Friday, September 07, 2012

2012 - The Final ChapTour part 9 - Forks In The Road

8/15 - Schweinfurt

The platform at Schweinfurt-Stadt (the station building at which has been long closed, and since transformed into a youthcrew concert venue) was completely still, and at rush hour.  Even the Netto across from it on the other side of the tracks, empty and silent.  I wondered about this for a bit, then remembered the date: today is Ascension, a state holiday in heavily Catholic Bavaria.  Everyone -- especially out here in the hinterlands, but even down in Munich as well -- has the day off.

360. Reflected below.  There are storms coming, but today the Main was as flat and clear as glass.

361. Maininsel reflected.  This is basically every Bavarian beer ad ever.

362. Chunk of the old city wall, not taken down for the Ring.  Most European cities followed Vienna's example of turning the old city walls into thoroughfares, but this bit is still standing.

363. Down along the watchtowers.

364. Back up from the direction of the station.

At the Hbf, aggro at a lack of small bills -- instead of just a ticket, I have a ticket and the Kicker Bundesliga kickoff special issue.  For a two-hour train ride, maybe not so bad.

- Würzburg -

Complete chaos.  Tracks out of service, trains shuffled -- and yet somehow I managed to get on the right train, after also picking up a BiFi roll for breakfast.  There's Summer Breeze traffic headed for Nürnberg, and I'll be passing through as well, but with a different goal in sight.

- Ingolstadt -

Hops, hops, hops, as far as the eye can see.  This is beer country, truly.  North of Ingolstadt, mostly corn; to the south, the unmistakable 15-foot-tall strings of hops in almost every look out the window.  There was a shortage a few years back -- now, there'll be a glut, unless we get busy drinking.

- München -

365. Along Landwehrstraße to St. Paul's.

Don't come to Munich on/for Ascension.  There's nothing open except döner shops, nothing to do outside of the strip clubs on Schillerstraße south of the Hbf.  Good for me to rest up, bad for food-finding.  Avoid if practical.

8/16 - München

This was the other reason I passed on Summer Breeze: heavy thunderstorms and rainfall throughout the southeast.  I had no desire to get evacuated, aggravating the heavy injuries from the hike, and I need to use that tent again next weekend.  (In retrospect, the weather at the festival grounds was good all weekend, and the weather on the Saco was so good that I didn't need to use a tent at all on my brother's batchelor-party trip, but I had no way of knowing that in advance.)  It's really coming down here now, hence the writing break while my shirt dries out a little, and/or the weather gets less heavy.

366. Pillar in Karolinaplatz.

367. Classically-styled building in Königsplatz.

368. And on the other side; Athena out front.

369. Gate heading back towards the center.

Since I was trying to get from Stachus to the Deutsches Museum, it should be pretty clear from even a cursory look at a map that I got completely turned around, which happens when it's overcast and you can't see the sun to keep your bearings.  From the (closed) Königsplatz U-bahn stop, I got some better directions, and a ticket to go out or back on later.  A little longer here, then up, down, and across the Isar.

370. Old brick building back from Stachus in the rain.

- Deutsches Museum -

The hike from Isartor was long and overly wet.  A quick stop in the toilets to wring out my shirt and airdry my hat, and I was more or less ready to go.  I may need another shirt for later if this gets put away wet, but I have options -- and a bunch of metal shirts in extremis.

371. Old distribution box.

372. Replica of Tesla's induction motor.

373. Instruments Ferarri used to discover the rotating field.

374. Siemens' original dynamo.

375. This is the kind of sign you like to see -- and the first use of the pacemaker sign that I've seen since I stopped working in semicon.

376. The swarm is already here.  Prepare to become gray goo.

377. SEM of microchip structures.  Since I don't (and never did) do metrology beyond particle counts, this is cool.

378. All of this, I had a hand in.  Probably not directly, but stuff I worked on worked on these chips.

379. Un-separated wafer that my brother may have worked on directly.

380. Back end, Me262.

381. V1 behind the wings of a Me163.

382. Underside of the 163, backlit.

383. Early anti-aircraft missile.

384. "If found, please call..." -- not a good thing to have written on your rocket plane.  The sole test of this system during the war killed the pilot and destroyed the craft; this is a reconstruction.

385. 262 and 163 in a better look.

video7: the Turbine of Damocles.  This hangs off the ceiling and must weigh a couple tons.

386. Dog treadmill.

387. Slate; otherwise Americans would never believe that well into the industrial age, many nails were made by yelling at dogs.

388. Cylinder of the oldest surviving German steam engine.

389. Precision steam engine from a textile mill.  Those sculpted iron pillars are easily 12 feet tall; the scale required here to master the era's bad manufacturing tolerances with primitive, unbelievably heavy materials is a prime reason that steampunk is best classed as fantasy rather than sci-fi.

390. S02 emissions over the decades.  Note the attribution of the cause.

For further background, Germany is currently retiring its (admittedly old, beat-up, and shitty) nuclear reactors and opening new lignite/brown-coal plants.  There are no words in English, and very few in German, to express the stupidity of this course with adequate vitriol.

391. Math for vegetarians: 1 kilo bread requires the same energy input as 87g steak.  The implications in a world of diminishing resources should be obvious.

392. Locomobile, not locomotive; this is a steam tractor used to haul harvesters around.

393. Conning tower of the U1.

394. Downstairs; pan along the beam of the vessel.

395. The sands of the Riddle; chart from the mid-20th century.

396. Bone ship built by French POWs with nothing better to do.

This written up, it was down into the mines.

397. Working wheel in the mine exhibit.

398. Old signalling plate.

399. A little more modern, same idea.

400. Passages; it's very realistic, but it helps to be less than 6' tall here.  I scraped a couple times, but did not hit-my-head hit my head on anything.

401. Flowers from the coal forests.

402. Memorial plaque; the original is in an Austrian salt mine.

403. Passages in the salt....

404. ...and where they go.  The effect is really dramatic live.

405. Operations with mine ponies.

406. Modern tunnel contruction.

407. ...and extraction machinery.

408. "Weather slate" for noting toxics.

409. Industry propaganda from the '60s.

410. Copy, from the same original mold, of the hand of the "Bavaria" statue.

411. Astronomical clock, outside.

412. Main front tower, plus tourists.

413. Throngs of tourists at the entrance.  This line went all the way back out to the bridge over the Isar.

Worn out and hungry, I hiked back to the center.  All the Braukeller were stuffed to the gills and/or charging a fortune, so the trip ended up back across from the Hbf at Taklamakan.

414. Uighur stuff -- DinDin Caumian -- and survival supplies.  Taklamakan is probably your best option in Bahnhofplatz, and while it's not quite as good as Tarim, you don't have to go all the way to Vienna.

I'm tellin yeez, we made a bad mistake settling those Uighurs out to Palau.  We should have kept them in the US, on the condition that they open and keep restaurants or go back to Gitmo.

415. Streets south of the Hbf.  "Steh ich in Schwaben oder Syrien?!" -- the right may scream, but most of the "foreigners" in this pic (in all likelihood, the only actual foreigner here is behind the camera) are already integrated, well on their way to such, or planning to go home as soon as they make their pile.  My great-grandfather washed up in the United States with a third-grade education, and never till the day he died learned a single word of English.  Doesn't stop some of his grandkids from whining about excessive immigration and the impending loss of American culture.  Even the ones in white caftans, their grandkids, if they stay, will drink beer and follow Bayern.

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