VMworld 2019 Europe local guide

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VMworld 2019 Europe is almost here! And I made a local guide with tips about transport, restaurants, places to go, etc. to ensure you can enjoy more your experience in VMworld.

General information

This event will take place from the 4th (Monday) to 7th (Thursday) of November at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain.

VMworld is always an amazing opportunity to learn from all the events that will happen there like the Hands-on Lab, Breakout sessions, General sessions, etc.

Also, it is a great way to connect with a lot of people from the community, vendors or other persons that you are interested in.

People are really friendly so, don’t be shy (you can try first on Twitter!) and try to speak to members from the vCommunity. Besides, be sure to meet the vBrownbag team in the VMTN Tech talks area ūüôā

If you are interested in attending this amazing international event and enjoy many other advantages, you can register here.

Some notes

In Spain, tipping is entirely optional and it’s not very common so, it’s up to you if you want to leave a tip in case the service was exceptional or you think it deserves it.

In restaurants, shops, etc. the VAT tax is included. Therefore, you don’t have to worry to calculate an extra amount of money.

Also, once you pay with credit card (VISA branded cards are the most used here) they will make you enter the PIN code of your credit card (a bit different than the US).

I know it’s late but, hotels near Fira are nice and a bit expensive. The best zone I think it is near Sants where there are cheaper hotels, nice transport connections, and great ambient.

The official language in Barcelona is Spanish but most of the population speak in Catalan. Saying that, don’t worry if you don’t understand some signboards from the street or public places.

Transportation

There are 3 different train services: Renfe (Local Train), TMB (metro/subway/underground) and FGC (Regional Train).

Renfe and TMB are the most used because they have more combinations than the FGC and also better schedules. So, basically, you will see in this guide mentioning train for Renfe and metro/subway/underground for TMB.

Coming from the airport

Once you land at El Prat airport, there are a few ways to go to the city of Barcelona:

  • You can take a taxi (expensive but more convenient for people with less time or when the hotel is located in an isolated area). It will costs between 20-30 ‚ā¨ from the Airport to Sants (always depending on the traffic). Put the hand luggage on the taxi trunk costs an additional euro.
    You can use the app myTaxi to order one.
    Uber and Cabifiy are not available in Barcelona.

You can go to the Aeroport (airport) stop of the R2 Nord line (you must go to Terminal 2 to take the train). This line will take you to Sants-Estacio and will be great for people staying near Sants.

This line is less frequent than the next option but it takes less time. Pricing is subjected to zones. In that case, From Aeroport to Sants-Estacio the price for a single ticket will be 4.20 ‚ā¨.

  • By metro (TMB):

Use the L9 Sud line, this is the Metro (subway/underground) service and can be combined with other lines (like L5 at Collblanc stop for example) within the same ticket.

This metro service is more frequent than the train service and it costs 4.60 ‚ā¨. This can be the best option for most people because you can use the same single ticket to go to other places by combining lines.

  • By bus (Aerobus):

The least recommended option as it will be crowded but it depends on your preferences and where do you want to go.

The Aerobus will take you to “Pla√ßa Catalunya” (Catalunya Plaza) but it costs a bit more than other services (5,90 ‚ā¨ at the moment), you can review more information in this link.

T-10 card

If you plan to visit Barcelona, consider buying a T-10 ticket (which includes 10 single tickets or 10 journeys) as it will save you half the price of many single tickets. This T-10 card can be used for many people as you want so, consider it if you are a group.

T-10 cards are sold by zones (because they have other public services integrated), as you are going to stay in Barcelona, you only need 1 zone. Price for a T-10 1 Zone card is 10.20‚ā¨, versus buying 10 single tickets (1 zone) will cost 2.20 ‚ā¨ x 10 = 22‚ā¨.

T-10 tickets can be used on any public transport (bus, Metro, Renfe and FGC services) with some exceptions covered here:

  • You cannot use the T-10 ticket from the airport on the Metro Line L9 Sud. This means the T10 ticket is not valid at the stops Aeroport T1 or Aeroport T2 on the airport metro link.
  • The T10 ticket is also not valid on the Aerobus express bus.

