I undertook a European trip, visiting Sun staff in Sweden and Italy. I posted a travelogue style  couple of blogs in my sun/oracle blog some of which I reposted here in July 2016. I report on my travel experiences, lingering too long on the airports. I also reflect on some aspects of doing business in Italy.

I finished my Italian stopover with dinner with some of the team at “L’Isola d’Ora”, fantastic fish restaurant, huge starters and good company.  The journey back to the hotel by taxi was very ‘dolce vita’, small, narrow cobbled streets, full of parked cars and we swung past the Colosseum before heading out to the outskirts where I had been advised to stay. See also my google map of Rome….

I had some meetings with my Italian colleagues where I talked about my new role, the opportunities that “Red Shift” offers to Sun, why we still bother with Solaris and also talked about Web 2.0. We discussed the localisation of the Italian economy which while large (the 5th in the world) has language as a barrier to entry and while even the US economy is no longer the definition of scale, the Italian economy ceased to be such a long time ago. Despite this, Sun Italia has a number of good relationships with leading companies in Italy and have some exciting project successes under their belt, particularly in the software field, where a number of the Italian government’s web portals are based on Sun’s technology. However, I can’t believe that the hotel only has dial up in the room; I don’t have the cable, nor the dial up agents to use this. The hotel has wi-fi in the Lobby and bar, but need to see my passport so that they can tell the police. I know that in the UK, we have some stupid rules about what we can and can’t do without proving identity, but this strikes me as particularly foolish. This experience made me reconsider my hostile views about twitter.

I travelled from Sweden to Italy, via Munich. Despite being told, that it had not snowed all winter, as I left the Radisson, it was trying to. I caught the Arlanda Express out to the airport and checked in to Rome via Munich. My last experience of changing flights to make a connection had not been good, and I wasn’t looking forward to it, as I needed to change flights at Munich but once again Schengen proves its worth. No passport control at Fiumicino, straight out to the taxis and the joys of an italian taxi ride. Also changing flights at Munich, despite my fears was incredibly easy! All three countries are Schengen Treaty countries and the gates were 7 minutes apart. Munich Terminal 2 is new and just so easy to use. I shall try and use this next time, although I wonder how far one has to walk to get to a flight to the UK.

I started the journey travelling to Heathrow for a seven o’clock to Stockholm, partly because we’re an hour behind. With a need to get there early and cross the airport estate to the terminal in time for check in, its a jolly early start. Interestingly google lets me down about finding the times that the parking express buses run to the terminals. I put them on my wiki, on a London Heathrow page, but google hasn’t found it yet. I did my meetings. Sadly, these flying visits give one little time to see the sites, I was driven to my hotel by a colleague who showed me a few of the sites from the car. I really must come back and make some time for myself to explore Stockholm properly, and bring the Rough Guide to Sweden with me. I had dinner at the Radisson Skybar, and while the view doesn’t really rival some of those in other cities I have visited, it’s impressive enough.


Originally posted on my sun/oracle blog, and reposted here in July 2016.

Dave’s European Trip
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