Offroad Festival 2014

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Hohenmölsen near Leipzig – one of the largest offroading events in Germany.

For the Offroad Festival 2014 I was attending the whole long weekend of July 6th to 9th. First time with Jeep offroading, first time offroading. Luckily there were very kind Jeep people around who took me in and showed me the tricks to get through the area. I was amazed by what my stock Jeep without modifications was able to do offroad, this gave me confidence in the car and a bit of experience to handle offroad situations.
Thank you so much for the experience!

Here are some pictures of the Jeeps:

Jeep aproaches

Jeeps

steep hill

scouting

waiting

my JKU

convoy

convoy II

parking

testing the sands

uphill

sandy uphill

jeeps

sand slope

sand slope downhill

sand slope

full power

convoy

convoy through grass

grass

let's go

pause

turn around

jeeps

top of the hill

relaxing

rocky grounds

rock crawl

rocks

coming from below

driving around

brakes

Norway 2014 – Part 1: Kiel – Oslo

In Kiel/Germany I went on board the Color Fantasy of Color Line. It was the first time for me on such a huge ferry ship. The boarding went flawless when my car rolled into the huge back gate. I felt like in a parking garage, not a moving ship. After I was ordered to stop at my small parking spot with cars all around, I took luggage for one night with me as the car decks are closed down until arrival. Luckily (maybe perfectly planned by the staff) the elevator nearby also took me near my small room.

In the elevator I made the short aquaintance of some gentlemen who would be met again. I booked the cheapest acommodation possible, still got a nice room but without a window – for that the TV had a channel showing the current bridge view. But why stay in the room when a big ship waits to be discovered? I tried to memorize the cabin location and went on for a stroll around. The shops and venues were not open yet so I went outside to see that the ship crew hoisted the anchor(possibly by pushing a button) and slowly started to head northwards.

Later on at deck the aforementioned group of four vacationeers were met again and we had quite some good talks and beers. They told me that it was not their first trip and some of them have been to Scandinavia for years. This time they wanted to go fishing at Geiranger Fjord and highly recommended a visit. I was able to harvest some tips about my trip to Norway which I’m thankful for – also one reason why Geiranger Fjord has later been part of my trip (quite a bit after the group was back in Germany).

For quite some time we saw the Øresund Bridge, first a small line on the horizon, later a distinct huge structure running 8 kilometres between Sweden and Denmark. Almost everybody was on deck to make pictures when it was underpassed by our ferry.

Later, we went back in the belly of the ship for a short relax, only to meet at the theater where a big show was going on and we had some more beers. Tired and with quite a few new impressions I went to bed.

The next morning the ferry passed the entry to Oslo and finally stopped at the ferry harbour west of the city center. Many cars were spilled out and I was wondering if this concludes to traffic jams everytime a ferry drops by. As I already booked a small and comparably cheap hotel in the city center, I drove there and stopped almost right in front of it. After checkin and putting some luggage to the room, I went off to park my car in a proper garage and was set to go for a field trip around Oslo.

The ferry trip was a great experience and I was happy to arrive at Oslo fresh and open for new excitement.

Prague

With the car I went to a small Hotel right in the old city of Buda. A small adventure was to find the entry to the parking lot but I finally found it and successfully parked the car there for the two nights of my stay.

To maximize the input of Prague and with my very good experience in Jerusalem, the next morning I opted for the free tours of Sandeman (New Prague Tours). I did the basic tour and right afterwards the castle tour. Quite exhausting because we had great weather and so it was hot and sunny.
Karel, the guide did a good job on both tours and I have seen far more than I could do on my own in such a short time.
Afterwards I was able to visit the Museum of Communism (same entry as the casino: Muzeum komunismu) which showed very good the different stages of uprising and oppression. I was quite touched by the videos which showed how the protesters were singled out and stopped.

The next day I went to Kutna Hora by car to see the huge cathedral, quite morbid bone chapel and church of the Cistercians (they also founded Kloster Eberbach near my hometown).

The next stop of my trip was the Völkerschlachtdenkmal near Leipzig just to make a picture if the new car compared to my last visit there with the old car 🙂

Then off to Merseburg, a nice little town and former city of the German emperors which was my base for the offroad festival 2014.

Budapest

2014-06-01

Weather was quite cloudy on Sunday morning, rain might come soon. First a short breakfast stop at Szamos Cukrászda, a nice looking patisserie.
Just took the French breakfast with Tejes kávé.

Via the Chain Bridge/Kettenbrücke, this time the castle up on the hill was the goal.
The cable car reminded me of the Nerobergbahn in Wiesbaden, after the steep climb of the little cabin car I enjoyed the great view over Pest, walked around the huge castle area and went in the Hungarian history museum. Then the other side of castle hill was there to be explored. I saw the
Matthias Church and Fishermen’s bastion and went down the Vienna Gate heading for Pest.

On the descent I stopped at Édeni Vegán, a nice restaurant. For lunch I picked a bit of everything.
Édeni Vegán / 1011 Budapest, Iskola u. 31

The Terror Museum was my next stop. Already with a visible exterior it covers the time of two oppressing regimes (Arrow-cross and Communists). From my perspective it is good for school classes to get to know what happened at the place of interrogation and also in general at the time. You can opt for an audio guide and papers to read in every room. I tried the papers.

Chocolate cake / Laško beer at Vello D’oro Pizzeria Caffe Cinema where a draft beer is just 400Ft for 0,5l.

Took a swim at the hotel, small but very nice pool.

2014-06-02

On the next day I went to the Great Synagogue. Entered without a ticket, just had a short look on the prayers before I was asked for a ticket and found out about my fault. However, the line was quite long so I just walked along the garden with mass graves of the Ghetto victims and to the exit of the synagogue area.

As contrast to the remembrance of the suffering I crossed many unbelievably beautiful Art nouveau buildings up to the parliament. Just did a picture in front of the parliament when the guards did a show at around 11:30.

Went via Liberty square park, which is surrounded by astonishing Art nouveau buildings, to a vegan place called Ganga.
Excellent vegan-vegetarian cuisine, also spicy options. Again a tasty homemade lemonade (Lichies) and so much food I was definitely full after the visit. The guys behind the counter gave me a bit of everything (Gingerbread stuffed with vegetables, Lasagne etc.). Ganga was established around 2010 but the owners changed 2 years ago, repainted the wall colors to something more friendly and built up a busy business.

Then I rolled to the second part of the photo museum, the Capa Center (www.capacenter.hu) and used my first ticket (Mai Manó Ház) to get a discount. The current exhibition shows the contact sheets of many Magnum photographers. Basically you see the developed film negative and which picture was chosen to share with the world. The interesting part are the pictures before/after the iconic ones.

2014-06-03

Transition time. In the morning I quickly went to the Art Nouveau museum. However, for 2000Ft it did not meet my expectations. Basically furniture, lamps, magazines put together without any explanation/hints – looked more like a flea market than a museum.
Found some nice postcards in a little bookstore, got stamps at the post and put everything in a post box.

Afterwards rucksack pickup in hotel and off I went to the train station and right into the already waiting RailJet.
In Vienna I directly drove by car to Prague which was a good idea due to multiple small traffic jams.