Two Days in Berlin

Victory ColumnHallo!

Early this week, I travelled to Europe with my friend to attend Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. Before we arrived in Hamburg, we spent two days in Berlin to visit the city. Here are the cool things we did during our stay:

Victory Column
The first activity we did once we arrived in Berlin was to visit the Victory Column (pictured on the right). From the top of the monument, you are able to view the city. It is located in the centre of a roundabout very close to the Tiergarten, one of the most popular park in Berlin. 

East Side Gallery
The following morning, we took the U-Bahn (subway) and headed to see the Berlin Wall, which is also known as the East Side Gallery. The 1,316 metre (4,318 feet) long section of the wall is covered with various paintings. Many portions of the wall have been damaged by erosion with time and graffitis since some parts are not protected with a fence.

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Brandenburg Gate
This is the city’s only ancient gate remaining. The construction of this landmark started in 1788 and was completed in 1791. What is interesting about it is that it is aligned with the Berlin Victory Column. You can see the tip of it on the picture below.

IMG_4012Topography of Terror
This outdoor and interior museum housed the headquarters of the Gestapo (secret police) during the Third Reich.

Photo: Topography des Terrors

Photo: Topographie des Terrors

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie was the checkpoint between the American and Soviet sectors of Berlin. After the construction of the Berlin Wall, it primarily served as a crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

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Reichstag
The Italian High Renaissance building served as the seat of parliament in the German Empire. Today, it  functions as the seat of the federal German parliament. 
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Berlin Tempelhof Airport
This was probably one of my favorite part of Berlin. The Tempelhof Airport is an abandoned airport that ceased operations in 2008. The airfield has two parallel runways (09R/27R and 09L/27L) with a length of more than 6,000 feet. It only had one taxiway that was basically circled the runways.

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We rented bikes for about one hour and rolled down on the runways and taxiways! We saw a Douglas C-54 of the USAAF parked under the terminal  (pictured above) and a Let L-410 Turbojet that was used for fire training purposes. The hour flew by really fast!IMG_0006

 

After our passage through the abandoned airport, we headed to the city’s main railway station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof) to take a train to Hamburg. In my next post, I will talk about Aircraft Interiors Expo 2017 in Hamburg!

Nicolas

And We’re Back!

Hello, hello! After a much needed 4-5 month hiatus, we’re back! And I’m not just talking about me being back on the blogging scene, but rather everyone coming back to Embry-Riddle. So on that note, welcome back returning students and faculty, and hello to the new students and faculty getting their start at Embry-Riddle this semester!

This summer has been a jam-packed one for sure. With things ranging from collegiate visits and parades to work and traveling, Summer 2015 may have been my most productive summer to date.

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Summer 2015 also marked the time where I started taking “artsy” pictures.

With victory and triumph in my veins after conquering the spring semester, I boarded my flight bound from Orlando, Florida (MCO) to Newark, New Jersey (EWR) and rode the train home once I got to New Jersey. It was probably 1AM when I finally got to my house on May 1st. Unfortunately for me, most of my friends were still in school/college. Needless to say, I did not spend May wisely and spent most of my time at home. (Whoops.) I did however, visit my high school to catch up with some teachers and friends. I even spoke to a few freshmen classes about college and how to prepare for the next 4-5 years of their lives.

Suddenly June came barreling in, and I suddenly found myself in a chaotic ballet of commitments and unexpected events. My sister’s orientation for Penn State University was during the first week of June so I had to put off working in New York City until the week after. Despite the logistics, 4-hour drive, and uncomfortable hotel beds, it was a fun time. Most importantly, my sister enjoyed the school which is what really mattered.

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I guess Penn State ran out of rock climbing walls.

With Penn State’s orientation over and my sister finishing high school in 2 weeks, I went back to work in New York City. Not much has changed since I left last summer, but it was still nice to go back to work in place that was familiar to me. The atmosphere and pacing is so different from life here in Daytona Beach, and that’s the lifestyle I was accustomed to.

Sometime in the middle of July, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team defeated Japan during the Women’s FIFA Cup and to celebrate, there was a ticker tape parade in New York City. Conveniently, my office was on Broadway and I managed to get some really nice pictures. It was my first ever ticker tape parade and it was really special considering the last one was in 2012 after the Giants won the Superbowl.

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ERMERGERD. ERMERGERD.

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I saw people just dump entire packets of paper outside their windows. It was crazy.

Annoyingly, August rolled around signalling the end of my summer vacation a few weeks later. By that time, I finished my internship and spent my time at home preparing for the fall semester. I managed to go out and photograph a few sunrises, the Perseid Meteor Shower, and sunsets. It was nice and a fitting salute to my home state before leaving for Riddle.

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I saw the Milky Way in person for the first time ever!

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The last sunrise I saw in New Jersey. *sheds tear*

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Oooo.

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On my flight back to Orlando, I ran into William Stirna who was a graduate of Embry-Riddle’s class of 1994!

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With things at Embry-Riddle in full swing now, nothing’s really changed since I left last spring. My classes are very interesting with SIM 200 being the most “technical” class I’ve taken to date. My professors are wonderful and they make class enjoyable, and I’m honestly glad things worked out the way they did. So, on that bombshell, thank you for reading, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

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This isn’t Daytona Beach, but this was taken in Florida…that counts right?

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“Oh so artsy.”

Kia Ora!

