Hopper esque

20161002 Hopperesque _0042a

Last weekend I was in Paris. Where do you find an empty street like this? In Paris.

I took this photo from the Boulevard Raspail. The “street” is more like a mew. Its name is Passage D’Enfer. In the back it takes a turn to the left to another street.

A friend who was standing next to me said this scene could easily be a Hopper. Hence the Hopper esque of the title.

Note there is an iron gate locking the street from the Boulevard.

I simply stuck my lens between the bars of the gate 😉

Happy some pages are back

I found out I had imported part of this site into a non visible wordpress.com site some time ago. There the pages that I had lost when I migrated the site once again last year, still intact but not very updated. I’ve imported them here and am happy again.

Oh, yes, the site is protected by Vaultpress and Vaultpress should be able to do a migration seamlessly. That didn’t happen with the last migration unfortubately.

Bschlabertal Austria

B what? Bschlabertal or Bschlaber Valley in Austria

Recently, in the Austrian paper Der Standard, a small article drew my attention. A young (age 35) Mayor, Bernd Huber in function in his third term already, admits being unable to curb a complete economic slide down of this little valley in the Western part of Austria in the neighborhood of the Lechtal and various interesting towns in the Austrian Alps.

“I’m not someone who gives up something easily unless it’s really dead.” Also the place, of which he has held office since 2004, the municipality Pfafflar in Bschlabertal in Tirol, everything is extraordinary. 112 inhabitants include three hamlets, Bschlabs, Pafflar and Boden, scattered in the valley north of Imst. Still, because the migration is unstoppable. As Huber was elected at age 23 the youngest mayor in Austria, his drive was great. He wanted to stop the slow death of his hometown – with a broadband Internet offensive and the initiative “My Pfafflar”, designed the future vision for the remote spot.
“Small towns are at the mercy of cities”

But the euphoria is gone. “I have learned in my first two terms of office, what works and especially what doesn’t work.” The community supervision has made clear to him very quickly, “what my job is and what is not.” As head of a small community, he is facing conurbations clear disadvantage: “We are increasingly at the mercy of the cities because there are more people live, it is decided there..”

Nevertheless Huber ran for a third term. As – again – the only candidate. “It was hard even to create an election list.” Party lines lapsed at 87 electors. “I have green and blue in my team.” In the local elections in the spring of 2016 he was able to record 53 votes. “Would my people do not want, they also can vote an invalid vote. There were only eight invalid votes,” he feels confirmed in office. With over 70 per cent voter turnout was surprisingly high despite the lack of choice options. In comparison, the presidential election only half the Pfafflarer strode to the polls. More than 80 percent voted in the runoff for Alexander Van der Bellen.

In his third term Huber relies on tourism. “I have inherited a cottage, renovated and rent it.” he was ridiculed for it in the beginning, he now can save themselves from inquiries hardly: “I am 48 weekends booked up a year.” Many inhabitants have a hut, and they now want Huber to rent them out for them. Instead, he has established a specialized company.

Recreation seekers he wants to attract: “We do not have much here, but we have the rest.” Although currently are just 40 beds available, “but an acquaintance has built just two chalets for rent.” Investments are rare in Pfafflar. This potential would exist for beds, are but 60 of the 100 houses in the village empty. And the potential guests, the mayor already found: “In southern Germany live 25 million people.” This will attract the Bschlabertal Huber. For still alive Pfafflar. (Steffen Arora, 08/30/2016)

Earlier in 2011 in another Austrian paper: Der Zeit the Title is…

As a Valley Dies

Come on Mayor!

I believe there is a possibility to be a bit(?) no, much more optimistic about your valley as a Mayor and will try to get a bit of momentum for him and his fellow valley people here.

Ideally I will visit it in the not too distant future, having some idea’s I would like to share with the Mayor.

In addition I will add bits and pieces to this post if and when I find them.

The Church

With Maria in the Snow the church in Bschlabs, one of the communities of Pfafflar, is an eycatcher already in itzelf.

The church was built in 1639 as a chapel and consecrated in 1648 by the auxiliary bishop of Brixen.
Before the construction of the church, the dead had to be taken tor Dormitz (in Nassereith) and later were taken to Imst and buried there.
1670 was the first chaplain, Nicholas Kranebitter, in this valley, was for 40 years a priest in Bschlabs and was buried beneath the altar.
The records of the oldest Taufbuches in the parish, starting with the 31.10.1670.

