These tips from Chris Brogan came a little late for my trip to the US last week, but may help you…
I travel every few days. On the day this posts, I’ll be flying to Chicago. A few days later, off to the west coast. Then, Chicago again. Then home. Then, Latvia. Yes, I fly a lot.
I thought I’d offer some tips for flying.
Chris goes through planning your flight, packing, navigating the airport, onboard the plane, getting out and more. Nothing earth-shattering, but a great reminder…
I travel up to the event in Manchester with Darren and Lisa of STS on Sunday, before meeting with many of the other speakers on Sunday evening. It then kicks off for real on Monday with an action-packed schedule – there are some great sessions lined up for Monday morning. At lunchtime, we have the This Week in Lotus Live show so make sure you attend if you can.
Then during the last slot of the day, Lisa and I present on ‘Getting Social and Doing Business – Inside and Outside the Firewall‘. This will be a little different to most of the sessions at the conference in that there will be few slides being displayed. Instead, we’ll be sharing and discussing how you can improve your businesses and your own personal productivity and success through social collaboration. We’ll be looking for input from the floor too, so if you’re all Powerpoint/Symphony/Keynote’d out by 4:30pm, you know where to come!
Whilst at UKLUG I’ll also be looking to interview as many people as possible for some future segments on This Week in Lotus so if you see me headed in your direction with record at the ready, please don’t run!
On Tuesday, I’ll be sad to be leaving UKLUG early, but will be flying to Orlando for a customer event – I’ll be waving to Paul as he heads in the opposite direction! I’ve got three sessions at their event, all focused on IBM Connections and social business.
Then on Thursday I’m off to see another important customer in Minnesota to help plan their collaboration infrastructure, upgrades to Quickr and Connections and much more. Having only ever worked remotely for them in the past, I can’t wait to meet them in person for the first time and to see their company at work.
Finally I get to see some family in Chicago before heading home. Should be a fun-packed week.
Currently I have a window in my schedule for Friday May 27th during the afternoon and evening and during the day on Saturday May 28th.
If you would like me to visit your organisation to discuss Social Business, IBM Connections, Lotus Quickr or to assist with user adoption strategies then please get in touch – I’d love to get the chance to meet with you and offer assistance. If you’d like to meet up socially during the Friday evening then that would be great too!
Chicago is one of my favourite cities, so I’m looking forward to being in town…
I was up early on Wednesday, leaving my little roadside motel behind after an inexpensive breakfast at the neighbouring services, and onto the autobahn heading South toward Munich.
Whilst the most direct route toward my final destination (Sofia, Bulgaria) was via Passau, and Linz, I had always held a desire to explore Austria, especially in the Springtime when the snow is still lying in places and on the peaks but the valleys are pristine green and full of life. So my plan was to get to Salzburg ASAP, then take a more leisurely route South through Bad Ischl, Bad Aussee, Admont and Leoben. Once back on the motorway, I could then head towards Vienna and onward.
So, south on the autobahn, and past Inglostadt. Mmm, Inglostadt I thought – that’s where Audi is based. Vorsh Sprung Technik and all that. Then a sign pointing to the Audi Motor Museum. Well, what could I do! A quick trip around the museum couldn’t do any harm, so I took a detour. What a great place! Just 2€ to gain entrance, and some fantastic exhibits from the 100+ year history of Audi and it’s predecessor, Auto Union. It’s a fantastically modern building, with superb architecture, and really interesting ways of presenting the cars. In particular, I was amazed at the vertical rotating display of ten or so modern Audis that has the cars suspended 30m or so above the ground. Very cool.
If you are any kind of car nut like me, then the museum is well worth a visit. They also offer a trip around the factory, but I had already spent far too much time on my detour so I declined and headed back to the Autobahn.
The motorway skirts Munich, but I chose to head through the centre to catch a glimpse of some of the famous Munich sights, but the aim was always to get through the city at reasonably high speed. The limited amount that I did see conformed to my pre-conceived notions of splendid architecture and fabulous German organisation. I must make it back for the Oktoberfest some time soon and spend more time exploring.
So, on into Austria and to Salzburg. Now I had high hopes for this city – nestling in the Salzach valley within sight of the mountains, scene of the famous “Sound of Music” movie and home of Mozart. It is certainly in a beautiful spot, and when the sun is out and the air clear, I am sure it is a great place to be. However, in the drizzle it seems a bustling, slightly tatty city, that didn’t really have much to offer beyond the “Sound of Music tour” and the medieval Hohensalzburg fortress. I am sure I missed the real spirit of the place, so will have to come back for a longer stay in the future.
