Monday, June 6, 2011

Back in the box

Almost 20 years ago, in March 1992, Markus travelled for the first time to London for a 1 week Easter city break organised by a teacher of his high school. At that time they travelled to Budapest, boarded a British Airways airplane and stayed for 5 nights close to Hyde Park in a pretty shabby hotel on Inverness Terrace. The city left however a great impression on though Markus thinking that he would ever live in London for a while he was sure that he will come back at one point of time.

That is how the City of London looked like in 1992 from Tower Bridge

A few hundred flights later Markus did travel to the airport again o Sunday night – this time it was though the airport in Vienna – and boarded a flight to London again for a whole week of meetings with clients. The weather on the weekend was just fabulous and so we spent all Saturday and Sunday outside on our terrace protected from the sun by our new Soliday sunsail which has been mounted Saturday morning as well as in the Prater where Jakob practiced and further improved his skills on the trainer bike. Given the summer weather and similar forecasts for London Markus decided to leave jacket and umbrella at home and travel light and appropriate for summer. When the plane touched down with an hour delay in Heathrow Markus could not believe his sleepy eyes as it was raining cats and dogs outside and it was pretty cold – at least if one is wearing only a polo-shirt and is used to 30 degrees.

Just larger than a shoe-box - Markus' room for the week

Due to the rain he jumped into a cab at Paddington station to take him to the hotel he was booked into for the week. For any unknown reason London was pretty booked out and so there was no room in any of the usual hotels Markus usually stays, but it turned out that he would not be staying in a new hotel: When the taxi stopped and the cabbie indicated that they have reached their destination Markus yet again could not believe his eyes as he was standing right in front of the hotel he stayed back in 1992! The hotel has got a new name – Grand Royale Hyde Park – but did not change much otherwise from the outside. Inside they seemed to have redecorated and renovated a little bit, refitted the rooms, but the changes can rather be called “cosmetical”. The “big” slap came however when Markus entered the room and found himself in a shoe box. The single bed took 40% of the bedroom, the shower did not allow to turn around and overall the room had an estimated 8 square metres – more memories from 1992 returned to his mind.

Jakob, Kerstin & Markus