Dømt til ild og bål was the usual sentence, condemned to be burnt at the stake. In the seventeenth century Vardøhus fortress, that time the easternmost remote outpost of the Kingdom of Norway, 91 people — in the vast majority Norwegian women and a few Sami men — were sentenced to death for practicing witchcraft — if they had not been already tortured to death during interrogations. The detailed court records concerning the trials survived, bearing witness to the insanity of terror in the name of religion. Read More
Author Archives: jaj
Borgata San Sebastiano
After finding out that quite a large branch of my ancestors in 18th and 19th centuries were millers I have become more aware of these specific pieces of pre-industrial architecture spread more or less ruined in landscape cultivated since centuries: old mills. By an incredible chance, I have spent some time in an alpine hamlet in the Valle Maira, Piemont, which only some days after the arrival occurred to me to be a very old settlement build around an old mill.
Nick Cave alone at Alexandra Palace
A brilliant idea in these extraordinary times, streaming a beautifully filmed concert played in a completely empty hall of Alexandra Palace in London at an exactly given date and hour. We bought the tickets (ehm, the online access code) and enjoyed the evening of 23rd July 2020 in the confinement of our living room thoroughly. Read More →
Le Piton & Le Brabant
If you stay in the Creole village of Chamarel, Mauritius will reveal itself not only as the destination for expensive beach hotel patrons, but also as a place to make quite a few excellent mountain hikes with impressive views. Read More →
I have just finished a monumental work of indexing an old church book Matrimonium metrica ecclesiae parochialis s. Bartholomei Apostoli in Stashowo scripta Read More →
Huh! Huh!! Huh!!!
The news from my dearest arrived during my lunchtime at 13:05 hours on 10th October 2019 and was full of emotional spelling errors. But the message was clear: Olga Tokarczuk was rewarded the Nobel Prize for the (missing) year 2018.
Huh! Huh!! Huh!!! Read More →
Farewell, Thomas Cook
Well, almost all Thomas Cook owned entities of any kind in numerous countries has just been forced to insolvency declarations, causing an avalanche of problems. But, anyway, the package tour — as invented by Thomas Cook in 1841 — is not dead, I suppose. But it will become a luxury. Read More →
Just a day trip to the Hochstollen mountain above the Melchensee-Frutt area in the central Switzerland had a nostalgic note. Read More →
We climbed Hjörleifshöfði after a spontaneous decision on one of these typical Icelandic dark days when very low clouds and wet wind in combination with black earth and contrasting green summer meadows on the flat mountain make you feel somehow out-of-place and awkward. Read More →
Mirabib & Pronolagus
I was told that a highlight of a trip to Namibia is a lone camp in the wilderness, just in the middle of nowhere, with a celebrated sunset and the night under the bright stars. It is definitely true in the case of Mirabib Camp in the Namib desert just south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Read More →