Tag Archives: germany

Travelling with work

The first few years of my November Plan were all business trips, but the truth is that I rarely get to see much more than the airport, an office and a hotel room when I go away. Oh, and maybe a restaurant if I get the chance.

That made last weeks trip to Paris and Frankfurt the exception. Meetings finished early in France and I couldn’t change my train reservation so I took the Metro a few stops south a hung around Notre Dame for a couple of hours.

Stalls by the Seine near Notre Dame

I had a big rucksack with me so I couldn’t go too far and I only had my iPhone rather than my 50D so my photographic options were limited.

Still, I felt lucky to have a couple of hours to myself.

Frankfurt Sunset

I took the train from Paris to Frankfurt. I had been planning on walking from the Hauptbahnhof but I was tired and I immediately took the wrong turning on exiting. I quickly reevaluated the situation and took a taxi to the hotel. It was dark when I arrived and I quickly fell asleep.

The next morning I walked to the office, through a couple of parks. It was a hard day and I spent most of it on my feet, but luckily I still managed to leave on time.

It was still light when I got back to the hotel so took a few shots of the rush-hour traffic. Afterwards I took a wander down one of the main pedestrian streets. True to form I found the Apple Store.

Steps

I also found some interesting patterns in the hotel. This is a picture of the steps, from reception looking up. When I was last in Frankfurt I took a similar picture but from the top looking down. The desk in the middle at the bottom bugged me; I prefer this, cleaner image.

I hope I manage to get a little sight-seeing in next time I go away with work, too. I may even bring my DSLR.

My delicious.com bookmarks for November 6th through November 10th

  • News Corp to Offer Plaid Stamps! – "Giving Murdoch the benefit of the doubt, then, I’m guessing he simply doesn’t mean what he said. Perhaps he just wanted to sow a little confusion, get some publicity and maybe a concession or two from Google."
  • The night the Berlin Wall fell – "For me it was that rare occasion when a story was unqualified good news. After years watching the way communism was practised, I felt no need to mourn its collapse. Whatever came next had to be better." Twenty years since the fall of the Berlin wall.
  • OMG Ponies!!! (Aka Humanity: Epic Fail) – "The real world has failed us. It has concentrated on local simplicity, leading to global complexity. It's easy to organise a meeting if everyone is in the same time zone – but once you get different continents involved, invariably people get confused. It's easy to get writing to work uniformly left to right or uniformly right to left – but if you've got a mixture, it becomes really hard to keep track of. The diversity which makes humanity such an interesting species is the curse of computing."

Cycling Germany: Pirna to Meissen

After fretting about my level of fitness and my ability to do the cycling less than a week ago it’s odd that I am now feeling sad that today is the last on a bike. And there’s not even much in the way of difficult terrain. It’s 46km mainly on good cycle paths and a little on roads.

The plan is to cycle from Pirna, stop for lunch in Dresden and spend the night, the last in Germany before heading back to Prague, in Meißen, a town famed for, well, we’ll get to that soon enough.

Dresden

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Dresden. What I learned in history lessons about the place was neither very helpful nor current (I guess you’d expect no less of a history lesson). Except for the large amount of construction work it was an attractive city. A magnificent if dirty Cathedral, a number of river-side cultural buildings and the makings of a cafe culture, although that probably worked out far better a month or so earlier than when I visited.

Meißen main square, Germany

Another uneventful few hours of peddling brought me to the end of the cycle path in Meißen. Meißen is yet another small, pretty central European town. (Are there any towns in this area that don’t warrant such a description? I’m guessing that I wasn’t just lucky!) The hotel was a short walk from the main square and fifteen minutes uphill stroll to the cathedral.

On the way up I stumbled across a shop with this store front. Meißen, it turns out, is famous for its porcelain. While I’m sure it’s beautifully put together, it’s really not my taste. And even if I did like it, the price didn’t appeal. (The smallest item on that table is €937.)

Meißen pottery, Germany

After visiting the cathedral during daylight hours and heading back to the hotel, I trudged back up hill to a restaurant shortly afterwards. In contrast to how things played out in the Czech Republic, the drinks, starter and the main course were delivered swiftly and efficiently. However desert was nowhere to be seen and it took some effort to extract the bill (“die rechnung,” one of the few German phrases I remembered from school).

Meißen

It was a lovely end to a very fun week of cycling. I have passed through lots of amazing scenery, some fascinating towns and even crossed a border, though I nearly managed to miss it. And now I was going to get a bus back to Prague.

This is the sixth of a series of posts about my cycling holiday from Prague in the Czech Republic, to Meißen in Germany. See the index page for more details or subscribe to my RSS feed for updates as they arrive.