Montag, 11. Oktober 2010

Mainz to Paris Recap

The trip to Paris is passed a couple of weeks now, but the memory remains.
What's more: I've grown a completely different relationship to my race bike (although it's not even the same bike I rode to France!).

I've patched up the old fellow, I cleaned it and last Sunday I went for a crazy power-ride into the Taunus (that's a more hilly area around here). 3 hours, 50 kilometers, 800 m in altitude ;).

Anyway, in memory of the greatest bike ride ever, here are some more photos from the trip!

Right behind "enemy lines", when we crossed the border to France and found our first Patisserie / Boulangerie

Me in a sexy bike shirt and helmet in front of the Cathedral of Reims, a city that carries mostly negative connotations exept for......

...... the Profiterol I had there! Woot for sweetness!

This was our little camp set up in the hills of Champaign! To the right lies the city of Reims Which we could see, including the night firework!). The the left lies the beautiful Champaign countryside! The best true outdoor camping spot ever!!!

But we DID have another enormously great camp site.
It was our last night before Paris, it was raining cats and dogs, it was cold, the ground was soaked, we were tired, the day had been long. In three words: it was fucked up! (fine, four words!)
I was sick of it and I didn't want to set up camp in the dirt. Neither did Kamil!

So we found the next farm and asked to stay in their barn... and ended up just between the straw!

The day after that, we finally made it to the big city! 7 days, roughly 700 kilometers and 70 bucks for the bike that I had to sell there unfortunately :(

Montag, 6. September 2010

MapVideo: On a Bike from Mainz to Paris

Life has no adventures? You're not looking right!

This is a MapVideo of the tour I did with Kamil, a great friend of mine.
the clue: The least possible amount of planning. We had printed out a sketchy map off the internet the night before we left. Other than this, THIS was our map:

We traveled from Mainz to Paris in seven days, got scorched by the sun, drowned by rain and went through agonizing pain. We slept in a tent on the fields of Germany and France, we had no idea where we would stay the next night or where the next shower would be (in fact, there was only one before Paris... ehem..)
But when we reached Paris, we had a great sense of accomplishment... and a carbon footprint of ZERO!

This is a preview of a VideoTour with pictures on a Map in GoogleEarth:
Update: I am working on fixing the bug that keeps this window from showing up properly and will try to redo the video as well!

Montag, 23. August 2010

Dude, where's my bike?

Dude, where's my bike? - I don't know, which country are we in?

So here we go. After an amazing weekend in Sweden and like - what? Two weeks in Germany? we have arrived at the ultimate reason for Kamil coming to see me: our bike trip!

You would think after such a long time of talking about this, we would have it all planned out... well, then you don't know us well! For months, we have been arguing wether to go to Lyon (Kamil's favorite option) or along the beautiful rhine river all the way down to Rotterdam where father rhine kisses the north sea (guess who preferred that option!). Our plan is to have the smallest amount of planning possible - it should equal the biggest amount of fun, right?

Well, we are going to .... Paris!!

We finally managed to get bikes last Thursday (about an hour before I was leaving for a wedding!) and today we got a tent, bike bags, travel towels (see the Hitchiker's Guide!), food, jackets, helmets and some other more or less useful stuff. Check it out:

What we still don't have is a plan... or a route for that matter! But hey, we got a GPS (thanks to Max who provided us with a lot of useful stuff and advice like: you will smell anyway, so don't worry about bringing clothes to change!).. AND we have this very useful map:

Obviously, nothing can go wrong now!
Kamil and I are already excited! Like reaaally excited! We feel really double rainbow actually, as this little video shows proof of!

So now let's see where these bikes will take us! No matter what happens though: we will take our towels!!

Freitag, 6. August 2010

Die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden - A Time to Make Friends (isn't in the morning)

Die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden
When you can't travel yourself to go and see the world, it is almost as much fun to have the world come to your own place. So many cultural differences, so much potential for misunderstandings, so much to learn ;).

I just picked up my Seattle friend Kamil Michnicky from the airport last night (yes, this time I picked him up, although I let him in doubt about that until the very last minute ;)).

After feeding him and putting him to bed last night, the pupil got his first lessen this morning: Do NOT talk to your friend/temporary roommate for the first hour after getting up - he will be grumpy ;)

Intricate questions about Germany grammar are for after breakfast, DUDE - THAT'S the time to make friends! (by the way: same goes for guitar playing ;))

Dienstag, 30. März 2010

Citizenship by Digita1ization

In a globalized world where borders do not have the same significance they used to have, there has arisen a new form of migration:


Sounds strange? That's what I thought, but check for yourself:

Reaching the Promised Land of digita1ization?
"Reaching the Promised Land of Digita1ization?"

