Monthly Archives: July 2012

On the Road: Through a bit of Germany 2012

Some weeks ago, when my largest vacation this year drew near I thought about what to do in those two weeks.
A fellow student of mine suggested to have a look around Denmark, but that was unfortunately crossed out due to lack of money and time.
While contemplating the whole Denmark thing I also thought about travelling some places in good ol‘ Germany and asked people I knew, who would be available in the time of my journey. With this knowledge I created a route that took me through half of Germany from Sunday to Sunday. I kind of felt like a Traveling Salesman planning it…

Schawarma, a slice of Monster-Pizza and a Church in between

Anyway, my journey started on July 15th in Berlin (B).
Throughout the day Artok (I’ll be using nicknames for this) took me around Germany’s capital city. More or less through the not so wealthy parts of it. We went from Lichtenberg to Neukölln and further.
Along the way we passed a food store that sold Schawarma
What can I say?
Having watched The Avengers I simply had to try it…
I kind of wonder how many people had the exact same idea after leaving the cinema that was just across the store. XD
And I now can totally understand why the Avengers did not say a word when they ate it, as it just gets more and more while you eat.
I had a version with chicken meat, a lot of it, and some vegetables and sauce. It had a quite interesting taste, though it was rather dry…
Later I heard, that there are versions with potatoes, yet mine had none. 🙁

Moving on we passed a quite interesting church.
It had both old and new elements in its architecture – not as much as some other churches, but still interesting to look at:

The Church in Berlin

As well as an „funny“ inscription above its doorway coming from Luke 24:29:

„Stay with us, for it is nearly evening“.

That kind of foreshadows the end that is depicted in the bible (in this case) and other old stuff, like the Edda or the Maya calendar and stuff…
Okay, it also stands for the time Jesus returned to his followers and they wanted to make him stay, but I consider my interpretation a bit more funnier…

Anyway, we later went into the Görlitzer Park that was rather pretty seeing its surroundings.
It had large stones and stone blocks lined up to create some kind of stairway that ended into a pool of sand. (We entered from above and had a good view over the whole thing) According to Artok it even used to hold water that dripped down the stairs. It was nice to sit there and talk the time away.
By the way, they had a Café there and the hot chocolate they sold was really tasty.

The evening I spent at Liathano’s place. She would have accompanied us throughout the day, if she hadn’t had to learn for her final exams, which she by now managed to write and hopefully pass.
For dinner she made pizza and as she is a vegetarian it was a pizza void of any meat. It was tasty, yet she called it a „Monster-Pizza“, because she „ruined“ the mixture for the dough. It was like 5 cm thick, but it was tasty.
It was covered with read beans, white mushrooms, maize and (on 2/3rds of it) onions and of course tomato sauce and cheese.

While I stayed there I had the chance to read some short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. „The Tell-Tale Heart„, „The Mask of the Red death“  and „The Black Cat„. Very interesting stories, especially the „death“ one. I would really like to see a cinematic approach on that.
Just earlier this week I received a Mail advertising the comic version of the last two by Gris Grimly that is now available in German.

Don’t trust Google, go sightseeing instead

From Berlin I drove to Frankfurt (Main) (C) and I tell you, do not trust Google on how much time you need for that distance!
It told me it would take 5 1/2 hours, it took me about 6-7 (excluding breaks, a diverted road through Belitz and me driving towards Frankfurt (Oder) for 11 km…)…
Finally arriving there to drop of my passengers, I made the last kilometres towards „Unyx“‚ place, where I stayed till Thursday.

On Tuesday she took me to the Senckenberg museum in Frankfurt. It was her forth time there this year and I really hope she still had fun showing me around. They had like everything. From dinosaur skeletons, over a whole floor of mounted animals and birds, towards the remainder of the animal version of the „Body Worlds“ exhibition. It was really interesting. Though probably not for Unyx‘ dogs which had to stay in the car and as we had them with us to take out for a walk in the city…
We later drove a bit out of the town to let them run in the fields as an apology.