Moving inside of Barcelona

The Metro (subway/underground) is your best choice whatever you stay in Barcelona if you want a cheaper, frequent and reliable service.

With the metro (remember the name) you can travel through lines at the same cost. The main stops to consider will be Fira in L9 Sud, Plaça Espanya in L1/L3 and Sants-Estacio in L5/L3.

The fastest way to VMworld?

The closest stop to the VMworld event is Fira in L9 Sud or the Europa-Fira stop which is another stop from the L9-Sud line that also combines with another train service (FGC trains) which is a different transport service than the metro and it has different stops.

If you stay near Sants, the Sants-Estacio stop in L5 will be your choice. Then, in Sants-Estacio station take the L5 to Collblanc stop and after that, change the line to L9 Sud until you arrive at Fira stop.

You can see in the following map the VMworld precinct highlighted in yellow and the closest stops (marked in blue): Europa-Fira stop which combines FGC and Metro services and, Fira stop at L9 Sud.

FiraGranVia-map

Last year VMworld provided a free metro card; As I don’t know if it will be the same but if you are aiming to visit Barcelona and visit other places, consider to buy a T-10 travel card (10 single rides) which is multi personal and quite cheaper than buying 10 single tickets.

 

Events around VMworld

Fred Hofer has a magnificent post where it summarizes all the events and parties that will happen on these dates, check it here

I organized the vFit runs, review my post for more detailed information

In my case besides the vFit event (Monday and Wednesday morning), I will attend the vSoccer event on Monday night and vBreakfast on Tuesday.

 

Outside VMworld (Sightseeing)

Here is a summary of the places that you could visit if you come to Barcelona:

La Sagrada Familia

Probably the most iconic building in Barcelona. It is an unfinished church designed by Gaudí, an architect who made many iconic buildings here in Barcelona.

Location: https://cutt.ly/5eoPoBU

Las Ramblas

The most famous pedestrian street of Barcelona, you will see many kiosks and artists there while walking in the middle of the city. Note: Keep an eye on your belongings if you are watching an exhibition as pickpockets could be near you.

Location: https://bit.ly/35zkqXQ

font-montjuic

La Font M√†gica de Montju√Įc (Magic fountain of Montju√Įc)

This fountain is amazing at night. You should check the exhibitions scheduled with lights and streams creating shapes. It is located near the Veeam party that will be on Tuesday so, maybe you can go earlier and check it out!

Location: https://bit.ly/2VBo9zc

Park-guell

Park G√ľell

A gorgeous park with some designs from Gaudí and other architects that are interesting. You must buy a ticket in order to gain entrance to the Monumental Area (where you can see some monuments from Gaudí).

Location: https://bit.ly/319oIS3

casa-batllo

Casa Batlló

A famous building designed by Gaud√≠ also named “House of bones”. Look at the facade which is something that you probably never seen before with the sculpted stonework, the windows or the painting. It is also a museum where you can visit (you need to buy a ticket) the inside of this building.

Location: https://cutt.ly/ieoPssI

la-pedrera

Casa Milà РLa Pedrera (The stone quarry)

Another famous building designed by Gaudí. It has unique balconies and a courtyard that defines the style of Gaudí and also his last private residence.

Location: https://cutt.ly/reoPjYM

port-olimpic

The Olympic port of Barcelona (since recent events in the past months, I will avoid going at night)

It is one of the most exciting leisure and touristic spots throughout Barcelona, with a wide offering of shops, clubs, and restaurants. It’s the gateway to the Barcelona beaches and also there is the Barcelona zoo near to it.

Location: https://cutt.ly/seoPx1J

In general, avoid going alone in the night, especially in “Las Ramblas”, “El Raval” or near “Olympic Port of Barcelona”.

Also, avoid the neighborhood known as “La Mina” which is farther from Barcelona but it still accessible by Metro.

Restaurants

The food in Barcelona is nice and some of you probably know it.

