Monday, April 28, 2008

Finally, some Spring

After 6 months of persistent rain and cold, seems like finally mother nature decided to issue the Spring session also here in Kiel, which appeared quite disconnected so far from the warmth of other regions. So, yes, trees can become green, flowers bloom etc. also here in Kiel. Amazing, isn't?:))

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Street Kings (2008)

Despite the cast (Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Common etc) Street KIngs doesn't live up (at least to my) expectations. A mediocre movie, expected to be at least as good or in the lines of "Training Day" but in the end a big dissapointment

Friday, April 25, 2008

A small Prague reminder

Czech beer is worldwide famous and they are no.1 beer drinking nation with a per capita annual consumption of 156 litres. Beer is usually cheap in CZ but again, in an assaulted Prague by tourists, this doesn't hold all the time. The best known Czech beer is the original Pils beer, Pilsner Urquell, brewed in the town of Plzen and exported worldwide. Many Czechs also drink another Plzen brew, Gambrinus, while Bernard from Eastern Bohemia was recently voted best beer of the year. The most widely exported Czech Beer is Budvar (Budweiser in German), nothing to do with the American Bud (you cannot even begin to compare them). A fairly new beer with a fine and very smooth taste is Velvet. Another is Kelt, a dark beer from one of the Prague breweries. Other beers brewed in Prague are Staropramen and Branik. It was nice to taste some 12 and 14 degrees beers which were excellent. Thus, since time was limited I decided to take some reminders as well.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The West on Fire - NBA playoffs-

I really hoped that the Suns will prevail from their playoff game with the Spurs, which I think are one of the ugliest teams playing in the league. The Pistons are also very defensive etc. but their game is cleaner and more pleasant somehow. Speaking of which, the 76s seem to have a good start in accordance with their latest performances. Now, after 2-0, game 3 and 4 are crucial and (we have seen this before with the Suns) I hope they don't mess up again. Anyways, I am not sure that in this "champion" manner (slow, with dubious decisions and lots of lucky shots) the Spurs will not prevail again, at least in the Western conference, and for sure in the final if they come across anybody else from the East but Detroit or Boston, which I believe to be the only two teams capable for good match-ups.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back 2 Kiel

After a long long ride with some emotions in Berlin (where the signs are missing in action and basically the map was also useless), pardon, I should say, Postdam, because that's were we end up, we finally founded a route to Hamburg and eventually Kiel. At 1:30am, Kiel was just as we left it: freezing cold & windy. Is there any chance for warmer times here?:)) Perhaps May..

Beautiful Prague

Prague has proven to be as beautiful as the stories tell. An extensive city, far beyond what one would imagine a 1,5 million inhabitants city looks like. A very well preserved old city with amazing architectural structures: buildings, churches, tiny streets.

Too bad that the weather was extremely disappointing, especially Saturday, when it has rained continuously and there were only about 7 C. The hostel where we camped was (I guess) an old dorm transformed in a huge hostel with 5 floors of rooms and lots of beds. Prague Plus that was its name. However, the heating and hot water have lots of room for improvement but, I mean, for three nights, it's bearable. More minuses: location (quite far from the city center - Praha 7 district) and more pluses: Parking inside (not free but still safer than on the street), sauna and pool (although quite cold) inside the hostel.

The best things in Prague (not necessarily in this order):
1. The Prague castle – a lot of things to see and do there including a nice overview of Prague from the heights.
2. Charles Bridge – beautiful & amazing bridge over Vltava. The only drawback is that here is the heart of the tourist hill in Prague.
3. U FLEKĹŽ BREWERY - The oldest brewery I ever been in, from 1455 – Pivo means Beer…use it wisely!  Not so cheap but worthwhile after all.
4. The Old Square – with an amazing astronomical clock, some impressive cathedrals and impressive architecture
5. St. Nicholas and St. Peter churches – beautiful and with an amazing acoustics

6. Vysehrad Castle – enjoy an excellent view of the Vltava River from the hills. Visit the Gothic Church of St Peter and Paul, the Romanesque Rotunda, the underground casemates, the small museum, and the Vysehrad Cemetery, where both Smetana and Dvorak are buried.
7. Wenceslas Square - The hub of cultural, social and business activity in Prague ends with a huge boulevard full of shops and restaurants.
8. St. Vitus Cathedral - Rising up from the centre of the castle grounds, the Gothic cathedral dominates the Prague skyline
9. The Synagogues – The former Jewish quarter is a collection of architectural beauties and rich history
10. Strahov Monastery- Here you can find a choice collection of Czech art including Gothic altars and altar paintings and an impressive number of paintings.

