I finished up the majority of my data mining, and as I had already started to write up, I was free to go home. To be fair, I had to go home, as I was starting a new job teaching at the International School in Frankfurt, Germany. I only had a few days between moving from Austria,
to the UK, and then to Germany. It meant, sadly, leaving Austria, where I had finally gotten comfortable, but alas. My last final afternoons were really beautiful. We all got ice cream in the park( and one day Ben and Jerry's was giving away ice cream all afternoon!) and then we walked around for a bit. After I went home, I made sure to explore the lovely area around my house, the cute covered bridge across the river and just one of the many, many churches there were around my house. Innsbruck was really one of those adorable, quintisentially cute towns!
I think I was pretty lucky in my dissertation assignment, I got to live in a beautiful city, and work on a really cool project, working out how much workload an astronaut wearing a space suit is under during a mission. To be fair, I worked predominantely in an office on a laptop! I worked ith some great people from all over Europe
- a physicist from London, a girl from Munich, and another girl from Vienna, as well as lots of other lovely people who were in and out of the office. We all got to spend a lot of time together during the week in the office and also on our weekend working during the outreach activities we did. On my last week, I realised I hadn't taken very many pictures of what I worked on, so while I was testing the final children's helmet,
I had to snap some pictures! I also got some pictures of our cute little mascot, the alien! I was so sad to leave all my lovely collegues, but sadly I had to return to the UK soon, and pack up my stuff at the monostary!
As part of my job in Innsbruck, I was required to help out with some of the space outreach. It meant that on weekends, we went to these space themed, or childrens events, and bring along the rover, let the kids try them, and wear the little space suits. In my down time,
I worked on repairing the kid's helmets, and adding mission patches and trim to the suits. I think the kids looked adorable in the suits, and they had a great time!
Another day trip we took was to Neuschweinstein, the famous castle up on the hill. It was a LOOOOONG drive on a bus, but a good time once we got there, even though it rained the whole time we were there. Luckily, the inside is quite interesting and we were able to stay dry. On the ride home, we stopped in the cute little town of Oberammergau, where actually, my dorm at Waldsee was named for! It was cute - we had a little snack in a cafe and did some shopping before jumping back on the bus for home!
From my office in Innsbruck, there is a great view of the mountains. Like a really, beautiful, stop-in-your-tracks kind of view. And every day it was clear enough, I would see parasailers coming down from the top. I am definitely not the adventurous type naturally,
but boy am I trying to be. So since Josh was in town, in addition to spending alot of time in Innsbruck, just walking around and having fun, we decided to get out of town and try our hand at parasailing. What was really cool, is we booked it as part of this package, and the tour guide came to our hotel
and we decided what we wanted to do. We went first to this mountain, and took a cable car up it. At the top, there were a whole bunch of cows, just hanging around, and the start of an alipine coaster. They are basically these little carts attached to a single track, and the only way to control them is the brake, which you can chose
to apply or not. It goes streaming down the countryside, all along the hills, up and down, and quite, quite fast! It was such good fun! Next we went to the paragliding place. Thank goodness we did a tandem flight or I would have been terrified. It was ok, all you had to do was run down this hill....it sound easy, but because I wasn't in control of it - it WAS easy! And it was such a beautiful view. Josh and I had such an amazing day doing those things, kind of adventurous for us, but so much fun!
My day to day life in Innsbruck was pretty simple. Get up, have breakfast, walk to work, and sit down on my laptop and work all morning. In the afternoons, my collegues and I, who were all university students of some sort of levels, went to the local supermarket to get lunch, before we worked more in the afternoon.
On a lot of weekends, I did outreach with the children in the area, or I worked continually on my research project. I was incredibly boring really, until Josh finished work for the summer and he came to visit me in Innsbruck. Because it was pretty cramped at the monostary, we stayed at a hotel in town. The first day he came, we
walked all around the town, and I showed him the sights, my place, and where I worked. The next day, we decided to try an excursion that some of my collegues had been suggesting. Some of them are avid hikers, and had suggested we see the view from the top of the Hafelekar
mountains surrounding Innsbruck. Innsbruck is literally surrounded by these beautiful mountains. So in the morning, we went out and bought cute Austrian traditional hats, with the feather in them and everything. Very touristy, but very fun. Then, we took the cable car up. Well, the first one is a finicular, and then there are two more cable cars all the way up to the top, so far that you can't even see them from the bottom. It was an amazing view, so we stopped and had some great traditional
Austrian food there, and Josh had a beer too. At the very very top, it was kind of windy, but we found some snow, at the end of July! I couldnt believe it, but there it was! It was a great day out, and a much easier way than walking all the way up ourselves!