Our belated annual Christmas dinner took place at the end of February. This year we met in Switzerland to get to know Lucerne and our new office there. And because we were all in the same place, it was the prefect time for a company photo shoot.
Planning a retreat in times of a pandemic continues to be quite complicated. Ongoing client projects, i.e. Boris Baldinger’s new website, did not make the planning any easier (just kidding).
Eventually a date was found and after our last retreat in Germany, this time the destination was Switzerland, more precisely Lucerne, the home of our team member Velthy. The following is a short retrospective of our team retreat.
After we all arrived from Schwerin, Cologne, Locarno, Basel and Zurich, we had our first dinner together at the Restaurant FED. The motto “sharing is caring”, which has been carried through almost the entire retreat, was started here with some unconventional but delicious tapas.
Carnival, photo shoot and Christmas dinner
Whether intentionally or not, our local Velthy had planned the team retreat right in the week of carnival. Therefore, Thursday was accompanied by the traditional carnival parade or “Fasnacht” according to the Swiss. But our focus was on the new office in the old town of Lucerne and the photo shoot with Boris Baldinger. The last shooting with Boris, which had taken place in Paris, was already 5 years ago. So it was time for some fresh photos.
Boris once again proved his skill and ability to managed to photograph each of us from their best side. In the end, there were more than 500 photos! Although the photo shoot took the whole day, we had fun!
In the evening the Christmas dinner took place at Grottino 1313, a Swiss-Italian traditional cuisine where salad, ginger soup, pasta and dessert were shared.
On to the Bürgenstock
Friday started first in the office. Boris had already e-mailed us the results from the photo shoot. The photos were of course immediately viewed together on the big TV.
Around noon, our excursion to the Bürgenstock started. First by a catamaran ferry across Lake Lucerne to the Kehrsiten-Bürgenstock station. From there we took the Bürgenstock-Train, a funicular from the year 1888, up to the top. Planned was then a hike on the traditional hiking trail Felsenweg, but as it turned out, the trail was closed due to snow.
Looking for an alternative, we headed towards Villa Honegg, which included a spontaneous snowball fight. The outdoor pool with a view of the mountains and lake was very inviting, but we decided to have a coffee and a traditional Swiss dessert called “Cremeschnitte” in the warmth. It was yummy!
After warming up, we went back to the train station of Bürgenstock. We used the way back for small feedback rounds. Back at the office, we passed the time with video games “Mario Party Superstars” – a classic office life, right?
At dinner, we shared the food again, this time Japanese food at Nozomi. The “Izakaya experience” is highly recommended, but you should come with a good appetite 😉.
On Saturday, it was time to say goodbye to each other. We had another brunch together at Café Two Hands and then the group split up, each going in their own direction. I stayed in Switzerland for a few more days and occupied the office in Zurich before travelling back to Cologne.
As a remote team, retreats like this are always a great experience. I’m excited to see where it takes us next!