Study Tour USB 14.0 started officially on Saturday the 8th of November! This morning we all gathered on campus at 4:30 (yeah really) and got ourselves ready for departure to the United States of America. Everyone looked quite tired but also excited to start this journey. The bus set out for Schiphol Airport at 05:00. During the drive the committee made sure appropriate music was played (theme songs, everything including USA, Brazil or a city to be visited). While some participants took a short nap, others started an early breakfast. The committee started preparing a briefing and some other tour preparations.
At Schiphol there were friends and family members to say goodbye to some participants. At 9:15 we started checking in which went flawless and at 10:15 our flight to San Francisco departed without delay. We flew with an Airbus A330-200, which has enough comfort for the 11 hour flight. There were movies, TV shows and other entertainment available. Personally I slept quite some time so I cannot really give the best summary of the flight, but I heard from others there were no problems. Since we flew to a GMT-8 zone, we had the pleasure of seeing a very long sunset/sunrise above Greenland.
At 12:30 local time, we arrived at the airport of San Francisco. The bus was already present and after forgetting ‘only’ one suitcase, which was soon retrieved, we departed to the hostel. The bus trip itself was pretty uneventful and we arrived at our hostel quite early (around 14:00). The keys were distributed and there was a short briefing which can be summarized to that everyone should be back at the hostel at 17:00 for dinner at China town.
The participants explored San Francisco and its distinct parts. During the meantime the committee arranged the dinner reservation and 29 public transport cards for the week.
At 17:15 we assembled and around 17:30 we walked to our reservation in China Town. This part of San Francisco is fully themed as a city of China. My personal experience of China (gathered during the previous study tour) showed that it is quite different from an original Chinese city, but it still had some familiar features. The dinner itself was very similar to dinners in China, and everyone had fun but also looked quite tired.
After dinner, most of the participants and committee went back to the hostel for a drink and some well-deserved sleep, while some others walked to the pier. This ends the 33 hour day and this blog. I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the study tour, which luckily starts with a day off.