Two weeks away for our Tour d’Allemagne 2012 brought us to beautiful Hamburg.
The plan here is simply to absorb the maritime flair of the city, one of my favourite research interests. 🙂
It’s been some days fully dedicated to ports & ships! However, these are a little bit different from the ones I usually dedicate myself at home.
The Lisbon Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race 2012 was a great event, gathering the best ocean sailors in the world and great sailing moments.
I took the opportunity of being around for visiting some friends in good ol’ Rotterdam. Which, again, it’s a port city, packed with research subjects.
I wanted to interview two people – one related to the port authority, the other to a short-sea carrier with multimodal interests – but only the latter was available.
I got very good information about the basics of the business. Plus, I got also some cheese, sun & ice-cream.
On Wednesday, the last day of the conference, we went to the Port of Antwerp on a field tour. We visited PSA’s Noordzee Terminal and the Katoen Natie logistics facilities.
I’ve already be at PSA’s, thus the most impressive for me was Katoen Natie. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed indoors.
The audience was big, good and kind. One of the parallel sessions was in French, which meant many people joined the remaining two, mine included.
I managed to do it on time and passing the message I had: my early stages of research, with the problem and the sketch of the research methodology to tackle it.
It was my first presentation of a scientific paper and that already leaves me happy enough. Better still, I manage to interest a few people about my subject and networked with a lot more, who already gave me hints and tips for further development.
Now I’m looking forward to working harder and presenting the follow-up – which will be the buildup, if I think in terms of thesis research.
The job is done. Now it’s time for strolling, enjoying the city and having a De Koninck.
Arrived yesterday. All is set: the power-point is finished, mock presentations have been tried (not yet on time, but there are some hours left), the way to the university was found and tested.
Although the conference starts tomorrow, the session I was scheduled to is only on Tuesday, which gives me an extra day for preparation, mingle, and improve my know-how for these occasions.
On the tourism side, it’s great being back to Antwerp, a city I really like. It’s be warm and sunny and I wonder what I will do with all these winter clothes that pack my suitcase.
After a too long intermission, I finished and submitted today the draft version #4 of my thesis project. It’s very behind schedule and there are still many issues missing, but I’ll try to catch up during September. I need to catch up.
At the same time, it also showed me the importance of keep writing, closing pending issues, submitting versions, etc. It’s the way to feel that I’m moving somewhere and that I must keep moving somewhere. To the right direction, preferably.
The America’s Cup has finally arrived to Cascais, now on its circuit format. After a greyish first day, today’s races were fought under a magnificient, sunny, blue sky. Everyone is expecting a week-long competition between the two main candidates, but for this weekend, Emirates Team New Zealand beat their rivals from Oracle Racing. It’ll be a week packed with action and thank God we all know what we’ll have to focus on, right? Yes: on the New Zealander boat. Go, Kiwis!
The theme is “Shipping markets, port devolution and a changing geography of world maritime transport” and, despite the call for papers is already closed, registrations are still accepted.
I was at last year’s conference, right here in Portugal (in Carcavelos and Estoril), and it was an excellent event. This time I don’t believe I can make it, unfortunately.
‘Yeah, the trees, those useless trees produce the air that I am breathing,
Yeah, the trees, those useless trees; they never said that you were leaving.’
Pulp, ‘The Trees’
It’s a place I always come back, I always went back, I always stop by. And I always remember too much of these trees. But they’re there. They’re gone again. And I don’t feel like doing like Jarvis sings at the end. I won’t go & tell it to the trees. Yeah.
Unfortunately, I was forced to do a Summer break in the Algarve, due to health reasons involving my father. All appears to be getting back on tracks, but it has been some anxious days these ones.
Although a side of my family is originally from the Algarve, I don’t come here that often.
These days I don’t feel like working for my thesis at the end of the day, not after spending most of it at the hospital, so I usually stroll in places I used to play at during my childhood.
While doing coursework, my life spanned the area between Sines, Cascais, and Lisbon, which I had to cover several times a week. For the morning classes, I’d usually travel the day before from Sines to Cascais, then take a morning train from Cascais to Lisbon, hop on the metro at Cais do Sodré and do a morning walk between the stop at Alameda and IST.
This image bring me back – bring us, I’m expecting to be read – to one of those busy, but enjoyable days. It was October 19, 2010, at 08h41, and I was doing my final leg in direction to IST. Here is the sunny version of IST’s South Tower.
I haven’t mentioned how things went in my Benelux trip. Here it goes: business-wise, it went all according to planned, which helps but not necessarily means reaching the ultimate objective (probably more to follow about that). Leisure-wise, it couldn’t be better, with a wonderful mix of short encounters, sightseeing, relaxed moments and good conversation with friends I havent’t seen for a while.
Now let’s see when I will see them again…
The end of a very long day. I had today my last exam, Transport Policy and Institutions they call it, and I’m now free from coursework, so grades allow it. Cross your fingers, will you?
I departed directly from IST to the Lisbon Airport, for an extended weekend in Brussels and Rotterdam ‘per lavoro e per piacere’. Brussels for business, Rotterdam for memories and to see some friends.
Please wish me luck – and a sound health and physical condition (it’s for the business part of the trip).