Back in Thailand – Winter 2016/2017

2017-03-14 at 08:56

Enough of the zigzagging round Europe. Time to see some sunshine and blue sky. Mid November it was – time to fly to BKK. Did book the flight quite early this year after all the cheap offers in my mail box. 528€ with Lufthansa from STR over FRA to BKK. Back BKK over ZHR to STR. Of course the cheapest offer was 430€ with China and I got it after I booked the ticket.
So my Lufthansa flight was Wednesday the 23rd and Monday evening two days before the flight Lufthansa pilots announced they will strike. Starting Wednesday! Great news!
So Lufthansa has a hotline – but only one or two people working that hotline I guess – and after about 10 to 15 minutes the computer tells you to go to the web site and change the flight yourself. So I tried the web site and the phone at the same time. Guess a few more people tried that as well. Nothing worked – every time I had changed the ticket the server gave me an error – so I looked up the Lufthansa number in New York and VOIP them. 6 minutes later I was rebooked to Swiss from STR over ZHR to BKK the same day as the original flight. No sure why Lufthansa can not even deal with a strike that they know is coming? And it was not even the first time. I really have to change back to one of the Golf airlines again.
The first leg was quite nice – small plane and all. The second leg was impossible – I had more leg room in the small propeller plane!! Absolute no space to move – and not only me. That was a quite new Boeing 777-300ER – and do you think you can move the screen? If the person in front of you leans back your movie is over – unless you lean back as well. What a BS! Even the average customer was complaining. To bad I have the same plane on the way back 🙁
The small one to Zürich
The first leg – STR to ZHR.

Adios STR
Adios STR

En route to Zürich
En route to Zürich

Guess which Airport that is
Guess which Airport that is

Swiss No Space Inside Plane
Swiss No Space Inside Plane

No space Swiss Airlines
See the old guy? He was something like 166cm and he did fit into that seat. But you are better not over 170cm! And see the screens – you can not tilt them a millimetre. So comfort in this plane: Zero as in there is none!

Dinner
Had my Vegetarian Meal and two red wines. And after a movie and 2 sleeping pills I was finally sleeping a bit.

Little fluffy clouds
Little fluffy clouds

Breakfast
Breakfast

Over Thailand

Blue sky over Thailand
Blue sky over Thailand

A few seconds before touchdown in Bangkok
A few seconds before touchdown in Bangkok

Airport Transfer
The last few times I took the train down town and a taxi – this time I was lazy and took the good old mini bus again. Takes forever but you save the hassle with finding a taxi that turns on the meter at the place where they know that you are a tourist coming from the airport.

Pad Thai
My good old Noodle Lady in the park was on vacation so I had my first Pad Thai in the evening somewhere on the street.

Booze only from 11-14 and 17-24!
Booze only from 11-14 and 17-24 at 7/11! I know I do not get my beer here – I support the small shops – and they do sell the whole day as well. I was only here to get a new toothbrush – sorry small shops – only seven has it.

Leo at my favourite bar
Leo at my favourite bar: Nom Tung Loaw in the little alley next to Soi Samsen

Andy is the Man
Thank you Andy for coming over to my neck of the woods.

The boss man on the left
The boss man on the left

Possmann
The next day I went to see Scott. Ended up at a Couchsurf meeting at Silom. Later we passed this – ha!

Pilsen for a beer or two – Part 2

2017-03-07 at 15:55

The rest of the pictures from the last trip to Pilsen or Plzeň. The forecast called for rain so I only took the iPhone 6 to take pictures – and it did not rain and I was not happy. The quality of the pictures is just not the same as with a DSLR. Still the best camera is the camera you have with you! Next time I bring the Canon – rain or shine!
Enjoy the rest of the pictures.

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Usually I never pay to go inside a church. I hate it when you have to pay to go to Siam Reap or Bagan in Asia. But a church in Europe? Impossible – this time we had so much time and it was super cheap – so we went in the church. Armed with a few pages of information from the friendly woman at the counter we looked at everything described there. They had the organ music going inside so it was a very good experience after all. If you are like me – make an exception to the rule and visit this one!

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew
Construction started around 1295 but there are no records left. The first time the church is documented was in 1307. Wolfram Zwinillinger must had some problems sleeping good at night. So he bequeathed his malt and drying factory to the church for serving a mass on behalf of his soul. That sounds like a very good deal – for the church!
At the time a church was not usually build on a public market so the old church could have been build somewhere else. However – the presbytery was build in 1342. Later they extended the church and rebuild it a few times. They also wanted to add a second tower. That never happened.

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

A bell with a name
A bell with a name

View from the tower of Cathedral of St. Bartholomew
View from the tower of Cathedral of St. Bartholomew – they do charge you extra to climb up – of course!

