I’m home from Europe a couple of days early; I was originally supposed to be in Oslo today, doing a second presentation, but I got really sick once I got to London and my bosses couldn’t take the chance I wouldn’t be better (sorry, Jim, for making you go to Oslo!). Lisbon was interesting. Paul talks about it a bit and relates some of the interesting bits of what happened there, but I have a couple of comments to add:
- I was less than thrilled to find that they seem not to serve straight orange juice, but like to mix in other things. From the one sip I had my first morning, those other things might include pineapple, which would have been a huge problem for me.
- The steak was awesome. The bacon was not, and the McDonald’s burger just didn’t taste like real beef.
- Walking on the sidewalks was an interesting experience. First, they were pretty narrow — combined with narrow streets and fast city drivers, it made it feel like you were taking your life in your own hands on certain streets. Next, they were cobbled with irregular stones, and the resulting surface wasn’t at all level. Added strain to my feet.
- I found out on Monday afternoon that my track (Exchange 2007 for the IT Pro) was in the main auditorium. It was a big auditorium, and there were a lot of people who had signed up for it. It seemed to go well, though; I got a good laugh from my intro joke and a lot of good feedback.
Being sick sucks. Being sick in a foreign country in a shoddy hotel really bites. And I was pretty out of it — the only reason I wasn’t in more serious trouble is that a couple of college friends (Mickie and Jen) were at the same hotel and keeping an eye out for me.
I’d been planning on going and staying with Jen and her husband Rich in Harrogate (up by York) on the weekend anyway, but instead of going back to London Sunday night I just stayed a couple of extra days and got better. It was definitely the right thing to do; the area right around Kings Cross station (where my dodgy hotel was) was a bit grimy and depressing.
The highlight of my trip was going to York on Sunday. I still wasn’t fully up to speed, so we focused on the Minster (the giant cathedral there; I’d been planning on trying to catch Sunday services there, but we didn’t get out the door quite on time and I didn’t feel like hanging around for the Evensong service at 4pm). That is a lovely cathedral. I now plan on going back there with the family at some point.