Roland Dürre
Monday December 26th, 2016

Touring Central America

An “Alien” on a Huge Ship.

We returned from our ocean trip on Christmas Eve and already spent two wonderful days in our “home sweet home”. The repercussions of the trip are still with me – now I reflect all those many adventures that happened during fourteen very intense days.

In the last two weeks, we visited eight countries. From La Romana in the Dominican Republic, we went to Jamaica, then Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and back to La Romana via Santo Domingo.

Just as we had hoped and anticipated, it was pleasantly warm in the Caribbean. Whenever clouds showed up, they were welcome, because the prevented us from getting sunburn, regardless of us basically always staying outside and enjoying the fresh air. The rest of the time, sun and rain switched places frequently, with advantages in favour of the sun. Once in a while, there was quite some wind.

It was night for almost thirteen hours, and I mean a rather dark kind of night. That meant there was always enough time to really get enough sleep. Keeping our balcony door open, we enjoyed the sound of the water at night. More than eleven hours of the day, the sun shone really bright – which was enough time fill with intense adventures.

To be sure, it was a typical “all included” trip on a huge ship with more than 2,000 passengers. There were plenty of animations on diverse big and small stages. As often on cruisers, they tried to make the passengers feel that theirs was a glamorous world of luxury.

As far as we were concerned, we defined the boat trip a little differently and did not organize it in the same way as the majority of passengers. Consequently, we always stayed outdoors and did not eat in the big or small restaurants inside the ship a single time.

Instead, we always ate in one of the two small beer-garden-like open-air restaurants. And it almost went without saying that we never attended one of those many shows that actually fascinated many of our fellow travellers. This is how it became a very simple vacation, just for Barbara and me.

A private “crusader” in Roatán (Honduras).

In the daytime, we spent each day in one of six countries and two days in various places in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Dependent on the situation, we spent six out of ten days away from others, hiking privately and once riding rented bikes. We took up offered trips twice. At night, we were always on the ocean. The same is true for the four ocean days during which we let our souls relax and digested what we had experienced.

Two gigantic ships meeting in Cozumel (Mexico).

During the next few days, I will relate what went through my head in all those days. For instance that we actually visited three countries that do not have their own armies and how we saw that the majority of people living in those countries were very happy and proud of this fact.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

As you all know, it is always my pleasure to advertise concerts by the Arcis-Vocalisten in my IF Blog. One of the reasons is that Evelyn is a passionate part of the choir, another reason is that their concerts are always a very special experience for the audience!

Mozart

 

 

 

Translation:

“Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I consider it the inner beauty of the universe itself” (Albert Einstein).

“The taste of death is upon my tongue. I feel something that is not of this world” (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, last words on Dec, 5, 1791).

In Mozart’s mysterious legacy, his last work, this masterpiece of a requiem, both unquestionable faith and the constant mental occupation with death are ever-present. When, in July 1791, Earl Walsegg of Stuppach commissioned the requiem, Mozart thus composed his own death eulogy. Numerous legends have been told around the work, partly also promoted by the cinema hit “Amadeus”. The Requiem is one of the most touching works of clerical music and especially its religious depth and narrative drama make it such a unique and fascinating composition.

And it gets even better:
For IF Blog readers who would like to go to the concert, we have a special discount. Just contact me . The magic word is “Mozart“!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Here is another upcoming concert by the Arcis-Vocalisten on Silvester evening: Beethoven and Bruckner!

If you want something very special for the turn of the year!

I always tell you about the Arcis-Vocalisten concerts – not only because Evelyn (EG) is one of the singers, but also because the concerts are always something special, filling the hearts of the audience with great joy!

Beethoven

 

Translation:

“Music aims at filling your heart with noble emotions” (Confucius).

The 9th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most popular monumental masterpieces, the culmination point of his composing career. There is no other work that suggests the ideas of peace, freedom and fraternity more forcefully than this one. With its grandiose choir finish using Frederik Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” and its message of the fraternity of all humans, it is an elemental ritual to perform at the turn of the year: “All humans will be brothers where your gentle wing is present”.

We have a special discount for IF Blog readers who want to go to the concert …

All you need to do is contact me. The password is “Beethoven“.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday February 12th, 2016

Three Phrases that can Destroy all Joy and Courage.

And I mean both for yourself and for others.

