Uli Partheil and Peter Back at the HoffART Theater, a perfect ending for a beautiful weekend!
Bicycle Tour in Odenwald
Yesterday I went for a nice bicycle tour in this area. From Darmstadt to Bad König:
The long and steep part between Brensbach and Gumpersberg was definitely worth the beautiful view:
Many sweet little farmer villages and nice landscape, I really like this landscape of rolling hills and a mix of open fields and dark forest. On the way back, I took the local train “Odenwaldbahn” to the Lichtwiese campus where my office is) and cycled the last bit from there. I think some other time, I might try the bit from Bad König to Eberbach.
A New Year …
2010 … that still sounds like science-fiction to me, guess I’ll have to get used to living in the future.
Well, I guess you wonder what I have been doing since August. I’ll recap the last few months in a few words and photos:
My grandma turned 90 this year and as the years before we celebrated at my parents place in Spain. We went out for a very yummy lunch. Because I saw some Indian dishes on the menu, I asked the waiter about it and it turned out, that the chef is actually from india. So my grandma and I ordered curry dishes, while my parents went for Mediterranean fish.
The afternoon we spent together. I had prepared a little speech, recapitulating the years of her life. In order to prepare myself, I created a over 2 meters long time line, with all major events from our lifes and history. It is quite amazing how much can be packed into a single lifespan! In the evening we surprised her a little more by lighting a
Towards the end of the year, there was the Christmas party of our institute. Every year the whole scientific staff spends a whole day together, visiting an interesting industry partner or some other entertaining venue. This year the organisers chose the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe which showed a very interesting exhibition, mixing technology of the past century with artistic aspects.
After the exhibition and a brief visit at the Christmas Market in Karlsruhe (where we had some local food and mulled wine), we went back to Darmstadt. At a local restaurant (3klang) we met with former colleagues and enjoyed a very tasty dinner while our professor recapitulated the past year, highlighting the achievements.
The holidays around Christmas I spent back at my home town Filderstadt with my family. I always enjoy seeing them, as we usually don’t meet too often over the year. The days were filled with tasty meals and nice talks in front of the fireplace (which we didn’t light, as it was warm enough and the fire light usually gets everyone tired 😀 ).
After the holidays I returned back to Darmstadt. The next day I picked up two friends and we drove to Berlin where we met up with some more friends to stay at a flat which yet another friend had left to us for the days around new years eve. In the capital, we went to a very interesting photo exhibition about the work of Don McCullin at the C/O Berlin, ate at a sweet little Italian place in Berlin Mitte and celebrated new years eve with a big crowd of CouchSurfers at Hostel/Bar/Club Belushi’s.
So far for 2009 … have a nice year 2010!
Jazz at the Strawberry Festival
As a friend of mine was singing at the local Strawberry Festival, a whole group of us went there to check it out.
The festival was held at the farm of a farmer in Weiterstadt, close to Darmstadt. A sunday afternoon crowd of mostly elderly and kids gathered in a big marquee and enjoyed a variety of dishes based on asparagus or strawberries.The Jazzband “Focus on Jazz” performed many ever-greens and also some less well known tunes. Overall they were really good, very professional musicians. Because of this, I got the impression, that the band was quite a bit overqualified for the crowd.
After the band, an asparagus peeling competition between some local “celebrities” was set up and moderated by a very distinct entertainer from the area. While the contestants were peeling away, she was singing behind them in a very strong hessisch dialect.
The “grand finale” was reached, when a dancing group of some girls from a local school presented their very enthousiastic routine:
Overall it definately was a very interesting and diverse Sunday arvo!
When I got back home from work this Thursday, a friend of mine was asking if someone was interested in seeing the band Embryo at the Roots (a very small and nice reggae bar in Darmstadt). We got there at about 21:00 and found a nice place on a couch in the music room (roughly the size of my bedroom :-O ).
The band itself arrived around 22:00 and sat down for a late african dinner. After moving in all those diverse instruments (e-guitar, bass, vibraphone, keyboard, trombone and some indian double-sided drum) they started playing. Their sound reminded me a lot of a more psychedelic version of the early Santana. I massively enjoyed those chilled tunes relaxing on the comfy couch. They played till 01:00, but it felt way shorter as I was so immersed into the sound.
After this concert, the musical balance of this week is regained (see prev. post).
BurgenstraÃŸe and Odenwald
Driving back home to Darmstadt on Sunday, I had to stop in order to check the nuts in the wheels (I lately managed to change from winter to summer tires 😉 ). At the restarea a biker from Hamburg asked me about nice sidestreet routes in the area so I told him about the BergstraÃŸe. Just after this talk I realised that I really was not in a hurry and that there was no need to take the big highways. I left the Autobahn near Heilbronn and followed the Neckar river up north along parts of a route called BurgenstraÃŸe. At the Burg Hornberg near HaÃŸmersheim I had a nice lunchbreak with a marvelous view over the Neckar-valley. Afterwards I went on a short trip through the remains of the castle. The climb up some rather old wooden stairs into the keep was quite adventurous.
I know it has been a while, so let me give you a brief update:
As most of you probably know I moved to Darmstadt to start a postgrad position at the Department for Computer Integrated Design at the TU. I found a pretty nice flat at the southern outskirts of Darmstadt and settled in quite well so far.
The job is just in the field I was looking for, the intermediate area between engineering and information technologies and my project allows me to get around a bit.
So far for now, I’ll also add a few more details about my recent trips.