At 12:30 pm on Sunday I met Stuart and a few other German friends from MPA for an outing to Kloster Andechs, a monastery famous for its beer. It was quite a hike up the hill, after a two-hour ride on public transit, which just meant the beer was tastier. The monastery is situated near the village of Herrsching, in the suburbs of Munich. I got to quiz Stuart on all kinds of aspects of binary stellar evolution and synthetic spectrum formation, so definitely not a wasted climb even apart from the fitness benefits.
Stuart recommended an Apfelweißbier, which I gather is your garden variety Weißbier spiked with apple juice. This was followed by a darker, maltier beer which, if I heard right, was a double bock of some kind. Other delicacies included (large, chewy) pretzels, some form of soft cheese spiked with bell pepper, and something called Dampfnudel mit Vanilliensoße, which was an enormous piece of light yeasty bread (rather like challah) dunked in this heavy sugary vanilla sauce. It would surely have the suffix “of DEEEAAATHHH” affixed to it if it were served by Em’s parents.
While eating and drinking all this stuff, I got to meet Ashley Ruiter, whose binary stellar evolution models I referred to for my recent work on super-Chandra SNe Ia; we had only corresponded by email previously. She seems from our brief contact like an entirely lovely person with whom I look forward to working in the future. Her astronomer husband Ivo Seitenzahl and their small child Clint were also along for the ride. Clint pretty much stole the show and it was a sight to see so many Ph.D.s making googly eyes at this blond, blue-eyed troublemaker. The fact that no work got done (not that there were any illusions that it would, but you never know in such crowds) means I’m looking forward all the more to Ashley’s talk later this week, and getting the expert’s opinion about how best to make super-Chandras and other odd things out of binary systems.
That was, basically, my dinner. Pretty sure I passed out not too long after getting back to our hotel room — that is, after moving my luggage back from the hotel I stayed in Saturday night, showering after the long hike, and getting situated in the new hotel room with my new roommate Mike Childress.