Favorite Quotes

Favorite Quotes

  • Usual Suspects (Movie):The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. Original Quote  “the finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist” by Charles Baudelaire.
  • Prometheus (Movie):Where the hell you going, doc? You know what this place is? Those Engineers, this ain’t their home. It’s an installation. Maybe even military. They put it out here in the middle of nowhere because they’re not stupid enough to make weapons of mass destruction on their own doorstep.
  • “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it” Albert Einstein

Stuttgart to Blautopf


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Getting there

As it’s in Baden Wurttemberg a BW ticket would suffice .

Schedule of trains

Check for the schedule of trains from Stuttgart to Blaubeuren. The basic BW tickets allows only second class travel. First class travel can be availed for a small extra fee. Please check DB website here. Most of the connection require you to get off at the Ulm and catch the second train to Blaubeuren. From Blaubeuren station Blautopf is a 20 minutes walk. Take the Karlstrasse right in front of the station followed by the Klosterstrasse. Take a right where the Klosterstrasse meets Lindenstrasse. After a few metres you will be at the Blautopf.

What to do there

If you are into trekking or extreme bicycling there are some trekking routes here. If you just want to relax then one can sit beside the beautiful spring. There are restaurants  around the place as well. We found it an ideal place to spend an afternoon there.

Mac OSX “This disk cannot be used to startup your computer”

This is my step by step ordeal of upgrading my MacBook Pro 13-inch ( model early 2011).

 Upgrade to Mountain Lion

At the start of installation I get the Mountain Lion initial window with the Macintosh HD as the only target to install (My Mac has only one partition).  Beside the target HD a message saying “This disk cannot be used to startup your computer”.  I did a quick google search for this message. The top hits were from the Apple forums and Apple Support. The suggestions here about using the Disk Utility to decrease the partition size and retrying the installation did not work.  I remembered that I had an Ubuntu installation with the virtual box and had also tried to dual boot Linux using rEFIt. This I think might have messed up my file system.

What what worked for me

I just created a new partition using the Disk Utility.  Now I had two partitions of equal size. Then I tried the install of the Mountain Lion on the same partition as the Snow Leopard and it worked. The previous message about the disk not able to start-up was gone. So at least for my Mac a creation of a new partition was necessary. Also since its not a clean install of the Mountain Lion I still had all the applications from my previous Snow Leopard.

After the successful installation of the Mountain Lion I removed the other partition and extended the size of the partition where my new Mountain Lion was installed.

Paris on a budget

 

Getting there

We started from Stuttgart, Germany. The practical options would be to rent a car, take the train or bus.  The train is the most convenient and bus is the cheapest option but the most inconvenient. Inconvenient as it takes forever to reach the destination, and since the seats are not allocated at booking time there is a chance that you might not get to sit together in case  you are travelling as a couple. The train connection either the TGV or the ICE takes approximately 4 hours and is very convenient.

Stay

Paris is generally expensive throughout the year.  Look for good deals on booking.com and airbnb.  Look for accommodation within zone 1 and 2 if you plan to stay for less than 3 days. Staying inside the city has it advantages.  This allows ease of itinerary planning and not worrying too much about long distance travel. Also it allows one to experience the Paris nights, the walk beside the river Seine and the various  places of interest like the Eiffel tower, Louvre pyramid and Notre Dame look amazing during the night.

Getting Around

Paris is best explored on foot. Hence plan for at least 3 days to cover the most famous point of interests. For the odd metro travel we bought the booklet of tickets (called carnet).  There are also various tourist passes offered. Check them on the official website : https://en.parisinfo.com/

On weekends and holidays, if you are below the age of 25 look for discount tickets.

Best time to visit

We went in March and it was perfect. The warm weather lasts until September. The early part of the winter until beginning of December is not bad though.

Places of interest

Notre Dame

The name translates to Our lady. It’s the Kilometer Zero of France and a good place to start. The cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece. It has no entrance fee and there won’t be much waiting to get inside. If you are lucky there might be a grand piano performance going on. If time permits go around the outside of the church it’s as spectacular as the inside.

Latin Quarter

A lively cultural scene with lot of bars and restaurants. A good place to have your lunch break. if you are a book lover do not miss Shakespeare and Company.

 

Eiffel Tower

Be prepared for a long queue. But worth the wait. Try to reach at the top when the evening turns to dark so that you can enjoy both the day and night view of the city.

Arc De Triomphe

A massive structure build to commemorate one of Napoleon victories.  Get to the arc via the underpass and not by crossing the wide road.

Champs-Élysées

A long avenue where all the posh brands have their shops. From the Arc de Triomphe walk up till the Concorde monument. If you are a Ferrari enthusiast then this is the best place where you can catch a glimpse of one. The Concorde obelisk , even though it looks shiny, is actually 3,300 years old.

Louvre Museum

It’s overwhelmingly big. Read before your visit about what interests you. Otherwise you will only return exhausted. Also if your sole interest is to see the Mona Lisa then learn beforehand as to why it is so famous else I can assure you that you are in for a disappointment. If you want to do it for free then the first Sunday of every month is the time to visit. But you will have to endure a long queue.

Sacre Coeur

It’s another beautiful church perched on the Montmartre. Its the highest land point of Paris.

La Chappelle

Good place to find customized Indian food. The hotel named Sarvana Bhavan is definitely worth a try. It serves only vegetarian food.

Seine Cruise

We took the Bateau Mouches and it was a pleasant experience. It was a budget cruise which takes about an hour. More lavish options with disco and dinner are also available.

Walk beside the Seine

A walk on the banks of the Seine during the twilight is an awesome experience. There will be a lot of street performances. Also the light reflecting from the water is unforgettable.

Stay Safe

Paris is a political and the financial capital of France hence there are all kinds of people. So take precautions around areas like Barbes Rochechouart , La Chappelle and Montmartre.  Pigalle is the famous red light area so don’t fall prey to the pimps. These places are known for crime and pick pockets. Do not indulge in gambling you are bound to lose money.