Germany April 2017 (Hanover to Stuttgart)

Visual highlights from a week tour of German automation technology hosted by a leading automation company, Festo Didactic (Thanks Festo!). The whirlwind tour included a couple days at Hanover Messe 2017 (largest tech trade show on Earth) and a tour of the Kassel VW assembly plant, among other tech sites and cultural attractions:

Our very comfortable Renault Talisman at a rest stop on the Autobahn. Had to drive six hours back up to Hanover from Stuttgart due to a flight itinerary SNAFU but I didn’t mind. I’ve driven faster but I’ve never legally set the cruise control to 180+ km/h. This car had more tech than I’ve ever seen in a car but my favorite feature was the nav when it displayed the NO SPEED LIMIT icon! Not a fan of the motor kill economy feature at stoplights, however; but I learned how to disable it. In addition to the sonar and back-up cam, it had lane awareness and automatic wipers, side mirrors and locks. Took me awhile to figure out the locks as it would only lock when I was a given distance away. Dash light color themes, seat massage, large nav display with integrated nav in the instrument cluster. Pretty cool. Could have used a V8. That’s me and James Ortiz captured by Kathy Bowen.
The only shot of Hohenzollen Castle in situ (from our double-decker tour bus we spent a week on). It was in the clouds when we got up there.
Hohenzollen Castle.
Hohenzollen Castle.
Looking down into the valley from Hohenzollen Castle.
The only interior shot of Hohenzollen Castle before our tour guide told us photography was prohibited inside. The tour guide admitted it was in hopes of selling more postcards from the gift shop. The tour was the lamest tour I’ve ever been on as it only focused on family portraits and genealogy. Just walking around outside was worthwhile. My first castle.
We all got pretty trashed at Freulingfest in Stuttgart. The naughtiest and happiest party since Fantasy Fest in Key West! What happens in the pay-toilet at Freulingfest stays in the bathroom at Freulingfest, I’m told. Suffice it to say the Germans play as hard as they work! Live band under big screen playing classic pop (lots of ABBA, of course). Everyone singing and dancing on the tables and consuming copious brau and pig parts… on a week night… for several weeks! The image doesn’t well depict how truly large this beer garden tent is. Full, semi-permanent amusement park outside with some wicked rides.
I only got a few shots in the lobby of the Kassel Volkswagen site as photography was prohibited in the plant. The assembly automation and big robots were as impressive as they were intimidating. An employee was killed by a robot a few months before we toured.
Lowenbrau statue at Hanover Messe.
Hanover Messe.
Hanover Messe.
Hanover Messe.

First Post: Japan January 2017 (Tokyo to Kyoto)

There  must be a first post. How can one have a blog without a first post?

Some highlights from the first trip this year in late January to Japan:

Interactive visual exhibit at ORBI Yokohama.
Projected video on 3D surface at ORBI Yokohama.
Kyoto panorama.
Mt. Fuji from the Shinkansen high-speed rail.
Beer ad on Tokyo train system.
Warning sign on Tokyo train system.
Queen’s Tower, Yokohama.
Cosmo Clock 21, Yokohama.
Yokohama Landmark Tower.
Shinkansen high-speed train.
Mountains between Nagoya and Kyoto from Shinkansen train.
Coach class on Shinkansen train.
Shibuya Crossing (world’s busiest intersection) in Tokyo.
Shibuya Crossing (world’s busiest intersection) in Tokyo.
Tokyo Sky Tree.
View from Tokyo Sky Tree.
View from and shadow of Tokyo Sky Tree.
Sensoji Temple, Tokyo.