Travel with Minox

Discussion in 'Minox' started by mtc photography, Dec 23, 1998.

  1. Travel the world with Minox is a great pleasure in life.
  2. In 1935 Minox camera inventor Walter Zapp finished his design drawings of the miniature camera. He named it MINAX. "Min" came from
    'miniature' "AX" came from Zeiss CONTAX camera. <P> Later Walter Zapp's friend,a Leica photographer Nixi Nylander suggested the name MINOX.<P>
    MINOX is pronounced as Mee nox, not Min(t) nox. <P> In 1935, an important cultural event of the time was the publication
    of British archeologist Sir Arthur Evans' book "Palace of Minos" Vol IV. <P>Sir Arthur Evans excavated the ancient Palace of Knossos
    at Greek island Grete. Minos was King of Knossos. Minoan civiliaztion represented the peak of Aegean Civilization, its
    tradition of "art for art's sake" set the foundation of "science for science sake" of Greek Civilization and modern science.<P>
    Minoans were diminutive. When I visited Palace of Knossos, it came to my mind thatt Minox and Minos is somehow connected. Yes I took some pictures of Palace of Minos with my Minox C.
  3. Don Quixote de La Mancha Puerto Lapice is a small town in the plains of La Mancha in central Spain. We arrived at noon, en route to Madrid from Cordoba. La Mancha was made world famous by Miguel Cervantes' novel "Don Quijote de la Mancha".
    A Don Quijote plate made in Toledo, Spain
    Puerto Lapice was the place where Don Quijote was knighted by an inn keeper.
    The whole town of Puerto Lapice is kept in 17 century Spainish style. The main attraction in Puerto Lapice is the Quijote Inn, the place where Don Quijote was supposedly knighted. This quaint looking two storey inn with orange color tiles and bright white walls, brought us back to 17 century La Mancha.
    On the left side of the door way is a ceramic plate probably the name of the inn
    At the right side of the door way embedded another ceramic plate with a picture of Don Quijote riding Rocinante with the following quotation at bottom half in Spanish:
    La del alba seria curndo, Don Quijote salio de laaventa, tan contento, tan gallardo, tan alborozado por verse ua armado caballero que del gozo le reventaba por lascinchas del caballo (Don Quijote de la Mancha Cap IV)
    I took out my Minox B, set the distance at 1 meter and took a picture of this plate as souvenir
    Walked through the door way, a large central court yard with a stone mill and antique carriage, a iron statue of Idealist Don Quixote holding his lance stood at one end of the court yard. I took a picture of my wife stood beside Don Quixote; and she in turn took my picture with the Don Quijote statue.
    Not far away from the inn, I spotted a hotel--- Hotel Dulcinea (Don Quijote's sweet heart ), I took a another snap shot.
    Back home, I enlarged the negative and looked up my Penquin Classic Don Quixote( J.M. Cohen translation) .
    The first paragraph of chapter IV: " What happened to our Knight when he left the inn" seems to match the quotation on the ceramic plate of Qujote Inn: "It must have been daybreak when Don Quixote left the inn, so pleased, so gay, so enraptured at being now a knight that his joy seemed likely to burst his horse's girths."
    I first read Penguin Classic Cervante's Don Quixote in Singapore during high school year. I brought this Don Quixote book with me to Beijing. When I left China I sold all my books except a few, Don Quixote was one of them and brought them with me to Canada.
    I finally had a chance to travel and to Minoxing in plains of La Mancha, this is one of the magic moment in life, captured with a Minox.
  4. Greek island Mykonos--deja vue ?

    Minox C [​IMG] Athens, 1998
    After staying two days in Athens, we boarded Triton and cruised the Aegean Sea.
    The first port of call was a beautiful Greek isle Mykonos. This place is photogpohers' paradise.
    The distinct whitewashed cubic houses accented with blue windows blue doors or groves of red and purple flowers are all over Mykonos. Dome shaped white chapels with single bell arch or three bell arches against a background of extra ordinary blue sky; or blue stair way with red geraniums flower pot on every step was good picture subject.
    By regulation, all home owner must painted their houses twice a year, and only in white.
    The narrow lanes in Mykonos paved with irregular shaped stone slabs wind through the town full of jewellery shops, gift shops and restaurants. I snapped away with my 35mm cameras and Minox C . It was about time we must head back to the dock for last tender back to the ship.
    As we walked briskly along the lane along the water front, we passed a restaurant with tables covered with white clothe on top of another red table cloth; looking ahead, there was another restaurant with a verandah on the second level, further down, a row of cubic white houses with blue doors perched right on the edge of the Aegean Sea. What a familiar scene !!
    [​IMG] brochure picture
    Immediately I recognized it as the EXACT SPOT of a color photo I saw in a 1997 Minox brochure and discussed about it. Some said it was in Germany, some said definitely in Italy, I said it was in Greece, but nobody knew for sure. I never thought I would literally walked into the picture, and took picture with a Minox, what a coincidence
    Martin Tai 1998, Mykonos,Greece
    The words on the wall of the restaurant were "CLUB VERANDAH".
    The blue sea in the photo was Aegean, and the distant mountain was another Greek isle. Mykonos streets are paved with large irregular stones, unlike other Greek isles, such as Rhodes or Crete, where the streets are paved with pebbles.
    The lane behind Club Verandah leads to the main dock full of fishing boats.
    There is only one rows of houses backing to the Aegean Sea on Mykonos, on the street called Ag. Anargiron

