Over 100 years ago, a young innkeeper swapped the rugged mountain landscapes of the Alps for the mysterious regions on the far side of the Mediterranean. Hans Holzner moved to Cairo and Jericho, visited Jordan and Israel, immersed himself in the oriental world of strange customs and peculiarities. After long journeys through broiling deserts and barren rocky wildernesses, he entered a town. Inside his lodgings, he pulled off his dusty boots and was rubbing the sand out of his eyes when there came a knock at the door.
It was the owner of the establishment, who led him to the baths, to the so-called hammam. He rinsed off the dust of the roads, the exhaustion of the long journey dissolved in the soap suds. When he had finally shed the fatigue along with his wanderlust, he stepped out of the baths, his head now clear and free. On that very same day, he boarded a ship for home, where the mountains no longer seemed bleak and sparse, but rather noble and grand. The valleys were full of opportunities and the world his oyster. That’s how it must have been. Or perhaps slightly different.