Insight No. 67: “The Hyperloop” will come to Abu Dhabi and Hamburg

Insights, Reisen, Technology, Travel
Bildergebnis für Hyperloop

High-speed Tube System for inter-city Passenger and point2point Cargo transportation

Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and/or freight transportation, first used to describe an open-source vactrain design released by a joint team from Tesla and SpaceX. Drawing heavily from Robert Goddard’s vactrain, a hyperloop is a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at high speed while being very efficient.

Concept art of Hyperloop inner workings

Elon Musk’s version of the concept, first publicly mentioned in 2012,incorporates reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on air bearings driven by linear induction motors and axial compressors.

The Hyperloop Alpha concept was first published in August 2013, proposing and examining a route running from the Los Angeles region to the San Francisco Bay Area, roughly following the Interstate 5 corridor. The Hyperloop Genesis paper conceived of a hyperloop system that would propel passengers along the 350-mile (560 km) route at a speed of 760 mph (1,200 km/h), allowing for a travel time of 35 minutes.

Preliminary cost estimates for this LA–SF suggested route were included in the white paper—US$6 billion for a passenger-only version, and US$7.5 billion for a somewhat larger-diameter version transporting passengers and vehicles. 

Hyperloop is coming to Abu Dhabi by 2020

The first passenger transporation pilot project might be started in the United Emirates. It is planned to connect Dubai with Abu Dhabi to reduce travel time from 2 hrs to 12 min.

Bildergebnis für Hyperloop

in April 2018 it was announced that Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), one of the firms developing the super-fast transport method, will begin building a track in Abu Dhabi with the aim of having it operational by 2020.

It will be a 10 kilometer track developed close to the site of Expo 2020 and Al Maktoum International Airport, on the border of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai emirates.

HTT signed an agreement with Aldar Properties PJSC, the developer behind Yas Island’s Formula 1 racing circuit.

It will be developed close to the site of Expo 2020 and Al Maktoum International Airport, on the border of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai emirates.

The video shows a mock-up only. 

Hamburg will build a 100-meter Hyperloop line to test transporting sea containers 

In November this year, it was announced that the port of Hamburg, Europe’s third-largest, will use the futuristic Hyperloop transport system to transport shipping containers from the quayside to container yards inland.

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Several consortia have been working on projects to realize the idea, including LA-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which has signed a contract with the Hamburg port operator, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik.
The two companies have set up a joint venture to develop and test seaport and inland shipping container operations and bring them to market. They will start by building a transfer station at a Hamburg container terminal and a 100-meter cargo route together with a freight capsule and a loading dock.

The aim is to pave the way for more ambitious applications of the Hyperloop idea. One day, containers could whoosh down pipes to logistics hubs outside the port, relieving congested roads and rail lines and reducing air pollution.

The partners will initially invest €7 million ($7.9 million) in the venture, a manageable sum given HHLA’s annual revenues of €1.3 billion.

HyperloopTT, founded in 2013, has been arranging cooperation deals to build Hyperloop lines around the world including Europe’s first test line in Toulouse, home to the Airbus consortium. It plans to build a line in Abu Dhabi as mentioned above and has signed a feasibility study to link the Slovakian capital of Bratislava with Brno in the Czech Republic, 130 kilometers (80 miles) away. It is also exploring ventures in South Korea and Indonesia.

A letter of intent signed by Hyperloop TT in Ukraine could be of particular interest to Hamburg because it runs a terminal in the port of Odessa.

Ideally, Hamburg could license the technology for other ports.

Fotomontage mit Hyperloop im Hamburger Hafen

The Hyperloop General Concept Explained….

Postcard No. 22: “KYŌTO-SHI, JAPAN” – Ukiyo-e Small Museum…Living in the “Here & Now”

arts, humor, Insights, Kunst, Reisen, Tipps, Travel, Zen
The Ukiyoe Small Museum showcases a small collection of traditional woodblock prints…if the owner feels like it.

