Recently I attended the IBM Power Systems Technical Symposium in Melbourne Australia, followed by a similar conference the next week in Auckland New Zealand. This was my first trip to the southern hemisphere and what a great trip it was! In addition to speaking at the conferences and talking with IBM i clients, I took some vacation and was a tourist for a few days.
This being my first trip to the down-under, I arranged to travel a few days early and spent the weekend prior to the conferences in Sydney. Of course I had to do touristy things – I walked across the Harbor Bridge (no, I didn’t do the bridge climb), wandered around outside the Sydney Opera House and visited the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Opera House is an amazing architectural work and I could write several paragraphs about it. I snapped this picture while on the Harbor Bridge:
Having lived most of my life as a land-locked Midwesterner, I had to venture to the coast. tripadvisor told me that the Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk was the #3 attraction in Sydney and the beach locations worked well with my limited time in Sydney. Along the walk, I saw surfboarders braving what looked like rather small waves. I pulled out my zoom lens and caught a few shots; when I looked at the pictures on my computer I realized those waves really weren’t that small. I bet that water was far too cold for me!
The time in Sydney was too short and then it was on to Melbourne. They are very different cities. On my first free day in Melbourne I went to the National Gallery of Victoria where the Italian Masterpieces exhibit was on display. It was very impressive, but unfortunately I was not able to appreciate it … I didn’t know it at the time but I was coming down with what I think was the flu and was not feeling well at all. Whatever bug found me made me ill for two days, which was very disappointing since, of course, I got ill on a free day! I recovered quickly enough that I only had to cancel one presentation. I did have one additional free day in Melbourne after the conference where I explored the city. The Royal Botanical Gardens was my destination and, along the way, I visited the Shrine of Remembrance. I took this panoramic photograph of Melbourne from the top of the shrine.
Then it was on to Auckland. I only had one free day in Auckland and I spent the entire day walking around the city – the highlight was Mount Eden. This was discovered entirely by accident, but it was a very pleasant surprise. The 360-degree view of the area was beautiful. Since it is winter there, there were not many fellow tourists. I took the following shot looking across the cone:
Finally, a bit about the conferences (after all, that is why I was on this trip!). Both were rather small conferences with a few hundred people; the one in Melbourne was the larger of the two. Both were Power Systems conferences and had plenty of sessions on POWER, Storage, IBM i, AIX and Linux. I was very pleased by the number of IBM i clients who attended my presentations along with the post-presentation discussions. The IBM Enterprise Conference this fall will be similar, but on a much larger scale.