Cape Town. In Observatory, Cape Town's creative hotspot, I visit Conrad Hicks – an artist -blacksmith, or a toolmaker, as he calls himself. His studio forms a backdrop of a special kind. It is right in the middle of the previously burnt-out Art Déco cinema, which he bought and restored. Already the exterior view is quite surreal – it immediately takes me to a scene in the film Metropolis ...

Today I am going to Amsterdam. More specifically, a little further than Amsterdam, to the tranquil little town of Koog aan de Zaan. Located directly on the river Zaan is the former Hong-Fabriek [honey factory], which is a place for creative entrepreneurs nowadays. I am going to visit the Dutch artist Jasper de Beijer here....

Today I am off to the Werden district of Essen. Situated in an idyllic green landscape right by the Ruhr, an avenue leads me to the former Krupp Stahl AG waterworks, now the home and studio of the Brus family....

We're heading out to the Wildenburger Land, an obscure former feudal territory east of Siegen, past lush meadows and green forests to Hundscheidt, now a part of the municipality of Friesenhagen. At the end of a narrow road, we enter a large farmyard, marked with a half-overgrown sign saying Academy for Subsistence and Holistic Living. Did we take a wrong turn somewhere? A barn swings open and out steps Johannes Gehrke and his brother Christoph. As I would later find out, it's Christoph who is realising his dream of a largely self-sufficient lifestyle here on the farm....