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  • Writer's pictureNigel

🎼Musikzimmer 音楽室

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

2023 年 10 月 13 日

Musikzimmer - literally "Music Room". The name for a concert series in an old Frankfurt villa. But any "old Frankfurt villa" is going to have a history, and Villa 102 on the Bockenheimer Landstrasse is no exception. Built in 1912 for a naval captain, the house was later owned by a Jewish business family, the Sondheimers, who emigrated in 1932 first to Den Haag, and then to America. Under the Nazis the house was used as "arboretum Library". It was subsequently badly damaged by bombing in the war and under allied occupation it served as an office for the English administration. After the war, one of the Sondheimer daughters sold off the place, having vowed never to return to Germany. It served for a while as a "Literature" house with a café. Now it is superbly restored and is a run by a cultural foundation, the KFW Stiftung.

👉 I had simply gone to a concert here, put on by one of Bridges Orchestra`s offshoots "Trio Qantara"


I was lulled into a sort of dream by their programme of Persian, Sephardic, and Arabic melodies......wonderful. Thank you Hesham, Samira and Jessica!

ペルシャ、セファラディック、アラビアのメロディー……素晴らしい。 ヘシャム、サミラ、ジェシカ、ありがとう!


👉 I simply went on a little cycle yesterday. Here I am at the boundary of the town of Langen.


Turn around and I see a long fence on the other side of the road. This delineates the boundary of Schloss Wolfsgarten, the 18thc. hunting lodge and park belonging to the former dukes of Hessen. But it has a strange relationship with the town which is beside it. Wikipedia describes it as "near Frankfurt", which is of course laughable if you live in Langen. It hides itself behind the trees, and the entrances are firmly closed....


One of the last inhabitants was an aristocratic lady born in Ireland - Princess Margaret of Hesse and, and, and ...(long title)....who met here husband to be at the 1936 Olympics. Here's some facts for you...........

Anyway, The family seem to have had a fad for things Japanese, for the lake has a little "half-moon" bridge and a stone lantern. And a relatively recent addition was a sort of structure reminiscent of a Torii : 鳥居 - the gateway you pass under when entering a Shinto shrine. But there is no shrine here, and you certainly cannot pass underneath this thing....for there is a boundary fence blocking the way.....

ここには神社はありません。 それは芸術です。

where the rust eats into the barbed wire.......

.....and the supports - very Wabi Sabi if you ask me.....


No entry ⛔

Here's the real thing : Kyoto, 2018........

ここに本物の鳥居があります。 京都2018. 私の初めての日本旅行!! 🙋🏻‍♂️


👉 I simply went in a hike at the weekend

In the last blog I mentioned that all my hiking colleagues seem to have disappeared to other parts of Europe, including Montenegro and Armenia. Well, when we all met at the weekend it became clear that the Italian Dolomites and Poland had to be included on the list, as well as Japan. I had stayed in Langen 🥱.

Just getting to our meet-up point in deepest Odenwald was complicated. Apps and browsers gave different names for the railway station - google maps even had two was all rather confusing.....


Around 11am we had managed to meet, at a station

And was this still a functioning railway station? (we had in the end all come by car).....the rolling stock was not very encouraging......


...and as for this locomotive......hmmmm 😕

But there was a modern ticket machine and some tracks.

Well, more anon. We returned here at the end of our walk.

Off into the forest, guided by a big "N"....very apt 😆

N = ナイジェル・トレイル

When going on a hike, you never know who you will meet. Have you heard of the animals who wear fluffy carpets from IKEA? Nigel, these are "Belted Galloways"...did you not know this?


...or the cream-coloured ponies who were rather fond of apples.......however we had no crisp apple strudles with us...... ....aaargh 🙈 - sorry.


They seemed glad to see us......


It's only about 1 o'clock but the shadows are long's a climate change October. The walk was was not too strenuous, along well defined paths......


...and leafy glades......

Photo Bénédicte

Eventually we reached the calm waters of the Marbach reservoir.....mirror-like reflection...

美しい湖 - 貯水池

.....a natural stop for a break in the sun....


".....Is it Art?"



はい. may also swim here


Reflets dans l'eau

Photo: Bénédicte

But we were not finished with the wildlife yet. Oh no......

Our marine biologist had to have a photo of this guy......but taking a photo yourself can be tricky.....

あしなしとかげ足無蜥蜴 "legless lizard"

....but what a beauty! Despite screams from the Asian department we managed to pick this slow worm up......was it A. fragilis or A. veronensis? Our scientist later concluded it was the Italian she knew that was a mystery to me (had it slithered over the alps from Italy?....or maybe stowed away with a delivery of Gelato from Verona?)......



....a beautiful creature.....

On returning to the start of our walk we were tempted to leave the cars behind and head home with the train........


But we did not get very far. Honestly. What a crew 🤣. Bunch of schoolkids really.......

Every hike must end with an Eiscafé it seems. In Erbach im Odenwald was a pleasant surprise.....


What a lovely town! Good Old Germany 😊


👉 Thank you for reading "..Musikzimmer.."


👉 Feel free to share the blog with friends.


👉 And it would be nice to hear from you...!


(Sometimes you need sugar and caffeine)




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1 Comment

Oct 16, 2023

The area in the latest post looks like really pleasant autumn hiking territory. I’m curious what you’ll think about the hike we’ll take in Saitama. Quite a different landscape. No tame horses or cows, unfortunately.

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