Dave and I are your DirTeam bloggers on Microsoft’s Tech∙Ed Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA) conference for IT Professionals in Barcelona (Spain) from November 3rd, 2008 to November 7th, 2008.
Yesterday was the first day of our trip and I would like to take this opportunity to share a couple of things.
Yesterday started early, since we met up at Schiphol airport at 10:00 am. An unchristian time, I agree, on a Sunday morning to make arrangements to take a plane to a foreign place. Taking an early flight however would mean we’d be able to check into our hotel without problems or hassle.
Far worse airlines exist, compared to Air France – KLM and the rest of the Skyteam, so our flight was uneventful. We encountered some turbulence though. Not the kind where passengers continue an argument with their fists, but rather the plane shaking, trembling and losing altitude regularly. Some people get travel sickness from these kinds of events, (more on them shortly) but fortunately Dave and I are not that kind of people.
I saw some familiar faces on the plane already!
I received a couple of tips before we went to Barcelona, so I tried to follow these guidelines. Whoever tells you it’s economically sound to use public transportation to get to your hotel, should really take your hourly rate into consideration. After landing at Barcelona Airport, collecting your bags and heading for the exit leading to the trains, you’ll find ourselves in a train station, made up entirely of plastic and steel beams. Not a pretty sight. Trading in a train for a metro, provides an extra surprise: Long damp underground corridors and badly indicated directions.
A cab ride only costs € 24 and will take you to the other side of town in a matter of minutes, where public transportation takes up hours of your time…
AC Hotel Barcelona
After an adventure that lasted 2 hours we arrived at our hotel on the other side of Barcelona: the AC Hotel Barcelona. The tip to book this hotel was way more useful. The hotel is situated next to the location where TechEd EMEA is held and the hotel is of premium quality.
I booked a twin bed room months ago with Grupo Pacifico. Kudos to those guys and girls, because they actually put us up in one of the suites of the hotel. Room to spare!
Live at Tech∙Ed!
After settling in our room we went to register for TechEd, which is a pleasant walk. Dave and I met some MVPs (Marc van Orsouw, Maarten Goet), our Dutch IT Pro Evangelists, Tech∙Ed EMEA TV team and Tech∙Ed Virtual Hosts (Daniel van Soest en Tony Krijnen), a couple of folks from the Tech∙Ed organization (notably Neil Palmer), the Keynote speaker (Brad Anderson), Gerard Verbrugge, (bummed out and still shaking on his feet since he’s the kind of guy that gets travel sickness and he was on the same flight as us) Martijn Bellaard and Arlindo Alves. (Tech∙Ed track owner)
Daniel phoned my when Dave and I were in the train. Daniel basically registered me for Tech∙Ed Speaker Idol. Declining wasn’t an option. I told him I didn’t have time to plough through my first meter of books and my boss would gladly pay for a ticket to Tech∙Ed EMEA 2009. So now I find myself registered for Tech∙Ed Speaker Idol…
Time for me to prepare my Speaker Idol presentation, look into the last minute changes in the Tech∙Ed timetable and get some sleep. I really need to get some early sleep, because my roommate apparently is an enormous snorer. His wife provided earplugs as a precaution…