Tour of Spain n°2

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This is part of a mail I wrote to Christine on 26/06/2007 waiting for the train to Barcelona (update: Google Maps of the travel):

I’m currently sitting in a small train station, in the middle of the Pyrennées, just before the border between France and Spain. A few days of perfect trip has made me come to this place 🙂
I’ve moved for a longer period to Madrid last week, with enough time to seriously learn spanish and speak about future projects (which are big too, building up a Fab Lab). Pablo and Lore, an argentinian couple are currently living under the Las Indias roof too, and we’ve got a mini-conference about copyright today in Barcelona.
Because it’s too simple (and too boring) to go straight to Barcelona, we rent a car 2 days ago, heading north from Madrid to visit Burgos and Santander on the first days. Arriving at 2am at Santander, the only opened hotel was a 4-stars on the sea-side, and I had this enormous view on all the old city roofs.
We followed the coast the day after, first to stop at a great beach, with mountains in the background to make it even better 🙂 Then, after Bilbao, we lunched in a small city restaurant, it was sunday and it seems to be the place where families go to regroup on this day. We were so full after the first dishes (entradas) that the main dish was something too much 🙂
From the beginning of the trip, I was hoping to take the northern route then, going by Toulouse to join Barcelona. I’m getting crazy somedays, and I needed to deliver a letter to a girl there 😀 But it was getting late, and it’s not a funny part to drive. So we splitted the group at San Sebastian, they’ll spend their night there, and I’ll try to join Toulouse.
It was pretty late (around 7pm) and the main goal was to get a train (which would have took me a night to get to my destination), but I was lucky enough to get the perfect hitch-hiker trip: a gentle family leaving me at the motorway toll, and just less than 3 minutes to wait to get a nice Basque guy going directly to Toulouse. I was in Toulouse at 10:30pm, and the night was saved in a friendly warm bed 🙂
Amazing how many good stuff can happen in a day: a small nap in a park, a phone call from a friend, another lucky coincidence to have breakfast with friends, discovering a new flowery part of the city (even finding Amapolas I’ve been looking for last few days) and visiting this most amazing underground bar on the Garonne border… I want these adventures everydays!
I’m in the train to Barcelona now, crossing the mountains. It’s 2 hours longer than the faster way, but it’s mainly time spend in full beauty landscapes, there’s no deal between travelling and time-saving.

Travel tips for Freelancer

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During travel

By Train

Plan long battery charge on all your leectronic equipments.
Quiet environnement really work firendly. Avoid compartiment seats, not table on front seat provided (unless you prefer to work on your laptops).

By Plane

Not really work-friendly, and because most of flights are shorts (2-3 hours max. in Europe), the best is to enjoy the show by the ‘hublots’.

Visiting family and friends

Prepare yourself to have a double-day. Start working before everybody wake up, and have a few hours working session when others go to bed.
Visiting working people can be great to keep working following your friends working scheme (and sometimes try new kind of working hours).

Few steps to make it work

  • Be sure about internet connection, ask your friend to get information about how it’ll work;
  • Find a confortable place where to put your computer;
  • Make your home network available for SVN commiting, and check VPN access.

Budget Tips for Berlin

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Metro

Can be really expensive if not really well planned, as everything else.

  • single: 2.1€
  • daily: 5.8€
  • weekly: 25€

Credit Cards

They are not working everywhere (only shops), it’s better to have cash in the wallet all the time.

Life tips

Beers and eating-out are really cheap.
At disco, when you take a bottle drink, they’ll give you a token. Bring it back with the empty bottle to get your deposit back.