When you were a kid, you played with wooden toys (maybe plastic) and there were only two channels on TV?

Montag, 1. März 2010

Dear Tuesday, I want you back!

Friday I'm in Love with You? No, Tuesday, I want you back!

Last week on a Tuesday (thankfully the only Tuesday that week), was a special Tuesday (traditionally a bad day in Blue Grass history, don't ask!) for the Seattle Blue Grass Scene! Seattle's Greenest Blue Grass Band "Million Dollar Nile" was playing at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard - luckily they happen to be my favorite - so of course, I had to go. On a Tuesday though? Yes, even on a Tuesday (Nicole wrote a great song about breaking up with Tuesday, but it seems they've been getting along better lately).

Back when I was in Seattle (I think I arrived on a Sunday, peew), I had met Nicole (the front singer) at FIUTS, the campus organization for international students. I think it was at Wednesday lunch (Wednesday, what a beautiful day, so centered!) when we started talking about music and she invited me to one of her shows... ever since, I'm stuck with their songs in my head!

So what the hell is Green Blue Grass? (And why would those crazy people play on Tuesdays? (despicable))
Like so many other people in Seattle, Nicole (and her bandmates) have a heart of compo... eh, they like the environment! So when Nicole (and her bandmates) discovered one day that covering Blue Grass (with blankets so the neighbors wouldn't look weird) wasn't really filling their green bins, they decided to write their own songs on the issues that where bugging them (mostly on Tuesdays, naturally!). All time favorites guaranteed to get stuck in your head are "What You Don't Know (Can't Hurt You)" and the Reggea influenced "Don't Kilowatt" that will teach you to play your iTunes for the racoons!

Since then, every February is "Album writing month", where they all try to come up with a total of 14 new songs - a tough challenge and another reason to look forward to the concert - there might be new songs!
And indeed, "Who's Your Farmer" is a funny new country style treat from MDN and they've also come up with a Shanty.

The show was (despite the incredibly unpleasant choice of day), really awesome. Well, until they left the stage and the actual headliner came up. "Oakhurst", which doesn't deserve more space than they've already had now. But I guess that's life - on a regular Tuesday ;)

Anyway, here's a little video from the show (playing "Phantom Rings"). Enjoy :)

Samstag, 13. Februar 2010

Spicing up your travel time OR: when it's better to throw stuff away!

Alert: Don't read if you have a weak stomach ;)

Only a couple of days until my next trip to Seattle. Meanwhile I'm trying to get all my work done here first AND continue settling into my new place. It is good to have a permanent place of residency again!

In that process I am having encounters with the past. I'll spare you all the letters, documents and memorabilia I have come across - but I want to leave you with some quick advice!

IF you go away for a significant time - don't think about keeping your spice collection, no matter how elaborate it is or how long it took you to collect it! Just throw it out or give it away, trust me, you don't want this kind of company ;)

As we are on the subject of "Mags", I am going to see Maggy, my old Seattle roomate when I'm over. She is moving to Costa Rica for a job - I'll find out if she has a blog, I'm expecting there will be looots and lots of awesome pictures!
So long, see you in Seattle ;)

Oh and while I'm gone, don't forget to let me know how I can make my portfolio ( better, so I can incorporate that when I come back with new pics from The Emerald City!

Donnerstag, 21. Januar 2010

The Portfolio (Tadaaaa)

I proudly present: My new portfolio!! Now: What's wrong with it?

Here's the recipe: Go through your entire pictures, make a tiny selection, add some audio and video, stirr it up with some web design, make it both functional and aesthetically pleasing and press go!

Samstag, 16. Januar 2010

Seattle Winter vs. Paul - Round 2

Here we go, I haven't even gotten a chance to put (or even sort) some of the pictures from my trip through Turkey and Germany with Filiz when there's more travel news!

I just booked a ticket to Seattle in February!! Returning to the Emerald City after - wow, has it already been five months? I'll be missing Valentine's Day (which this year is actually a shame!) and President's day, but I'll sure be there for Seattle's fearsome winter! Sunset at 4pm and everything. Maybe I'm lucky and it's not as cold as last year, but I won't bet on it.

Why would I want to go to Seattle during such an awful time? Well, aside for the obvious reasons: As rough as the weather might be on your soul, the people give me a warm feeling in my heart. Funny enough, most of the people I'm talking about aren't even American or from Seattle, but the city brings all these nice people together.

Also, Seattle winter is the time when people crowd into tiny coffee shops and try to warm their souls on a hot drink more than ever. There are a couple of characteristics and stories about Seattle that I don't feel I've sufficiently told with my camera, this is one I am trying to cover. If I'm successful, you'll see the pics on my new portfolio site: and of course here - in all their randomness!