Thursday, 22 March 2012


On my second visit to the city of Mombasa, last week, I decided it was time to build a sand castle again, as I hadn't done it in more than ten years. It's always interesting to explore typologies, and at least in Norway, it seems to me that almost any building that has a tower and isn't made of wood, will sooner or later be called a castle. Nothing more needed? What is a castle, really?

I chose to make mine with a few central towers, some smaller ones around it, and originally, a courtyard surrounded by even more towers. However, the sea soon started devouring the courtyard, and by the time I started taking pictures, more than half of it was gone.

In the technique I use, you need to dig a hole in the sand until you reach the water level. The sand you already dug out, is used to make the underlying structure, be it cone-shaped, long and flat, with a circular or square courtyard, or others. You then take a handful of the sand-water mixture, and let it slide between your fingers to form towers, walls, openings and whatever you want. This technique gives the rounded shapes, and Wikipedia describes it as "dribbling" or making "drip castles".

If you build it too close to either the sea or your little man-made lake, parts of the structure will soon begin to fall. Adapt and fix as you go along.

And, finally, realise it when it's time to abandon your creation and let it return to nature.

Friday, 2 March 2012


A few weeks ago, I was at the source of the river Nile. Just outside Jinja, Uganda, this body of water separates  from Lake Victoria and sets off to its journey to the Mediterranean. The Nile has contributed to many great and interesting cultures, most famously that of Ancient Egypt, which sparked the creation of the rather successful Western culture. And I've touched it, just where it begins.

PS. There are at least two or three other places around in Africa also claiming to be the source of the Nile, but this one has trees growing out of rocks and big lumps of concrete creating cool waves.
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