Germany 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

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A pleasant walk along here, but the coast is misty enough in the morning to not see the Swiss neighbours.

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The Zeppelin museum here is great!  This has part of the body of an airship, videos and exhibits of these mammoth flying machines.

This cast iron tower at the end of the pier is a nice centre point in the middle of the coast of Friedrichshafen.

The youth hostel here is about 2km from the town centre and clean and pleasant but extremely quiet at this time (beginning of March 2019)

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This boat takes you to Switzerland for 10 Euros or 12 Swiss Francs.

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Among cranes and equipment on the dock of the coast of the Lake.   Look closely at this bench, it has the German and Swiss flags.

I smiled and said hi to security guards before boarding the boat, expecting that they would want to see my passport and ticket.  They didn’t.    I’m curious to know how many instances of travelling from one country to another where no one really cares about your credentials.   Looking behind me is an EU sign for people coming from the Swiss side as Switzerland has never been in the EU bloc.

The boat journey reminds me of going from my home city of Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight, its short and simple, there is a decent cafe on there.    I chatted for about 30 mins to a Nigerian IT guy who was going for an interview for a job in Switzerland.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

Next Switzerland

 

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Germany 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel

Back in 2007, I got a job as an IT contractor for NICE Systems, an Israeli based software developer and worked in their Southampton UK office.   I didn’t plan on doing this, even though being interested in Israel and technology they do, I was just looking for work, and happy to work for any employer that has a pleasant working environment.   A recruiter called me up and offered me this back then.

I supported their staff in UK and Europe by phone and email and sometimes chatted to the teams in the headquarters in Israel.

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Bus from Munich to Friedrichshafen, which goes all the way to Zurich.

It was while working there I felt I should do some volunteering in Israel which lead to me leaving a normal career and flying out to the Holy Land in 2009 and started blogging about some of my favourite things, bible places and travel.

Israeli hi-tech business NICE Systems has two offices in Germany, in Frankfurt and Friedrichshafen and also in Switzerland close to Zurich.  I believe they bought out several companies based in Europe.   I’m not in contact with them now, but I chose to visit Friedrichshafen on this trip before I got to Switzerland as its an ideal place on my onward journey to Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

With all the big mess with Brexit right now, I thought it is interesting how companies operate in different countries to get the chance to fish for talented people in different places, which can be done spanned over multiple countries and continents, not limited to the EU either.

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Rolls Royce the British luxury motorcar maker, and still is British with vehicles built in Chichester UK, but owned by BMW group (see part 2.)  but also Rolls Royce who make engines for planes and aircraft who are a different company altogether, I was surprised to see has a research and development place here in Friedrichshafen, and are doing a big recruitment drive (March 2018) now.

DSCF0654I’d like to think that modern Germany no longer has antisemitism and hostility to Israel and has learned lessons from dreadful mistakes from the Nazis getting in power.  But this sticker I saw on a sign says otherwise sadly.  On the upside, this may be instrumental for Jewish people in Germany and the rest of Europe to encourage them to move to Israel as per the Bible’s promises.

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Here’s another surprise I saw in Munich.   This is an electric Jaguar, yes a British car, being used as a taxi.  In Germany!  I’ve only seen one of those up close back in the UK as I think this is a very new model vehicle, being a credible competitor to Telsa.   Despite Germany’s formidable reputation as a maker of premium automobiles, I don’t think BMW, Mercedes or Audi have an equivalent vehicle in a SUV type form factor yet.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

 

Germany 7. Deutsches Museum

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The Deutch museum has yes even more cars.   This is a general purpose museum of all things historical achievements in Germany.  Also trains, trucks, tracks, signalling and many other things.

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Self-driving cars.  We know this technology is getting close to be ready for highways in the western world.  This self-driving Mercedes Benz S class from back in 2000, and has three desktop clone PCs in place of the back seats.   I guess if it were running software from back then like Windows NT its highly dubious if it should be safe to go out on its own!

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Porsche with stainless steel body, think this was built as a one off.

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All things engineering.

Get there early.   I didn’t – so I saw only half of it, looked at my watch (which was set to UK time) as 4pm, and a message over a tannoy system said the museum was closing so I missed a lot of it.   This is a truly superb collection of German engineering.  https://www.deutsches-museum.de 

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen

Germany 6. Tourism and going out in Munich

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When you think of holidays in Germany, you normally think of Munich and beer.   I was here in March, so the wrong time of year for this big famous event.

The pubs here like these big beer halls, are pretty huge, with waitresses with lacy blouses and aprons who serve you at very long tables.    These pretzels are great too.

