Jun 242011
 

This year’s BRN was the reason why I booked tickets for a trip to Dresden in June together with my fiance. We arrived at Thursday afternoon and left Sunday afternoon after almost excactly 72h. It was a great long weekend stuffed with things even though we haven’t planned anything particular before. 

Day 1

My parents picked us up and took us to my uncles garden for having coffee and cake. So first stop was with fiance at a German bakery. Arrived at my uncle’s garden fiance got introduced to a few more of my family as well as the concept of German allotment associations. It was a great time, I haven’t seen my uncle in ages, so it was good fun to have a chat. After that we went to a restaurant in a pasta manufactury in Riesa. After that we wanted to go to a micro brewery which unfortunately had closed that day. We eventually got to my parents place and spent the evening there.

Day 2

We had to get up early as we needed to get to Dresden because I arranged a hair dresser appointment with the best hairdresser alive. To not bore fiance out of his mind I sent him togehter with my father to the Panometer in Dresden – a 360° experience of Dresden as of 1756. Once we all were finished we got to the historic city centre and had lunch at the Coselpalais close to the famous rebuilt church Frauenkirche. From there we did drive along the river to see the bridge in construction in Elbe valley which caused Dresden being deleted from the world heritage list in 2009. We finished our visit with my parents at Louisenhof with a panoramic view over Dresden’s skyline on a beautiful summer day sitting on a terrace. The evening we spent on a friends place having a BBQ with his family – his wife and 2 daughters. This was quite fun, it’s amazing to see how fast children grow up and develop their personalities. 

Day 3

After breakfast we left and got to Dresden city center to a place called Max for a light lunch and mainly to meet two friends of mine and chat for a while. I was surprised about fiance not complaining drinking a capuccino with 4 girls ;) From there we got to another friend’s place who recently moved. I love his new apartment and it was good to see him again. With him we got to the Neustadt part of the town to attend the BRN a pretty unique street festival. We strolled around all evening, tried random food and drinks, listened to random bands on one of the many stages – especially to mention The Blumenkinders as their singer is my friend’s buddy; they also were pretty good entertainers. 

Day 4

 

Last day started with a surprise for my friend. As he slept much longer than we did, mutual friends decided to stop by his place to say hello. They have a daughter which can already walk, last time we saw her she was a few months old baby and before that she was still in production. Time flies! We left at noon to meet one of my dearest, oldest friends to have lunch at the Schillergarten and a good chat. Due to unforseen circumstances we spent much less time with him than planned and wished :( Next time…

And that was it. 3 days in Dresden without planning and especially without any planned sighseeing turned out to be for fiance lots of new impression like the street festival, several local dishes at restaurants, a few panoramic Dresden views and lots of fun with good people. I am always happy when I return from Dresden as I had perfect days with well-entertained fiance, met people who matter to me and who I miss. But then, back home I get my blues about all the people and things I miss in my daily life here in Dublin. 

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Apr 302011
 

Jim planned to do some breakfast and asked me what I would like. I hadn’t had a boiled egg in ages, so I was asking him for a soft-boiled egg for me. As he – as a good cook as he is – doesn’t know how to cook these, the day started with Loriot, a German lesson and some facts about marriage which a freshly engaged couple would swear it will never happen to us…

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Feb 212011
 

On Saturday I eventually got out of the hotel and booked a taxi to go to Kuala Lumpur, the capitol of Malaysia. As it is very hot and humid I didn’t plan on much outdoor activities.

Instead of queuing for the Sky Bridge between the Petronas Towers I followed a recommendation and went to the KL Tower in the morning. So no queue for me. I got a perfect 360° view over the city. When finished upstairs, I went downstairs and found a sculpture – unfortunately without further information. I could relate quickly to it, the metal sculpture in front of the rain forest seemed to be as mis-placed as me in the middle of the day in sunny tropical weather. There was an exhibition of architecture close by where traditional houses from all over Malaysia were shown. Accidentally I ran into a show introducing the audience to traditional dancing. From there I quickly walked to the rain forest entrance. Apparently this is the only piece of original rain forest left in Malaysia, the rest got destroyed and reforested again in the past decades. I didn’t expect this in the middle of the town which is so modern. Apparently a part of the building got build around a tree to protect and preserve this rare plant for future generations. As I did not have any mosquito spray with me and already lost liters of blood to those little bastards I decided to do only a quick look and not do the guided walk through it. From there I went to KLCC, to discover modern Malaysia. I tried my luck but as expected all tickets for the sky bridge and observation deck were already sold out, so I walked a bit through the shopping center – which was quite impressive. All brands you’d think of had their store there, even the Louis Vuitton with the red carpet and doorman ;) I went to the signature food court and had a surprisingly good lunch considering that this was from a fast food place and incredibly cheap. As usually I looked for the stall with the longest queue and picked a random dish, Nasi Lemak with spicy chicken. There was also a small exhibition about product designs from Europe – mostly German and French artists. There were some interesting objects; my favorite item was a broom in shape of a scythe; that was somewhat ironic I instantly thought of a couple of comic strips (Der Pudel des Todes) [de] I’ve seen before. From there I followed another recommendation and got to Batu Caves. There was a big Golden Statue in the front, a holy place for Buddhists. I climbed all 277 stairs up to the cave. As there was sun, hot weather and I kinda hoped to find something impressive up there. And I did. It was the largest stalactite cave I have seen so far, there was also a temple and some small procession. I was told when there is a religious festival there are a million people (sic) up there. After that I got back to the hotel and enjoyed some fresh fruits on my veranda – pink dragon fruits and a mango.

I took a lot of photos that day but then I did something stupid. I wanted to hide the photos I didn’t want to publish, but I deleted them instead and so most of the pictures are gone as I didn’t find undo or the trash can. The few of them which survived are available on flickr.

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Jul 162010
 

Jim just showed me the trailer for The Expendables, in there are acting lots of famous actors of my childhood: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham (the Crank guy), Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis etc. I don’t care for the story but I will definitively go and watch the movie. I mean.. they all! are in one! movie :)

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