Ok, I admit, I've been neglecting my blog
a little bit lately. But here's a quick catchup for the very few regular readers left...
Last Month, my BF and I exchanged rings as a sign of our connection and love. I've never been in a relationship that serious, but it feels very good.
This week, we've been hiking on the Rigi, the place on top of the Queen of the Mountains where I've been so many times in my youth that it actually feels like home. And I was happy that my BF liked it very much as well. We had excellent weather and a great time. On the Rigi there are no cars allowed, so the air is clean and fresh and it's like paradise.
On the second day we walked to a nearby village. One part of the trail is the "Felsenweg", where you have a beautiful view over the Vierwaldstätter See (a very beautiful lake in the valley).
This was the view from the balcony of our room at the harborage.
On the way home we made a stop at the beautyful city Lucerne.
There was a fair in Lucerne and I found a beautiful reflection of the ferris wheel in the windows of the art museum.
Today, it's 3rd of October, it's the German 4th of July. Except it's not that cool. However, my dad turned 60 last week and celebrates it today...
There's something I wanted to tell you. My BF and I did something crazy at New Year's Eve. No, not what you were thinking. We went to Berlin for a few days, and we stayed in the district Wedding. We celebrated New Year's Eve at the biggest party in Europe: in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the capital of Germany.
The Brandenburg Gate probably is for Germany like the Statue of Liberty for the USA. Around this Gate there were more than one Million celebrating New Year's Eve. That's about twice as much people than inhabitants of Washington DC.
During the day we've been at the famous Alexanderplatz, and also were on top of the TV tower and enjoyed the view of the city.
This is the Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall), where the major of Berlin works. By the way, he's gay and coined the now famous words "I'm gay and it's okay" (German: "Ich bin schwul und das ist gut so").
Before we went to the big party, we had some sleep in our hotel room. After that we put on all clothes we had, because it was very cold outside. We met a very nice straight couple in the crowed and celebrated together with them. They were very nice, it was a very pleasant start into the new year.
The picture above is in the Gedächtniskirche, which has been severly damaged during world war II. This is the only part that's still existing. It's also a famous landmark in Berlin.
These stones mark where the Berin Wall was before 1989. Right next to the wall there is the Reichstag, it's where our parliament does an
awful awesome job.
As I wrote in an earlier post, I had to go to Turkey for a business trip. At first I was a little bit scared. Foreign culture and all that stuff. But now that I'm back I must say it was a real pleasure. And our business partners were very nice. We spent most of the time with two people from the Turkish company we were visiting, and they also invited us for dinner every night and showed us the beautiful city after work.
I took many pictures, but with my cell phone. But my co-worker took some with his camera and he will send them to me. I might publish some more as soon as I get his.
On the first and second picture you can see the area where our hotel was. And here we also had our first lunch, and the first traditional Turkish food. Yummy!
I had eggplants and Kebab (like turkish BBQ). For dessert we had candied fruits with a very thick and sweet milk cream. At least I thought it were fruits. But it turned out it were candied olives, eggplants and tomatoes. And also candied whole walnuts (with the shell, by the way. Yes, you can eat it when it's candied).
Then we drove to the Bosporus and had a coffee at this place. By that time we and our host were still like strangers. You know, these awkward silent moments when you think you should say something, but can't figure out what.
But that changed very soon. On the next picture you can see Hüseyin and Gökçe. They were our fantastic hosts and the people in the Turkish company we discussed everything. After a short while they felt like very good and close friends. They were really amazing.
Our workdays were very productive and efficient, but after work they were like good friends.
Here we went out together with their friends, and I'm fortune telling to Osman by reading his coffee grounds. It was a very funny evening and we laughed so much that my cheeks were hurting.
Ok, some tourist stuff. This is inside Hagia Sofia (Ayasofya Camii Müzesi). 1400 years ago it was the most important ortodox christian church, later it was the most important islamic mosque. And today it's a museum. It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Medieval Seville Cathedral in 1520.
Inside Hagia Sofia you can find Christian and Islamic symbols, which looks quite uncommon. Here for example a mosaic with huge parts made of gold.
This is Hagia Sofia from outside. Unfortunately it was raining that day.
This is inside the Blue Mosque, which is also quite famous for Istanbul, but it's still a mosque.
This is outside of Blue Mosque.
This is Blue Mosque from a distance.
That was the view from my hotel room in Kadiköy, which is on the Asian part of Istanbul. Istanbul is the only big city that is on two continents. Our hotel was on the Arabic part, not the European.
This is a famous breakfast area in Istanbul. At least that's what Hüseyin said. We had a very nice brunch on Saturday right at the sea, together with some friends of our hosts.
This was on the market. Which was also very impressive.
Here is a picture from another part of the town.
It was a very pleasant trip and we had a fabulous time (well, except the sweet custard-like dessert that also contained chicken breasts, called Kazandibi). In fact, they want me to come down for two weeks in May to finish the project. And I'm actually really looking forward to that. I hope it's gonna happen. They also tried to hire me for good. "Write down what you want. House, car, office, ... you'll get it". I was laughing. "That's not a joke. I'm serious. Just write it down ..."
What have those states in common: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusets, Vermont, (Upstate) New York? They're all having an occurrance in my road trip. (Because Jim's into cars, and I know he will ask: Dodge)
I drove up at the shore to Boston, and Cape Cod, and another highlight was Providence (see picture), the city of H.P. Lovecraft, where I saw all the houses he used in his stories. And I enjoyed the colored leaves everywhere.
Oh, I love New England. The typical houses are so beautyful. I would move to this area without any hesitation.
Currently it's 8.50am, and I'm in
Cock Suck Coxsackie, NY. Outside there are winds, and it's raining, but I'm still in my warm and compfy bed, writing this on my PDA, and in a few minutes I will have some pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns ...
I'll be back in New York City tomorrow.
July 18th, Wednesday night, about 3am, Paris.
We've spent two amazing days in Paris, eight more to come. We've been to the touristic places--of course--but we've also managed to see "the real Paris". It's actually easier when you visit somebody who lives here.
We've been walking almost all the time, we haven't used the public transportation so far. TheGuy is very athletic, as we all know, so no problem for him, and I was able to walk as much as he does. Big change compared to last year. Yeah!
Also, we both enjoy riding a bike, and in Paris you can rent bikes from a venting machine at almost every corner. We decided to get one (for each, of course), but we didn't succeed. We've been to at least 40 stations, but they're either not having bikes at that moment, or the bikes have a red light switched on (which means you can't rent it, or the station lost connection with the server, or there are only two bikes left, but rent by the straight couple that were faster than we, or the renting machine dies while you try to rent a bike, or it wouldn't accept your credit card (which works everywhere else). After many serious attempts we just gave up. You see hundreds of people riding those bikes, but it just won't work for us.
I've been for a walk
on a winter's day.
I'd been save and warm
if I was in LA
on such a winter's day.
Darum bin ich auch gerade dabei, meine Koffer zu packen, und morgen früh nach Kalifornien aufzubrechen.
Ich werde mit zwei Freunden nach San Francisco fliegen, dort auch mal ein paar Tage nach Los Angeles und nach Las Vegas (Nevada) fahren. Dann werden wir von San Francisco nach New York an die Ostküste fliegen und dort bis 18. Oktober bleiben.
Ich werde versuchen, so oft ich ans Internet komme, hier Einträge über die Reise zu machen.
Ansonsten wünsche ich uns viel Spaß! *g*