Dutch Dutch Design (23): QBic Hotel at CNN

When launched Qbic got featured on CNN. I didn’t see it myself. I red the transcript once, but thanks to fellow Blogger Época Alta I found the Youtube link:

The first ever Qbic Hotel is four months in operation now and its occupancy rates are reportedly over 90%.

Dutch Design (22): Dutch Solar Car Nuna4 has won the Australian World Solar Challenge

I Love Nuna4

Unofficially, according to a comment on its Blog, confirmed by a post on the official WSC Blog, Dutch Nuna4 has won the World Solar Challenge.

They arrived at Port Augusta at 16.54 hr local time, just 6 minutes before closing time of the control and finished the official timed stretch of the race. The Port Augusta to Adelaide (where the official finish is) leg seems not to count as a timed part of the race, as the leg has too much traffic and racing would be too dangerous.

The Nuon sponsored Delft Technical University Team rules the waves (err the sun rays) as this is the fourth consecutive win on a row of this biannual challenge.

Apparently they did not beat the team’s prior average speed record, because they met more clouds and rain under way.

Now I am curious if they will consider competing in a solar car race in the United States of America, for instance the 2008 American Solar Challenge, a 2400 mile race from Dallas, Texas to Calgary, Alberta.

To be updated.

Update 1) It seems the servers of the various sites are groaning under heavy traffic……

Dutch Design (21): Solar Car Nuna4 in the Lead of Australian World Solar Challenge

Solar Challenge

With this magnificent photo that I pinched from the Panasonic World Solar Challenge site today, I’ll give you a short update after 3 days of racing and a rest day in Alice Springs:

  1. Nuna4 of the Nuon Solar Team (Delft, Netherlands) with 756 km to go to the finish in Adelaide
  2. Umicore Solar Team (Belgium) roughly 82 km (60 minutes) behind Nuna4
  3. Aurora Vehicle Association Team (Australia), 90 minutes behind Nuna4
  4. FH Bochum Solar Car Team (Germany)

It is a pity that the organization is so scarce with giving proper information. I believe there is a lot of interest for multimedia coverage of this race, but alas not much to be found…..For instance in the Volvo Ocean sailing races and in the America’s Cup match sailing races we can follow the races in real time in our armchair behind the computer while each competitor has a camera and a GPS tracking device mounted on their yachts. Same is the case with the World Rally Championships.

Very sadly the US competitor of the University of Michigan, the Continuum of UM Solar Car Team, due to an accident are way, 11 hours and 24 minutes according to their Blog, behind Nuna4, but they seem to gain now.

Nato Top: 5 * Hotel and Town Groan under Security Measures

Nato Noorwijk Huis ter Duin
Huis ter Duin in Noorwijk changed into a fort

Today and tomorrow 27 ministers of defense meet “informally” in Noorwijk, just a couple of miles North East from The Hague.

According to the Nato site they will

discuss the way ahead for NATO’s operations and Alliance transformation.

The ministers will discuss ways to ensure that the NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo remain correctly configured and properly resourced.They will also consider NATO’s role in Afghanistan as part of the wider efforts of the international community to support the development of national security, governance and development in Afghanistan.

They will also address the continued transformation of NATO’s defense capabilities and how best to continue ensuring the availability of forces and capabilities for the Alliance’s operations and for the NATO Response Force.

In the informal meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, the 27 Ministers will address civil and military activities, as well as cooperation in Afghanistan and in the framework of NATO’s counter terrorism operation in the Mediterranean, Active Endeavor.

Nato Noorwijk Huis ter Duin 02
Photo Pim Ras

In order to make the meeting as secure as possible luxurious Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin has been fenced off from the outside world and looks like a military fort. Its premises and the complete town of Noordwijk have been declared temporary military zone. Without due form of process anybody can be searched and moved away from the area. A Dutch Marine minesweeper is anchored in front of the seashore located hotel and secures the seaside. Airplanes heading for Schiphol Amsterdam Airport have to make a detour as the area is declared a no flight zone as well and Noordwijk is just located in one of the frequently used approaches for the airport.

I am not sure the Huis ter Duin Hotelier is really very happy with this prestigious venue.

Would WTM accept a Blogger as Publisher/Editor/Journalist?


In order to sniff up some travel and luxury travel news I would like to attend WTM as a Blogger, not as a Hotelier. Not being able to offer thousands of rooms my hotel is simply too small to justify a visit to WTM (although I did that once in the past).

So by way of experiment I applied for a Publisher’s Badge.

In reply to my application I got following answer:

Dear Mr Van den Elshout,

Thank you for submitting your registration to attend World Travel Market 2007 as a member of the press.

Press badges are restricted to Publishers, Editors, Journalists, Photographers and Broadcasters. A press badge allows access to the Press Centre at WTM.

In order to process your registration we need to ask you to send us by mail a copy of accreditation in the form of a photocopy of a recognised press or media card, business card, NUJ card or a letter from the editor, that verifies you are working member of the press community.

Please print a copy of this email and send it with the copy accreditation to the following address:

As Blogger I would like to attend the WTM. However as a blogger I do not carry around business cards and I try to avoid any snail mail. So I am curious to see how this can be solved with WTM….

The funny thing is that for my other Blog I do the same with trade fairs and manufacturers and they have no problem to recognize a Blogger as press. They even are sending me tons of press releases……without questioning me….

Update 24th October 2007
Good sports at WTM. I just received their confirmation that they have accepted me and will issue a press badge after I had referred them to this post in my answer to the above quoted e-mail.