Thursday, September 9, 2010

Assignment 3.13 Surfers

My next building from the past two weeks of photographic exploration is another stretch of the definition, however, it offers quite an unusual and interesting use.  A small man made river, the Eisbach,  branches from the Isar and has been guided into the Englischer Garten, Munich's main park.  As it enters the park it passes under a bridge adjacent to the Haus der Kunst art gallery.  The river is fast flowing and as it exits the long tunnels under the bridge forms a 1m high standing wave on which it is possible to surf.  Until recently this was strictly forbidden, but impossible to enforce.  "If you can't beat it join it", so the city changed their stance to officially permitting surfing and providing platforms to make access easier and safer.  This is really only for the very experienced and hardy, the water is very fast and extremely cold.

The activity on the river always pulls a crowd and is very popular with photographers looking for something unusual.  The first indication that something interesting is going on is the line of people leaning over the bridges parapet

Changing perspective to look up at the bridge it becomes quite apparent

It is quite a strange site seeing surfers queuing to ride a wave with people watching from a couple of meters above them, with the backdrop of a stone bridge

from this angle the speed and action of the wave are difficult to comprehend, however, when looking down the "use" becomes very visible

The colour of the water gives away the fact that this is not Bondi Beach, heavy rain in the alps has turned all the rivers brown recently.  This overhead view also provides a good vantage point to capture the waiting surfers

A more conventional viewpoint captured the intense looks of the waiting surfers

The only drawback of this location is that it can be a long walk back to the bridge if a surfer gets swept away

An unusual use of a building, if I am allowed to call a bridge a building.

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