A quick trip to Hong Kong for a short business meeting. I grabbed the opportunity for two reasons. First, because I had heard so much about it and wanted to know how it was and second because I had the chance to fly business with the new airbus A380. I did not regret.
Hong Kong is probably the most densely populated city in the world and it shows. High rise buildings, chaotic road network, a constant flow of people round the clock.
The A380 is a marvelous piece of engineering. The entire upper deck of the Emirates configuration is dedicated to business and first class with boarding done through four different gates to speed up the process. The business class seats can transform into a completely flat bed, not very spacious but good enough for sleep and offering some basic privacy. During the take off form Dubai, I experienced an amazing feeling, like being in a large accelerating building, something I have not felt in any other aircraft. A discomforting thought occupied me, what it would take for this thing to abort the take off procedure… Once in the air, the ride was smooth and after dinner and short visit to the bar area a the aft of the cabin – to document the fact that I was there – I went to sleep.
The ride from the airport to the town with the airport express train is just 30 min. The bus the ride to the hotel gave me an opportunity to see the city after dark. Dominating neon lights and crazy traffic.
The night view from the hotel was spectacular.
The next day I had my meeting and then I was free to visit the town. I decided to go to the Peak to enjoy the panorama. After a nice dish of shrimps at the tower restaurant I took the way back and boarder the ferry to go back to the hotel and spent the afternoon walking the city dock and center.
I was surprised by the long queues of people in front of designer outlets, a clear sign of prosperity in stark contrast to the economic crisis in Greece and the rest of the western world.
I left with the feeling of a witnessing a very different reality and a booming economy.