Saturday, 9 February 2013

Sepia Saturday 163; St.Moritz;

St. Moritz  Bains 1881

St. Moritz is a resort town in the Engadine valley in Switzerland. It is a municipality in the district of Maloja in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. The highest summit in the Eastern Alps, the Piz Bernina, lies a few kilometres south of the town.
Population: 5,148 (2008)
Elevation: 1,822 m
Area: 28.69 km²
Weather: -13°C, Wind N at 32 km/h, 52% Humidity
Local time: Friday 9:02 pm on 09/02/2013
 Australian time 06/07 am,  +21°C

Votive offerings, swords, and needles from the Bronze Age, were found at the base of the springs in St. Moritz, which indicate that the Celts had already discovered them.
St. Moritz is first mentioned around 1137-39 as ad sanctum Mauricium. The town was named after Saint Maurice, a Coptic Orthodox, and Roman Catholic saint.
Pilgrims travelled to Saint Mauritius, the church of the springs, where they drank from the blessed, bubbling waters of the Mauritius springs in the hopes of being healed. In 1519, the Medici pope, Leo X, promised full absolution to anyone making a pilgrimage to the church of the springs. In the 16th century, the first scientific treatises about the St. Moritz mineral springs were written. In 1535, Paracelsus, the great practitioner of nature cures, spent some time in St. Moritz.


Though St. Moritz  received visitors during the summer, the origins of the winter resort only date back to September 1864, when St. Moritz hotel pioneer, Johannes Badrutt, made a wager with four British summer guests: that they should return in winter and if it was not to their liking, he would pay for the cost of their journey from London and back. If they found St. Moritz attractive in winter, he would invite them to stay as his guests for as long as they wished.

This marked not only the start of winter tourism in St. Moritz but the start of winter tourism in the whole of the Alps. The first tourist office in Switzerland was established the same year in the town. St. Moritz developed rapidly in the late nineteenth century and the first electric light in Switzerland was installed in 1878 at the Kulm Hotel and the first curling tournament on the continent held in 1880.
The first European Ice-Skating Championships were held at St. Moritz in 1882 and first golf tournament in the Alps held in 1889. The first bob run and bob race was held in 1890 and by 1896 St. Moritz became the first town in the Alps to install electric trams and opened the Palace Hotel. In 1906, a horse race was held on snow (1906) and on the frozen lake (1907). The first ski school in Switzerland was established in St. Moritz in 1929.

In 1928 St. Moritz hosted the 1928 Winter Olympic Games and the stadium still stands today. It later hosted the 1948 Winter Olympic Games

Sonja Henie
Sonja Henie was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic Champion in Ladies Singles, a ten-time World Champion and a six-time European Champion. Wikipedia
Born: April 8, 1912, Oslo
Died: October 12, 1969, Oslo
Height: 1.60 m

The Segantini Museum: dedicated to Giovanni Segantini, a painter that lived the last five years of his life in Engadine. The Segantini Museum is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
The bobsled run: a very rare natural bob sleigh typically running by mid December each year
Viewing the glacier landscape: there are a number of notable vistas. Much can be seen by descending from Diavolezza to the Morteratsch Glacier.
The 3300 metres high Piz Corvatsch with its ice cave and its eight-kilometer long ski slope down to St.Moritz-Bad.

Returning from the Forest, 1890
In the last evening light a farmwoman, bent over from exertion, returns with a load of wood to the village at the foot of the mountains, where the first lights are already lit. Here, homecoming is a symbol of the loneliness and allegory of death. Segantini’s imagery is programatically determined by the
cycle of the seasons and human life.

St.Moritz today, playground to the rich and famous!!

Please ski over to  Sepia Saturday 163 and enjoy;

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Thursday; Somerset Maughham;

Mankind's infatuation with money, has not chosen the best medium to buy happiness. Titania

Yesterday I read this quote;"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too." -- Somerset Maugham,

 I remembered  reading his book.  “Of Human Bondage",
at a time I started to think about life and death and the inbetween.
  I was mostly impressed when Philip found out the plot about religion, his uncle, a clergyman, very pious and religious, was dying and he  he was terribly frightened about it. He did not find solace in his believes. Philip questioned, why would he be so afraid to die when he was ready to meet his maker an all forgiving god…and then he understood“
There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end. It was immaterial whether he was born or not born, whether he lived or ceased to live. Life was insignificant and death without consequence.
 Philip exulted, as he had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders:
 it seemed to him that the last burden of responsibility was taken from him; and for the first time he was utterly free. 
His insignificance was turned to power, and he felt himself suddenly equal with the cruel fate which had seemed to persecute him; for, if life was meaningless, the world was robbed of its cruelty. What he did or left undone did not matter. Failure was unimportant and success amounted to nothing. He was the most inconsiderate creature in that swarming mass of mankind which for a brief space occupied the surface of the earth; and he was almighty because he had wrenched from chaos the secret of its nothingness. Thoughts came tumbling over one another in Philip's eager fancy, and he took long breaths of joyous satisfaction. He felt inclined to leap and sing. He had not been so happy for months.

Most people never arrive at this freedom, they are shackled all their life to this secret slavery, obeisance and homage to a god. Titania

Of Human Bondage (1915) a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. It is generally agreed to be his masterpiece and to be strongly autobiographical in nature, although Maugham stated, "This is a novel, not an autobiography, though much in it is autobiographical, more is pure inventionMaugham, who had originally planned to call his novel Beauty from Ashes, finally settled on a title taken from a section of Spinoza's Ethics..  Of  Human Bondage is ranked one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

A few quotes from the book

Cronshaw, the sceptical and bohemian poet in Paris, shows Philip he has to think for himself. 

 “Faith had been forced upon him from the outside . . . A new environment and a new example gave him the opportunity to find himself. He put off the faith of his childhood quite simply, like a cloak that he no longer needed”

Philip has had a wretched youth growing up with Christian ideals in a harsh and cruel environment. When he begins to travel, he begins his journey to finding his own truth.

“From old habit, unconsciously he thanked God that he no longer believed in Him.” 

©Photo/text Ts

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wednesday; what else lurkes around the corner?

Rainlillies in my garden; Zephyrantes candida;

Monday was not a good day for me. I broke one of my front teeth, the left lateral incisor. It hurt and I was very upset about it. I mean if one looses a molar, it can not be seen that a tooth is missing but in front is a different matter.
Tuesday I went to the dentist to assess the damage. Jessica my dentist was able to do a passable temporary job on it until we have figured out the best solution. Today I went to make the X-rays and after all this hassle my daughter and I went yo see  the movie QUARTET.

It is a wonderfully funny movie with beautiful music. We enjoyed it so much and If you have never seen it GO and watch it!!

©Photo Ts