The sign outside this studio is enough to make anyone stop and smile. But the amusingly honest announcement of the studio’s hours isn’t the real attraction. The true treasure lies tucked behind the doors, waiting to be revealed whenever its owner decides to open shop.

Inside, you’ll find traditional woodblock prints. The prints are a style of Japanese art called ukiyo-e, which was popular between the 17th through 19th centuries.

Though the beautiful images of landscapes, people, animals, and folk tales were once popular, the craft began to wane by the 20th century. Now, there are only about 50 ukiyo-e artists remaining in Japan.

The studio’s owner and resident artist, Ichimura Mamoru, is happy to chat about his work, and will even show you how the prints are made. As a guardian of tradition, he’s been practicing the art of ukiyo-e for decades, after learning it from his grandfather as a teenager. As there are so few ukiyo-e artists left in the country, a personal tour of Mamoru’s artwork is a rare experience.

Ichimura Mamoru
The Kyoto workshop of Japanese ukiyo-e artist and woodblock printer Mamoru Ichimura.

Postcard No. 21: “Bispingen” – Crazy Houses, Snow Dome, Standing Waves, A Tropical Aqua Park …and the Nature Reserve “Lüneburger Heide”

Oddities, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

The World seem to be up side down, nowadays… In Bispingen in the Heide of Nether Saxony and in other places across Germany you get the opportunity to change your perspective. The so called “Crazy Houses” are a popular attraction – in particular among selfie-addicts.

But be cautious, please! Actually, a small share of visitors become a little bit sick inside of the crazy houses if they stay too long inside. The brain or organ of equilibrium (?) seems to be challenged to process the visual information and orientation within the space… 

By the way, Bispingen offers another highlight to keep you and your family busy…


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Snow Dome Bispingen – Wintersports and Aprés Ski Parties in the Lüneburger Heide.
Bildergebnis für bispingen snowdome
SNOW DOME Restaurant 
Bildergebnis für bispingen snowdome

NORD WELLE at the Snow Dome

Surfing on a so called “standing wave” for beginners and professionals. Max. 15 Surfer per hour are allowed to ride the wave.  


Bildergebnis für bispingen
Hotel Centre Parc Lüneburger Heide – A Tropical Aqua Parc with Wellness & Spa facilities
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The Heide usually blossoms from August to September (est. period: 8.8. – 9.9.). Many visitors are monitoring the status of the blossoms on the website of the tourism information of the Lüneburger Heide. It is recommended to start with monitoring already in July in order not to miss the spectacular  natural phenomen.

Bildergebnis für bispingen
The Lüneburger is very popular for going for a walk, trekking, cycling and horse back riding.
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Church of Bispingen “Ole Kerk” (built in 1350)
Das Pietzmoor zur Zeit der Wollgrasblüte
The Cotton Grass Blossom


In fact, the Lüneburger Heide with its car-free nature reserve areas offers many attractions and a wide range of leisure time activities for the entire family. 

For instance:

  • The Snow Dome Bispingen
  • The North Wave Bispingen
  • The Tropical Centre Parc Lüneburger Heide
  • The Crazy House Bispingen
  • Quad Trail Bispingen
  • Heide Park Soltau (a huge leisure park) 
  • Barfoot Park Egestorf
  • Ralf Schumacher Cart & Bowl
  • The Kletter Park / Climbing Park
  • Designer Outlet Soltau
  • World Birds Park Walsrode
  • Wildlife Park Black Mountains with an outdoor museum
  • Serengeti Park (drive-in park)
  • Wildlife Park Lüneburger Heide
  • Movie Animal Park Eschede
  • Otter Centre
  • Wildlife Park Müden
  • Holiday on farms (horses & dogs are welcome)
  • Wellness & Spa Centres

The tourist information provides the guests also with a so called “Nature Calender” that highlights events like…

  • Heide Blossom (Aug – Sep)
  • The Blue Wonder – Blue Frog Season (Mar – Apr)
  • Very impressive migrant bird periods (Mar – May; Sep – Nov)
  • Dance of the Cranes (March, May – Jul)
  • Welcoming the Storks (Mar – Aug)
  • Cotton Grass Blossom (Apr – May)
  • and so on

To put it in a nutshell, no chance to be bored in the Lüneburger Heide! 

