cannes — zurich

after waking up shortly after 8:00, i take a shower, pack my stuff, settle my account with the reception and go for a slow breakfast. outside the sun is shining brightly over the mediterranean sea and creating poodles of glare. as i’m just about ready to leave and go for a bit of fresh air and sunshine (after all this is the cote d’azure), mike pops up at my table and asks whether we’d like to hitch a ride with the IBM booth managers (emma & caroline) to nice airport — which we gladly do.

once again i’m glad that i don’t have to drive: just finding your way is a major challenge and the taxi driver threads his way through countless twisty little streets before we finally reach the toll road to nice and the airport — where we arrive preposterously early: check-in for our flight to zurich is not commencing until 11:20, so we have a full hour to kill: time for another coffee & coke. i start my long delayed project of re-engineering this web log, get sidetracked by a bout of WLAN scanning (can’t even remember why i started that one, but aside from the WLAN offering from airport nice cote d’azure, i find an interestin ad-hoc WLAN named “101” that pops up and disappears when a group of policemen patrol by…), and end up trying to fix my /etc/dhclient.conf file to prevent dhclient from running amok all the time.

after we have checked in at 11:20 and have gone through security, mike and i do some duty free shopping (1l bottle of dalwhinnie is just EUR 38.30, not bad) and then advance to the waiting lounge for our flight to zurich — which is supposed to start boarding around 13:00…

a day at…

well, not the beach but rather at the 3gsm. after a quick shower i’m off: first for a bit of breakfast then to meet mike and go by shuttle bus to the congress. it’s a sunny day (unfortunately, we are going to be stuck inside all day, hmph) and i take a couple of pictures of the morning sun over the mediterranean sea, nice.

at the conference center we make our way inside and after being lost for a bit, finally locate the ibm booth…we are one of the first teams to show up. we get everything set up, and the games begin at 14:00…at 15:00 is the first gsm fashion show where our stuff will also be shown! so, i take a break, grab my camera and find my way to the fashion show tent (which is hidden away in the furthest corner of the exhibition area) to capture the event .

zurich — cannes…

a short sunday today: in the afternoon i need to catch the 15:50 flight from zurich to nice for almost a week of demo duty at the 3gsm world congress in cannes. after church we have a quick lunch and then both leave for the train to zurich: i continue to the airport, dorothee has an hour to kill before her train to stuttgart leaves.

i’m flying with my favourite airline, swiss, today…the check-in machine, although it does give me a ticket, does not like the idea of me checking luggage and, consequently, does not even offer that option to me. the swiss person (who might have been swiss, but then again might not have been but was certainly a swiss employee) at the e-check-in counter just asks whether it was the first machine in the row — which i confirm — and then nods, sighs, and explains that that machine doesn’t like luggage…as my flight to nice leaves from the “new” midfield terminal, i need to go via terminal b, through terminal b border control, then onwards through terminal b, take a right halfway through it, by which time i’m on the connecting walkway between terminal a & b, then halfway through that walkway there’s an exit with escalators and a lift going under ground which i’m directed to take…to arrive on a kind of intermediate level (already under ground) which leads via escalators to a kind of railway station…it actually is the skytrain station.

— which i find a bit strange: a skytrain station under ground? let’s hope the swiss pilots know the difference between up and down…

after a short ride on the underground skytrain i arrive at the midfield terminal where again it’s a bit walking exercise before i finally arrive at the gate — my colleague mike summarises the up and downs, left and rights of getting there quite pointedly: “i assume they had a look at heathrow airport and thought that the long and winding walkways were a terrific idea and that they wanted to have something just like that in zurich.” we agreed that they had done a splendid job of it!

the flight to nice is crammed full. nice airport likewise and the french border control is very diligent and checks each and every passport — it takes 30min to get through. after a bit of searching for the place that is supposed to sell taxi vouchers for the taxi ride to cannes (there’s no such thing, contrary to the “instructions”) we just take a cab and negotiate a rate in advance.

the “hotel” in cannes la bocca turns out to be a holiday apartment complex past its prime. what i at first consider to be the kid’s bedroom because of the small bed turns out to be the real bed room for me: unfortunately, my feet extend past the end of the bed for a good 30-40cm — and almost touch the opposite wall of the room. good grief. that’ll be really relaxing after a 10.5h of demo duty each day for the next four days.

after a greasy pizza i’m off to bed — in the living room where i’ve managed to convert one of the couches into a rather reluctant double bed; reluctant, because the two mattresses making up the double bed are in now way connected to one another and have the tendency to go for a walk in the middle of the night, leaving me not dangling in the air but rather sliding to the floor.

the cote d’azure really is fun…