Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms


by Anita Hamilton

The China trip continues

By Anita Hamilton

After we left Chenjiagou, we took the train to Luoyang in order to see the Longmen Grottoes — over 2,000 artificial caves and tens of thousands of carved Buddha sculptures (from bunches in finger size to several metres high) in the side of a hill. This, our first train ride in China, started on a stressful note as we found that on our tickets (which we hadn’t inspected closely in advance) we were seated in two separate carriages on the train, four carriages apart. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t had all our suitcases (all way too heavy) to lug around with us. Continue reading “The China trip continues”

Tai chi boot camp

By Anita Hamilton

We’re back from yet another trip — this time to a tai chi boot camp. Seems that we’ve repeatedly changed plans from travelling to Cambodia and Viet Nam for years now and this year has been no exception. I’m starting to doubt we’ll ever get there ….

After taking up tai chi at the beginning of 2016 here in Germany, we decided to study it intensely for a month in China at the same school where our teacher studied. Intensely meant six days a week, six hours a day. When we left, we’d reached the point of basically knowing the 75 moves of the old-style Chen tai chi, first form; however, we were not yet able to do the whole routine all on our own at that point. Continue reading “Tai chi boot camp”

Camino revisited

By Anita Hamilton

This is how Anita Hamilton described the pilgrimage across Spain that she and Stephan Kettmus undertook in 2015.

Ten years ago I walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain for the first time and it changed my life. Not only in terms of how I started to deal with all the possessions I had (downsizing big time) but also in that I met Stephan then as well. While there was no thought of “pairing up” at that time, somehow it did lead to a relationship a couple of years later and our marriage and my move to Germany five years ago. This year being an anniversary of sorts, we thought we’d walk the Camino again, only this time from south to north (the Camino de la Plata from Seville to Santiago de Compostella). Continue reading “Camino revisited”

Easier ways to get to Venice

Anita Hamilton

Anita Hamilton and Stephan Kettmus had done numerous long-distance hikes when they decided to walk from Munich to Venice across the Alps. This is how Anita described the experience in July 2014.

We’re back from boot camp (a.k.a. our trip from Munich to Venice over the Alps). I’ll admit right off the bat that I’ve never done anything more difficult – and at times scary – in my life. However, I’m also really glad to have done it. The difficult side is more than balanced out by the unbelievable beauty one sees, the clean, clear air one breathes, as well as the joy one feels at having accomplished it. Quite an experience!  Continue reading “Easier ways to get to Venice”

An event in the Eifel

By Anita Hamilton

Thought I’d tell you about an event that took place recently. Mostly it was an art exhibition, but offered more than that. For this, I need to go back a bit further: One of the members of our choir is a woman called Rita, whose company I have always enjoyed. A couple of years ago Rita invited the choir to an exhibition of her husband’s work — he’d just finished a major project on their property. We went and were totally astounded by the number of “major projects” there were, all done in papier mâché (formulated so it can withstand being outside in all weather conditions). Continue reading “An event in the Eifel”

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