E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

Travelling

Woophy – Where the World in Pictures Meets Everyone

Yes, folks, this is one of the places where I am going to be hanging out for the next few weeks. A colleague of mine at work just shared over in our internal weblogging network this really fine web site that I have been checking out for the last couple of hours and that has got me hooked. It is called Woophy and it puts together something so simple yet so effective: you get to share your favourite pictures from the different places you have been to, or that you would be interested in, or that you would want to share with others. In short, you get to share pictures in a world map. How simple is that? Yes, I know, very. And perhaps that is the actual beauty from the overall offering. Or is it perhaps the huge amount of great pictures that people have been sharing already? I tell you, once you start checking out the web site you would just want to chime in and share your best photos with the community of folks who have been hanging about all along.

Woophy has got also a news section where you can see what is happening with the service along with checking out on some of the great snapshots that people have been sharing thus far. I know it would be really nice if it would be having RSS feeds, and I guess that is coming, but certainly just checking out the news section will get you sticking around for some time. Then you have got the Forum where you can interact with other members of the community about the Woophy experience. There is even a contest whether they would be gathering “a collection of pictures portraying the diversity of life on our planet“, so that would also be a nice incentive to get you going. Although I am sure that after you have hanged out on the web site for a little while you would see that it is actually worth while the experience just browsing through the thousands and thousands of photos available already.

One of the nicest things about the whole experience is how you can actually help on the community building aspects by being able to leave comments on different pictures, or by actually rating a picture, or sending it to others or just simply by checking how many folks have already visited that particular snapshot. Pretty neat that instant notification of how much people are interested in your pictures or not. Then, finally, if you would be interested in a particular picture you have the opportunity to see it in full screen displaying up to 1280 pixels which actually makes for a very nice picture, at least, from the ones I have seen already.

As I said, quite an interesting offering that I would be spending some time on. Of course, I had to go into it and create an account: elsua. Thus you can get over there and search for all of the pictures I have been sharing already thus far. There will be some more coming up but for the time being I certainly want to recommend to you that if want to check some of the most amazing pictures head over there and start enjoying the Woophy experience. Oh, and not to worry, there are actually quite a lot more features available but I would let you discover those by yourselves while you head to the homepage. And then from there I am sure that you would be whoopying around like all of us for quite some time …

Oh, and in case you are wondering if I am going to stop sharing pictures in my Flickr account like I have been doing so far, that is actually not going to happen. At least, not for the time being. I will be sharing some of the best pictures I have shared in Flickr (And many more!) over there, in Woophy, but I will also continue to share some more as usual. Thus time to have some more fun !

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It Is Always Good to Catch Up

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Ok, here we go. Yesterday I mentioned that during the course of the week I was going to write something about the overall experience of having travelled to the UK both for work and on vacation, since I stayed in London as well for a long weekend. So today I am going to share with you what it was like from last week till Monday evening when I got back home.

I think it is going to be a somewhat longer weblog entry that all the others from elsua so far, so you better get yourself a good cup of tea (or coffee), sit down and read on, if you wish to. Also as you have probably noticed on the elsua template I have already shared some of the pictures I have taken in London during the course of the weekend and I will be explaining a little bit of what is behind each of the different pictures.

So here we go. If you remember I mentioned here in elsua that I would be going for work over to the UK where I would spend a couple of days in Portsmouth and then I would be heading up North to London.

After one hour delay (You gotta love them or hate them) I got to the hotel in Portsmouth at about 4am on Thursday, to then get up at 9am to give a presentation a little bit later on around the topic of Wikis and Weblogs. So you can imagine how exhausted I must have been that I didn’t hear a single thing till the alarm clock kicked in. I got ready and went to the office where I was supposed to give the presentation and at the beginning I thought it was going to be a disaster because I wasn’t really sure how I would react to so little sleep. But then again as soon as I got there I somehow got re-energised and gave the presentation without any major incidents and it all went very well, or, at least, so I was told.

So, after giving the presentation it was a good time to meet some colleagues, some of them whom I haven’t heard from in quite a long while and some others whom I have met virtually quite recently. It is always good to catch up with people, you know, and meet some more new colleagues to keep things going and expand on your own virtual network. So that is basically what I did during the course of Thursday.

