So, I started off on Wednesday, 11th of April from Edinburgh to the NUJ ADM in Birmingham. The weather was grey, cloudy and unfriendly, so I took some pictures of the Edinburgh castle and the Scott’s Monument to prove it – see Flickr.
Luckily enough I caught the train – I was there just in time, but it was already running late anyways. In Preston, we had a 2 hrs signal failure and sunshine.
I had to take Virgin Trains, but the quiet carriage had 3 screaming toddlers in, and my seat was backwards though I reserved it to go forwards, I think.
To pass the time I read the Metro, which featured an article about the bad state of the train service in Britain: there were far more commuters but less trains and fewer carriages than last year, it said.
It reminded me a bit of Enron’s artifical electricity and power cuts in California to raise prices and profits back at the start of the millenium. There actually was a reason once upon a time, that the state had the monopoly on transport and an obligation to keep prices down. Competition my arse.
On the letter page, some readers complained about the uselessness of the British Blog awards, which are currently running.
The arrival at Birmingham New Street station made it easy to orientate: the tourist info is on the left, the Holiday Inn on the right, right around corner of TK Max.
As there was a mix up with room and reservations and everybody seemed very busy, I dropped off luggage and went to explore city centre. See pics on Flickr.
Back at about 6pm I found myself been booked into Hotel Britannia, which on a positive note is situated in a quiet place in the pedestrian zone and I had a double room for myself.
Because the first person whom I met in the Holiday Inn was actually complaining to the reception that the room was too loud. There seems to be some building work going on and its beside a busy road. On a negative note the food apparently isn’t that brilliant in Hotel Britannia.
This weekend there also is the biggest veterinary congress in town, with the BSAVA British Small Animals Veterinary Association and some International Equine Symposium taking place. And I saw a poster advertising some huge show jumping event at the Birmingham Conference Centre.
After a quick rest I met up with first year student Janos from Edinburgh, had dinner and a chat, before madly starting blogging and editing pictures in the hotel room.