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The WESTIN’s Christmas tree welcomed the participants to the 17th floorThe WESTIN’s Christmas tree welcomed the participants to the 17th floor


A close shave for the Marseilles delegation

Every year one delegation or another has problems with lost luggage. This time it was the turn of the Marseilles delegation. Their flight from Marseilles to Munich was delayed so their connexion from Munich to Zagreb had left without them. So it was that when they arrived in Zagreb they couldn’t find their luggage containing all the accessories they needed to set up their exhibition stand. It wasn’t until the following day, Monday, that they could finally unpack their precious suitcases.

And a misfortune for the Luxembourg delegation

The Luxembourg school had sent the bulk of its accessories through a courier. Unfortunately one of the parcels contained an aerosol spray, and the parcel was refused for transport when the contents were checked. But instead of alerting the sender, the courier did nothing, and so the parcel in question stayed in Luxembourg. Despite threatening phone calls from the Luxembourg teacher, nothing could be done.  As a result, the Luxembourg exhibition stand for this 2011 version was somewhat Spartan, to the great chagrin of those occupying the stand.

Gilles the AEHT Veteran

Those who regularly attend the AEHT’s Annual Conferences will remember Gilles Honegger, the representative of the ACCOR Group, who was famous for his loudly emphatic speeches. He seems almost to have fallen in love with Christmas in Europe – and so he didn’t miss the Zagreb event where, with his notebook at the ready, he jotted down everything he saw!

Right down to the last detail

To make life easier for the delegations as they set up their exhibition stands, the organisers had even provided for each group a little cardboard box containing scissors, Sellotape, a cutter, string and felt-tipped pens in four colours.

Access to the exhibition

The corridor was a good place for it – but you still had to think of the idea! Flags of the different delegations had been installed on either side of this corridor leading to the exhibition.

Flags on each side of the corridor leading to the exhibition roomFlags on each side of the corridor leading to the exhibition room

Against the killing of wolves

There was an unexpected meeting in the streets of Zagreb between the inaugural parade of the delegations and a demonstration by defenders of nature and, if we are to believe the placards being brandished by the demonstrators, defenders of the country’s wolves.

The placards say it all: no to the killing of wolvesThe placards say it all: no to the killing of wolves

I didn’t see it myself but I heard about it!

Apparently during the exhibition a bat landed briefly on a plate of cakes displayed on the Marseilles exhibition stand. It seems to have caused a bit of panic in the vicinity. Poor little creature …

Election night in Croatia

On Sunday December 4th the Croatians went to the polls to elect their members of parliament. While we caught sight of the large posters depicting some of the candidates, there was certainly no election fever discernible in the city. It was only the Croatian television channels which broadcast long electoral commentaries during the evening.

A school founded in 1955

The Zagreb Hotel School was founded and installed in a former hotel on May 26th 1955. This was the same date as the birthday of its present Director, Marija Razan-Krisanac! And the deputy manager of the WESTIN hotel is none other than Leko, a former student of the school. So it’s no surprise that he pulled out all the stops to help ‘his’ school – with the help of his two assistant managers Messrs Suzak and Begic.

The plaque of the Zagreb Hotel School sits beside the AEHT plaqueThe plaque of the Zagreb Hotel School sits beside the AEHT plaque

Golden Book

At an informal meeting in the director’s office, Director Marija Razan-Krisanac, Christmas in Europe founder Christiane Keller and General Secretary Nadine Schintgen put the finishing touches to a project dear to Marija. The idea is to create a kind of golden book recording the reactions of participants in Christmas in Europe, a book which would be updated and would become a real guiding theme. The idea has progressed since then, as each delegation was invited to contribute.

The midday gun

On the stroke of midday a cannon shot rings out, fired from the Lotrscak Tower which dominates the city. It reminds people of the bells which in the Middle Ages rang out to warn the burgers that the city gates were about to be closed.

Medal struck on the spot

During the excursion to Krapina and Toplice, the knights of the ‘Druzba Vitezova Zlatnog Kaleza’ group of actors who had taken part in single combat, also individually struck dozens of medals which they generously handed out as souvenirs.

VIP or not VIP?

During the gala dinner on the last evening someone asked Marija Razan- Krisanac where the VIPs (very important persons) were sitting. She replied with this magnificent phrase which says it all abut her state of mind: ‘VIPs? But we’re all VIPs here!’

Autographs on the poster

What a good idea – at the end of the gala dinner the large poster advertising Christmas in Europe was passed from table to table and each participant was asked to sign it as a souvenir. It is a souvenir for the organisers and will be permanently displayed in the hotel school.

Christiane Keller – Christmas Chris – was invited to be first to sign this souvenir document; she did so with pleasure.Christiane Keller – Christmas Chris – was invited to be first to sign this souvenir document; she did so with pleasure.

On board service

During the excursion the organisers had planned ‘pick-me-ups’ on board the buses. Thus in bus number one the teacher with the tied-back hair who was already on duty to deal with practical matters, helped by Zagreb students, turned himself into a steward to offer drinks to the passengers! And it wasn’t just coffee!

Teacher turned steward!Teacher turned steward!

Grand Marnier in Zagreb

The Grand Marnier Company, producer of the famous liqueur of the same name, is a professional member of the AEHT, and in this capacity its sales director Serge Sevaux assiduously attends the AEHT Annual Conference. At the conference in The Hague in November Serge had presented Christiane Keller with some bottles of the precious nectar, including at least two ‘cuvée du centenaire’ bottles to be put on display at the European buffet. Unsure what to do, Christiane Keller handed them over to Marija Razan- Krisanac, Director of the Zagreb School, so that she could promote the product among her students!

3rd to 5th December 2018 in Riga
3rd to 5th December 2017 in Fátima
5th to 7th December 2018 in San Benedetto
2nd to 5th December 2015 in Diekirch

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