Saturday, 26 January 2008

HR Giger Museum - Gruyeres - June 2004

The availability of Giger Art in the UK, it seemed, was minimal.
Or at least, that was the decision I came to after searching through book shops and art galleries of all descriptions in my home area of Chester and Liverpool.
Although true, that a few of the more common publications from Taschen and Morpheus could be found, it was soon possible to exhaust the pitiful stock that lay on shelves of the one or two shops that held these items.
It was during this time, in 2002, that a new passion was awakening within me.
For over twenty years, I had followed and lived with my true passion of playing keyboards and synthesizers for the creation of original electronic music.
Not without, of course, being totally enthused and inspired by those who perform this music with greater ability than myself.
Now though, in 2004, a new compulsion was begging to be followed and I knew that I had to look farther.
Not only feeling compelled to do so, I can also remember feeling assured that this was the right thing to do, and the next path to follow in my life, to venture to Gruyeres in Switzerland.

The adventure had begun.
Little did I know at that stage, totally unaware in fact, that this first solo trip to Gruyeres would be the beginning of a journey that I am still travelling on today, and has led to experiences and involvements which have empowered my inner self and enriched my continuing life.
So, I travel.

For this, the first time I landed at Geneva Airport, I was a stranger to Switzerland.
Regardless, I found that I was soon sitting on the upper deck of a Swiss train, which gave the impression that what could be seen through the windows was moving gently away, and not us, as the train began to leave Geneva Airport Station.
It occurred to me that I could have been travelling in a craft not connected by any mechanical means to the surface of this planet.
Or, maybe this was just part of the affect from what was the beginning of my discoveries and experiences in Switzerland.

I changed trains twice on this journey to Gruyeres with each of the trains becoming smaller, until I was travelling in a wooden sided carriage with big open windows that allowed the sunshine and the summer air to flood inside.
It was indeed, a very nice day.
From where this train stopped, at a little station in Gruyeres, I was able to find my way to the path that leads up the hill toward the Medieval part of the town and through a gateway that took me onto the cobbled street that runs through this village.
I had a thought.
Something that I had not arranged for this Trip, was my accommodation.
I had faith.
Having already compared Hotel prices that I had found on a page of and after gazing around my new surroundings, I walked straight toward Hotel la Fleur de Lys.
On this day, there was one room left available, this was for me.
I can remember that this room was offered to me as though it was just a spare room and not part of the rest of the Hotel.
This little room built in the roof space, with a skylight window, could not have been more perfect for me.
Eager to view this Swiss village from above the roof tops, I walked toward the skylight window and stood on the little wooden stool below.
With my elbows resting on the tiles of the Hotel's roof, I looked toward Castle St. Germain at just after quarter past six on a June summer's evening in Gruyeres and took my first shot.
Hence, the first photograph in this Blog.

Unable yet to rest or recover from my travels of this day, I made my way back down the Hotel stairs to explore this charming village.
My walk along the cobbled street of Gruyeres began, still with my final destination waiting to be found.
I stopped a couple of times along the way to take a few more shots of the village as smiles and the occasional greeting were exchanged between myself and those who passed me by.
Everyone seemed to be very friendly.
Just a little further up the hill and through the tall, stone arched tunnel is where I now stood with the Giger Bar on my left and HR Giger Museum on my right.
I was there.
I paused, turned to my right and walked toward the entrance of the Museum.
I knew that I had now found where I was looking for and that behind the locked glass doors that reflected the image of my weary but joyous self, I would find exactly what I was looking for, the very next day.

Click on image for larger view