Very nice, very nice indeed. A guide was waiting for us at the end of the ramp from the airplane, guiding us via special express-lanes through customs formalities to our luggage, and then straight to the hotel. Here, I was greeted with flowers by the hotel staff, and then met our liaison officer Cora, who had been studying her guests down to the detail where she had drawn the Faroese flag by hand in her notebook, ready to take me to the accreditation office.
Everything is very effective and hospitable. Accreditation was the fastest I’ve ever tried (Belgrade 2008, Roma 2009, Istanbul 2009, Budapest 2010, Dubai 2010), and busses run precisely on time, every half hour from both our hotel and the venue (good, 30 and 00, I like it simple). We travel on the outskirts of the city, which means that traffic is relatively nice, meaning that the 14 kilometers to the venue took only 22 minutes (47+ kilometers an hour).
The climate was a bit hard on me this morning, 28 degrees Celsius at 8 o’clock, and humid as in a sauna, compared to the 12 degrees of ocean breeze I left a day before. The pollution is also tough on an allergic like me, making me compare the first impression of the atmosphere as a lukewarm sauna for smokers, compared to Faroe Islands where the air is typically totally smell-free. So I was panting and breathing from the top of my lungs in the Buick from the airport, probably mostly just because of hysteria. Already now, it feels much better, especially indoors.
The city is big and flat, with a lot more low-rise buildings than I expected. Until we reached this part of the city, where there are quite a few skyscrapers. Our hotel is really nice, resided by us the Faroese, the Norwegians, Chile, Russia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Zimbabwe and Brazil. I dined with Alexander Dale Oen at noon, who looks to be right where he is supposed to be :-)
So, no worries here, we have an ATM-machine in the lobby, and can order two tailor-made cashmere-suits with three tailor-made t-shirts and 2 ties for 6800 Yuan, delivery in two days. The 18 meter pool here is open from 7:30 AM to 22 PM, and the gym is open 24 hours (so now I know what to do when jet lag kicks in again). Cora and me will tomorrow morning go check out the training pool closest to this hotel, timing the transportation time and everything.