Just a few weeks since my last meetup, I’m on the move again. This time it’s my team’s meetup and we’re heading to Vienna in Austria.
We’ve split the team between a hotel and a nearby Airbnb, the latter of which will be where we all meet up during the day. This not only gives us that meeting place but gives individuals a choice of what kind of accommodation they want.
Headed off to Manchester airport at a reasonable 9am for my flights at 1:15. It left a little late but was otherwise smooth (well, okay, it’s me so there was a security issue – I’d left a deodorant out of the plastic security bag). The flight with Austrian was good, but there were two very young children in the seat behind me who spent most of the 2 hour flight crying. Thank God for noise reduction headphones.
The luggage carousel didn’t spit out our stuff for a LONG time in Vienna but, once retrieved, I grabbed a taxi for the Airbnb. Everyone else staying there had already arrived, so I was the last to join them.
Anyway, the taxi’s card machine refused to work so we ended up going on an extra tour of the backroads of Vienna to find an ATM. Cash paid, I was there!
The apartment we have is a maze to get into but it’s truly in the heart of the city, overlooking St Peter’s.
My bedroom is massive too although I’m sharing a bathroom, which is up to the hall.
Weather in Vienna is cool and a little rainy.
At 8pm we head to our first dinner, at the Greek Plaka restaurant. I had a grilled meatloaf, which was excellent.
2 of our party was still absent at this point, but they’ll join us in the morning.
Talk was limited as we were all feeling pretty tired. Having said that, 3 of the party then went off to find a bar after, whilst Elena and I went back.
I was up around 7am. Not sure when exactly. I grabbed a tea and made myself some toast as, although we had some groceries, I didn’t have any lactose free milk for the cereal.
Soon other people were up and so I grabbed a shower. Sarah and Kavit turned up, so we finally had the 7 people together.
We co-worked for the morning, whilst it rained pretty much constantly. At lunch, Sarah and I went around the corner to a sausage stand and got bratwurtz – the sausage being placed inside a holed length of bread, along with mustard and ketchup. It tasted great!
Around 2pm, the 2 colleagues who couldn’t make it to Vienna joined us via Google Meet. We kicked off with 15 minutes of an ice breaker, which was the traditional “fact about me”, where we tried to guess who random facts were about. We had a break and then spent 4 x 30 minute sessions discussing support-level targets and ideas we had about them. By the end, I had 74 post-it notes, each with an idea on it. I typed them up as we relaxed before dinner.
I had a quick walk before then walking to the restaurant as well along with Rick, Kavit and Elena. The first picture is of 3 of us looking like an album cover…
We went to Spice of India, which had been recommended to us for its quality and authentic food. I had Lamb Palak (medium spice) and a garlic naan.
I walked back to the apartment, by which time it was around 10:30pm. I spent some time writing up what we’d done that afternoon and getting posts published.
Much the same as yesterday morning. Co-working with a bit of grocery shopping thrown in.
At lunch time I made myself a sandwich from what we had in the kitchen.
At 2pm, we did a series of 10 minutes “flash talks”, followed by 10 minutes of questiosn. There were 4 in total, including one that I did – I’d actually spent the time writing it up as a post for this blog, which I then published afterwards.
After that we did something that I devised about strengths and weaknesses – where we had a think about our team and where we had pros and cons. Post-its were used again and I soon collect a good load. It was really positive as it gave us a chance to pat ourselves on the back about all the great things we did. The negatives weren’t huge and some were just “do this positive thing even better” types of replies.
This went on longer than I intended but was so useful.
For the final hour, we reviewed what we did yesterday – I’d written up the previous night all of the suggestions, and so today we went through them to see what we could do anything about. By the end we had a list we could publish.
We wrapped early – around 5:40pm. I spent time writing up all the notes from the day and getting those published. We haven’t actually actioned anything over the last few days but have a great set of things to assign and move toward.
I video called back home around 7pm before heading off, on foot, for the restaurant around 7:45pm.
We went to Lugeck, which is an Austrian restaurant. Naturally, I went straight for the Wiener Schnitzel, which in this case is made of veal. It was nice but a little bland.
The waiter, on the other hand, was not bland. He was just a little obnoxious – putting down glasses on the table far too heavily and having a general air of superiority about himself.
His tip wasn’t great as a result.
It was also pretty pricey so we had a drink and a main and left. Most people were pretty dead by this point – having either stayed out late the previous night or just had bad sleeps – so we retired early around 9:30pm.
Our last day together and we’re taking it easy.
Most of the team have on-call shifts in the morning, so we continue to co-work in the morning, until 2pm, taking some time in the meantime for lunch.
At 2pm, we split. 4 of the team head off on public transport to the River Danube, where they pitch up at a cafe for the afternoon, enjoying the sunny weather, the scenery and the coffee.
The 3 remaining of us go out seperate ways, each wanting to explore the city by ourselves.
I want on a long walk, including a nice stop-off at a park and nearby museum, before realising just how hungry I was.
Here are some photos of this wonderful city…
As is obligatory, I did a McDonald’s stop, buying a few things that you don’t get on the UK menu.
After a short rest, I went out again. I managed to get souveniers too.
At 7:30, we came back together again at the apartment. No dinner was planned so we decided to do take-out. Most of us had pizza, which was very good. We wrapped up a few things, listened to some God-awful music and just enjoyed our company for a remaining few hours.
As the hour got late, 4 of the group decided to find a bar. Kavit, Elena and I, however, called it a night.
I, again, slept badly and ended up waking at 6am, an hour before my alarm was set for. However, it gave me a chance to grab a tea, which I wasn’t planning on, before my pre-booked Uber turned up. In fact it was early so I was at the airport by 7:30am. I’m the first of the group of be leaving.
I found Vienna airport a little confusing as to where everything was but I navigated it in the end and grabbed a coffee and something to eat.