Sep 10 2023

Rhine River 莱茵河

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Rhine River cruise includes several European countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.

Rhine is one of the major river in Europe, starting from Swiss Alps, passing through Austria, Germany and empty into North Sea from Netherland, about 760 miles (1230 km). It’s the 2nd longest river in Central and Western Europe (after the Danube).

When mentioning Rhine, most people associate it with Germany. There are six distinct sections, per Mike Wells:

  1. Alpenrhein (Alpine Rhine) is the combination of the Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein tributaries that flow rapidly down the north side of the Alps, along deep glacial valleys, into Bodensee.
  2. Hochrhein (Higher Rhine) continues descending through broad wooded gorges providing the border between Switzerland and Baden-Württemberg (Germany) from Bodensee to Basel.
  3. Oberrhein (Upper Rhine) meanders north from Basel across a broad plain, between the Vosges mountains in French Alsace and the German Black Forest, as far as Mainz.
  4. Mittelrhein (Middle Rhine) is a picturesque stretch from Mainz to Bonn, where the river has cut the Rhine Gorge between the Hunsrück/Eifel mountains (west) and the Taunus/Siebengebirge ranges (east).
  5. Niederrhein (Lower Rhine) crosses the North German Plain from Bonn to the Dutch border.
  6. Delta Rijn (Rhine Delta) is the Dutch part of the river, which divides into five different arms to reach the North Sea.

#4 Mittelrhein Middle Rhine is the most scenic and usually used as river cruise advertisement. I went to part of Middle Rhine valley many times. Most recently, in 2022 and 2023.


Jun 27 2022

A letter from Lufthansa

A letter from Lufthansa. Are they pleading, asking for understanding? Is it necessary? I’m amused. So, here is the letter in its entirety, signed by CEO Carsten Spohr and down


Dear Ms. Eng,

Two tough years of perceived and actual grounding lie behind us in aviation. All our Lufthansa Group employees have been wishing for nothing more throughout than to finally be able to welcome you back aboard our more than 750 aircraft.

Unfortunately, however, as the Northern Hemisphere summer begins and with global travel restrictions now almost all lifted, everyone involved in aviation worldwide is reaching almost daily the limits of the resources that are currently available. And the ramp-up of the complex air transport system from almost zero to now almost 90 per cent is clearly not proceeding with the reliability, the robustness and the punctuality that we would like to offer you again.

We can only apologize to you for this. And we want to be completely honest: In the coming weeks, as passenger numbers continue to rise, be it for leisure or business travel, the situation is unlikely to improve in the short term. Too many employees and resources are still unavailable, not only at our infrastructure partners but in some of our own areas, too. Almost every company in our industry is currently recruiting new personnel, with several thousand planned in Europe alone. However, this increase in capacity will only have its desired stabilizing effect by the time winter comes.

In addition, the ongoing war in Ukraine is severely restricting available airspace in Europe. This is leading to massive bottlenecks in the skies and thus, unfortunately, to further flight delays.

In the summer of 2023, we not only expect to have a much more reliable air transport system worldwide. We will be welcoming you back on board our Airbus A380s, too. We decided today to put the A380, which continues to enjoy great popularity, back into service at Lufthansa in summer 2023. In addition to this, we are further strengthening and modernizing our fleets with some 50 new Airbus A350, Boeing 787 and Boeing 777-9 long-haul aircraft and more than 60 new Airbus A320/321s in the next three years alone.

We promise you that our more than 100,000 Lufthansa Group employees will be doing everything humanly possible to provide you with the best possible air travel experience in the coming weeks, even under the current difficult circumstances. And they will be doing all this with a commitment that deserves the highest respect, not only from us on our Group Executive Board.

So on behalf of all our employees, I sincerely hope that you feel very welcome on board after your return, which is something we have all been keenly awaiting. We thank you for your loyalty; and we hope we may count on your understanding, too, should your journey not yet go quite as expected or planned.

We are doing our utmost to again offer you the quality, the punctuality and the reliability that you can rightly expect from your Lufthansa Group airlines as soon as we possibly can.

Stay with us.

Signed by 7 chief officers, from CEO Carsten Spohr, to Customer Christina Foerster, Commercial Harry Hohmeister, operations Dr. Detlef Kayser, HR & legal Dr. Michael Niggemann, and financial Remco Steenbergen.


Jun 20 2022

Classical music & opera in Germany


Germany‘s classical music scene is very much alive, I took some of them, from concerts to operas during this trip. Surprisingly, I even ran into Midori whom I haven’t heard from in decades.

