Germany, October 2005
By: William R. Cotton

You can view a slide show of Dr. Cottons's trip here.

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Arrived about 10:30AM with an uneventful flight on US Air. The seats were not too bad in terms of spacing. The service could have been better. Food was provided but that was it. The attendants did not come by to provide water through much of the flight so both Vollie and I became dehydrated.

Upon arrival we easily found the train and took it to Mainz. The trains are clean, smooth riding, punctual, and fast. We arrived at our hotel about 11:30, too soon to check in so left our luggage and went touring. Being Saturday, we found the old section of town where there was an outdoor market. It was great to see all the brightly colored fruits and vegetables, musicians playing, wine, beer, and cider merchants all about. It was lively enough to keep us awake! We then walked along the Rhine river. Then we headed back to the hotel. I began to drag as I was getting very sleepy. By 3PM we checked into the hotel and I immediately lay down on the bed and went fast to sleep for over an hour.

After our break we walked again through old town and into narrow winding streets with lots of restaurants and bars. Even the back alleys were very clean and not loaded with trash. We felt very safe walking about the back streets at night. After a while we found an Italian restaurant and had a nice dinner.

After breakfast at the hotel we took a train to Oppenheim where there is a gliderport. We got directions from people on the train that were touring the area. The hillsides of the valley in the area are covered by vineyards. It is very pretty. We walked to an underpass, and then along the Rhine to the gliderport. It is situated between two dikes, one being the summer dike next to the river and on the opposite side of the gliderport was a taller one. I was told that sometimes the river floods and they have to evacuate the gliderport as the entire runway is under water. It is a nice grassy runway, with trees on each end. Like most European gliderports it is very clean and neat(no junk cars stored in the hangar), with a restaurant in the upper level with a deck where one can eat and view aircraft operations.

The club had a number of planes including three ASW-21 two place gliders, an LS-4, and two motorgliders for towing. There were probably more planes belonging to the club but that is what I noticed. The field is also used by light power planes but I didn’t see any other activity while I was there. I introduced myself and Manfred Schaefer offered to take me for a flight for free. As it was very stable at the time, I just got a tour of Oppenheim and the surrounding vineyards and valley. I flew after tow the entire time until final approach.

After the short 20min flight, we took a walk along the river, and then headed into town. After climbing up the hillside to the neighborhood of the cathedral that overlooks the city, we stopped at a restaurant to have lunch out on the deck. It was sunny, and in the upper 50’s with a nice view of the town around us. We tasted some of the local wines with a nice lunch. Toward the end of the meal the sun had crept behind a building and it became quite cool. So we walked further up the hill to a ruin overlooking the town and vineyards. From there we could also view the gliders and tow plane operations in the valley below.

We then took a long walk down a stone staircase that ended up next to the train station. Upon returning to our hotel I took a brief nap and then we walked across town and across a bridge to the town of Wiesbaden. We walked along the river in the darkening evening with a nearly full moon coming up. We enjoyed seeing an old Dutch tall ship that served as a restaurant. Heading back across the bridge we found an Indian restaurant. After placing our order, we waited and waited for our meal with others coming after us getting served. Finally we complained and found out our server hadn’t placed our order with the cook. He was busy serving a large group at another table. Finally our long-awaited food arrived. It was quite good and though some of the dished were named the same as we have had elsewhere the flavors were a little different. Then we walked back to the hotel where we slept until after 0800.

Today we took the train to Rudesheim which is in the Rhine wine country. It was another beautiful day with temperatures in the 50’s, sunny but a bit windy in the higher terrain. The town is quaint with old buildings and restaurants with flowers and outside eating areas. There is a gondola that takes you up the hillside to a monument and restaurants. But we decided to walk up along narrow roads that zigzagged through the vineyards. It was a pleasant walk with the last end going steeply up concrete stairs. We stopped at a restaurant where we sat out on the deck with grapevines hanging above us. It was very pleasant sitting there taking in the views of the valley and towns below while eating. We had pumpkin soup, a cheese plate and bread, and a glass of white wine each; me, a dry white Vollie and a moderately dry white. We then hiked up to this huge monument built in the 1800’s to commemorate the unification of the German states into Germany. After that we hiked along the valley ridge as much as possible to a cloister. Some parts of the gravel road had signs that Brahms had walked there. At one point we got a little lost and walked up on top of the ridge into farm land. We then backtracked and found our way there.

