Untouched by Man and Machine

Nature is an amazing force, but it recently occurred to me that, whilst I have been to many beautiful places, all of them have been sculpted by humankind to some extent. I'd love to see somewhere truly untouched by man and machine. Any suggestions?

Tom Otomcio : Germany : Rheingau
Tom Otomcio : Germany : Rheingau

Tom Otomcio : Germany : Rheingau

Tom Otomcio : Germany : Rheingau

Tom Otomcio : Germany : Rheingau
Tom Otomcio : Germany : Rheingau

Tom Otomcio : Germany : Rheingau

Montacute House

The stately homes of Britain are a joy to behold. And if you visit a National Trust owned one, then there's always a nice piece of cake to go with your visit. I recommend the carrot cake. 

But imagine wandering around these places without the other visitors. You could really explore the place, every nook and cranny. You could open every door and gaze out of every window. There would be nobody to tell you not to touch or to stay behind the red rope. What a taste of history you would have!

[Click the first image to view all the images in a slideshow!]

Best of Friends


Taken in a bric-a-brac store in Somerset, England. I wish I had the house space for things like this.

Burrow Mump

We reached Burrow Mump just before sunset and scrambled up the slope to the ruined church at the top.

One raised piece of land in an otherwise flat landscape. We could see for miles.

Kochbrunnenplatz (Wiesbaden)

An area of hot springs and beautiful architecture, where the rich enjoy the view from their windows and the homeless enjoy the warmth of the hot springs.

Smokey Valley

When we're cold we turn on the radiator. 

When people in the countryside in many parts of the world are cold, they bring in some wood and build a fire. They know where their fuel comes from and they create an atmosphere around that. 

The air was cool and the smell of wood smoke wafted up the valley. Then I turned around and went back inside and sat by the fireplace.


It's a rare sight when the addition of a car makes a scene look better. I can think of a few but not many. 

Maybe in 50 years' time everything in this scene will fit, but until then, I wish those cars hadn't been there. 

But I'd like to live in a colourful house. I wonder if my landlord is open to the idea.

Mr. Kot

I thought he was my friend, but then he bit and scratched me and acted like nothing had happened.

You can never truly trust a cat.

Everyone is the Same

It doesn’t matter where they’re from, people carrying things in their hands almost always push open their front door with their foot.

See how the paint is worn away?

Pushed gently with their foot to start with, then shoved hard so the bags don’t get knocked as the door swings back towards its frame.

I wonder how many times this door has been pushed open with a foot?

Disused Farm Building

There was no way we weren't going to stop at this disused farm building. We'd seen it from the road on our way into the town nine days earlier and had agreed to stop off on our way back home to Germany. 

We didn't go inside. Apart from anything we were on flat land and observable from the long, hedgeless road. It had probably been cleared out anyway. 

I wonder when it was last used for its original purpose and what will happen to it in the future?

In case you hadn't guessed, these photos were taken about six months apart. 

Mistimed Exit

On a recent trip to Poland the Wife's father took us out for dinner at a new place on the market square.

The food was great - partly because we weren't paying and partly because it was actually very good - and we were all in good spirits. The only thing that was a bit off in this lovely new micro-brewery was the large television that grabbed people's attention in the most unnecessary way.

It seems entirely normal to play music and/or show music videos in many restaurants these days. And it doesn't matter what age the clientele is. It's not background music, you understand. It's music played and videos shown at such volume and brightness that it divides the diners: Half continue their conversations, but at an increased volume...the other half are reduced to observers.

After the meal was finished and we had decided to go I did was I always seem to do. I mistimed my exit. Anyway it gave me a couple of minutes to take some pictures whilst I waited for them to catch up. I'm glad I had those couple of minutes.

Shifting Views

I had lived in Poland for almost nine months before I got together with the Wife.

During those first few months my new surroundings and experiences had remained interesting, but I soon came to realise that you can never really know anything much about a place and its people until you are invited into someone's home.

It's like opening a can of culture. Not in the arty sense, but in the very real sense of life, atmosphere and family.

I took this picture near some old train tracks on a cold day between Christmas and New Year. We were the only people out in the open. Others had more sense than to go out in the cold.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the seasons have changed the landscape on our next trip.