European Tour Part 1: Germany

In September, I had to go to Europe for work to attend the Multiscale Modeling of Materials conference in Freiburg, Germany. Freiburg is in the southwest corner of Germany, near the border with both France and Switzerland. The conference was held in the University. It was my first trip to Germany and it was very interesting. Freiburg, I don’t believe, is very representative of Germany. It wasn’t damage as much during the two wars and so still has some of the old Europe feel to it. Many of the streets are cobblestone, and there is a little ditch that runs along them, creating a little stream that runs through the city.

The Freiburg cathedral was amazing, one of the most ornate cathedrals I’ve visited. It was covered with gargoyles, which was both very interesting and, from the churches I’ve seen, fairly unique. The cathedral was also covered in various carvings. Some looked intentional, but others looked like graffiti, though they weren’t people’s names, but seemed to be diagrams of some sort. In the mornings, the locals set up a farmers’ market around the cathedral, which was very nice.

The conference itself was great. It was one of the best ones I’ve been to, as there was a lot of content that was interesting and useful to me. The conference organizers took us on an excursion to some local vineyards. We tasted some German wines, which were good. I’m no wine connoisseur, but I enjoyed the wines. We then visited another city which had another cathedral, though it was no where near as ornate as Freiburg’s. It did have some interesting frescos depicting heaven and hell that were uncovered during a restoration.

After finishing the conference, I was to meet with some collaboraters in England the following week. I took advantage of the free weekend to visit my family in Euskadi.

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