A11 Joint HFCC/ASBU+ABU-HFC Conference

 
Page created: 2-Nov-2010, updated 22-Nov-2010, 23-Dec-2010, 2-Jan-2011, 3-Jan-2011, 5-Jan-2011, 13-Jan-2011, 18-Jan-2011, 26-Jan-2011, 27-Jan-2011, 31-Jan-2011, 1-Feb-2011, 2-Feb-2011, 4-Feb-2011, 5-Feb-2011, 8-Feb-2011, 9-Feb-2011, 16-Feb-2011, 18-Feb-2011, 20-Feb-2011.

 

Introduction

 

The A11 Conference was held in Hotel Intercontinental, Praha (Prague), Czech Republic from February 14th to 19th 2011.

(Due to the situation in Tunisia it was decided to move the conference venue from Tunis to Prague.)

 

Location

 

The Intercontinental Prague belongs to the more expensive five star hotels in the city. It is located directly in the Old Town of Prague. It was built in the early 1970s and benefits mainly from its prestigious location. A number of notable personalities from the world of politics and entertainment are among the prominent past guests of the Intercontinental Prague.

More than ten hotels were addressed with the A11 Conference requirements. February is in an off-season but conference services are still expensive in Prague and only some of the hotels have a meeting room large enough for our conference. Originally hotels outside the city center only seemed to be able to offer affordable rates that would include the package of conference services. But a couple of downtown hotels in the center accepted the challenge to compete. Hotel Intercontinental finally came up with the best offer. Its main advantage is the location in the city center in walking distance to all major points of interest in Prague.


View Larger Map

Prague has been covered by Google Street View as the first city in the region. So you can explore Prague streets already in advance before the meeting. (Learn how to use Street View).

You can also see the hotel and its surroundings in this panoramic video here. You can view panoramas on this Prague site not only of smaller Old Town squares in the vicinity but also from many other vantage points in Prague. You can also zoom in and out and change the angle of the camera in the vertical plane.

 

Invitation and registration

 

If you arrive on Sunday afternoon or earlier, please come to register on Sunday between 1700 and 2000 local time. The conference fee may be paid in EUR or CZK cash. Your laptop can be also connected to the wireless lan at this opportunity.

Note: The ASBU will arrange cancellation of the bookings in the hotel in Tunisia

 

Presentations

 

 

Programme of the Meeting

 

 

Conference team

 
Ludmila Kordíková
Petra Bezděková
Barbora Hanžlová
Josef Havlín
Tadeáš Hollan
Jeff White
Thais White
Oldrich Cip
Vladislav Cip
 

Transportation from/to the Airport

 

Public transportation
40 minutes, cheap and reliable, but naturally you have to handle the luggage in changing bus/Metro/tram. Buy a ticket for CZK 26 in advance in the arrivals hall (in the information centers of the Prague Public Transportation - open daily 7-21, or in coin machines, CZK cash needed). Take bus no. 119 to Dejvicka (final stop), take Metro to Staromestska, change to tram no. 17 to Pravnicka fakulta. You can also use a special public Airport Express bus that goes faster and stops at Dejvicka but you need to buy an additional ticket from its driver. More info on the website of the Prague Public Transportation

Shared shuttles by Prague Airport Transfers
290CZK (12 EUR) for one person (discounts for groups), 25-60 minutes. Need to be ordered in advance - there is an on-line form on their website. The driver holding a card bearing your name and their company logo will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall. This company does not have a counter at the airport but provide a help line for assistance in case something goes wrong.

Taxi
about 550CZK (23 EUR), up to 8 persons, 25-35 minutes (up to 60 in a traffic jam) There are two taxi companies present at the airport: AAA Radiotaxi and 111 Radiocab. Both are metered taxis, they do not offer a fixed price option but we have not heard any complaints on overcharging. The journey to Hotel Intercontinental should cost about 500-550 CZK (possibly more in case of a traffic jam, not likely on Sat-Sun). Both companies offer minivans (microbuses) for the same price as passenger cars so they can be very cost-effective especially for groups of more participants. Both companies provide discount on the return trip - check with their counters at the airport.

Hotel Shuttle
900 CZK (approx. 36 EUR) from the airport, 750 CZK back. Price will be charged to your hotel bill. Please contact the hotel if you wish to use this option.

