuck. Seeing his Die Sünde, this black-haired temptress with the black boa constrictor around her neck, was one of the most shockingly visceral moments of my life. It is the Munich Mona Lisa. Sometimes when crossing Europe, I will divert to Munich just to see her again. Some of the greatest nights of my life have occurred in Munich, those ‘high nights that persuade us to put off suicide’, which is quite hard to believe sometimes, as the sensual landscape of Munich is quite tame and conservative compared to Berlin or Vienna where anything goes. The air on this plane smells like someone has shit themselves; in fact it smells like everyone has shit themselves at the same time. Quite overwhelming!