Now I nearly forgot to mention the „Hilton bug“ or rather the enormous Hilton Hotel at the Frankfurter plane station that looked like a gigantic bug with really funny legs, as they were constructed to look like those plane entrance tunnels. It kind of looked like a bug to me.
Besides that does the inner city of Frankfurt look rather modern. All kinds of round shapes and stuff. It looks really amazing more like a glimpse into the future than something made in our time.

In the evening she usually takes her dogs into the house, so she did this time as well. While she restraint the still rather bubbly youngsters (5 months old) their mother could run free. And she likes to pose as a lap dog. Being a fully grown Belgian Shepherd Dog this is not really comfortable if you are the one providing the lap…
She looked pretty huge when she came up to me, but she was nice to me at least and only licked my glasses and trampled on me. XD

The next day we went to participate in a guided tour through Mainz. We learned about the importance of the Rhein in its history and the reasons why Mainz has a town hall with lattice-windows and no sign saying what it is.
Our last station before we left the tour was the dome.
A quite nice dome with a funny history:
Right on the day it was supposed to be opened for public usage, well, it burnt down…

The dome was festively decorated and a lot of candles had been lit, as it was rather dark in it due to having only some small windows. The decorations hung low  into the room and it didn’t take the lit candles long to ignite them. As the architecture of the whole thing wasn’t too clever either the fire couldn’t pass up towards the high arched roof usually seen in old churches and extinguish, as this had a flat roof, that was made of wood. This in turn resulted in the rebuilt of the whole thing and probably some humiliation for the archbishop.

This kind of reminded me of Ken Follet’s „The Pillars of the Earth“ (Though I only know the movie version starring Matthew Macfadyen, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Hayley Atwell and the German actress Natalia Wörner), where the cathedral that is built throughout the story burns down as well, shortly before being finished.

What was created after the fire was still a rather dark inner room that later had additional windows and walls added to it. It is kind of a mixture between the different epochs. One guy who recreated one of the towers, who once was insulted by his co-architects for trying to use the original style of what he rebuilt rather than the style used at that time, is now greatly thanked by the restorers who are trying to do just that these days.

Afterwards we’ve been in a Medival Torture Museum in Rüdesheim.
The most interesting about this, was that the navigation system guided us through the Rhein, or rather on a route to a ferry above it. The second time this happened to me this year. XD
The museum itself was…hmm…nothing special and somewhat half-heartedly done in comparison to other museums of this kind, like the one in Penzlin just around the corner from my home. That one is a place where the tortures had actually happened and in combination with the „Burgfest“ („Castle feast“) or the feast for the „Walpurgisnacht“ and its music and the people in medieval clothes, the visit becomes rather memorable.

In the evening Unyx showed me Frankfurt by night. The later it got the harder it was for me to keep my eyes open until a succumbed into a nap on our way back … I know what it’s like to drive while your passenger(s) sleep(s), I’m terribly sorry…

The breathtaking Dome and the evil Comic Book Shop

Next stop was Köln (Cologne) (D) for the day. I visited the one, who inspired me to listen to Metal. I think I owe him quite a lot for that. =D
We visited the dome, which is even more breathtaking than the one in Mainz…heck that thing leaves you practically speechless…

Inside the Dome in Cologne

The Organ in the dome

Whereas I couldn’t decide what to take a picture of in Mainz (though in retrospective I know what I should have taken a picture of), I this time took some in Köln.
But pictures and words can’t really describe how amazing the architectural work here is…
If you ever have a chance to do so: Take a walk through those halls!

