Fin – 2 years France are over

November 1st, 2009

Amazing, it is all over now. Dagmar, the kids and I came back home to good old germany yesterday evening with all our stuff. It was a wonderful, stressful last week in France. A lot to do at work, paperwork, packing all our belongings into boxes. Visiting and saying Au revoir to our friends. Packing the stuff and filling the car with it took until 11am, Saturday Oct.31st 2009. Halloween. We had no costumes but after a almost sleeples night, cleaning and packing Dagmar and I almost looked like Zombies.
But we enjoyed our last evening at the very good Restaurant „La Lucques“ at our Hotel. Delicious Foie Gras, Salad.. name it… it was delicious. With some wine…Steak Haché for the kids, icecream, all was good. We talked about our two years experience and had all those great memories.
After 9 hours driving time with some breaks we crosses the french/german border at Mulhouse. Was different this time. Of course because it was our return, but they also removed the old border patrol houses there after all these decades. Now it is just a brand new piece of Highway. No more slowing down, no border…
The kids were handling the trip great, as usual. Of course Josefine was a little more demanding, but that was ok.
We will write a Resumé of our two year experience in France soon. It would take too much time now. It a lot of memories and experience and you should have something interesting to read.Stay tuned. Soon you will read the final words. Currently we will use  
A bientot

The 5 Engelkahles

Bye bye baillargues

Oktober 31st, 2009

We are leaving france after 2 years

Goin‘ to Barcelona

Oktober 26th, 2009

 We are doing a lot down here in the south of France. Even though we haven’t done a trip with the TGV Train to Paris we at least made it to Barcelona more than once.
During our last trip we were not able to go to the Zoo in Barcelona, so we promised our kids to do it before we leave. Barcelona is only 3 hours away from Montpellier.
So we packed the kids, luggage, babybed into our Jumpy and we went to Barcelona. The same Hotel we used before. Novotel. New, clean, nice. ABout 10 minutes away from the Hotel is a TRAM (train) Station that leaves every 20 minutes to the center. Depending on where you want to go it takes 35-45 minutes. Fabian loves trains so it was great for him.
Little Josefine smiled most of the time and also the people in the train were smiling back.
Since there a fall holidays in france, germany etc. the city was crowded.
On Saturday we arrived in the afternoon in the center, too later for a relaxed Zoo trip. So we went to Place de Catalunya and decided to have Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Since waiting time was about 1hour we spent time in the Shop, where the kids got free HRC pins. Jonathan and Fabian were also very hungry. Dagmar and I were happy when we finally got our table and the food and drinks arrived.
After that Dinner we walked a bit down the Rambla…It is the main street where tons of dealers are, strange people, animals…
It was good to digest and to calm down the kids. I had some sweat on my head since not all Subway/Tram access was with an Elevator. So I had to carry Josefine in the stroller.
Since the downtown was so crowded we were happy when we escaped that crowd.
At the Hotel we used the free Internet access on the Apple iMac and we had some drinks at the bar.
Sunday started easy, since the time was changed from summer to winter. So one hour more sleep. More or less. We had two rooms and in the night someone went into my room, because the Computer said the room is still free.
So that was not so nice. But the rest of the night was quiet.
After having breakfast we went downtown to the Zoo. Was nice… We had to wait about one hour to get in, but could have been worse. After a few hours the kids were exhausted and we had no fun waiting in line again for the dolphin show. We saw at least the dolphins in the aquarium.
We returned to the Hotel, filled up the car with cheap, spanish Diesel and then drove to the highway back to Baillargues. Next trip will be the trip to germany.

Here you can see some pics (klick on the pic to see a bigger one, more pics coming soon):

a Happy little girl
  In the TRAM

  In the Hard Rock Cafe

  The Bar at the HRC

  Yeah, my first Hard Rock Cafe visit…

  View from the Hotel window

  Hey, riding the train is cool

  Our Tram Station


  Jona and Fabi

  Waiting in line at the Zoo in Barcelona

  A Mandrill

  The dolphins 

  Going home with the  Metro/Tram

A bientot

The 5 Engelkahles

More Shopping – More traffic jam

Oktober 18th, 2009

As I already talked about, since a few weeks the new Shopping Center: Centre Commercial Odysseum is opened. As many locals and oponents of this whole shopping center already said, the traffic is a mess. Of course, many nice shops, but the traffic was and is a problem. The narrow entrance roads that lead to the Shopping Center all go to and through lots of roundabouts. Those roundabouts have not just the mainroads going to, also the sideroads are busy roads. So the traffic lines up many meter/kilometers. Last week I was lucky to start work late afternoon and so I used a quiet morning to go to the Centre Commercial and do some sightseeing and shopping. I found the new, big Bookstore / DVD/Musicstore Sauramps and a nice toy store. Lots of shoe, bag, clothes stores. I even found the machines to pay the parkingticket. But while trying to find a parking I was also a little confused, like others as well. The entrance ways are still not marked clear enough. One parkinggarage entrance road is more like a dead end road. Well if you continue you are in the tram station at the Odysseum. If you want to return, you have to maneuver your car in a smal area. Overall, pretty bad.



Anyway I took some pictures from the nice looking upper Level with the blue sky (that we still have, even though the temperatures went down from 27C to 17C during the day and down to 4C at night).
Saturday I drove to Montpellier and I took my Videocamera with me. Well, almost as expected, the traffic was bad. From Autoroute A9, Exit 29 was already a traffic jam backing up to th right lane on A9. Took about 10 minutes to finally get to the mainroad to Montpellier. I taped it on Video and made a small Video.

Right now the Exits are reconstructed. So hopefully in the near future the traffic from the Highway is having a easier exit 🙂
But the exits will be stressed even more. The Montpellier Football (soccer) Team is in the premier League since this year and they are good, very good. They are on top of the teams together with Lyon. Also Rugby is of course still a huge thing here in Montpellier. So we will see, how the future will be.
Ah well, I also uploaded a video for Fabian. Some TGV Trains going through Baillargues trainstation (in HD):

In a few days I will see my family again, I am so excited. Just finished cleaning the apartment a bit 🙂

A bientot


Three more weeks to go

Oktober 11th, 2009

The 2 years are almost over. 20 more days to go, then we are back in good old germany. But it is still exciting here. Lots of  things to do. Last weekend I had my trip to the family in germany. So you can also see some new Pictures of Josefine here: (password protected)

This week we finally had our first real rain since June. It was a flood. We had as much rain in 20 hours than sometimes in a full year. 200 liters per square meter in Montpellier. It was amazing how much water came. Flooded roads, houses and so on. Even water came through underneath my entrance door. It was crazy.Now we are back to „normal“. Sunny 25C and no more rain. So I made a trip to Lodeve yesterday to visit one of our newer friends. A 78 year old Lady Marga that I met in June at the airport when the flight to Montpellier was cancelled. She is great, tells nice stories. We already visited her during her last stay in Lodeve in July with the family.

This time I came alone. Her brother was there as well and we watched the football game(soccer) Germany vs. Russia (Germany won 1:0) and had a delicious dinner.
Was a funny evening.
I already packed some stuff and next week I have to work late, so I can play Need for Speed Shift on the PS3 again 🙂 Yeeha

A bientot


Having fun

Oktober 3rd, 2009

See Josefine with Dagmar

3rd october 2009

Oktober 3rd, 2009

Almost 20 years after the wall came down. Our Trabant today

The new Shopping Mall

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):



Klassikwelt Bodensee Video – Classicworld Bodensee

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


Lonesome at the beach…

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:




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