Tag Archives: germany

D18/003 Escaperoom: “The Wizard”

Week 1
Munich, Germany

As a Christmas present I gave a voucher to my family to participate together on a escape room. Before this experience, I only have been on one game room in Turku. So, my knowledge about escape rooms is not so deep. Therefore, when looking for this present was a bit “tricky” for my lack of knowledge on this “genre” and because one of my team member was 9.5 years old. Finally I selected: “Der Zauberer”.

On 3.1.18  was our appointment to play. We arrived and waited some minutes. In the waiting room we saw an interesting sign with warning, e.g.: No panic, Safety first, No arms, No pets, …..

Reading the rules while waiting to get into our escape room

Side Note: maybe the waiting “room” of these scape rooms could improve. Somehow the waiting room could start to create on the players certain experience. At the moment these rooms are not inviting, at least in my experience. 

Few minutes after we arrived, our “host” clarified us how to play the game. She also explained the back story of our selected escape room. Once the team agreed that we were ready, we got into our room and the game started.

For the record: We found the magic  elixir of immortality of the magicians and we did all in a bit less than an hour! IMPRESSIVE!!!

Honestly, I had the best team one could have! And the youngest team member was, literally, FANTASTIC!

This room had different type of puzzles that utilized diverse objects. In other words, there were more activities than looking for number to open locks. We used the wizard’s hat and his magic wand, a mirror, maps, bases for magic potions, smell different aromas, and more. It was enjoyable for all of us. Additionally, I insist, my team was the BEST! I couldn’t have done it alone, to be honest. 🙂

One thing I should remember: to bring paper and pen each one I get into a escape room.

Using my hand as a tool to solve puzzles

— cais

D18/002 GOP and Amelie Demay

Week 1
Munich, Germany

Do you know what is GOP?   If one searches for the acronym directly in Wikipedia and your computer is set up in English, then probably the delivered hit is: “The Republican Party, commonly referred to as the GOP (abbreviation for Grand Old Party).” However, this post do not make reference to that GOP……  No. I do not refer to that GOP.

To make my question clear is: Do you know what is GOP in Germany?  Now there are different options in Wikipedia, and the one I am referring to is the acronym of Georgspalast, which today is a music hall – theater.

Originally the Georgspalast opened in Hanover, at the beginning of the 20’s. It was a “Café-Restaurant Georgspalast“  where concerts with orchestras were offered and people could go to dance. Due to the second wold war, the GOP was closed on Oct 9, 1943. It reopen its doors on May 27, 1948 as a Varieté-Theather (that is music hall – theater) and it was quite successful in Hanover.

In 1962, the GOP closed its doors again because it was difficult to compete with “new” ways of entertainment such as TV.  (side note: this sounds to me familiar).  It was not until 30 years later, in 1992,  when the GOP Varieté-Theater opened its doors again focusing on family entertainment and changing constantly its spectacles. In 1996, GOP started to expand in other parts of Germany. In Munich opened its doors in 2008. The building selected to be the GOP of Munich has also its history. It was the “Kleinen Komödie”, which was already a theater with tradition in Munich since 1946.

So, on 2.1.18 I was at the GOP Munchen to see “La Luna

La Luna – GOP Varieté-Theater from GOP Varieté-Theater on Vimeo.

The place was intimate. We were on table 9, sits 1,2,3 and 4. Excellent sits in my opinion.

The show was homelike. It was professionally done and at the same time, it gave me a feeling to be a “home” circus. The artists were multi-talented and one could see the diverse roles they had on the play. For example: one can be an acrobat for a moment, then could act a bit, and follow to be a  musician and later to help another of his colleges. It was nice to look at. This versatility made me feel the circus close and natural. It was nice! :).

Perhaps my feelings towards “La Luna” were also influenced by what I watched some days earlier on TV. The only program I watched was a function of THE amazing show of Cirque du Soleil O . What a production of “O” !!!  It is just amazing !!! A circus with high technology involved.

“La Luna” has a good group of artists / acrobats and it is enjoyable to look at them. It does not have all that high tech, and it does not need it.  One of the artists made me smile more often than the others, and she triggered my admiration, her name was Amelie Demay. She was so expressive and fun. Additionally, she seemed quite strong. Unquestionably, she has a well exercised and muscular body. No idea how old she is, but definitely she did not look the youngest member of the cast. This trigger my admiration even more when I saw her routines.

Once back home, I researched something briefly about her. The oldest article I found was from 1987 an interview in LA when Demay was 19 years old. Apparently, since young she has been strong, as the photos in getty_images illustrate.

Additionally, I found her name on the book: “Fall of the BIG TOP the vanishing American Circus” by David Lewis Hammarstrom. Those two brief readings, withing a proper research, but it made me realized that she is one of the first group of artists that worked at the Cirque Du Soleil. Interesting !!!  I even found the following video of her performace back in the days.

In La Luna, Demay performs with her family.  So, no wonder my feelings! everything adds up 🙂

Wasn’t it a special evening?  I was in a historical place, enjoying a good spectacle with professionals in the art in a family environment. Of course my company was also very special, in particular the young lady that was siting next to me. 🙂

Thank you for the special evening!

— cais

D18/001 Hochbunker

Week 1
München, Germany

My first discovery from 2018 was on a familiar path. That is proof that someone one walks without looking or paying attention where one is walking.  We were heading towards Olympia Park, through a familiar path, and I asked to D40Oom what was that:

What is the red building?

