Painting with the ground we stand on

Should you live in or be visiting Munich, don’t miss out on the show of paintings next weekend, with Sunday brunch. Trisha Kanellopoulos has experimented with different styles and for some years has experimented with different colored soils which she collects wherever she goes.

In the end, my main goal is always striving for the ultimate color and the perfect surface”

Trisha Kanellopoulos

Studio: Hellabrunner Str. 30

81543 München

Peking, China

Our trip to China with Studiosus began in Peking, known as Beijing. We were brought by bus from the airport to a hotel in the center. Luckily, as one of us had lost his suitcase key and had to run to the shops to replace it. Our first visit was to the Great Wall, of which only a few segments remain. Walking sticks are recommended, as many parts go up really steep to the next tower post where they sell “medals of achievement.” At the bottom there are countless souvenir stores and restaurants. The views are breathtaking. One of our meals was the famous Peking duck, a bit dry though, and schnapps made of barley.

The hutongs are the small streets with small traditional houses near the “Forbidden City”. Unfortunately, there are plans to tear down this area and erect high-risers instead. We were booked for a riksha ride and afterwards for a privately cooked meal in the lady’s tiny abode, it was delicious. Crickets and birds are kept in cages for good luck. The next day we watched a Kung Fu show with fusion music in a large red theater, fantastic fighters in colored lights.

Getting there through Peking’s traffic and back, however, was horrid. There are too many cars and each year there is a lottery for the license plates, even though cars cost a fortune. When they park in a narrow side street, they must park in and out the way they entered to ensure everybody can get to work on time.

We visited the “Forbidden City” and also the “Heavenly Temple”. At times so many people were jostling for photos that you would have needed a selfie stick to look inside. Many men sit in the shade of the arcades playing games.

As with many Chinese temple sites, you walk through one temple, then through a courtyard and to the next temple, several times over. In some there are wonderful buddha statues or display cases with silk robes, masks, jewelry, staffs, all made of precious metals, stones and stuffs. Red and gold paint are signs of the Emperor and his family. Sadly enough, some wives were cast aside and lived a secluded life behind high walls.

The buddhas hold their hands in different gestures, pointing to Heaven, to Earth, or in a gesture of prayer or peace. The prevailing religion is either Buddhism or Daoism. Every courtyard has oven shrines where you can burn incense, often dispensed for free, as in the Lama Temple.

All the people were smiling and friendly, often some asked for a photo with us Europeans. In China you may not own an appartment, but lease one for 70 years. If you want to own several appartments, you must get a divorce, which one lady did four times, and then remarried her husband!

The Samurai Exposition

A number of most beautiful and costly Japanese Samurai artefacts are on show in the Hypo Kulturhalle, Theatinerstraße, Munich through June 2019 and will then tour to other places. The pieces are on loan from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum in Dallas, Texas.

Japanese society was organized in castes, in the Tokugawa period, the general shogun was at the top, then came the nobility, the daimyo, or regional lords with at least 10,000 koku income. One koku was 180 l of rice, enough to feed one person for one year. Daimyo showed off their wealth by building castles. In order to control the approx. 260 daimyo, the shogun obliged them to come to Edo at Himeji castle every two years and leave their wives and children as hostages. On the other hand, the lords were also able to parade their fantastic armor made of leather and metal plates, silk threads and unique decorations.

This armor should have been a model for European suits of armor, as they weighed much less. The sizes could be adjusted from father to son by snipping through the threads of one row and adding or taking out rows of plates. The threads, laces and leather parts also ensured flexibility of movement: soldiers were no longer encased in a hard shell that could not be removed in case of injury.


Boots were soled with removable straw soles, every soldier bushi had an extra pair. Swords were short and of the very best steel, folded over innumerable times. Some swords are worth two to three hundred thousand euros meanwhile. The samurai would start by putting on his undergarments, his arm guards, the various pieces of armor, and finally his coat, his boots and his helmet. Bushido means “the way of the soldier”, his fighter’s ethics.

Horses were small, as they had to be imported from the north. Stirrups were often decorated with monkeys and goats, animals that were kept in the stables to keep the horses moving to prevent any hoof ailments. The Japanese loved bear fur on their helmets, yet had to import such goods from the north as well, so traders would sell them all sorts of fur as long as the imitation looked like the real thing.

Symbols are interpreted differently from country to country. Whereas Germans believe that rabbits are easily frightened, in Japan they are considered intelligent beings. To us an aubergine or eggplant is simply a vegetable, to the Japanese they bring you good luck. Thus such symbols were often used creating the unique helmets, with antlers, horns, devils’ faces, ears and sweatbands, a long nose (with a hinge to breathe), crests and crescents, etc.

In the Japanese caste system, the shogun was the highest ranking person, then came the 260 daimyo, then the peasants and all the way at the bottom, the tradesmen. During the 240 years of peace in the Edo period, the warriors were retrained as civil servants and tax collectors. Many of the suits of armor collected by the Muellers were never worn in battle. Some date back to the 13th century and are still here for us to look at and admire.

