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Message in a Bottle

I love clean landscapes and nature. In the Cinque Terre, I therefore started collecting up other people’s garbage and carrying it back to civilization.

When I recently photographed on the shores of Lake Constance, the time has come again. I was quite early on the search for a subject that day at Lake Constance when I noticed how much waste was lying there on the shore. And I was on way in a bird sanctuary area, which was populated by gray herons, comorans, ducks and in winter also from numerous singing swans. Unforgettable on one hand to observe these animals from a distance and to listen to their twitter and their sound. Poor on the other hand the dirt in the sand. Arrived att the location, I’ve had to clear a bottle and some plastic parts aside first so that they were not in the final photo. It was my gain to capture the beautful nature not garbage that shouldn’t be part of the picture. Nevertheless I took a picture of it anyway. Read the full story below.

After having wrapped up my photo I decided to return the next day and collect all the disgusting garbage. No sooner said than done: Within fifteen minutes, the bag I had brought was already so heavy that I could barely carry it. After an hour finally it was full of chunks and still I discovered things that I wanted to take with me. Lastly the bag became even much heavier than my photo backpack and who has ever took a look into my gear list, should know what that means. The bag was overflowing with used syringes, remnants of firecrackers, grave candles, parts of shoes, drug cans, squeezed out tubes, plastic bottles and even a hose, an alarm clock, a tennis ball and many small things that I could not assign because they were already weathered. Then a glass bottle caught my deeper attention. It was already somewhat mist up and locked with a screw cap but there was something in it. When I opened it carefully, I spotted a rolled piece of paper held together by a red ribbon. I found a message in the bottle! Two schoolgirls pitched the bottle into Lake Constance about a month earlier, hoping for an answer (which is meanwhile on the way to them). Though they have unintentionally contributed to my garbage mountain, I can not be mad about them. There are lots of worse reasons to throw something in the beautiful Lake Constance for sure. Quite the reverse, there is still hope knowing young people out there who continue to believe in analogue communications alongside WhatsApp and Snapchat. Thanks, girls, if you read this blog, you really made my day!

Back to the hard world of garbage: I had carried the heavy garbage bag all over the beach to my car now and my fingers were hurting. it would have been easy to just put the bag in the parking lot, I wanted to document the content for this post and then dispose of it in accordance with the law. The waste bins in the Lake Constance region were far too small and a friendly demand at various supermarkets was also unsuccessful. Nobody wanted to give garbage a new home, even though supermarkets have huge garbage containers around. Even my hint about my chariable effort did not help me out. The police I contacted later finally mentioned the address of the Waste disposal site opposite the city but I had to pay for it. That was a bit too much for me and I furthermore didn’t expect to become official owner of this garbage with all rights and obligations by collecting it at the shore.

In the end of the story, I got rid of the bag – in a huge garbage container of a large housing estate.

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