I have never paid attention to that round building before, so I was curious to know what is it.
The answer: It is a Hochbunker

Ooooooooh! A new thing for me.

I only have done a fast search on wikipedia about what is a “hochbunker”.  In English I only found hochbunker mention within the page of  “air raid shelter”. The first paragraph of the section related to hochbunker reads:

Hochbunker(s), or “high-rise” bunkers or (blockhouses), were a peculiarly German type of construction, designed to relieve the pressure German authorities were facing to accommodate additional numbers of the population in high-density housing areas, as well as pedestrians on the streets during air raids. In contrast to other shelters, these buildings were considered completely bomb-proof. They also had the advantage of being built upward, which was much cheaper than downward excavation. There were no equivalents of hochbunkers in the cities of the Allied countries.

Also I found a list of hochbunkers in Munich. The particular one on the photo is the one on:

Hochbunker Riesenfeldstraße
?48° 10? 35? ,11° 33? 56?

So, the new word and new concept that I learn today it was hidden in plain sight.

Film review – The Never Ending Story

Week 11, 2015
Joensuu, Finland

Title: The NeverEnding story
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Year: 1984
Country: West Germany
IMDb: 7.4/10
Thesis: The power of the imagination
Watched on 13.3.2015

The first time I saw this movie, The Never Ending Story, was probably in 1984. I remember look at the film in a movie theater in its release in México City.  I recall, I just loved this film.  The movie truly touched me.

The narrative of  the Never Ending Story film is knitted upon two stories. One story focuses on the mythical land of Fantasia, which it is being destroyed by “the nothing”. The nothing is the consequence of people not using their fantasy any longer. Thus, the less humans use their fantasy the more Fantasia is destroyed by the nothing. Therefore Fantasia needs urgently a hero to safe this magical kingdom. The hero has to find, beyond the boundaries of Fantasia, a human child to safe Fantasia. 

The second story is in our “reality”. A boy named Basting is passing through a difficult period in his life. His mother just passed away, he is being bullied by some boys, he is not doing well at school and his imagination is his only scape from his reality. However, his father aims to bring him “back” to earth and insist to Basting to stop being in a fantasy world. After a conversation with his father about paying attention to real life, he was walking to school and start to be persecuted by some bullies. Basting hides from his bullies in a book store where the clerk introduced him to an “ancient story book” entitled Never Ending Story. He actually temps Basting to read the book. Finally, Basting “borrows” the book and reads it at his school’s attic. Once he started to read the book, he is drawn into the mythical land of Fantasia in which he is part of the story, he is the only one who can safe this mythical land.

The film knits these two stories: the one that belongs to the real life of Basting and the one belonging to Fantasia. The connection of these two stories is, in the film, through the imagination of Basting.

If one looks at the film with the eyes of someone who believes that one can actually change the fate of something the story connects with the viewer in a deep level. It gives you strength to believe, because the movie stresses the inner desire that individuals have to believe.

In its time, when I saw the film on the 80s, I sense the film so vivid. As I mentioned earlier, I just love it!

Looking the same film 30 years later, my memories prevail and got reinforce. I love the narrative of the film and it is one of my favorite movies. But as an adult, one perceives life differently than 30 years back. Perhaps my connection to the film nowadays is less emotional than the first time I saw in in the 80s being now more rational (how sad!).  After seen the film in 2015, I still like it and it still holds fond memories. The film moves  me, but I do not know if it is for the film or for my memories connected with the film.

Imagination and the capability to believe is something so important and difficult to keep.  Unquestionably, I must read the book which it is waiting for me. The reason of my less immersive experience might be in the technology.

Technologically talking, the film does not give me the impact as it did in the 80s. The technology is not impressive anymore. Well, in 30 years we had seen astonishing digital productions. What I found interesting, I am more impressed on the use of the camera and acting from some films of the 50s  (as the filmed I recently from Buñel, los olvidados) than the NeverEnding Story. How much the film message relies on the technology might deserve an analysis on its own. I skim through the review of  Tomas Caldwell related to the Never Ending Story and he also touches the technological aspect of the film.

Paradoxically, the reason why I came to see this movie again is because I need to gain inspiration on representations. Let me explain, we need to sketch destruction without weapons. Then I remember in this film Fantasia’s destruction was not through wars or weapons, instead it was though the “nothing”. Hence, I came to see  how the narrative was expressed visually within the movie. To see through my eyes again and not only through my memories.

I have fond memories and connection to the film from the 80s, which I cannot change. I wonder if the same connection would be made now if I was looking at the movie for first time. I do not know. However, from my personal point of view The Never Ending Story  is a film worth to watch, no for the “technology” (which for the 80s was very good) but to enjoy an expression of the power of the imagination within a film narrative. I beautiful story!

To finalize my post, a complete journey to the 80s with theme of the film by Limahl :

Also you can watch The NeverEnding Story film on line from ffilms.org address.



Week 1
München, Germany

On the second day of 2015, we had the opportunity to assist to a magic spectacle at Prinzregententheater entitled: Magic! Zauber der Illusion.

Waiting for the performance to start

Waiting for the performance to start


Some of the highlights are:

  • To see magic with a 6 years old child, it is a MAGICAL experience!
  • Illusionists are my favorites
  • Enjoy discovering new locations

The magicians were good. However I believe the work of  Xavier Mortimer  is the one I enjoyed the most. Look at his magic mirror:

Afterwards I read something about magicians, and I found fascinating that The Magic Circle  is a London based organization founded in 1905 to promote the advancement of magic. Wonder why I haven’t read about this in the game research literature…..