Odysseus overcame Scylla and Charybdis, Jason the clashing rocks. Cyclists heading towards the Innsbrucker Hauptuni while the streets are torn up to install storm drains face another fearsome challenge, the alley behind the Markthalle. I lost the words to tell stories some time ago, so below the fold I will reveal its horrors in pictures:
Living in Innsbruck, its hard to ignore the changes in the local waterways over the course of the year. The local rivers are fed by runoff, and these days large areas of the Alps are bare by May. I took these photos on the tenth of March, in a week where snow fell for several days but melted as it hit the ground of the valley.
It is easy for ancient historians to forget about farming. Ancient literature does not say much about it, ancient art rarely depicts it, and farming is distant from our own lives. Yet most people in the ancient world made most of their living by farming or herding or fishing, and the basic realities of farming pervaded their mental world. I am therefore glad that some of the land near the Zentrum für alte Kulturen in Innsbruck is still working fields and orchards. Although the caked soil at the edge of the field is marked by the tyres of the farmer’s tractor and not the hooves of his oxen, and the plot is crammed between a modern glass monstrosity, the loading dock of a supermarket, and a concert hall built out of shipping containers, it is still worth watching as the seasons turn.