Posts Tagged ‘Darmstadt’

Aachen und Darmstadt

January 16, 2016

Saturday 16 January 2016

I flew to Frankfurt Wednesday, arrived Thursday. It was late afternoon by the time the train arrived in Aachen. I don’t sleep well on airplanes, I have a cold, and I had no enthusiasm for going out in the cold and dark. Friday, I went in to the offices here. Come evening, I was still dead tired, and the weather was still unattractive, but I really ought to get out and get a little fresh air. So I did. Not very far, but at least out.

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When I see a sign that says Pasta, I expect a restaurant. Especially if it’s near the tourist central area. No such thing, not here.

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Enough to make us believe we’re really in Germany.

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I overslept this morning, had to check out quickly — and the hotel’s DSL modem was down, so I had to wait while they re-synchronized it — and then scurry to the train station. The ICE train goes to Frankfurt airport, where I caught the Darmstadt airliner bus. It drops me right in front of the hotel, where I checked in about 10:15. Looked over the room info, discovered that hotel breakfast was available until 10:30, and I had not eaten anything. Easy choice!

Then I unpacked, sorted myself out a bit, walked into town. When I squoze the micro-tube of toothpaste the dentist had given me, most of what I got was an air bubble. So my excuse for going into town was to buy a tube of toothpaste to get me through the week. Whatever excuse works …

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As you might imagine, there was another dog off the picture to the left. The other dog was bored and completely uninterested in being friends.

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I have no idea what this was all about, but there were half a dozen (maybe more) different uniforms, each represented by a dozen or more members. I saw something like this long ago, various shooting clubs out showing off. Don’t know whether this was the same or something else entirely.

Weather deteriorated somewhat, so I headed back to the hotel. On the way, the streetcar I had noticed when I was here before.

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I hardly claim to speak any Deutsch at all, but I guess I’m somewhere above absolute zero when I understand idiomatic German puns. (Schwarzfahren is to ride without paying.)

Burg Frankenstein

June 12, 2015

Friday, 12 June 2015

Busy week, good week. After we all wrapped up for the day, Hans-Joerg invited a few of us to a nearby mountain that featured a Schloss, Biergarten and restaurant. Great idea, danke !

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The place is called Burg Frankenstein. As expected, it exploits its special name at suitable times of year, for example Halloween, which is not particularly a Festtag in Germany — except here.

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Andy in the foreground. We will see more of him.

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Must be a real building; it’s covered in scaffolding.

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From the top, you can see the skyscrapers of Frankfurt. Not in the reduced resolution of the Foto, of course.

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Being up a hill in the forest, this is of course a mountain bike destination. Great to see this sign, especially since most signs everywhere identify things that are verboten !

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Tried the local brew, a Schwarzbier, then switched to Dunkel-weizen for the second round. Hans-Joerg to the left, Fabian in the red tee-shirt. Fabian’s wife off the frame to the right; Hans-Joerg’s wife and kids arrived later. The menu offered a dozen more or less equivalent choices;  my eye was caught by the one that came with sour cream — horseradish sauce. Right choice!

Good Bier, good food.

We watched the weather move in as we ate on the terrace. Lightning off in the distance, and it started to rain just as we were ready to leave. Terrific outing, thanks Hans-Joerg, and it’s time to head for Aachen tomorrow.

Darmstadt day 1

June 7, 2015

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Had time to go for a run and help Jacky set up a yard sale before I had to go the airport. Plenty of time; we were an hour late getting on our way. United claims to have upgraded the quantity and quality of in-flight cuisine. Well, yes, maybe. The bar was pretty low. But I can agree that the sweet potato puree was a welcome addition to the meal, as was the mango sorbet.

Sunday, 7 June

I never sleep well on planes, and this was worse than usual. An hour of dozing, perhaps, but that’s about it. I had some idea how to find an airport bus when we arrived in Frankfurt, but didn’t know the scale of things, so although I was actually going mostly in the right direction, I thought I was mostly lost. Bus was nice enough, and the trip wasn’t long, but I failed to demand a stop where I wanted to get off, and no one else did either, so I had an extra long block to walk from the next stop. Well, I need the exercise. It was just noon on a sunny day, pleasant in the shade, but tending toward muggy overall.

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The whole area is Telekom, along with a few other high-tech companies. Deserted on Sunday, of course. Hotel is close by, and it isn’t all that far into town. Dumped my things, asked for an Ortsplan. Receptionist thought I was asking about internet access, so we switched to English. Once I got a map of the area, I went out walking. Glad everyone speaks English; whatever Deutsch I might have had has pretty much deserted me, especially on zero sleep.

No photos of Bismarck. After seeing Hayek’s history of the rise of collectivism, socialism and naziism, I consider a statue of Bismarch in taste as poor as the statues of Marx and Engels that remain standing in Berlin. At least the Russians pulled down the statue of Stalin!

Time was, Germany was completely dead on Sunday. Today, for example. But I did eventually come upon a flea market in the market square, with background that should convince anyone that I really did go to Germany.

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This is the Schloss. Wandered around the outdoors, but when I peered in the door of the Schloss museum, the first thing I saw was the Kasse. Not kostenlos, so I went on.

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All real buildings have scaffolds, so I guess the Schloss qualifies.

From there through some parklands, which were surprisingly dry and yellow. There’s not supposed to be a drought here, is there? Maybe there is, I wouldn’t know.

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Eventually came to a little complex, a gold dome church, a jugendstil wedding tower, and a few statues so grumpy, I can’t help wondering whether they married the wrong persons. Of course, Beethoven here may just object to being visually jammed up against that kiosk in a way that looks like styrofoam cup litter on his shoulder.

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There were pollarded London planes, very nice.

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And a Biergarten, even nicer. Didn’t stop; if I have a brew now, I’ll collapse in a snoring heap.

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On from there, I passed several high-tech academic locations, including at least one Fraunhofer Institute presence.

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Imagine the screams of outrage from the overprotective parents we have in the US?

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“I assure you that I am not as bad as my reputation.”

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Graffiti in the underpass, very well done.

Staggered back to the hotel for an obligatory nap. Met Malcolm as he was heading out to meet Stephen. Not sure I’m up to joining them later; I suspect mine will be a short evening, very close by.