Leaving Salzburg to the East, I eschewed the motorway toward Linz, and instead took a windy single-carriageway route upwards toward Bad Ischl. Climbing up above 1000m, it fast became obvious that a month or so earlier and there would have been plenty of snow around. The houses alongside the road were classic Austrian chalets, the views of the snow-laden peaks stunning and the road challenging to drive. Whilst at times the journey was slow-going, the sight of the mountains, the Wolfgang See, the lake at Bad Aussee all made it a wonderful trip. In all, it took about 3 hours to make it from Salzburg south-east to Leoben, a distance of approximately 230km. Whilst in the context of the trip, this was probably a luxury, it was definitely worthwhile.
So, the scenic bit done and dusk beginning to fall, it was back to the purpose of getting some serious kilometres under my belt. The plan was to head NE toward Vienna. However, the traffic was heavy (my goodness mainland Europe suffers with haulage clogging up the roads!), and suddenly my plan to spend the night in Vienna before heading through Hungary and Romania seemed a very long way round – yes it was on fast roads but seemed an excessive distance to travel. So instead I carried on South into Austria’s second city, Graz, before heading on to Budapest in the morning.
I quickly found a decent hotel, the Hotel Europa, and dumped my bags before heading out for some well-deserved dinner. I was looking for some classic Austrian fare and so searched high and low for a good inexpensive local restaurant. In between the pizzerias, kebab shops and Irish bars, I failed dismally! Of the limited selection on offer, an “all you can eat” Sushi bar seemed the most promising, so it was with that and a Japanese beer that I finally turned in for the night. 850km covered so far, 700 in the day and still plenty of distance to be travelled…
Francie‘s travel curse is well-documented – wherever she goes, some unimaginable event occurs which causes delays, rerouting and changes of plans – especially if Lotusphere is involved!
I’ve always been fairly lucky with my travels – nothing of note to really have a cause to complain about, apart from a 9-hour delay at Gatwick with a 1 year old on a one-man-distruction-mission, but that’s a whole other story.
However, this week I’m a bit worried… The plans are a bit ambitious to say the least. Fly to Frankfurt, Germany via London Heathrow (Bill, I agree with you, LHR really is the pit of the world!) for a meeting, pick up a car, then drive down to Sofia, Bulgaria for a meeting on Friday. It can’t be that bad, just 1,300+ miles (2,200+km) through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria, taking in the sights of cities including Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest and Sofia. Whilst a lot of the journey will have to be completed at reasonably high speed, I am hoping to get some time to explore along the way…
The voyage started badly, with a text message from BA just minutes into my taxi ride to Heathrow informing me that the 10:20 flight to Frankfurt had been cancelled due to the bad weather over Germany. Not a good start. A call to BA customer dis-service suggested that the best I could hope for was a change to the 14:15 flight, with not even a mention of an apology or any understanding of any knock-on effects – usual BA in other words. However, on getting to LHR, and standing in a very very long BA reservations queue, they switched me onto a Lufthansa flight, due to leave at 9:50. Awesome, though only 20 minutes to get to the gate in Terminal 2 (I was in Terminal 1 at the time) – was I glad I was travelling light! So, mad dash to T2 completed, through a mercifully short Passport Control queue, into the departure gate for the Lufthansa flight… And, a message over the tannoy saying that this flight was also delayed! Argggh! perhaps I would have had time to pick up that Macbook in Dixons on the way through
To cut a long story short, the (100% full) flight eventually left at 12:00 after an hour-long sit on the tarmac, and following an incredibly rough landing, touched down at Frankfurt safely. That’s fine, chill out, the rough bits done I thought. Shame that the contact that was supposed to be collecting me from the airport was nowhere to be seen. Turned out that his daughter had suffered an accident at School and so they were at the local hospital having a plaster cast fitted! So, after a two hour wait sampling the delights of the airport food at Frankfurt (which actually isn’t so bad), I eventually got collected, had the meeting, collected the car and was on the road. Shame that it was then dark, very very wet and windy, and in the middle of the post-rush hour traffic heading for the Autobahn. Not quite “grand touring” by my definition
But today is a new day, the weather is a little brighter, the overnight stay in a roadside Motel wasn’t so bad, the breakfast remarkably good, and I’m off…
Munich is the first stop, about 150km South East from here in Nuremberg. Then it’s Salzburg for lunch, followed by a pretty drive through central Austria to Vienna for dinner. It promises to be a good day!