Some business trips are different. Most of the times a business trip means that you go somewhere where you have been already before a couple of times. Most of the times it is a place that is not even remotely of any interest. And if it’s winter it is very likely cold, grey and wet. In the wintertime my trips to Russia or Romania were a real highlight because there winter means real winter and I love that.
This trip was different. While there are very hard times now in Greece to do business it is still a beautiful country with very nice and friendly people and most of all: It was my first time on the mainland. My first time in Athens.
Monday morning Vienna airport: -5 degrees Celsius and some snow. Three hours later I landed in Athens: +13 degrees Celsius and sunshine! It felt like spring. Just wonderful.
During the meetings with my customers I learned about how people in Greece are dealing with the crises. After 5 years of recession the country is close to it’s final break down. If you drive trough Athens live looks normal but if you talk with people you got the feeling that everybody suffers beside a small elite of millionaires and politicians ( in Greece that very often is the same ) who caused the chaos and who still run the country.
On the first day I had dinner with one of our partners directly opposite of the Acropolis but it took me till Wednesday when I finally got the opportunity to see it in bright daylight.
It was the best day with blue skies and 16 degrees Celsius. Wonderful. And of course the best thing was that instead of thousands of tourists there were just a few. 11 days before christmas I got a short trip into the summer and the opportunity to see the wonderful Acropolis. It’s hard to imagine how far ahead over the rest of Europe this culture was about 2.500 years ago.
Not a lot is left today. Maybe we all are Greece today. Ahead of the so called third world countries but already declining.
From the sun soaked Greek capital to the deep frozen city of Zurich / Switzerland: -11 degrees and a 1,5 hours wait for my connection flight back home. When I looked out of the window I saw a guy opening the luggage door while in the background the wings of an Air Berlin plane got de-iced. After de-icing of our plane we finally left for Vienna. When I reached home it was around midnight. Back home – back in the Austrian winter.