Friday, November 26, 2010
Visit at BRP Rotax
My flight back from Vienna was later in the evening on Friday - this had been the cheapest available flight, so I had recommended to book this one. This meant that after my visit at FH St.Poelten which I had done in the past 3 days, I now had Friday morning and early afternoon available for other activities, and it fit very well to my schedule that I received an invitation by Johannes Christian to visit the company BRB-Rotax. This company manufactures petrol motors for a variety of vehicles: small airplanes, snowmobiles, fun vehicles. Johannes' work is in the area of teaching and training in the "After Sales" context, which means training for maintenance. He investigates here the use of Augmented Reality for intuitive new training methods.
I got up quite early - the train ride from St. Poelten to Gunskirchen took 1 1/2 hours, I had to change trains in Linz. This day was foggy, and some snow flurries began to fall down.
The company buildings are right next to the train station, so it was easy to find. Then we had a chat about Johannes' work, and he showed me around in the training centre where I had the opportunity to test-sit one of those "fun vehicles". He also gave me a tour of the manufacturing hall - very impressive!
At 12:30 the train left. The ticket machine at the train station did not work properly - when trying to pay with a card, it could not connect to authorize the payment. Since I had too little cash, I entered the train without ticket - although it said in several places that on this train line one could NOT purchase a ticket on the train. Well, I would have to discuss this with the conductor. But there was nobody checking the tickets on this train to Linz... When I got of to change the train, I rushed to the nearest ticket machine - there it worked fine, and my ticket was now 4 Euro cheaper. Well, the OEBB needs to get their act together and fix their ticket vending machines, if they want payment for train rides!
The Railjet is a nice comfortable and fast train. It has three classes: standard economy, first, and premium (which would cost an additional 25 Euro). I chose the cheapest option, good enough for me now. The train leaving at 13:10 from Linz was quite full, so unfortunately I could not get a window seat.
Arrived 14:40 at Wien Westbahnhof. Bought at a bakery a nice dark rye bread to take with me for the next days. Then with the bus to the Airport.
Everything fine there. Vienna Airport has free WIFI, which is nice! I even used it to make a Skype call from the iPhone through Wifi.
In AMS the announcement that the flight to Leeds would be delayed and would take off at 22:15 instead of 20:45. Decided to spend 5000 Miles from my KLM Flying Blue account to get into one of their lounges. Had not done this for a few years now; back in the time when I was travelling more often, the admission to the lounge had been free.
The flight departed then more than 2 hours late, but arrived ok in Leeds. No snow there yet, but the car was covered in frost. When I began driving, the snowfall started, but I made it home fine.