After breakfast, I headed back to the hotel where I put the finishing touches on the blog post that I put out there this morning, then rapidly unpacked the more critical stuff. Reyk seems to have a goodly number of hotels but a lot of Fanfest attendees like myself are renting converted apartment complexes rather than traditional hotel rooms. The advantage of them are the full kitchens and the home-like amenities. Quite nice, all in all! They definitely have their quirks; the wireless Internet at the place I'm staying at drops constantly so playing EVE here would be impossible.
But of course, I'm not here to play EVE, am I? ;-)
After that, I headed out into town to get a feel for the place. This is something that I do whenever I'm in a new city: get out, walk around, learn my way around, get lost, try to get myself unlost. Reyk is both an easy place to get lost in -- lots and lots of little side streets! -- and an easy place to get unlost in. There are lots of good landmarks, including a quite prominent spire at the Hallgrimskirkja, a massive Lutheran church. But it's also a lot more hilly than I expected, which made navigation a bit of a challenge. I'm getting the hang of it.
Iceland this week is cold and damp, temperatures just at freezing. It rained a good bit today, particularly in the early afternoon when I spent most of my time wandering about. There weren't quite as many early Fanfest arrivals as I was expecting somehow. A few hundred, to be sure! But not the large crowds that I was otherwise expecting. In due course I went back to my hotel to crash for a few hours. At this point, I consider my sleep schedule completely acclimated to Iceland local time. This is an advantage that I have from all the traveling I do in my normal job...
From there, off to dinner with Namamai and GunniH from Rote Kapelle, then I said I'd like to head over to Islenski Barrinn to see who might be gathered there. I guessed -- accurately, as it turned out -- that there'd be a nice cross section of EVE players and devs there. We ended up spending the entire evening there until well after midnight. Here's a tweet from CCP Guard showing a picture of the place. A more typical bar you're not going to find anywhere; only odd thing about it is that the restrooms are only labeled in Icelandic whereas every other sign I've seen in town so far is in both Icelandic and English. For reference, "Harl" means "Men". ;-)
There, I met CCP Unifex, CCP Guard, CCP Fozzie, CCP Dolan, Seleene, Sort Dragon, Marcel Devereaux and a host of other EVE players. I had a great time! Icelandic's local lager is... ummm... well, let's just say I don't like lagers and leave it at that. But the local stout is quite drinkable. Even better, I didn't get punched in the mouth once. ;-)
The CCP employees are -- to a man -- enthusiastic and excited about what they get to share with the players this week. Seleene is excited and promising he gets to be smug about what CCP will announce on Friday. Sort Dragon let it be known that he hopes that CSM8 chooses a "non-bloc chair", which I thought was a very interesting admission. Sort himself seems a good enough guy, but he has the distracted air that a lot of highly technical people have. You get the impression that he only needs about 15% of his concentration to carry on a converation with you and the rest is busy with other things. Dolan is, as always, underrated. He's a far nicer guy in real life than he comes off on camera. He and Unifex both know the results of the CSM8 election.
I'm alarmed to report that Unifex was partially dangled off the upper level of the facility but also happy to report that he emerged from the experience apparently unharmed. He had some complimentary things to say about my writing, but he also said that sometimes I'm way off base and -- and I'd like to make it clear that this was said in public with several witnesses! -- he's interested to see what happens to my output starting in a week or so. Read into that what you will. ;-) I didn't get a chance to delve more deeply into what I write that Unifex disagrees with, nor was I able to have a meaningful conversation with Fozzie at all. Islenski Barrinn distinguishes itself by being quite loud. I ran a little sound meter app several times while in the place and it never went below 78dB and often went quite a bit higher.
A big "thank you" to everyone else I talked to tonight! It was great to finally meet some of the people who read my stuff and of course flattering to be complimented on what I put out here. On to day two!
Tomorrow, Wednesday, Fanfest Day Two:
- Golden Circle with the devs
- EVE music with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra
- Late night at Celtic Cross
Day after, Thursday, Fanfest Day Three:
- Official opening of Fanfest
- Ship Balancing Roundtable
- User Experience Roundtable
- Null-Sec Roundtable
- Lowsec PvP/Crimewatch Roundtable
- Either the CREST Roundtable or the QA Roundtable, haven't decided
- DUST 514 Keynote