Pilsen, Czech Republic


I've just arrived at the conference centre in Pilsen for Neuroinformatics 2009. I got into Pilsen last night, exhausted from the flights and lack of sleep, especially after Science Online. Ironically, I was so knackered last night, that I was in the bedroom by 10 which, follow the traditional hour of fiddling with the aircon to get a reasonable temperature, meant I still got a good nights sleep and managed to get up early. To the point that my phone alarm annouced "It's time to get up", loudly in the taxi here.

Pilsen (or Plzen) is famous as being home to the lager. If you didn't know this before you got here, you will after. I'm staying in the Hotel Angelo, which is near the middle of town and right opposite the brewery. Last night, was Pilsfest --- yep, land in Czech and there is a beer festival on; either I must be lucky, or they have a lot of beer festivals. We drove here from the Prague; the countryside is green and beautiful, with magnificient, dark green decidious trees everywhere. Pilsen is built around a central square with a church; there's the odd motif about the place with makes it foreign to me; the odd tower that looks like a minaret; the ornamentation under the eves of the building and the strange psch, psch, psch of the language.

Weather is cool, and autumnal just like Newcastle (well, maybe a wee bit warmer). Just after I arrived, while I was wandering around the beer festival, the skys opened and it rained torrentially. Fortunately, it was over quickly, and we ended up going to the inevitable Italian resturant --- has a pizza, wasn't great.

I have a decision to make; the last few conferences I've been to, the roboblogger was there, knocking out live blogs; I think that these are useful but, generally, can't be bothered to do them myself. But in the absence of 100 keen bloggers, perhaps I should have a go this time.