Abandoned Brickworks, Porth Wen, Anglesey, Wales, UK

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Porth Wen Charles Kenwright

Abandoned Brickworks, Porth Wenn, Anglesey
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

This old ruin is situated on the north coast of Anglesey. It was originally built to produce refractory bricks for the steel industry, the bricks being exported directly from it´s own dock. It closed down at the start of the Great War.

Descending Weissmies, Mischabel Alps, Switzerland

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I took these shots after climbing the Weismiess (4017m). in September. If you´d like to view the complete Mischabel gallery please go here

Weissmies Charles Kenwright

Descending the impressive Serac barrier on Weissmies
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

Weissmies Charles Kenwright

A close-up of the impressive Serac barrier on Weissmies
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

Weissmies Charles Kenwright

A wide shot of the impressive Serac barrier on Weissmies showing part of the Trift Glacier
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

Under the Bridge, Landshut, Germany

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Landshut Charles Kenwright

Under the Bridge, Landshut, Germany
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

A place I like – under the road bridge near Landshut main train station. It´s not just the symmetry of the bridge supports that appeals to me but, although seen by quite a few people each day as they walk, ride or run past it, it seems to me to be still quite secret – not noticed or even ignored by most.

A Mysterious Evening in the Bavarian Forest

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Charles Kenwright Bavarian Forest

A misty sunset in the Bavarian Forest near Finsterau.
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

Yesterday I wrote about a border crossing walk, this photograph was taken in the same area. We´d returned to the car in the gathering gloom at the end of the day. As the sun set, a mist rose through the trees creating the most mysterious lighting – the trees, the road, the mist all combining into this strange scene. After our walk into the past of the Cold War, I guess it was a fitting end to the day.

Crossing Borders and a walk through history

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We´ve just had a few days in the Bavarian Forest which is in the south east of Germany and buts onto the Czech border. One day we drove up towards the border for a walk and,

Border road, Bavarian Forest copyright: charles kenwright/ www.openmind-images.com

Border road, Bavarian Forest
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

accidentally had a walk back into the Cold War, refugees, Empire, nationalism and man´s inhumanity to man. The road to the Czech Border is straight out of a spy film. It´s a single track ribbon which ends abruptly at the border.

Charles Kenwright

Border road, Bavarian Forest
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

Charles Kenwright

Border road, Bavarian Forest
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

And naturally we kept on following our noses, crossed a wooden footbridge and entered the Czech Republic. It´s important to know that this area was once the Sudeten Land, here lived an estimated 3 million German speaking Bohemians. The Czech Republic has had a pretty stormy history, it together, with Slovakia, was once a part of the Austro Hungarian Empire. After the Empire´s collapse in 1918, the Republic of Czechosovakia was formed.  It´s life was short lived, though. In 1938 parts of the Republic, including the Sudeten Land, were annexed by HItler´s Germany. Thousands of Sudeten Czechs were expelled or murdered. But all such things have a terrible habit of swinging the other way. After the end of WW2, the Germans and German speaking Sudetens were, in their turn, murdered or expelled. Many in the Czech Republic felt that they´d been betrayed by the West and moved towards the Communists. And this is where our border walk moved to the Cold War!

Buzina or Buchwald, the Czeck Republic. copyright: charles kenwright/ www.openmind-images.com

Buzina or Buchwald, the Czeck Republic.
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

We came around a corner in the narrow path through the forest to be confronted by the old Cold War border! This had been rebuilt here complete with double electrified fence, “death strip” and watch tower!

Charles Kenwright

Buzina or Buchwald, the Czeck Republic.
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

Buzina or Buchwald, the Czeck Republic. copyright: charles kenwright/ www.openmind-images.com

Buzina or Buchwald, the Czeck Republic.
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

It was quite a surprise to be suddenly transported back in time to pre 1989!

Charles Kenwright

Buzina or Buchwald, the Czeck Republic.
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

This place was originally a village called, depending on which language you spoke, either Buzina or Buchwald. At the beginning of the 20th Century, 392 German and 4 Czech speakers lived in the village. Because the village virtually straddled the border, as the Cold War developed, the surviving residents were “moved” to other areas and in 1956 the remaining buildings were leveled. At that time the border was still relatively open – although I´ve heard stories of children who strayed into Czechoslovakia to retrieve footballs being arrested. But with the advent of the Berlin Wall this part of the Cold War border received it´s dose of barbed wire, land mines, watch towers and machine-guns.

Charles Kenwright

Buzina or Buchwald, the Czeck Republic.
copyright: charles kenwright/ http://www.openmind-images.com

All things come to pass and now this border is once again open, no longer is one confronted by armed unsmiling border guards, in fact because of the open border policy of the EU, no border guards at all. A heart warming aspect of this now open border are the two national parks which occupy this border area – on the German side is Bavarian Forest National Park and on the Czech, the Sumava National Park. We tramped through the hardly visible remains of the village, through the forest and finally hit the road again which brought us back to our car.