However, you can imagine that it was not as enlightening and fruitful as I thought it would be given the tragic recent events that took place in London during that same morning. So for most of the day I was hooked to the Internet and the TV watching the news for further developments and thinking if it would be a good thing to head over to London the next day as I had planned in the first place. And after having had an interesting evening watching and reading about people’s reactions I thought that I would make a decision first thing in the morning to see if I would be going on. And I decided to go. Mind you though that I was not weary about going there because of what happened but more because of how the city would feel like considering that all public transport had been stopped for some time. Those were tough moments for all of us, whether you were there in situ, or whether you were watching the news elsewhere and specially for the victims of those tragic events (My deepest condolences and thoughts go to all those out there who suffered from whatever the loss during that time), but one thing that we all have learned throughout all this time is that Life goes on and it cannot be stopped, not even by acts of terror and fear. So right that Friday morning, after the events, I decided to head North to London and spend the long weekend as I had planned.

So after a couple of hours drive I ended up in Victoria Station and having to take a taxi to the hotel because a couple of the tube lines were cut off indefinitely. So I got to the hotel and checked in. Right when I got there I had already arranged to meet up with a good friend of mine who I haven’t seen for the last couple of years and we got chatting away for the rest of the afternoon trying to digest what was happening but also trying to catch up with what was happening with each of us since we last met. I thoroughly enjoyed the chat and after a couple of pints at the local pub he had to leave and I decided it was time to go for dinner.

Way before I arrived in the UK another good friend of mine recommended me that since I was to stay in London I should go and check out the Indian restaurant called La Porte des Indes London for a whole new experience about Indian food. And Gosh, was he right or what ? It was fantastic ! I had a fantastic time over there enjoying some of the most wonderful food you can imagine (And I am not even very keen on Indian food in the first place) and in one of the most stunning atmospheres you can imagine. Certainly, I had the feeling that I was taken somewhere else and not the heart of a big metropolis like London. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and surely I would go again whenever I get a chance, even thought it was an expensive restaurant. But what the heck, it was just one time so I might as well enjoy it, right ? … And I did enjoy it !

After that lovely experience I decided to hit the London clubs and you know what would come next 😉 So no further comment on that. I just cannot remember how late it was before I went to bed, so you can get an idea of what it was like.

Anyway, next day Saturday, and after seeing how things seem to be rather back to normal in such a city like London, where after the tragic events people still had the courage to go out and live their lives the way they want to and not the way they may have been imposed I decided to check the city a little bit as well and do some sightseeing, since most of the public transport was working just fine. Well, I should mention that I didn’t do much sightseeing at all as I have been to London many times and even lived there for about 18 months. But still I decided to go out and check out the different places I use to visit and see how different they were since my last trip. And that is why you can see how I went to Picadilly Circus and took some pictures:

But I also took some pictures from some of the new landmarks from the capital like the Swiss Re Tower (Or the Erotic Gurkin as it is commonly known over there). Quite fascinating overall as no matter how many times I may have been over there there is always something new to learn or to see or to check out thoroughly and this was not exception.

However, seeing how the weather picked up and how we got some decent sun throughout the whole day I decided to go and visit some other friends on the outskirts of London, in Chesham. And after having talked for quite some time and again after having catched up with each other since last time we met (February this year) we decided to go for a drive and check out some of the wonders that the UK has got to offer: the English countryside. And that is how we ended up checking some of the nearby places like the ones in the attached pictures I took:

Or how we ended up in The Swan

enjoying a pint or two and the lovely sunshine throughout the whole afternoon. Then in the evening we ended up going to another Indian restaurant. I know I didn’t plan going two times in a row to an Indian restaurant but then again we were highly recommended to go and check it out. So we did. It is called Sathi Restaurant and let me tell you that the visit was so worth while ! The food was excellent, the service very good and the prices very good value for money. So again another place I am sure I will be visiting next time I come over. For sure.

Anyway from there we head to London downtown to check out what was happening with London’s nightlife and again I guess you get the picture so no further comment on that one either 😉

Sunday was just a special day in itself. One of the things that I miss so much about living in Gran Canaria is that there isn’t a really good Chinese restaurant that specialises in DIM SUM. There are some really good ones, that I may weblog at some point in time, but none of them do serve it. So I was very much looking forward to visiting one of my favourite Chinese restaurants where DIM SUM is just a superb experience. It is called London Jade Garden and if you are ever in London and want to taste some of the nicest dishes around in a lively atmosphere and feeling like you are not longer in the big city but somewhere in China, then it is the place for you. I have been there already many many times and I have to find yet the first time where they fail to provide what they are best at: the nicest DIM SUM you can imagine ! Highly recommended !

