I have arrived. The trip was OK. Terminal 2 at RDU rocks – I was there far too early (due to trip-excites) and spent 3 hours online on my iPhone. At Heathrow, wifi is pay-only, and I could not detect any at the Zurich airport. There is no AT&T signal to be picked up at Heathrow, Zurich or Lindau, so I am not using the iPhone at all. The wifi at the hotel is decent (a little slower than at home) and they say that it is much better at the conference center.
For some reason, AA switched airplane types. I was looking forward to sleeping 7 hours on the B777 (it is never completely full so I can usually find a line of 3, 4 or even 6 seats to spread my length and sleep. But this time they used a B767-300 so I sat cramped and got only a few quick bursts of sleep that was not very restfull. A big group of exchange student from Meredith college on their way to a summer in London, as sweet as they were, did not help my sleeping by chatting all night.
The rest of the trip was uneventful – as Heathrow is so large, by the time we landed, docked at the gate, walked miles of corridors, passed passport check and security, I only had about 10 minutes waiting at the gate for the Zurich flight (which was more comfortable). I then quickly got on a train to Lindau and a bus driver, not speaking English but understanding I am “with the Nobelists” and “did not get yet to get any Euros” took me to the hotel for free.
So, I should not complain, especially comparing to PZ’s trip which lasted twice as long and did not go as smoothly.
PZ and I arrived at around the same time and made plans to meet via Twitter. We were accompanied by Ashutosh Jogalekar for a nice hour-long walk around Lindau – both the old part on the island on Lake Constance and the newer, bigger town on the coast. Got some cash, bought some essentials, and went to the Social event at the Inselhalle on the island, where I met the rest of the blogging/press team and saw some 600 people including 20+ Nobelists. It was the Indian night, with their food, dances, music and customs, which all together got everyone off their seats and socializing.
Now, exhausted and jet-lagged, I need to go to try to sleep as tomorrow is the work-day for me here: liveblogging, interviewing participants, and myself being on an Open Access session in the afternoon.