So klein ist der Mensch. Am linken Rand Muhamed, Führer und Freund.

We are back home! Humans are such small creatures. On the left, you can see Muhamed, our guide and friend.

Last week was the first time I saw the tombs and temples of the Pharaos. I learned many new things and had time to ponder.
I became aware of three phrases that can make life harder. The first one is

Yes, BUT …“
Early in life, I learned that it is probably not a good idea to say “yes, but” too often. It happened while I underwent management coaching.

In entrepreneurial everyday-life, I sometimes suffered under the “yes, but” attitude of the people around me. It probably never gained us very much.

When we decided
Hurrah, we will go on our first ever cultural Nile river trip!
the phrase re-surfaced.
I often heard it – sometimes I even heard myself saying it.

Yes, but what about our carbon dioxide footprint …
(a problem I take rather seriously) 
Yes, but aren’t cultural trips always so tedious …
(a temple a day, and sometimes two…)
Yes, but what about the long travel until we get there …
(it took almost 13 hours, first the train to Nuremberg, then the flight to Hurghada on the Red Sea and from there the bus to Luxor – another 380 km).
Yes, but we cannot do it because of the terrorist threat …
(while two trains collided in Munich)
and so on, and so forth …
And how stupid we would have been had we abstained from this trip!
The second phrase I mean is
Being opposed to something!

How often do I catch myself opposing something?
I oppose the gigantic subsidies of business cars. I oppose fascism. I oppose the stupidity of politicians. I oppose the coal harbour on the Barrier Reef in Australia. I oppose waste of food. I oppose bureaucracy. And so on, and so forth …

Just a few years ago, my friend Jolly Kunjappu declared that “being opposed to something” is a negative concept that will push you down. Why don’t we, instead, focus on what is nice, what we like and what we appreciate? This concept will give us courage and joy.

The third phrase is one that I was made aware of by Moslam last week. Moslam was our guide during our Nile river trip. We became friends. He regularly travels to Germany. Consequently, we also talked about his experiences in my home country and he told me how it always moves him when his German friends keep saying:
“We must …“

I know very well from my own experience what he means. I must go and buy some milk. After that, I must write an IF Blog article and evaluate business plans. And then I must meet Barbara for lunch at the Artemis (the Greek restaurant just around the corner). And in the afternoon, I must meet friends from the university at the Forschungsbrauerei for the brown ale initiation. And tomorrow, I must go and attend the F.re.e

But then, isn’t it wonderful that I can go and buy milk. After all, it is not at all a matter of course that, just around the corner, you can buy good milk in the brown bottle with 3.8 % fat. It actually still tastes like milk! And I always enjoy dining at the Artemis, because there the food tastes excellent and the Greek landlord and landlady are always so friendly. The Forschungsbrauerei, too, is always worth visiting and at the F.re.e , there are so many impulses waiting to tell me what I can do – thanks to the diversity of cultures and regions on our great planet.

These are all things I enjoy doing, because they are just wonderful – so why would I have to do them?

In a nutshell, I would say:
It pays to think and write in a “positive” way. If that is what you decide to do, you will feel and think more and more like it!

Pure luxury between Luxor and Assuan. Isn’t life just great?

Luxus pur von Luxor nach Assuan. Das Leben ist schön!

Luxus pur von Luxor nach Assuan. Das Leben ist schön!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Today, I do a little advertising for the Torturmtheater in Sommerhausen.

Between October, 8th and December, 20th, 2015, they perform a wonderful play – always between Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., on Saturdays at 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. and additionally on the advent Sundays, also at 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m..

The name of the play is:
Our Woman

and it is by

Eric Assous


Directed by Christine Neuberger, the cast are 
Joachim BauerAlexander Diepold and Armin Hägele.

“Our Women” is a piece with not a single women playing in it. And yet, women are (more than) omnipresent.

The head of the Torturmtheater is Angelika Relin. Again and again, she manages to bring great plays onto the small stage. I was lucky enough to be present at the premiere performance on October, 8th – and it was again wonderful. Consequently, I can only recommend the short overnight vacation to the theatre, if you spend the night at Sommerhausen. And here is a secret for you: the best way to get there is by train to Winterhausen. From there, you only have to walk 800 metres across the river Main bridge until you reach the small Sommerhausen theatre.