The market square
The market square

Part of the market square
Part of the market square

The Black Tower on the left
The Black Tower on the left

Houses at the market square
Houses at the market square

Renaissance Town Hall
Renaissance Town Hall

Statue at the market square

Coffee break
Coffee break at a small local place next to the market. I have no clue why all the tourists go to the big and fancy places. Here they have only 4 small tables and only old people come and have a coffee with some sweets. One day these small places will be gone so now is a good time to go there. All that stuff was less than 3€ – served with a smile from the lady behind the counter. This one is a Turkish Coffee. I ordered black – no sugar. The next day we had to come back to sample 4 other cakes. She made us a regular coffee – I ordered black – no sugar. Ha ha – why not??

Not all the churches are renovated
Not all the churches are renovated

Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Entrance to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. Boy oh boy what a tourist trap. If you like to visit a brewery – go and visit. It is way cheaper than the Guinness brewery for example but do not eat there or drink a beer. Or drink one beer so you can say I had a beer at the brewery.
We decided to save the entrance fee and invest that money into craft beer!

A fresh brew - the unfiltered one of course!
A fresh brew – the unfiltered one of course! I had a beer at the brewery! OK – since we walked there we had one – to get energy to walk to the main beer place for today. And have a few non Pilsner beers as well.

Klub malych pivovaru

Since we had our Pilsner Urquell at the brewery we went – almost – next door. 3 minutes to walk from the gate to Klub malych pivovaru. A mix of student bar and old school drinking hole with a small menu. They have 8 craft beers on tab. And when the cask is empty you have to wait till next day. Or have some of the bottled stuff. Check out the selection before you go: Klub malych pivovaru.

Klub malych pivovaru
Of course we had to try all the different beers on tab. And had chips, an onion soup and some more food. All together was not even 20€! This is way cheaper than Bangkok!! And the beer 1000 times better 🙂

http://www.klubmalychpivovaru.cz/

http://www.klubmalychpivovaru.cz/

House at Nadrazni street - not all the houses are renovated
House at Nadrazni street – not all the houses are renovated. In fact – most of them are not…

Main train station
Main train station

Západočeské muzeum
Západočeské muzeum

District Court
District Court

Another small church
Another small church

House at Perinova street
House at Perinova street

House at Veleslayinova street
House at Veleslayinova street

Dinner at the hotel - we have a kitchen - so lets use it!
Dinner at the hotel – we have a kitchen – so lets use it!

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Pilsen for a beer or two

2017-03-02 at 14:17

Another loooong weekend to burn. This time we went to Pilsen or Plzeň in the Czech Republic.
You might wonder why the pilsner type blond lager is called Pilsner – yes the first Pilsen was brewed right here. Pilsner Urquell is the original pilsner and first pale lager beer in the world. The people of the city where not happy with the beer the local brewers brew. So the city officials asked Josef Groll, a Bavarian brewer, to develop a better beer. On 5 October 1842, Groll had a new mash ready and on 11 November 1842, the new beer was first served at the feast of Saint Martin markets. Everybody was happy so they brew it till today.
A long time ago I passed Pilsen on a train. I saw only the train station but I knew – one day I will be back here.

Did book a room for two nights in a quite suburb but a few days before the weekend I found out we can spend one extra night – that is why it is called a looooong weekend.
Unfortunately the hotel was booked solid so we spend the first night in another place.

View from the apartment
View from the apartment

Bedroom
Bedroom

Kitchen
Kitchen

Living room
Living room
Quite nice but a bit to far out to walk to town. The next morning we went to the other hotel, parked the car and walked into the city.

Cross of Conciliation
Cross of Conciliation

House next to the river
House next to the river.
Most of the way we could walk along the river. Great to get to the inner city.

Radbuza River
Radbuza River

War Memorial
War Memorial

Almost downtown - still at the river
Almost downtown – still at the river

Graffiti at the river

Graffiti at the river

The Gothic Church of St. Nicholas was built in the years 1406-1410
The Gothic Church of St. Nicholas was built in the years 1406-1410

The Art Nouveau houses at Hálkova street

Art Noveau houses, Hálkova street

Dog and cat
Dog and cat

Detail of the faccade
People look out of the wall and a guy climbing up a floor (on the top left)

Interesting Details and colours
Interesting details and colours

A nice street

They are all very intresting

Halkova Street

Here is the top like a dream castle
Here is the top like a dream castle

At the corner of Halkova and Kopernikova
At the corner of Halkova and Kopernikova

Halkova Street

Halkova Street

And there is much more in other Streets!

