Well that was a busy week! The Friday before last, I was heading back in the rain from a meeting with a Client when my phone rang and a colleague asked if I’d be available to go to Vienna for a day the following week to do some training for another Client. The answer, as always, was yes. When I got back to the office, it all started going pear-shaped…
It transpired it was two days’ training: join mid-morning with a German lawyer’s last session and then repeat on the Friday before an evening flight home; my colleague would be staying at the comfy Hotel de France. But there were problems: firstly, I couldn’t guarantee arriving on time if I travelled on Thursday morning, so I had to make arrangements to fly out on the Wednesday evening (which meant cancelling another meeting) and I couldn’t fly back on the Friday because all the flights back were fully booked, so I now needed to stay another night and fly home on Saturday which meant cancelling all my plans up in Norfolk.
By Tuesday, more changes were afoot: half the delegates were calling in sick, so the venue (which had been a lovely hotel in central Vienna) had been cancelled and we would be doing it at the Client’s offices 15km outside the city. This meant cancelling the hotels I had managed to find and instead I was put up in what was thankfully a four star guest house 5km from the offices, the Landhaus Tschipan. They had also asked us to condense two days’ of training into one, the Thursday and I still couldn’t get a flight back!
Wednesday was horribly wet in London but landing in Vienna that evening, I was greeted by a lovely warm evening and I went for some beers with the German lawyer to run through the slides and edit them down.
Thursday went very well indeed and when we had finished we realised all the HR staff had gone home and there was no-one to take us back or even arrange a taxi … so we walked the 5km back in full suits and carrying laptops in high 20s temperatures! We then changed and grabbed a taxi into central Vienna to meet up with my other two colleagues for beers and a meal before heading back. Vienna is a beautiful city by night!
Friday morning I checked out of the Tschipan and headed to my hotel for Friday: the five star Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof in the historic part of Vienna. A bit more work until lunchtime and then I headed out for a sightseeing wander around the shopping areas and the Naschtmarkt: some 10km in the sun and high 20s temperatures: no wonder I got sunburnt!
Back to the hotel to change before I met up with my colleagues at the University of Vienna where they’d been delivering a course for the post-graduate MSc Law course. Lovely ribs and beers before heading off to St Stephen’s Square for more café culture and beer and a wander down to the Danube itself. I finally stumbled into bed at 2.30am!
A light breakfast – or two – before heading back to the airport for a flight home … to the same cold and wet London I’d left behind. Ah well!