A Castle and a Storm

These are the ruins of the castle of Kalec (also Steinberg, Štemberk), near Zagorje in Upper Pivka valley, Slovenia.

Built by the Stemberg family in 1622, it had two wings and a central round tower – the only thing that still stands.

Castle Kalec – ‘Steinperg’, Štemberg – in all its former glory. A litograph from Johann Weikhard von Valvasor’s monumental Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (1689)

Among later owners of castle Kalec were the Auersperg family, and in late 19th century the famed Slovene composer, writer, poet and politician Miroslav Vilhar.

The castle was abandoned after the World War I, and now lays in ruins – apart from the picturesque round tower.

The round tower today

But we have to mention the weather there … because this kite aerial photography session was quite dramatic and intense.

Just as we reeled the Great White Delta out and she was flying nicely, a huge storm came in from behind – so fast there was nothing we could possibly do. No one wanted to hold a 600+ m long lightning rod … 😉

The white speck on the right is the 333 cm Great White Delta kite. The rest is the cumulonimbus cloud closing in.

Well, there was one thing we could do: we attached the kite line to a tree and went for a couple of beers, hoping everything would be alright and the kite would survive.

Storm is leaving, Delta survived (the black speck on the left)

It did. An hour later the storm subsided, and we got the kite and the camera down. No rain damage, no lightning strike. Lucky.

Castle Kalec in a wider setting. A copse of linden trees and some old chestnuts line the once magnificent walls.

All kite aerial photos taken with Nikon 1 J1 on a delta kite.

Leave a comment