work & a quiet evening ;=)

after a couple of good cups of tea at the wykeham arms (and a good night’s sleep) we take a taxi to the lab. the weather is fantastic: clear sky and the sun illuminates rolling fields and woods south of winchester!

i leave the lab in time for a stroll through winchester: looking at dvds at whsmith and hmv (buying a copy of the core and matrix reloaded) while listening in via my p800 to a teleco with one of our customers

dinner one more time at the wykeham arms: chicken pate and dexter beef steak: excellently cooked!

afterwards: watching “the core” on my linux thinkpad (mplayer is just great!) and good night.

“welcome to london heathrow…”

groan: getting up early (6:30) is not much fun…we breakfast and make it in time for doro’s train. from the station i take a taxi up to the lab. a huge mail file awaits me (and this was just a two week vacation…) and it takes three attempts to synchronize before i realize that postfix on my office thinkpad has a mail file size limit of about 50MB — not quite up to the task; after hitching that up to 5GB (to be on the safe side) I finally manage to download my mail. sigh.

after lunch my colleague mike and i leave for zurich airport: we are off to the UK again and are not sure whether the train service disruption of the weekend is still causing delays in getting to the airport…we leave early (better safe than sorry). we pass through oerlikon just fine and everything seems to be back to normal again.

at the airport they have changed passenger routing again…we spent some time trying to find our way to the british airways check-in…manage to locate them, get our real tickets, check through customs and security and head for the departure gate. on our way we notice that not only the displays in the check-in area are dead but also the displays at the gates. two of them (side by side) are just booting as we walk by: both are powered by a separate PC running a copy of windows xp…wow…assuming about 1000 displays all over the airport that translates into 1000 windows xp capable PCs each with its own copy of and license for windows xp: that’s easily CHF 1.2M…now, if we had taken linux we could run on cheaper PCs and wouldn’t have had to fork over license fees for windows xp, so we might end up at around CHF 400K instead…but, hey, it’s just our taxes…

19:39 UK: in the car to winchester and to our b & b at the wykeham arms. although we left zurich about 10 minutes late we were 10 minutes early in london heathrow…just to wait for a “certified” guide to lead the aircraft to the dock to show up…then we had to wait for the dispatcher (aka the certified person to operate the finger-dock)…only to disembark the airplane through the rear exit…”welcome to london heathrow”.

the wykeham arms is as welcoming as ever…after unpacking we meet in the pub part, have a beer and sit down for dinner at 21:00…the food is excellent — again (and as others have noted before)! finally to bed.

lunch in meersburg

today’s goal: lunch in meersburg. we get up at 7:30 and do manage to catch the 9:55 train to zurich, where we kill about 10 minutes looking at the swiss heimatwerk shop (very nice watches…hmmm…nice music boxes as well) before boarding the 10:33 to konstanz(ch). the journey to konstanz takes us past winterthur to weinfelden and through thurgau: everything is covered in snow, the trees seem to have little white hats on…winter wonderland.

as in april when i took the same route to go via meersburg to überlingen, the train arrives at konstanz (db) instead of konstanz (ch): it stops in the german part of the station and there’s no border control at all…which is a good thing, as i realize that i’ve for once left my passport at home…hmph.

in konstanz we take the local #1 bus to staad and from there the ferry to meersburg…while we are crossing lake constanze the sun fights his way through the clouds and bounces off the water surface in the distance…fantastic!

the meersburg side of lake constanze apparently hasn’t seen any snow at all: fall is still on. we walk from the ferry dock up the mountain side to the main part of the town (pant, pant…quite steep that one) and then make our way to the gutsschenke where we arrive at 12:55 for a leisurely and relaxed lunch, overlooking lake constanze, enjoying a bottle of meersburger weissherbst…

around 15:00 we reluctantly pull ourselves away, acquire two bottles the excellent white wine in the co-located staatsweingut meersburg shop and then tumble down the hill towards the ferry.

