Road Trips – Stuttgart and Cochem

Alarm went off early this morning : 4:00 am. I got up and peeked out the window and the sky was a little bright but not yet blue, and the clouds looked really nice. It’s definitely not easy to get up this early. I don’t mind it that much in the winter because morning twilight is a lot later – like 6 or even 7 a.m. But getting up at 4 after going to bed only 4 hours ago at midnight is a test of a photographer’s dedication.

It was about a 20-minute drive from the hotel to the Fueursee. Getting to the location, I was welcomed by a big disappointment: the church at Fueursee was not lit at all. Hurray for the world going green. It was just standing there in its shadows, completely wasted and unappreciated. In other words, there was no use for stopping at all. It just was not worth it. It might have looked better in sunrise but I just did not feel like waiting.

I thought perhaps a quick look at the fountains at New Castle might be worth another take, but getting there, it didn’t look exciting anymore. My photos last night from this location were not terrible and I didn’t feel like I needed another shot. Besides, there was this crazy bunch of late-night drunk partygoers on the road trying to kill themselves by getting in front of the car and who were just up to no good.

Stuttgart was one of those weekend trips that came up last minute. It really isn’t too far from home, about 2 hours drive, and would be good as a day trip if it wasn’t for the fact that blue hour wasn’t that late these days. It was a busier and more commercialized place than what I had imagined it to be, but getting there, I knew where I wanted to go and did not wander farther than the New Castle area.

Yesterday, there were a lot of people on the lawn by the castle enjoying the unusually nice day. Finally, the sun is making its appearance in this part of the world. Who knows when it will last, but as the French people would say: Profite! Or take advantage.

Cochem Town Square

So, profite it is.

Right after Stuttgart, the next destination was Cochem, another hour and a half from home. A castle perched on a hill plus the Moselle river – a great combination, right? Only if the city was generous enough to turn on some lights, again! I figured the best time to photograph the place was during the first few minutes of twilight when the light was still bright enough to still show details on some of the darker areas. There was even a moon tonight, but apparently not enough to compensate for that lack of city lights.

So my photo shoot tonight did not satisfy me. There was still light in the sky but the scene was just too dark to continue. I even took out my  70-200mm lens to take a couple of tight shots of the castle. I was reluctant to do this because it was a bit windy and I really did not want to change lenses. But hopefully, there’s no harm done.


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