Shared No. 71: “About the October Festival in Munich” – Zum Oktoberfest in München by Roland Risch

Food, humor, Insights, Reisen, Tipps, Travel


Rolands funny post provides you with a few images to point at (to ease the communication with locals) for survival in the event that you`re planning to attend the famous OKTOBERFEST in Munich next year. Below the images you will find the accordant vocabulary in the unique Bavarian dialect….


Daten zu 2018 / Data 2018:

6,3 Mio. Besucher / 6,3 mio visitors

14 Festzelte / 14 pavilions

7,5 Mio. Mass Bier à € 11,50 verkauft / 7,5 mio Mass Beer (1 Mass = 1l) for € 11,50 (USD 13,-) each Mass sold

123 Ochsen aufgegessen / 123 oxes were eaten

Haxe € 19,00 / one joint € 19,- (= USD 21,60)

Halbes Hendl € 12 / half chicken € 12,- (= USD 13,60)

1 Liter Wasser € 10,00 / 1l water € 10,- (= USD 11,40)

Postcard No. 18: “DÖRVEDEN” – Stay Overnight in a TREE INN in a WOLF CENTRE (Baumhausübernachtung im Wolf Centre)

Creatures, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
The Tree Inn in the 1st German Wolf  Centre
Wolf Pack in Dörveden

Most probably you have never heard of DÖRVEDEN….It is time to change this situation.

Nature, Wildlife Observation, Adventure but with Romantic, Comfort & No Risk?

The Wolf Centre Dörveden in Nether Saxony / Northern Germany is offering an unique opportunity to combine all of these aspects.

Dörveden gives home to Germany`s first wolf sanctuary & breeding station, a science & education centre, a wildlife park plus horse stable for guests and their horses. Among other accommodations (like Tipis, tents, camper vans) the wolf centre offers a luxurious tree inn right next to wolves compound!

The 5 metres-high tree inn  is equiped for max. 4 persons. It possess a furnitured roof deck and offers hotel-like comfort (toilet, TV & internet, heating etc.). The tree inn even contains a whirlpool. But the major attraction is its location, of course. It is an unforgetable experience to observe and listen to the pack of beautiful grey wolves who were raised by hand, as far as I know.  

It is also possible to do a guided tour through the wolf compound for closer observation and for taking pictures. 

The Wolf Centre Dörveden is a romantic destination for a weekend trip with your family, friends or sweetheart.

Here are a few impressions…

For further details:

Postcard No. 17: “HAMBURG” – The Elbphilharmonie – The Temple of Sound…innovative architecture and outstanding acoustics

Musik, Reisen, Tipps, Travel, Uncategorized

“Location, outstanding acoustics and a visionary concert programme.”

The Elbphilharmonie with its impressive glass facade and wave-like rooftop rises up from the former Kaispeicher building on the western tip of the HafenCity. Accommodated inside are two concert halls, a hotel and 45 residential apartments. Between the old warehouse and the glass structure is the Plaza – a public viewing area that extends around the whole building.

“Elphi” belongs to the TOP 5 concert halls worldwide thanks to its outstanding acoustics. After 9 years of construction and investments in the amount of €789 mio. the innovative landmark of the harbor city Hamburg – also called “The Gate to The World” or “Pearl” – was finally completed.

The Location – The Elbphilharmonie is located in the historic Sandtorhafen, which was Hamburg’s old working harbour for centuries. The Kaiserspeicher, Hamburg’s biggest warehouse on the water, was built in 1875. Destroyed in the Second World War, it was then rebuilt and renamed Kaispeicher. Cocoa, tobacco and tea was stored here until the 1990s.

