Monday, June 23, 2008

We're B-a-a-a-ck!

After an 11-hour flight from Frankfurt to LAX, Mayor Bogaard, Judy Kent and I were back on U.S. soil. Most of the others in the delegation stayed another day or two in Ludwigshafen, and then many were going to take a tour of Prague and some other cities.

Using the sole computer at each of the hotels in Järvenpää and Ludwigshafen was a real challenge. Other guests wanted to use them as well, so I was always in a hurry, which made it tougher because it took a long time to upload photos to the blog; or I used the computers very late at night (1 a.m. or so) or very early in the morning (4:30 or 5 a.m.).

So here are a few additional photos that will give you a fuller flavor of our adventures.

FINLAND

Helsinki Harbor: If it walks like a cruise ship and talks like a cruise ship, it must be a cruise ship, right?


Wrong. It's the overnight ferry to Stockholm.

The students at Järvenpään Lukio, the high school, publish a magazine that is quite impressive.



These two vans look similar. Both transport people around town. One's a Mercedes and one's a VW. There's a gigantic difference in price.


Ours was the Mercedes.

Pasadena's General Plan goal of getting around town without a car may well have been inspired by Järvenpää. Here there are big incentives for not driving a car -- there are only a few parking lots, and those only hold a handful of cars each; plus the cost to park is huge -- the average is about $20 an hour.

So people rely on bicycles, walking, buses and light rail.

Here's rush hour in Järvenpää (really):



Remember the photo of all those bikes at the light rail station? That was right next to the parking lot, which I regret I didn't photograph. It has spaces for about 20 cars max. That lot is not reserved only for light-rail riders; it also serves the Rivoli Hotel and an adjacent shopping area.

GERMANY

Bianca (second from right) grew up in Ludwigshafen and her parents still live there. A few years ago she did a professional internship at Abbott Labs in South Pasadena.



She and her significant other, Markus, who is next to her in the photo, now run a cafe at a ski resort in Austria. They presented us with gifts from their cafe.

Public art in the plaza across from our hotel: Apparently the butt crack was beyond what the sensitibilities of a passer-by could handle. (That's a Band Aid.)



OK, who's on first?
Heidelberg walkway: Barrel-vaulted ceiling with cast-stone flowers.



Pasadena City Hall: Barrel-vaulted ceiling with cast-stone flowers.



The architects Bakewell and Brown of San Francisco had many inspirations for the design of Pasadena City Hall, including classic European architecture.

That's Heidelberg Castle, looking down on the city. The imposing complex of buildings was constructed on the orders of the Prince Electors and the work took more than two centuries to complete. The tower to the left is undergoing renovation.



View from the castle: The foundation stone for the gothic-style Church of the Holy Spirit was laid in 1398. The church is the dominant feature in Heidelberg's central market area.

4 comments:

Miss Havisham said...

These people must have showered you with gifts. Yes?

Aaron Proctor said...

Bogaard called you "The Queen Of The Blogosphere".

Isn't West Coast Grrlie Blather, Miss Havisham, or Larry Wilson going to be mad?

- AP
http://www.proctorformayor.com

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

I love it that Mayor B called you Queen of the Blogosphere!

My family lived in Germany for a few months before we moved to England. One of my favorite memories froom that time is sailing down the Neckar River past Heidelberg. Thanks for posting the photos of that beautiful town.

pasadenapio said...

I love my new handle! I guess that means I've finally arrived.