Since the beginning of October 2017, I have been living in Naples, Italy, with my girlfriend. Many people say Rome is Italy’s heart and Napoli is its soul, so I will report back on that. While joining the Apple Developer Academy Master Class, continuing my PhD research and working on some projects remotely, we plan to travel around Campania and the Amalfi coast to make the most out of the trip.
So far I can attest to the many reports of Napoli being busy, loud and somewhat messy while being unique, picturesque and enjoyable at the same time. With sunny days and temperatures around 25° Celsius it is a quite nice place to be in October. As I expect the winter to be pretty mild, I am looking forward to an unique experience over the next few months.
Also, I am pretty sure that I have never eaten any tomatoes quite like those to be found around here. They are called “Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio” or just Pomodorino Vesuviano, are available at almost every shop one can go to and are just awesome.
Napoli – side streets
Over the next few weeks, I will report back with some more impressions from the Amalfi coast and the area of Campania and might elaborate a little on why I joined the Apple Developer Academy.
All things considered, Melbourne is very different from Sydney. It misses the iconic coastline with stunning beaches for one. Also it feels much more urban and condensed, catering to artsy and hipster crowds. Another difference is, that the public transport system not only seems to be far better developed, it actually works (and offers a free tram zone in the central business district).
Queen Victoria Market
Melbourne Street Music
Melbourne Hosier Lane
Apart from some very nice cafés and restaurants, I particularly enjoyed the Queen Victoria Market and went there several times during the 2 weeks for food and wine. I can also recommend Higher Ground, my favorite café for breakfast, lunch or an early glass of wine.
The Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road Sunset
The Great Ocean Road, a classic tourist dominated route along Victoria’s coastline, was very nice as well but not as great as advertised in my opinion. Having travelled along Highway 1 in California for quite a few times, I would still chose the latter over the Great Ocean Road on any day. Still the roadtrip provided ample opportunities to stop for panoramic views.
It was fun to explore Melbourne and I really had a good time. But to answer an apparently pressing question of the many people I talked to in Melbourne, I liked Sydney even more.
In February 2016 I moved to Sydney to do entrepreneurial research at the Business School of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) while working on some projects in Germany remotely. With mostly sunny days, awesome beaches and so much to explore, it turns out to be quite a challenge to focus on the work at hand. I didn’t travel that much yet, since I am still amazed by the feel of living here. I rented a waterfront place in Elizabeth Bay with an amazing view and can’t wait to look outside every time I wake up.
The city reminds me of both San Francisco and Los Angeles in many ways. The hills, architecture, harbour settings and vibes are very similar to San Francisco but still the city is very much spread out in huge suburbs which often resemble my memories of Los Angeles (but with an abundance of sidewalks as a contrast).
2016 might certainly turn out to be a year with lots of new beginnings, so I am excited. Starting in February, I will be living in Sydney for a few months. Although Sydney is arguably one of the most distant places from Hamburg, I am looking forward to escaping the winter in Europe. My first stop will be Bondi Beach. I suppose it is not a bad place to start. With temperatures around 27° C (81° F) and lots of time on my hands, it will certainly be a trip to be remembered.
While doing some research at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and working on some projects remotely, I plan to travel around Oceania to make the most out of the trip. So if you have any tips for me about what definitely needs to be on my list, please let me know below, on foursquare or send me an email.
Once back in Miami Beach after the trip through the Caribbean, there was some time left to relax on South Beach. Far less crowded than on New Year’s Eve, the Ocean Drive allowed for some photos without hurdling hordes of party people. Again, we went to Five Guys Burgers, which I can highly recommend, after some shopping and to Toni’s Sushi Bar for Dinner. All in all a nice trip with nothing but snow and cold winds waiting at home.
In January 2016 I traveled the Caribbean and visited the islands of Sint Marteen (the southern part of the island Saint Martin and part of the Netherlands), Antigua, St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) as well as Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. All in all it was much more fun than I anticipated. I enjoyed exploring old fortresses protecting the harbor bays known from Hornblower and Bolitho novels, the laid back attitude and vibes as well as the beautiful beaches (although they are not as isolated and breathtaking as on the Seychelles where I went in 2014). Below there are a few instagram photos from the trip…
Sint Maarten – Fort Amsterdam ocean view
Sint Maarten – Philipsburg
Sint Maarten – Fort Amsterdam
Sint Maarten – Fort Amsterdam cannon
Sint Maarten – Great Bay
Sint Maarten – Iguana
Antigua – Turner’s Beach
Antigua – English Harbour
Antigua – Valley Rd
Antigua – Ffryes Beach
St. Thomas USVI – Long Bay
St. Thomas USVI – Long Bay Harbor
St. Thomas USVI – Aloha
St. Thomas USVI – Magen’s Bay Beach
Dominican Republic – Amber Cove
Dominican Republic – El Teleferico De Puerto Plata
Ever been to the Everglades National Park? Well, it is an interesting place where you can learn about current threats by python snakes and how Florida is doomed since it is basically sitting on a huge sponge to be flooded by the rising global water level. Many birds can be watched while walking the trails and although it is kind of boring if no Alligator shows up, it still is worth a visit. On another note though, you might be wondering what vultures are up to. It turns out, they love rubber-joints of basically any make there is… So your car is in trouble. Why? Research suggest, because they are bored.
So every visitor interested in the Anhinga or Gumbo Limbo Trail at the Royal Palm Visitor Center has to cover his car with tarps or it will be seriously damaged. But even with the tarps in place, the car might still fall victim to the birds’ boredom. Apparently most other destinations in the Park are not so bad, but if you want to see Alligators, Royal Palm is one of the spots to visit.
I spent a few days in New Orleans over Christmas in 2015 and explored the Birthplace of Jazz. Even though December seems to be the coolest month of the year, it was extremely sticky and humid at 26°C (78°F). During the time there it was cloudy every day and at some times you couldn’t see more than 50m due to the thick fog hanging over the city. I might have enjoyed the city more with a few sunny days, although it might have been even more sticky that way.
Staying at a hotel in the French Quarter allowed for a quick dive into the city’s music and party scene with most of the major attractions close by. There is live jazz and blues music on the street and in almost every club and an abundance of decent restaurants offering mainly creole cuisine.
Here are some impressions from the trip, hopefully catching the mood.
300 Years New Orleans
St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square
Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong statue – Louis Armstrong Park
Trying something different this year: Christmas in New Orleans at 26° C (78°F) with intense humidity. Unfortunately it is rather cloudy and rains from time to time, although it might be even more sticky if the sun was shining… All in all, it is rather strange to be away from home during this time of year. Missing the cold, it is also difficult to get into the Christmas holiday mood.
Here are some Christmas decorations from Bourbon St, St Ann St and Jackson Square in the French Quarter as well as from Fulton St. On every corner there is music, dominated by jazzy Christmas songs about snow, the cold and everything else that is missing around here 😉
Christmas Decoration on St Ann St. in French Quarter
Christmas Decoration on Bourbon St. in French Quarter
Christmas Decoration on Bourbon St. in French Quarter