Vienna Conference Trip

A quick conference trip to Vienna, which is absolutely stunning at day and night. I was lucky to stumble upon the “Wien leuchtet” (Vienna glows) festival in the museum district: some folks set up a huge light show using dozens of large video projectors and speakers. As canvas they used the buildings of the art history and natural history museum that face each other. Pretty nice.

wien

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Hiking in Crete

Our second holidays in Crete. This time in the north east close to Chersonissos. So no big road trip and BnB-hopping this time.

Honestly, I would not recommend that you stay in one hotel for more than three days. When you want to go to the cities of Chania, Rethimnon, etc, go to the mountains for hikes, or swim in the sea at the south coast (which has nicer beaches than the north) you spend quite a lot of time in the car. Crete is very mountainous - so 50, 60 km equal 1.5 hours driving. So my personal recommendation is that you book several small BnBs and change the BnB after some days.

kreta

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TUM Campus Garching

Some pictures from the rooftop of the TUM center of advanced studies. At the right side of the first photo you see the building site of Galileo, the new campus center.

tum

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Copenhagen to Stockholm Road Trip

This year’s summer journey led us to Denmark and Sweden. More precisely, we flew to Copenhagen, took the train to Malmoe, and rented a car there. Then we followed the eastern coast up to Stockholm. To my own surprise (I honestly did not realize this when planning the trip), we covered an area larger than Portugal and drove about 2300km in ten days. Not entirely relaxing but we were not disappointed.

My personal highlights were Copenhagen and Malmoe (which I already knew), Stockholm, the island Oeland, the national parks/nature reserves Store Mosse and Stendörren, and a boat trip to the little islands (Skärgård) located at the eastern coast.

Unfortunately, Sweden is quite expensive. I guess you could visit much more exotic places where you spend way less money. However, you find lots of nice and clean BnBs (Bed and Breakfast) in the countryside, which are reasonably priced. Especially restaurants seem to be overpriced. The money that would pay a four-course menu for two in France (including a bottle of wine) equals to one dish plus one beer (per person) plus a shared dessert in Sweden. Hence, it is a good idea to visit the supermarket nearby where you find ingredients for picnics in your BnB’s garden.

sweden

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Roadtrip to Würzburg and Bamberg

A roadtrip to a (maybe) lesser known/famous region of Bavaria: Franconia. More precisely, the cities of Würzburg and Bamberg. I have never been there so far, but I liked it a lot. I think Würzburg is a little more urban than Bamberg, but also very nice. Bamberg is an incredible medieval town somehow comparable to Strassbourg or Tübingen (where I studied). Not surprisingly, Bamberg is an UNESCO word heritage.

Bamberg and the surrounding area locate a plethora of breweries AND good vineyards at the same time. Hence there is an incredible pub culture in this town and you get good food and drinks e-ve-ry-whe-re. Ok, Pubs are quite touristic, yes, but still small and authentic compared to things like the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Really, really enjoyable.

Würzburg/Bamberg

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Rome

Some photos from our trip to Rome from March 2016!

The 3 12 days we had in the city were just enough to cover the most important things you “have to” visit: St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the archeological center of Rome (Palatine Hill, Forum Romanum, Colosseum, etc.), the Pantheon and (for Dan Brown readers) the different locations known from Angels & Demons (Illuminati) like Piazza Navona and churches like Santa Maria della Vittoria. I guess you could easily spend two weeks or longer if you want…

I won’t write much about Rome myself. But I’d like to leave a pointer to the Viel Unterwegs Blog (German only) as there are many useful informations about the city and how to get along. My personal top advices are:

  • Visits to the St. Peter’s Basilica are a little “problematic”. There might be services or other events you do not expect. In this case you cannot get inside or on the cupola roof. Don’t wait with the tremendous crowd until the basilica reopens. Just go somewhere else.
  • If you are no fanboy, avoid the pope. Figuratively speaking, hell breaks loose when he shows up.
  • Never ever underestimate the waiting time in an Italian queue. There is no real system. There is only chaos. Everything takes endlessly.
  • Buy tickets for the Vatican Museums online to bypass the 200-meters-queue of people trying to buy a ticket. Buy your ticket early. Choose an early time to enter the museums. Be there in time. Use the separate entry for ticket holders with close to zero waiting time.
  • Don’t buy the Rome Pass if you only have three days. I doubt that it will save you any time in the queues. I doubt it will save you any money. I doubt you will need the metro or busses much, as everything is in walking distance.
  • Go to Trastevere for dinner.

Rom

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Finest Spirits Spirits (Munich)

Finest Spirits

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Checking a Webserver's TLS Configuration

Yesterday I reinstalled my virtual server and also created a new configuration for the Apache web server that fixed some issues of the old one. I also wanted to know how well the Apache is configured regarding the security of TLS. Some days earlier, I stumbled upon SSL Labs, a site offering some automatic checks regarding certificate, server configuration and the used server software itself. Seems the server is quite fine. Read On →

Carnival Parade (Lindau)

Fasnet Lindau

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Closures and Decorators in Python

Closures basically mean that an inner function defined in an outer function remembers what its enclosing namespace (or namespaces) looked like at definition time. The variables defined in this namespace can later be accessed by the inner function: def closure(): x = 1 def inner(y): return y - x return inner print(closure()(5)) 4 Closures also work, when an variable is passed to the outer function: def otherClosure(x): def inner(y): return y - x return inner print(otherClosure(1)(5)) 4 Before we define the decorator, let us define a simple function: def sub(x, y): return x - y print(sub(5, 4)) 2 print(sub(5, 4)) -1 With the closures concept in mind, we can define a decorator, which is nothing else than a function that takes another function and extends this function with some new functionality. Read On →