Let me suggest a couple of restaurants near Fira Gran Via (VMworld):

  • Gran Varela: A restaurant with great food (especially octopus). Also, the wines are great!
  • In Gran Via 2 (a shopping center pretty close to Fira Gran via) I can suggest you:
    • A great Japanese (Udon)
    • A good Italian (La Tagliatella)¬†
    • Beers and tapas (Ca√Īas y tapa)
  • Restaurant La Vid: A nice restaurant where you can try local food like the bread with spread tomato, the Spanish omelet, or the ham! This is also the restaurant that will be hosting the vBreakfast event on Tuesday morning.

 

The best places aren’t near Fira Gran Via but if you want to try better food, here are a couple of restaurants that are really nice:

    • Bacoa Burger: Amazing and customized burgers, also hand-made fries and sauces.
    • K√∂nig: Amazing restaurant where you can try almost everything: tapas, amazing beer, flatbread, and many other options!
    • La Bella Napoli: Not many choices on the menu in this Italian restaurant but the food quality is amazing.
    • Buenos Aires Grill Restaurant: Steak, ribs, Argentinian Beef, special cuts?
    • Ramen-Ya Hiro: Best ramen in Barcelona without a doubt! The queue won’t be short to get the Ramen…

Local food

Let me put a short section about local food here. The food you must try while staying here would be: Paella, Spanish omelet, Bread with (spread) tomato and of course Ham (Jamón)!

Despite there many restaurants that they prepare all these dishes, I will avoid the ones in Las Ramblas because they’re usually not the best option…

Bread with (spread) tomato can be found in almost any bar or restaurant so, just ask for it. They are also served at breakfast!pa_amb_tomaquet

 

If you don’t want to lose a lot of time by going far from VMworld to taste many of these dishes, I would suggest you go Restaurant La Vid, which I talked in the previous section.

 

Also, on these dates, it is common for street vendors to sell hot toasted chestnuts wrapped in newspaper, give it a try!

chestnuts

Finally, you should try a sweety called “panellets” (special almond balls covered in pine nuts), you can find them in bakeries:

panellets

 

There are many other places and foods not included here. If you want something specific just let me know in the comments or via DM on Twitter.

Conclusion

That will be a summary of things to do at VMworld and in the city of Barcelona.

Be sure to enjoy VMworld with all the events, parties, people and more things that can give you but overall, have fun!

If you think that something is missing, let me know.

See you at VMworld!

 

 

 

Experience at VMworld 2018 Europe – Day 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today I am going to explain from my personal experience, the Day 2 at VMworld 2018 Europe, lots of networking, some technical sessions, events and the Solutions Exchange.

Before moving forward, I forgot to mention that I met in my first day a nice guy, Daniel Paluszek @dpaluszek, we had a great conversation and he should be known as the vCloud Director guy ;).

vBreakfast

If you don’t what is, check it here: http://www.vbrain.info/2018/10/14/vmworld-emea-2018-vbreakfast-2018-edition/

Thank you, Fred for doing this kind of things! In this case, Abdullah Abdullah @do0dzZZ¬†was the host for this year as Fred couldn’t assist.

I woke up at 6 AM… a bit painful but, some sacrifices needed to be done when you are not at the office! It started at 7:00 AM but, I arrived around 7:30 AM or so.

And I arrived… a lot of people were sitting there! I had the chance met some people I already know from Twitter and others that not. We had great conversations there meanwhile we tried to eat some toasts with iberian ham and also a bit of omelet.

There I met finally Chris Williams @mistwire and Alastair Cooke @DemitasseNZ part of the vBrownbag crew! And also, more folks like @matjovanovic, @uprightvinyl.

The first General Session

I arrived at the hall and sit wherever I could and what a nice session…with some announcements and great stories to hear!

VMworld Europe 18 – 1st General Session

Besides the newer versions of VCF, Horizon, AppVolumes and more, the more interesting for me was the acquisition of Heptio and the announcement of VMware Cloud PKS (it will be expanded to Azure in the future!).

