Work brought me to Germany early December, where I took the opportunity to visit some of its famous Christmas Markets.


This year’s Picture Coding Symposium, one of the premier image and video coding conferences, was being held in Nuremberg, Germany, at the beginning of December. As most people will know, December is Christmas markets time, and Germany hosts some of the most beautiful markets in the world. When we landed in Munich, the pilot announced a cool -6 degrees – quite a change from the 35 degrees in Sydney! The next day, I met Nick and Jude, two friends from Sydney who live now in Germany, and together we started Gluehwein season.

After a quick train ride to Nuremberg, it was time to start the work part of the trip. The conference was held in a luxurious hotel at the entrance of the old part of Nuremberg, and I had the privilege of giving an oral presentation in front of over 150 people – a new record ­čÖé There were a lot of interesting presentations and posters, which sparked a couple of new research ideas. As always, the social side was one of the highlights; we had a medieval banquet in a great restaurant, where all we were given were a wooden plate and a knive – try eating a soup in style without a spoon.

After the conference, I took a five-hour train ride to Berlin, my last stop in Germany, where I caught up with our dear German friends Sandra, David, and little Oskar. The day after my arrival, I went to visit EyeEm, a young company which created an excellent online photo community,  and is working on computer vision algorithms to automatically tag images and assess their aesthetics; I call it the Instagram for adults ­čśë I’d like to thank Gokhan and all the great people at EyeEm who took the time to show me what they were working on!

After a great weekend with “the Germans”, where we visited the Christmas markets (more Gluehwein!), it was already time to say goodbye and fly back to Switzerland, for a well-deserved holiday (the first after handing in my PhD end of August).