I found out a little about Kiel a week before the trip; a researcher who lives here was visiting one of my colleagues at Queen’s. He said there wasn’t much to see that was old, because the city was bombed out in World War II. It was a major submarine base and submarine construction dockyard, so was a major target.

The Atlantic Hotel is near the edge of the southern part of the port.

The architecture is different from what I expect from the parts of North America I visited, where buildings are either 1-3 stories or else skyscrapers. Here (as in Edinburgh last year) 4-5 stories seem common, at least in the small parts of the city I’ve seen.

I’m at the back of the hotel. The front faces the Hauptbanhof, the train station. Across the main street to the west is a shopping centre — a good thing, since the plug adapter I brought with me didn’t work, and I had to buy a new one.

Writing Excuses Retreat registration starts at 1pm. I plan to spend the morning reading some of the submissions for my critique group that meets next Wednesday; I don’t expect to have much time for it on the cruise. I had about a week of calendar time beforehand, but what feels like negative hours to accomplish anything; the middle weeks of July are enormously busy for an Undergraduate Chair, while students are trying to enroll in their classes.

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