Archive | May, 2013

Last day in Jülich!

23 May

Since the first day, seven weeks ago, my life has changed quite a bit: from the busy and lively Barcelona to a german town with nothing but cropping fields and an excellent research center: the forschungszentrum!

My social life, which I usually have in high esteem, has been pretty much zero. My daily sports routines (fencing, rollerskating and padeling) have been reduced to a forth and back bike ride to work. But work and learning have their on value, and I have had plenty of those, which have compensated well the amusing activities back home. My new collaborator made it possible! Moreover the spring here is pretty enjoyable, with so many birds and such yellowish and greenish fields! And a pretty bad weather too, we must say everything.

Visits to Köln and Aachen are a bit out of the trend of the whole stay: lively cities and with Cris, so nothing new really. But the Jülich moving holes were something quite new to me. An electric company makes them, each about the size of the town, with the purpose of extracting coal and turn it to electricity. With the piece of earth they extracted from the first hole they made the world’s largest artificial hill made by mining. And then they just have a whole system of belts that bring the coal to the factory and the extracted soil to the back of the hole. So once the holes are done, they actually move! And you can see this from the sky:

http://earthengine.google.org/#intro/v=50.9224226,6.363911899999948,10.593754124416598

The villages that are on The Path of the Hole must be moved away: the houses are destroyed and new ones are built somewhere near. The huge house in which I live pertained to one of these unlucky families from one of these dammed villages that happened to be interfering with the hole back in the 70’s or 80’s