The church has been enlarged in the early 18th century. The tower was built from 1770 to 1780, with an octagonal floor and onion dome. 1857 they built a sacristy to.
Two years later, the high altar was built. In the middle, instead of a painting, the figure of grace Madonna and Child; in addition to the double row of columns, the figures of the apostles, left Paul, right Peter, including James and John (from the workshop of Josef widower Imst in 1770). High Tabernakelvorbau with columns position and Rundtempelbau; in the round niches statuettes: the left of the Barbara and Ignatius, the right of John Nepomuk and Katharina (from Josef Anton racing).
The side altars: Building 1884 left side altar with guardian angel painting, on the right side altar painting St. Joseph with Jesus, both sides with putti (widower Werkstätte)..
The pulpit: mid 19th century, with monogram of Jesus and Mary and symbols of divine virtues, St. Eucharist, law panels with sword and palm branch.
The cross above the vestry entrance is from Balthasar Jais from Imst (1740).
In the glass display cases: left, Madonna clothed with Child, 18th century; right, Lady with blue star mantle (this statue was carried along in the processions).
The stained glass of the top and bottom semicircular closed church window, are from the Tyrolean Stained Glass Innsbruck (1919) and represent the Annunciation, Visitation and Nativity represents.
The parapet organ by Josef Schreieck (1927) with parts from the 18/19. Century.
The people’s altar, with picture of the Last Supper, is by Gottlieb Praxmarer from Häselgehr.

There are two old frescoes (Crucifixion and St. Christopher), which were discovered during the renovation of the church on the outer facade of the church.

The renovated sanctuary was re-consecrated in 1985 by Bishop Dr. Paul Rusch.

Source: Pfafflar site


The Bayern Television made a nice documentary about the valley. The mayor should mention it and the municipality should refer to it on its site…


I’ve created an English Wiki about Bschlabs and am just waiting to see what the Wiki Nazies will do about this post…


Hotel Klug has a 9.5 on Booking. so the hotel is a diamond in itself. Not many hotels are able to maintain such a high guest rating. It is a pearl the Mayor should care a lot about…..


Stay tuned for more

10 Years Happy Hotelier

10 Years Happy Hotelier_56A9590akl

10 Years Happy Hotelier

In June, 2004, I started as a co editor of the Dutch Language blog Weekendhotel and on August 23, 2006 Happy Hotelier was born. So while celebarting 10 years of Happy Hotelier, I may not be allowed to call myself a veteran blogger anymore. Now maybe I should call myself a Jurassic Blogger with 12 years of blogging behind my belt.

Still planning to continue this blog in the foreseeable future.
and off course my other blogs:
Absolutely The Hague,
Haagspraak, and
Art en Route

Nostalgia – RMS Queen Mary 2

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004 IMG_2606

We met her a bit upriver

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004IMG_2615akl

Passed her and saw her ginourmous wake without having real speed for the first time. Notice the slightly plump backside

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004 IMG_2619aakl

Turned around and passed her again

QM2 IMG_2628akl

Sailed in Front of her

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004 IMG_2629akl

Sailed in Front and let her come closer

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004 IMG_2627aakl

Watched al the spectators lined up in Front of the Radio Port Rotterdam building in Hook of Holland. The first 3 rows would get wet feet from the wake when she passed.

Queen Mary 2

Watched her passing one of the two “Mushrooms” at the mouth of the Nieuwe Waterweg

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004 IMG_2654a_1KL

Saw the Pilot Tender Enterprise approach alongside to pick up the Pilot

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004 IMG_2659aakl

Made a close up just after the Pilot boarded the Pilot Tender

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004 IMG_2673akl

Escorted her a bit further before we turned around and headed for Scheveningen

Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004 IMG_2674aaaKL

And said “Goodbye” when she literally sailed into the sunset.

Nostalgia – Meeting Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 in Rotterdam, 2004

In 2004 we still had our hotel Haagsche Suites and our boat Haagsch Schuim and even sometimes some money to to fill the tank of the gasoline guzzling 500 HP of the boat and some time to have adventures.

With hindsight one of the best trips was that of July 21 2004. We departed from Scheveningen in the afternoon and sailed to the Nieuwe Waterweg, which is the name of the water connection between Rotterdam and the North Sea. It took us only 3 quarters of an hour. We would encounter the Cunard cruise liner Queen Mary 2, which was inauguratede in Spring 2004 as the largest cruise liner of that year. It was its first visit to Rotterdam for just one day and thousands and thousands spectators were looking on, both in the city where she was berthed in front of the old head office of the Holland America Line and a new cruise terminal, and alongside the Nieuwe Waterweg. Estimates were around 200,000 visitors.

We met it a bit upriver and consorted it to the North Sea together with various other boats, part private and part in function like Pilot tenders, Dutch Police Patrol Boats and Rotterdam Port Authority Patrol vessels.

When QM2 entered service in 2004 on the Southampton to New York route, British Royal Mail granted it the RMS (Royal Mail Ship) designation (prefix) as a gesture to Cunard’s history.