European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Nantes

Thoughts about my 2015 trip to Nantes where I presented my research at the EWTEC conference.

At the start of September 2015, I travelled to Nantes in western France, to attend the 11th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC). As part of the conference, I presented my research on measurements of the current generation in FloWave. Continue reading “European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Nantes”

European rail trip, part 5: Amsterdam and home by ferry

Amsterdam, a city of canals and bikes. Lots of bikes. And what better way to explore the city, than a hire bike. Then it was finally time to head back to the UK, by ferry to Newcastle.

Exploring AmsterdamTypical Amsterdam

On my first morning in Amsterdam, I decided after a brief walk around the centre to take a boat trip around some of the many canals. This was well worth the €15, firstly for different viewpoint afforded by the boat, but also the captain and guide was knowledgeable, pointing out and explaining things in addition to the standard multi-lingual commentary. Continue reading “European rail trip, part 5: Amsterdam and home by ferry”

European rail trip, part 4: Overnight to Köln

The return journey began with a sleeper train to Köln, where I visited the impressive cathedral, and some of the other sites, before heading on my way again

SchlafwagenI still had an hour or so to wait once I finished my meal, but thanks to the information on Seat61, I knew I was allowed to make use of the 1st class lounge with my sleeper ticket. So I sat with my free glass of wine and nibbles, watched the world go by, and caught up on the latest news. Continue reading “European rail trip, part 4: Overnight to Köln”

European rail trip, part 3: Vienna and the conference

My impressions of Wien, which were somewhat, but not wholly, dominated by attending and presenting at the European Geosciences Union conference

I had arrived in Wein Westbahnhof at 20:30, found the subway, bought a ticket, then boarded a train. Before we departed, crowds of football fans piled into the carriage, shouting and singing. Without knowing the language, I could tell their team had won. They were jumping up and down, rocking the train somewhat. In doing so, one of the fans must have hit the emergency lever, for as no sooner had the subway train started it lurched to a halt. The third emergency stop that day. Once the driver found and reset the offending lever, we were on our way without further incident. Continue reading “European rail trip, part 3: Vienna and the conference”

European rail trip, part 2: Zürich and through the Alps

My impressions of 36 hours in Zürich, with an unexpected start, clean colourful architecture, and a festival to make the place seem lively. Then the highlight of the trip, a train journey through the Alps, with some amazing scenery.

Zürich

My first impression of Zürich, as I made my way from the train through the crowds, was not what I expected.

A loud explosive bang rattled the station. Travellers of all nationalities looked round to see the source, but there did not seem to be any major panic, flames, or smoke. As there was no reason for me to wait in the station, I made my way towards the main entrance, and out into the sunshine. Continue reading “European rail trip, part 2: Zürich and through the Alps”

European rail trip, part 1: introduction and Paris

Planning of my trip across Europe by rail, from Edinburgh to Vienna, via Paris & Zürich then returning via Köln & Amsterdam. Plus the first leg of the journey and exploring Paris.

Once I knew that I had been accepted to present my poster at the European Geosciences Union conference in Vienna, I started to think about how to travel there. I’ve never been a big fan of airports, and the associated security palaver. So my first stop was of course the excellent Seat61.com, which shows that overland travel by rail was possible and not a ridiculous idea. I began to plan the trip. Continue reading “European rail trip, part 1: introduction and Paris”