Here are a few pictures that show the immense dynamics of the play.

Torturmtheater-unsereFrauen1

The round of card players starts quite poorly – one of them is late and confesses to having committed murder.

Torturmtheater-unsereFrauen2

A long night with many stories and alcohol take their toll.

Torturmtheater-unsereFrauen3

The solidarity among friends will get the upper hand.

Torturmtheater-unsereFrauen4

But then, something happens to bring everything off balance again.

If you need any advice about your theatre trip to Sommerhausen (travelling there, accommodations, food, sightseeing,…), you are welcome to ask me. And here is there you can order tickets.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday February 23rd, 2015

Gone to the Island … #noweb

No Internet between February, 26th and March, 14th, 2015

Flag_of_Cuba.On Thursday, (February, 26th), I will fly to Cuba. We are taking the Air Berlin direct connection from Munich to Varadero. And our two Utopias, Silbermöwe and Roadster, will travel with us.

Barbara and yours truly will spend exactly two weeks riding our bikes as far as possible through the long island. During our preparations, we learned that, in Cuba, the internet is not yet very common. Apparently, the only way to get internet access is from special tourist hotels.

Typische Verkehrsszene auf einer Landstraße zwischen Santiago de Cuba und Holguín (2008)

Typical traffic scene on a secondary road between Santiago de Cuba and Holguín (2008)

I plan to turn misery into a virtue and live without the internet for two weeks. It will be a first since many, many years ago in my life.

So: #nointernet and #noweb. #noTwitter and #noFacebook. Away from the virtual world. Into the real world.

Also, I will not plan anything, neither will I have an agenda. No itinerary. Just living in the here and now and enjoy life. Simply strolling through Cuba on our bikes – with wide open eyes and ears and, above all, with an open heart. Enjoying the sun and the warm air. And of an evening, I will just have to see where destiny takes us and where we can find a place to stay.

It also means that, during those two weeks, I will write/publish no IF blog articles. So: also #noIFBlog!

Havanna – Blick auf das Kapitol

Havanna –the capitoll

I might write down a few impressions and take a few pictures of the travels. You will get to read them afterwards.

Other than that, I want to totally liberate my brains from everyday concerns. And leave everything back in Munich that belongs there. And live in Cuby one hundred per cent.

Neither will I write my memoirs, regardless of the fact that there might be some rather interesting things to tell, especially about the last few years. …

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took all the pictures from Wikipedia.
“Flag of Cuba“
“Havanna  Capitol” – Author: Breogan67
“Traffic scene on a secondary road” – Author: Escla
All licenced under common property in Wikimedia Commons

P.S.1
Well, it would certainly be awesome – twittering from Cuba, wouldn’t it?

Roland Dürre
Monday January 6th, 2014

The Deutsche Bahn and the Döner in Lindau

I spent Friday night and Saturday in Switzerland, staying with my partner Wolf. He lives in Goldach on the lake Bodensee. As usual, I went by train.

My favourite route is through Lindau. You go from Munich via Buchloe, Kaufbeuern, Kempten, Immenstadt, Oberstaufen and see the entire beautiful Allgäu. I always enjoy it very much. And while I travel, I can read a little bit and prepare for various topics.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to buy a ticket all the way to Goldach in Munich. You can neither do it on the internet, nor at the counter. To be sure, you can buy a ticket to St. Margrethen, but not to the small villages such Rorschach or – well – Goldach. The same was again true last week.

Mind your, I can easily print the time schedule to Goldach via Lindau in Germany. First, you take the Alex to Lindau. Consequently, I buy a “Bayern Ticket”. It is valid as far as Lindau, where I have to change anyway.

Normally, the change of trains to the Bregenz S-Bahn or even directly to St. Margrethen takes a little more than 20 minutes. That means I usually have enough time to purchase my ticket for the way from Lindau to Goldach in Lindau.

This time, however, my schedule says I only have five minutes. And since a German train is never on time, this will be tight. Of course, I was right. Although my Alex was on time all the rest of the way, it had to sit in front of a red signal for five minutes just before Lindau Central Station.

And (of course) we arrive late in Lindau. The connecting train to Bregenz/St. Magrethen is waiting, but the voice coming through the loudspeaker advises us to hurry. However, I have no ticket for continuing my travel. Nor can you buy a ticket in Austrian trains.

