Thursday, May 24, 2007

Some random thoughts from Bruce

The trip to O'Hare on Sat. was a disaster for me - if it could have gone wrong it did but I made it in time. Suffice it to say I would never recommend the Lex shuttle service from C-U. The trip over was fine but a bit nasty in Heathrow. So much for the negative.

Since ariving everything has really gone well with a few minor exceptions (one noted below). The group really has come together which is wonderful and makes for good traveling. As expected, time if flying by and sleep is scarce.

Of greatest impotance is the fantastic support from the Poznan students, particularly Marcin, and Marianna ( U of I) - with asssitance from her mother in Gdynia. True Polish hospitality at its very best. My sincerest thanks to all. Oh yes, it was a distinct pleasure to again meet Prof. Golembsky and his faculty. I think we may be able to collaborate more in the future with some projects.

So far most of this trip has been over ground I'd traveled before with the exception of today's trip to Hel and back. It was great to just have a few moments to sit on the sand and absorb the sights and smells of the Baltic Sea on this beautiful day. Speaking of which, we have had absolutely perfect weather that has helped make the trip so enjoyable. How long it will last is anyone's guess but there has been flodding in the south of late that I hope we will avoid. Starting tomorrow it will be all new for me so I'll be a wide-eyed tourist again, but isn't that what travel is all about?

Spealing of Hel, I had the pleasure of having my first European driving experience today. Marianna's father was kind enough to lend us his car and her mother and I each drove to the Baltic Sea with our crew. Having grown up in New Jersey my "city" driving skills quickly returned as we navigated narrow streets in Gdansk, crazy drivers and traffic jams. Frankly, I'll take the corn fields and the wide-open spaces of central Illinois any day.

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