If you want to watch it, you can do it here: https://www.vmworld.com/en/europe/learning/general-sessions.html

After that, I had plenty of time to meet more people and attending a couple of technical sessions.

The best time, the vCommunity

The best time of all of this is the #vCommunity and the networking that you can do. I met a lot of people there and I couldn’t be happier to have done it.

I met an amazing person and famous (amazing) blogger here in Spain, if you don’t who is, please do it! He’s Jorge de la Cruz (@jorgedlcruz) and nowadays works for Veeam. He’s just a blogger machine (I don’t know anyone who posts more than this man). In their blogs, he has information about anything! You can check it out here: https://www.jorgedelacruz.es/ and https://jorgedelacruz.uk/

Selfie with Jorge de la Cruz

A couple of selfies I took this day with some vBrownbag’s members!

This day, I also meet there Héctor Herrero @nheobug, Federico Cinalli @FCinalliP and Xavier Genestós @sysadmit.

The Solutions Exchange

A thing you can’t miss, the Solutions Exchange. A lot of partners in this Hall where you can chat with people that work in the company and have great discussions, gather some swag and maybe you can win something in the raffle (yes, a lot of companies offered free tickets and there were big prizes like a Nintendo Switch, Apple Watch, etc.) !

Veeam’s party

I was so lucky to be invited to this party and what a nice party! I only can say that there were good drinks, food and of course music! It was in a famous discotheque called Apollo.

Bad quality picture from the Veeam party

I know it’s not the best quality but, is just to show you how it looked:

And that’s all… I had to leave “early”, around 12 AM as I had to commute by train so, I didn’t have a chance to stay and enjoy this party.

P.S.: I forgot to mention that each day there is a free lunch in a specific area where you can grab food. The lunchtime I think that I was delivered between 12:00 – 2:00 PM

The next  post, the third day!

Experience at VMworld 2018 Europe – Day 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Let me talk to you about my experience on my first VMworld! This is a personal experience I want to share about Day 1 at VMworld 2018 Europe.

Introduction

I live in Barcelona so, I am fortunate that I don’t need to travel to go to the VMworld Europe. The only thing is to commute by train between home and Fira Barcelona (where VMworld is established).

It was Monday, November 5th, 2018. I woke up around 6 AM and took the train to arrive at 8 AM approximately.

This is how the entrance looked:

Inside VMworld

I picked up my badge (using a QR code from the VMworld app) and headed to the VMvillage (the main place on this event).

After taking some pictures… I went to take a lab at the HOL Lounge, why? Because I wanted to try new labs, there are more slots available and I wanted to feel an experience like that at VMworld. Also, you learn some coins for the VMware code ( http://vmwcc.com/).

The first day is the calm day, I mean, the Solutions Exchange (where partners have their booths) is not opened and there are less interesting sessions (at least for my self) than other days. People usually are on TAM/Partners sessions or maybe they come on Tuesday.

I explored every enclosure’s corner and checked where were all Halls¬† (to not waste more time the next day). There was food everywhere, from sandwiches to pastries and of course coffee, you could pick it on any lounge or at the VMvillage for free.

In the middle of the VMvillage, there was a Gaming Area with a¬† table tennis table, pinball machines, a giant table football and more things… my favourite part, the Arcade machines with a lot of games!

I was eager to meet some people I met on Twitter and of course, I did it!

The first person I met was Graham Barker @VirtualG_UK an awesome guy who which I spent some time in the beginning, now I am thinking we didn’t take a selfie…

Also, I met Angelo Luciani @AngeloLuciani, very kind guy! He takes selfies with a lot of people and always open to anyone, I chatted with him a bit and it was a pleasure.

See you…tomorrow!

At the end of the day, I had some workshops to attend and couldn’t meet more people (obviously some of them are busy in the first day) but this only was the beginning of an awesome journey that will start at the next day, when the action begins.

I returned home early as I had things to do and also on the next day vBreakfast will be awaiting me (at 7:00 AM).

So, the first day was a great experience, is more dedicated for the partners but maybe you can network with people that on the next days will have no time (as probably you).

In the next post, the second day, hasta la vista!