Archive for September, 2009

The new Shopping Mall

Dienstag, September 29th, 2009

When you have been to Montpellier before, you might know the Odysseum. That is a area with Restaurants (Les 3 Brasseurs, Subway, Sushi Bar…), Kart racing, Bowling, the Aquarium Mare Nostrum, Cinema, Tram and so on.
Now the new Centre Commercial was opened last thursday. Around 100 shops or even more. Two levels. Pretty much stretched. Long ways to walk. A big Geant Supermarket (Wall Mart size, pretty big) is there (opened til 10pm). The rest is opened til 8pm.
But even before this Mall was opened the area had traffic issues. The Odysseum is one part. At the other end is IKEA and a DECATHLON Sports store. Especially at IKEA is usually a lot of people. Meaning also a lot of traffic going to IKEA. On wednesdays, when many kids have no school Moms go to Ikea with them for lunch. The two lane road in each direction is divided by many small roundabouts. That is the main problem. There is trafficjam all the way down. They now start to build some extra roads, but for now, it is a real mess. When I arrived today at 7:20pm there was traffic jam out of the new Mall parking. Why ? Because many people did not pay the tickets. Why ? Try to find a Ticketmachine. A security guy was manually checking the tickets. The first 2 hours are free, after that you have to pay by the 30 minutes/hour. So oeple with longer stay had to go back into the Parkinggarage and find the machine to pay the ticket. I tried to find it later as well. Not that I needed it, but I was curious. Either my glasses are bad or they really have not enough machines and definitely not enough signs. That might be the result of finishing the Mall in the last minute. Thats at least what I hope. Because that will cause lots of unsatisfied customers.
The Mall itself is „Open Air“. No roof or so…For most time of the year defininetly good, since it rains usualy only in October/November and spring. That at least saves a lot of money for Air Conditioning. Not like the Malls in the USA. Where you have simple Isolation and in the hottest summer the AC cools down the temperatures to freezing. So you almost need to go shopping for winterstuff 🙂
The Mall is stretched loooong. So long ways to walk. Not really nice. Lots of shops. Not much to see for us men (ok there are beautiful woman running around..but I mean High Tech stuff). One Darty Store and some small game shop and the big GEANT. The rest is Restaurants and Clothes…
So far I have to admit, I like more the Polygone Shopping Center in the center of Montpellier with the historic town. It is much nicer to walk throught the small roads with Dagmar and watch the stores there. The new Mall also has no Toys R Us (that is in Lattes a few miles away) and JouéClub (in Montpellier) for kids. So we will see how this Mall will end up in the future. Looks like some unexperienced guys tried their first big thing and nobody was there to teach from older projects and eliminate some problems from the beginning.
Here is a picture I took with my mobile:
    

Here is the homepage (in french): http://www.centre-commercial-odysseum.com/

Enjoy

Marc-Eric

Klassikwelt Bodensee Video – Classicworld Bodensee

Sonntag, September 27th, 2009

In may 2009 the 2nd edition of the Klassikwelt Bodensee (Classicworld Bodensee) Show took place. A show with a focus on Boats, Airplanes, Cars, Motorbikes… I took the chance to go there and look especially on the car/motorbike part of the show. Enjoy the Video on Youtube:

A bientot

Marc-Eric

Lonesome at the beach…

Freitag, September 25th, 2009

There is not much to tell right now. It is Fall now…weather is still summerlike down here in Montpellier. That’s why I went to the beach on thursday. 24C at 6:30pm, warm water and almost nobody at the beach. Petit Travers is usually pretty crowded in the summertime and finding a parking place is pretty tough due to the new, „smart“ one lane traffic. But it was soooo empty. I went into the water and took some pictures. Some are shown below, more of them at: https://fotoalbum.web.de/gast/bigmek/France_Sept_2009

 

 

 

A bientot

Marc

Home alone and gaming on the PS3

Montag, September 21st, 2009

Wow, the two years are passing by…almost done. I just returned without the family here in france. Since school started, Dagmar and the kids already stay in our house near Stuttgart. Not easy after such a long time without a break. Usually I spent some months in the USA the past 15 years. Now it was quiet and I stayed here all the time.
I had a easy travel on the highways, just took 8 hours with a little break. So I clean, sort…and play on my PS3 🙂
I just bought my first real new game. Need For Speed SHIFT. A great racing simulation with tons of cars, tracks etc. Very good game and it catches me 🙂 I am more tired than with the nights with Josefine 🙂
See a screenshot:
    

A bientot

A few more pictures

Donnerstag, September 17th, 2009

To keep you up to date I post some more new pictures, have fun:


Our new winerack. Fits 56 bottles. Never thought we already have that much. Still some bottles stored in cartons. Yeahhh..


Our new family picture, taken on the steps of our house, like every year (since we live in the house) See also the old pictures:
http://bigmek.de/digital29808a.jpg
http://bigmek.de/digital29808b.jpg


Jonathan paints his self constructed/built wooden „thing“


Isn’t she cute 🙂


Our little shed in the garden with some metal peices brought from france, a bull and a ornament, (found them in Aigues-Mortes)
A bientot

The 5 Engelkahles

Our Airport and new License Plates

Dienstag, September 15th, 2009

We live about 5km (3 miles) away from the Stuttgart Airport. Yesterday we actually had a emergency landing here in Stuttgart with a Fokker 100 machine coming from Berlin. The landing gear would not come out totally. So they had to perform a emergency landing: i only heard the massive amount of Firetruck sirens and police car siren and so on. Around 11am it happened. Actually everyone was safe. The machine landed with some firesparks at the rear, but there was no fire or explosion. See the Youtube video (german): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uACi4oqeBVk