Note: we have given up organizing special airport-to-hotel transfers since this would not be substantially more cost-effective than the existing services.

 

Other Travel Information

 

Weather:
February weather in the Czech republic is quite variable. Daytime average for February is just above the freezing point but there can easily be variations of +- 10degrees Celsius. There is a good side to this in that there are not so many tourists in the city. (Note - 1-Feb: the current long-term weather forecast predicts daytime temperatures as high as +8 degrees Celsius but the reliability of such a forecast is very low.)

Currency:
Although a member of the EU, Czech Republic is NOT the part of the Euro zone. The local currency is the Czech crown (ceska koruna), the current rate is about 1 EUR = 24 CZK and 1 USD = 17.50 CZK.
Euros are accepted by the Hotel, in some of the bigger shopping centers, etc. but generally you need Czech crowns to pay for services, goods, public transportation, etc. We have checked the rates of the money exchange offices at the airport and unfortunately, they are very bad, some 10% away from the mid-point exchange rate and with 5% commision on top of it. There are also two banks at the airport: Komercni Banka inside of Hotel Courtyard/Marriott and CSOB in the administrative building near the arrivals area of Terminals 1 and 2. The Banks offer better rates about 2% away of the mid-point rate and charge a commission of 2-3%. Unfortunately they have limited opening hours: CSOB is closed on Sat/Sun and KB (Komercni banka) in Marriott is open on Saturday 9:00 - 12:30 and 13:00 - 15:00, closed on Sunday. (Check the above links to those Bank branches for details.) We have found warnings that some exchange offices even in the city center offer bad exchange rates, or display the exchange rate information in a misleading way. So check the information on exchange rate carefully or change the money in a bank. If you need to change 100 EUR/ 100 USD or higher amount, we can recommend the exchange bureau called "Exchange" on Franz Kafka square (corner of Kaprova and Maiselova streets, 500 meters from the Hotel). This bureau offers very good rates about 1% from the mid-point rate with no commision. This Bureau is open daily (including Sat and Sun) from 9 to 20 hrs.
The ATMs are available at many places in the city and credit/debit cards are accepted in hotels and in bigger or tourist-oriented shops and restaurants.

Personal safety:
Prague is a safe city, probably safer than some other cities in Europe and elsewhere. The most frequent problems you may experience are:
- Pickpockets
- Overcharged taxi fares - even for short drives
Fortunately, both these problems do not involve violence and can be prevented:
- Be careful about your valuables in crowded places like trams and metro
- If possible order a taxi on the phone and not on the street

Phone numbers to organisers (may be also useful in emergency cases):
Click here - NEW

GSM networks and mobile internet connection:
There are three GSM operators in the Czech Republic: Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile. All three operate on the 900 and 1800 MHz bands as in most EU countries. All three offer pre-paid SIM cards both for calls (about 5 CZK/minute for domestic calls) and also for mobile internet connection. They offer various mobile data packages that differ mainly in the FUP (fair use policy) limit for the overall amount of transferred data.

  • Vodafone: 177 CZK - FUP 150MB/month, 315 CZK - FUP 600MB/month, 525 CZK - FUP 3GB/month. Cards with 200 CZK credit available for 200 CZK, more credit can be bought but not in an amount smaller than about 200CZK.
  • O2 (Telefonica): 200 CZK - 5x24hours - FUP 500MB/24h, 350CZK - 10x24hours - FUP 500MB/24h, 300 CZK - FUP 500MB/month, 500 CZK - FUP 2GB/month. Cards with 300 CZK credit available for 300 CZK, more credit can be bought but not in an amount smaller than about 200CZK.
  • T-Mobile: 299 CZK - FUP 500MB, 850 CZK - FUP 5GB.
The card and the selected rate needs to be activated, so the easiest solution is to buy the card in a specialised shop of the operator. O2 and Vodafone both have a shop in the shopping center "Palladium" that is about 1km from the hotel, accesible via bus no.133. The operators may also have their shop at the airport. We checked on Vodafone only - they do have one there.

Electricity:
Voltage is 230V. Electrical sockets are "French" type with two circular holes and a ground pin. They are compatible with the newer German "schuko" plug that now has got a hole to accommodate the ground pin.

Tour in the afternoon on Friday, 18 February:
A sightseeing tour within Prague is planned. Click for more information. Participation in the trip is naturally not mandatory.

 

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