Monday, November 10, 2008

A little note on my European adventure...

Everyone says that international business travel sounds really glamorous, but it really boils down to a hotel, and office building and a computer – just in a more exotic sounding locale. This was absolutely the case in Amsterdam. Between the jet lag, late hours and US conference calls I was expected to participate in, there was no partaking of the “nightlife” of Amsterdam, and all of my souvenir shopping occurred in the airport. That’s one of the interesting quirks of the town. The shops close at 6pm – except on Thursday when they close at 9pm. Of course, that was the evening that I was at the office until 9:30. I didn’t mind really because exhaustion took over, and I wasn’t really in the mood to go out. One of the resources (consultants) that was hired to help complete the work that I am in Europe to oversee happened to be a recently relocated New Yorker (by way of Louisiana), so she was kind enough to drive me around the main part of Amsterdam so that I can at least say that I saw it. What a shame it would have been had I traveled all that way and not ventured into the heart of the city at least once. We then went out to a really great dinner. Definitely a nice way to cap off the week.
Saturday I flew into Munich. I must say that although I appreciate not having to wait forever in customs when I have nothing to declare, I’m kind of disappointed that I don’t have an Amsterdam or Munich stamp in my passport. I mean literally – you walk out an exit from the baggage claim and that is it – no check, no ceremony about looking at the passport as you go through – you just walk out the door. By this time I was just spent, so I made my way to the hotel and pretty much just passed out.
Sunday morning when I woke up, the sun was bursting through my window, and I wanted to figure out how to get to my office from the hotel. By the time the concierge and I went through the public transportation option, we both decided that taxi was probably the best way to go, even though it would obviously be the pricier option. Now that we had Monday morning figured out, it was time to see what there was to see (and what was going to be open) on the beautiful Sunday. Luckily, the English Garden was within a 20 minute walk from the hotel.
The English Garden is Munich’s version of Central Park, and I have to say that it was beautiful, especially this time of the year. There were numerous showers of yellow leaves as the wind blew gently through the trees of the park. Apparently, the garden was THE place to be on a Sunday because many families, couples, tourists, etc. were there strolling through the park, sitting on the benches, enjoying the day and the scene. I also happened upon a “famous” biergarten. It was a bit unnerving to see picnic tables full of people enjoying enormous steins of beer at 10 or 11 in the morning. Me? My stein was full of Coca-Cola as my stomach had begun to turn against me, and it craved the familiar. There were of course pretzels, popcorn, roasted nuts, brats, potatoes, chicken, etc., and I really wanted to try some of local fare. The kicker was that the locations of the restrooms were not that obvious, and it was a 20 minute walk back to the hotel, so I was not about to take any chances. You just never know what will set a queasy stomach off. I filled my stomach with a fresh sugar coated pastry – on top of a ginormous Coke, it was no wonder I crashed later in the afternoon.
Pictures to be posted later….

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...