Sunday, 1 May 2011
I'm at Capo Caccia in Sardinia again (for the third year running) for the annual review of the SECO project and for the 2011 Capo Caccia Cognitive Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop.
Last year, getting home afterwards was quite a struggle due to Eyjafjallajökull. This year, getting here was quite a struggle due to Alitalia. The plan was to take the 15:09 train from Zürich to Milan, and then fly to Alghero, which is only a half hour's drive to the hotel here. We should have arrived in the late evening. The train journey was uneventful, but on the plane, having taxied out to the runway, it was discovered that there was a small problem with one of the engines. So we taxied away from the runway again. Technicians boarded. After two hours sitting on the plane it was decided, not long before midnight, that we must get off the plane again. As we walked down the steps to the buses that would return us to the terminal, we could see the no. 1 engine with cowls open, a technician sitting on the ground underneath it next to his rather domestic looking small blue toolbox. For some while in the now deserted terminal it appeared there was still a chance our flight might depart that night, but then the word cancellato was heard, and that was that. The two remaining airport check-in staff then faced the unenviable task of organising a hotel for everyone and buses to take us to the hotel, and issuing everyone with vouchers for the accomodation. After this we still had to collect all our luggage, wait for the buses, travel to the hotel, and last but not least check in, before we eventually saw our beds at around 3:15 in the morning. I set my alarm for 6:15 to ensure I had time to check out again in good time to be ready for the bus back to the airport at 7am. At least our second chance flight proceeded smoothly, but our nine hour journey had been stretched to twenty hours with only three hours of sleep.
That was all last Tuesday 26th April/Wednesday 27th April. Since then I've presented my couple of slides at the SECO review meeting on Friday 29th, and all is well.