Sunday 19 July 2015

We made it to China!

The journey to China took us a bit longer than we anticipated. However, in the end we're all alive and well and so far we had a great time here. The first flight was fine, considering we flew all night. In Beijing however, the real adventure started. Arriving an hour late already, we had to undergo long lasting security checks and arrived at the gate one hour after the scheduled boarding time. Unfortunately the delay was too big and the gate was closed by the time we reached it. All of us and two other Robocup teams were stranded at Beijing airport for the day.

Fortunately for us, our teamleader's wife is Chinese. She was accompanying us and took over talking to the airport personnel in order to get a replacement flight as soon as possible. In the end we waited around eight hours at the airport and arrived at our hotel after midnight local time.

After some short, but much needed sleep we went to the Robocup venue. At the venue Tobias wanted to examine the SPL area as part of his duties as an organizer. He suggested some adjustments to the venue which the helpful staff was happily picking up, resulting in some important improvements.

During our free afternoon we took the opportunity to visit the city and especially the biggest temple in Hefei. However, upon arrival, we learned that the temple was demolished to make place for yet another skyscraper. (We could see many of those in construction during the ride.) We had a look at a smaller temple with an exhibition about a man who played a great role in transitioning China into a modern country. The local people aren't used to seeing Europeans, so some of them approached us for a photograph. We obliged happily as it is always a nice way to exchange a few words.

So far we are really enjoying our stay and will be back soon for an update regarding the first setup day of the competition.

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