To Dubrovnik

Jun 14, 2007 • Karen

Washington DC --> London-Heathrow
London-Heathrow --> London-Gatwick
London-Gatwick --> Dubrovnik

The overnight flight was pretty good--British Airways is so much superior to most American airlines, even in coach class! Dinner was a real nice hot meal, with a salad, real chocolate cake, and wine. The flight attendants were all polite, with British accents. And they had movies, music, and other information on demand on your personal seatback screen for free. I got to listen to a bit of "Play" by Moby and the new Beatles remastering/remixing album. The issue, as always, was sleep--the wine helped a little, as I did sleep for a bit, but only for two hours.

Britain is more rural than I had realized--or, at least, the area by the airports is. Lots of wildflowers, horses, cows, and sheep as we zoomed along the highway in the coach that went between Heathrow and Gatwick. I was seated on the left side of the bus, so the road just felt like a one-way--unless I looked over and saw the other cars and OH GOD WE'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY wait.

In my first few hours in Croatia I felt woefully underprepared. I didn't have a (working) cell phone and Internet access was scant to none. Being that I know essentially nothing but what the Internet tells me, and I had no way to contact others directly, it was a lonely few hours.

Example: I had no money exchanged and no idea how I was supposed to get to the hotel. There were lots of conference-goers on my plane, but while they all knew each other I didn't know any of them. Finally one guy took pity on me, organizing a shared cab, paying my way (until I could get my own currency to exchange), and making sure I got to the hotel.

Example: My roommate, a lawyer from Australia whom I had never met, had the only key to our room and was gone until late that night. The staff unlocked it so I could drop off my suitcase and take a shower, but I still felt uneasy being unable to get into my own room.

Example: I finally found the "business center" of my hotel with its single computer, only to read an email from Nelson saying his flight was delayed and he might miss his connection to Vienna. No further information, and I had no way to contact him for more.

But then I ran into Asheesh, Gavin, and a whole bunch of other folks. Hooray! Together we took the bus to Dubrovnik, attended a iCommons mingle thing on the roof of Revelin, the big fortress where the conference is being held, and had pizza and a bottle of wine at some restaurant in the old city. It was fun!

Now it is Friday morning. Nelson made it to Dubrovnik, despite having to have his flight rescheduled twice and his baggage lost. The first iCommons conference session just ended and I think I will go get some caffeine. Later all!