Got up at 3.15 a.m. this morning! I was meeting the others in the centre of Galway to catch the 4.30 a.m. coach to Shannon airport, ready for our flight to Dusseldorf. The journey passed without incident – except for a lot of yawning! – until we landed. Then we discovered our flights had been booked to Dusseldorf-Weeze airport. A perfectly good airport in every way except for not being noticeably close to Dusseldorf (or anything else for that matter!) and a lack of taxis. Eventually though we’d managed to work our way through the queue for the taxis, got to the station, and sorted out our journey to Aachen. We’d contacted the people we were visiting in Aachen from the train (after discovering we’d left the contact details back home and calling back to Ireland to get them :oops:), and had received a reply with directions on which bus to catch from our hotel to meet the others. Four of us went on the trip, and we discovered that three of us had enough German that we were able to put sentences together between us (we’re letting off the fourth one as she speaks English, French and Spanish fluently), so between this and the fact that most of the German people we met spoke at least some English we were able to get by very well.

We were going to Aachen to visit a lab we have a collaboration with at the University Hospital Clinic. It was a fascinating building, apparently based upon the Pompidou building in Paris.

Marie and Eoin outside the Klinik

From the outside the building looked amazing – much larger than it appears in this picture. Inside though, we found it very… green. The carpets, the walls, the cupboards in the labs, all a bright shade of green. Definately interesting though. After we’d met, had a bit of a tour of both the lab in this building and another facility, we went out for a meal with a couple of people from the lab we were visiting. We then tried to visit the Christmas market but made it there just as the stalls were shutting up. Instead we went for mulled wine in a bar alongside the market before collapsing into bed.

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