My Diary

I've split my diary now to individual months - so - the default page will be the diary of the current month. Here are the links to the other entries so far:
August 2009 July 2009 June 2009
May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008
November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008
May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007
November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007
May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006
November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006
May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005
November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005
May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004

July 31st

Last day in Linz - time to go back to Boston
Today is my last full day in Linz. Its been a great time the past 5 weeks that I've been here. Met lots of old (and new) friends. Thanks for all the hospitality that so many of you have given me.
My last evening will hopefully start with a bike tour (at around 4) - followed by beer garden (at around 8) - and then a visit to Walkers (depends on how long I will be in the beergarden).
The flight back "home" to Boston is tomorrow afternnon (3PM) - via Frankfurt to Boston (should be there around 9PM local time).
Well - there is not much more to say other than "I am proud to be a citizen of such a beautiful country".
Here are two pictures that I found in my collection of the past 5 weeks. A typical Jause (at my parents house) - and - a "REAL" Budweiser beer (the original Czech version - not the US version).
Cheers - bye bye Linz - hello Boston
The real Budweiser Beer Jause at my parents home

July 26h

Back from Ingolstadt - besides a great weekend with friends I also learned a great cultural lesson
Before I start talking about the weekend activities in Ingolstadt I want to share a great cultural experience I made last night at the Havana Bar in Ingolstadt. Its the same bar I've been salsa dancing at two weeks ago during my business trip. Last night I went there again. I asked a girl whether she wanted to dance - as she agreed I took her on the dancefloor and we danced a merengue. After the song a bachata was played. Just before I could ask her whether she also wanted to dance this song with me a guy grabbed me on the shoulder and said to me: "In Bavaria you have to ask the boyfriend of a girl whether she can dance with you - you dont just grab the girl. Normally you would end up with a punch in your face for this." - I politely replied: "Our girls in Austria don't have tags that tell the guys that they are taken - and - our girls are allowed to decide on their own whether they want to dance with a guy or not.". After some more words that we exchanged - he always repeating that I am lucky that I don't already got a blue eye he went off to his girl and stayed away for me that night. I thought this whole episode was really funny - and a bit shocking as well. But - I knew that not everybody in bavaria is like that. So I started to tell the girls that I danced next with the story. One introduced me to her boyfriend and he told me: "Well - seems like some of us still live 20 years in the past". This restored the bavarian reputation for me - PROST :-)
Now - back to the weekend. The reason for 2 days in Ingolstadt was because Sandro's 30th birthday present was an offroad ride with an H1 Hummer. We started our trip on saturday 9 AM. 3 hours later we arrived in Ingolstadt - checked in at the hotel and found our first beergarden for lunch. After that it was time for the Hummer Ride. Seems Sandro had a great time - and he did a pretty good job - check out the pictures below.
After the ride it was time for a quick exploration tour through the inner city of Ingolstadt followed by dinner at another great beergarden. After that we went for a cocktail and then it was time for bed - well - not for all. Sonja, Martin and I went to the Havana Bar where I had my funny episode.
Today we explored more of the really beautiful city of Ingolstadt. Left the city at 2 - bringing us back to Linz at 5 which gave me enough time for an extended bike tour: GIS - Kirchschlag - Hellmonsoedt - Altenberg - Gallneukirchen. I perfectly timed the visit in Gallenkirchen as it was just dinner time :-)
My last week in Linz is here. It was a great and busy time the past 4 weeks - but now I am looking forward to going back to Boston. My schedule this week is already packed with many activities. Friday night will be my last night here. If anybody out there is interested in a farewell beer join me on friday night. If the weather is fine at a beergarden (either Klosterhof or Josef) or at Walkers. Hope to see some of you.
The main brewery in Ingolstadt The girls on our trip: Babsi, Sonja and Lissi
The boys on our trip: Martin, Sandro, Juergen and I Sandro in front of the Hummer H1
Behind the steering wheel Old cannons at the Ingolstadt Castle
Some trampolin action Ozapft Is: A Mass Beer (=1 Liter)
Along the Danube in Ingolstadt - yep - the same Danube that flows through Linz Wääääähhhh

July 24th

Pflasterspektakel, GIS and closed Irish Pubs
First the sad news: It seems that not only my local irish pub around the corner at the Hessenplatz is closed. They also closed the Irish Pub on the Hauptplatz :-(. The only kind of irish pub that we have left in the inner city is The Chelsea - which I therefore had to visit last night to get a Black and Tan. The questioning look on the bartenders face told me that it is just a kind of irish pub and not a real one. I had to explain him what a Black and Tan is.
Now to the good news: First of all - despite the late rain showers last night I really enjoyed the shows at the Pflasterspektakel - especially the show in the Altstadt from 10 to 11PM was amazing. I am not sure if the pictures below tell a good enough story - but it was fantastic. 9 big transparent screens that were constantly painted, erased, moved into place, pushed around and the artists who told a great story about art - just fantastic. If you have the chance - check it out. They play again tonight and tomorrow.
Today in the late afternoon it was time to mount the bike again. Didi and I made our way to the GIS. Now its time to get ready for a poker evening with some friends. And then - tomorrow morning - its time to drive to Ingolstadt again. Time for Sandro to get his birthday present.
Thats it - need to run - cheers
Art in motion One of the final images
The rider on the horse Another great image
On our way down from the GIS Look towards Linz and the Poestlingberg

