up the bio-bio etc. 
To be honest, Iīm getting tired of this travel updates, maybe I have to change the medium to publish my pictures of weekend excursions, also to get the focus of the blog back to architecture related things and make it more fun and interesting for me to work on. (But probably my scepticism will fade along with the cold that plagued me the last week). Anyway, I will keep the text short and let you just gaze at images.

However, two more beautyful weekends have passed. With a car we tried to follow the river Bio-Bio up to its origin and visited the volcano Antuco.

Once out of town, we drove a gravel road through a hilly landscape for appx 100km to pass by an old colonial town called Rere famous for its colonial clay buildings. It was not special, the town itself small and desserted, the few houses frozen in the silence of the bright noonday sun.
The land you drive through is vast and my amazement seems to shift to landscape, itīs variations, itīs degree of artificiality, regularity, composition. The Cordilleres around Concepcion, soft hills, total monoculture.
And despite it all being monocultures, you can be there, in the light, on the street following a gracious path, and it is, though sad, beautyful. At the horizon the green of millions of two kinds of trees together with the deforested hills still blend together and shape a pictoresque silhouette bordering the sky.

Later we had crossed the Valle Central and had entered the Andes east of Los Angeles, the area around the volcan Antuco and the Lagunas del Laja. We stopped at a point seeing a waterfall and climbed into a rocky canyon to try to see more of the falling water.
The light was amazing. The Green trees and plants reflect is more silver, more copperlike. The sun cuts out the shape of every single object from its surrounding space. Every leaf is visible, every crack in the stone, the depth of space seems to disappear.

There are few houses in the area, mostly holiday homes during the skiing season. They contrast the natural enviroment extremely by the way they choose the color to paint them.
I was obsessed by the Cyan house and its pool, they even had the paint still standing on the porch and it was smelling strongly. Looking into the pool alone was a James Turrell experience.

Higher up, close to the volcan Antuco Chile built a hydroelectric dam and a private investor a skiing area next to it. The season had finished two weeks earlier and the T-bars of ski-lifts were swinging lonely above black ash coming through white snow.
Some skiing lodges enjoying their new won solitude by staring at the sun.

Ok, thats it, here some pictures of a volcano in clouds and his vast production of ash.




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talcahuano 
Earlier this month we made a short trip to the harbor city of Talcahuano close to Concepcion. You just stop one of a million of mini-busses, socalled Mikros, and an hour later you are there. You pass the mall belt, the airport, the industrial zone where they refine oil, and seamingly endless suburbs of identical houses painted in amazing colors, a lot of them newly build and others in various states of decay with the employees living in them. For a short while one passes wetlands with islands of meadow inbetween and cows or horses on top of them. The rest of the laguna that is not covered yet by family dreams. And some minutes later you enter the harbor.

The colors are nice. The sea fades from turquois to blue, the sky was amazingly bright and blue, the light sharp, the eyes always just slits. The fisherboats colored in dark blue, yellow or red like rust.

We looked at the very nice fishmarket all covered in tiles. The tables where they had the fish solid in two levels, the water falling in a cascade making the presented fish and seafroot stay wet and shiny. The ceiling dissolved in flags still hanging there from the festivities of the national day two weeks earlier.

The fisherman would through the lefterovers humans hadnīt eaten back into the sea and sea lions where waiting for it. Amazing animals I have seen for the first time. Heavy, funny and under water: elegant, with no effort, movement in beautyful lines.

After having eaten a mountain of mussles in the adjacend restaurant we made a short walk through town. On the way I found a hotel recommendable for especially honeymoons, top floor.

And a nice house which is just a wall but with a good view from both sides of the window.

Back at the harbor we took a boat to make a short trip around the bay. On the solid peers which we passed immense army boats, shipwrecks, container ships, sea lions and seagall took their siesta casting sharp and dark shadows, some of the living things opening an eye to glance at the young families and gringos passing by in a boat staring back at them.

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hot springs etc 
In the weekend we undertook our first major excursion utilizing a Suzuki Swift to travel to the area around Pucon five hours south of Concepcion mainly to visit the Termas Geometricas of German del Sol.

The area around Pucon is dominated by the volcano Villarrica. We had no sight of it approaching because of bad weather, only when leaving the day after the sky cleared and we could get a glance of it out of the car. It is amazing, to say the least.

Anyway, the Termas are located on the hills on the foot of the volcanoe and their hot springs are fed by it. A gravel street led us up in mountains getting higher and wilder. On the meadows beside the street immense trunks of trees lay, cut down and rotting for decades. Like whales stranded. Fog was hiding the peaks and moved with the wind through burned down forests and virgine forests higher up.

It was amazing to see those immense destructive forces, the volcano and the human, and the untouched forests at the same time. There was such a beauty and bitterness at the same time present. The amazement of an European, never having seen large virgine forests before and never having seen the destruction of virgine conditions but an already established system which at least pretends to be in harmony and calls itself cultural landscape.

Fresh snow started to cover the street just before arriving to the Termas which essentially are a long, narrow canyon. Along a path hot pools of different shape and temperature are integrated into the riverbed. One walks the path, gets into one bassin, heatens up, gets out into the cold and walks further. Except diving under water one hears the sound of the wild river running. One sees the steam rising up, changing direction, going horizontal up the river then down. Hiding what is further up or downstreams, suddenly opening up a glance of sky or forest. The stonewalls of the canyon are filled with plants, they shimmer, wet from the moist. The trees above seem to lean inwards forming a canopy, creating a cave like situation.

This is an amazing place and no picture or text can describe the situation the whole body is exposed to.


The next day we tried to conquer the Villarrica. Bringing our poor Swift to its limits we tried to come as far up as possible and had to stop where the snow started. The peak was still hidden in clouds. We were standing in fields of lava and ash, contrasting hardly with the new fallen snow.



It was impossible to get much further but to amazing landscapes of black soil and ancient forests covering them. Through the snow we walked between immense trees, their bark all wet reflecting the bright light the snow was casting on them.

A strange happiness overcomes me in such forests. One thing is the sensation of time that is present. As a subject it makes me feel real. And somehow it gives strength believing that I am part of this system called nature.

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cold new home 
After having stayed one month we, my italian co-worker and me, finally managed to rent an appartment. First we tried to rent something from a rather difficult personality which felt suspicious towards Gringos we met Signora Maria, a splendid Chilean, who was happy to accept us as customers (paying the rent for six month in advance).

So finally I can share with you the poetic view of the neighbor building from my sleeping room and an image showing our minimal furnished sleeping room. It is very nice and starts to feel home.



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