I think there is live music offered, and relatively easy to chat to other people here.

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Yes, it seems people want to buy these kinds of costumes to get into the spirit of the Oktoberfest!!

IMG_20190224_113043945My Youth hosel was around the corner from here and the main station along with many other hostels.   Most of the folks seem to be very young, often American teenagers on their first trip to Europe, who go a little crazy finding that they can finally drink without needing to be 21 as in the US.

The food here, is well, nothing special.   I like sausages, and these frankfurters were ok, but it seems a bit small portions.

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Right by this grand looking archway in the centre of the city was a couple with a table full of Christian literature.   I’m really glad the local churches here are reaching out to the public with the gospel with teaching in not only German, but also Chinese and Arabic and other languages.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen

 

 

 

Germany 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village

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This place is also close by the BMW museum and BMW world and the actual factory plant’s front gates, just by a big park.

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IMG_20190223_132359334 1024These apartments built for this event are a little strange, they are tiny, their original utilitarian concrete form has been brightened up with a lot of artistic makeover by their current young and creative owners.

These dwellings were built for the 1972 Olympic games which were hosted here in Munich.

 

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The Olympics should encourage friendly competition between nations without prejudice or political agenda.   Sadly this particular year would be twinged with tragedy, as Palestinian group Black September kidnapped some Israeli athletes and an attempt by the Germany police to get them out failed to result in the death of 11 Israeli athletes.

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These monument stands in the Olympic park to commemorate the athletes lost.

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There is a video on a permanent loop with footage from the 1972 games, you can clearly see also a clip from David Ben Gurion announcing the new state of Israel from Tel Aviv in 1948.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen

Germany 4. Neuschwanstein Castle

 

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Built in 1869, Schloss Neuschwanstein is in the town of Schwangau and is the quintessential fairy tale castle.  Schloss is simply the German word for castle.

This iconic asymmetrical cylinder turreted structure is the basis for the Disney logo.   The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of Richard Wagner. It was open to the public shortly after his death in 1886.  Over 1.3 million people visit this jewel of southern Bavaria each year.

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Yes, it looks lovely in the snow, but construction and scaffolding in progress aren’t quite so desirable for photos.    There was no snow in Munich where I was staying, although this is a two hour train ride away.

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You have to get your ticket in advance, and get a tour in English or German.   You have to be outside the entrance of the castle itself at the right time for your tour.    When you are waiting for your slot, you can just wander around the other attractions.   You can walk up a zigzag path up the hill to Neuschwanstein, or you can take some other type of transport like this.

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There are a number of other interesting buildings in the complex including two other smaller castles close by.

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Photography and phones are verboten during the tour which is a real shame, as the insides are just as exquisite as the outside.   There are Jesus and the apostles and other scenes painted on to the ceilings.

Once the tour is done, which was probably about 45 minutes, and you exit out of a little door in the side.    The overwhelming number of the visitors I saw at this place are from China, when I got back on the train to head back to Munich, I sat on the nearest empty seat and surprised to hear the people next to me are Israeli and are speaking in Hebrew, seeing as the basis of my blog on travel and faith, started in Jerusalem.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen

Germany 3. BMW World futuristic showroom

Coming out of the BMW museum, across the plaza is a big space age looking building.

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BMW World is a giant dealership which complements the museum, but with free entry as a special dealership showroom on a big scale of all their current new products.

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Every car is represented, as well as BMW Motorcycles.

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Not every car is for sale, some seem to be just ideas.   This i8 electric as a police car?   hey if the Dubai cops can do it, why not in Munich?

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Mini is a British marque but owned by BMW.   There is a decent collection of merchandise on sale with the Mini logo on shirts, bags and other items.

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Rolls Royce is British, but also under ownership of the Germans.  Here, this ultra prestige marque has a cabinet with swatches and samples of interior fabric and paint options as well as more specialised customisations like LED stars set into the interior roof, that’s what the thing is on the right of the top picture.

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This place has a car park underneath with a sloped road that goes up into the middle of the showroom, offering an extra-special experience to take home a new car that’s been ordered.

Later on, I got to see even more motoring exotics in Germany….

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen

Germany 2. BMW museum

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When you think of German products you often think of motorcars which have got the reputation of being the most desirable in the world, with brands like Volkswagen, Mercedes, Porsche and BMW.

This tower block on the right looks like four cylinders is the office block of BMW’s HQ here in Munich.    Behind this is the actual assembly plant.

Just around the corner is BMW’s actual museum which a collection of historic cars.

