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20/11/08 - Field Trip!

Thursday had more free time built in it, but in the morning we had the chance to visit a couple of famous museums that Dresden has to offer. As usual, the team met at the Sky Lounge for announcements and updates after breakfast. We could take a trip to the Museum of Hygiene, the Museum of Technology and Industry, and the Museum of the Royal Palace, visit the Olympiad, or wander about in the various shops around the city. Me and about 10 others decided for the Museum of Hygiene, (I want to study medicine) of which the boat tour guide on Sunday highly suggested. One thing that’s always so weird for me is there are coat racks everywhere you go because at home they don’t have them. (But maybe that’s because in Texas you don’t need coats!)

On the first floor of the museum was an exhibition of modern times; there were demonstrations about the weather, modern inventions, and the overall footprint that man has imprinted on this earth so far. There was even a makeshift cat cage from hurricane Katrina! One section was set up where you could use sensors to create your own weather on the main screen in one of the exhibition rooms. Some of us had trouble with creating a virtual thunderstorm, but the whole floor was filled with information about the progression of mankind, which was very educational.

The second floor was the main attraction - the mysterious yet wonderful puzzle that is the human body. The museum had interactive stations to experience the processes and systems that the body performs everyday. There were sections on digestion, birthing, dying, the nervous system, sexuality, (which I would rather not talk about) and others. One particular activity was a cornucopia of animal models with a computer in the middle of the setup. If you touched one of the animal models, the computer talked about where the animal was eaten and it’s qualities. The museum was a great way to spend a cold rainy Dresden morning, but I only wished I could understand German as many of the exhibits weren’t in English!

After lunch, we had more free time, so the team either went back to the Olympiad or shopping. The group I was with went to the mall near Prager Strasse, and ran into quite an interesting novelty that we probably couldn’t find in the States; Sudoku problems written on toilet paper! It was such a crazy invention that we just had to have it. Later on when we met back up at the City Hall, we found out that Michael de Verdier of Sweden and Stéphane Bressac of France got first and third respectively in a blitz side event-congrats to them! At the Sky Lounge Eike picked 10 teams for the mini-Olympiad that the Youth Camp will participate in at the Congress Center tomorrow, so that will be a very exciting event to see all of us chess players in action! Good Luck everyone!

Courtney Jamison (USA)