July 21st

A quick trip to London, UK
I am almost done with my quick trip to London. I left Linz last night at 6PM arriving here outside of London at around 10PM local time. After a short night I spent all day in the City of London - meeting different folks from the press to talk about stuff we do at work. Its been quite interesting - but unfortunately there was not a whole lot of time to do any fun stuff. As the hotel is about 30 minutes outside of London it will also not be easy to do anything tonight as the only way to get into town would be a 45 minutes train ride. Well - as I have to get up at 4AM tomorrow morning anyway as my plane back to Austria departs at 6AM it might actually be better to just stay home and go to be early.
But - even though there was not much time to explore the city - I saw enough to think that London would be a great place to stay for a while (even though the weather was VERY BRITISH today :-) ).
Whats happening the next days? Well - the Linzer Pflasterspektakel takes place this weekend. It is a weekend where Linz gets swamped by street artists who perform in different places in Linz - should be fun. Besides this festival I have another trip to Ingolstadt this weekend. Its time for Sandro to get his birthday present - which happens to be an offroad-ride with a Hummer in the area of Ingolstadt, Germany.
Thats it - 10 more days before I say good bye to Linz and Hello I am back to Boston.
P.S.: Those of you who know me know that I usually wear T-Shirts of "The OTHER home town". So - when I am in Boston I wear Linz or Austria T-Shirts - and when I am in Linz I often wear Boston T-Shirts. Well - seems I extended my collection of T-Shirts I will wear in Boston :-)
New T-Shirts for Boston New T-Shirts for Boston
London on a rainy day - Westminster The London Eye

July 18th

From Wien via Leoben to Linz
Another week is over - a week where I had the chance to show Stephan how beautiful Austria is. Its been an 8 days trip for him with many activities, sights, food and schnaps :-)
From Wien - were we spent two nights - we drove back to Linz. But not just the direct route via the Autobahn which would have only taken us 1.5 hours. In order to see more from our beautiful country we started south west towards the Alps. After driving over several mountain passes and looking at different small towns along the way we ended up in Leoben where we stayed one night at the Asia Spa resort. Special thanks to Peter the Saunamaster - he did a great job with the Aufguss.
From Leoben we took the Eisenstrasse to Steyr. Along the Eisenstrasse we saw the Erzberg at the city of Eisenerz.
Finally being back in Linz it was time for last minute souvenir shopping followed by a nice evening with my friends in Gallneukirchen where Robert heated up the Grill and where it was time to share some stories with Doris, Klemens, Gabi, Klaus, Petra, Ulli, Verena and Mario.
Cause we had to taste several types of Schnaps it was just better to walk home to my parents house instead of driving to Linz and stay the final night there. Another positive side-effect of staying with my parents was that we got a delicious austrian style breakfast pepped up with 4 energetic kids (my nephews and nieces).
Now I just hope that Stephan is getting back to Boston without major problems. His flight from Linz to Frankfurt has been delayed for more than an hour. Having only an hour in Frankfurt to change planes basically tells me that he is going to miss his plane to Boston - lets hope the best that he gets on a later flight.
Well - thats it. It was great having him here for a week and it was great seeing new places in Austria that I haven't seen so far. Thanks to all of my friends here in Austria that gave us a warm welcome and that helped me to make sure he enjoyed the stay.
Below are some pictures from our trip this week. Cheers
At the Heldenplatz in Wien Fiaker lining up at the Stephansdom
Having a beer on the Karntnerstrasse Statue of Mozart
City of Reichenau an der Rax The Erzberg - thats where they mine iron ore
Main square in Steyr More of Steyr

July 15th

From Linz to Wien
We had two hot days in Wien (Vienna). The summer finally arrived in Austria - but with it came the heavy thunderstorms - like the one we had just now.
Unfortunatly I couldn't join Stephan with all the fun tourist activities during the day as I had to work with a client. Fortunately he enjoyed his time in the Austrian Capital and it also seems the flair of the city impressed him as much as it impresses me.
Well - the time in Vienna is almost over - tomorrow we drive south west towards the Alps before we go back to Linz on fridady.
Here are some pictures from the last couple of days. Cheers
The Yellow House in Linz as part of Linz09 Drinking beer with a great view of the Autobahn :-)
The two guys from Boston having fun in Wien My car did a good job in bringing us to the Austrian Capital

