Monday, August 06, 2007

My trip to Europe - Day 7

Day 7 - Alpsapalooza

On day 7, we got up, had breakfast and headed back over to UMIT for some more classroom time. We had some invited guest lectures, including one on an IT framework called ITIL, and another that was a little more technical looking at techniques and strategies for doing systematic reviews of literature and meta-analyses. In addition to lectures, we also had our first session of group work today. Each student was assigned to one of four groups that each had one student from each program. Our assignment for the week was to analyze and present an Informatics paper that was assigned to us. My group consisted of Sabine (from Amsterdam), Mathias (from Heidelberg/Heilbraun), Werner (from UMIT), Garland (from U of Washington), Dieter (from Vienna) and myself. Our paper was an RCT attempting to definitively make the case for telemedicine.

Paying attention?
Spencer in class

After getting a good start on our presentation on the paper, we had a bit of time to head back to the Leopoldinum to relax for a bit and prepare for our excursion up into the Alps. Hall (as you can tell from the pictures) is quite close to the Alps, so it wasn't a long drive. As part of the activity, there was an option to do some hiking or to just take the bus all the way to the Hinterhornalm, the place we'd be having our dinner that night and then take a short walk from there to see another farm. Given that I didn't know when I'd have my next chance to hike in the Alps I decided I better do the hiking, even though essentially we were just getting off the bus early and then hiking up to where the bus was headed.

The hike ended up being a bit steeper than I had expected, but I was pleased with myself for not falling behind. Unlike most hikes in Utah, where you have pretty good views of the valley as you hike, this hike was almost entirely under cover of the forest. And it was pretty much all uphill, without much in the way of level traverse sections. All in all it was a pretty sweaty hike, but I was glad to have done it. There really wasn't a great view until we arrived at our destination, at which point the whole valley was in view down below us and it was quite amazing.

Hiking in the Alpine Woods

Looking down
Looking down at the Valley

Butting goats
Goats butting at the Hinterhornalm

Looking down
Another look down at the valley

Hang gliding Ramp
One last shot, this one looking down a hang-gliding ramp

We had a little bit of time remaining so we were able to take the short walk over to the nearby farm which I found quite charming, given that it had an amazing backdrop of sharp crags and was populated by a herd of cows all wearing their cow bells. We had a drink there (apple juice for me) and then headed back to the Hinterhornalm for dinner.

The Alps
Alpine Meadow with the Cows

For dinner, I chose a Hungarian goulash soup, and followed it up with a main course of Weiner schnitzel that was quite good. As most of the group was content to stay and drink for quite some time, Spencer and I stepped outside to enjoy the view a bit and in the end were able to snag a ride back down to Hall with one of the guest lecturers who had driven his own car up, and was leaving before the bus.

Dinner at the Hinterhornalm
Dinner at the Hinterhornalm

While we waited to leave, Spencer entertained us with his stacking talents.

More pictures from Day 7.

Up next: IPHIE World Cup

So far:
Days 1 & 2 - Exploring Munich
Day 3 - Mass Transit Extravaganza
Day 4 - Stop looking at me, schwan
Day 5 - Austria, eh? Throw another shrimp on the barby!
Day 6- The depths of Hall

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