22 June 2017

Photo Finish and Balance Sheet in Rheinberg (5,066 km)

Distance: 5,066 kilometers = 3,148 miles
Travel period: 30.05.2017 - 16.06.2017 = 18 days
Difference in temperature: 13°C = 55°F (Kitzbühel) / 34°C = 93°F (Budapest)
Photos: about 1,000
Traffic tickets: none
Bike trouble: gear failure caused by hydraulic oil leak and indicator malfunction
Bakshish: none
Travel expenses: affordable
Personal meetings: innumerable
Experiences: priceless
Fun factor and risk of repetition: extremely high

Stages (12 = 5,066 km = 18 days)

A Side Trip to Friedrich Schiller and Paul Celan Starting from the Golden City of Pforzheim (407 km)
The Ambiguous Reputation of Kitzbühel (915 km)
Modern Architecture between Deep Clouds and Floodwaters in Graz (1,262 km)
The Splendor of the Jewish Community of Kecskemét (1,665 km)
Meeting Friedrich Schiller Again in Sibiu (2,140 km)
Back to School in Bucharest (2,434 km)
The "Silk Gypsies" from Bălăușeri and Heavy Rains over Sighișoara (2,771 km)
Meeting a Friend and a World Star in Cluj-Napoca (2.930 km)
The Fair of Scythes en Route to Budapest (3,688 km)
There's Music in the Air in Vienna (3,995 km)
Court Room 600 in Nuremberg (4,555 km)

Photographic Supplement

Heaven-Assailing in Kitzbühel
Heaven-Assailing in Kecskemét
Down to Earth in Kecskemét
Medieval Mood in the Morning in Sighișoara
Fashion Catwalk
Calvin Klein
Szegedin Goulash, Mămăligă and Farmer's Ciorbă in Negreni
Spaghetti Syndrome in Cluj-Napoca
Lonesome Bike in Budapest
Lonesome Beggar in Bucharest

21 June 2017

Court Room 600 in Nuremberg (4,555 km)

(Nuremberg, 15.06.2017 - 16.06.2017) On 20 November, 1945 the Nuremberg Trial of 21 leading representatives of the Nazi regime began here in this building. In Court Room 600, which had been specially refurbished, the defendants had to answer for their crimes against peace and humanity before an international court. Twelve further trials were held here before US military tribunals between 1946 and 1949.

The Einsatzgruppen Trial was the ninth of these twelve trials. Otto Ohlendorf was the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe D, which perpetrated mass murder in Moldova, South Ukraine, including Czernowitz, the Crimea, and, during 1942, the North Caucasus. He was convicted of and executed for war crimes committed during World War II in 1951. As for Czernowitz, the Adolf Eichmann Trial provides additional information on the atrocities committed in the city. Session 48 on 23 May, 1961, begins with the testimony from Perla Mark, the wife of Chief Rabbi Dr. Abraham Jakob Mark, who describes the burning of the main synagogue in Czernowitz and the murder of Jews including her husband.

It is like an irony of fate that both the Courthouse with Court Room 600 and the Old Jewish Cemetery of Nuremberg are located on the very same street, Bärenschanzstraße!

This was the eleventh stage of my this year's spring motorcycle ride to Romania; with the full dozen I'll be back home and make up a balance. I hope you enjoyed travelling by my side.

18 June 2017

There's Music in the Air in Vienna (3,995 km)

(Vienna, 13.06.2017 - 15.06.2017) There's music in the air in Vienna, magnificent music performed by the Wiener Symphoniker under the direction of Ben Gernon as the opening concert to the Summer of Movement at the MQ on June 14, 2017.

It was a great opportunity to meet Dietmar Friesenegger at AN-DO on Yppenplatz. I love this cafe-filled-square found at the end of the Brunnenmarkt in Vienna’s 16th district for it’s rough and ready, multicultural vibe.

Dietmar's report on his discovery, edition and performance of the "Cantata for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Eastern Orthodox High School at Czernowitz" and further cantatas composed by Eusebius Mandyczewski from Czernowitz, was both thrilling and inspiring at the same time.

Cornell University Department of Music: "Dietmar is currently working on his dissertation entitled 'Music and Civic Identity in Multicultural Habsburg Czernowitz 1862-1918.' His research interests include the musical culture of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the Turn-of-the-Century; aesthetics and performance practice in late-nineteenth century music; the musical migration from Central Europe in the 1930s and its impact on American culture; the impact of the Cold War on musicological discourse."

17 June 2017

The Fair of Scythes en Route to Budapest (3,688 km)

(Budapest, 12.06.2017 - 13.06.2017) Twice a year, in June and in October, on the banks of the Crișul Repede, the Negreni Market Fair opens its gates to visitors from all over the world. Along with the autumn "Fechetău Market Fair",  the "Fair of the Scythes" in June is famous since the Middle Ages. In 2015 there were commemorated 200 years since it was passed for the first time in the "Calendar of the Fairs".


From Hitler's bust stored in the same box with a Jewish calendar, through the Bucharest Athénée Palace in miniature, my-very-first-bike, the collected works of Ceaușescu, a steamer trunk to Cleveland, Ohio, and the legendary Monarch slot machine to the Rubensesque women, nothing is impossible! Next autumn to the Fechetău Market Fair from Negreni?

14 June 2017

Meeting a Friend and a World Star in Cluj-Napoca (2.930 km)

(Cluj-Napoca, 09.06.2017 - 12.06.2017) The friend is Professor Ossi Horovitz, Professor of Chemical Thermodynamics, Materials Chemistry and Physical Chemistry at the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Living in Cluj-Napoca for decades, being deeply coupled with the Jewish Community, leading the services in the Ohel Mosche Synagogue, but above all being born in Czernowitz with the heart in the right place, I could not get a better tour guide.

We are starting in the Central Park, where the Holocaust memorial is located. The inscription reads as follows: "In memory of over 18,000 victims of racial hatred Jewish men, women and children, deported from Cluj and surroundings to Auschwitz, in May-June 1944."

On the plate mounted on this house in the historical city center of Cluj-Napoca we read as follows: "According to historical tradition, this is the house where Matthias Corvinus, the son of the Great Voivode of Transyvania and Governor of Hungary Iancu of Hunedoara was born. The Romanian Matthias Corvinus is considered the greatest of all Hungarian kings due to his achievements during his reign 1458-1490."
In passing Union Square we marvel at twin buildings at the corner Iuliu Maniu Street, but - wait a second - not only the corner buildings are identical, both the facing rows of houses on the left and on the right are mirror-inverted!
The Ohel Mosche Synagogue is Ossi Horovitz's domain, at least on Shabbat. Actually it's just a prayer house used during the cold season while the magnificent Moorish-style Neolog Synagogue remains dedicated to major community events.

By walking alongside the Jewish Community building, we get deeper and deeper into the former Jewish quarter and view two more former synagogues as well as the former Yiddish Theater, nowadays a railroader club.

The Babeș-Bolyai University, surrounded by its most hipster neighborhood, is the finishing line to our tour of exploration, made possible by the expertise of my friend Ossi Horovitz.

And the world star is ...? Now it's your turn to give proof of your powers of recollection and to identify this movie idol of our youth! He was the honorary guest of this year's Transilvania International Film Festival TIFF.16. Enjoy the riddle!