Once a year a multicultural group of over 45 work colleagues arrive in a secret city location to engulf themselves in the culture of that locale. Leading up to the event there is a series of clues released, by the organising committee, with the final reveal around 3 to 4 weeks in advance of the arrival date. As a consequence, by the time we arrive the expectations are usually very high.
It is therefore a mammoth task for the organisers to get everyone there on time, especially as the participants come from all corners of the globe, and each year they excel and exceed all these expectations. This is testament to the talent that we have accrued over the years here are CPSL, in fact over the last 53 years, and to the enthusiasm of all those who attend.
This year was no exception and my work family and I gathered in the amazing city of Granada. A lunchtime reception of tapas and drinks at the Hotel Vinicci Albayzin started the weekend off in style followed by a number of corporate presentations celebrating our successes of this year and setting out the stall for 2017. A short walk later and we arrived at the team building session. What can I say? If you’re not first……. 😉
With military precision the turnaround time from completion of the team-building to the departure for the pre-dinner walk was limited to 3/4 hour, which for me at least was a good thing because otherwise I would have most likely opted for a catnap and the result of that would have been “CATastrophic (sorry couldn’t resist).
The typically late evening meal was met with welcomed eyes both on the plate and the spectacular night-time view of the La Alhambra from the windows of our dining area.
Just as the food and wine kept on flowing so did the tirelessly wonderful view, however those dark night clouds were also the bearers of something far more cleansing and right on cue our departure from this awesome venue was greeted with some torrential rain. Coming from a county in England where this kind of thing is a regular occurrence it didn’t faze me, but there were those who believed that I had purposely brought the weather with me so as not to feel too homesick. – Honestly I would have preferred it not to have rained but it did have the very positive effect of keeping me awake in those final few hours of a long but exhilarating day.
My colleagues, who were fortunate enough to have been able to spend the previous evening in Granada, informed me about the high standard of the hotel breakfast on the return to the hotel so that when I awoke the following morning feeling that my body could certainly approve of a few more well spent minutes in slumber land I wisely chose not to.
Fuelled with enough energy to climb a mountain, we left the hotel for a guided tour of the city of Granada. One of the most important parts of our corporate culture is to practise what we preach. So each year that we meet we submerse ourselves into the history of the city we visit. Granada has this in buckets and around every corner a whole world of “years gone by” opened up its arms and smothered us in their delights.
Almost exhausted from the culture overload we have a small break as we travelled by bus to the top of the hill where the world famous La Alhambra Palace was waiting to take our senses into mind-blowing overload.
Every window had its own unique story, every tree, plant and flower its own smell and every fragment of dust reminded us of a time in the past which we totally connected with. Words are my world but sometimes even they are inadequate when confronted with the beauty of something so spectecular as La Alhambra.
The importance of this experience within our organisation cannot be expressed enough. We are language and culture experts and the more we learn the better we do our job. The sheer joy of what we were subjected to over the weekend of the 5th November 2016 has taken me to a new level of cultural appreciation and for that I thank my CPSL family.