Aside from that – and I’m not really able to describe the dome any further, just go look at it yourself – quite close to the dome is a museum for Roman archaeological excavations. They had some quite interesting finds outside their exhibition rooms:

Typical Roman Shoes

Diverting from the dry topics of history we went to a Comic store, where I kind of bought a lot of stuff…
I now am certain that Comic stores are just as evil as Book stores: They never let you get out without having bought something.
Were Frankfurt was fascinating in its sense of architecture, Köln was intimidating due to its high buildings. Coming from a small city that is something completely different than what I’m used to. I kind of wonder how it will be if I ever manage to visit a huge city like New York…

Unknown host

For the night I drove to Bochum (E), where Feuerflügel had asked a friend of hers to provide a couch for me, but forgot to tell me what the guys name was.
So I stood in front of the house not knowing which bell I would have to ring …

When I finally got the note what his name is and brought my stuff upstairs we went to the Tavern „Zu den vier Winden„. It was a real nice evening seeing and talking to Feuerflügel and Mila again. Drinking some tasty mead (honeywine in the flavours: currant, strawberry and some other I forgot) and eating some delicious „Flammkuchen“ I wish I could have stayed longer, but Murphy was against us so I had to depart a day earlier to Kassel (F), as I originally had planned.

Poodles, Music and Art

But it wasn’t too bad. I’ve already been there two years ago for a whole week, where we explored like about every available interesting museum in and out of town. XD
Having some time left on us Nazgul and I went to the Comic Galerie, yes another Comic store and yes I bought something again…
I am now the proud owner of a quite funny „Nichtlustig„- Shirt. Nichtlustig („Notfunny“) has „Death“ among its characters and Death has a Poodle (remember my comments on poodles regarding Mephisto? 😉 ) and the Shirt simply shows Death holding the Poodle, saying:

„Nothing against the Poodle of Death“.

Ironically, I wore it some days ago when I accompanied my Mum to the hospital …
I mean even sick people have to understand a joke right? I hope so …

Anyway, later that evening we went with a friend of Nazguls to an alternative „disco“ called „Savoy„. What can I say? We nearly were their only guests that day.
So after the guys had some beer we went on to the „Musik Theater“ or „MT“.  There were some more people around and the music wasn’t too bad that day either – at least in the Dark Area
Again I had some tasty mead, this time hemp(?) aroma (called Thor’s Tears, having a rather odd green colour…) and old fashioned cherry mead or „Viking’s blood“.

The worst of that day was, that I had to leave my car behind because of my „Don’t drink and drive“-policy…
We had to walk back to Nazgul’s place for nearly an hour and my baby stood there all night by himself and nearly the whole next day … 🙁

When Nazgul finally got up on Saturday (I had finished nearly two comics by then) we went to see some of the free exhibits of the dOCUMENTA (13) in the Karlsaue.
They were mostly weird and I don’t think I got at least half of them …

I don’t really know what an artist wants to tell me if he or she hangs up tons of gourds and puppets in a tree above stuff that looks like a makeshift camp….or another hanging up boats and nets in a tree above a camper and a shack full of random garbage like newspapers or old bicycles…or someone putting a stone into a tree … though that one looked rather fascinating due to its location:

The Stone-Tree in the Karlsaue

Just as fascinating was the location of a Ferris wheel behind the Orangerie:

Ferris wheel in the Orangerie

That one left us contemplating whether it be possible to create a Ferris wheel that actually goes through a building. It would probably be more like a roller coaster than a Ferris wheel though …

Later that evening we met up with some more of Nazgul’s friends before we again went off to the MT.
This time for an event in the Dark Area called „Feuertanz“ (Firedance) where they played some medieval (German) metal like Schandmaul, In Extremo, Letzte Instanz and so forth, but also some other stuff in that direction. Its been again a quite funny evening, especially when one of his friend and me sang the refrain of Schandmauls „Das Tuch“ together; or the Dove-Lady that used to move her head when she danced in the way a pigeon moves its when it walks…we just had to look at her, look at each other and started laughing…
Nearly as funny as the Dark Noir parties in Neubrandenburg. 😉

Home Sweet Home

Last Sunday I (finally?) made my way home. Taking passengers from Kassel to Hamburg and from Hamburg to Greifswald even caused my refuel-bills for the trip to even out completely.

All in all it was an interesting, yet exhausting, experience that I would like to repeat some day. Hopefully with new destinations added to it, though there are still places to be explored in the „old“ ones.
Thanks goes to everyone who made this trip possible, the ones who provided me with a place to stay, entertainment and/or interesting conversations.
Its been a great time and a wonderful vacation.
Looking forward to see you guys again some day!

