Excursion to Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong

Father-daughter day: a very nice excursion to Cheung Chau Island, a 30+ minutes ferry trip from Hong Kong Island.

After a bumpy ferry ride and a ridiculously unsuccessful try to rent a bicycle, we did some sight seeing:


A nice lunch (aircon is a real gift when its 35 degrees outside)

followed by a round of drone flying

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And the ferry back to Hong Kong island

The 26 Summits, ctd

A deal is a deal is a deal… one week after the beautiful hike up the “Hinteri Egg” we scaled Mont Raimeux, the tallest mountain of Switzerland’s youngest Canton, the Jura.

A well maintained trail snails up the Jura folds, a good two hours after we left Moutier, we reached the peak at 1302 meters above sea level enjoying nice views, a short coffee break and a descend through pouring rain.

The icing on the cake were hand made noodles with Chorizo Safron sauce (thank you Susan).

More opportunities to work on the list are hopefully to come soon ūüôā

The gallery shows the journey starting very early in the morning with a tram ride to the railway station ending with the home made noodle dinner.

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The 26 Summits

What happens when you sit together with friends, drink a glass (or more) of good red wine? Chance is that the conversation will sooner or later turn to one or more “to do” (aka bucket) lists. The “Seven Summits” are so¬†pass√©¬†and so yesterday; today’s adventurers focus on local challenges, environmentally friendly and doable by fair means.

An obvious target would be the ten highest peaks of Singapore, but since Bukit Tima remains closed well into 2017 and I don’t want to hike up the road to the main peak, Switzerland is the next best thing. Why not scale the highest peak of each of Switzerland’s 26 Cantons (Swiss for “province”) ?

So here we go, a new challenge in born: 15 out of the 26 summits are comparatively easy hikes, about 10 of them require mountaineering skills and one is a difficult rock climbing effort. Details are here.

I think I climbed eight of them, so approximately one third through!

Last Saturday¬†we hiked up the tallest mountain of Kanton Basel-Landschaft. The trail starts in a village, winds-up through a small gorge, meets the terminus of a cable car and finally, after 660 meters of altitude difference, the “Hinteri Egg” @ 1169 meters above sea level is reached. A gentle downhill hike et voila: one more is off the list ūüôā

Next one: either Jura, Solothurn or Aargau – stay tuned

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Desert Trekking in China

June 2016, we trekked seventy kilometres through the Badain Jaran, which is part of the Gobi desert in China.

The executive summary:

phase one: Singapore –> Hong Kong –> Beijing –> Jinchang –> Alxa Youqin

phase two: walk, sand, camels, sand, fun, wind, sand, tents, sand, lake, sand, watermelons, sand, yoghurts and sand

phase three: the reverse of phase one


A 90 seconds, high level, executive, condensed, highlights-only, key summary video in HD of our trek is on

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I particularly like¬†this desert portrait of¬†Tim (who else….). The original is in color. I decided to convert it with Silver Efex Pro 2 (free plug-in from Google) to¬†black and white, which accentuates the clouds nicely and the dunes’ shapes form such a perfect leading line to the model. Furthermore, the little cloud seemingly guarding over Tim acts like a gigantic flash light helping him to light-up his selfie.

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The B&W pictures in the gallery were processed with Nik Colour Efex Pro 2 and Adobe Lightroom. For the pixel peepers: you will notice lots and lots of spots, especially in the darker areas of the pictures. Even though spot removal in Lightroom works well, removing hundreds of them is a lot of work. Lesson learnt: next time get the sensor cleaned before going on a trip.

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Jalan Jalan

Family city-hopping to Kuala Lumpur for sightseeing, sampling local delicacies and – you guessed it – supporting the retail industry.


Day one : flight on time, smooth aiport transfer from KLIA2 to downtown and a clean, comfortable room in a nice, conveniently located hotel.