Spiaggia della Biodola, Elba Italy

The small island of Elba, once ruled by Napoleon for 300 days, offers all manner of hills for bikers and beaches for sun-lovers. The bay of Biodola, about 8 km of winding road from the ferry town Portoferraio, is a lovely cove with mostly limpid waters and a sand beach. Hotel Biodola has its own section of beach with well-kept sunbeds and parasols.

The hotel has a pool with a view, and tennis and golf can be booked in the neighboring hotel. At the top level there is a large bar terrace and breakfast is one level lower in an outdoor restaurant. The best part are the long and large dinners with 5 to 6 courses accompanied by excellent regional wine and the weekly regional buffet.

Near the beach there is a camping area and several beach restaurants with sandwiches, salads, fruit, inflatable toys, ice cream, drinks. Toward the south, some steps above Biodola Beach boat rental lead to a half-ruined path winding around the cliffs and through a cave to another not too distant cove with a pebble beach.

Biodola is a great place for other excursions to Portoferraio with its churches, forts and Napoleon’s town house, to Napoleon’s Villa di San Martino in the valley, and to Capoliveri, a tiny village high up in the mountains above Porto Azzurro.

The Residenz garden with the Diana temple

Most people may only have seen the stone facade of the Residence on the side of the Max Joseph Platz with the adjacent buildings of the Residenztheater and the Opera, opposite the former red post office buildings and the little restaurants and boutiques on the fourth side, all surrounding the seated bronze statue of Prince Max I Joseph. Max I Joseph’s son, however, Ludwig, preferred the other side showing east to the Renaissance Court Gardens with English elements, and had his rooms furnished there.

The Diana Temple (photo supra) is said to have been erected in 1615 by Heinrich Schön the Elder. On fair days a grand piano is rolled inside and a pianist plays the lovely tunes of Chopin and Schumann to passers-by. To the southwest, the Residenz and the Herkulessaal, to the east the Theatinerkirche (Church of St. Cajetan) built by the Elector as a sign of gratitude for the birth of his heir, Prince Max Emanuel.

Around the Diana temple there are four fountains, to the north the Garden arcades with the Theater Museum, and to the south the Bayrische Staatskanzlei (Bavarian State Chancellery) which was destroyed in part during the Second World War and rebuilt in the mode of Italian High Renaissance.

The Court Gardens are a sunny and peaceful place for a stroll. In the summer dances take place, musicians play their instruments, early-birds practise yoga, people chat and eat and sit on the benches. The white roses exhale their sweet perfume and you can almost forget you are in the city.

A day in Bolzano (Bozen), Italy

On the way back from Elba, we stopped in Bolzano, Italy, in the Hotel della Città, a rather quaint place plumb in the middle of the small town with narrow streets. Below there is a garage with direct access to the hotel and dining area.

We wandered around the cobble-stone streets enjoying the delicious South Tyrolian food, such as at “Vögele” and beer from micro-breweries. South Tyrolians are absolutely fluent in German and Italian, and often of course in English for the countless tourists. Many shops offer luscious fruit, cured hams, schnapps and wine, spiced buns “Vinschgerl” etc. The tap water is entirely pure and the hotels offer free bottles to sample it and take some along.

Naturally we went to visit Ötzi, the frozen Alpine glacier mummy that a couple accidentally found in 1991 in Tisenjoch while trekking over the mountains, as the ice had thawed a bit and he was sticking out. He is currently kept in a sort of freezer at perfect temperatures with a large viewing window. On view in different display cases at different temperatures you will encounter his cap, his leggings, his tools, his coat and further apparel.

There was a line at the entrance, but not too long. The museum endeavors to let in only a few persons at a time according to average visiting times. There are many other historic museums and churches and fountains in Bolzano, a really nice place for a visit and a hearty meal.

Happy Sunday > Affirmations

For those who need inspiration

Be Inspired..!!

You’ve probably seen Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts that quote positive affirmations. Often, these quotes are accompanied with a message that instructs you to repeat the affirmations and it will change your life. You may have even tried repeating positive affirmations and seen some results, but what are these magic words that claim to transform your mind and your life? Here are affirmations for overcoming challenges in your life :

  1. My strength is greater than any struggle.
  2. I’m fearless.
  3. I’m getting stronger every day.
  4. I can do this.
  5. I’m deserving of my dreams.
  6. I was not made to give up.
  7. Broken bridges cannot stop me.
  8. No one can make me feel inferior.
  9. I’ve discovered that I am fierce.
  10. I know my power.
  11. Challenges are just opportunities.
  12. I do not fear the fire…I am the fire.
  13. I choose what I become.
  14. I’ve decided that I’m good enough.
  15. I’m brave enough climb any mountain.

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