01 May 2013
Vernissage in Patras
Am 19.4. sind wir mit dem Zug und Bus nach Patras gefahren, weil am Abend die Vernissage der Ausstellung "GR€€CE No Probl?m" stattfand. In der Ausstellung geht es im weiteren um den Zustand Griechenlands in der Krise.
Diese Ausstellung hatte schon vom 1. bis 17. März in Athen stattgefunden. vom 19. bis zum 26. April war sie dann in Patras. Ich war in dieser Gruppenausstellung mit einem Werk vertreten. Der Titel ist "1.3km" und es besteht aus 7 Photos von Läden, die auf 1.3 Kilometern einer zufällig ausgewählten Einkaufsstrasse im Grossraum Athens entstanden sind.
1.3km ist im Bild das hochformatige Teil, dass die zwei Leute anschauen. Grösser zu sehen ist es auf meinem imagelog. Die Photos sind nicht wirklich "schön", aber das war auch nicht bezweckt. Es ist mehr eine Mischung aus Reportage und Schnappschüssen.
03 May 2013
Bicycle on Ferry Boat to Naxos
It's as easy as that
When you want to go cycling on Naxos, there are basically 2 options: Either you bring your own bike, or you rent a bike. I have no experience with flying to Naxos (neither with or without bike), but I just got my bicycle to Naxos by boat. Going with the Blue Star Ferries boats, we asked what it would cost to bring the bicycle and were informed that bicycles are considered "luggage" and as such you don't pay extra for them. In fact it was as easy as that.
I just showed up with my bicycle at the entrance of the ship. I showed my ticket and after stating my destination to the "loaders" got directed to the car parking deck. I lashed my bike to some pipes (using bungee cords I brought) and locked it to another bike. My U-Lock (needed for survival in Athens) didn't fit on the pipes, so lucky me, the other bike owner went to Naxos too and offered to tie our bikes together. For the next time I'll get a cheap and long cable lock.
If you don't want to bring your own bike there is the 2nd option: You can rent one. The first choice here is Giannis from naxosbikes.com. I went and had a look at his offerings. He has Hybrid bikes for easier rides, Mountain Bikes and Road bikes (Ideal OnRoad). The bikes look to be in great shape. I bought some bits and pieces I was missing, and had a nice chat. Giannis gave me some good tips where to ride and also invited me for a group ride (on a date where I unfortunately can't make it). He also has a repair shop, so even if you bring your own bicycle it's good to know him. Other motorcycle rentals sometimes have a few "mountains" for hire, but personally I'd go to the specialist.
25 May 2013
First (real) Swim of this Year
Today was the first real swim in the sea I took this year. I was dipping in a couple of times before, first time on Greek eastern (May 5). But those were more of the form: "get in to prove that you could, get out of the icy water as fast as you can".
Today at Aliko beach things were much better. At first the sea seemed to be as cold as the other times. There were also some big waves. But soon I discovered that the water was indeed fine. Cold, but good enough to swim around in. I surprised myself by staying in for some time and even diving a bit. There's also enough sun to warm up on the beach afterwards now.
26 May 2013
Why I got myself a Cyclocross Bike
... because that's where the tarmac ends
Shortly before (Greek) Easter, I got myself a new bicycle. Readers of this weblog (if there are any left) might have noticed that I am already the proud owner of a bicycle, so that makes it my second bike. It took me a long time of searching, fretting over, and deciding again and again what I wanted. In the end what I got is a low-end cyclocross bike. It's so low-end, if I'd actually show up at a cyclocross race with this thing, I'd get laughed out over the track. Never mind that I have in no way the athletic condition to stand up through a real cyclocross event.
So why did I get this thing? Well, I wanted something that is faster and lighter than what I ride in the city. I got about 4.5kg less now and leaner tires. It came with mud-tires and I replaced them with something more street-worthy, but still with a little bit of profile. I've made some kilometers on naxian asphalt roads, where the bike showed its road worthiness... but then take a look at the picture (and please excuse the poor phone camera): The tarmac ends, the dirt road starts. This is where the road racer bike stops. People ride here with mountain bikes, but with a mountain bike I wouldn't do the longer tours I'm also doing. So, something in between, which is the cyclocross machine. Fun and play on the dirt, then zipping back on the asphalt.
Another plus point for my new bike on Naxos: It came with a triple crank set. This bike climbs like a little girl up a tree. No burning calves, no sore muscles, no aching knees. Just patience and patience and enjoy the view when going up to Apeiranthos. Which doesn't mean that I don't get out of breath, because there are a lot of steep climbs on Naxos.
29 May 2013
The Island Sprint
A week of programming
It's already some weeks past, but this May 12 - 22 was The Island Sprint, most of it here on Naxos. We were five guys from four countries, who had come here and worked together for one week on our project. We had some new features to build or complete and some other tasks (like testing) to do. For me, the main advantages of a sprint are:
- Being able to discuss things in person, especially when you usually communicate over the net.
- Work concentrated on coding, because other people around you do the same.
In difference to some other sprints, we were going out for food a bit more, which resulted in a bit less time for work. Also I was quite in the habit of going for bike rides and dragged most of the others along some of the times, some of them a lot of the times.
At the end of the sprint, we had two days that we spent on tourism (seeing a bit more of the island for those new to the place) and ... more bike rides, specifically me and tralala doing a 105km ride, which took us round Apeirantho and Apollona.
One of the most outstanding events was riding home in pitch black night on an almost totally empty country road, 4 guys on bicycles, brainstorming on some work topic. That ride will remain in history.