Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Deutchland, deutchland

On Sunday evening I arrived in Germany for the eleventh annual gravitational wave data analysis workshop (GWDAW11). It was quite nice traveling on an afternoon rather than having to get up at some ludicrous hour in the morning. My journey started off with a taxi ride to Glasgow Airport. The taxi was being driven by an ardent Rangers fan and we were listening to an Old Firm game on the radio. It was quite disturbing when he decided to start violently thumping his fist against the roof of the car when Rangers equalised late on in the game. Other than that the first leg of the flight from Glasgow to Amsterdam airports went smoothly. A bit of running was required at Schipol due to being slightly late (well it takes a stupidly large amount of time to taxi from the runway to a gate at Schipol) and having a rather tight connection window. We also had to go through passport control which added on to the connection time threatening to make us miss our plane. There were a large number of people at passport control who seemed to think that it was only them in danger of missing their flight, so insisted on attempting to push into the queue - they didn't quite understand that a large fraction of the people there were in the same fucking boat! Anyway, we did just make the gate as the plane was boarding. We arrived in Berlin at about 10.15 pm and got a taxi to our hotel in Potsdam. After having a very tiny free beer in the bar I retired to my room and to my surprise found that Eurosport was showing the final of the UK snooker championship - the commentary was is German, but I got by.

We're on day two of the meeting now. So far it's been fine. The hotel we're staying at is nice and the food is pretty good. We went into the centre of Potsdam for a drink and some food, having a glass of obligatory gluhwine (aka mulled wine) in the Christmas market. This morning I gave a talk (the results I presented were those I described in my last post) and the talk should be posted here). I thought my talk went pretty well, but I didn't get any questions - probably people were still taking in the enormity of my results. Tonight we have the conference dinner, so people may be a bit worse for wear tomorrow morning.