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For Those about to Rocks: Earth, Wind and Ocean. 

We recently had a day spare after a partner conference in Portugal.

What were we to do?

Easy: get ourselves a rented car and race along the country’s south coast! We set out from the city of Faro.

portugal-1-2

portugal-1-1

It’s a coastline of very impressive imposing cliffs – forever battling the ferocious forces of the ocean.

Read on: startlingly stunning!…

Dead season – best season.

I finally get it.

The best time to travel around Europe is November!

All the great-weather tourists have long disappeared, and it’s a month until the Christmas/New year tourists will be back en masse. Yep – November is the perfect time of year for leisurely strolls along European streets and visiting (empty!) cathedrals, palaces and museums. Of course, the weather’s not super fine like in summer, but then Europe – especially southern Europe – doesn’t have a harsh northern climate anyway, so it’s perfectly doable.

Of course, you have to expect some rain, and you need to put a coat on… Big deal. A small price to pay for avoiding throngs of folks everywhere getting in your face, for not having to stand forever in endless lines, and not needing to get out of the way of pictures being taken by a zillion other tourists.

A.B. and I were lucky on this quick trip to Europe: We managed two hours walking gondoliering around Venice and a whole day strolling around Barcelona.

Venice

barcelona-venice-2

Read on: Two hours in Venice and an evening in Barcelona…

Nano-racing.

What does an ideal weekend… smell like? I mean, an ideal weekend for boys… of all ages? :)

The answer, I firmly believe, is as follows:

An ideal weekend for boys of all ages smells of burning brake pads, of engine fumes, of gasoline, and of adrenalin. Motorsport. It’s like rock’n’roll, only better.

Just recently some comrades and I had some spare time between business engagements and headed down to Italy to take part in the Adria-24 car race. It was a national-level race, but still very much a full-on adrenaline-pumping one. Unfortunately though, the sweet smell of car racing success didn’t pass through our nostrils, for about half-way – after 12 hours – our car… died, and no amount of reanimation measures could save her. A great pity. Here’s her corpse, poor thing:

24 Ore di Adria race

Read on: Nano-racing…

Nifty lifty.

On my business travels around the world, I come across some of the most ingeniously intriguing bits of tech-kit, which never cease to amaze me. Simple ideas, efficient ideas, effective ideas, smart ideas. And they normally were thought up long ago. Maybe they just seem quaint now because of modern hi-tech overload numbing? That’s possible. Still, they’re no less fascinating for it…

Here’s a perfect example: the paternoster (meaning ‘Our Father’ in German).

It’s an elevator that goes up and down non-stop with a fairground carousel-like action. Or you could think of it as a vertical escalator. Wikipedia describes it as similar to rosary beads passing through one’s fingers round and round. Not so sure about that one. Hmmm, photos don’t really help out either in trying to explain exactly what it is. But I think the animated gif on Wikipedia cracks it:

Paternoster: how it works?

The first ‘Our Daddy’ I saw was in Hamburg in the Axel Springer building in 2009. Nice.

Read on: Lift, I’m youк daddy!…

Slieve League’s paths and views: in a league of their own.

Top of the day to you, folks!

Here we are with the final installment of travel notes from Ireland – and another magical natural wonder from the west coast of the country: Slieve League.

The mountains this day were neither much higher nor steeper than the ones we’d seen the previous day, but the views, somehow were a lot better…

Slieve Laegue cliffs, Ireland

Read on: Chuckle chuckle…

Irish towns: Water, water, everywhere.

En route to the Cliffs of Moher in the north of Ireland, we stopped over in Sligo, the principal town of County Sligo (incidentally, where W.B. Yeats spent much of his youth. But, you poetry buffs, can you name the poet who wrote the words in the title of this post after the colon?:).

What struck me most here – and in other Irish towns we drove through or strolled around – was the prominence of water. I mean natural water sources – rivers and, if it’s nearby, the sea.

There seems to be a river or stream running right through the middle of just about every town in Ireland. Of course, rivers and streams run through most towns in most countries, but it seemed to me that in Ireland they’re all big and in-your-face – and often very fast flowing and choppy (and making a heck of a din).

