Tschuess Deutschland

13 05 2011

For the past 3 days, I was in Germany…near Duesseldorf…no…not for the Eurovision, but for the second meeting for the PhD programme I am on: ATWARM. The first meeting was in November in Belfast, and this time it was the time for the University of Duisburg Essen. The DCU and QUB contingent met at Dublin airport and made our way to Duesseldorf. The weather was beautiful (I have been told I have gotten a bit of a tan YEAH) with maximum temperatures of around 27-28 degrees. There is more about the academic aspect of the trip in my research blog.

A bus picked us up from the airport and took us to our hotels. It was by now around 9:30pm and we were all hungry so we made our way to the nearest restaurant, which was a pizzeria. They were closing within ’10-15 minutes’, but I guess seeing 15 or so hungry people waiting to eat meant they served us. All us Irish were impressed with the prices. €2:50 for a small pizza margherita. €6 for the most expensive large pizza. In Dublin you will not get a slice of pizza for €2:50. And the pizzas were delicious. After that it was to the hotel bar for some drinks and off to sleep.

After a restless night of heat we woke up to start the meeting. After a day of presentations and a site visit we had dinner at the Museum der Deustchen Binnenschiffahrt. The food was absolutely delicious. And the company was great. I always enjoy spending time with the ATWARM participants at these meetings. We are really I good group if I must say so myself. We are always laughing, commenting and having a good time.

The next morning, we only had meetings in the morning, so in the afternoon, a group of us went to Duesseldorf for some sight seeing (and the most delicious ice cream), to Oberhausen for some shopping and had a great dinner at a restaurant in Duisburg MMMMMMM.

The last day was ATWARM day, where we had a full day of meetings and presentations. I always find this the most interesting yet intensive day. I also got elected student council president for the next 6 months (OK not really elected, someone from my University had to volunteer…no one did, but Zahra said I suggest Cecilia…other students said OK I agree…so Cecilia it was). It does not bother me that much. Out of 16 students, at least 12 have to act as president or secretary over the course of the ATWARM programme, so today or tomorrow it would have been my turn.

The last meeting ended at around 4pm, but the flights for all of us leaving Germany left at around 9pm (two flights: one to Dublin for the Dublin and Belfast people and the other to London for the Cranfield people). Therefore we went to the train station for some drinks and food and then left to the airport together, to get the flight back home to rainy cold Dublin.

Overall it was a great 3 days in Germany. All the people there, from the academics to the industrial members and especially the researchers are great and we always enjoy each other’s company (at least I do…don’t know about the others). Even though we have only met once before for around 2 days, it seems like we have known each other for ages. I feel honoured to be part of ATWARM and QUESTOR and look forward to the next ATWARM activity this July for the ATWARM summer school which will also be held in Germany 🙂

Danke schoen Deutschland! Danke schoen ATWARM 🙂

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15 05 2011
Eurovision 2011 « My Commentary…

[…] 2011 Eurovision song contest was held in Duesseldorf. I could not watch the semi-finals since I was in Germany and was either out to dinner or on the flight back home when they were held. However I knew that […]

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