Monthly Archives: June 2013

Two weeks, six hotels, several cows, and two red-eyes.

Privyet everyone – from Moscow!

This last fortnight has been non-stop darting about the globe for me. But now I’m back in pleasantly sunny Moscow and the pace has eased off just a little… which has given me some time to put fingers to keyboard and come up with this short summary of the previous two weeks.

In all, six cities were taken in: Washington, D.C., London, Munich, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Barcelona. Six hotels, six flights. Three conferences, seven speeches, dozens of interviews, and loads of very interesting meetings.

The last event was our European Partner Conference in Barcelona – at the stylish and hard-partying W Hotel on the shore of the warm Med with its nice long beach (must say, I’d never experienced the beach in Barca even though I’ve been here an untold number of times). We managed to take a dip in the sea and chill on the beach only after dusk as we had no time during the day. The beach was still in full tourist mode at night though, so the atmosphere was nice and vibrant. Advice: if ever in Barca, don’t miss out the beach.

Barcelona got some gorgeous beachesParty city + party beach = Barca

More: Three curious items…

Jerusalem Formula-1.

Shalom folks!

Last week I found myself in Israel, where a big fuss was being made over an event we were taking active part in: the Jerusalem Formula – Peace Road Show. In LOUD attendance were Scuderia Ferrari and Marussia F-1 racing cars, and also GT Ferrari Challenge, Le Mans prototype and DTM Audi cars. What a din that lot made!

Around 120,000 motorsport fans turned up to see the spectacle over two days. I imagine the labyrinth of streets in the Old City had mostly emptied while the racing was going on… but I didn’t see that so can’t confirm. This is what I saw:

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More: the coolest ever opening of a new KL office…

A 3-D printer in a wet Bavaria.

Hallo ihr alle!

In London it was dry and sunny, but not far away in Central Europe they were completely washed out with heavy and persistent rain. And that included Bavaria: gray skies and seemingly endless intermittent precipitation – nothing like what you’d normally expect in June.

We were in Germany – just outside Munich – attending the annual 24 Hours Conference VIP-shindig organized by Deutsche Telekom – in a rather fine ancient chateau. This is a get-together where a very heterogeneous selection of delegates from lots of different countries representing lots of different industries discuss the most burning issues of the day and share their dreams for a better future for all. Like :).

Munich_Germany_24_hours_conference1

Of course, they had me in the room with ‘Security’ written on its large oak door. But while looking for this room we passed quite a few others with interesting ‘themes’ on their doors. One of the most intriguing ones was ‘3-D Printers’. I was more than just a little curious, so poked my head round the door. And lo and behold, there one stood – a 3-D printer – in the flesh!

Basically it’s a cube-shaped frame inside which a secured hose moves about emitting a thin stream of liquid plastic, which slowly builds up… whatever it’s programmed to – well, so long as they’re small plastic knick-knacks. You can see some such knick-knacks next to the printer in the photos:

Munich_Germany_24_hours_conference_3d_printer1

More: What industries would disappear first with the advent of high-quality 3-D printing?…

London in June: lots to see and seas of folks.

Good day everyone – from London!

I don’t think I’ve ever been in London in summer. Fall, winter, spring – many times, but never summer, for some strange reason.

And so I was unaware, perhaps naively, that in summer London is at its most touristy. Along the bank of the river Thames (my favorite route for a stroll – easy to locate, easy to navigate, and you get to see plenty) we found ourselves having to shuffle our way through heaving crowds. The line – queue! – for the London Eye was just bonkers long (reminding me of the absurdly long lines for passport control at JFK!). Then there were all the street shows, musicians and cyclists, and yet more lines – for ice cream.

london-summer1London aye? Nay, thanks

More: Crowds, crowds, crowds and… a gravity challenge!

New Zealand-2013. Finale. Days 15-17. Mistakes, breakfasts, and conclusions.

NZ-2013. Day 15. Mistakes.

Those of you who’ve been following me around NZ with this travelogue will already know how unexpected torrential rain ruined our plans several times. Despite our heroic efforts to see everything, multiple shuffling of the route, and the extra hundreds of miles on the road – some must-sees remained inaccessible and thus unseen. They’ll just have to wait till next time…

Anyway, today I’ll be telling you a little about what we missed, just to make this travelogue exhaustive in terms of its covering all the must-sees of NZ – given good weather.

There were five must-check-outs we missed, as follows:

1. State Highway 6 – along the west coast of the South Island. We got to see only its northern section, but if the southern part is as beautiful – a leisurely drive along it is mandatory. Especially for lovers of hairpin bends :).

New Zealand

More: New Zealand vs Kamchatka – the final encounter…

Hit the road, Syd.

Yes, here I am still, in sunny Oz, and as happy as a sand boy. We were recently on the east coast, in the green band between the Pacific and the edge of the massive desert interior of Australia. We did Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne – the main cities – from north to south. From Brisbane to Sydney it’s approximately 1000km. So if you ever find yourself down-under with two or three days to spare, I really recommend renting a motor – preferably a soft-top – and doing the whole route.

Australia seasideThe early bird catches the… surf

More: Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Miami, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie…