We left Frankfurt and after a few hours we reached Schloss Dagstuhl. This used to be a monastery at one time, and perhaps that is why breakfast was served so ridiculously early every day (what is it with God fearing people and getting up at un-Godly hours in the morning, anyway?). Also, there were no keys to the doors in which we stayed in. You could lock the door from inside, but you could not lock your room when you were somewhere else. The only expensive thing I had with me was my work laptop, and since I had my presentation on the first day I figured that it would not be a big deal if someone robbed my room, so I was OK with the no key thing too.
Schloss Dagstuhl is located in the middle of nowhere. The idea is to have a place to meet for work with absolutely no distractions, I think. You can walk for half an hour or so and then reach a small village, but that place is small enough to also offer nothing of interest. Schloss Dagstuhl gives you everything you need, so you never need to leave. They have Internet, food, and lots of alcohol, for some reason.
There is an old fortress ruin on top of a hill just outside the current buildings. I climbed up there and took a look during the first evening, and it was quite nice. The view from there was great too. Other than that, I did not do anything that was not work, pretty much.
|View from the fortress ruins|
We got a lot of food there. At 7:30 it was breakfast. A huge breakfast buffet with lots of different types of bread, cheese, sausages, fruits, yogurts, vegetables, and much more. This was the best meal every day, though the rest of the food was good too. At 10 it was coffee and cookies. At 12 it was lunch buffet. At 15 there was cake. At 18 there was a three course dinner. At 20 there was cheese, bread, and fruits. Apart from eating, the only thing we ever did was sit and listen to presentations or sit and use our computers. Not great for your physical shape...
|Weird metal object outside my window, with unknown function|
The table placements at lunch and dinner were randomized in some way. A card with your name was placed on some table and you had to find it and sit there. The randomization algorithm was not very good, though. I ended up sitting next to the same guy the first 6 meals! I think the randomization was that they put the cards in a bucket when they cleared the tables and then somewhat randomly took cards out of the same bucket for the next meal, so cards that were close tended to be close the next time too.
|Who doesn't drink wine at 10 in the morning?|
|Example cheese tray|
|I found a poker set in one of the many rooms (the place is like a labyrinth) and ended up having to do a magic show or 6 or 7 other researchers.|