After the necessary recovery day from the flight (along with some weird sleeping hours as my body-clock adjusted), the next day was a visit to Frankfurt University. The technical and scientific research groups are located in an outer suburb which nevertheless is only 15 minutes by train from the city centre. The day was spent in conversation with their Center for Scientific Computing Team
team then attending their introductory class in cluster computing conducted by Anja G., which is an especially comprehensive overview, albeit without a hands-on component. I have spent considerable time going through their lesson plan and slidedeck providing feedback, as well as updating my own standard content from their insights.
After this was the trip to Stuttgart to stay with relatives, about an hour's journey on the fast IC trains. The following day was a holiday, so we we took a tour of the city and especially around the Schollplatz
. Visits to (and from) the Stuttgardians are always a pleasure; they're switched-on, savvy, and highly considerate of the needs of others. The children are polite, funny, and absolutely fascinated by Australian animals, which makes buying gifts a breeze. Additional time with them was quite accidental as the person I was supposed to visit at the local university had fallen ill, so we instead took a visit to the Trippsdrill Theme Park
, which apart from the usual fare also integrates local history of Swabian life especially from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Following day started with a visit to downtown Stuttgart where I teased a person in a kangaroo suit (complete with joey) by chatting to them and putting on a very broad Australian accent with colloquialisms. It was a conclusion of some animal events from the past day which included a small finch that stunned itself after flying into a window and a visit by a red squirrel. Further down the road a woman was offering "Free Hugs" in the middle of the mall, so obliged this pan-handler. Afterwards we visited the Ritter Sports
chocolate museum, which of course the kids loved. They had an absolutely appalling abstract expressionist art exhibition
. When will people learn that such art (loosely defined), the enemy of realism and surrealism, was actually a CIA plot
? The day has ended with dinner at for all at Das Pilum
, an Italian-Swabian restaurant in former military barracks (the grounds date to Roman times).