Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Arrival in Croatia

After a reasonable length flight (15 hours), we arrived in Croatia late last night for the IOI. The New Zealand and Egypt team were on the same flight as us. New Zealanders had a broken bag on arrival and so we had to wait for them to sort that out before we could take the bus to our accommodation. Egypt has sent 14 observers since they will be hosting the event in Cairo next year.

Team photo at Zagreb Airport:

We arrived at about 23:30 at a reasonable (as hostels go) hostel. Contestants are in a separate building to the rest of us team leaders, observers and guests. We have free, speedy Internet access here (this test says 50mbps and 60ms ping) and so, guess what our main communication medium between contestants and coaches is?

This morning we went to register at 09:00. The process was a little chaotic, but we were the third to arrive and so some forgiveness is in order. We got yet another bag and three t-shirts and plenty other free goodies as always. It's a public holiday here today and they never served breakfast so we had to search for an open shop. Our guide, Mislav, was very kind and took us on a tour of the city center, telling us lots of Croatian history along the way. One of the things I enjoy about Europe is the rich history and cultures they have and Croatia is no disappointment in that regard.

Some pics of our city tour (more available here):

Tomorrow we have a practice session and opening ceremony followed by two GA meetings, which is where us team leaders discuss things important and not so important. Remember to check out the online contest on Friday.

Something I can't believe I almost forgot to mention. The heat here is pretty intense, especially coming from chilly and rainy Cape Town weather. It's over 30° today with a forecast of 36° tomorrow. Add that to the high humidity levels and you get heat exhausting, big time!

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