this time the cashier on the ferry refuses to honor our sbb/szu ticket…so we pay EUR 3.40 for two single crossing: lesson learned: next time only get a ticket to konstanz (ch) and pay the bus and ferry separately…

germanisches national museum

today is museum day: after a leisurely breakfast we travel by train to nuremberg to visit the german national museum: quite an impressive building! after buying our tickets for EUR 4.00 pp we descend to the café — which actually is located right under the street in front of the museum and links the main museum site with the administrative and work shop part! luckily enough there are lockers where we can drop of our coats and rucksacks.

after a green tea (doro) and an earl grey tea (me: but four tea spoons for a 2.5 cup tea pot is way too much, i ask for and get a second pot of hot water to dilute the brew…very british) we start exploring…soon we find the clothes exhibition with dresses, coats, underwear, shoes and hats from the late 1600s until today. fascinating stuff!

at 16:00 we take part in a one hour guided tour to the highlights of the GNM: veit stoß, albrecht dürer, behaim globe. on our way back to the clothes exhibition we browse through the decorative arts and the healing arts sections.

the last part is the toy and games section across the street in a side building.

back in Erlangen we do a bit of shopping and then go for dinner in the salz & pfeffer restaurant around the corner from our flat: as before, excellent food! this time we sit a the counter (the restaurant is booming and all tables are reserved and taken) and watch the kitchen crew prepare our (and other people’s meals)…

more books & a coffee & more pix

first real vacation day today! in the afternoon we decide to tackle the rain and the cold (summer has taken leave for sure for this year, it’s become rather chilly since the beginning of last week) and walk into town to the new p & e thalia bookshop and a coffee in the “glocken-cafe” afterwards.

at p & e thalia i acquire yet another indian cookbook, look up suriname and paramaribo in one of the maps on display on the second floor while doro browses through calendars and other books. around 17:15 we unfold our king-size umbrella again and step outside, direction “glocken-cafe”…only to find out that it’s closed on mondays. tough luck. but — we retreat to the newly renovated “cafe mengin” and take seats in the winter garden: quite nice.

finally found the time to convert the additional pictures to web albums. Found album by Dave Madison via Freshmeat.net. works quite nicely. have a look.

an unexpected find

the goal for our sunday evening walk had been steinbach bräu …unfortunately, the erlanger beer trail had apparently ended there just recently and the rooms in the basement had been booked for a private event…no beer there

walking back through town we stumbled over “sigwarts kulisse” just across from erlangen’s grandiose theatre: a mixture of pub and restaurant. we both sampled the “dunkles vom fass”: quite nice! food was nice as well (me: lentil soup with wieners, doro: goat cheese pita)

Sigwarts Kulisse
Theaterstr. 8
91054 Erlangen
Innenstadt

fat lady sings

having finished painting our sleeping room I was thirsty for a nice pint of Guiness. although, there’s one irish pub not far from our flat, we decided to try “the fat lady sings”:

The Fat Lady Sings (Irish Pub)
91054 Erlangen
Straße Obere Karlstraße
Offen Mo-Fr 11:00-01:00 Uhr
Sa 18:00-01:00 Uhr
So 12:00-01:00 Uhr

good news: they do serve Guiness…bad news: it tasted a bit stale, also, they started playing heavy metal round about 23:00 — surprising, giving that most of the clientele did not really seem to fit into the heavy metal category: by 23:20 most of them had left (as did we).

colophon

flotsam, jetsam, lagan

flotsam and jetsam are words that describe goods of potential value that have been thrown into the ocean. There is a technical difference between the two: jetsam has been voluntarily cast into the sea by the crew of a ship in order to lighten it in an emergency; while flotsam describes goods that float on the water, that have arrived there by shipwreck or some other indeliberate process. A third category, ligan (or lagan), describes goods that have been marked by being tied to a buoy so that its owner can find and retrieve it later. [wikipedia]

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