    The landmark of Mykonos is a row of windmills on a hill top
    Before we head back to the ship, I rushed to a hill top, and took a picture of the famous Mykonos wind mills with my Minox C.
    I have only one picture of it showing a row of four cylindrical windmills on a hill against the sky with a few scattered clouds.
  5. Minoxing at Palace of Minos

    In 1935, Walter Zapp coined the name MINAX for his prototype camera. "MIN' from miniature, "AX" from Zeiss Ikon range finder camera Contax.
    Later, Walter Zapp's friend Nixi Nylander changed MINAX to MINOX. Minox rhymes with Minos-- the legendary king who reigned the city of Labyrinth in Neolithic period. My wife and I visited two Minoan sites, Palace of Knossos on Crete and the prehistoric commune of Akrotiri at island of Thera. Knossos is a booming tourist town, its main attraction is the Minoan Palace or Palace of Knossos.
    Minoan Palace was excalvated and restored by Brithis archeologist Sir Arthur Evans at the turn of the century, he devoted great part of his life and fortune in the excalvation. At the entrance to the site, stands a a bronze bust of Arthur Evans; I took a picture with my Minox C.
    Arthur Evans creatively recontructed some buildings, wall paintings for this he was often criticized. But without his reconstruction, the site would not be such a tourist attraction. He published four volume "Palace of Minos ", the last volume in 1935. The same year Minox was named.
    [​IMG] Relics of Labyrinth , Minox C
    The Palace of Knossos has several thousand rooms, with crisscross paths. This palace was latter identified as the site of legendary Labyrinth. Minoan civilization was characterized by its artful architecture, advanced water supply system (clay pipes ) , pottery and wall frescos. The themes of paintings were about daily life, does not seems to be dictated by politics nor religious; art was pursued for its own beauty, the very first "art for art's sake" Large vases about three to four feet high and 2 feet diameter were used to store seeds, olive oil etc. The Minoan columns are quite unique, large at top and small at bottom, in exact opposite to later Greek columns. We were told that famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright used Minoan columns in one of his design.

    Patmos is a Greek island in the Dodecanese.
    At Patmos, we decided not to join the excursion to Monastery of St John the Apocalypse, but to do it on foot ourselves. Expecting a long walk up hill, I left my heavy SLR and zoom lens locked up in the cabin, and took only a compact camera and Minox C, a bottle of water and Tilley hats.
    This famous Monastery can be seen afar-- a gray color fortress with quintuple bells standing aloft among a group of whitewashed Aegean style white cubic houses on hill top.
    [​IMG]Minox C, Agfapan 25
    A winding road leads up to the Monastery, along the way there are many pretty Greek chapels.
    [​IMG]Photo by Martin Tai
    It was a sunny day, hot and humid, after climbing about one fifth of the way, we were soaked with sweat; looking ahead, the Monastery did not seem getting any closer; so we decided to get a taxi instead. We bargained down to ten US$ for round trip to the Monastery for one hour stay, with a midway stop over at the Cave of St John. It is a much better deal than taking the excursion offered by the cruise ship, which cost US$37 per person.
    The courtyard of the Monastery is very pretty, there are four open arches perpendicular to another four arches; the intricate plays of gray brick arches and their shades casted by the sun on whitewash walls make interesting B&W studies.
    Photo: Martin Tai
    We met a couple from UK, who had being vacationing in Patmos for a week. I asked them why of all the islands in Aegean they picked this one. "Because of the Monastery of St John"
    Rhodes is the largest island of Docanese. Rodos is the capital of Rhodes Island Disembark from the ship, walked along the Old City wall for about 15 minutes led us to the gate. I took out Minox C and got a clean pictures of a circular shape brick turret flanked by trees, with city gate as a dark frame.
    [​IMG] @martin tai
    Narrow ancient streets, overhead bridges connecting building from two sides of street, groups of turrets, old well with sea horse decor, shops, people, were all interesting photo subjects.
    There are more shopes in Rhodes then other Greek islands Prices were better than at Plaka of Athens.
    The ancient castle city of Lindos is about one hour away from Rodos, the capital of Rhodes Island
    A narrow winding lane leads from the parking lot to Acropolis, where the remains of Temple of Athena stood .
    Comparing my Minox pictures of Acropolis at Athens, Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion with Temple of Athena at Lindos, the picture from the Lindos shows only three columns yet looks more mysterious, more symbolic.
    [​IMG] @martin tai, Minox C Acropolis of Lindos
    Climbing up the steps to the top of a castle provided great view of deep blue Aegean Sea with remote island at horizon.
    Copy right, Martin Tai (except quoted URLs )

    From diary, June 1998

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