I recently went over to Germany, primarily for a conference in Bonn but it didn’t stop me taking a short break in Cologne first with Lizzie. Cologne is a fantastic city and there was lots to do – and we did lots. I think the most striking feature of the whole time in Cologne is their wonderful Cathedral:
I could have, and probably did, spend hours looking at this. They have recently had a stunning new stained glass window installed. Critics might say its a bit abstract but when you stand there staring at it you really understand what the artist meant (it is so beautiful), the photo does not do it justice:
We did many things in Cologne including going around a few museums. The EL-DE (about the Nazi’s in Cologne) which is a former SS prison house, quite scary to be honest. We went to the Roman museum which has some interesting finds from when Cologne was Roman including a rather odd mosaic floor (not sure if this is really from the period or not…):
We also went around a couple of smaller museums but the most interesting of all the museums has to be the Schokoladen Museum (i.e. the chocolate museum!):
.. lots of fun, not enough free chocolate (but I think Lizzie was more bothered than me :-p). It was quite interesting and in terms of interesting content beats Cadbury World here in Brum…
The conference I went to was hosted in Bonn.. a short journey away from Cologne and that is where Lizzie left me. I have to say I was a bit nervous I have never used public transport in a foreign country on my own before. It was, as I honest expected, simple… and on time!
Bonn isn’t quite the city Cologne is but it is still rather nice:
oh and its nice to see that they have problems with graffiti too..
Oh and here is a pointless photo:
As part of my conference we went to the wonder 100m Effelsberg radio telescope:
All in all, I had a great time! For more of my photos (I took lots, like always) see: [here]
The War On Democracy by John Pilger – I watched this the other week and I meant to post about it then – this is an eye opening (and independent) documentary that I would recommend anyone watched. He shows how the USA is undermining so much progress that Latin American countries such as Venezuela are making… if you want to watch it you can find it [here] (google streaming video)
Reading Festival 2007
I know it is a while ago that this happened but I’ve been too busy to think.
Anyway here is a quick summary of the festival.
– Travel, took way too long the driver got lost in Coventry (we weren’t supposed to go there!) and drove around aimlessly not finding the coach station – eventually we got there!
– Dry, not wet, bit damp in places but not at all bad…
– Fun as always, though it wasn’t fun being woken up at 4am to here someone breaking into my tent and grabbing my bag.. shame for them that they left their phone behind and my bag only had my coat in it. They came back for their phone.. I was naked and I got my bag back – really seemed like a surreal dream.
– Bands, how many did I see… 40 in total – not bad really.
– I saw:
On Friday: The Pipettes, The Sounds, The long blondes, Manchester Orchestra, Aiden, The Draft, Plain White Ts, Jimmy Eat World, Maximo Park, Interpol, Enter Shikari, The Subways, Brand New, Ash
I think the highlight of this day was probably Aiden and Jimmy Eat World. Aiden were quite a surprise and very enjoyable. Jimmy Eat World were just fantastic! I should also mention that, like always, Maximo Park and Ash played great sets!
On Saturday: Paramore, Dead 60, Kids in glass houses, Mute Math, The Shines, Nine Black Alps, Angels and Airwaves, Cobra Starship, Panic at the disco, Bloc Party, The Twang, Biffy Clyro, Battles, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Academy Is…, Hot Hot Heat
The disappointment of the festival came with the Chilli Peppers – I got annoyed and decided Hot Hot Heat were a better bet.. and they were. Mute Math were pretty cool doing some rather interesting drumming… Cobra Starship put on a good gig and I think Lizzie enjoyed them.
On Sunday: Stalker (I think), Gym Class Heroes, Hellogoodbye, Billy Talent, The Used, Funeral for a friend, Fallout Boy, Lost Prophets, NIN, Smashing Pumpkins and New Found Glory.
This was a good day for music (apart from the Gym Class Heroes!). Billy Talent were great, I really enjoyed their set but the gig of the day (and probably the festival for me) had to go to the Lost Prophets who played a kick ass set, really good music and they got the crowd going! I think I would have probably enjoyed New Found Glory more if it wasn’t for me feeling a tad ill…
Oh and here is the Moon over the arena…
A couple of days ago I went off to the West Midlands Safari park, great fun! They have quite a large park and this takes quite a while to go around and you can get quite close to quite a few animals, though the main attraction the baby white lion cubs were being shy!
They also have a large leisure area and a sea lion show.. quite odd Peter Pan show but quite fun
Oh and there is also the large hippo lake – which was fun!