Monday, June 23, 2008

Intense Tourist Day in Berlin!

6am - leave on train to Berlin
12pm - return home

in between: sightseeing in Berlin at a frantic pace.

In one day I visited two museums, explored through Berlin's pairlamentary and embassy districts, climbed up the victory tower to see a view of the entire city, and got my picture taken in front of quite a few major monuments.

Here is the climb up the Victory Tower (300 stairs), then the majestic view from the top.

And this is my favorite from the Museums that day. It is in the Pergamon Museum. What happened is, at some point the German Monarchy decided to go to to Greece, excavate an ancient city, pick it up, bring it back, and then proudly display it. Now, it rests in a public museum.

And now, back to a week of chemistry.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Parade in Frankfurt

Today I traveled to Frankfurt with a new friend who is also in Darmstadt for the DAAD RISE program. He was going to walk in a parade to celebrate the upcoming Olympics in China. I came along, thinking I would watch the parade from the sidelines, since I was a) not registered and b) the only person there who was not Chinese. Instead they gave me a T-shirt and a huge Chinese flag - probably because I was c) the tallest person there - which I waved proudly for the whole parade!

Other highlights of the day were a band with trombones, and accordion orchestra, and a horse drawn beer cart - all at a big street festival.

Now I need to try to sleep right away so I can wake up at 6 tomorrow to go to Berlin!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Honk! Deutschland!

Deutschland has just won a match in the Euro Cup. They now advance to the semifinals. The people in Darmstadt (and all throughout Germany for that matter) are celebrating noisily. People drive their cars around waving flags and honking constantly (no matter that it is 11pm here). Fire crackers fly up in the air and children lean out of their windows shouting Deutschland! No joke - I saw all of this. The party will go on for at least a few more hours. If tomorrow was not a work day, people would be "making party" in the streets all night long.

I watched the game at a crowded bier garten where I had my first German beer. It was a Pfungstadter - apparently the local equivilant of bud or miller, but of course much better. Not the best beer I've ever had, but not a bad start.

As for why I am in Germany for the summer - A chemistry research position at TU Darmstadt provided by the DAAD RISE program - more on that later. For now I need to sleep (or try to, with the noise of honking cars) so I can wake up early to start my first synthesis reaction of the summer.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I will keep this blog while I am in Darmstadt, Germany this summer. Here are some pictures to begin.