Observed at the Fusion Festival earlier this year.
This year I had the possibility to attend the Fusion festial.
It was quite interesting to have my tent in the backstage area between two dancefloors which are playing out of sync the whole night. Advances in subwoofer technology allow for an unprecedented experience.
We stayed at the little Village of Gerakari near Kalampaka where the famous Meteora monasteries are located.
D. and I were heading for Albania. We slightly underestimeated the way we would need to travel through Croatia and Montenegro. But just like Croatia, Montenegro is a very beatiful country. Its coast is impressive: High cliffs almost every one with a Monastery on it and small beaches in between. Unfortunately, the Montenegrians put postmodern hotels in each bay and the beaches are covered with umbrellas and no relaxing beach visit seems perfect without loud pseudo-techno music in the style of “Dragostea din tei”
The weather was nice when we arrived at the border to Albania around 5 pm — not as early as we expected to cross the country by daylight. But everything looked nice and we didn’t worry too much. The main road was stuffed with busses, trucks and cars, guided by eager policemen and so we arrived in Tirana short after sundown. At this point, I realized that I was quite lucky because D. was driving. When she got her drivers license her mother took her to Greece “to learn driving”. I have seen strange driving behaviour in China but I never could appreciate it since I would not have to drive there by myself. By Albanian standards the Chinese were fairly modest drivers: Anyone owning a vehicle, which is literally everyone, seemed to harness any situation to pass and move ahead. It was completely irrelevant if there would have been a policeman or a sign forbidding some maneuver or not — no one would care and usually there were no signs. They pass on each side of your car and they honk at you. Quite annoying in the beginning, but I think its just a signal to keep you calm and let it happen… It was very impressing to me seeing D. handle these disturbing situations completely relaxed. Even when we were in Tirana and no signs were showing the direction to the next city of Elbasan and the streets had about 3 to 5 lanes at once — a fact I could not determine in full depth since there were no lane markings.
Somehow we made it to Elbasan and from there we travelled to Librazhd, where we started to find out why people warned us to go through Albania by night. The streets don’t have any lights, instead they have a lots of holes and at almost any bridge there is connected to the normal road by a huge pot hole. On many places there are road signs (!) limiting the speed to 20 km/h. Of course, this would be the same in daylight, but at least you could see what you are heading at and into what you might bump next.
We arrived at the Albanian/Macedonian border around midnight where a friendly border guard provided us with the possibility of having all our luggage and the car checked for illegal drugs. This took some time and was not as fun as it sounds, but at least we didn’t end up in some Albanian jail. And when we tried to cross the Macedonian border, the friendly border guard provided us with the information that anyone has to show the green car insurance card and if you don’t have it with you (Take it with you always!!!), you might not enter the country. We could buy a temporary insurace for 50€ but we would have to wait until the next day when the insurance guy is back. The friendly boarder guard then provided us with the information that we might cross the Albanian/Greek border at the town of Kristallopigi, not telling us of the road we had to take.
So we went back going onto the road to Pogradec and Korca, which was even more adventurous than anything before: It was very wide. But that was only because it contained so many holes that a narrow one would not be a road anymore. The drivers had to be really creative avoiding those holes. And because of the creative driving of the oncoming cars it was of vital necessity to have this road even wider. Eventually, the road got better and we reached the Greek boarder.
The friendly Albanian border guard provided us with the possibility of checking our luggage and car for illegal drugs. And since we provided him with the information that their colleagues in Parrenjas did a quite decent job, they let us go and we were finaly allowed to enter Greece.
D. and I were quite indecisive where to go on vacation after being to Innsbruck. Eventually, we used our trustworthy Golf III to go to Greece. We went from Austria to Slovenia alway avoiding major highways looking for adventurous situations, native food and to avoid the toll roads.
I have this theory on getting the best food in a country: Always go to the restaurants that are not pleasing to tourists — where the locals go. They usually know best how their food has to taste and beside minor communicational problems you might not get get ripped and end up with a food you might have got at home, too. It was quite hard to find these kind of establishments in a region as touristic as the Adriatic coast, but we had some really good meals and also bought local food at the markets and cooking them on our little grill:
This precious litte example of east german craftmanship was once given to me by my grandfather and has always provided me with lovely Bratwurst and Rostbrätchen. It was part of the vacations of my childhood, when we were travelling Chechoslovakia and Hungary by our Trabant 601. It is small, you might fit 4-5 Brawursts on it, and it brings its own hand fan to foment the coal. And most of all: It is indestructable, since it was built by a hard working welder from the porcellain factory in Kahla/Germany who sold his soul to the devil to grill the best Bratwurst in the world. The welder later went to hell for putting vegetables on it and my grandfather found the grill near the entrance to the kaolinite mines. It is quite imaginable that after the atomic war Keith Richards will cook cockroaches on this device.
We stayed a few days at “Camp Kosiza” in Croatia. A very nice place, because the many camping tourists with their RVs seem to choose crowded camps and avoided this one because of its nice coast, clear water and uncrowdedness. The nearby town of Senj let us buy those tasty ripe tomatoes, onions, beans, cucumbers, lemons, sausages and Radler. The beach was very relaxing and the water was warm and clear.
We got bolder on our little road trip and eventually decided to take the route through Albania. We left the camp at evening to travel at night, when the roads are not full with trailers, it is not so hot and we hoped to arrive quite early in Albania, since we were told not to go there at night. We later found out that this is not because it would be dangerous in a threadening way, but dangeraous because of the albanian streets state.
I think I have to catch up on writing here since my last entry is from a real long time ago. Scince I don’t really know where to start, I try to summarize most of the things I did the last months and write them down.
The first thing that comes to my mind was this years ICGG in Innsbruck. A conference on geometry, graphics and architecture. There, I gave a talk on the Delaunay decomposotion of point sets in higher dimensions. You may find the code here on my GitHub:
A link to the actual paper will be provided later.
Innsbruck was a really nice town. I had missed to book a hotel in the city and the only alternative I found was outside the village of Igls. But I think it was a nice upgrade, since the Hotel “Römerhof” had a beatiful view to the Patscherkofl mountain, it had a bus stop directly in front, thereby providing 10 minute transfer to the city of Innsbruck, and in Igls was the very recommendable restaurant “Pizzeria Venezia”.
Speaking of great food, D. and me made it to a very interesting dinner at the “Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen”. Michael Strasser (www.michaelstrasser.net/), Ina Hsu (www.ina-hsu.com) and others provided black and white food. Such as black gnocci and black white bread. It was a real nice and welcoming evening.
The conference dinner was also very enjoyable, because of the nice people there, most notably Daniel Klawitter (www.math.tu-dresden.de/~klawitt/) and the other guys from Dresden. The Evening was very funny but the way to my hotel was very karthartic after the hybris of the smooth veal and the lovely red wine…
A great program I just get explained to me: GinMA. It viisualizes an animates geometric furmulae and situations. If you are into it just give it a try: http://deoma-cmd.ru/en/Products/Geometry/GInMA.aspx
Next Saturday, May 24th, Tim Helbig, Nils Alf and Martin Hünniger are going to perform at the Kunsthof gallery in Jena. It will be a multichannel improvised concert with a multitude of different (concrete and virtual) soundsources, the granulator will be featured and Nils Alf will be playing his beautiful clarinet. So if you are in town be sure to not miss it.
Start is at 20:00, door 5€