Long trip

nearly 24 hours in plane or airport.  Remind me to not fly United or through Dulles again.   The 8 hour layover including 3 hours of delay really turned me sour.   At least I’m home, and tired.  Of course it feels like 8AM to me.

More Switzerland

I’ve been in Germany for almost a week now, and for the most part it’s been great.  More about that later.  The conference in Bern went very well, and it was a great learning experience.  I met a lot of people that are also interested in Mars and who know a lot more than I do about the planet.  They were interested in my presentation, and that’s a good feeling.  Plus their feedback really helped to clarify my thoughts and motivate me to finish writing my paper.  So it was a great success.

Now for pictures!  After leaving Geneva by train I had an optional “lay over” in  Lausanne, which by the way is a beautiful city. I had to drag my suitcases around, but it was worth it getting to see another side of lake Geneva and the mountains from there.

I sure as he77 wouldn’t want to live THERE! That’s not true. Actually a friend of mine, Jessica, is moving there with her boyfriend in a couple of weeks. She’ll love it.

I met a nice young couple there: she was from Norway; he was from Slovenia. They seemed to make a good couple. Anyway, while I was taking all the pictures of boats, mountains, and the lake, they came up. I offered to take a picture of them, and we ended up chatting for a while. She was an exchange student and spoke English very well, also German and French I imagine. He was visiting and hoped to move there. They took this photo for me before walking away.

Not much later I headed back to the subway station, and they were there! How funny. We talked more, and I asked where I could get a good view of the city from above. She wasn’t sure. They got off, and I did one stop later hoping to get a good view. That turned out well for me since it was an easy walk up to a big church, and guess what? They were there too! 3 times in one day I meet the same couple. Anyway, the view was amazing from up there.

And then it was back to the train to Bern.  I was tired, but it was nearly impossible to avoid taking pictures.  Switzerland really is beautiful.

Can you imagine living there and thinking that was normal? Living on a winery across from a blue lake from the Alps? Kids there probably want to grow up and live in a city. Bah!

It’s a great place. Stay tuned for pictures from Bern.

First day in Switzerland

So things are going great here. I made it to Bern after a nice stay in Geneva. Talk about a beautiful city, Geneva is amazing. I’ve only uploaded a couple of photos, but the whole place is wonderful. The rest of Switzerland is like a big park perfectly manicured and loved by her people. I’ll get to those photos later.

After a mostly uneventful trip, I arrived in Geneva at 8AM. Finding my way downtown a hostel was soon located, but it was too early to check in. So I walked, and walked, and walked. I’m sore by the way, lots of walking. And after a nap I went for a run to see more city. There are so many parks there it’s hard to describe them. Just imagine a the best place on earth, that’s a good start. Sunshine that kept you warm even in the breeze, cultivated flowers everywhere and trees older than most US cities. Add to that the Alps looming in the background and Lake Leman going out to the horizon, and lots of friendly people. It’s a good place to visit. So now for some photos

These are from the flight. The clouds were quite a sight

And then landing in Geneva

The cloud break is at a mountain range.

Then it got better!!!

Higher res upon request.  This was the point when the flight attendants tell you to turn off your camera.  Only this time was different.  One was leaning over me to take the same shot with her camera-phone.  FAA regulations don’t much matter when you’re staring at Montt Blanc (the highest mountain in Europe) at eye level

And then the city. Downtown is set on the lake, so the view are impressive

And some animals

I met up with some Australians (the reason I couldn’t check into my room, they overslept) who had been there a couple days already. They showed me around, and we even played some chess

Then the mountains caught my eye before sunset. Boy was that nice.

and lastly


Whoever said Geneva was boring has no clue. I didn’t see much night life, but it ranks up there as the most beautiful city I’ve visited.

And  all the pictures (45 out of 450)

Headed to Switzerland

I’m really excited about this. I’m going to discuss Mars and my research with other like minded people.  It’s a great opportunity to meet people and learn.  It’ll be great, and I’ll post lots of pictures.

Honestly, I’m just as excited to see Germany again.  yep, Jack gave me a couple extra days (week+) to travel and see Stuttgart, my German hometown.   This is so cool. 😀 😀 😀


Life is good

Finally, now that the semester is over, I can get to work.  Research is why I’m in graduate school, and now I get to do that.  Of course the trip to Switzerland is this Friday, and I’ll be not working on Mars for a while, but it’s so nice not worrying about classes.  We’re learning new things about Mars every day.  This stuff is awesome.

End of the semester

I sure picked a funny time to try and finish up a paper, what with coinciding with 2 more I have to write for classes.  At least it’s almost all done!  Next Thursday I am a free man.

It looks like I’ll be in Austin most of the summer except for 2 weeks in Switzerland for a conference (and visit friends) and then another 9 days or so in Kentucky.  Man I miss riding in Kentucky.  Otherwise there is a lot of Mars to stare at.

At least there will be more to post when I get past finals.