Epilogue

European Science Trek by the numbers:
13 countries
31 days
11,950 miles traveled
195 miles walked
49 train trips
20 hours of airline flights
3688 digital pictures taken (three 8Gb flash cards)
1 hour 45 minutes of video footage (two 32Gb flash cards)
6 private home stays
1 guest room
5 hostels
3 hotels
1 sleeper car on the train
15 museums visited
4 different monetary currencies
7 different languages (fluent in one)

In the coming months, I will be editing video into podcasts and posting them on this site. There will be a link off of the home page. Karen has several thousand pictures to turn into scrapbooks…we’ll see how long that takes!

The last month has been a truly incredible experience. We have seen and experienced so many things that our minds are still swimming with the myriad of sights, sounds, and smells of Europe. We learned many new customs, how to navigate the public transit systems of Europe, experienced the ease of train travel, but yet appreciate the independence (and dependence) that having a car gives us in the States. We learned to know many people who graciously opened their homes to us. The proprietors of hostels and innkeepers were overwhelmingly welcoming and eager to please us. We got to experience European fervor for soccer during the World Cup. We even picked up a few Facebook friends.

Things went amazingly well…we didn’t get sick or injured, we only boarded one wrong train, and only got totally lost once. The damage to the rental car was inconsequential, and we did not fall prey to any pickpockets or scams that visitors can fall victim to.

I would like to publicly acknowledge a few individuals who were instrumental in making this trip possible. Jeremy Wegner provided the inspiration for this trip and introduced me to the Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship program, and provided suggestions for site visits. I would like to thank Allan Dueck, John Poirier, and John Yordy for writing recommendations. Irene Gross and Ayold Fanoy were instrumental in helping arrange some last-minute housing arrangements. In Holland, Arno Thimm and Jan Kanis gave portions of their days to accompany us weary travelers and show us around Amsterdam. Jan Gleysteen was invaluable in providing advice, information, and contact information throughout Europe. We would have loved to have taken him with us to be our personal guide, but that was not an option.

Finally, I would like to thank my faithful companion and wife, Karen. She endured hours of boring science museums, held the camera for my on-camera segments, and had to catch up with me when I started walking too fast. Together, we experienced the trip of a lifetime. I must also acknowledge the Eli Lilly Charitable Trust that provided the funding that made this trip possible, through the Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship program. And last, but not least, thanks to those of you that read this blog and commented publicly or sent private notes. Thanks for following along!

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