Consequently, I must make up my mind real quick.

Alternative 1: board without valid ticket.
The risk of being caught is not very high. The train ticket is about 10 Euros, as far as I know, the penalty is 40 Euros. The risk of getting caught is actually even lower than 10 %. Following game theory, a lot can be said in favour of riding without a valid ticket.

Alternative 2: buy ticket.
If I buy a ticket, I will arrive forty minutes later. And additional inconveniences will follow: I have to inform my friend about my delayed arrival, because he told me he is going to meet me. Also, I have to change more often. And the stay in Lindau is rather long.

Decision: Döner-Man
.
I remember the Döner Man at Lindau Railway Station. The Döner he sells is really tasty. Consequently, what I do is not go towards the Bregenz S-Bahn to St. Margrethen. Instead, I turn towards the Lindau Station concourse.

The first thing I do is buy my ticket to Goldach. I have to use an Austrian ticket machine. Because the German ticket machine cannot deliver. I pay 10.50 Euros for the short way from Lindau to Goldach.
For those of you who never go by train: Lindau, just like Salzburg used to be (Germany/Austria) or St. Margrethen (Austria/Switzerland) is a Border Station ; you will find the ticket machines for two railway companies.
Afterwards, I go to the Döner Man, wishing to buy a Döner. Since I now have plenty of time, I take a closer look at the prices. In Lindau, you get the “normal” Döner for 4 Euros. The tasty one with cheese is 4.50 Euros and the Dürüm Döner is five Euros!

Some way or other, I seem to remember totally different Döner prices. Even without thinking way back to times when we paid with the Deutsche Mark.

Now I offer a bet: five years from now, the normal Döner at Lindau Central Station will be 7.50 Euros or more. And the ticket from Lindau to Goldach will be at least twice the price of the Döner.

Who wants to bet against me?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
In the evening, we meet Barbara in St. Margarethen. All the Swiss trains on the display are on time. Only one train – the EC from Germany – is expected to be late. The loudspeaker just says: “Due to something that happened abroad, the train will be 10 minutes late”.

On the way back, something similar happened. We departed Switzerland and Lindau (!) on time, then had to wait for the second part of the train in Immenstadt. We changed trains in Buchloe – fortunately, the connection to Munich was also late. …

Roland Dürre
Friday December 20th, 2013

Singing Elks ..

A particularly nice Christmas Greeting was sent to me by our author Klaus Hnlica. Klaus is the one who writes the series on Carl & Gerlinde which always makes me smile.

But once in a while, he will also write a poem – like for the 2013 Christmas:

They asked me: do elks sing?
And if so, does it sting?
Besides, what kind of song
Would make them not sound wrong?
A “Silent Night” with antlers donned
Might sound a little way beyond!

In fact, it might scare all the bears
And even hurt the hunters’ ears!
And just imagine, what a deer
Might feel about such curious cheer?
A crow might quite correctly claim
That even she has better aim
With pitch and tunes than you can hear
From where the foal and cow are near.

Yet Joe and Mary seem just fine,
Their youngster sounds to them divine.
His iPhone link knows all his needs,
He flicks his tongue, delights and feeds.
If Apple could an elk just teach
How best her high notes she could reach:

Why not with head-sets as an aid?
Is that not why they have been made?
At long last, we would then achieve
What some have never dared believe:
The network concept works indeed
For human-mammal language need.

The entire Christmas season gains
If elks and humans share their brains.
The churches, too, would be so cosy
With elks that want to get a posy.
They would be belling songs of old,
With Christmas stories being told!

Yet here at home, this year we will
Need neither elks, nor network spill,
Because all the children have arrived
To show that their own offspring thrived.
And just like every year it sounds
Our Christmas Corals making rounds!

A heartfelt Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from Brigitte and Klaus Hnilica
Rodenbach, December 2013.

Now I wonder if elks could also sing in Bavarian dialect.

RMD

P.S.
And for all lovers of singing elks, here comes Elks 2.0:

They asked me: do elks sing?
And if so, does it sting?
Besides, what kind of song
Would make them not sound wrong?

A “Silent Night” with antlers donned
Might sound a little way beyond!
In fact, it might scare all the bears
And even hurt the hunters’ ears!

