Entry 206 : A Month In Europe - [PART 2(3)] I'm Just Going To Keep Walking

This entry is PART 2(3) in my A Month In Europe series. If you haven't, check out PART 2(2) here.


After my trip to Marburg, I didn't really do much other than continue working on my research. I did get the chance to see the university's botanical garden with Dr. Bianca but our timing was off and we missed the blooming of the tissue tree.

Actually looks like wet tissue

That weekend I decided to venture to Wetzlar, home of Leica Camera AG. Wetzlar was a place I had wanted to visit for so long because I was very keen on visiting the Leica HQ and when I found out it was only a 20-minute train ride away, I WAS ECSTATIC!

Leica HQ, Wetzlar

It was very easy to get to Leica HQ. All I had to do was take the train to Wetzlar and then the bus to Am Leitz-Park. It was a fairly beautiful day when I was in Wetzlar, although there were some drizzles from time to time.

The Leica HQ was a huge building, and inside it was an exhibition of old Leica cameras and portraits of great artistes. There was also a beautiful gallery of historically acclaimed photographs that displayed the works of some photographers who were my personal inspirations, including Alex Webb and Josef Koudelka (if I'm not mistaken). Inside there was also a Leica museum and factory, where we can personally the hand-made lenses being manufactured. Unfortunately, it was a long weekend and there wasn't anyone working on that Saturday. Even so, it was awesome to see all the Leica gear displayed side-by-side.

Of course, there was also a Leica Store at the HQ, and there I got to fiddle with the brand new Leica M-D; a digital Leica without an LCD screen.

Typical-looking front side

What's this? No LCD screen?

I had the most difficult time trying to use the camera and the rangefinder-style focusing system was extremely unsuitable for my eyes. I won't even share the shots I took with the camera because they're all just horrible! I'm pretty sure my awful first experience with the camera is due to the fact that I'm so used to SLR-style cameras. I'm currently trying to get one from my friends at Leica Malaysia, but with such a high price point, I'm not putting hopes up too high.

As much as I don't see the necessity nor the novelty in an LCD screen-less digital camera, I can appreciate what it stands for. My view on it is that by having a system like this, the photographer will have a film-like photographic experience due to the absence of the screen BUT they will also have the safety net of the RAW digital file captured. So, you're not only saving money on film (buying and processing), you actually have the insurance of post-processing if the photo somehow needs it. But then again so-called "purists" will say that it's simply for the art of photography... Whatever that means.

After the wandering around the Leica HQ and having a chai latte at the Leitz Cafe, I was ready to call it a day. I had accomplished my mission and didn't really have any intention to stick around Wetzlar. But it was only midday and I thought to myself that it would be a definite waste to not at least explore the city and see what it has in store.

So I just started walking along the road, retracing the route the bus took from the train station. In my mind all I thought was "Yeah, I'm just gonna keep walking till I see something interesting."

It wasn't after about 20-30 minutes of walking that I found myself in some part near the city of Wetzlar. Some shops started to emerge and I could see more and more houses around. And then, the more I walked, the more obvious it was to me that I had walked into a pretty cool part of Wetzlar.

I later found out that I was in Wetzlar's famous Old Town! By the time I realized it, I was already surrounded by beautiful houses and a historical ambience that can only be described as awe-inspiring.
Old Town

Wedding photo session at the Wetzlar cathedral

I didn't ask them to do a wheelie

Biker looking into the window of a women's shoe store

I honestly liked Wetzlar's old town more than Marburg's. There weren't as many tourists here and the paths didn't have as many hills. It was a scenic and quaint place, and I had fun just walking through the alleyways and almost getting lost in the calmness of the town.

As I kept on walking, I then found myself on a bridge that had a view of another Leica building, this time in Leitzplatz near the city. Little did I know that the bridge was the 13th century Alte Lahnbrücke!

Underground tunnel in Leitzplatz

Alte Lahnbrücke (Old Bridge Over the River Lahn)

I had a great time exploring Wetzlar. Obviously when you're walking around without any sense of direction, every little discovery is a pleasant surprise. After hanging around the park near the old bridge I kept on walking till I somehow found the signboard that led me back to the train station. And then, I just went back home; thinking of where to go next.