For the rest I decided to take it easy and enjoy walking about different places and just enjoy being in one of the most thriving cities of the world that was, at the time, recovering from the aftermath of the tragic events. I am not sure about you folks but I have never seen any group of people so much into fighting for their rights to live, into their rights to not be afraid, into their rights to decide how they would want to live their lives without terror, nor fear. Throughout the whole Sunday I got the privilege of experiencing how a large metropolis and its population came to terms with some dreadful events and decided to move on with their lives sending strong messages to the whole world. As I get to write this I am finding it difficult to try to detail how I felt in the streets watching people walking by and accepting their fate, to live their lives the way they wanted.

Overall it was an exciting experience and something that I know would be very difficult to forget. I was not sure how it would all turn out to be but I can only say that I am glad in the end I was able to make it and head to London to have some of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Before I use to like London a lot, now after being there in such tough times that liking has turned into admiration and love to see a city stand up and put a fight. So again, my gratitude and my thoughts go to all those out there who somehow decided to carry on with their lives and my deepest condolences to all those affected by the such dreadful events. London did not disappoint me one single bit and I can only say that I just cannot wait for the next chance I get to come over. I will surely go, after all, it is always good to catch up with people and things, right ?

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Back Home

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Goodness! So much to catch up with during the course of the next few days. I just got back late last night from the recent trip to the UK, including London, and I have got so much to talk about that I just do not know where to get started. So for the time being, and while I am trying to catch up with a few things at work and also with what has been happening out there, since I have been totally disconnected for 4 days, I am just going to let folks know that I am back home with lots of things grabbing my attention at the moment. So you would need to give me a little time to let you know how it all went.

Not only the experience about getting to travel again, which is always nice, but also what the London trip was all about. I am currently working already on a weblog post where I will be sharing some thoughts and some pictures of my stay in London after the terrible events that took place last week. But just to give you a little bit of an advance I will let you know that it has been one of the most amazing long weekends I have ever had in a long long time. And as I get to publish that particular weblog entry you will be able to see why. More to come later … Time now to continue catching up with work and stuff.

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Off I Go to London

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

After having seen the news reports and read the newspapers, it looks like things are going back to normal in London. You have probably read about it all over the blogosphere so I am not going to link to the different blogs or news items that have been commenting on the dreadful events that took place yesterday in London. If only, I would like to refer people to the Wikipedia News article available here to have some more comprehensive information details about what happened yesterday.

And after checking things out and seeing that horrible events like this should not alter our way of life, specially for a such a thriving city as London, I have decided to still head up North towards London and spend the long weekend there as expected. Certainly, it would be a completely different experience to what I originally had in plan, but then again if we do not carry on with our lives they would win. So from here I am signing off till I can manage to get a live Internet connection. So to all of you out there who may be reading this, wherever you may be, keep safe and alert !

My deepest condolences to all those innocent victims out there who got caught in this craziness, and many other ones. You shall be remembered dearly by all your loved ones. Our hearts and thoughts will always be with you.

Peace to us all, keep safe and stay alert !

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Off I Go to the UK

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Yes, folks, over the next few days you will see that I may not get a chance to post some content on a regular basis in LSR as I will be heading over to the UK (Portsmouth ), for work, to give a presentation on some Knowledge Tools and then right after that I will be heading up North, to London, to spend a few days over there, till Monday, to catch up with one of my favourite cities, at least, from the ones I have lived in for some time.

Last time I went to London was about two years ago, also during summer time and I surely had a terrific time over there catching up with some friends and hanging about in the city, and I guess I will be doing some of that again since two years without going over there is quite some time. I have been advised by some of my friends over there that it has been raining for the last few days and it looks like it is going to be like that till about Monday, which doesn’t sound like the perfect way to spend a summer weekend but then again that is what London is all about and after you have lived there for a while you kind of get used to it. So no suprises for the London weather in summer time.

I am planning to take my digital camera with me so that you get to see the places I will be checking out. I am hoping to get some good pictures from the places that I couldn’t check out last time and, hopefully, they would be good enough to post at my Flickr account. If I get a chance and I also managed to have a live Internet connection I may be able to share some thoughts as well about how it is going and all. I guess I would just need to hook myself up with one of those WiFi places and continue weblogging. Will keep you posted how it goes.

However, if you do not see anything for the next couple of days do not worry too much, I am just having a nice break from everything and enjoying the big metropolis London is. And I just can’t wait, folks ! So off I go to London !

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