All in all, one could go on for pages, but it is better to go there (I just wonder when is not crowded by tourists??) and experience everything. Although we did (and see) a lot these three days in Prague, there is still more to come back to.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Looking fwd to the next stop in Baden Baden

I really look forward to come back and have some more of that wonderful relaxation you get at the baths in Baden Baden. It would be amazing just to spend 3-4 hours through the Friedrichsbad Roman-Irish Baths and go through all those 17 chambers with different temperatures and styles. Instead, due to time constraints, I opted for Caracalla, just as nice, but probably a lot more crowded...but with saunas, aroma therapy and other various add-ons. Nice features and good times (in Baden-Baden):)))

My Plans are like a Rubik's Cube

Indeed they are. And they seem to evolve everyday in something more and more complicated. I guess the more you get the more hooked-up you become(?). Good or bad? Short or Long? To live or not to live {proper}? Where do one draws the line between job/career/ambition and a decent living without un-necessary stress? When is enough enough? All good questions but no unique answer..we'll just have to see..

Beauty Tourism picks up in Eastern Europe

After dental or medical tourism in Eastern Europe, a new strand of flows of people target more and more the beauty market. If you are not pleased with your nose and/or natural inherence in terms of breasts,lips, etc. you can always make a run for some of the best doctors here. the advantage: obviously, prices come first, but then, you may also get better doctors for less cash...which is great. A previous and thourough market analysis is mandory before such a big step...However, it is not such a big thing...since more and more people are doing it. Network effects should emerge soon. Entrepreneurs, pay attention!


The Biggest Barbeque in the World

Some people in Montevideo just couldn't stand to let the Mexicans hold the world's record for a BBQ so they decided to make it even bigger. 12 tonnes of meat and 1,000 people (how many argentinians, I wonder..?) and the thing was done.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back 2 Kiel

After all this travel I am again in Kiel, the city of sun and tropical temperatures. It's mid april but i still keep my winter jacket close. At least the sun is shinning so that must be neat, especially once you have to do some serious catch-up at work:). moreover, the boats are back in harbour and I even saw a nice sub under my window. It is not that bad and even if it were, next weekend it's PRAGUE!:)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Big 3 O

Yep.What more can you say? Especially when you don't look/feel/act as one who's 30 years old. Nothing I guess. Just deal with it and embrace the facts. and probably forget about it...until the next person's asking you..or you have another B-day. The problem is also one when you're missing a lot of celebrations so your count doesn't quite match the data:)). One has to work on that issue as well.
This one was again a mixture of things. 8 hours of DIMETIC lectures put all the other things in the background perspective. However,the following dinner, party at Valentine's apartment and going out in some lively but well-hidden Strasbourgian club full of dancing people, made it quite nice. A local party by some (quite international) students was the cherry on the top that lasted until 6 am. So, the questions then is, who's that 30yr old that can party until the dawns?:))

Weekend in Alsace and Lorraine

This weekend thanks to my cousin Cristi I had the chance to see a bit of Alsace and Lorraine outside the city of Strasbourg. We started with Obernai a typical Alsacian small city, very pitoresque and welcoming city. Then Gerdermer, a resort in the Vosgi Mountains with a very nice lake and skiing facilities, still working because was snowing while we were there. Finally, Colmar, a beautiful small Alsacian city with enchanting streets, medieval buildings, traditional small restaurants and canals (a small resemblance to Venice, or at least they aim for that), all in perfect harmony. The weather was very capricious, but even 20% sun was highly appreciated

The Center of Obernai

At La Roche du Diable (or Devil's Rock)

Colmar (the part called Little Venice)