Back to work at a conference in Milan and I had seen the tourist sites on prior trips. Mostly work, but as they say, when in Rome do as the Romans. But this was Milan so I went to an English pub to see England play (before Brexit II – and to be fair Wales is still playing). The pub was near the central sites of the city so some pictures are attached. The conference and discussions were dominated by Brexit and to a lesser extent Trump/Hillary. Editor of Economist magazine spoke and said his view (not the official view) was to vote for Hillary as both are lying but her lying is more consistent thus less dangerous. Of course he was very confident that the UK would vote remain as well. Overall an interesting conference and discussion as the business community in Europe is not nearly as sold on a transition to purely renewable energy as the EU politicians and claim that higher energy costs are part of the reason the EU lacks the USA in economic growth. The next evening we had dinner in great part of Milan I hadn’t been to along a canal in an area called Navigli Lombardi. It was Gourmet Italian….I played safe with veal while everyone else got the local specialty of pigeon.
Back in the UK for meetings in Manchester – my coworkers there were worried about Brexit but few actually knew of anyone voting leave (except the random “crazy uncle” people seem to have) yet they are leaving. Low motivation for early Friday morning meetings after the vote. But at the Manchester airport all the people flying out to Europe for stag/hen parties were drinking and singing to celebrate Brexit at 10am. Coming through London a much more somber mood with the exchange rate for the USD to GBP having a buy/sell range of 1.15 to 1.55.
Travel tip – when using ATM’s outside USA, it may ask you if you want to “lock in the conversion rate” the exchange rate and additionally there will be no fee. That “locked in” exchange rate is about 20% worse than your bank will give you if you if you select “continue without conversion”.
One stressful part of the last week….of the flight segments we booked, only about 2-3 were “critical” (e.g. – a missed flight creates bad consequences). Of course, when Alex and Annelise are flying back from Vienna via London, their plane is late and they projected to miss their connecting flight back to the USA. It worked out that the flight to the USA was delayed by 6 hours so they made the connection but we are burning up the text trying to figure out what to do. Ironically, I left London right as they were arriving but it didn’t help.
Back to USA last weekend and now in Sante Fe at a conference discussing radionuclides – way above my level. Literally 30 hours in a hotel ballroom over 3 days. Didn’t get to see much of the town and area at all…had a great dinner outside of town and a quick walk through the old town to finish the evening.