August 16, 2012
Yesterday after we arrived in Frankfurt, we walked around the city. It is an amazing city. It is big enough that there is a lot of business but it is small enough that the streets are not clogged with cars. Maybe one of the reasons is that so many people ride bicycles. There were bikes everywhere. Sometimes the people walking have to be careful not to get run over by the bikes.
We went down to the old part of Frankfurt which is near the River Main. The old town area is very cool to visit. I found it interesting that much of the old town had to be rebuilt after World War II. The allies bombed the city destroying many buildings. I found some images from 1927 and 1947 that I’ve included with a picture that I took yesterday. You can see that a couple of the churches survived the war. The picture from 1927 was probably used to recreate the buildings that are standing today to reconnect the area with the past.
Frankfurt also has one of Germany’s best underground rail systems. Kathleen and I went down into the underground for a little while. We went to a grocery store and bank underground. It was amazing.
Just beyond the old town is the River Main and the Eisener Steg bridge. There are thousands of locks locked to the bridge. Couples have put them there and many of the locks of the people’s names engraved on them. That is a really neat idea.
The one bad thing that I can say about Frankfurt is that it has some bad odors. Frankfurt is not unlike others cities. It seems like all large cities have smells.
Today, we drove to Switzerland to meet up wit GLOBE people there. We were suppose to meet with Juliette Vogel, the GLOBE country coordinator for Switzerland, but on our drive down, we got turned around on the Autabohn (Germany’s highway system) and ended up going an hour and a half out of our way. Juliette had to catch a train to go home from Zurich, so we were not able to meet.
After driving through Zurich, Kathleen and I made our way to Markus Eugster’s house in Uzwil, Switzerland. Markus is a good GLOBE friend. He is a teacher at the ? Okay, I realized I don’t know the name of Markus’ school. I am going there tomorrow. I better learn it. He teachers 7th through 8th grade science and math from what I know. In the picture are Markus and two of his three sons, Michael and Simon. I’m the guy on the left.
Okay, I don't have the permissions figured out to post pictures yet. Julie Malmberg is doing it for me. She is being a great help.
Please post comments to my blog here. I would like to see what people have to say.
August 15, 2012
My wife Kathleen and I have come to Europe as part of my sabbatical at the University of Toledo to meet with GLOBE partners and teachers. My goal is to promote awareness of the surface temperature field campaign which is part of GLOBE’s Student Climate Research Campaign (SCRC) this year and which will be held in December. I am also promoting projects. Teachers should work with their students to do science investigations (projects) based on GLOBE observations
We left Detroit, Michigan (the airport closest to our house near Toledo, Ohio) yesterday, August 14th at about 5:30 pm. We landed in Frankfurt, Germany at about 8 am local time on August 15th. This was an overnight (red-eye) flight. Everyone is suppose to sleep on the plane. Here is a picture of me with my monkey neck pillow. I love my monkey pillow.
We are really tired today because we did not get much sleep last night. There is a 6 hour time difference. When it is 8 am here and everyone is waking up, it is 2 am where we live. Everyone is asleep.
We will be first driving to Zurich, Switzerland tomorrow to visit Juliette Vogel who is the GLOBE country coordinator for Switzerland. After the meeting, we will head over to Uzwil, Switzerland which is on the eastern side of the country. We will be staying with Markus Eugster and his wife. I’ll visit his classroom and then help out with a teacher training on Saturday. From there, we will visit the mountains of Switzerland. I want to see how the temperature of different land cover types and elevations affects surface temperature.
Then, we will go to Konstanz, Germany to visit teachers from the von Humbolt school. This is one of the top GLOBE schools in the world. They have posted x amount of data. It is only a 45 minute drive from Uzwil.
Here is our itinerary:
I hope to blog a lot along the way.
We’ve rented a car and will driving to all of the above locations. It just seemed easier than to try to catch the train although Europeans like to take the train.
Kathleen started to drive first. The car has a manual transmission. There aren’t many cars with manual transmissions in the United States any more. Kathleen hadn’t driven one in 15 years or more. Let’s just say she was a little rusty.
We’ve seen some familiar things in Frankfurt: Starbucks, Subway, McDonalds…. And even a jewelry store selling jewelry from Arizona made of Turquoise.
The hotel we are staying at in Frankfurt is near the central business district. Our hotel is 50 meters from the Borse Stock Exchange, 800 m from the European Central Bank. If I was a country in need of money, I could go there to get a loan.
The proximity to the banks probably explains why our hotel room is so expensive. A bottle of water in the hotel is 5 which is about $6.
One thing that Kathleen and I noticed from the plane when we are flying over Germany is that people tend to live in small villages with their houses clustered together with few houses in the agricultural areas and forested areas. This is a big difference with the United States. Many people in the US want to live on 5-10 acre properties. This has caused the cities in the US to sprawl, called urban sprawl. It is one of the main reasons that the US cities are warming up due to the urban heat island effect. On my trip, I hope to learn more about central Europe’s cities and whether they are seeing the urban heat island effect like the US cities are.