Along the way workers were loading a truck with freshly picked grapes. A guy on the truck was squashing them with a device with a round flat head. I offered to take off my shoes and help but he said that was outlawed 800 years ago. The cloister was quite pretty with flowers in the yards and a nice looking church. The nuns also sold wine that they made so I bought a bottle.

Finally we headed down the hillside to the train station. The train was a little late but got much later as it stopped for at least 30min while police cleared the tracks of some kids on it some where along the way. We arrived back at the hotel both of us being quite foot-sore and tired.

After a little rest we went across the street to a Thai restaurant where we had an excellent dinner. The tastes were just a little different than a normal Thai restaurant in Fort Collins but it was good nonetheless. When I went to pay the bill I realized that my Visa credit card was missing. This resulted in a great deal of stress as we tried to figure out where I last used it. Thinking that I did not use a credit card at the Indian restaurant the night before we backtracked to the Italian restaurant a couple of nights before. They were very nice about checking but it was not there. Then we walked back to the hotel and Vollie went through credit card receipts and found out I had used one at the Indian restaurant. So Vollie jumped out of her nightie and we walked up the street about half a mile to that restaurant. When we walked in the door the tall guy who waited on us immediately recognized us and he went in the back room and came out with our credit card. What a relief! I thought we were going to have to contact Visa and shut down our account. Then how would we pay hotel and other expenses once our cash was burned up?

We got up at 0600, packed up, had breakfast and took a train to Neustadt. The trip involved one change but everything went well. We arrived about 0930 and after a 30min wait got a bus up the hill. Then we had about a 0.5mi walk to the Cloister. It is situated on a forested hillside overlooking Neustadt and the valley below. After settling in we found a trail that took us about 3.5km to a castle which also was situated on the hillside with excellent views. We had lunch there of tomato soup, bread, and a glass on dry Rhine wine for me and tea for Vollie. The weather was in the 50’s but sunny so it was enjoyable sitting outside while eating and enjoying the view. The trail was mostly in the forest so it did not offer many opportunites to get any views. We got back about 1430 which gave us a few minutes to freshen up before tea and coffee and getting name tags and getting introduced.

Supper consisted of cold cuts, sausage, cheeses, potato and cabbage salads, breads, and something like pancapes broken up into pieces. Drinks were a peppermint tea.

Afterward, there was a social get-together in the basement where beer and wine was served. Everyone ran up a tab except us as ours was paid by the hosts.

I awoke at 0600 and ran down to the railroad tracks in town. It was quite dark as sunrise is 0730 here. I ran where there were street lights but wore my headlamp in order to read street signs. It is about 400’ descent to the city center, so it was a good climb back to the cloister.

Breakfast as dinner was pretty basic of breads, cheeses, cold cuts(which I don’t eat), Musli and warm drinks.

The meeting began promptly at 0815. I gave the first talk summarizing our simulations of CRYSTAL-FACE dust influences on clouds and precipitation and simulations of urban aerosol influences on precipitation near St. Louis, MO. A lively discussion followed.

Zev Levin followed me with a discussion of the uncertainties of ice formation followed by a discussion of modeling studies on CCN, GCCN, and IN. In general our results were fairly consistent considering that our modeling approaches were so different.
Dan Csiszo followed with a presentation on the analyzed chemical composition of aerosols in ice crystals. He referred to a paper by Matt Richardson et al 2005 AAAS that might be useful for Dan Ward to read.

The weather has changed with overcast skies and light drizzle. Lunch here is the main meal. Mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and meatballs and sausage, was the main serving but they made a vege-type burger for me and added some tomato and coleslaw.

Most of the German talks focus on aerosol characterization with mass spectrometers and CVI’s. There was one talk about modeling studies of a venturi type of device for creating supersaturations for CCN and IN measurements but the results were not encouraging as control of S and T, for long enough time for detectable particles to grow did not appear to be feasible.

