January 2014


It’s mid-January!

Berlin Hbf

The tracks heading south, as seen from platform 1/2.

Not quite sure how it happened, but today is January 18. It’s been a good couple of weeks.

I spent New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam visiting friends. Suffice it to say that, when it comes to New Year’s Eve, Amsterdam is pretty much like Berlin. Fireworks started exploding the morning of December 31, peaking sometime midnight, and continued well into the morning of the first.

After that, I returned to Berlin. I had a crazy couple of weeks at work. Seriously crazy. I had a backlog of work that had me a bit stressed. Had I not actually worked most of the time during the Christmas and New Years weeks, I would still be behind.

As it happened, I managed to get completely caught up a week ago – just in time for a weekend trip to Thüringen, where I met a friend’s two year old son for the first time (and not for the want of trying, but things conspired against the two of us meeting), and hung out with what I can only describe as the most awesome people on the planet. Jena, Weimar, and Erfurt were the places I hung out: a party, some nice meals out, and more cups of tea than is good for the system.

Erfurt Domplatz

Erfurt Domplatz – despite being an atheist, I can appreciate the beauty of this sight!

Then, Monday, I popped down to Heidelberg – which I can only describe as a charming, yet rainy, and surprisingly large. I spent Tuesday being a lazy tourist – my hotel was in the middle of the city (I’d mention it by name, but they stuck in a room that surrounded the elevator while the lamp by the bed was both too low to use for reading in bed and, the second night, never worked at all. Those were just the obvious flaws) – I took the funicular up to explore the castle above the city. Summary: pretty castle, pretty views.

Heidelberg Alte Brücke

Heidelberg Alte Brücke – My hotel was at the left end of that bridge.

Wednesday was the day that I had meetings and discovered that the functional part of Heidelberg is spread out. It sure took a long time to get out to where the meetings were held.

After that I made a rapid return to Berlin – 4.5 hours on an InterCityExpress train – partially annoying because of people talking despite the fact that they were in the quiet car. I ended up working most of the trip home on an urgent project.

That said, while I left work completely caught up with my work, by the time I returned to the office, I was already behind. I made some headway Thursday and Friday, but I suspect the week ahead will be challenging!

5 comments to It’s mid-January!

  • you forgot to mention that you met some awesome people in Heidelberg too 🙂

  • mateo

    It looks like a nice start to the new year for you!

  • Prashanth — You are so right! My deep apologies!

    Mateo — so far, so good. I hope the Pride Film Festival was fun!

  • Hey, I’ve been to that plaza in Erfurt! I was there for a concert a while back, and I was pleasantly surprised at what a nice town it turned out to be.

    Heidelberg looks lovely; I’ve gotta get there this year for sure.

    • Erfurt is awesome. Heidelberg is a tourist trap — lovely place, albeit — aimed squarely at American and Japanese tourists. The castle has great views and the old city center is charming. If you have time, the two technical museums — http://www.technik-museum.de/en — are close by, but I wouldn’t aim to the technical museums and Heidelberg in one weekend. You’ll run out of time.