I am back on the European tour for the next few weeks.
This week was Brussels and Antwerp where snow was falling and Eurostar was cancelled!
It had all started very well and I declared my new favourite way to travel was Business class to Brussels on Eurostar. So relaxed, so easy, all served with a nice meal in a quiet carriage sitting in a solo seat. Lovely.
It all went a bit downhill from there. An average hotel where I had a mini suite (good) which smelled a bit of sewage (bad). The bedroom was ok (laminate floor), the bathroom had no heating (why? freezing!).
The food was quite horrible and border-line dangerous with half heated meals still frozen in the middle. An average rating but better than a youth hostel!
And so to work. Meetings all went well (the reason for travelling) and we were off to Antwerp when a sudden ping changed the mood.
French rail workers were on strike and this was causing disruptions to travel throughout the region.
Eurostar was no longer my favourite mode of transport as our return train was cancelled and there were no trains for the next two days. Would we be stuck in Antwerp in the snow for the weekend? Not if I had anything to do with it.
I spent the next few hours emailing various people and after a bit of corporate panic as we have to book through a corporate travel agency and get corporate approvals before booking, we had flights home. Had anyone heard of LuxAir? No, but that didn’t matter.
A good day was then spent researching in Antwerp where I motivated the team with an objective, an itinerary and a deadline (whip crack) and we hit every independent boutique possible.
With that mission accomplished, we set off to the tiny airport in Antwerp, hopped over to London City in an hour and was home by 9pm. Job done.
And so after three nights at home, I’m on the Gatwick Express as we’re heading to Spain for the next exciting instalment!