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The M series has been BMW’s sub-brand for cars tuned for extra performance for a long time now.

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Not all of BMW’s products to start with were aimed as premium grade autos, this little Isetta car from 1955 was built as a simple tiny vehicle with the emphasis on economy.   I love the way the steering wheel has to pivot forward as part of the front opening door.

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Mock ups of technology-enhanced new vehicles.

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A collection of bigger 5 and 7 series sedans on shelves.  On the right is every generation 3 series until now (seven of them) plus the car in the foreground is a 2001 which was the model before in the late 1960s I think.

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There were more car related attractions to come later.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen

Jesus painting in religious Sikh college

I’ll talk more about Germany soon.

I moved away from Harrow close to London this month.  I visited today as I went and sat a computer exam course at this small college.   This works like this, if you do a course with Microsoft, you get given a list of test centres and you can choose to sit your exam at a one near you.

So I went to this place at 8.30am today, knocked on the door and a religious Sikh gent opened the door. I got shown up two flights of steps to a room to get my ID checked and turn out my pockets, as phones, wallets, keys, watches and everything has to be left in a locker.

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Pictures of these Gurus on the wall.  Seen similar ones in small shops run by Sikhs.

I confess I don’t know much about the Sikh faith.  I do know they have multiple gods, and at least three of the small convenience stores near my old Harrow flat are run by Sikhs, and sometimes has slow drumming music playing.   I think they are all ethnic Punjabi from the same named part of north India.

I think Sikh people who accept Christ are a rarity, but I do know one who became a Christian.

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This picture was on the wall here, when coming up the stairs.   Its in Chinese!

There is God the Father, a dove (Holy Spirit), Mary, Jesus and someone else (John the baptist?)

I like to look up languages using newocr.com which is a cloud based way of reading different types of languages and throw the results into Google translator.  Alas my picture is too blurry to make out.    There is ‘…10 11’ at the bottom suggesting a bible verse at the bottom.

I’d love to know what Sikh people think of Jesus.

As Chinese is an Asian language, maybe a gospel message from Chinese Christians would be more interesting than teaching from Christianity from the west.   The acceleration of the gospel in China as reported by secular and Christian media alike gave me the urge to visit in 2017.

I can’t quite get right in front, but the Sikh college is just to the left of this church.   I hope the Sikh community will get a chance to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.  I’ve just looked up that Jesus in Punjabi is pronounced ‘Yisu’ similar to Arabic and Chinese words.

Here’s one of my favourite bible verses I looked up in Punjabi for any Sikh and Punjabi friends reading this blog:-

ਯੂਹੰਨਾ 3:16 

16 ਪਰਮੇਸ਼ੁਰ ਨੇ ਜੱਗਤ ਨੂੰ ਇੰਨਾ ਪਿਆਰ ਕੀਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣਾ ਇੱਕਲੌਤਾ ਪੁੱਤਰ ਵੀ ਦੇ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਤਾਂ ਜੋ ਕੋਈ ਵੀ ਜੋ ਉਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ ਰੱਖਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਸ਼ ਨਾ ਹੋਵੇ ਸਗੋਂ ਸਦੀਪਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰ ਲਵੇਗਾ।

Germany 1. Dachau concentration camp

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In February of 2019 I went to Munich Germany to meet my friend.    There was several places I wanted to see and also to go from Munich southwards to some other places towards Switzerland.

While in a youth hostel in Munich I was recommended to visit Dachau.    As the name of this blog suggests, I lived in Jerusalem Israel for a few years.   I’ve worked with Jewish people in Israel and in the UK for a good while.    I took a train that 30 mins from Munich and another 2km to this place wondering how do I prepare myself to see a terrible act of wholesale murder mainly aimed at one particular religious group.

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Dachau was the first of all the Nazi concentration camps.   I only got maybe 1 1/2 hours here as I had to an appointment to see my friend at for lunch so I didn’t see all of it.  I’ve been to Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem a few times to see the grand scale of tragedy inflicted on Jewish people during WWII.   This was a bit different as it was up close.

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I thought as well as Dachau, Auschwitz, and a couple of other places in Poland, just these were the main centres of death by the Nazis.    I was wrong, this map here shows more like a couple of hundred places of Hitler’s infrastructure of industrial-scale murder.

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“work makes you free”

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What are the hoists above the ovens?   Maybe its better I didn’t know.

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Copies of monuments from different parts of Europe and Israel.    There were school children on a trip here.    A chilling reminder needed this should never ever happen again.

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GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen