06 November, 2013

Fall Break

This past week was school vacation, so I had a week off from work. I had big plans for all the traveling I wanted to do, specifically heading to Amsterdam, a city I've wanted to visit since I was in Spain three years ago. Unfortunately, the plans of traveling didn't pan out, mostly due to inaction on my part but also because we couldn't find a fourth person to share the cost of driving to Amsterdam. Also, Maxim still had classes last week so our travel options were limited to weekends only.

Instead of traveling the world, Maxim and I spent the entire week in Karlsruhe. We mostly stayed at his apartment, slept in, and went about our usual social activities, but we also managed to explore the city a bit. One day we went to Durlach, a cute little suburb of Karlsruhe, for lunch and then climbed the Durlacher Turmberg. The name translates to "Durlach Tower-Mountain," and true to the name there is a tower at the top of the hill that used to be part of a castle.
I don't have pictures of the tower itself, but this is the view from the top. 



The view from the top was beautiful, and it was really cool to see the city laid out in front of us. I had fun finding my house and Maxim's house among the tiny buildings in the distance. 

Then on Saturday we went to a museum called ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, or Center for Art and Media). There were some fascinating exhibits. The main attraction was an installation combining still art, video, and live performance, and, for those of you reading this who worked with Yasuko, it reminded me a bit of "Reframe the Framework," except with more of a focus on the art gallery setting and less movement. There was also a floor dedicated to video games, with lots of computers and consoles running different games, including old Gameboys running old-school games like Tetris. But by far my favorite exhibit was the holograms. From the side they just looked like flat pieces of glass or plastic, but when you stood in front of them you could see a 3D image in beautifully bright colors. Some of them were curved so when you walked around them the picture moved. 

Going to this museum reminded me that I'm not in a small town anymore and there are so many interesting places like this to visit. My next goal is to go see a ballet, and also an opera. The theater where the ballets and operas are performed sometimes has deeply discounted tickets if you arrive an hour before the show (assuming the show is not sold out), so I think I will try that approach soon. 

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