I never thought that something like this would happen to me, but when I arrived at Beijing International Airport a few days ago to travel to Nanning to visit my relatives, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I got out of the car, took both suitcases out of the trunk and start looking for my backpack. OMG, my passport is in my backpack, how am I supposed to fly without identification? I looked at my watch, 12:35, my plane is taking off at 14:00. That’s less than one hour to return home, run up to the 15th floor, get my backpack, run back down and race back to the airport. Did I mention that the traffic in Beijing is incredibly dense?
Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category
On my birthday this year, my girlfriend surprised me with a short trip to “Schöna”, a small village in the Saxon Switzerland, around 200km from Berlin. So what’s so special about the Saxon Switzerland? Well, you have a huge green forest and some really weird high stones standing there. It looks really beautiful, especially when you standing on top of one of the stones. There are only cliffs around you so you can look really far in every direction. They are usually only around 100m high, so you can climb them pretty fast. With our bikes biggy-backed, we drove to Schöna and started off with a bike tour to Czech Republic.
We decided to hike around the “Wandlitzer See” the first day, which was pretty nice at the beginning, where there was a promenade. But after 1km, the promenade turned into a normal road and started to drift away from the waterside, which is not exactly what I imagined of a hiking tour around a lake would look like. Anyway, I found a quite interesting sign next to an intersection after walking around half the lake lying on the ground, most probably knocked over by some car, saying “Watch out for children!”. I hope the children are still doing well unlike the sign…
Good sound systems have a subwoofer, that’s why I needed one for my little car. Because my car’s trunk is extremely small, I needed a special subwoofer case to fit it in without robbing space or removing the spare wheel. So I constructed one myself. Read more for some more pictures.
Last weekend, I went to Amsterdam with my girlfriend. While looking for a hotel to stay at, it struck me that almost no hotels offer parking space. Weird, I thought and googled for public parking spaces and their costs. € 50 a day! That’s more than I pay for the hotel! A closer look on Google Maps revealed the problem. Amsterdam has a lot of very narrow one-way streets. So how do I get to Amsterdam by car without paying millions for parking?
Just a week ago, my parents decided to go on a trip to Italy. They had some free time there and wanted to see the most famous sights there. We have been to Venice, but no other cities. So I had to organize an 5 day Italy trip only 2 days in advance. Well, after some heavy searching, I managed to book a flight from Berlin to Pisa and from Naples back to Berlin. Our trip is supposed to go from Pisa via Firenze, Rome and Pompeii to Naples.
Yesterday, Liu Chengyang (we call him Liu) and his girlfriend Pan Junli (called “Trampeltier”), Qian Le (someone else with similiar name like me), my girlfriend and me wanted to go to Snow Funpark, an indoor skiing hall in north Germany. Because they have been overbooked the last two days, they recommended that we should arrive before 9 am, so we could still get tickets. Anyway, to get there on time, we had to get up early and meet 6:30 am. 2 minutes before 6:30, Liu called me and told me he had an accident. Quite shocked I asked him what happend and he told me that he broke one of the wheels of his car by driving into the curb. But luckily we were able to get the wheel changed at A.T.U. and we could continue our journey 2 hours later. The trip was around 130 miles, so we had a brake at “Walsdorf Ost”. After we all went to the bathroom and sat back in the car, it wouldn’t start, so we called the “ADAC” (a car club in Germany) to ask for help. And in less than 5 minutes, a ADAC car came by and found out that the battery just died. Luckily, the ADAC guy had a reserve with him and installed it for us. 30 minutes later, we were ready to go again. Qian Le already thought it could be some hint for us not to go skiing, but we still continued the travel. Around 11:30 am, we finally arrived in Wittenburg, where the indoor skiing hall was. It is supposed to be the biggest in europe. With over 1000 feet in length, 30° declination and 260 feet width, the hall even had a half pipe. But because the hall just opened at December 8th, the half pipe wasn’t ready yet. the entry was € 15 that day for 5 hours, day tickets weren’t available because they were overbooked. Because of that, we were able to get tickets for 1:00 pm. It was finally time for the fun to begin! The piste was quite long for an indoor hall, but the snow was too thin. The top part of the slope was completely ice, so everyone was sliding and falling there. They tried to fix it, but failed miserably. But for € 15, it is a really good value.
After racing for the first time in Shanghai, I had to race again. I went to the “Kart-World & Freizeitpark am Juliusturm” in Berlin-Spandau. The price was okay, € 5,50 for 8 minutes plus € 2,50 for a full head mask (for keeping the helmets clean). This time, the 400m track was indoor. I went there with my girlfriend, her little sister, Jonas and Foxi. All first time drivers except for me, the second-time driver.
After returning to Germany, I was quite busy. So last weekend, after all work was done, I rented a car and went to Müritz with my girlfriend. Müritz is the biggest lake in Germany. After a 2 hour drive, we arrived in Waren, a little city at the north coast of Müritz. The amazing view there fascinated us. It was so beatiful. The air was so fresh, the sky perfectly blue and water incredibly clear. After building up our tent, we started barbecueing. Afterwrads, we went sleeping really early. At 5 am, we got up and walked to the beach and watched the sunrise. In the afternoon, we rented a 2 person kayak and paddled from Müritz through a little water way into the Müritz national park. We had so much fun there. After another barbecue, the sky was already dark and we could watch all those stars while resting in front of our tent. On Sunday, we went to a monkey hill and watched how they were lying really lazy in the trees sleeping and how the were scaring the little kids. It was quite amousing. If anyone comes to Germany the next time, I will definetely recommend them to go to Müritz.
The Indoor Skiing hall in Beijing is called “Qiaobo Ice and Snow World”. The Hall is sperated into 2 slopes. One slope is twice as long as the other one, and a lot steeper on the upper half. The lower half of the longer slope is just like the other slope and has some little hills for jumping. There is a fun park on the short slope, but it was located way to high. You couldn’t get fast enough to do a jump over the jumping hill, so the short slope was pretty boring. The upper half of the long slope was closed some days ago, so I can’t tell you how that is. I did go a little further than allowed and rode maybe 1/3 of the steeper slope of the top. It was quite nice and you could get pretty fast. I think many people went to the top and had some problems getting back down safely, so they closed it. The snow is very nice on the lower half, in fact it was so smooth that when you fell from a jump, you could rode down to the bottom of the slope on your behind. I did it once and my behind is still feeling that fall. There is one lift on the short slope, a beginner lift, just like a escalator. On the long slope, there were 2 lifts, both very nice to ride and way faster than the Shanghai lift. The entry price is more expensive than in Shanghai. 180 RMB an hour on weekends. In Shanghai, I payed 109 RMB for the hole day! But in Beijing, they have a student price, which is 150 RMB for the hole day. I went there with my parents in the evening. It’s only 198 RMB in the evening for 4 hours of skiing. All the equipment are much nicer in Beijing than in Shanghai. But they don’t rent gloves in Beijing. I had a nice time there and it if they open the long slope completely again, it will be really nice.