Not quite like that: something wrong with the plane, 90 minutes delay, immigration super smooth, the taxi driver confuses his Proton Wira with a Formula 1 car and dashes over the often poorly lit roads at lightening speed, then the climax in the Novotel: first room has two single beds only – how are three paying guests supposed to sleep in two single beds? Receptionista offers a king bed plus roll-in extra, good move, but then the room: The windows cannot be closed properly, curtains fall down, stained pillow covers. Management has mercy on us: we get upgraded to the executive floor. The room is clean, slightly bigger, but upon closer inspection not really up to any decent standard either. Pictures taken in the bathroom:

This place invites to rant about it.. We would like to drink a glas of red wine in the Lobby bar, the waiter offers some very warm red wine from Argentina. We ask whether the wine is avaialable slightly colder than @ 28 degrees, he replies that red wine needs to be enjoyed warm.

And the icing on the cake: the room is decidedly non-vegetarian: lots of ants fight with us over space. Anyway, after all we will spend just a few hours sleeping in that room each night, no need to get carried away. But a neat review on Tripadvisor will follow.


Day 2, Friday 21.05.2016: multi-culti confusion (Confucian?) breakfast up to the time limit, at 10:20 we are reminded that the buffet will close in 10 minutes.

Sightseeing on the hoponhopoff bus, during which Laetitia spends a comfortable hour napping on my numbing arm – that’s one way of exploring a new place.


Saturday: We visit the Batu caves, apparently one of the holiest places for Hindus outside of the Indian subcontinent. A short dip into a colourful world and a rich experience for all senses, well worth the 25 minutes train ride from downtown KL…return train ticket was MYR13.50 for 3 persons (surprised & impressed). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An in-depth encounter with the local retail scene in Jalan Petaling is followed by a decent Italian dinner.


Keen to experience the diversity of Malaysia ? Spend a few hours in a place like Berjaya Times Square on a Sunday. Harajuku Hello Kitty meets the most trendy Hijabs and Nasi Lemak can be rounded off by Hong Kong style egglets. 

the journey back home is safe and smooth ūüôā


May 2016

my first multi-day mountain biking event

I’m regularly riding my Merida hardtail since we moved back to the Lion City in 2012. Regularly means one to two times a week, recently closer to three times a week, each ride is in the 35 km (+/- 15 km) distance range. The tri-weekly bike hash adds some high level cardio to it, when I (often unsuccessfully) try to keep up with the semi-pros in the group.

The point is: I’m not training any multi-day riding, hence any multi-stage event, no matter how easy or difficult it might be, appears too much of a challenge. So where to start – with the ambition in mind – to join a multi-stage event in the near (or far) future?

The 2016 Phuket Interbike Hash is a good opportunity to test stamina and endurance and find a yardstick for my body’s ability to recover overnight in a reasonably demanding environment (AKA the bloody heat..). The organisers in Phuket promised ample supply of drinking water and opportunities to short-cut the ride. Head over to the “Schnitzeljagd” post for an unbiased introduction into “hashing”.

The ride on day one leads over app 27 km through dry fields and forests, a few single trails, past some angry buffalos, a few detours and not much climbing, i.e. a nice warm-up. Hydration and hydration is the mantra of the day. I feel good after the ride, the legs not too tired. The circle takes close to two hours, luckily the dinner buffet is fixed at 20:00, otherwise the show would have continued for another few hours. Apparently their record is a six hours circle.

Day two leads us through villages, over asphalt roads (a particular pleasure in the plain afternoon heat) into a forest, back on a road, where I overlook a left turn and end up doing 2 km extra. A second oversight of an obvious sign leads me into another dead end and back, all chances of riding with the fast&furious are gone by now.

I’m on my own, just riding at my own speed, cruising through forest and villages, grinding through a few very steep climbs, which I manage to ride and Gopro-ing good chunks of it.

Down to the beach, remnants of the 2004 Tsunami are still visible, another five kilometres over asphalt and through a few backyards bring me back to the hotel. 