The Plaza – At a height of 37 metres above ground level, the public viewing area offers visitors a spectacular 360° view of the city and harbour. Hamburg citizens, tourists, concertgoers and hotel guests are all welcome to take a stroll along this unique walkway.

The Glass Facade – The defining feature of the Elbphilharmonie: 1,000 curved window panels, tailor-made to capture and reflect the colour of the sky, the sun’s rays, the water and the city, turn the concert hall into a gigantic crystal. The glass facades in the loggias of the apartments and concert foyers are especially striking: with their boldly convex form they resemble huge tuning forks.

The Grand Hall, the heart of the Elbphilharmonie, has seating for 2,150 guests. In contrast to conventional concert halls, the stage is located in the centre of the hall, while the audience is seated on tribunes around the stage. This “vineyard-concept” that was invented by the architects of Herzog & de Meuron, ensures that each guest enjoy a direct view to the stage without any obstacles. Each visitor is seated in a distance of max. 30 m to the conductor. The highest seat  is located 17 metres above the stage. 

The Acoustics – The leading acoustics expert Yasuhisa Toyota faced the challenge to ensure not only top-notch but a superior acoustic experience for Elphi`s guests.
Toyota’s goal for the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall: the hall should assist the natural acoustics of the music but also be sensitive to electronic sound systems. In this way, audiences can also enjoy rock concerts in the Elbphilharmonie.     

Toyota invented the so called “White Skin” of the concert hall. The White Skin is a surface which consists of 10.000 wall panels. Each single panel is highly customized. The unique design of each panel optimally breaks the sound at the very specific position of the panel. The panels are 35 – 200 mm thick and possess a weight of 150 kg / qm to optimize the acoustics – considering the thumbrule: The bigger the mass, the better the reflection of the sound. The intelligent, sophisticated sound concept  also ensures the optimal reverberant sound time of 2 seconds. Therefore, the guests of the Elbphilharmonie are able to enjoy a very clear, differentiated sound and an amazing 3-dimensional impression.

Among professional musicians, it is said that you are able to hear everything – even all the failures…

The Recital Hall – In contrast to the Grand Hall, the Recital Hall is designed in the classic »shoebox« style. An elegantly milled wooden panelling supplies a perfect acoustic. Both the Grand Hall and the Recital Hall of the Elbphilharmonie are acoustically autonomous spaces that are completely detached from the rest of the building. Massive steel spring elements perfectly buffer the concrete shell of each respective hall from the outside world. No ships’ sirens will ever penetrate these spaces, and not even the sound of a loud trombone ensemble will escape to the outside.

The Kaistudios – Housed in the Kaispeicher warehouse, the Elbphilharmonie’s wide-ranging music education programme offers concerts for children and families, a holiday programme, workshops and more. Many years ago, goods were loaded from ships directly into the warehouse using cargo hatches. Some of the cargo hatches have been now been given a new purpose as balconies, for example, the balcony in Kaistudio 1. A further six Kaistudios complete the music education wing and are used as rehearsal rooms, backstage and foyer rooms, and house for the »World of Instruments«.

The Music – Variety, quality and accessibility are primary criteria by which the Elbphilharmonie measures its musical profile. As a concert hall of the 21st century, engaging in animated dialogues with classical music masterpieces is as much in focus as the discovery of new sounds. The Elbphilharmonie plays host to acclaimed soloists and orchestras from around the world; at the same time, innovative festivals, experimental formats and concert series outside of the traditional classical music programme will break new ground here.

For further information:

Postcard No. 16: “DUISBURG” – Another Recycled Gasometer = Europe`s Biggest & Most Spectacular Indoor Scuba Diving Centre!

arts, Insights, Kunst, Musik, Nature, Reisen, Sports, Technology, Tipps, Travel

Hello to all travelers – and in particular scuba diving enthusiasts!

