YAPC Europe Foundation - YAPC::Europe Proposal: Braga
The Braga Perl Mongers would like to host YAPC::EU::2005 in Braga, Portugal :-)
This is our proposal :-)
This proposal can also be found online (in an easier way to browse through, we
hope), at http://perl-hackers.net/index.cgi?YAPC::EU::Braga
Some considerations on Braga:
Braga is located in northern Portugal, fifty kilometres from the Atlantic sea,
less then a hundred kilometres from the northern frontier with Spain. According
to data from 2001, the city had about 115 thousand inhabitants in its center,
and about 165 thousand overall by then.
Founded by the Romans, the city is over 2,000 years old (it was named Bracara
Augusta by then). It has lots of interesting monuments and landscapes to see.
Though not a huge city, Braga has a bit of everything. There are several movie
theatres and shopping centres, as well as gardens and theatres. In the Summer
months (see section Dates), a variety of shows is available throughout the
Located in Braga is the University of Minho which, with its over 17,000
students, make Braga one of the youngest cities of Europe.
In Portugal, we speak Portuguese. (wow)
However, the whole country is used to tourism, so you can easily find somebody
who speaks English, French and other languages in the streets. You won't have
any problem in hotels, airports, etc, either.
Portuguese cuisine is outstanding, presenting a wide variety of main courses
Complete meals in the area around the university campus cost somewhere between
5 and 10 euros, or even less, if you want plastic food. There are around 20
restaurants in that vicinity, offering anything from traditional cooking to
Thousands of students eat in the area during school season, so capacity
shouldn't be a problem.
Braga - Travel
This section is about travelling to and inside Braga.
Please note that we plan to have all these facts detailed in a webpage if we get to organize the conference.
Traveling to Portugal isn't all that difficult or expensive, and neither is it to Braga.
There are several options:
If one's coming by airplane, the closest airport is in Oporto, which is about
45 kilometres away from Braga.
You can proceed to Braga by taxi or even rent a car there. You can also go to
the train station (there's one bus going there every 30 minutes) and get on a
train to Braga.
The airport of Lisbon is located at about 400 kilometres from Braga, but you
can always consider the possibility of flying from there to Oporto or going
directly by train (see below) to Braga.
Braga has a train station, which was redesigned early this year and now even
includes a mall. It is located near the town center (5 minutes walking).
If you're driving, you'll find the accesses to be quite good, as they were
improved for Euro 2004.
Inside the city
The range of choices within the city is also pretty good.
The bus company that serves the city of Braga currently has 115 buses working
(on average, 75,000 tickets are bought each day).
There are also several other companies that make connections with other cities.
You just need to go to the terminal exchange and check them out :-)
There are over a hundred taxis in the city (belonging to a couple of
companies), which you can easily find in several specific points or phone to
have one pick you up where you're at.
Whether you're bringing your own car or you're renting one in Portugal, know
that it is easy to drive across town; everything is well signalized and traffic
It's rather nice to walk in Braga, and most hotels are within reasonable
walking distance from the conference. In fact, most things will be at a
reasonable enough distance from the hotel that one will be able to walk to
It is strongly encouraged to visit the city walking :-)
Braga - Accommodations
Braga has plenty of hotels, guest houses and lodgings. Moreover, the University
will probably be willing to let people stay at the students residence (this
means people can have a fairly good accommodation much cheaper than in a
Hotel prices for single rooms seem to range from 30 to 80 euros. We can try to
get special rates for the conference with a couple of hotels.
The dates, which should be decided later on so they won't cause any conflict
with any other major conference, would be around July/August 2005, which has
some advantages. These are very pleasant months to be in Portugal. The weather
is usually quite nice ("Sunny Portugal", Leon called it, with temperatures
above 30 C) and attendees may take the time, either before or after YAPC (or
both) to have their families in Portugal (or not) and go to local festivities
(or calmer places); that is, one could come to YAPC alone and have his family
coming the week after to spend their holidays visiting the country, in the time
of the year where most festivities take place.
Another good advantage of these dates are related to the University's
facilities, which aren't much used during this period and hence might be used
by us (see sections Facilities and Accommodations).
The University of Minho will let us use its facilities for the conference.
There is one room with 500 seats, two rooms of 250 and four others of 200.
Also, there are plenty of smaller rooms we can use as appropriate. We will also
be able to use University equipment, such as projectors and other things.
Outside the rooms where the conference is to be held, there are wide spaces
where atendees can sit and chat. And if they want to, they can also go outside
and lay on the green grass of one of the University's gardens.
Inside the University campus there are coffees, restaurants and some stores.
Being a public institution, the University is full of elevators and wheelchair
The University is equipped with wi-fi, which will be available to participants
in the conference at the very least in the conference rooms (and neighborhoods,
of course). We will also try to give access to everyone along the whole campus
(which is a considerable area).
We'll also have a room with PC's for those not bringing laptops.
Past experience of the organizers
The main organization of the conference will be done by us (AlbertoSim�es and
Jos�AlvesCastro), with the help of the other Braga.pm mongers. We have been
organizing conferences for some years (besides doing other stuff, of course).
We usually have students volunteering to help in all the conferences we
organize; with us and with them, we make a fairly good team :-)
Regarding the Perl community, speakers of JOIN2003 and JOIN2004 (conferences we
organized) include Leon Brocard, James Tisdall, Simon Cozens and Marty Pauley.
You can ask them what they thought about Portugal and ourselves (by the way,
Michael G Schwern is the first confirmed speaker for JOIN2005).
Other things we're thinking about:
We're thinking on having a team dedicated to help whoever comes to the event.
This would mean people would receive things such as maps and helpful contacts
(including from people on this team) that they could use whenever they needed
to (think "somebody gets lost").
We're planning on having a dinner with everybody on the conference (regarding
restaurants, we have several options for this).
This would have a cost of less than 10 euros and would be paid along with the
registration (for those wanting to go, of course). And yes, should somebody
come along later after registration, it would still be possible to have that
somebody too (provided we don't get 200 somebodies) :-)
We plan to have a webpage where we will post everything, such as how to get
from a given airport to the venue (maps included), etc.
And that's our proposal :-)
We hope you like it :-)