Today was travelling day ... starting in London & finishing in Malangen.
The day started with an early morning tube ride to Heathrow Airport, where I caught my first flight of the day to Oslo. Here I changed my remaining British Pounds to Norwegian Krone before heading to a shop to get something to drink ... 25NOK for a 500mL bottle of water! That's AUD$4.28 by the regular exchange rate, but much closer to $5 once you factor in the cut taken at the airport for money exchanges ... I can imagine that if meals were not provided for the officials such as myself, that a trip to the Olympiad could quickly become very expensive!
Next on the agenda was the flight to Tromso & this was where I really got my first proper taste of the Olympiad - at the airport gate. There I saw New Zealander Helen Milligan, said hi to Henrik Mortensen, who has been a regular visitor to Australia over the last decade & saw Gary Kasparov walk through the terminal, stopping just near the departure gate (I'm not sure if he actually got on the flight I was on), which saw almost everyone waiting at the gate (being almost entirely chess players) turn their heads to acknowledge his presence!
Once I arrived at Tromso airport, I jumped on the bus provided by the organisers to the city centre. The journey itself featured an interesting piece of roadway, as a decent portion of the trip once leaving the airport was under a mountain ... and the road featured at least two roundabouts that were underground! Unfortunately my phone battery was almost flat, so I didn't get any photos of this, but will try to get some in the next few days to give you an idea of what it looks like - quite unique at the very least!
Once in Tromso, I headed to the Radisson hotel to collect my accreditation documents. Just outside the hotel were Australian team members Junta Ikeda, Moulthun Ly & Max Illingworth, who were about to head to dinner. Unfortunately due to other time constraints I wasn't able to join them, but I'm sure I'll see them a lot over the next few weeks. I also grabbed dinner of my own (provided by the organisers) at the Radisson & met up with fellow arbiter NY Wong. He introduced me to some of the other arbiters at the event that he knew, from Singapore & Vietnam & then I had some beef stroganoff, pasta & rice for dinner.
After dinner, the final journey for the day commenced - a bus trip to the Malangen Brygger hotel, where the majority of the arbiters are staying. The trip took over an hour, but it also allowed time for a quick nap on the bus. I'm sharing an apartment with fellow arbiter Haroon or Rashid from Bangladesh.
Tomorrow I hope to be able to take some more photos of Tromso & spend some more time looking around the town, which is quite picturesque. There is also the arbiter's technical meeting in the evening. To finish off the post, a few photos from today's travels