Over the past 10 days, I’ve been touring Germany with 29 other colleagues from college. We went to Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. The site visits were planned to allow us enough free time go around the cities and do our own thing as well. The best part was that most of us were strangers to each other, from various courses and majors. But what a trip it was!!! We’ve had so much fun. Any trip when you don’t sleep for more than 5 hours a night has to be an awesome trip I guess.
This being Christmas time, there’s merry everywhere. Christmas markets are around every corner, selling all sorts of knickknacks, Christmas decorations with people everywhere in the freezing cold. Of course, not to forget field visits which were very enriching in terms of how companies are viewing logistics these days and organizing the entire supply chain to meet daily needs and demands.
Here’s my pick of one picture from each city, along with a description of it:
Hamburg: We went to the Kuehne + Nagel logistics center here and toured the facility to understand how they handle contract logistics for Yamaha music.
The next factory we visited was the Nestle plant where we toured the Kit-Kat factory.
Hamburg doesn’t have much to see or do. What it does have is the best Christmas markets. The Christmas markets everywhere have something called Gluwein (glue-wine). It is hot wine served in a small mug. You can carry the mug as you walk along the market. Also, the food is great – you get all sorts of baked cakes and pastries and the German special – sausages. My personal favorite however, is the stir fried mushrooms with sour cream on it. It’s called Champignon and is simply heavenly. My next favorite was the stir fried noodles with vegetables with the hot Chinese sauce. I guess my love for Indian Chinese will never go away.
Here’s one of the roads decked up for Christmas:
Berlin: In Berlin, we had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by Prof. Carl Marcus Wallenburg at the Technical University of Berlin. He showed us a World Bank report about logistics in Germany. This was followed by a visit to the Knorr-Bremse Systeme plant for a tour of their factory. This company builds the braking systems for almost all trains in the world. Berlin by itself was a really depressing city with lots of history and museums dedicated to the Cold War and World War 2. This city typifies the Nazi Germany in terms of history. But who can forget the Olympic stadium and the Berlin wall?! It also has some of the most beautiful architecture from the Renaissance period – most of them copies of Italy or Greece.
Munich: This is the most happening city here. It has the BMW factory and the Olympic stadium. The BMW plant is phenomenal – I was awestruck by the sheer level of automation they have! The factory has a 97% automation level. Most of the manufacturing is done by robots. It’s almost like Transformers in real life!! It was freaky to say the least. Munich also has the OktoberFest every year, so this is generally one of the most lively cities here.
Architecture-wise, this city has about 700 fountains – the most in Germany. But most of them were closed now in the winter.
Here’s the BMW office designed in the shape of the 4 cylinder engine.
The last day was for ourselves, and some of us decided to visit a castle nearby. A 2 hour train ride away from Munich is the Neuschwanstein castle. It is situated on a hill, has the Swiss alps in the backdrop, a lake and waterfall in the front, and pine forests all around. It was one of the most picturesque settings I’ve seen to date.
So hope you guys enjoyed seeing the pics as much as I enjoyed being in them. This trip doesn’t give you any course credits, but if you want to hang out with a bunch of Buckeyes in an unknown land during winter break and have fun while at the same time learn about logistics, I would strongly suggest you do it. After all, college life is a luxury which won’t last for long.
Statutory Warning: Maximum fun guaranteed!!