Two hours twenty pure riding time for 37.8 km. Legs are tired, I’m sweaty and dusty, but not overly exhausted.


inner peace


PS1: Needless to say that the Singapore extremist’s contingent claimed to be the first ones back at the hotel in well under two hours – always must be kiasu ūüėČ

PS2: Endless circle, dinner buffet, by 22:00 I rest my legs.

PS3: A short video is here.

PS4: more about bike hashing here.


May 2016

Kuhltour statt Wandertour

Aaaaaaaaaaaalso: da kommt einer aus den Tropen, reist von weit weit her, sitzt 13 Stunden im Flugzeug und freut sich darauf, in nasskaltem Wetter mit seinen Freunden in der Schweiz outdoor-maessig etwas zu unternehmen. Schifahren in strahlendem Sonnenschein auf dem Feldberg ist genau nach seinem Geschmack (ein Danke an die SPPs), siehe HIER.

Aber oh weh: ein paar Tage spaeter nieselt’s ein wenig, die Temperatur faellt auf ca 10 Grad und schon sind alle Vorsaetze, “the tallest mountain in Baselland” in einer Winterbesteigung zu erklimmen, Makulatur: meine Berg- und Kanu-erprobten Freunde¬†(ebenfalls die SPPs) sprechen von Lawinengefahr, geschlossenen Restaurants und zitieren gar (wahrscheinlich v√∂llig frei erfundene) Einheimische, welche dringend von der Besteigung abrieten.


Dann eben Kultur: Colmar lockt mit Flamekueche, Altstadt und einem Herzog & de Meuron Bau (bald werden HdM-freie Schutzzonen in Zentral-Europa¬†erstellt werden muessen, so von wegen Diversity…)


Colmar ist sympatisch: Rauchen kann toedlich sein ? (Schaufenster einer Apotheke)

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Lord Sidius in weiss trauert um Jesus?

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Frueher war nicht alles besser, aber die Replantations-Chirurgen von anno dazumal hatten echt¬†‘was drauf…

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Direkt von der HdM www: … The project for the extension of the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar encompasses three dimensions: urban development, architecture and museography. It centers on the issues of reconstruction, simulation and integration….

comment by jrbc: if you don’t understand this artsy-fartsy baloney, don’t worry, you are not alone…




Alle Bilder (c)2016 www.jrbc.net; Nikon Df und NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8 oder NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4 (so Hipster-Zeugs eben)

Enjoying Lunch Tête-à-Tête

Many good restaurants are wooing for customers in Singapore. Most of them offer very attractive lunch menus to get you in the mood for an evening return.

Out of the restaurants Jannefa and myself recently visited, “The White Rabbit” deserves a mention for its good food, attentive service and the special location / settings. The carpaccio was succulent, tasty and just the right portion; the pasta cooked al dente with fresh crab and the sherbet in the deconstructed cheese cake was a delight on its own!

see for yourself:

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Schnitzeljagd

Mountain biking in Singapore scheint auf den ersten Blick “not the most obvious thing to do”, aber wie so oft t√§uscht der anf√§ngliche Eindruck: mit ein wenig Kreativit√§t lassen sich 200¬†Kilometer XC-Trail zusammenbasteln: ein halbes Dutzend offiziell markierte Trails ergeben 50 Kilometer, ca 60 Kilometer gibt der Green Corridor her, bevor die Verlegung einer Pipeline 20 km davon f√ľr drei Jahre unpassierbar machen wird und der Singapore Bike Hash, bei welchem ich seit drei Jahren Mitglied bin, und andere Clubs¬†sorgen f√ľr den Rest.


Der Singapore Bike Hash (www.singaporebikehash.com) ist in fester Hand alteingesessner Angmos, deren Ortskenntnis, Comittment zur Sache, Arroganz und Ignoranz in gleichen Teilen erstaunlich, bewundernswert, geschmacklos und so von total vorgestern sind. Nachwuchsprobleme sind offensichtlich.