Summer vacation has finally started for me. Gladly, I am here to tell you all about my travel plans this summer. Currently, I am traveling all over New Zealand and I can not wait to share my experiences with you. So without further ado, pack your bags and follow me to this amazing trip! Kia Ora!!! (A traditional Maori language in New Zealand).

Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand with the population of 1.4 million, the city comes to life. Surprisingly, Auckland is very diverse. There are many students from places like India, China, Europe, as well as South Africa. These students are actually a part of the three biggest universities in Auckland; which are, Auckland University, Auckland University of Technology, as well as, Embry-Riddle’s New Zealand partner, Massey University. Auckland is very rich on history, food, and art. There are many museums and world class dining experience around the city.

The first place that I want to take you guys is called Viaduct Harbor. Viaduct Harbor is very famous in Auckland because it is known to be the best spot to see the Auckland skyline. Below is a photograph that I took while I was strolling down the harbor. This is perhaps the best view to see the Sky Tower.

Sky Tower Auckland, New Zealand

Sky Tower Auckland, New Zealand

You can see the that the atmosphere around the harbor is very relaxed. Around the harbor there are many bars and restaurants. Surprisingly, during day time, there are many people reading books and many joggers. In my opinion, Viaduct Harbor is an amazing place to destress.

Auckland is also known to be called The City of Sail. Why? Well, in Viaduct Harbor, there are precisely 2,500 boats. There are many Catamarans and other small vessels. There are many people who are practicing for the America’s Cup in Viaduct Harbor. America’s Cup is a competition that is held every year and it is basically a race of two yachts. Around the harbor, there are private companies who owns and operate a similar yachts that are being used in the America’s Cup and with a sum of fee you can experience the difficulty of the America’s Cup.

Earlier I mentioned about Sky Tower. Sky Tower is the pride and glory of Auckland, it rises from ground to 1,076 feet tall, making it the tallest building in Auckland. Inside the Sky Tower there are two restaurants; Sugar Club and Orbit 360. Fortunately, I had the chance to dine at Sugar Club Fine Dining Experience. I was shocked at the quality of the food. It was an unforgettable experience. There are a lot of varieties of food on their menu; such as, Asian cuisine, French cuisine, as well as, Italian. For myself, I chose a 5 course meal. My favorite dish was the Pan Seared Tuna. I can tell you that the combinations of flavor truly set the bar high for this restaurant. Here are some pictures that I’d like to share with you.

Hoisen Duck Breast, Sky Tower.

Hoisen Duck Breast, Sky Tower.

Pan Seared Tuna, Sky Tower

Pan Seared Tuna, Sky Tower

 

During my time in Auckland, I stayed in Sofitel Hotel. Sofitel in Auckland is known for many things. However, the location and the view is unbeatable. Sofitel is located in the heart of downtown. There are many restaurants and bars nearby. My favorite would be Restaurant 88. Restaurant 88 is a Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in modernization of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Below are some dishes that I ordered. I have to say, the tossed beef was a bowl of explosive spices and flavors.

Tossed beef with papaya salad.

Tossed beef with papaya salad

Viaduct Harbor, A view from our hotel room.

Viaduct Harbor, A view from our hotel room.

View from Sofitel Hotel

View from Sofitel Hotel

 

Jamaican Cobbler & Bedford Summer Cup

Jamaican Cobbler & Bedford Summer Cu

 

 

 

 

 

Since Auckland is a culinary hub. I’d like to take you to a place a little bit outside Downtown Auckland. Outside of Downtown Auckland there are many restaurants, particularly, Ponsenby Center. Ponsenby Center is a small town that has all the restaurants and bars in one street. There are shops like The Chocolate Botique, Argentinian BBQ (El Sizzling Chorizo), and last but not least, Bedford Soda & Liquor. Ponsenby Center is designed like food court in the U.S. However, it is outdoor seating. Ponsenby Center is decorated with many trees and flowers, making it very relaxing to dine and drink there. My girlfriend and I tried a few drinks from Bedford Soda & Liquor. Though it was a bit pricy for a few drinks, we walked away with satisfaction. We ordered the Bedford Summer Cup and The Jamaican Cobbler. Both drinks are full of flavor; a mixture of mints, lime, lemon, peach, and pineapple. Again, what an unforgettable experience.

Finally, for the final chapter of this blog, I want to take you a historical place in Auckland called One Tree Hill. Yes, it is similar to the TV series. One Tree Hill is a monument that was built because in the past there were arguments between the Maori people and the British. Maori people is the native New Zealander. Apparently, before the monument was established, there was one big sacred tree that stood up on the summit of the hill. It was worshiped by Maori people at that time, but the unfortunately, one night the one white settler cut that tree and the Maori people were very upset which caused a war. However, today, it is widely known as a tourist destination. Below are some photos on the summit of the hill. Standing on the summit really gives you the bigger picture of Auckland’s sky line. On the top you can see all 360 degrees view of Auckland.

Eden Park (Stadium for All Black, A Rugby Stadium) A view from One Tree Hill Summit.

Eden Park (Stadium for All Black, A Rugby Stadium) A view from One Tree Hill Summit.

 

One Tree Hill Monument

One Tree Hill Monument

Well, that was it for my first blog. I hope you enjoyed our journey through Auckland city and its surrounding. Stick around for more blogs from me as I head down south to Queenstown and the famous Hobbiton! Until next time lads!

 

First sunrise in the world! A view from Hilton, Auckland! Until next time!!

First sunrise in the world! A view from Hilton, Auckland! Until next time!!

See you next time!

See you next time! KIA ORA!