Rome: The Eternal City

Old Rome @ night II I finally took the chance to visit yet another European capital. This time, I decided to go to Rome. I wanted a warm place and I found it: five days 28 degrees each. I flew from Hamburg as they offered the cheapest direct flights that do not land in the middle of nowhere (like Ryanair for instance).

The very first impression of Rome is… chaos. It seems that there are no traffic rules but one: never stop! For me as a stranger, it appeared basically impossible to cross a street. Being German, I waited at the zebra crossing for ages but after the 100th driver ignored me, I knew that I was doing something wrong. Just a minute later that Roman guy walked past me and right into the traffic. I regarded that as suicidal but astonishingly, the cars really stopped – at least the ones he was directly in front of. When he had reached the other side, the traffic was as crazy as before. It was like Moses who divided the waters. I was a poor Egyptian… :-P I learned my lesson and always stuck to someone else’s heels. I never dared to cross a street alone, though.

The hotel was – well let’s say ‘ok’. It could have been better but for a single traveller whose goal it is to explore the city, it was Continue reading →

Looking back…

I know that I’m too late when I post pictures of Christmas-ish Kassel now, but hey, it’s still dark outside and ain’t you also missing all those lights? The positive spirit of those four weeks before Christmas is always welcome. Some time shortly before the festive period, I took my camera and tried to capture a bit of it. A perfect ending to a positive year. I gained quite a bit of professional expercience, got to discover new places in Europe, and survived those twelve months without any major injuries. The new year is one week old already. Right now, I’m sowing the seeds for the future. Will it be as successful as last year? Let’s hope for a bountiful harvest! :)

Steiff window at Kaufhof Kassel Steiff window at Kaufhof Kassel II Steiff window at Kaufhof Kassel III Christmas market Kassel Christmas market Kassel II Christmas market Kassel III Christmas market Kassel IV

Paris: La premiėre fois!

Notre Dame at night from Tour Montparnasse I continued to catch up on the world exploration part of life. This time, I went to Paris. I stayed for four days. I took the night train from Göttingen – money saving scheme. However, if I can avoid that in the future, I will do so. It’s ridiculously cheap but so are the travelling conditions. When you arrive, you are not relaxed but beat. In Paris, I stayed in a little hotel next to the station Voltaire between Republique and Nation. It was small but had all I needed.

The weather was neither bad nor good which means that many of the daylight pictures look dull. The dusk and night pictures make up for that anyway.

Do I like Paris? Uhm, it’s a nice city. Tour Eiffel is deffinitely impressive when you stand next to it. The garden next to Louvre is a gem, really. Many places looked much less impressive than I would have expected, though. Champs Elysées is bedraggled: the road is a nasty looking patchwork! Even the commercial strips in Kassel and Göttingen are prettier (and due to globalisation feature exactly the same shops, i.e. H&M, Esprit, Zara, Subway…). The area around Notre Dame, again, is pretty. All the bridges over the Seine, narrow streets… just the whole atmosphere. Yeah, I Continue reading →

Got a used D7000: First video quality test

D7000 with Rode Video Mic I recently replaced my old Nikon D80 with the newer Nikon D7000. I was looking for a body with better high-ISO capabilities. Everything else didn’t really matter, well, the usability should be similar to that of the D80. Since I decided never to buy the most recent models – to save money and not be so greedy -  the most obvious buy was the D7000. It is much better at high-ISO. The 6MP upgrade to the D80 (10 Megapixels vs. 16 Megapixels) is a nice side effect. The most interesting new unintended feature is the video capability, however. As I read that the sound is as bad as on every camera, I also bought a semi-professional microphone. It looks weird (see the picture on the left) but gives a much clearer, professional sound. Today, I did a first test of the image quality. There were no sounds to be recorded (birds and bees were to far away/low). I used the manual zoom. It’s just a tiny short bit but I’m impressed by how vivid the colours are and how crisp the image is. Also, I managed to apply the manual zoom quite well… I guess a tripod is inevitable, though. The video is a bit shaky. Continue reading →

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