And just imagine, what a deer
Might feel about such curious cheer?
A crow might quite correctly claim
That even she has better aim
With pitch and tunes than you can hear
From where the foal and cow are near.

Yet Joe and Mary seem just fine,
Their youngster sounds to them divine.
His iPhone link knows all his needs,
He flicks his tongue, delights and feeds.
If Apple could an elk just teach
How best her high notes she could reach:

Why not with head-sets as an aid?
Is that not why they have been made?
At long last, we would then achieve
What some have never dared believe:
The network concept works indeed
For human-mammal language need.

The entire Christmas season gains
If elks and humans share their brains.
The churches, too, would be so cosy
With elks that want to get a posy.
They would be belling songs of old,
With Christmas stories being told!

Even Pope Francis would agree
To use his App and bless all thee,
All elks and humans could then share
The bread and wine and really care.
For what we need is rather plain:
Money should us freedom gain.

Klaus Hnilica
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 30th, 2013

(Deutsch) “A serpant in thy bosom warmed”

Händel’s  fascinating oratorio SAUL

The IF Blog is one of the few blogs in Munich, and even in Germany, which is mostly published both in German and English. This is thanks to our Evelyn (EG), who translates most of our articles into English at high speed.  She is doing this out of friendship and out of her love of the English language. And it sometimes happens that we like her English translations better than the original German text.

As to myself, I keep thanking Evelyn all the time for her service!

Her second and very special interest has already been mentioned .  A huge amount of passion and a high degree of professionalism characterize this part of her private life. Together with her son, she sings in the choir:

arcis vocalisten

under Thomas Gropper.

Since the picture has been taken some time ago, Evelyn and her son Martin cannot be seen on it.

Now, the ARCIS-VOCALISTEN again realize a very special project. It is their third co-operation with stage director Dieter Reuscher and Gerrit Jurda (light effects) in the Himmelfahrtskirche at München-Sendling, Kidlerstr. 15. On Saturday, November, 9th, and Sunday, November, 10th, at 7 p.m., they will sing and perform

“A serpant in thy bosom warmed” – Händel’s fascinating oratorio SAUL

In a fully played-out version. Extraordinary soloists will sing and the special orchestral ensemble  “L arpa festante”  – who play in the original baroque pitch – will play. The entire concert is conducted by Prof. Dr. Thomas Gropper.

About the oratorio:

FlyerSaul

1739 – while his operatic career was still under way, George Frederic Händel turned his attention towards the famous material from the Samuel Books of the Old Testament. The Jewish king Saul invites the shepherd David who, by winning over Goliath, becomes a great hero and commander, to come to his court and then tries to link him to his family by marriage. With growing envy, he discovers how David is ever so charming and even more popular both with his people and family. He tries to kill the hated upstart boy, also wanting to induce his son Jonathan to do the deed. Jonathan’s friendship with Saul, however, is stronger than that. We are witnessing how Saul’s mind gets more and more confused and envy eats him up.

In emotional and magnificent pictures and quick musical succession, Händel draws this monarchical tragedy, the triumph of friendship and the fate of Israel – one of his greatest oratorios. It is rare for Händel to use such a huge amount of musical instruments – timbals, trumpets, trombones, carillion, flutes and oboes will complement  the strings.

So what you should do now is look at your calendar and see if you can make it – and then order tickets!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Wednesday September 25th, 2013

From Füssen to Bad Tölz

One Last Time:

A Picture Says More than a Thousand Words.

This time around, you can look at three (almost wordless) pictures of today’s trip from Füssen to Bad Tölz (more than a hundred kilometres, but with disappointingly few metres of altitude).

2013BadTölz

Is it possible to have a nicer bike trip than this?

2013BadTölz1

Looking left.

2013BadTölzNachvorne

The three days we spent riding our bikes through the Allgäu were true happiness for us. And since you should always finish when everything is just perfect, we took the BOB from Bad Tölz to Holzkirchen today at 6 p.m. and then went on riding our bikes to Unterhaching. To be perfectly honest: it was not just because everything was so perfect, but also because the weather forecast for tomorrow is less than promising. Besides, I have a little problem to solve at the enterprise.

But as soon as circumstances will permit it again, we will go back to Bad Tölz – from whence we will continue our trip to the Königssee. After all, we already did half the way from the Bodensee to the Königsee.

RMD
(Translated by EG)