travel

A symbol in time: The shape that remembers a city’s complicity

Nowadays when we think of Munich, images of beer houses overspilling with tourists drinking Weissbier or the world-famous football team come to mind. On my recent visit, the former stereotype was certainly met, but what I was surprised to discover was a city still reeling from the Second World War.

The profound impact the past has had upon the city is immeasurable, but to get a glimpse into the severity, you can look around and discover the ways in which it is still affected by the past. 

Over 80 years ago, the Nazi party coined Munich as the “capital of the movement” due to its pivotal role in the Nazis’ rise to power. This, in turn, led to one of the most recognisable and visually powerful symbols of all times being branded around the city. 

On my visit to Munich I was not only surprised to still discover the swastika’s presence, but also shocked at finding it in the most unlikely of places. The world famous beer house, the Hofbrauhaus, still had the logo on its roof, albeit covered up.

I also saw it in slightly less surprising places. The Haus der Kunst (house of art), which was built in 1937 to showcase Nazi propaganda, still had the swastika adorning its walls.

As an agency we recognise that logos and symbols don’t just visually represent an organisation, they instead embody their ideology. Although some might not shape cities, they will certainly shape perceptions and it’s important that this vessel of information is steering the viewer in the right direction.

A country of contrasts

MachuPichu.jpg

Peru is a country of contrasts. 

There are cloud forests, vast plains and dense jungle. 

There are heights that make you gasp for breath and humidity that means your skin is constantly standing out in sweat.

There is nature that is beyond belief, there are landscapes that are so beautiful it’s hard to accept them as real.

There is a population that for the most has very little, yet demonstrates a genuine appreciation for everything they do have. They strive to survive in very harsh conditions and do so with a smile on their faces. It’s very refreshing to see.

This is a country that for 90 years had an empire that stretched over 3,000 miles and yet existed in complete isolation from the rest of the world. The Incas were incredibly advanced in terms of astronomy and civil engineering, but didn’t have the wheel.

I recently spent 15 incredible days there. 

Machu Pichu has always been on my list of must go places, I knew about Lake Titicaca, but little else about this country. 

It exceeded my expectations in every way.

In our short time there we sailed reed boats on Lake Titicaca, stayed with a farmer on its shores, played football at 3800 metres above sea level, searched for bugs at night in the Amazon, ate Alpaca burgers, and hiked for 4 days over the mountains on the Inca Trail to get to Machu Pichu. 

Nothing could prepare me for the beauty of the ancient city. Perched 2400 metres up on the side of a cliff it is a feat of engineering that defies logic, but somehow seems perfectly of its place.

The photo above shows my first site of Machu Pichu, but it barely does it justice. The only way to truly appreciate it is to do the trek yourself…