Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland
ffutures

Arrival

Made it to Birmingham International (First class because I booked the train really early, only £3 more than standard and I got free coffee, sandwich, crisps, and an apple). Then decided to walk from the station to my hotel, the Etap. VERY bad move, the route crosses endless car parks etc and isn't signposted at all - and when I eventually found the hotel it turned out that the easy route is to take the monorail from the station to the airport, then walk from the airport! Reversing this is the easy way to get to the Hilton, where the convention is taking place, you take the monorail then walk through the station and the NEC to the Hilton. Good news, since I was worried I might be a bit dependent on taxis or buses if the weather turned nasty.

First impression of the Etap - tiny room (about 12ft x 8ft) but clean. VERY spartan - the only furnishings are the bed, a TV on the wall, and one chair, with a tiny shower cubicle, lavatory, and wash basin in the room. But it does have a mains socket for the laptop, it's dirt cheap at £115 for four nights including breakfast, and I don't expect to do anything here except sleep, shower, and eat breakfast, so I'm not complaining. Having said that, there doesn't actually seem to be any shower gel in the room, I think they sell teeny bottles at reception - I shall have to investigate! View is an inspiring vista of some bits of car park and a couple of small airliners parked at the airport

Anyway, I shall head over to the Hilton shortly, see if anyone I know is there etc., and possibly go out for a meal with friends tonight. More later.

Correction: The shuttle from the airport to the station isn't a monorail, it's a trolley car with cables under the track. Apologies to anyone who has gone to the airport just to see the monorail!
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