10 Flights. 19300 miles (31000 km) distance flown. 44 hours of flight time. Nuremberg-Frankfurt-Vancouver-Portland-Vancouver-Taipei-Shanghai-Seoul-Tokyo-Munich-Nuremberg. Amazingly, non of the flights where in any way delayed. After 12 days of traveling westbound around the world I’m safe and sound back home on the Streets of Nuremberg.
It was a very intense but productive business trip, and it included some opportunities to see something outside airports, taxis, hotels, and meeting rooms, and I’m very grateful for that. The best thing was meeting all those great people in Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan. But also revisiting Shanghai‘s amazing citycenter and being able to explore Tokyo for the first time was a treat.
A somehow perfect ending to this special voyage was the last short flight from Munich to Nuremberg, when a rainbow graced the sky above the plane when we boarded and that pointed exactly into the northerly direction towards home.
And the special light that flooded the ground near the village we live in during final approach to Nuremberg airport. I love to travel and explore the world. But it’s always good to return home.
Having a free Saturday at the end of my trip around the world in twelve days is nothing spectacular. Having it in Tokyo is. A bit of web research helped to come up with an itinerary that would take me to some of the highlights of this fascinating city. To join me for the sightseeing trip continue after the jump…. Continue reading “Around the World in 12 Days – Tokyo Impressions”→
My last update on my business trip around the word came from Shanghai. After spending one night and an intense business day in the Chinese megacity I took a China Southern A320 to Seoul, where I got into my hotel in Pangyo at 9pm in the evening. Dead tired I went to bed immediately, got up at 4am, did emails and calls and went to the office. There was just no opportunity for any photography at all. But I was absolutely blown away by the friendliness of our Korean colleagues, they went out of their way to make me feel welcome. So my memories of Korea will be that of super friendly people and great food I got when they took me to lunch. Then it was off to the airport again, this time a Korean Air Boeing 777-300 took me in 1h 50min to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, then I took a taxi to my hotel near Shinagawa Station. After a productive day in the office and finishing all the meetings on Friday afternoon I took the subway to Asakusa , the center of Tokyo’s shitamachi district, an old town part where the atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades has survived. Besides the narrow alleys the main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. To see some random photos of the Asakusa area and the local street life continue after the jump…. Continue reading “Around the World in 12 Days – On the Streets of Tokyo”→
This day of my business trip around the world ended with one of the most spectacular view on this planet. As described in my last post, we flew into Taiwan the day before. Suffering from jet lag due to 9h physical time difference to the US west coast, I had a short night, hitting the sheets around 10pm, then being wide awake at 3am in the middle of the night. I don’t fight jet lag, so I got up and started working on emails and doing calls. At 9am I was in our Hsinchu Office for management meetings and an employee town hall. A quick but great lunch with our Taiwanese hosts, then a driver took us back to Taipei airport were we took a brand new China Southern A350 for the 1h 15min flight to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. I was on the ground in Taiwan for less than 24 hours. I didn’t even get as much as a glimpse of Taipei city or the Taipei 101 tower. Landing around 6pm we cleared immigration and found our driver who took us to the hotel in Pudong where we arrived around 8pm. Despite being dead tired after a super long day, I couldn’t let this opportunity slip away. Getting around Shanghai by taxi is cheap and easy. So I through my stuff in the room, changed into shorts and T-Shirt, grabbed the cam, and ten minutes later took a cab to drop me at the Pearl Tower for some quick nightly sightseeing around one of the world’s most spectacular skylines. See yourself after the jump…. Continue reading “Around the World in 12 Days – Shanghai”→
Sunday morning, still in Portland, my alarm went of at 4am in the morning. I left for the airport, dropped the rental car at 5:30 and boarded an Air Canada turboprop for Vancouver, the flight lasting about one hour. After takeoff I was treated to some nice city views of Portland, then the Columbia River on its way to the Oregon coast. Then it became cloudy until Vancouver, where I caught some glimpses of the skyline while landing.
