Caused by 2 things I decided to join this year EWASS (European Week of Astronomy and Space Sience, 1-6-July 2012)). The first was the short time e-mail invitation by Rosa Doran to AWB-members (from 14.05.2012) to join here GTTP Session at special EWASS-fee in combination with the special session devoted to European astronomy education and the second was the fact that I have dedected Thilinas name on the list of registered participants. So in the same night I had to decide and I booked online a train ticket and a cheap hotel in Rome and did my registration.... and it was a good decision ;-)
Suddenly I contacted Thilina, and I told him that now we will have the chance to meet in "real life".
Thilina had the glorious idea to contact our best known AWB-friend Gian Luca Masi (NC Italy) and of course Sotira Trifourki (NC GB) who gave a technical lecture on here great astronomy work at the conference.
So everything was prepared to meet .... and, of course, we met .......
...... and we had a lot of fun :-)
For example here at Piazza Venezia in front of the National Museum
Following - Rosa who "caused", and Thilina who organized our meeting .... thankfully
.... and astronomers are always looking to the sky - isn't it?
...... and if there are no stars we are looking to artificial stars - for example here in the Planetarium of Rome where Gian gave Thilina and me a wonderful show.
Italian language sounds like music ... it was our first performance we heard in Italian language and it was a wonderful combination .... Gians words and his well (by hand) selected music.
Two real great lovers of astronomy ;-)
..... but we did not always astronomy, we learned some other important things too.
For example how to live the Italian way of enjoing a typical Roman Pizza and how to drink "Espresso Macchiato" - a strong Italian coffee.
Back to the conference there are two great messages I want to share:
" Cooperation instead competition" - by Rosa
...... and Thilina told us during his talk that.......
..... GAM HAS EVERYTHING !!! - you can see, even beer ;-)
Besides this Thilina presented AWB in an powerfull, impressive and colourful Powerpointpresentation
There would be so many things to tell for example it was a pleasure to meet people like Alessandra Zanazzi (UNAWE) and Nicoletta Lanciano (GLOBOLOCAL)...... and many more .......
...... but I will finish.
TO MEET PEOPLE, YOU KNOW AROUND THE WORLD BY INTERNET, IN REAL LIVE IS A GREAT PLEASURE AND I HOPE SOME DAY WE ALL CAN MEET - I AM DREAMING OF A BIG AWB-NC-MEETING - HOPEFULLY WE CAN ALL CROSS THE BORDERS !
PS.: A little followup concerning borders
I wanted to visit the Vatican Observatory at the summer residence of the pope in Castel Gandolfo surrounded by a really nice landscape formed by former volcanic activities.
Following - in the background - you can see one of the domes of the observatory ......
...... this was my closest look to the observatory .....
.... here was the final and ultimate border. Swiss guards of Vatican told me where I am. If the pope is here in Gandofo there is no chance to cross this border - even for an "Astronomer Without Borders" :-(
...... so I had to look for an alternate programm ........
..... and I found it. Although I had no bathing wear with me .......
..... I did it !
You know there is nearly nothing that could stop an "Astronomer Without Borders" :-))
And now definitely the final shot: "The land where observatories grow on trees" ;-))
Everything depends on the photographers point of view - but this is my most complete picture of the Vatican-Observatory I could catch from my position.