It's a long way from Germany to the other end of the world. It takes a lot of time, money and causes a pretty big CO2 footprint!

With a travel time of 42 hours, I found it too strenuous to fly to Australia just for the SOOS (Southern Ocean Observation System) 2023 meeting, especially as the continent has so much to offer. However, the travel costs for longer private stays are not fully covered by the employer. Therefore, I struggled for a long time with how much vacation I wanted to add to the symposium. With an arrival of almost three days, a departure of two days and a conference of five days, I felt the physical strain was very great. Even with five days of additional vacation, you've barely acclimatized before you have to leave again. So the only logical conclusion was to pay the flight costs plus a few nights' accommodation out of my own pocket, but to enjoy Tasmania to the full.

And so it went from Berlin to London with British Airways, from London to Singapore with Qantas, from Singapore to Melbourne (also with Qantas) and from Melbourne to Hobart with Qantaslink. There was something delicious to eat and drink on all flights. I therefore didn't need any airport snacks. Unfortunately, I can never really sleep for long, at least during the flight. If things are going well, I nod off for 1.5 hours. Particularly stressful on the penultimate flight was some confusion about immigration to Australia. In Berlin I was told that my luggage would be passed through to Hobart and that I didn't need to pick it up in between. After consulting with the cabin crew from Singapore to Melbourne, it turned out that I would have to take my luggage with me in Melbourne in order to clear immigration. In Australia, virtually no seeds, drugs, certain medicines or excessive amounts of tobacco or alcohol are allowed to be imported. All luggage is checked for this.

For example, a small family in front of me had taken a large bag of apples with them. These were immediately confiscated by customs in Melbourne. Even dirt under your shoes can be a problem. My suitcase was scanned once and my hiking boots were scrutinized. Fortunately, the little bit of dirt wasn't a problem for me. In Hobart, I discovered that the infrastructure for immigration and checks at the airport was not in place. It's a small airport that only a few small planes fly into. As in Peru, the quickest way to get into the city was by Uber or cab.

After a long tour, I needed a lot of sleep. I arrived around twelve and slept for almost seven hours. But that doesn't help with the jet lag. The time difference between Germany and Tasmania is 8 hours. It therefore takes a few days to get used to the new day-night rhythm. Nevertheless, during the regeneration weekend before the symposium, a visit to Woolworths and a Saturday trip to the Salamanca Market were possible. Like in Germany, the market is a mixture of food stalls, local products, lots of decorations, books, music and clothing stalls.

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