Skretova Street
Skretova Street

Skretova Street
Skretova Street

At the corner of Kopernikova and Bendova street
At the corner of Kopernikova and Bendova street

Houses with the painting of Mikulas Ales at Nerudova street

Houses with the painting of Mikulas Ales at Nerudova street

House at Nerodova Street

House at Nerodova Street

House at Nerodova Street

At the namesti Republiky
At the namesti Republiky

House in the Bezrucova street
House in the Bezrucova street

The Great Synagogue
The Moorish Revival Great Synagogue. It is the second largest synagogue in Europe after the one in Budapest

Josef Kajetán Tyl Theatre
Josef Kajetán Tyl Theatre

House at Klatovska trida Street
House at Klatovska trida Street

House at Klatovska trida Street
Unfortunate they kill it with the shops downstairs 🙁

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A weekend in Oberstdorf

2017-02-26 at 12:52

Mountains – mountains in fall! Steiner called for a weekend in Oberstdorf to walk and talk and have some beers in the evening. The forecast was looking good so Friday noon we hit the Autobahn and went over the Alb to the Alps!

House at Haldenweg in Oberstdorf
Arrived in the early afternoon so we walked a bit. Traditional house at Haldenweg in Oberstdorf.

Jesus enjoying the fall sun on the way to Moorweiher
On the way to Moorweiher we passed Jesus – looks like he is enjoying the fall sun as well.

Scared duck on the Moorweiher
Scared duck – did not expect somebody that last in the afternoon.

Schattenberg at the back
Schattenberg at the back – fall colours in the front.

View from our hotel
View from our room at Gasthof Petra in Oberstdorf. We had a big room with a double bed and two single beds, a table with 2 chairs, shower and a balcony with table and chairs. The warm afternoon sun on the balcony is great to relax after your hike. There is a Wienerwald restaurant downstairs if you are lazy you do not have to go far for dinner. The breakfast was average but enough.

A Maß of Dampfbeer
A Maß of Dampfbeer with dinner at the last German brewery before Austria.

Fellhorn

The next morning we got up way to early. Steiner must get up at 6 in the morning or before. I have no clue why. So he makes a lot of noise and even watches the news on TV! I hate it to get up so early. The result: we where ready for breakfast 30 minutes before the hotel was ready with breakfast. Great work!
After breakfast we took the bus to the Fellhorn cable car. I would have loved it to walk up but Steiner was lazy so up we went with the cable car. Up at the top station it was still cloudy and not too many people at this time of the day.
The hill station is over 2000 metres and it was cold in the night. The earth was still frozen which made it hard and good to walk. When we had lunch we saw many people pass us – mud everywhere.

Top of the Hill
Top of the Hill – ready to walk.

Heavy clouds over the mountains on the German side
Heavy clouds over the mountains on the German side

Cloudy towards the south of Germany. You can see the path on the rim below
Cloudy towards the south of Germany. But there is a bit of blue in the far distance. You can see the path down towards Oberstdorf on the rim below.

Path on the rim with Austria on the left and Germany on the right.  The mountains of Germany in the back
Path on the rim with Austria on the left and Germany on the right. On some part of the path you can stand with one leg in Austria and one in Germany 🙂 The valley on the left is in Ausria with the mountains of Germany in the back.

View towards Germany - blue sky :-)
Finally blue sky – view over the German mountains. This is why I like to sleep longer – blue sky. I trade it with a bit of mud. That is why we have the hiking boots!! Well well….

I can see our picnic spot
I can see our picnic spot

Steiner
Steiner – very happy – because foooood!

Picnic
Nice spot – sun, mountains and food

Old trees

Freibergsee
Freibergsee

Loretto-Kapellen in Oberstdorf

The Loretto Kappellen are tree small chapels next to each other at the southern end of Oberstdorf. The oldest one is the Appachkapelle from 1493. It is a really small building so in 1657 construction of the second one begun. Following the fashion of the time they named it after the Italian city Loretto: St. Maria Loretto.

St. Maria Loretto
St. Maria Loretto

St. Maria Loretto Oberstdorf
They change the cloths of the Madonna a few times a year.

St. Maria Loretto
He invented the Boomerang! I bet you thought it is an Australian thing…

St. Maria Loretto
The guy on the left invented the “Big Stick” and the guy on the right? Go figure!

St. Maria Loretto
They worked for the Stick Boys

St. Maria Loretto
The round painting is from 1877 by Claudius Schraudolph dem Älteren. In 1926 the other pictures where added.

Josefkapelle Oberstdorf

Josefkapelle Oberstdorf
In 1671 they started to build the Josefkapelle.

Josefkapelle Oberstdorf

Jesus riding on his donkey made 1729 from Franz Xaver Schmädl.

After that it was only a few more minutes to our nice balcony to sit in the warm afternoon sun. After the sun goes down it gets cold quick at this time of the year.

The next day Dr. Schwarz and his son from Stuttgart joined us for a short hike up behind the big ski-jumping area.

The old man gang with a young guy
The old man gang with a young guy

Schanze Oberstdorf
And back down around the ski-jumbing area.

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