Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Sweden: Karlstad

Life doesn't stop in New Zealand. So I decided to continue writing here about my following travels too!

Sweden. A business-and-holiday trip in one.

Karlstad is a small, interesting city; smaller than Enschede but it has everything in it. A lot of water, parcs, flowers, trees, blue skies, and many, many cycling lanes and bridges.



The first three days I attended the Mechatronics conference in Karlstad.


You can see that I am using a subtitling system to understand the spoken text. Professors who were watching over my shoulder wondered which excellent speech recognition software I was using, but I told them that it was a professional text interpreter (Daniel) in The Netherlands who was typing everything for me. We set up a Google Hangout so that Daniel could view and listen the presentation, and I could read his text. It worked very well!


Of course I also gave a presentation myself, about the powered exoskeleton project in New Zealand. It went very well, several audience members enjoyed my presentation.


Can you spot me on the group photo?

After the conference, I hired a bike and cycled around in the town and surroundings. There is a rail trail going north from Karlstad, but it was rather flat so not too exciting for me. And there weren't many MTB tracks around the city, so I decided to move out. But not before attending the Midsummer celebration!


It is the only day in the year that many, many people gather in the parc. They set up a large cross, dance around it in a funny way and play music. I also jumped in to join the dance :)

My cheap hostel didn't have wifi, so I had to go to city centre to arrange my next steps. After a lot of investigations, I found a good destination: Säfsen. It is about five hours from Karlstad by public travel, though you could get there in less than two hours by car.

More about it in my next blog! Pictures from Karlstad be found here!

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