My personal and professional adventure into Science

Wonderful Brazil

Last Wednesday I jumped into a planed heading for Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The reason is both business and pleasure – just as I like it. I have been invited to give a talk at a workshop organised by Cebio. The Title of the workshop is “Metagenomics Workshop – III International Workshop on Environmental Microbiology” – a link can be found here and the program is here. Also check out the invited speakers section here 😉

Before the workshop I spent two days in BH, where I among others visited the local market. To me it’s super fun to walk around and see all the different things you can buy, smell all the spices and amazing food – see all the things that are so different from Denmark…

Saturday morning I took a plane to Rio where I had a hotel very close to both Copacabana and Ipanema beach. Very nice location. The days passed with touring around, visited among others (of course) Christ the Redeemer and the botanical garden. All the amazing pictures are still at my camera, so you will have to deal with a few from my phone until I get to empty my camera 🙂

Tomorrow the workshop starts and I will of course write about that. In the meantime enjoy a few pictures from Beautiful Belo Horizonte and Rio De Janeiro.

Happy New Year 2013/2014

Happy New Year everyone. I know it’s a bit late, but I hope that you all came safely into 2014, and that 2013 brought you everything you wanted. If not, 2014 will be a new year to try reaching your goals. I  expect 2014 to be a very exciting year, as there are many cool projects and publications in the pipeline for the scientific part. I also expect the private side of my life to be a great year, can’t wait to get started.

Monday I went back to work after five extra vacation days in Berlin. I flew down there on the first of January and flew back home Monday evening. It was a nice vacation where I was lucky to find a good deal for the four star Sana Hotel Berlin, which is very nicely located next to the big shopping street KurfĂźrstendam. The hotel can be recommended, but think twice about sharing a room if you are travelling with a colleague and wants to have a little privacy… From the bedroom to the bathroom the only cover is a glass wall, and if you book a room with a bathtub like I did, you can see directly from the bed to the shower. A bit weird 🙂 Besides that the hotel was very nice with a sauna, steam bath, pool and fitness, and the staff is very friendly.

Sunday I went outside Berlin to a huge water amusement park called Tropical Islands. It’s an amazing 66.000 m2 water world with a Blue Lagoon, sand beach, a small rain forest and  a 10.000 m2 Spa complex. They also have water slides, where the fastest one you reach the speed of 77 km/t, that was something. All in all a very nice place! If you find yourself close to Berlin at some point, take your time and go there for some nice relaxation 🙂

Tropical Islands

This year I hope to have more time writing here about everything that is going on at work and in my life, I guess the lack of posts is just showing that a lot of things is happening.

What is your New Year resolutions for 2014? I don’t really have any New Year resolutions, but I will try to be more organised, more efficient at work and go more regularly to the gym 🙂

Relaxing in Vienna

After only having one week of vacation since I visited Australia in February, I decided to take some days off. I am now in Vienna where I will visit two friends I met at a summer school in Lipari 3-4 years ago. My main holiday will still be saved for a winter vacation somewhere warmer than Denmark, or colder for that sakes if it includes a lot of ice, snow and mountains 🙂

The last weeks have been tough, or months for that sakes, lots of work work work and Monday + Tuesday, Henrik and I had 14 oral re-exams with students attending our Introduction to Bioinformatics course. It was sad to see that only 55% of the students passed this year vs. 80% last year. Same teachers, lectures, exercises and TA’s. Only difference was the students. This down going trend in passing was unfortunately also seen in other courses. I hope next year will be better 🙂

To quickly recharge, I found a nice hotel with a lot of relaxation options, if that is what I want. Most preferably I would have liked to take a week or two to a warmer country with nice beaches, cold drinks and a lot of nature to explore. Unfortunately this just didn’t fit my schedule now, so that will be later, and it will also be nice to catchup with Marta and Paweł 🙂

The hotel I found has a spa with whirlpool, steam bath, sauna, pool, massage and a gym. And also a strange thing called an Alphalounger. It looks weird, but apparently it should recharge your mind, body and soul. I will see if it works 🙂
So, there should be plenty of opportunities to recharge if the weather turns bad.

Fortunately weather is nice, it’s around 22-23 degrees and sunny. So I think I will continue exploring the city and see what I can find 🙂


Bye Bye Australia – Hello Denmark

The time has come where I unfortunately have to leave Australia. It has been three amazing weeks with so many experiences and adventures. The weather has not always been good (raining as I am writing), but that would never stop me from returning to Australia. It is truly an amazing country full of amazing people.

My trip home will not be a short one, and especially not after Etihad Airways decided to update their systems. For that reason I now have to be in the airport 4 hours before departure instead of 2! When I spoke with Etihad costumer service (I called because I couldn’t check-in online and I really wanted a window seat) their reasoning for being there 4 hours before is that otherwise the plane will be late. They seriously told me that if I arrive only two hours before, my plane will not depart on time and that will be my fault but if I arrive 4 hours before everything will be fine.

My question to Etihad was then, if it is so important, why didn’t I receive an email, I only got to know because I called them, and there after read it at their website because they referred me to it. Secondly, will the airline company refund some of the expenses for being 4 hours in an airport in the morning (expensive breakfast)? It is not really the customers fault that the company is upgrading their system. I am not the only annoyed customer, which can be seen at their Twitter page.

