Business trips 2007

To serve the environment

Kenya, Mongolia and Canada

Travelling on business is not a holiday. Usually there is no time left for sight seeing or picture taking. However, you get some first impressions. Furthermore this years business travelling lead me to some corners of the world I probably would never have visited in my private life.

Nairobi (Kenya)
My first trip to an African country south of the Sahara and also the first real developing country I visited. Deflating. Stroking how well of we are at home. We didn't see much of Narobi apart from the way between the Hotel and the UNO campus. We have been warned about the extremely high crime rate in "Nairobbery", but also the traffic chaos was murderous.
Nairobi (Kenya)
The pleasant part of international conferences is the common dinner with a cultural side event. Although the event falls sometimes short compared to the speeches. In Nairobi we saw dances of various tribes of Kenya. Of course everything was a bit touristic but still pleasant to watch. For dinner we had the meat of various native animals. Interesting.
Nairobi National Park (Kenya)
In the end there was enough time left for a short safari trip in the nearby Nairobi National Park. African wildlife live and without fences. Amongst others we saw ostriches, giraffes, antilopes, rhinos, and even a lion family. The latter, however, came along with some ambivalent feelings considereing the skyline of Nairobi at the horizon.
Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
This trip was adventurous in many ways. Among others it confirmed the worst prejudices about travelling with Aeroflot. Even in buisiness class the flight in the old Tupolov aircraft was not really pleasant. Of course my luggage got lost. I should only get it back after my return. Well, and better do not mention the word service culture together with Aeroflot.
Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
There is little that catches your eye in Ulaanbaatar. Eastern block architecture with some asian influences. All a little bit run-down and colourless. Over lunchtime it is enriched by the smell of multiple shashlik grills. Although you also see tenement blocks, the outer suburbs of Ulaanbaatar look rather like small poorish villages. Frequently you can find yurts instead of fixed buildings.
Ger Resort (Mongolia)
We were accomodated in a Ger Resort near Ulaanbaatar where also the conference took place. Sleeping and meeting in a traditional mongolian yurt or ger as they call it. The hotel staff has always been nice and friendly but in the end the service was not convincing. At least the place had a lot of flair.
Montreal (Canada)
After the adventure called Mongolia the trip to Canada was paradise even despite all the work.
The facade of the Palais de Congrès with its colourful windows is quite attractive, in particular when illuminated at night. Nevertheless apart from this there was nothing special about this conference centre . Friendly staff they have.
Notre dame de Montréal - Montreal (Canada)
Montreal is also famous for the world largest underground city with vast shopping malls. There is also a small Chinatown near the congress centre.

Before the flight back there was a bit of time left for a walk through the nearby old city. As most of the buildings seem to be build of the same grey stone the are gives a rather dull impression. An eyecatcher is the cathedral Notre Dame de Montreal.
Rue de la commune - Montreal (Canada)
Located directly in the port are the old office and storage buildings of the Rue de la commune.

Believe it or not, this time even my flight happend without major problems and I returned well.
Place Saint Catherine - Brussels (Belgium)
Pre-christmas Brussels gleams in bright lights of multiple colours and makes forget that many of those facedes actually require some degree of refurbishment. Many of the public buildings are illuminated colourfully and at the Grand Place the townhall turns into a gigantic clavilux acting to classic music from tape.

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