Monday, June 17, 2013

EULAR 2013 Meeting in Madrid – from the social and sightseeing perspective

The Long March or the Hard Road to Madrid
I started very early in the morning, in fact I got up at 4:30 a.m. to catch my plane to Madrid. Because of the air traffic controllers’ strike in France the flight had been cancelled. I queued for about three hours and got a flight via London. In the afternoon I went to London Heathrow, was assigned to use the fast track, reached the gate, only to get informed, that the personal there was waiting (and with them the passengers) for the crew to reach London to start boarding. After another 2 ½ hours of gruelling waiting, we made it into the plane. The flight was taking longer than usual as we circumnavigated France. I reached Madrid in the evening and took a taxi the meeting point of our tweetup. But there was nobody left there. I tried grabbing another taxi, and who just got of the taxi? David OReilly (‏@Rheuma_suffolk)! So we had our very late tweetup with a beer.

The Hardships aren’t over
The next day I found out that I’ve messed up with my twitter password. When I started writing about North Korea, I got a little paranoid about my blog and my twitter account being hacked. I devised a very long password (above 30 digits), and must have spelled it wrong twice. I could access my blog, but I couldn’t enter the twitterworld. I’ve just corrected the twitter password to the blog password. I missed tweeting from the congress very much.

The Salvage Tweetup
I’ve always supported the idea of a second tweetup option. Thanks to Irwin Lim (@_connectedcare) we had a second meeting at the INTERVIEW ROOM, MEZZANINE Hall 10 on Friday midday. I’ve liked to see you all:
Carlo V Caballero ‏@carvicab
Dr Irwin Lim ‏@_connectedcare
Dr. shashank akerkar ‏@doctorakerkar
Dr Ai Lyn Tan ‏@DrAiLynTan
Jose Campos ‏@JoseCamposMD
mrreutt ‏@matylda68
Emma Leah @NatRevRheumatol
Philip Robinson ‏@philipcrobinson
David OReilly ‏@Rheuma_suffolk
Michiel Zandbelt ‏@zandbelt
and more [please help me to complete the list – there were Lauren, Seth … who else?].

It has been interesting to look from the press window into the exhibit hall, but only for the picture, because we were busy talking. A wonderful reunion stretching from Australia and India, as well as both Americas and of cause Germany, Poland, Spain, and UK.
I hope that we and others, who want to join our informal round, will meet again at the next meetings (ACR 2013 in San Diego, EULAR 2014 in Paris). And hopefully my plane will be on time.
Thanks to the ones, who planned and organized the two tweetups.

At the Meeting

We were guarded by bears, actually a common form of sweets in Germany look like these bears.

There has been flamenco in the exhibition hall.

Yes, I also could set apart some time for sightseeing. I have been to Madrid several times, but most of the times just for a day, so I have been lucky to see at least something.

Relaxing at the lake

Looking at a demostration against capital punishment - I nearly joined them. Only time restrictions kept me from doing so.

And then there was this beautiful old building on fire. Even TV reporters were on the scene.

A quick look or two at the Retiro


A church

The royal palace

1 comment:

  1. Great photos Lothar! Sorry we missed you that 1st night. Hope to see you at many more conferences and glad to work with you in providing rheumatology updates using social media.