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Monday, August 29, 2016

Having a little job to do

Today I took my private jet for a little ride and city hopping. Nuremberg - Frankfurt - Oslo - Sandane - Sogndal. 12 hours only! The last two flights were a bit bumpy. Strong winds and an airport with a short landing strip surrounded by high mountains were demanding great airworthiness from the captain.

The wooden cabins I am staying in (Vesterland Feriepark) are comfortable, fully equipped with everything I need. Three German television channels (ZDF, 3Sat, KiKa) are more than enough. The restaurant dishes superb dinner (delicious and cost-intensive reindeer), but unfortunately shuts down its service at the end of August. Then, I need to catch the fish myself. It turned out to get even more difficult than I thought it could be. Not practically, but time-wise...

Most of the time I got stuck at work. Frankly speaking, I was waiting to start my job which I have beent sent for. Finally, on Thursday at around midday I commenced with the measurements and exchange of the primary equipment parts so that everything could be finalized in the early evening.

Later that day I had the chance to explore the surrounding area a bit. Kaupanger is the village located closest to the cottages where we were staying. The most famous sight throughout the year is the Kaupanger Stave Church which is believed to be built back in the 12th century. It's the third-oldest in stave church in entire Norway.

As the off-season has already begun, the Sogn Fjord Museum was shut, no people around, the street were deserted, just the ferry was putting the water back in motion every now and then.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

First time in Magdeburg

View from Sternbrücke towards Hubbrücke and Magdeburg Cathedral

I have never been in Magdeburg yet. This should change that particular weekend. And additionally, on top, the more than overdue Tobi visit could be ticked. Temperatures were way too hot so we took the whole thing quite easy. One by one, slowly slowly. Ice cream here and coffee there, we drifted through the city centre in slow motion.

Hubbrücke crossing the Elbe river

For dinner, Tobi was preparing high class BBQ beef steaks. 500g each, approx. As I am not the fastest eater it took a while and the meat got cold before I was even halfway. What a pity! But delicious!

Section of the Berlin Wall

Another highlight and must see is the crossing of the Mittelland Canal and the Elbe. A bridge (Trogbrücke) is leading the canal over the Elbe - a massive construction with a length of more than 900m, the largest canal underbridge in Europe.

Lonely island in the Atlantic Ocean

You always can get things working. I don’t know why always being that late. When booking the flight tickets to Madeira, the Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, only 2 days has been left before the designated departure date. And all that although we had scheduled our holidays for that particular week quite some months in earlier.

Anyways, the flight was okay, too long though, and quite bumpy when approaching the Funchal runway. Strong winds were making the landing pretty much challenging. From left to right, up and down – the pilot must be accurate preventing to overshoot the too short runway. He managed perfectly.

We picked up our checked in luggage and went to the rental car counters. As we have placed an order just the previous day, we now noticed it has been refused. It was high season, and we were not the only ones asking for a car those days. Luckily, we found a car dealer having one left, overpriced for sure, but better than nothing.

The first days we have booked a half pension countryside hotel. Not too bad and well located – everything in the east could be reached within 30 minutes maximum. Fisher villages and rugged coastlines were inviting for hiking or walking tours, just to wander around a bit.

The trip to the highest mountain (Pico Ruivo) was almost a bit too much. The track was going up and down all the time, stairs and loose stones made it even more difficult than the midday sun alone. But on the other the landscape offered great views, cliffs, gorges and deep and widespread valleys.

We spent 4 more days at the west coast as well. The hotel (O Farol Residencial) at the most western point, the light house, was located far off anything else. It was family-run and people were really friendly although some language barriers. The food was just excellent (the tuna especially) and talking to a French couple was made it even more fun, with or without the local drink Poncha. Really cool and relaxing time, a bit of everything.