When we went shopping later that day, there was still no airtraffic. Everything was blocked til 6pm. From the parking garage of the shopping center we saw the machine towed away (put on new wheels).
The picture quality is not that good, was from my mobilphone camera:
  

Anyway, we had a good first return to germany so far. lot’s of packing, pater works etc. but it was ok. I had to bring the french registered Citroen Jumpy to the german TUEV (technical control) and then get german papers. For all this you need to get a COC Document a Doc for the compliance to european rules etc. Costs 80 Euro in my case. I thought with this Doc it should be quite easy to get the german papers. Hmm, well, even with european registration number etc. they had to enter all car data manually. Why do I pay 80 Euros for that Document ???
Also the new papers cost 44.80 Euro, plus 88 Euro for the TUEV…
Best of all was the lady first gave me the wrong Plaque for the car. There is a new sticker needed that shows how much microdust it produces. Since we have Diesel without filter it gets yellow. Worst is NO plaque, then red, yellow and best is green.
I got a green one instead of yellow, but only noticed it at home when I looked at all the paperwork. No bit deal, sure, but also the car was registered now as a gasoline car and not a Diesel car. Could be a problem in the future 🙂
So that lady was nice and also happy that I came back. She said some poeple might have kept the wrong plaque.
I am not that guy.
So we have noew german license plates (could keep the old ones from the Mercedes Class-A).
At 132994km the Jumpy crossed the french/german border. Last time with french plates in france. Now he is german.
I will return to france soon. Hoping for better wather there 🙂
Here is cold and rainy.
A bientot

The 5 Engelkahles

Video from our last trips

Mittwoch, September 9th, 2009

I just posted a video from our Trips to Nimes, Pont Du Gard, Pic Saint Loup and Carcassonne… Enjoy:

The 5 Engelkahles

Carcassonne

Dienstag, September 8th, 2009

We did it, our last trip for now in france. We visited Carcassonne, the fortified city. Similar to Aigues-Mortes near our place here, but older and bigger. It is a about 1 1/2 hours driving time. Right after Dagmar finished her last morning coffee with her girls at the Hotel we took off. No big deal, since the peak season is over. Just some swabian people making their last days of vacation 🙂
  
Since the kids were not very happy about hourlong museum walks we decided to go there…watch the town and the enjoy the views, have something to eat and then drive home when we want to.
Well, eating was different. Lots of restaurants, since the kids wanted something they know we chose a pizza place. Nothing compared to the place in Nimes. It was probably one of the more expensive and less good restaurants in Carcassonne „Le Cité“. Well, we were hungry, so we finished the dishes and paid…
The views, small, narrow roads, the stores were really beautiful. The kids also enjoyed it. We also had to buy a sword and halberd for the kids 🙂 Was nice…almost every kid ran around with a sword 🙂
When we wanted to drink a coffee and have some icecream we chose a small restaurant. But it looked like the peak season already filled their pockets good enough. We were only 10 customers. Some other came right after we came and they already knew what they wanted and so they got their Pastis right away. But we had to look for the different ice creams. So the young „garcon“ was not very enthusiastic. We decided to leave after about 15 minutes and look for a better place. We found one 🙂
Before we left we also saw a juggler that used glasbowls. He balanced them on his bald head and also juggled several balls in his hands. A maximum if three balls balanced on his head. It was amazing to see what he did. Full control of his body. WOw. See the picture. A video is also now uploaded to Youtube. The other pictures…see the link at the bottom…
  
In two days we will return to germany. Another part of the assignment is ending. I will return for the final months of the assignment. But more is coming…
Pictures: https://fotoalbum.web.de/gast/bigmek/France_Sept_2009

Youtube Video:

A bientot

The 5 Engelkahles

…and again some more pictures

Sonntag, September 6th, 2009

  

The vacation is going on and we made a short trip to Pic Saint Loup today. We drove to Cazevieille at the Pic Saint Loup. You can hike to the top of Pic Saint Loup but we decided to skip that for today. We just hiked a bit to have a better view to the mediterranean sea. But we had not the right shoes for that plus a little Josefine carried in front of me. But it was very nice and we had a great view. The way back home was through small roads, villages to the other side of Pic Saint Loup and Montagne de L’Hortus.
  
At one sightseeing point I took a picture of the writing that was done for Remi Gaillards latest Video prank where he welcomed bicycle riders like Tour de France winners. Very funny video.
See it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOur8qXvpnk

Our other pictures are still here: https://fotoalbum.web.de/gast/bigmek/France_Sept_2009

Have fun –  A bientot

The 5 Engelkahles

…and some more pictures

Samstag, September 5th, 2009

We are travelling around more and more. Today in the afternoon we made our trip to the Pont Du Gard. One of the most complete and very beautiful roman aqueducts. About 40 minutes drive and we were there. Parking is easy, since peak season is over and only lots of germans 🙂 and dutch and some brits are here.

   
So we walked down to the site. Fabian took some Videos and we went to the river Gardons. Was not too cold there. With the warm temperatures of 28C it was nice. Just the wind was pretty strong again. That was also the reason for a bad sideeffect. There was a wildfire next to the Pont du Gard.
  
We saw it from the Bridge and after some time the firefighters in their yellow Firefighter Airplanes came to poor tons of water on it. After about 30 minutes they had it under control. Was a little scary, since the wind was strong and many many weeks without rain make everything totally dry.
On the way home we had to drive a detour, since the mainroad was closed due to the fire.
That was beautiful. Little, small winding roads in the hills and wonderful views. Really a great experience.
Pictures can be as well seen at:

https://fotoalbum.web.de/gast/bigmek/France_Sept_2009

A bientot

The 5 Engelkahles