Before I could start with anything, I had to get used to having so much free time on my hands. It didn’t take very long. However, it does raise the question why it has become such a common thing to accumulate so many responsibilities that it feels like we don’t control our own time anymore.
Time for Tech
Normally, I have very little interest in dealing with technology outside of work. Which is also why some of my gear is not very well maintained. As I had a sudden flare of motivation, I started my Sabbatical with a few chores. For months I had ignored the fact that my PC continuously failed at installing Windows updates. So, in an attempt to finally fix this, I decided to reinstall Windows 10. This was not very successful as something is going haywire and Windows refuses to install properly. I tried all kinds of hardware changes I could think of, but in the end had to give up.
This lead to a new opportunity, however: I rediscovered Ubuntu Linux. Having used it exclusively during university, I haven’t looked at it since then. Turns out: It has gotten even better than it used to be. Originally I installed it for analytics purposes and just to have access to more help articles online. Now it has taken the spot of primary operating system on my PC. We’ll see how long this will last, but for now I’m quite happy with it.
At this point I’m also really surprised by how well games run on Ubuntu. This used to me a major hassle and was one of the reasons why I moved away from it when I graduated. Looks like this reason is gone. Awesome!
I did not quite stick to my “every other day” rule yet, but I still got moving a bit:
Tour 1: Mittenwalde
On Monday I spontaneously found an interesting course on Komoot and decided to give it a try. I cycled towards the South and ended up going around Berlin’s new airport and then all the way to Mittenwalde, which is a small town in Brandenburg. It doesn’t have a lot to offer, to be honest, but was a good goal. And I had a nice break and a small lunch at a local bakery there. The trip was longer than I originally expected and took me almost the entire day. But it was great. The countryside outside of Berlin has a lot to offer.
Tour 2: Berlin Wall Trail
Berlin maintains a walking and cycling path along the line that used to be the Berlin wall. I had cycled small parts of it before sort of randomly, but wanted to deliberately try to follow it for a bit. I drove South from Köpenick and joined the trail at the Teltow channel. I followed it (and lost it once) all the way to the end of Treptower Park, where I decided to turn around and drove my favorite route back to Köpenick.
The Berlin Wall Trail has been improved over the years with small parks and long “green stripes” along its route. Even when it goes through densely populated areas of Berlin. Quite enjoyable to dive and also interesting to see where the wall used to pass through.
And before I forget: I also took care of a couple of things I had procrastinated for way too long. Top amongst them is that I finally bought a new umbrella and installed it on my balcony, so I can actually use and enjoy it even when the sun is burning down! Transporting a long package on a bike is always an interesting challenge (see photo below).