On the continent

August 7, 2008 Andy 0 Comments

I had the pleasure at the beginning of the month of visiting one of my best friends from my time in Madrid. I’d booked a long weekend to visit Philippe in Brussels and was very much looking forward to seeing him for the first time in almost a year and half. In that time, we’ve both had some incredible experiences and returned to our respective home countries. Naturally we had a lot to catch up on.

It was a fantastic weekend despite the mother of all hangovers (sat, sun & mon). No plans, just catching up and taking in another new city. The Friday night deserves a special mention, as the plan was to grab a few beers in a few of Philippe’s locals (living in a beautiful city centre apartment he’s spoilt for choice). The night started of a casual catch up turned into a proper club night when met some friends of his. The lovely Barbara and Katherine took us to an excellent club. Filthy electronic beats, dark and dingy, full of sweaty people and a passionate DJ… Perfect.

And while in Brussels, with Guillaume in mind (a French chap who Espe and I traveled with in Australia last year www.guizite.com), I could not help but visit his favourite building, the Atomium.

I’ve been running around since with work. We’ve finally revamped our company’s website, so I’m no longer ashamed to give out the link. Check out www.theadventurists.com to find out what on earth it is that I do now.

The simultaneous Mongol Rally and Africa Rally launches gave me my busiest working month yet (probably in my entire working life), but it was all worth while seeing the teams set off and partying with them. The Mongol Rally launch in Hyde Park was huge with about 5000 in attendance. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the spectacle as I found myself back in Milan running the launch there. The “partenza” at Piazza Castello Sforzesco was fantastic but the day was kind of ruined for us, firstly as we failed to get a lift to the party in the Czech Republic with one of the teams and secondly as Espe was robbed in the main train station as we were trying to find an alternative way of getting to the party.

Some of the Italian teams left us a little disappointed taking the rally a little too seriously (if your car doesn’t break down in the middle of the desert, then your missing out on the fun) and failing to get into the spirit of the event, although to be fair that probably had a lot to do with our lack of communication with them early on. Of all the rally starts (London, Madrid, Milan), the Italians made the least effort to go to the party, despite being the closest. Still, their loss, as the party in the castle we had hired was awesome, with three live bands, 2 music rooms / dance floors with talented international DJs and a rather aromatic chill out / tea room all in the historic ruins of an 11th century castle. The Knights and Wenches theme added to the fun too. A couple of relaxing days in Prague afterwards helped the recovery process.

After all of that it is well worth a mention that I finally had a relaxing weekend in Bristol. Only my third weekend here in as many months, and with it we were blessed with some fantastic weather. Like many places in this strange isle, Bristol is really rather pretty when the sun is shinning.

Next stop, the Nordschleife in Germany… and just this once, you’ll have to excuse the emoticon 🙂

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