Ever spent a day in a zoo?
Trip Start Sep 16, 2010
20Trip End Oct 05, 2010
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Where I stayed
Work? Fantastic. Not only is everyone incredibly friendly, but so very professional too. It's good to see that what I'm doing in Australia is really not dissimilar to what they do here. Their laboratories are MUCH larger and much better equipped, but chemically it's very similar. I prefer my car-wash, but I can use phosphates (if you don't know, don't ask - long story). I don't think they believe me when I told them how good our CT18 is, but the Lab Manager (a chemist) understood. We speeka da same lingadee. She was also surprised at my suggestion to improve their mag wheel cleaner too.
San Sebastián? Wow. Just wow! This is so gorgeous and it's also literally 20km from the border to France. Some of the people at Krafft (our company over here) actually live in France. Perfect for a romantic holiday (sadly, which I am not on) or to retire to. If you ever get the chance to fly into San Sebastián airport, make sure you do it by day. If you're into cars, you will LOVE seeing all the winding mountain roads and imaging a rally race on them. If you're not, you'll still be spell-bound by the beauty. I haven't seen anything so picturesque yet. The mountain-side, the beaches, the wonderfully clean town (I call it "German Clean" and it really is!). There is even a royal palace here which all the Spanish Kings would come to spend their summers. I was told by a colleague today that the last time they had other people visit their factory, Julia Roberts was in their same hotel for a holiday. It's good enough for a long line of Spanish kings and for celebrities, so it's good enough for you. Oh, their university is also hosting 12-15 Nobel Laureates tomorrow for a seminars on Chemistry and Nanotechnology... all this isn't bad for a city of 150,000 people, is it? If only the strike wasn't happening, you know I'd find a way to talk myself a seat in that seminar. "I can't believe my booking has been misplaced! This is the only reason my company has sent me to San Sebastián - it is such a gorgeous city and I could happily spend all day on your beaches - but surely you can find it in your heart to find a seat for me, couldn't you?"
I didn't have quite such luck meeting someone famous last night, as I only bumped into an Aussie and a Kiwi before dinner. Had a great, but early, night. Came back to the room and prepared for the day.
So I just have to deal with them when I can, as right now, the most important thing is making sure that I'm in Sint-Niklaas in Belgium bright and early Thursday morning for Wynn's head office. Remember the German guy I met in Barcelona that was the GM of a shipping company? He suggested that I fly with Brussels Airlines if anything went wrong. Got onto their website and booked the flights... that is until the Commonwealth Bank interrupted the process. They have a strange security feature which works well in Australia, but not anywhere else. If you want to book online, they send you a SMS code to verify the purchase. Guess who doesn't have an Australian number in Spain? Yep. Me.
So I asked the girl at reception to call them for me, then we hit an english language option on the phone and I was set. Got the ticket booked - at a much higher price than what I had originally booked but there wasn't no other option to get to Brussels a day early to avoid the strike, was there?
Ticket booked. Need to find accommodation. I called the hotel that I'm staying at the following couple of nights and she had one room free!! Unsure if it's the same room but it doesn't matter, and my god is she friendly!
So the chaotic part quickly subsided as I walked past the monkeys to see a gorilla mother holding her new born and everything was sweet and serene again when my hotel and new ticket were booked.... until, of course, I get all my bags packed in 10 minutes so I can go out and have a stiff round of drinks before I fly out tomorrow. I have a 1 hour bus ride to get to the Bilboa airport by 1pm. I'm going to try and get the first bus so I can check out the Guggenheim museum there too (hence packing my bags tonight).
Let's hope work invites me back! It's really been amazing!