As many of you probably know, I went to Edinburgh to attend the World Wide Web conference WWW 2006 on 21st May, and just got back today.
This is going to be an account of these 11 days - the good, the bad and the rest is censored :P ...
Day 0 was of course the flight. As I haven't flown before, this was HUGE !!
Mom and Tejaswi had come to drop me to the airport - Megha wanted to come too, but I wanted her to come receive me instead...
Anyways, flying rocks !! You can see a 100 aeroplanes flying over your head every day, and you can study the physics behind the flying, but the feeling when you are looking out of the plane window watching as the ground goes further away, wondering how did this HUGE thing with 400 people sitting it it EVER get off the ground is another feeling altogether !!
I was flying Air India, with a stop at Delhi. The Air India hostess were v pretty (actually hot is a more accurate term), and v friendly as well. When I told her I am not hungry enough for a full breakfast, and want only fruit, she gave me 2 helpings instead of the usual 1 - not a big deal you might say, but she didn't have to do it, and she did, and that was appreciated.
Also, flying rocks ! I fell asleep of course once we were in the air, and when I woke up, it was 4:30 am - and there was the gentlest of light and I could see some small bumps on the ground before ... they didn't look like hills, and they didn't look like rough terrain - they literally looked like bumps .... Kept staring at them for 15 mins wondering what they could be when the light started getting better - and I realized that they were clouds !! They were sooo pretty !!
I reached London at 11 am London time, where I had to wait for 2 hours for my flight to Edinburgh. But the waiting lounge had the most amazing view of one of the runways, so I could see a plane taking off every few seconds, and it never got boring !
The British Midland flight to Edinburgh had air hostesses who were clearly more professional, and they were good looking as well. But they didn't serve any food at all, instead they were selling sandwiches and coffee on the flight - that was something I hadn't known about, and it made me thankful that when the Air India people were giving out packs of chips I had picked one even though I wasn't hungry then - so I ate that packet on the BMI flight.
My first view of Edinburgh was breath-taking - cause it was soo cold, and my warm jacket was in my suitcase - so it literally took my breath away ! :P
Edinburgh is very beautiful of course, very clean, my bus which took me till the hotel was very spacious. I met a Pakistani on the bus who was trying to make conversation, but I was just too tired. The bus driver was nice enough to stop the bus for almost 45 secs and give me exact directions from the bus-stop till my hotel - thats the kind of friendliness that people in the UK have that you will NEVER see in India.
My hotel looked exactly as it was shown in the snaps - Herald House - and soon I was in my room meeting my new room-mate, and checking out the room. I freshened up quickly, and went off to this party in the search for free food, and Satish. Found Satish, also found v bad free food :(
Anyways, it was fun meeting him after so long, and there was highland dancing !!
So the band guys told us how to dance in terms on steps (clap hands, guys move 1 step to the left, girls 1 step to the right, reverse, put hands on your partners shoulders, go round for a full circle, clap again, and count 4 steps of a quick trot or a fox trot), we practiced once without music and then danced with music - it was a lot of fun, since the later dances involved coordination between 6-8 people at a time, with the barn dance requiring 4 groups of 6 people each to coordinate into a single dance - where of course, some one will always screw up, so everyone was laughing continuously.
I was tired though, so left from there by 9:30 pm, had some dinner at a restaurant on the way, and was soon fast asleep.
And did I tell you flying rocks ??