After visiting the Gasometer in Oberhausen, I would like to send you further greetings from the Ruhr area. Let`s make a stopover in Duisburg!

 The City of Duisburg transformed its industrial smelter heritage into a huge recreation park called the “Landscape Park” in Duisburg North. The spectacular highlight of this park is the Gasometer, which serves  as indoor scuba diving centre today. In fact, it is Europe´s biggest leisure but also training scuba diving centre (for professionals like police, military, fire fighters, industrial scuba divers, instructors, special forces etc.).

The diameter of the Gasometer is 45 m and the depth 13 m. The Gasometer contains 21 mio litres sweet water with a varying temperature of 7°C in wintertime and about 26°C in summertime. The visual range can be 25 metres. 

There is a diving school that offers classes for beginners and experienced divers as well as trial lessons and “adventure diving lessons”. Of course, you can rent scuba diving equipement. Additionally, a repair shop offers support. Changing rooms and hot showers are available too.

Diving in an industrial facility is an amazing experience itself. The Gasometer Duisburg North is even topping this unique experience. The Gasometer namely gives home to wrecks of all kind of vehicles, such as different aircraft, various cars, boats & ships, industrial equipement / structures etc.  Scuba diving excursions in the Gasometer are thrilling and sometimes even a bit spooky… You shouldn`t miss this exclusive adventure!


The “Landscape Park Duisburg” offers gardens, cycling opportunities, outdoor climbing facilities, restaurants & “Biergarten” (beer garden), furnace 5 as viewing platform, concerts and more attractions. During night the industrial complex is enlighted. The very atmosperic industrial leisure park is also very popular among photographers.

As you can see, the Ruhr area – the former centre of Germany`s heavy industry & mining – successfully underwent a makeover and is worth a visit. WELCOME!

Postcard No. 10: “ROME” – The Secret Reason for visiting the Petersdom…Sex sells even in the Vatikan

humor, Insights, Oddities, Reisen, Travel


The only reason, why Roman locals visit the Petersdom…

No, it is not the opportunity to meet the outside of the Vatican very popular Pope Franziskus or to join a mass in the Petersdom. In fact, there is a very earthly reason, as I was told.


The true local crowd puller of the Petersdom is called Guilia Farnese, a young lady well-known as “La Bella” (The Beauty) in Italy.

Giulia Farnese (1474 – 23 March 1524) was mistress to Pope Alexander VI, and the sister of Pope Paul III. Lorenzo Pucci described her as “most lovely to behold”. Cesare Borgia, the son of Alexander VI, described her as having “dark colouring, black eyes, round face and a particular ardor”

Through her intimacy with the Pope, Giulia was able to get her brother Alessandro (the future Paul III) created Cardinal in 1493.

Giulia Farneses grave is unknown. But her image is conserved – and of all possible Locations in Rome, you will find her in the Petersdom. Her Image is namely part of the tomb of Pope Paul III. on the left hand side of the high altar. Already the coeval of Paul III were convinced that the sculpture of a young woman shows the famous, attractive sister of Paul III. The stone of the sculpture is so vivid and full of erotic vibrancy & charisma, so that local men let themself be carried to practice “acts of indecency” (cit. Vatican), while starring at the sculpture of Guilia.

In 1600 the Vatican therefore was forced to respond to this growing group of undesired visitors and dressed the originally naked “Bella Guilia” up  with a shirt made of lead. Still until the 18th century, the entrepreneurial mindset of the Vatican overruled their catholic morale. Visitors were allowed to see the nude beauty if they paid a fee for the removal of the lead-shirt.

Nowadays, this deal is not offered anymore. Due to the fact that there is no picture, painting or sketch of the nude Guilia available, the sculpture in the Petersdom prompts even more erotic phantasies, Roman citizens admit.




La Bella Guillia – part of the tomb of her brother Pope Paul III