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posts about traveling. (page 1.)

after returning from bordeaux, the return having been quite adventurous, i traveled trough the alps into the ticino, to the monte generoso. here are some photos from the train ride.

as promised, some pictures from bordeaux. some panoramas may come later.

a few days ago i wrote about my small hotel room. well, it’s about time to add something. first, inside bordeaux’ trams people get packed together like sardins. and in paris’ metro, it’s even worse. in particular if it stops in the middle of the tunnel while one is compressed by an enormous amount of people around oneself. i’m really happy that this is over.

how small a hotel room can be? by induction on the ones i’ve been in, and in particular the one i’m in right now, probably infinitely small. well. it could be much better, if someone (from here on known as the interior designer™) wouldn’t have messed it up and arranged the things inside here a bit more clever, i wouldn’t feel like being in a puppet house, without space to move…

i’ve been there, though just briefly. expect some more pictures (and panoramas) next week.

posted in: photos traveling
places: france paris

if you’ve ever seen the cover of opeth‘s fifth masterpiece blackwater park, you’ll know what i mean with opethesque (if you haven’t, look here). i took some similar shots this morning throu the train’s window:

unfortunately i missed to catch some more impressions which were even more opethesque… well, maybe next time.

yesterday and today i was traveling by train. here are some impressions:

i’m back now. back home, in zurich. and we have been out yesterday, and it was wonderful, the weather being great, as great as it hasn’t been probably for a long, long time: the sun was shining bright, it was warm, and the places we visited on our trip were absolutely beautiful. we’ve been at brú na bóinne, visiting the passage graves knowth and newgrange. passage graves are basically hills with a tunnel (the passage) going inside, reaching finally a chamber, the grave itself. both of them are over 5000 years old, therefore being older than the pyramids in egypt. more interesting is the fact that newgrange’s inner chamber is completely dark all the time, except on midwinter, when, in case the sun isn’t blocked by clouds, it shines through a window over the tunnel into the grave and lightens it up a bit for around 17 minutes in the morning. it is amazing that such a long time ago, people managed to build this up with such a precision.

on our visit, we had the chance to enter the grave, and to get a tiny impression of this event, using electric light instead of sun beams. first, being completely dark inside, one sees light crawling onto the floor, slowly increasing, the shattered photons adding some light, allowing to recognize the room’s structure, the other watchers, and, according to our guide, even their faces and colors of the inside. then, the light slowly fades away, the darkness crawling back out of the holes, covering everything. the only color left being black. pure absence of light, for another 364 days, 23 hours and a lot of minutes. or even for millennia, when entry stones fell down, blocked the way inside for the sun. today it’s different, though, electric light allowing tourists to see something, to wander around in this grave, appreciating its construction, gazing at the decoration carved into the stones, the spirals.
then, finally, being out again, the view of the landscape feels so beautiful, the green much more intense, one is happy to have escaped the blackness.
now, feel free to enjoy some views on these places.

i’m currently staying in dublin, attending the 11th workshop on elliptic curve cryptography. our view on the countryside has been very brief, basically being limited to the view out of our cabs window on the way from the airport to our hotel. we haven’t seen much more from the city, mainly exploring the way from our hotel to the ucd campus, which means walking next to a big busy street for 20 minutes, walking a bit over trinity college yesterday on the way to the conference dinner, and then seeing the inside of some restaurants and pubs. a very nice pub was a real, completely non-touristic irish pub which we’ve been in two days ago (the only tourists in there being us). it were actually two pubs, connected by a small door and owned by the same person, the difference being a bit the ambient—the one more aristocratic, the other for the plebs—and, suprisingly, the prices, being slightly higher in the aristocratic part. well, and the people were slightly different too, like more suits could be seen in the aristocratic part. opposing to that, we were in a very touristic pub yesterday, with “folk” music and dancing. probably only remotely related to real irish traditions. but very popular among tourists.
another strange thing we encountered is the fact that almost noone here speaks irish. ask a random irish person on the streets, chances are really small he does. well, they apparently learn it in school, but they probably like it as much as the germans like to learn frensh in school: most aren’t able to do a conversation exceeding something like “hi, my name is felix, who are you?”…
this afternoon, we’ll probably see a bit more ireland; planning’s still to be done, we are aiming at something but it’s not sure yet that we can get there in time. if we do, i’ll write about it tomorrow, after my return home. stay tuned.

yesterday i was making a trip with a friend of mine to the rigi, a 1800 meter high mountain here in switzerland. the weather was great: the sun was shining, it was pretty warm, and the sight was very good. i really like the view of mountains, forests, water and mountains, and fortunately, this time, i had my camera with me, resulting in a lot of pictures. some good, some not so good, and some already deleted :-) this time, i also tried to create some panorama pictures. after lots of hours of trying to figure out how to do this using hugin and after learning a lot about creating panorama photographs (like, that one should not move the camera but simply rotate it) —though learning them a little too late—, i’m able to present some results, which still have some errors (some more and some less obvious). here they are: