Saturday, 25th of February 2006 at 11:25:24 AM

I won a 2006 Soccer World Cup ticket

Unbelievable but true. Today I got an Email from the FIFA worldcup organisation that I had won in the ticket optionee programm, where I had participated last year in November. In the meantime I had lost in both ticket lotteries and had no hope left, to see a game live in the stadium. The first time after 32 years having the soccer world cup again in Germany this was very unlucky. So much the better getting this notification right now: The good thing: Its a soccer game here in munich in the new Allianz Arena in the best price category of 100 Euro. The bad news: Its only Tunisia against Saudi Arabia. But its better than Cote d’Ivoire against Serbia Montenegro (I hope).

If somebody desperately would like to see this game:
14th June 2006
location: Munich 18.00
game #16 Tunisia – Saudi Arabia
Price Category 1 (100,- Euro)

and has tickets for some other games like Italy, Germany, Brasil, Argentinia, Spain, … (I would say everything beside Tunisia and S.A.)
I am willing to exchange.

Email notification from FIFA

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Tuesday, 14th of February 2006 at 08:30:03 PM

Carnet de Voyage Day 9: Sat February 4th 2006

Today is the last day. I wake up at 8 o’clock, take a shower, pack my luggage and check-out at Tropicana. At about 9.00 am I leave the car at the rental station, a 5 minute drive from Tropicana away. I write down the mileage: 1720 miles in total (2750 km) had been driven by me in this 8 days. With the Hertz shuttle I arrive at the airport and 11.15 am I take my United flight to San Francisco. In San Francisco I arrived just in time for boarding my Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt where I got a connecting flight to Munich. I arrived the next Sunday morning 11.00 am. Cold Germany had me back.

Just after take off we made a nice turn over San Francisco .

See the complete Photo series of this trip on my Homepage

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Tuesday, 14th of February 2006 at 05:59:21 PM

Carnet de Voyage Day 8: Fri February 3rd 2006

When I woke up this morning, I regreted to not having booked two nights here in NewYork New York Hotel. I liked this Hotel and the room very much and I had the best sleep of the whole trip. But I had decided to pass the last night in another Hotel: The Tropicana, just over the street.
So I had to checkout and with the luggage in the trunk I drove to have a Goodbye Breafast Buffet in my favourite Breakfast place: the Bellagio Hotel. For 15 USD including tax, I got best juice and coffee and toasted Bagels with salmon, pancake with Syrup and large selection of fruit and a lot of other premium stuff. (It was my last day here). After breakfast I needed a walk and went to the strip and walked around to say Good Bye to the strip. Then I decided to visit another Comic shop on Rainbow Boulevard, but it showed to be not good and I didn’t buy anything. I continued driving around stopping in a Starbucks drive-through for a Mocha Cappucino (venti) to go, and continued to drive through the roads stopping at a Tower Records where I also didn’t find anything I liked. My plan was to see the Red Rock canyon this last day, so at about 10:00 am I drove to this place which is only 17 miles east of the strip.

Scenic drive in Red Rock Canyon.

In the red rock canyon I stopped at the several viewpoints taking the scenic drive and I made a longer stop at Pine Creek Canyon. Here I made a 2 1/2 hour hike towards the canyon and the creek and back. It had become very hot this last day here in Vegas: about 71 degree F (felt like 25 degree Cel.) The sun was shining and the sky was blue: I didn’t want to return to cold Munich the next day. I left Red Rock canyon at about 3:00 pm and continuing driving around casuall through the streets in Las Vegas, stopping whereever I saw something interesting.

I decided then to check my Emails in the Flamingo Business center, which I had used already the first time. Then time has come for check-in at the Tropicana Hotel, and when entering there I regreted again for not having stayed at New York New York Hotel. This Tropicana was so old and greasy: I didn’t like it from when I entered.

My Hotel room wing in the Tropicana: Excellet view to car park.

I also got only a third floor room with view to the car park. And I paid even more than I had paid in the New York New York. O.k. left the luggage and immediately went out onto north strip for a diner at Bellaggio, and afterwards again a walk along the strip passing Bellagio lake with the nighly fountain show, going up to Treasure island were the Pirate show just ended, crossing strip and entering The Wynn Hotel, that new 5 star Hotel admiring that big waterfall and the lobby. Then I walked down on the strip over Paris, Venetian to Aladin for a last walk through the desert passage. Then back to my car in the Bellagio. It has become late and I took a last drive to fill up the car, so that I didn’t have to do this the next morning before leaving the car at the rental station. Then I went back to Tropicana, got all my stuff out of the car for packing the luggage for my flight home to Munich on the next morning.

See the complete Photo series of this trip on my Homepage

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Monday, 13th of February 2006 at 08:33:00 PM

Carnet de Voyage Day 7: Thu February 2nd 2006

This Thursday afternoon I will drive back the 300 miles (480 km) to Las Vegas. The morning I had planed to make a tour in Long Beach driving along the Ocean from Naples to San Pedro. After check-out from the Hotel and a quick coffee to go, I took I-110 and then I-405 south bringing me directly to the pacific coast. Here I had a breakfast in a typical american breakfast diner: I ordered a custom breakfast of Hot Bagel with ham, egg and bacon with coffee and orange-juice. Then I drove along the coast to Long Beach.

Wylands “Planet Ocean” on the Long Beach arena.
Entering Long Beach I was saluted by Wylands painting on the arena and made a drive through Pine street and then a stop at Queen Mary Pier.

Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach.
Then I crossed the Vincent-Thomas Bridge with view onto industrial worldport L.A. and landed in San Pedro, where I stopped at the Korean Bell with nice views over the worldport, the V.T. Bridge and the pacific coastline. After a short stop in San Pedros Green Hills Memorial to visit Buks gravesite it had become 12.30 pm and I noticed it was time to drive back to Las Vegas. I took the I-110 north passing a last time in front of Downtown L.A., turning into I-10 east and then drove for at least 50 minutes throufh outer L.A. until finally merging into the I-15 north which should bring me directly to Las Vegas. Luckily traffic situation was great and from Long Beach through L.A. I could drive with excellent speed. Weather was very cloudy this morning, so that I didn’t stop often for taking photos. On I-15 between Barstow and Baker the visibility was very poor due to wind and sandstorms in the desert. The more I approached Las Vegas, the more the sky became blue again and weather improved.

Approaching Las Vegas on I-15 north, the Zzyzx Road exit.

This evening I had a reservation for the New York, New York Hotel and Casino, and it should proof to be the nicest Hotel of my trip. I arrived at about 4.30 pm in Las Vegas and checked in to New York, New York, where I got a nice room with mountain view on 23rd floor.

Sunset seen from my Hotel room in New York New York Hotel (view of Tropicana Avenue)

My plans for the evening were shopping, eating something and having a walk on the Strip around NewYork Hotel. But first of all I made a ride on the Ny, Ny rollercoaster. Then I took a drive on the strip to the Fashion Show Mall on North Strip (north of Treasure Island), were I found a Levis Store and could buy me my 501 Jeans for 40 USD. After driving back to the Hotel, I walked to have a look inside the Monte Carlo and MGM Hotels and finally landed again in the very nice Ny Ny Hotel for a beer and a drink in the different Bars. I liked the Tequila Sunrise I had here. I was tired after the long drive. Today I had made another 380 miles (608 km) in total. So I went to bed early. For tomorrow, my last full day in Vegas I planed to have a relaxing stress-free day and some last good eats.

See the complete Photo series of this trip on my Homepage

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Sunday, 12th of February 2006 at 10:39:49 PM

Carnet de Voyage Day 6: Wed February 1st 2006

Wednesday morning I woke up late and relaxed. Took a free Comfort Inn coffee to go, and my first visit was the Silver lake 5 minutes north of the Hotel. Nice view over the Lake to the Hollywood sign. Enviable the people who live here, nice apartments, with lot of green, not too prententious but with nice views in the hilly streets. Blooming bird-of-paradise flowers in the front gardens make me remember the climatic affinity to siciliy, where my mother lives and we also have a bird-of-paradise flower which must be blooming right now, whereas in Munich we have 20 cm of snow and – 10 degree celcius.

View from Silver Lake district to Hollywood sign and lake.

I had no concrete plans for the day, just some ideas like Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive and Downtown L.A.( which I wanted to visit more in detail because I have always avoided it, in my previous three L.A. visits to go downtown L.A.). I returned from Silver Lake with a small stop at Echo Park.

Echo Park: I liked this view so much that I have been here at least three times (near my hotel).

Due to the sunny weather I decided to start with Grifith Park, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Downtown L.A. could wait till the evening. Driving along Sunset Boulevard (from my hotel) to Hollywood I could soon see the Observatory and the Hollywood sign. Fascinating the palms everywhere along Sunset Boulevard. I took a drive up to Grifith Park and enjoyed the marvelous view to the Hollywood sign from the Observatory, where construction is still ongoing.

The sign.

Comign down from Griffith park I drove around the residential area below the park. The houses and front gardens here looked similar to the ones in Desperate Housewifes and I saw mexican gardeners with their pickup trucks everywhwere. Either they were pushing a a lawn-mower or they were watering flowers.

I wouldn’t mind living here: Below Griffith Park, North Hollywood.

From Here I continued through Hollywood Boulevard and St. Monica Boulevard towards Beverly Hills for a stroll through Rodeo Drive (can’t deny that I had some slight hope to see some famous Hollywood star during morning shopping, but didn’t turn true).

Didn’t find my favourite boutique on Rodeo Drive, …

Next I went back via Sunset Strip and St. Monica Blvd and turned South onto Fairfax Avenue, crossing a jewish quarter and a korean. Lot of colors and people around, lot of green front gardens, nice area too. I drove south some miles and then returned back north up to Farmer’s Market. Comparable to Munichs Viktualienmarkt a vivid open air market where I tried Pastrami sandwich and discovered Light my fire: a small hot sauce shop with hundreds of different hot chili sauces of every taste and flavor. I bought 4 sauces for 35 USD, for example a raspberry-jalapeno sauce for Christiane, and a “Mango Meltdown” and a “Fucking Hot sauce” for me. Not far from here is Melrose avenue were I went next, a pitoresque colorful fashion boutique mile. I checked out some Jeans store, but they didn’t have any Jeans below 180 USD so I decided to wait for another opportunity to buy me a 40-USD-Levis my obligatory USA-vacation-souvenir.

Colorful boutiques in Melrose Avenue

After this I was ready for Downtown L.A. Being hungry I started in China Town where I hoped to find some Dim-Sum diner: I was told that Dim-Sum is served only in the morning and for Lunch (don’t know if its true). I left disappointed and hungry for El Pueblo the old L.A. initial colony. Meanwhile it has get dark. I continued my tour on foot to see Angels flight, the Bradbury Building, the Grand central market and finally the L.A. Central Library building. Was quite dark and little bit of Batman movie atmosphere in those dark streets with those high buildings.

Strolling through Downtown L.A.

I was still hungry and decided to end the evening with another drive back to Hollywood where I parked my car on Hollywood Boulevard near Graumans Chinese Theater (12 USD parking flat rate), were I had a walk through the handprints at Graumans, the Kodiak Theather complex and the walk of fame with the stars, before dining at a Hamburger Restaurant opposite of Graumans.
On my way home to Comfort In Hotel I took a last nightly view to the Downtown Skyline from Echo Park: Good Bye L.A. tomorrow I am driving to Long Beach and then back to Las Vegas. (my mileage today: 70 miles driven)

See the complete Photo series of this trip on my Homepage

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