According to New Yorker‘s 2022.6.20 issue, A Grand Tour of Germany’s Opera Paradise ⇓ Germany has 80 permanent opera house that putting out 7,000 to 8,000 performance each year, which is third of the world total.

  • Midori
  • opera
  • afternoon
  • Berlin
  • Leipzig

The Grand Tour of Germany’s Opera Paradise

Germany is, on statistical grounds, the most operatic country on earth. The Bundesrepublik has more than eighty permanent opera houses, which in a typical season present seven or eight thousand performances


Jun 8 2022

EU agrees on charging ports

EU agrees on all phones/tablets must use the same charging ports in two years. Wondering how much time has they spent in reaching this consensus. For me, an ordinary consumer, I care more about the other end of the wire: the wall side of it – because this is the end that decides if you can charge or not. For example, Germany or Europe in that regard, is lagging behind US and China, even the 4-star hotel in Berlin doesn’t have usb charging port. It’s simply bewildering.

Apple has to change


May 11 2022

Gewandhaus, Leipzig’s concert hall


Augustuspl. 8,
04109 Leipzig, Germany

… more pix on Google Maps

This is the concert hall (Gewandhausorchester) of the city Leipzig, founded in 1781; adjacent to the university. Reportedly, its acoustics is excellent – I’m not a sound expert.

I was lucky to take in a concert Festkonzert Beethoven Plus during my 3-night stay there. The program/playbill:

  1. Beethoven Symphony #1
  2. Music to Goethe’s tragedy “Egmont”

 

  


May 10 2022

Leipzig University


Augustuspl. 10,
04109 LeipzigGermany

… more pix on Google Maps (not posted … why?)

This university was established on December 2, 1409 by two brothers Frederick I, Elector of Saxony (1370-1428) and his younger brother William II, Margrave of Meissen (1371-1425). It’s the second oldest one in Germany.

The main campus is in downtown, or the downtown is built around the campus, since 1409. It’s small, so is the city. The few days I was there, I walked.

After WWII, it was under East German and they demolished the main building in 1968. This photo on wiki shown the building in 1917.

Its facade is glassy modern, adjacent to Gewandhaus, their concert hall, which I was lucky to attend a thrilling classical performance.

It was well known for its math, which brought me here for my research.


… more pix on Google Maps

Paulinum is the new university church, embedded with the school. It was rebuilt on the site of the Paulinerkirche in 2007. The old church began in 1231, and was destroyed in 1968 by the East Germans.


May 10 2022

hans im glück – burgergrill bar


Augustuspl. 14,
04109 LeipzigGermany

… more pix on Google Maps

A cute chain restaurant / bar / grill, that I’ll def return, for a drink.

Location: excellent @ the plaza that hosts University, Paulinum and concert hall Gewandhaus.
indoor and outdoor seatings
Service: good
Food: ok

I was there on a Tuesday, a little before 12 noon. The place was empty. My lunch meal comes with a salad and a burger with not too fresh looking onion on a chipped plate. The beer is great, so is the coffee. Boy can I eat!

The ambiance is relaxed and tranquil, very enjoyable.

Looking out at the university, there are many BMWs and Benzs come and go. These are their ordinary cars but I do wonder what are they doing at school plaza?

 

 

 


May 10 2022

Mendelssohn: house & monument 


Goldschmidtstraße 12,
04103 Leipzig, Germany

… more pix on Google Maps

Unlike Bach House near by, Felix Mendelssohn the composer actually lived here from 1845 until his death in 1847. It holds a collection about his life and work.

It’s off the center of the city. There is a small garden, which’s nice.


… and his Denkmal / monument / Mendelssohn-Portal

… more pix on Google Maps

A new statue for this popular composer erected in 2008. it’s near the Bachhaus.

I LOVE his violin concerto in E Minor. He was Leipzig Gewandhauskapellmeister and founder of the Conservatory of Music.

 

 


May 10 2022

Bosehaus Bach House / Museum


Thomaskirchhof 15/16,
04109 Leipzig, Germany

… more pix on Google Maps 

Bach lived in Leipzig. His home was a 16th century building but was destroyed at  the beginning of 20th century. The current location for a museum was a decision made in 1980s by the East German authority

The St. Thomas Church is two steps away 


May 9 2022

Leipzig Hbf


LeipzigGermany

… more pix on Google Maps

The main train station is convenient, functional, and quieter than Frankfurt’s.

It has a Rewe on the lower level.

There are many shops, including a supermarket. Many hotels are just a few steps away, including mine. I arrived there at 9pm and have no problem. The city is very walkable.

I leave early a few days later, for 11am flight home from FRA – Frankfurt airport, again, all is well.