Sunday, September 20, 2009

In Austria

On Friday I have a whole day to give a workshop on "Scientific Publishing" to PhD students. I did the first part of this workshop last year in Cyprus, so this time is a continuation, with more advanced topics.

The day goes by well, but in the evening I am somewhat exhausted from talking the whole day. Go for a glass of wine with Erwin and Julius.

Next day, Saturday, I have reserved for my own ventures: I visit the Roman ruins at Carnuntum, which is located at the Danube between Vienna and Bratislava. I had been there 15 years ago, but my pictures were only on film, and I have not yet digitised them. Also, they made much progress at the Carnuntum excavations, as I saw from the web site, so I was very much looking forward to this.

The weather in the morning appeared to be somewhat foggy; I had hoped for bright sunshine. So when I arrived at the first sight, the Civilian Amphitheatre of Carnuntum, it almost felt a bit nippy, as the sun seemed to hide behind a thin cloud layer. But later this layer disappeared, and it was a really glorious day, with 26 C. There are several sites in Petronell-Carnuntum: two amphitheatres, an open air museum with excavations and reconstructions, a indoor museum with finds, and the "Heidentor" (heathens' gate) outside of the town. I spent several hours at the whole set of sites, looking at details, and trying to imagine how it was here, during its peak time, and then during its decay after the barbarians invaded from the North.

The ruins of the "Heidentor" outside of Carnuntum, shown with a non-digital Augmented Reality display.

I took lots of pictures, then had a nice quiet lunch at a Gasthaus in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg right at the banks of the Danube river.

Afterwards I drove to Erwin who lives not very far from Carnuntum. He was just getting wood for his wood fire heating at home, and so I had the chance for the first time to try a motor chain saw. Cutting wood is so easy!

Then a few bits of shopping, buying some stuff that one cannot get in UK, e.g. Austrian Lebkuchen, Kaminwurzen etc.

After coming back to Krems, I met with Peter and Ingrid who had invited me to their home for a nice dinner and chat.

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