In Moscow, for example, rivers seems to be deliberately put out of sight, as if they get in the way. The man-made riverside walls there are always really high, so you can often be forgiven for not noticing rivers there. In Ireland they’re central to the character and spirit of towns, prominently visible and taking pride of place.

Like the river Garavogue running through Sligo. Look at the pics and you’ll see what I mean. Incidentally, Garavogue means ‘little rough one’. I can see why…

Just looking at the little rough one’s rapids flowing through the center of town got me salivating for water-tourism. Those arches under that bridge really need canoeing through, followed by a quick turn to avoid the stone wall just after it. Oh how I miss canoe-catamaran-rafting adrenalin…

Sligo, Western Ireland

Read on: Sligo rapids…

Atom Heart Moher.

When folks who’ve been to Ireland get asked what its best ‘must-see’ or ‘must-do’ bits are (besides Guinness), most reply with the Cliffs of Moher, and understandably so. The Internet even says these cliffs recently became one of the top must-sees, not just of the whole of Ireland, but the whole of Europe! Bold reckonings. But they might just be right…

This part of Ireland is stunningly beautiful.

200-meter high sheer cliffs facing out across ‘the pond‘, aka – the Atlantic Ocean. Monumentally magnificent. And the waves way down below – like 50 floors of a skyscraper down below – can still be heard up here at the top crashing against the rocks. Them some powerful waves.

Western Ireland, Cliffs of Moher

Read on: Raining cats and dogs…

Startups and sheep.

Ireland does IT real well – it both understands it and supports it. But it doesn’t just attract and help out ‘adult’ tech businesses, it also does its bit with IT-incubators and supporting  IT startups. But I waxed lyrical about all that a year ago.

// Ireland’s also seriously into pharmaceuticals, but I won’t be discussing that today. Pharmaceticals to me are like a parallel universe (and the term ‘pharma’ mostly reminds me of the illegal drugs trade on the Internet.

So here I was at the Web Summit exhibition-conference in Dublin, November 2014.

Among other things, Web Summit is a yearly gathering for all sorts of different IT-startups, which come here in search of partners and investors. It really is the place to come if you’re a budding IT ‘infant’-company with loads of ideas and plans and dreams but no money. IT-infants (plus investors and large business) come here from all over the world.

Here’s what it looks like:

Web Summit 2014, Dublin, Ireland

Nano-stands :)

Read on: I see pink sheeps!!…

Sado-tourism.

What are you supposed to do in Japan if you’ve a free Saturday, you’ve already ‘done’ Tokyo several times, you’ve just had a partner conference in Osaka, and Kyoto’s also been fully inspected before?

My Japanese trolls-cum-colleagues suggested shooting up to Fukushima, but when I asked them what’s really worth seeing there, they went all quiet. So with Kyushu and Hokkaido being too far for a day-trip, we ended up deciding to hop onto a train to speed over to the west coast of Japan, and then travel by boat a bit further – to the island of Sado.

Sado island, Japan

Source

Now, when my Japanese trolls colleagues kept referring to ‘island’ – ‘here on the island’, ‘they reside on the island’, etc. – it seemed a little strange to me. As if Japan were the ‘mainland’, and just Sado were an island. Still, I guess the largest island of Japan is both ‘main’ and ‘land’, so maybe I’m nitpicking… Hmmm.

Anyway, what’s there to see on the smaller island? :)

Simple: not much. Hardly anything interesting whatsoever. A visit is purely just for the check mark on a list of been to’s of the world. Japanese west coast/island: check.

But wait… There’s always something… Surely. Yes: here, it’s the colors of autumn across Japanese mountain ranges: simply stunning.

Sado island, Japan

Read on: Glide with Boeing…

The land of the rising vending-machine milk and honey.

Konnichiwa folks!

Apologies for the chronological mix-up of recent events: The described-below happenings occurred before Monaco. So let’s rewind a bit… and off we head to the land of the rising sun.

Once a year in fall in Japan we have our regional partner conference, with accompanying whirlwind meetings, interviews, presentations, parties, and all sorts of other stuff. The highlight for me personally was how well my new presentation on how we protected the Sochi-2014 Olympics was received. The press liked it so much it appeared on the national news during prime time and was then repeated several times over. On the country’s No. 1 channel! Like!

Familiar face on Japan TV. Nice!

At least the data cable’s green

Read on: green bear, redesigned…