Travel to ApacheCon

I’m in Amsterdam for ApacheCon,+Hackathon, which starts tomorrow.  Hope and expect to have an interesting week.

The journey went pretty smoothly.  The only bit that was playing sillybuggers was the tube across London from Paddington to Liverpool Street.  I got on to a circle line train, which first took forever (paused in the tunnel) to get to Edgeware Road, then decided it was going to call itself a some-other-line train and terminate at Moorgate.  I’m not confident of navigating from Moorgate to Liverpool Street[1], or I’d’ve walked.

Even so, I’d caught an earlier train than I had to into London, and I had some spare time at Liverpool Street.  I’d just missed the 19:18 to Harwich, and I was feeling pretty peckish, so I went in search of food.  Seeing a Pizza Express, I decided that would meet my needs.  It did: the quality of both the food and the service were a pleasant surprise, though the pizza was smaller than expected.

On to Harwich, and boarding the ferry has become a much smoother operation than a year ago, since the walkway for the new (bigger) ferries is now complete.  I was able to enjoy a shower and a beer (both much-needed) in comfort before we sailed, and went up on deck only very briefly.  Got up early to overindulge in the all-you-can-eat breakfast.

Travelling straight to Amsterdam would’ve got me here at 10 a.m., so I had time to spare, and decided to take a look at Rotterdam en route.  Since Rotterdam is best known for being a mega-port, I headed south from the station towards the main river, in the expectation of finding interesting things.  I soon found myself on a path marked as a main sightseeing route, but unfortunately everything along it was closed, including such touristy things as the harbour museum and maritime museum.  So I headed back towards the station and the train to Amsterdam.

While I may have missed out on the history of a megaport, I liked Rotterdam’s architecture.  I saw more new than old, and it was classic big-city stuff on a scale more like an American or Asian downtown than most of Europe.  But it all seemed to fit in nicely, and left ample space for comfortably wide streets, walkways, etc.  A sharp contrast to the ugliness of the suburban sprawl I had passed through on the journey from Hoek van Holland.

Optimal arrival at Rotterdam station: 30 seconds later and I’d have missed the intercity to Amsterdam.  As it is, I arrived before noon, and since my hotel is just across from the station, I was able to check in early.  That is to say, do the paperwork and leave my luggage: room wouldn’t be ready ’til 2pm.  I made sure to request that my room should be both quiet and non-smoking (thankfully, it is), helped myself to some leaflets and a map, and went out.

What happened next is another posting.  Suffice it to say, a good but expensive day, just concluded with a gorgeous thai meal.

[1] OK, I could do it, but would likely get lost a few times on the way, and I was carrying a full backpack.


Posted on April 6, 2008, in apachecon, travel. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. In case you ever get caught like that again, Moorgate to Liverpool Street is a pretty easy walk IIRC: exit Moorgate station, leftish but straight ahead through the green Finsbury Circle, then left at the end along a short street to the much uglier Broadgate circle and walk down to the right, into Liverpool Street station through the shopping arcade at its west end. It’s probably signposted – Liverpool Street tube probably wouldn’t cope with the peak volume if all Moorgate-area passengers used it. The shorter walk out of the tube may mean there’s not much in it with a pack.

    Good find on Rotterdam. I’ve only ever seen the ugly sprawl.

  2. Rightish but straight ahead. Right. One day I’ll remember which hand’s which. Sorry about that. Leftish will get you there too, though.

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