Monthly Archives: February 2018

My Fourth Year in Germany

My title has a different look now since we moved from Munich to Düsseldorf beginning of October 2017.  It forced me to leave my comfort zone and I am now really on my own as a contractor using only one umbrella company, my German tax accountant.  Overall the move has been a great experience and I am now working for my first Japanese company Renesas.  I am working with several great new colleagues and I am learning new things all the time.  I do miss my old colleagues and friends in Munich but as contractors will say, you never know where you will end up next.

Our travels have been reduced since we now are thinking about saving money before we return to the US full time. But I do have a few travel pictures to share soon.

A background about Düsseldorf: it’s a beautiful small city near the border of the Netherlands right on the Rhine river. Yes, that Rhine river! Nadine has always loved rivers so she is getting spoiled here.  They also have the AltStadt (Old town) here and it is unlike any other place I’ve seen so far in Europe. Great restaurants scattered over criss-crossed walking paths with many stores mixed in. La Rambla in Barcelona comes to mind but it was mainly a straight path.

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We are only a 30 minute train ride to Cologne, what the locals call Köln (sounds like curln!) The O with the umlaut is difficult for english speakers. The only thing I can compare it to is the “er” sound in sister. Köln has been around for over 2000 years and is old compared to Düsseldorf which is not quite 900 years old. Köln is most famous for having The Cathedral, and it is magnificent!

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We are only a two hour train ride to Amsterdam, and the museums there are special. Rembrandt paintings are in several museums there, and I just can’t get enough of them. All the people are looking at his most famous “Nightwatch”. There is even a park with statues made from the Nightwatch painting.

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Thirty minutes farther on the train from Köln brings you to Bonn, Beethoven’s birth place. Talk about getting spoiled. I was close to Salzburg and visited several times. It is famous for being Mozart’s birth place. Now being close to Beethoven’s birth place, getting spoiled. I have had the complete set of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas for a long time and am studying them seriously now. He did things no one had done before and his Piano Sonatas are unmatched by any composer. Everyone has heard the “Moonlight Sonata”. Listen on Spotify and enjoy the masters genius. Unfortunately they do NOT allow photography inside the Beethoven museum 😦

I have to show you a few photos from my recent trip to Rome for my third time. But first time to see the Borghese Gallery. Oh my, if you go to Rome make sure you visit. You need to purchase tickets on-line and make a reservation since it is a smaller museum and they limit the amount of people inside. It is most impressive! Bernini’s David is shown below, incredible. Quite different than Michelangelo’s David in Florence.

This week I also found out I was given a 3 month extension at Renesas with hopefully another 3 months added later. This guarantees being in Düsseldorf until the end of June 2018, maybe till the end of September 2018. After that we will be moving again since this project is winding down. Once again the adventure will continue!

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