David’s Not-so-grand European Tour: Part I

Just to clarify, this is not turning into a travel-only blog. :p

Last week or so, I went to Innsbruck, Austria to attend a conference, and then went to London for sightseeing and a night in Munich in between.

Flew from Vancouver to London Heathrow, and then onto Munich. Although the YVR to LHR flight was delayed, the LHR to MUC flight was delayed as well (delays seem to be commonplace at Heathrow), so I managed to make the connections. Hopped onto the S-Bahn at the airport and went to the Hauptbahnhof (main station). Just missed a train to Innsbruck, so had to wait an hour. The train ride down to Innsbruck took another two hours, making the total length of the journey 20 hours.

I arrived in the Innsbruck Main Station at around 11:00pm. It’s good that the hotel that I stayed in is close to the station (it has an underground pathway connecting directly to the platforms), so that I didn’t need to haul the luggage around and trying to find the hotel in the middle of the night.

The conference that I attended was the International Association of Science and Technology for Development on Software Engineering (long name, I know). It is held yearly in Innsbruck, Austria. I presented my paper on the first day. The presentation went all right, if not 100% smooth (I was too tired from the time difference to practice properly). There were a couple of questions, but nothing malicious, so it’s all good from that perspective.

I attended most of the sessions (afterall, that was why I was paid to go there…) as well as the UML 2.0 tutorial, which I found pretty informative. It is interesting to talk to people in other fields as well. I do find that project management is really a minority in the software engineering community, and most software engineering research are related to tools and methodologies. The conference has a fairly friendly atmosphere (from what I can see anyway), probably because of the location of the conference I guess.

I spent a day touring the city by myself. Innsbruck itself is quite a pleasant place. Think Banff with more history. I spent a day walking around the town, notably the Old Town area and along the Inn River, and of course I took some pictures.

The weather there is not dissimilar to Vancouver’s, it was around 6C to 8C during the day and almost always had the chance of rain. The wind is kind of chilling though, and I had to buy a cap on the first day that I was there (I usually don’t like wearing extra things like gloves and caps, in fear of losing them).

Tyrolean food was so-so for me. I feel that the pasta is a little too “cheesy” (as in having too much cheese) to my liking. But I guess not feeling well in the stomach in those days did not help matters.

So, here are the pictures from Innsbruck:


I have uploaded the few pictures that I had from Taiwan and Hong Kong in last December and January as well. They can be found in their own sections in the gallery.

Next stop: Munich