Follow the whole route here: Google Maps

PoiSonPaiNter

Dark Shadows

The latest Burton-Depp-Movie that had been released over here.

A movie based on the homonymous TV series/soap opera about the last descendants of the Collins family. A family that came from Liverpool into the „New World“ to settle down and even managed to built their own town, thanks to their successful fishing company.

Or rather the last descendants and one of the very first Collins. Namely: Barnabas Collins. A Vampire-turned man imprisoned into a metal coffin for nearly 200 years by the woman he had rejected. He ends up in the 1970s version of their town Collinsport and has to experience things like cars, asphalt, television, hippies, McDonalds and the nearly ruined remains of his family.

After he had been buried „alive“ the witch, who had caused the death of his parents and his beloved and basically the demise of the Collins-family, took over the business and established her own fishing company. When Barnabas learns about this he gives his all to return his family to its former glory.
And that’s what the movie is basically about.
And of course the family-intern problems.
And the love triangle vampire-witch-reincarnated human.
And stuff.

Additional to Depp and Bonham Carter, we this time also have Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green and former „Nightmare on Elmstreet“ Jack Earle Haley (unfortunately I only know him as Rorschach from „Watchmen“ so far…) and „Eli Stone“ Jonny Lee Miller.
Not that bad of a cast. Actually quite a good one.
Did a good job portraying those extraordinary characters.

In the following I will refrain from judging the movie.
I will not say whether it is good or bad.
I’ll simply stick with the word: bizarre.
And there will be spoilers, so you might stop reading if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

Why do I call this movie bizarre?

For once it kind of lacks the coherences Burton’s movies usually have.
The characters were roughly portrait and not really developed, but what you saw them doing was rather weird every now and then.
This might be due to people knowing them already because of the series.
Which I’ve never even took a glimpse opon…as the old version wasn’t released in Germany and the remake was broadcasted when I was far too young to watch, let alone understand it …

For example the daughter. During nearly the whole movie she looks/walks/dances like she is constantly high on whoever-knows-what.
Only during the finale she is seen with some kind of emotions – even if it is just „rage“.
When she turned into a Werwolf …
Yup, they got the Vampire first and even a wolfie …
Usually this would have been at least hinted beforehand, but this time it wasn’t or I simply missed it.

Or when the boy found Barnabas in the coffin, the thick metal coffin mind you, he just opened it. As if it was no big deal … And he somehow also managed to undo 5 to 10 centimeter thick steel chains … how ever he did that … was probably his ghost mom …

One of the oddest scenes however, was the „sex“-scene, where Barnabas and Angelique ruined her office while kissing and slamming each other from one side of the room to the other … everything else was off-screen. There was no real need to display this in my opinion.

In contradiction to the above mentioned things there where quite some funny scenes when Barnabas dealt with the „modern“ world.
A joke that I had heard or read of beforehand was when he found the McDonalds sign and mistook it for the symbol for „Mephistopheles„. Funny how I just wrote about him. 😀
I also chuckled when he sorrowfully told the hippies that he would have to kill them.
Or when he ripped out the backside of the TV station to force the tiny woman out of it.
And so forth…

Anyway, this movie has good and bad things, both dealt with in quite unusual ways.
Though we are used to this in Burton’s work, this time he approached it differently.
He created a bizarre movie, that was not always completely coherent, yet held rather humorous elements.
It even had quite a decent ending, till the cliff shot of both Barnabas and Victoria came along.
I liked the line, where the woman said, that they would do what they always had done: Survive.

I kind of doubt the aging over here was wisely chosen, however. I don’t think 12+ kids would understand some of the things I mentioned and the other things I didn’t.

Regardless of everything I said so far the movie is definitely worth watching.
But the expectations shouldn’t be too high.
It’s not your „average“ Burton.
It’s different.
It’s bizarre.

PoiSonPaiNter