Category Archives: Engineering and Travel

Civil engineering and historical sites

Engineering series 7: former NATO towers on the Hoher Bogen

Introduction

As a person born in the late 1970s I am old enough to remember the existence of two German states and the Iron Curtain that ran between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic until 1989, as peaceful revolutions overthrew the economically and morally bankrupt communist systems throughout Eastern Europe.

My grandparents and many of my relatives lived (and still live) in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate), a north-eastern part of Bavaria that bordered Czechoslovakia and hence a Warsaw Pact country during the Cold War.…

Engineering series 6: Main-Danube Canal

Introduction

Cycling is one of my favorite outdoor activities during weekends or short vacations, and bike tours alongside the Main-Danube Canal between Nuremberg (German: Nürnberg, Middle Franconia) and Bamberg (Upper Franconia) belong to my personal subset of uncomplicated and convenient tours which do not demand much of a preparation.

There are virtually no climbs, and the track is more or less on my doorstep. For the seventy kilometers from Nürnberg to the city center of Bamberg, I need roughly three and a half hours with my mountain bike.

The Main-Danube

Engineering series 5: Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Dictatorship in Romania
  3. Palace of the Parliament
  4. Epilogue

1. Introduction

In the early nineties we had a family from Romania as neighbors, very nice people of German descent who had recently emigrated to Southern Germany to settle in the periphery of Munich where I was growing up.

At that time I was old enough to grasp (at least vaguely) the significance of the historic events that had occurred in the then called Eastern Bloc (Ostblock) a couple of years before.

One after another communist …