The weight of history
The driver from Salzburg to Kitzbühel, agitated by the slower motorists he felt compelled to pass upon narrow mountain roads, munched his midday meal—an enormous pretzel, of course—and told me "Kitzbühel, raining, raining, raining ...," as if I'd come to this Alpine ski-town for the warm, sunny weather. The language barrier prevented my explaining to him that bad weather makes for great photographs and that, as such, a photographer can do naught but hope for bad weather.
So it was that I woke early and headed over the cobblestones for the Liebfrauenkirche Kitzbühel to catch the gravestones and Our Lady against the backdrop of a brooding October fog.
I am always captivated by the weight of history in the places I visit. In North America this often means a deep desire to understand the rhythm of land, the march of seasons upon its soil, and the history of its native peoples. In Europe, history is the Western people and it is palpable in every street I've walked. Perhaps in a few more millennia the streets of Boston or of New York of my own Chicago will carry this weight as well.
The first morning here I welcomed my jetlag warmly and headed out the hotel doors into the fog and the cold. I wound my way through the narrow streets and up the stonework, lacquered by overnight rains, to find myself in the churchyard of Liebfrauenkirche Kitzbühel. Early morning among the dead, the ruddy votives burned through a sea of blue and fog, watching for the sun to peak between cloud and mountain—watching to no avail.