Bormann discussed the CLASS-3 field campaign that was done at the Jungfrau site. It is a super version of the Storm Peak Laboratory. I’d like to visit there some time.

Weather today is cloudy/foggy and drizzly. This is more like I expected in Germany this time of year. Looking out the window there is a foggy haze in the trees. You cannot see the surrounding hills which are not much more than a mile away.

It is interesting to see that at the University of Mainz and Frankfurt University there seems to be quite a bit of synergism among the cloud physicists, basic physicists, and chemists. They seem to be bringing to bear advanced techniques in instrumentation design and fabrication. I thought his was just a natural evolution of grassroots initiated collaborations—nope! We are seeing the results of the German or EU equivalent of NSF Science and Technology Centers. They have a 4-year project that promotes such collaborations. There is some chance of that being extended but that is very competitive.

Another observation is there are a number of young American scientists now working here in Germany and Switzerland. Are we now experiencing a reverse brain drain? I suspect so.

After a series of modeling papers dealing with the myth “cloud ice” I said since we were in a Cloister I thought it appropriate to give a little sermon about how cloud ice does not represent what is really going on in clouds. That is the assumption that ice clouds are at ice saturation and that these particles are falling at zero terminal as is assumed for cloud droplets is quite unrealistic.

Lunch was again dinner with meat and potatoes being the main course. But they served me some type of vege patti. After a brief set of talks this afternoon, the plan is to take a hike to the castle that Vollie and I hiked to on Tuesday. So, Vollie and I led the group through the cloudy forest. Fortunately it did not rain. We got to go in the castle this time and I walked up to the tower but since we were in clouds my view was only of cloud drops close-up!

Today we departed the cloister and headed back to Mainz by way of Heidelberg. Vollie said we have been there back in 1972 but I don’t remember it. We didn’t have much time to see it as we were scheduled to visit the wind tunnel at the U of Mainz around 3PM. So we took a bus to old town and strolled the pedestrian mall a bit, viewed the castle on the hill from a distance, walked across the river and stopped near the entrance to the university. All this in cloudy overcast conditions with occasional spats of drizzle.

We arrived in Mainz and checked into the hotel. Shortly we were picked up by a friend of Zev’s, Dr. Subir Mitra, who operates the wind tunnel. Zev new him from their both being at UCLA together. We were given a demonstration of its operation by a graduate student named Nadine. She demonstrated suspending small sub-100 micron drops as well as millimeter sized drops. Zev took a turn at it and did pretty well. He had worked with its predecessor at UCLA. We then walked back through campus to our hotel. The campus was rather quiet as it was semester break.

After resting a bit in the hotel we were picked up by another friend of Zev’s, Stephan Borrmann. Stephan first took us to his home in a small, beautiful village called Ingelheim, located along the Rhine about 30minutes from Mainz. Stephan is a professor at the University of Mainz and his wife is a general practitioner MD. First we got a tour of the village driving through the narrow streets. Around the church is a high stone wall which was used for fortification by the villagers when under attack during the 12th or 13th century. The village has several wineries with restaurants that serve only the local wine for something like 3 months of the year when the wines are ready to drink. Stephan grew up in this village and he told us of getting a break from school to help in the harvesting of grapes. It was very enjoyable visiting the town with someone who was so knowledgeable about it and obviously loved it.

We then visited his home which is in a state of remodeling. It is a 40 year old two-story house that was built by his father. They have converted a part of the house to his wife’s doctors office with a separate entrance. She does not use any high-tech instrumentation, but uses basic techniques of feeling with hands and stethoscope, and only when that fails does she refer the patients to clinics with the expensive high-tech stuff. Stephan said she is highly respected by her colleagues. We also met their two young daughters and son plus several cats. Stephan then took us to a local restaurant where we had an excellent dinner and enjoyed a bottle of the local wine.

On Saturday we had time to walk around old town Mainz before taking the train to the airport in Frankfurt. As we did a week before we enjoyed the open market. We then spent a long day in airplanes returning home. The flight was uneventful except our luggage did not arrive in spite of a over 2 hour layover. It finally arrived in the middle of Sunday night!