Winter’s vengeance

When I flew back from New Zealand, I came across an article about interesting hotels of the world. Most were the typical exotic types: posh rooms and lavish spas with four-digit price tags. The one that caught my eye didn’t include either feature, and its price also wasn’t sky-high. Apparently, a little more than a decade ago, a 747 came to its final resting place not in an airplane graveyard but rather as a hostel. I figured the chance of a consensual nap in the cockpit of a 747 was going to be rare if not impossible, so I took the bait and booked the trip. As London had been, it was supposed to have been a quick weekend: two nights sleeping in the plane, then back to Germany. The drive to Munich started off cloudy, and the Alps weren’t visible as I flew on to Zurich.

Stockholm surprise-1

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Winter’s vengeance

Shedding the Past

It’s a bit odd writing this post; for one, it’s been a “long” time (photographically) since my trip to China, and two, I’m writing from Germany, home for [at least] the next year. Reflecting back on a trip over months old is thus refreshing but also potentially dangerously narrative. With that disclaimer…

The trip home — the first time I’ve done back-to-back trips to China since the late 1990s — started in Houston, where I visited a friend who works at the Johnson Space Center. Few people can say they are friends with rocket scientists, but I’ve known my buddy in Houston since grade school. This time, he showed me Mission Control (nearly all of them) from the ground floor. I had two takeaways: first, the amount of technological achievements that come together┬áto support a mission in orbit is astounding; and two, the equipment used to make space missions possible is outdated (making the first point even more impressive).

China 2015-1

 

Continue reading “Shedding the Past”

Shedding the Past