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The final batch of Barcelona pictures...

TechEd 2002 was an extremely interesting conference, one where I managed to get a much better picture of what Microsoft is planning for the next couple of years. It's going to be an interesting time for anyone interested in web services and distributed computing... and along with my minidisc recorder (300 minutes of interviews), laptop PC (always take an Apple to a Microsoft conference), I took my digital camera.

(This is an image intensive entry, so I've used a lot of lj-cuts)

Barcelona is a lovely city, with some beautiful architecture, and our hotel was slap bang in the middle of the city, on the busy Passeig de Gràcia. We didn't get to see much of the Hotel Majestic, as our extensively timetabled schedule meant that we had to leave the hotel at 7.00 am for the conference centre, and Barcelona's dining habits meant we weren't back until after midnight most nights...


The Hotel Majestic


The conference itself was well outside the city, in the Montjuic 2 conference centre. This was a huge aircraft hanger of a centre, capable of hosting 11 parallel sessions of conference sessions, in almost as many streams - along with a pair of reasonably sized exhibitions.


TechEd 2002 at Montjuic 2


The utilitiarian desing of the conference hall contrasted with the architectural flights of fancy around the city. While I failed to get to the Sagrada Familia yet again, the Passeig de Gràcia is home two of Gaudí's best known buildings: La Predera (the Milà house) and Batlló House. One, a piece of flowstone transported from a deep cave into the busy city streets, the other a snapshot of a dragon passing over the roofs, scattering mosaics as it flew... And they were both within two blocks of the hotel...


La Predera




Batlló House


Even the pavements were art...


The Pavements of Barcelona


But Barcelona is not just a new city of wide boulevards and ambitious architecture, it has an ancient core of twisted alleys. Here you'll find the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia, with its marble corridors and open courtyards, full of orange trees and gentle fountains, sorrounded by gargoyles. As Barcelona sees TechEd as being an important event, the press were invited to the Palace for a tapas reception (with speeches).


The Palace




The Press




Oranges




Gargoyles


The press reception was followed by dinner in the calm of a cool cloister. As candles flickered on the stone walls and in the gardens, a small string group played traditional Catalan music.


The Cloisters


This wasn't the only meal out...


Mmmm, food


One of the highlights of each TechEd is the "Country Drinks", and our hosts from Microsoft's UK offices certainly got into the swing of things...



Phil

Gavin


Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
akicif
Jul. 14th, 2002 11:25 am (UTC)
It's tempting...
To try and get to Barcelona. I've got about ten days left, but I suspect that if I didn't enjoy the heat in Prague, then Spain would be almost impossible. I'd love to see the Gaudi stuff in its natural environment, though.

Oh, "gentle fountains surrounded by gargoyles": no rats?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )