Double City Trouble


A new week and more traveling for me. This week it brought me to Barcelona again, about two years since I was last there. The goal for the two days in Barca was the same as two years ago, a meeting with Ocean Networks Canada.

The flight out of Heathrow was full as usual. It baffles me how the airport can be full on an ordinary Wednesday morning. Turns out, it is all the retired Brexiteers (all carrying their respective ‘Sun’ newspapers), heading for their holiday home in Europe, or for a Mediterranean cruise. Funny and ironic.

The Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is a network of underwater cameras, hydrophones, acoustic cameras and more off the coast of Vancouver. The data these stations produce are readily available (for free) for anyone that is interested, as long as they have a hypothesis of some kind and some way of analysing the data. The systems are supposed to run for about 30 years, creating an extensive database, so if you happen to have skills in AI and video analysis algorithms, give me a shout.

 Hang on, Ocean Networks Canada you say, in Barcelona? As in Spain Barcelona? Yes you heard correct! ONC has many global collaborators (oh- scientific buzzword!) and the scientific coordinator is based at CSIC in Barcelona. The reason why I was invited to the meeting is because I work on circadian rhythms in fish, and can offer my circadian and seasonal expertise. Time series over years sort of begs for daily and seasonal behavioural analysis.

After two days off meetings in Barcelona, I headed to Amsterdam and took a train to den Haag to meet up with my family, for a long weekend celebrating my mothers surprise 60th birthday party!

Originally, I thought taking my mother for a trip on her 60th should be a total surprise. When I conferred with my father however, he strongly recommended to include my mother in any plans. Turns out my mother did want to be surprised, so we decided on telling her we were going on a trip, but not telling her where. One of the places that she has mentioned that she wanted to go to was Den Haag in the Netherlands. I’ve never really thought about it as a destination and always really only associated it with the International Court of Justice. But it is quite pleasant.

The trip turned out really nice with lots of walks around the city in splendid weather. We also had a lot of good food, especially on my mother’s birthday which was spent in the Waterproef restaurant in Scheveningen by the sea. We made a really nice trip with the number one tram to Delft, a town known for its blue and white pottery, which has has now grown together with Den Haag. Delft has a really pretty historic centre and also offers museums like the Vermeer centre if you are into the history and symbolisms behind the paintings. If you’d like to see any of the originals though you have to make your way to Mauritshuis, where you can have a close look at Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens and Holbein the younger, to mention a few.  

 If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, or in the Netherlands, take the train to den Haag and enjoy Delft! I didn’t have much time to shoot, but I hope you’ve enjoyed it none the less :)