July 13th

Sonja and Martin DID IT - Happy Marriage
Its been a great day for Sonja and Martin - they say'd YES to each other and celebrated this special day with friends and family. Thanks for being part of this special day.
The day started at 8AM. Martin picked me up with his car. I was the designated driver for the couple - bringing them from their place to the photo shooting - back to their place to a reception - and then to the church. After church the wedding party took place on a boat on the Danube. The weather was perfect and the party people were in a good mood.
Before I loose too many words I better just post some pictures. ALL THE BEST FOR YOU!
8:30 AM - Martin is getting ready to see Sonja the first time in her wedding dress Photo Shooting
Getting on the boat after church Our present for them: many treasures in the sea
Seems that not only Martin was lucky with the girls this day :-) Cheese :-)
Love Baloons Cutting the wedding cake
Beautiful scenery along the Danube Time to say Good Night

July 11th

Stephan is in town
Stephan is visiting Linz for the next week. He arrived yesterday afternoon and it seems we have a very tight schedule over the next 7 days.
His trip started with a welcome beer at Sandro's place. After that it was time to visit my parents where we had some Jause - followed by a visit to my sister.
Today - saturday - started with coffee in my appartment - then a walk through the city - down to the Danube where we helped Martin to get stuff organized for his wedding tomorrow. After that it was time to explore the first attraction of Linz09 - which was the Hoehenrausch. The Hoehenrausch is a cool walkway across the roof tops of Linz. The walk also includes a ride on a ferries wheel. The walk and the ride definitely open a new perspective to the city.
After a quick visit to the beergarden its now about time to join my colleagues from the office for a party at a lake close to Linz.
Whats coming up? Martin's and Sonja's wedding tomorrow. Another day in Linz on monday followed by 2 days in Vienna and 2 days somewhere in Austria.
Here are the first pictures from the Hoehenrausch and Linz09.
Knight Festival on the Linzer Hauptplatz - soooo many people Martin pouring in the first beer after we helped getting the boat ready for the wedding
WELCOME to the Linz09 Hoehenrausch The "Bubble Man"
Linz from the roof tops The Hoehenrausch is a very solid wooden walkway
A different perspective to the restaurant on the passage city center The ferries wheel as part of the Hoehenrausch
Linz09 Logo - you can see it in many different variations Time for a beer - PROST

July 8th

Greetings from Ingolstadt - the home town auf Audi
Made it to Ingolstadt last night. My car brought me safely to Ingolstadt which is roughly 300km west from Linz. After a successful client meeting it was time to check out the city, its beer gardens and of course - the salsa scene :-)
Its a nice little town - about half the size of Linz. But - there is something the city actually shares with Linz - and it is: The Danube. The same river - originating from the Schwarzwald - makes it through Ingolstadt and through my home town.
Tomorrow its time to go on - next stop - Stuttgart.
Well - thats all from here. cheers
P.S.: Here are some pictures from last weekends activity - met with Did and Leo.
PROST Didi!! Leo working on the dinner
Ready for some austrian beer Every time I get invited by Leo its going to be a fabulous meal
Mahlzeit!! Sun Dial along the Danube in Ingolstadt
A Wheat Beer Brewery - I AM IN HEAVEN :-) One of the many wheat beers here in town
Well - seems the alcohol also made the city officials come up with some really funny street names Ingolstadt at night

July 5th

One week in Linz is over - what was going on?
Time flies by - my first out of 5 weeks in Linz is over. The highlights this week were
* Visited my nephew Maximilian in the hospital - he got his tonsils and adenoids removed
* Met Udo (aka The Prinzregent) in the Beergarden of The Klosterhof
* Latin night in Cafe Walkers on friday night
* Made our own Latin party in Cafe Valdes on saturday
* Enjoyed a relaxing afternoon on The Donaulaende
In Boston I have a calendar that my friends from Gallneukirchen gave me before I moved to the states. This calendar lists all events that I was about to miss while staying in the united states. Well - seems that being in Linz made me miss a great event in Boston - the celebrations of their Independence Day - well - maybe next year.
Whats coming up this week?
* Well - there is a no-brainer on monday: Salsa at Remembar
* 3 days in Germany - have to drive to Ingolstadt on tuesday night - staying there on wednesday - driving to Stuttgart on thursday morning and then back to Linz on friday. Hopefully its going to be a successful business trip
* Stephan comes to town on friday - he is going to visit for a week
Enough the words. As I've been told this weekend I sometimes write too much anyway and that some of my fellow readers turned themself into picture lookers :-) So here the come - the pictures of the last couple of days.
Cheers & Prost
With Maximilian in the Hospital - his smile shows that his recovery went well Nicolas and Anastasia in Cafe Walker
Smiling faces in Walker It was small - hot - and humid - but also lots of fun in Walker
Donaulaende towards Linz Donaulaende towards the Muehlviertel
Its much more enjoyable with a cool blonde :-) Our private salsa party in Cafe Valdes