About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

21 September 2007

Traffic Chaos

The Erlangen Arcaden, opened on Tuesday. It is a newly refurbished shopping mall, at the corners of possibly the busiest streets (ok, that does not necessarily mean much) of Erlangen. While last week had minor inconviniences, Monday and Tuesday this week, it was a nightmare on the roads. Traffic in all directions, and not much movement. I think it took cars about 10 minutes to cross the streets! And it seemed that everyone in Erlangen was at the Arcaden

Nuremberg Altdstadt

At the end of WW 2, Nuremberg was more or less flattened. When it was rebuilt, unlike some cities which chose to built anew, the core centre of old Nuremberg was rebuilt like it used to be, mostly from the original stone. And Nuremberg is an old city - about a 1000 years old, and used to be the capital of the Holy Roman Empire.

The old town centre, is the centre of Nuremberg, surrounded by a wall and a moat (although the moat has no water and serves as gardens/walking paths. Inside the Altstadt, one very much gets the idea of what what old European cities must have been like, although, every now and then there is a new building (almost inevitably built of glass). With a river, largely pedestrian traffic (many roads are closed to cars), numerous cafes and shops, it sometimes even feels a bit detached from the real world.

It is a beautiful area, and in many respects almost unlike a city. People still live here, and most businesses are service businesses; but one almost gets the feeling that it is an area intended for relaxation.

Once the imperial stables, at the north end of the city, now serves as a youth hostel. Still, the guests can claim they lived in a castle ...

View from one of the castle gardens. The castle was off course built on the highest ground (in Old Nuremberg at least).

The castle (from the entrance side)

Old restored houses (near the castle)

The Schöner Brunnen, quite literally the beautiful fountain, on the market square. The market square holds the famous Christmas market, which should start the week before I leave. The golden ring apparently grants wishes if you turn it three times.

The Tugendbrunnen (Fountain of virtues). Apparently was not as controversial as ...

Ehekarussell Brunnen (Marriage Roundabout), which features 6 interpretations of marriage (first love, quarrel, death do us part etc). Quite impressive really.

Until sometime in the 19th centruy, this house over the river served as the executioner's home. There is a small museum and some interesting details on crime and punishment. The building, under refurbishment, is an old depot, now a student dorm. In fact students at the Nuremberg campus of the Erlangen-Nuremberg university have some really funky dorms.

It is quite impressive how the old and the new has been integrated. Nuremberg has a relatively small underground rail network, and there is only station actually inside the Altdtstadt. This station is one of the two on the edge, and is integrated as part of the "moat".

The DB Museum

Deutsche Bahn, the German national rail operator, have their museum, one of the oldest in Germany, in Nuremberg. For the most part it is a collection of impressive engines tracking the history of rail travel (mostly in Germany).

The old royal carriages ... difficult to get the photos right (although to be honest, I didn't try very hard)

The train that started off the fast rail travel in Europe

The Nazis were in the forefront of both the advances in railway technology and the abuse of rail travel. The museum has a small, but significant display about it; although to be honest, it does not compare to the Technology Museum in Berlin.

Some interesting aspects of railways are on display.

A model of a machine designed to lay/service tracks. It is quite an impressive machine really.

There is also a small museum on communication. The BMW for the postmen ...

The highlight of the museum - a really impressive model railway system. Apparently covers 500m worth of tracks, and has numerous trains. And a really impressive control station too.

20 September 2007

Full FIA Transcrips

The full transcripts (minus the actual deliberations) are available for download. Most interestingly, the FIA released them with the confidential data just "blackened" out. So, all you have to do is copy and paste them on to a text file to see what they are. These are now off the FIA site, but once on the web, always on the web ;)


Lots of fun reading!

17 September 2007


Erlangen is a small town. The lonely planet guide spends about 1 page on it, while other guides don't even mention it.

Siemens is the big thing in this town. It is the dominant company and there are many offices littered around the town. So having a street named after the founder of the company is not that strange.

The other big thing about Erlangen is the University. The former town palace, now serves as the administration building. There is a nice park at the back of the palace (the picture is taken from the park), and it is quite a nice place to come and relax.

There are also a number of chruches in Erlangen. Most churches are closed down, or in the verge of closing down. There are not many parishoners it seems. The first is a Lutheran church (Martin Luther Church IIRC ... well it is at the Martin Luther Platz :P). The second is the massive church at Hugenotten Platz, which now serves as a major bus station. The last is a church close to where I work, on the outskirts of Erlangen. It was interesting simply because it has a memorial to the soldiers who died in WW 1, presumably from the town.

An interesting change from Berlin is the amalgamation of the old and the new. I not only mean the McDonalds in a really old building, but even life in general seems to be a mixture of the old and the new. For example, there is still a large open air market that seems to do a brisk trade even though there is large mass retailers, two literraly stones throws from this market (well large is relative, and this does not really compare to Hamburg Fischmarkt).