So due to the system upgrade I have to leave from here at 7 in the morning, even though the plane is not leaving before 11.55. I will arrive in Copenhagen at Sunday 14.30, pretty tired after travelling almost 40 hours in total, the time difference shortens it to a little more than 24 hours, funny.

When I get back I will have a lot of writing to catch up on, all the things I have experienced, and then of course work on Tuesday. Which is another story. Talk to you soon !

Feeding Kangaroos in Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Feeding Kangaroos in Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Australia is unfortunately not only sunshine

Country is alright, location should be perfect with area names such as Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast etc, but unfortunately the season is the wrong to go on vacation in Australia.

Back home in Denmark friends and family are fighting with snow and minus degrees, here we fortunately don’t have that. Degrees are alright, steady around the 27-28 depending on where we are (Melbourne was a lot warmer with up to 35 degrees), but unfortunately the sun will this week be hiding behind some massive rain clouds.

Two days ago it was so bad that the weather service sent out an Extreme Weather Condition warning. Luckily this area was not hit so bad, except for whole day massive rain, where other areas at the Gold Coast were struck by flooding, you can see pictures from the area here. Pictures are also from the Tropical Cyclone Oswald who struck the coast one week before my arrival.

Beach Closed

The beach is closed due to massive waves constantly hitting the beach

Fortunately the building has a pool so it’s possible to sit and catch the 5 min of sun between each rain shower. Life is not that bad at all.

A place to hide between the rain showers when the beach is closed

A place to hide between the rain showers when the beach is closed

Later today the plan is to go to the Currunmbin wildlife sanctuary, I think I will bring a poncho or a big umbrella, just in case.

Time is relative – Vacation in Australia proves that

In 1916 Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity and I guess that almost everyone knows that Einstein proved that time is relative. Also, everyone has had the feeling before that time passes quickly (usually when something pleasant happens) and thus it is believed that the actual time passed seem shorter than it was. Opposite some events can make time pass very slowly. For me the latter is usually when I have to wait for something, so I am not really looking forward to have 6 hours of layover in Brussels at my way home from Australia.

If you want to know how you can make time pass really quickly, then book a plane to Australia as that is precisely what happened to me. I have now, unfortunately, already been here for more than two weeks and it feels like I just arrived some days ago. Then again, so much has happened during the last two weeks so it feels like I have been here longer. My days have been very intense, so much to see, so much to experience, and that is also the reason for the lack of posts, but I will try to change that now.

In the meantime I have posted some beautiful pictures (out of the many thousands I have taken) using Instagram as I can do that directly from my phone. For people having smartphones they can follow me by searching for my user ‘bpetersen79‘ or clicking the link: bpetersen79 (remember to follow me). People not having smartphones can see the pictures here: Let me know what you think about the pictures and what you would like to see in the future.

Great Ocean Road

A drive in the forest along Great Ocean Road

Bye-bye Denmark – Hello Australia

This is my very first blog post, and basically I start by saying bye-bye Denmark instead of saying ‘Hello World’.

In less than 24 hours I will jump on a plane and point my nose in the direction of Australia. Last year I only had one week of vacation, so this will be my “summer” vacation 2012.


Having a break from work will be great, but then again I can’t help myself from thinking about the projects I have to put on hold while I am away. Fortunately I have amazing colleagues; Simon will make sure one of the big assemblies will keep running and our awesome system administrator, John, will make sure a list of my other assemblies will run one by one. One by one so I am not overloading the system while I am away (I don’t want to be that type of person, you know…), but also so I have something finished when I get back to work. You will hear more about both projects in a later post, they are both really exciting.

The flight to Australia will not be a short one. Shorter was available (in time), if I wanted to pay the money for it, but I would rather spend my money on amazing trips. I can always find a good book to read to kill time. In total it will take 30 hours and 10 minutes to reach Australia… Phewww…
The first flight is tomorrow at 18:30 from Copenhagen-> DĂźsseldorf -> Abu Dhabi, a stopover in Singapore and then the last flight to Brisbane.The way home will take even longer as that will be a 35 hour and 35 min journey, but with one less flight and more waiting time in airports.

The people who knows me very well can follow my travel on, which btw. is an amazing app for people who travel a lot. You have all your itineraries at one place, and they will even send you text-messages with changes in your flight, boarding calls, gate changes etc. I am paying for the Pro version and I have never regretted it, I can totally recommend it. Try it out, they have a free trial version, and let me know what you think!

The final destination for my journey is not Brisbane, but the city with the lovely name “Gold Coast”. I simply love the names around Gold Coast, there is ‘Surfers Paradise’ and ‘Mermaid Beach’. How lovely is that! I have never tried surfing before, but I am definitely up for the challenge.

Gold Coast, Australia

Gold Coast, Australia

One of the trips I will go to, is of course, a trip to The Great Barrier Reef. If you are curious, my good friend Sara Cuadros just showed me a link to a Google Virtual tour where you can see, what I am going to see. I can’t wait! Click here for the tour.

My suitcases are still unpacked, but I still have a lot of time tomorrow, and hopefully there will also be time for a few posts while I am enjoying the sunshine.

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