January 26, 2010
Posted: 1249 GMT
Davos, Switzerland (CNN) - Arriving in the Swiss Alps for my first taste of the annual Davos talkshop I felt like a boy on his first day of school as I filed awkwardly off the train behind a party of “conference veterans” from a British-based press agency.
These weary vets had come to my attention during the stunning journey up from Zurich as I was snapping away at the procession of picture-postcard views. My artistic reverie was suddenly interrupted by a bored-sounding voice lamenting the need to “do Davos again.”
I thought perhaps this bored journalist had endured one fondue experience too many.
As a Davos “virgin,” I failed to see how a gathering of some of the world’s most influential people from the world of politics and business, from Nicolas Sarkozy to Bill Gates, could be anything but exciting – well thought-provoking at least.
Ignoring further comments about the World Economic Forum being a ski holiday for many of the 2,500 delegates, I headed for the CNN bunker - located deep inside the impressively fortified congress center – certain this year’s event would yield some positive stories after the gloom of the past two years.
After all the theme this year was all about the three “R's" - the need to “rethink, redesign [and] rebuild” the world.
As I waited to put my bag through an airport-style x-ray machine, I chatted with a Swiss-based journalist about what she hopes to get out of the next few days. “I hope we’ll see some evidence that politicians and business leaders are actually back in control after the turmoil of last year,” she said. “But if nothing else it’s good for local businesses.”
And with that I moved on past several machine-gun toting guards and rows of satellite trucks belonging to the world’s media, before I finally entered the convention center itself and yet another checkpoint manned by suited guards this time.
With VIPs including Sarkozy due in town, this was something I would have to get used to. It soon emerged that the security guards have fun with the media by constantly changing the routes in and out of this maze-like facility.
I just hope the delegates appreciate Davos is serious business these days.