Out and about in the wide(r) world
As the noughties come to an end, a wonderful of year also draws to a conclusion. I am typing this from Stockholm. To summarise 2009:
2009 saw me start with a trip to Scotland for a long weekend to Edinburgh and St Andrews. My Alma Mater turns 600 next year and I had not been back since graduation. Then I had a weekend in Innsbruck - flying to have a fuller weekend. A couple of days later I was off to Utrecht for business and in the mean time making preparations for my spring holiday - in Hong Kong with a stopover in Dubai and a daytrip to Macau. Then in September I went to South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho, before mini breaks to Brussels and Stockholm. Work took me to Helsinki, Utrecht and Brussels and there were some trips back to the UK.
2008 started off with trips to Paris, London, Graz and Easter in Prague. After three more trips back to the UK, I was away in Munich before spending a three week break split between Latvia and Lithuania and then a tour of South East Europe (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia). Conferences then took me to Paris and Luxembourg before Britain for Christmas.
In 2007, although I didn't leave Austria until March, I'd headed off to Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom (twice), Cyprus and Bulgaria before Easter. Plans were revised for my summer break - from an original plan of visiting most of South-eastern Europe, I decided to stay closer to home. My summer holiday was further shortened due to a variety of professional commitments, but I had a long weekend in Bucharest (with Romania becoming country no. 30!) and a few days in Tirol (Innsbruck and Kufstein) at the end of August and start of September. Julius Bär accompanied me on both trips - it took him little persuasion to realise that he should see the world rather than play Texas Holdem on Facebook all summer... Then at the end of September I headed to Helsinki for work and then a few days break in Tallinn as an added bonus. To recompense for my relative inactivity on the travel front, I headed to South Africa in mid November - my first visit to Africa and also the first time I crossed the Equator - sad it had taken me 30 years to do so! I spent 11 days in South Africa, with time in and around Jo'burg, three days in Kruger National Park, and 5 days in Cape Town. All of which was greatly enjoyable - thanks not least to my friends Kerry, Jacques and Roslyn, who made my stay an unforgettable one. After flying visits to Milan and Bratislava in December I rounded off 2007 with a relaxing Christmas in Vienna.