Landscapes in Passing

Charlene journal 6 Comments

June 2016, United Kingdom & Ireland. Back in June, my Mum and I spent 2 weeks on a bus tour in the UK and Ireland. Quite by chance, we were in “town” when Brexit happened, with 38 other people and our tour guide: a British resident who is a Canadian of South African descent. This isn’t about walls though. This is about windows. It was a mad tour. Having never been on anything like this, I think I’ve only just recovered from the shock of sight seeing (something I generally loathe) on steroids. I’ve been a nomad for close to 4 years now, and in that time have moved around very slowly, often staying several weeks in a particular spot. I take a long interest in most new things, and that generally requires more than 15 minutes …

Belgrade to Bar, and Back Again

Charlene journal, vagabonding 8 Comments

May 2016, Serbia to Montenegro “Are you looking for something specific?” the big, craggy man sitting next to me wanted to know, having listened to my camera schnicking away since he got in from one of the small towns near the border. “No,” I responded. “Just the scenery. It’s beautiful outside.” “It’s beautiful to you because you’ve never seen it before,” he said, waving a hand at the vista rushing by. “But I see it all the time!” Two weekends ago, Flemming and I took a very long train ride from Belgrade (Serbia) to the port town of Bar in Montenegro, and back again. The Belgrade to Bar railway makes it to The Guardian’s list of 10 spectacular rail journeys … that you’ve probably never heard of, Business Insider’s 10 spectacular rail journeys to take in your lifetime, among many others. There was …

Looking Out

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Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 2015 A bisected inside-outside view from the train, as it pulled into Colombo Fort Station. There was no light in Colombo I found as beautiful as that inside trains. Gentled by carriage surfaces, the tropical sun brushed faces, bodies, hands, cloud like. Fujifilm X-Pro 2, XF 27mm F2.8


Charlene journal 12 Comments

November 2015, Sri Lanka “Those carriages are from Romania,” said the little old man next to me. “They are fifty years old.” I’d scooted over on the long station bench to make room when he shuffled by. He sat between me and a man on the other side, birdlike, ancient, watching with interest while I took pictures of the carriages. There was a long scar that ran from just under his jaw, into his shirt. I found out later that he survived the rail disaster of 2004. The coastal train line that runs from Colombo to Galle that I am so charmed by, is at utter mercy of the ocean. “Where are you from?” he wanted to know. Singapore and Denmark, we said. He lit up at mention of the latter, bifocaled eyes magnifying the pleasure, eyebrows and ears lifting with …

Train station textures

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I have made the train journey from Copenhagen to Hannover and back several times in the past couple of years. Before this, I’d not travelled long distances on trains. I’m still in the thrall of this novelty – the iron clack of wheels (dampened in new trains), the ellipsis-and-comma rhythm of its motion, and time’s held breath common to transit, observed in the country that flashes by. Hannover HBF, Germany.


Charlene vagabonding 4 Comments

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.” ― Beryl Markham, West with the Night I made the picture above in the middle of September, on the train from Hamburg Central Station to the little town of Flensburg, Germany, near its border with Denmark. It was the day Danish police shut down the rail, ferry and expressway links from Germany …


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Artist Dries Verhoeven has a project called Ceci N’est Pas…  being shown in Copenhagen at the moment (if you read Danish, read the article on Politiken). That day’s installation involved a woman in the nude sitting in that glass box, wearing a mannequin’s face (literally). A provoking commentary on our increasing fixation with youthfulness in an ageing society.