Das l√§uft so: jeden dritten Sonntag trifft sich die Gang (80% Mann und ¬†20% Frau) meist auf einem abgelegenen Parkplatz um 09:45¬†zur MTB-Schnitzeljagd. Ja nicht zu fr√ľh, Zeit muss sein, den vorabendlichen Kater auszuschlafen. Die Hares markieren¬†tags zuvor¬†oder unmittelbar vor dem Anlass¬†mit Kreide und Toiletten-Papier eine ca. 20 Kilometer lange Schlaufe durch Urwald, Sozialwohnungs-Bauten, milit√§risches Trainingsgel√§nde, Baustellen und anderes Terrain, welches mehr oder weniger XC-tauglich ist. Besonders beliebt sind Trag-Segmente √ľber Fussgaenger-Ueberfuehrungen.¬†Hie und da werden fieserweise Sackgassen, so genannte T-Checks oder Circle-Checks eingebaut, um die unwissenden Hashers zu Pfadfindern werden zu lassen. Bedenkt man die Knappheit an unueberbautem Land in Singapore ist die Kreativit√§t, mit welcher die Spurenleger immer wieder neue Varianten finden,¬†bewundernswert.

Kurz nach dem Start teilt sich das Feld in drei Gruppen: die Fanatiker, welche immer zuerst und zuvorderst sein m√ľssen, jeder T-Check muss in seiner G√§nze ausgefahren werden und jede, auch noch so kurze und unbedeutende Steigung gibt gen√ľgend Anlass, eine Bergpreiswertung auszurufen.¬†In einem gewissen Abstand folgt die Gruppe Normalradler, die den Parcours¬†mit gemaessigteren Ambitionen¬†absolvieren. Zuletzt die Veteranen, Anf√§nger und jene, welche am vergangenen Abend so viel gesoffen haben, dass sie sich knapp auf den Velos halten k√∂nnen.

Eine Stunde kann ich mit den Extremos mithalten, den Rest radle ich so lange alleine,¬†bis andere, welche aus der Spitzengruppe zur√ľckfallen, sich zu mir gesellen.

So weit so sehr gut, peinlich, ganz oberpeinlich wird’s anl√§sslich des “Circles”, jenem biergeschw√§ngerten Teil nach der Fahrt, anl√§sslich dessen Fahrer aus offensichtlichen und weniger offensichtlichen Gr√ľnden in die Mitte gerufen werden und f√ľr ihre fehlenden Fahr- und Orientierungsk√ľnste und andere banale Vergehen, √∂ffentlich gescholten und unter Gejohle der Menge einen Becher Bier ex und hop hinunterst√ľrzen m√ľssen.

Der Singapore Hash hat sich den gesitteten Sitten des Landes angepasst und verzichtet auf das Zurschaustellung nackter Haut, so wie ich das 2015 in Kuching erlebt habe, wo anl√§sslich des “Circles” die Angeschuldigten sich nackten Hinterns auf einen Eisblock setzen mussten.


Mein DuSchlauch-Kanal zeigt einige Video von Mamils (see a previous entry for more on that theme) die sich auf und mit ihren R√§dern abm√ľhen. Eigentlich immer same same, innovativerweise wechselt die Begleitmusik, welche youtube kostenlos zur Verf√ľgung stellt, von Episode zu Episode. Kein Wunder hat mein Kanal erst 7 Abonnentinnen.

Klick¬†auf das Youtube Logo um zu meinem Kanal zu gelangen und ein “subscribe” aka “abonnieren w√§re ganz nett.

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PS: Zwei Monate nach der Erstellung dieses Eintrages, sind der AbonnentInnen nun zehn(e): >40% Wachstum binnen zweier Monate, von solchen Zahlen träumt jeder CEO.