Monday, 26 December 2011

Secret Codes and Hamburg Graffiti.

Secret codes in Hamburg. 

A topic that sucks me in. I remember working out what the runes in my childhood copy of The Hobbit spelt, one letter at a time. I still have the piece of paper tucked inside that book.

The Secret Symbols of Travelers and Thieves

Watching Mad Men, in one episode a homeless traveller marks a fence post with chalk, the picture representing how he was treated in the house he visited on his wanderings. Apparently those codes go back to the Great Depression of the 30's. Incidentally, those symbols were also used by thieves.

In a modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, an episode covers a mystery involving Chinese smugglers. Of course, Holmes and Watson don't know that to start with, all they have are some bright yellow spray-painted symbols and a murder or two to go on.

Imagine my interest the other day when I sighted on a series of symbols in Hamburg. I was walking down the Lange Reihe (going to collect my sewing machine from it's service, very exciting, more to come on that!) and kept seeing this little humming bird everywhere.

Is it a message? 

A challenge perhaps?

I think I like this type of graffiti. 

It's pretty. It's mysterious. It leaves me wanting more. 

Do you have any interesting markings round your way?


  1. Awesome post, I love the idea of the hummingbird leading you to some awesome treasure, a fantastic secret garden or a super cute house or something! I wonder how many secret messages are right in front of our eyes all around the world!!

  2. @Hermia I know! I'm wondering the same thing... My mum is looking out for them in the UK too!

  3. i was SO into guerilla art a few years ago... you are right it's mysterious and intriguing! it makes you walk through the city with open eyes...

    1. It's gorgeous... I wanna know more, why a hummingbird, why that location, who, what, when...?! :)


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