Design Hotels & Jet lag

February 13, 2007

Well its Tuesday so it must be Helsinki and I have found another wonderful hotel. What is it about Scandinavia and design? They are just so good at it. Helsinki Airport is a delight on the eye and functional with it. Too often we have to choose form or function, when good design should combine the two. I also indulged my liking for public transport taking the bus from the airport to the centre. I had planned to read, but the people getting on and off the bus, and the sub-zero temperature with its linked adaptive architecture was too interesting. A brisk (I had forgotten gloves only had a coat not a pullover which with hindsight was foolish) walk and I am now settled in with BBC World, a minibar and free internet access.

Next week its Atlanta and Phoenix (the picture is from the cactus garden at the back of the hotel – I have stayed there before) so a contrast in climate (in many senses of that word). Mind you I see Euan is starting to perform some crazy travel schedules. I can’t match his bagpipers, but I am still claiming bragging rights on travel. When he does a double loop in ten days (that means going around the world one one, stopping half way, going round the world in reverse and then finishing off the first loop) he can talk.

Now while that sort of travel is crazy and I am not going to pretend that I don’t enjoy it. Its a chance to meet all sorts of people, in all sorts of places. Diversity is I think the ultimate stimulus to thinking. Taking drugs for jet lag may I think be the reverse. My own approach in case of interest is simple. It comprises the following elements:

  1. Sleep when ever you are tired and can get away with it
  2. In your hotel sleep with CNN or BBC World on throughout the night, then if you wake up it will engage your conscious mind and you will slip back into sleep
  3. Sleep with the drapes open it means you get into the rhythm of light and dark a lot faster
  4. Find a hotel with a proper bath so that you can relax with a good book before bed (just done that one)
  5. Try and go swimming first thing in the morning – light on the back of the knees and all that
  6. Gin and Tonic on the plane out with a good-bad romantic comedy while clearing email

Other suggestions appreciated. However I am now tired, BBC World is on, the drapes are open and I have a very comfortable bed ….

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