So we're finally here. The ICES show is in town. A Coruña. Galicia's second city – but surely its most championed when it comes to fish, seafood and all things del mar. The bay is broad and the waterfront seemingly endless (with one of the longest promenades around). The section by the old town leading up to Palexco is lined with unique ornate white glass-fronted buildings bedecked in galerias (conservatory-like encased balconies that can be used the year-round) which look like old sailors' houses and factory fronts that were permanently iced by a freakish, glassy, sub-zero blizzard that once came in off the Atlantic.
The secretariat staff have been arriving in drips and drabs over the last few days – alongside much equipment, computer-related, and publication cargo – and the weekend is now being used to methodically set everything up in the conference centre in preparation for tomorrow. It's unpacking and arranging on a heavyweight scale. Screens and servers are being rigged up, publications and other information put out, and the first few participants welcomed at the registration desk. The Spanish Institute of Oceanography, who have a centre in A Coruña and co-organized the conference, are also present with a stall to celebrate their centenary.
A Coruña is still lively with locals and late-summer tourists, but you can be sure that you'll end up rubbing shoulders with someone connected with ICES. A regional beer festival last night proved a good example of that. The clammy, sea-breezy warmth is a climate change from Copenhagen, although it looks like the rain was a luggage-hold stowaway. In fact, the changing weather is almost ideally maritime, and the panoramic offered up by Palexco's various rooms is a fitting viewpoint.
The Palexco Congress and Exhibition Centre glints in the sunlight
Room with a view: the science office