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TechEd 2007 Day -1

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 1194176316

As I wrote before, this week I will be at Microsoft’s TechEd for developers in Barcelona for this whole week! You should expect daily updates on both the personal side and also on the topics focused on the talks I will attend.

This adventure started yesterday when Miguel and Susana caught me up at Coimbra and we drove to Alcobaça, Miguel’s hometown where we hung out in some nice small cafes and played some Chinese shadows on the Monestary. Late that night we continued our trip to the TechEd to Lisbon where we crashed at Miguel’s. This morning we woke up really early (so almost no sleep, and I slept on the floor, something I really missed and I recomend you all to try! It’s good for your spine and backs!).

We met there the other MSPs with who we will be sharing the trip: André(who drunk beer as breakfast), Bruno and Nelson. Moments later we also met the guys from the MLDC who shown to be really cool and will be sharing the flight and hotel with us. The time to fly had come and in my way to the gate I found João, who will be attending Web2.0 Berlim where I also wanted to be. Unfortunately no cool company offered me that trip…

The flight was short and okay and some minutes later we found ourselves in the hotel checking in(that appears to be in the opposite side of Barcelona where TechEd is being held). We then decided to take a random walk around the city. Barcelona’s public transportation system is pretty good and in one bus we found ourselves in the Diagonal. From there we walked to the Ramblas, a nice street where there were a lot of small shops and cultural animation. People playing statues, grinch or even famous people gathered a circle of people from the crowd (when I write crowd, you should read thousands of people walking by the streets!). One thing that I also noticed about one year and an half ago when I passed through Barcelona was the fact that the cultural variety is enormous and it makes you want to interview everyone you meet and learn their story.

After lunch we went to Starbucks, a shop where I always wanted to visit (since there aren’t any in Portugal), and there are at least three here! Unfortunately the WiFi was not free as it is in the USA and one thing I found interesting is that you need a security code to access the bathrooms that is given in your ticked only when you buy something! After that we continued walking and we saw a lot of architectonic monuments by Gaudi which I intent to revisit tomorrow together with more monuments.

One thing that made my day worth it was the books I found on this statue that I guessed to be book crossing, and they really were! I took one, in English, that I wanted to read since I was a kid, a true classic: “The Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was lucky to found a bookcrossing (we don’t find this in Coimbra) and a English book and one I wanted to read! We also found other books around town. It seems that the IV Encuentro Bookcrossing is happening here until 4th November. I find this concept interesting and I will contribute once I go back home.

It was a extasing day both the anxiety and the excitement from being here and having a great time with such cool people. I also thank Microsoft (and the Student Partner) for giving me this opportunity to visit such a nice place and be part of this great conference. Other companies should follow their example and give this kind of opportunities to students!