A lot has happened since our last report, way too much to put on a single or even two pages, so I'm taking another approach to organizing this report as you'll see below.
July 11 - Attended one leg of the world rollerblading tournament that was held in Eindhoven. The female winner is shown on the right.
July 12 - Visited an automobile museum the Autotron near Arnhem. The most interesting exhibits were a replica of a 1885 Benz
and a 1896 Ford Quadricycle.
Geldrop Castle Front
Geldrop Castle Back
July 13 - Visited an outdoor flea market and made a few small purchases, like a handheld sewing machine for $2.50. On the way back we visited the castle in Geldrop. This building is typical of many Dutch "castles" or "palaces" which are often more like stately homes.
July 14 - Drove to Schipbol, Amsterdam's airport to meet Birgit. It was great to see her again, even if she was a bit sleepy. From there we went to Enschede and visited the University of Twente to do some work and to have dinner with the Udalov's, Russian friends from our last sabbatical. The Udalov's are pictured on the left. On the right is a robot that was built as a student project using programmable gate arrays to interface with sonar and infra-red sensors. The long term goal for the robot is to put a video camera on it and interface it with the web to be controlled by visitors to tour the facilities.
July 18 - Left with Erik and Walt on a holiday trip that was planned to last two weeks. Our main destination was Prague, but our first stop was Zwichau and the Trabant Museum; we finally got there when it was actually open! The next stop was Dresden. This time the weather was a bit sunnier as you'll see from the photos.
By the way, if you are travelling in Europe and want to keep it inexpensive, you might want to try the Etap or Formula 1 hotels. Ken and Margaret also used these in France. All of the rooms are exactly the same, prefabbed and the size of a container. The interior is kind of like the interior of a boat, including the bathrooms - they are an experience, but inexpensive - on the level of Motel 6's pricewise. (Formula 1 baths are not in the room.) Erik's pictured here in one. Notice they do sleep three, but not much privacy.
July 20 - We visited Weesenstein again on our way to Prague, but alas it was no brighter than the last time we were there!
July 21 - After arriving back from a full day of touring, I learned that my mother had died. This led to a frustrating evening of trying to make phone calls from Prague, to make arrangements to get home for the funeral, and to make arrangements to be an absentee executrix.
July 22 - Flew home to Rochester for a week; Erik and Walt (at my insistence) continued their trip. Things went as well as could be expected at home. I was able to stock up on things we missed and forgot that we couldn't get in the Netherlands. I also bought some electronics - Walt had gotten the digital camera wet and it had stopped working (for a while) and we needed a bigger smart media card. Now we have two cameras. Walt and Erik's trip also went well, except that Erik's car heater core sprung a leak.
July 29 - Got back from the States and started a whirlwind car shopping event (for Erik). One of the car shopping excursions took us out of Eindhoven and near Den 'Bosch where we visited a museum that I'd read had an amber statue! I had never seen amber quite this color before. The statue is probably 6 inches wide.
August 5 - Left for SIGGRAPH which was held in Los Angeles. This was the ending of my term as Treasurer and I needed to be there to "turn over the books". I roomed with Ann McNamara, in the middle above with the rest of the crew (Alan Chalmers, Katerina Mania, Colin Dalton, and Scott Pitkethley) from Bristol, where we go next. It was another hectic, learning and fun-filled week. (Check out the link from Ann's page for more photos.)
While I was gone, Walt's sister Barbara visited the Netherlands. Walt got to spend some time with her for the first time in many years and got to show her some of what Walt and I consider to be the most interesting places in the Netherlands.
August 17 - Returned to the Netherlands. While I was gone, Erik bought the car we'd driven the night before I left; we picked it up upon my return. It's a sporty, red Mazda 323f, pictured above beside the old car, the Audi 80.
August 20 - Drove to Denekamp to meet Hans-Peter and Birgit before they went back to the States and before we moved on to England. We had torrential rain all the way there; the 2 1/2 hour trip took over 4 hours (it was a good thing we'd left early, planning to doddle a few places on the way) as our windshield wiper linkage broke and the driver was left with rain in his face.) Several attempts to rig a repair were unsuccessful, so Walt and HP did a better job in Denekamp with tie-wraps. ((Un)fortunately we never got a chance to try it out as we were able to get a REAL repair fairly inexpensively!) We enjoyed dinner at one our all time favorite restaurants (Cafe de Moll) and then took a walk (the sun was finally out!).
August 22 - Klaas and Margot held a party (birthday for them, christening for Bregje). Here's Klaas in his birthday shoes! (He's not as big around the middle as this makes him look - an artifact of the stitching program! Sorry, Klaas!)
August 27 - Headed to Canterbury via the Chunnel (English Channel Tunnel). It was an interesting ride. We were actually underground for about 15 minutes. It was a bit shaky - I had to resort to my wrist bands - but went by very quickly. I would recommend it although it is a bit more expensive than taking a ferry.
We were made to feel welcome by Peter Welch and his family who threw a party in our honor on the 28th. Since then we've been looking for ways to make our flat feel more like home and doing a little touring.
Here are some photos from our flat and it's surrounds. The flat itself is becoming a bit less stark. The surrounds are gorgeous and the weather has been absolutely perfect since we arrived.
Alas, now it's back to work!
Nan Schaller's and Walt Bankes' Sabbatical Page
Nan C. Schaller