After a three hour layover I boarded an Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the 12 hour flight to Taipei. Sitting on the right side I was able to see the beautiful misty fjords and islands of British Columbia, later the mountains on Alaska’s South Coast and the Aleutian islands. After crossing the Pacific Ocean the first landscape I was able to spot in the distance where the mountains on Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula, then the Kuril islands, before flying across Japan, then down the Eastern Chinese Sea to Taiwan, where we landed in Taipei at 3pm local time on Monday afternoon.
Leaving Canada Sunday morning, arriving Taipei on Monday afternoon? Yes, possible, because we crossed the dateline eastward and “lost” a day in the process. Time difference between Portland and Taipei is a whopping 15 hours, although the “physical” time difference is only 9 hours (when we landed in Taipei at 3pm it was midnight in Portland – albeit not Tuesday, but still Monday). Sounds weird? It sure is, and it messes up your system pretty bad. A driver picked us up and took us to Hsinchu, which is an industrial city an hour drive south of Taipei. We got into the hotel at 5pm, where we were due to meet our Taiwanese host for a dinner at 6:45pm.
While the other two in my travel party decided to hit the bed for a bit of relax after the long flight, I rather took my camera and went on a photowalk to check out what there is to see around our hotel, knowing this hour I had would be my only opportunity to see a glimpse of Taiwan on this short 24h stay. Venturing around the blocks I found a little temple and experienced life on the streets of Hsinchu. Nothing spectacular. But it made me happy and satisfied that I managed to experience a bit of Taiwan at all…even it was just a short walk around the hotel….business travel reality….
Have I said that on of the greatest assets of my job is that it allows me connect with so many great people all across the globe. This is especially true for those I work closely with on projects, and this forges bonds beyond pure office colleagueship. With two others of those great guys I teamed up to spend our free Portland Saturday going hiking on Mount Hood. Leaving Portland at 9am we drove the 45 minutes to Zigzag Ranger Station where we asked for a recommendation for a nice hike on the slopes of Mount Hood. They recommended the Ramona Falls hike, a pretty easy 9 mile loop trail with about a 1000ft elevation gain towards the falls. The first 4 miles of the trail are identical with the famous Pacific Crest Trail, running from Mexiko through the US up to Canada. Toughest part was that we had to cross a mountain stream balancing on tree trunks. The weather was splendid, we had great talks and enjoyed a wonderful 3 hour hikes in the beautiful landscape of Mount Hood National Forest, with views of the 11,240 feet (3,426 m) volcano, walking through fairy like treescapes and capping it with the spectacular Ramon Falls, crashing down a black, 120 feet rock wall. As camera I brought the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 Travel Zoom. To see the pics from this great hike in the Pacific Northwest continue after the jump……. Continue reading “Around the World in 12 Days – Hiking on Mount Hood”→
After a very productive half week in our Wilsonville office I finally had the first opportunity to do some sightseeing on this first stop on my Round the World business trip (read the first post here). Friday night I drove into Portland downtown to do some sightseeing at the waterfront of the Willamette River, something I haven’t done in my previous trips to the Rose City. To join me for this evening walk continue after the jump…
So my Round the World trip has started. Right now it is not very exiting, as I’m spending the first four days in our Portland office fully tied up in work, not able to benefit even a bit from the splendid summer weather the Pacific Northwest has been enjoying the past weeks.
Phileas Fogg did it in eighty days. The protagonist of Jules Verne’s famous novel circumnavigated the world in 80 days, to win a wager of 20,000 pounds with members of London’s Reform Club. Accompanied by his French servant Passepartout and followed by a detective named Fix (who suspected Fogg had robbed the Bank of England), his travels, by all means available in the Victorian world of the 19th century, were full of adventures. He made it back to England on time, won the bet and even brought himself an Indian princess he saved from a fiery death.
My travel around the world will, by all means, be a lot less glamorous and adventurous. If all goes well it will take me 12 days. And I will travel westbound. The route is Nuremberg – Frankfurt – Vancouver – Portland – Vancouver – Taipei – Shanghai – Seoul – Tokyo – Munich – Nuremberg.