Monday, November 13, 2006 1:35 AM
A weekend at Barcelona
What a busy weekend it has been. It al started on Friday evening with some nice dinner in the heart of Barcelona. Geeks all the way, so the topic of the talks shouldn't be too surprising :-). Nevertheless, it's amazing how fast Friday turns into Saturday, especially if you take a cab to Port Olimpic with people like Hans Verbeeck with some of his EMEA colleagues and a few guys from Redmond, responsible for TechEd US. We also met Tom Mertens finding his way back to the hotel after spending an evening with Wim and Wim visiting Parc Guell. Luckily bars close at 5 AM in the morning, otherwise chances were high Hans didn't make it in time for his plane in the morning :-). Btw, congratulations to Hans' daughter for her 8th anniversary. So, at the time metro trains started to run again, I found myself walking through the city to my hotel where I arrived somewhere around 6:30 AM. Needless to say I overslept and missed the breakfast :$.
Saturday noon: time to awake the tourist in me. It's the third time (previously TechEd 2003, IT Forum 2005) I'm in Barcelona, but the first time I had the time to explore the city (finally!). So I did with a ticket for the touristic bus that goes around the city. On Saturday I visited the Sagrada Familia (where I also found a pretty good restaurant for a nice pizza, my favorite tourist food) and Parc Guell (I'll post some photos somewhere online when I'm back at home). TechEd certainly is in the air (even in the weekend it is) since a couple of TechEd t-shirts appeared on several places in the park :-). If you visit Barcelona some time, these are two places you should have seen. Another popular place where the bus stops is FC Barcelona, but I skipped that one due to my low sports interest.
Sunday, another city exploration day. This time I took the bus for the Southern route, driving to Plaça d'Espanya and on to Montjuïc. It was a pretty long climb to the top of the hill to visit the castle and the Olympic village from 1992 when the Olympic Games took place in Barcelona. If you decide to make the walk to the top, I'd recommend you to take some drinks with you. Things are not always as they look: imagine a nice terrace on the top of the hill without service :s. As worse as things can get, the regular entrance to the castle seemed to be blocked due to construction works, so I had to walk around the castle in the opposite direction. It was only when I arrived at my destination (i.e. on top of the castle), I saw the regular entrance being reachable by a very small path. After all, I'm happy to have taken the long way, which had a great panoramic view on the Mediterrean Sea. The next stops of the bus were the World Trace Center, Port Vell, Port Olimpic (where I took a photo of the infamous pubs we visited throughout the week), the Poblenou Cemetery (the oldest in Barcelona with great sculptures, worth the visit), the Parc de la Ciutadella and Barri Gòtic (which I still have to visit next Saturday before catching my flight to Brussels). And I has been proven once more: it's a small world we live in. During my walk back to the hotel, passing by Palau de Musica, I met Jan Tielens and his wife.
On to another week in Barcelona for TechEd 2006 IT Forum. You can find me on the ATE booth for Windows PowerShell once more (desk 28) on the following times:
- Tuesday 14 November 2006 - 18:45 to 21:00 (during the exhibition hall opening reception, I'll be off for one hour to Speaker Idol once more)
- Thursday 16 November 2006 - 10:00 to 13:00
- Friday 17 November 2006 - 10:00 to 13:00
Today I'll be following the pre-conference on SQL Server 2005 Always On Technologies. I'll report about it later today.Del.icio.us
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Filed under: Personal, IT Forum 2006