Following the conference in Minsk, I’ve now arrived in Erlangen, Germany, near Nuremburg, where I’ll be working with Christine Silberhorn’s research group at the local Max-Planck Institute for the next 3 months. I’ve arrived just in time for the local beer festival, apparently the next biggest thing after Munich’s famous Oktoberfest. This, in conjunction with the shortly-to-begin World Cup, must be making my supervisor back in Australia quite suspicious of my motives for coming to Germany. So, to set the record straight, let me be perfectly clear up-front about what my motives are for wanting to come to Germany. It’s not the beer drinking, and it’s not the World Cup – neither of these things are especially close to my heart. It’s the close proximity to the Alps, where I intend to spend a few weeks climbing following my stay in Germany. Hopefully I might even squeeze in some weekend trips to the not-too-distant Bavarian Alps.