I came, I saw, I walked.

Dusseldorf Travel Blog

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Yesterday, my husband and myself went to Dusseldorf.  Personally, I really like Dusseldorf.  It is a clean, diverse, modern city with a much smaller town feel.  So, it is always a pleasure to visit there.  Miles and miles have I walked and I am certainly feeling my muscles today.

Yesterday though, our visit was not to leisurely roam about the city.  No, we went to Europe's largest trade fair (Interpack) in packaging.  What?  This doesn't sound like a fun day out for you?  Well, at least it was interesting.  Firstly, the weather was INCREDIBLE yesterday!  Honestly, I spent a great deal of time yesterday doing my best impersonation of a lizard on a rock.  I sat and enjoyed the warmth of the sun whenever possible.

The trade fair was at the "The Messe".  This is Europe's largest convention center and it is vast!  There are 17 different halls, eight of which I checked out.  While my husband was working at his company's stand (in bioplastics), I roamed about and learned a lot.  While this is not traditionally what we think of when "travel" comes to mind, travelling for business makes up a great deal of the world's travel.  So, I thought it might be interesting to write a bit about my experience.

I heard so many different languages with it being an international fair.  Plus, I saw stands from around the world selling their wares.  India, Italy, Brazil, Australia, USA, Canada were just some of the nations that I saw represented.  As a long time observer, such events make for terrific people watching.   Sitting on a comfy bench in the sun, you can see different cultures mixing, different attitudes, etc.  That's always interesting.

Honestly, I must tell of my impressions of the convention center itself.  Wow, have they really done this well.  The Germans have thought of small details to make the overall experience much more pleasant.  Firstly, everywhere is well lit and temperature controlled. So, it doesn't feel as if you are roaming about a giant warehouse.  Nor are you roasting in an oven of a hall.  Secondly, there are very clean, well stocked toilets everywhere.  You are never far from facilities.

Also, you are never far from various food options.  You can go as simple as a hot dog or to the other end of the spectrum in their sit-down restaraunt for thai food.  There is food at every corner, in every hall.  There is traditional German foods, but also many International options as well.  There are even travelling carts going through the halls offering fresh fruit and/or juices.  It doesn't get much easier than that.

Now for relaxing a bit while at the trade fair.  Here, is where the Messe really stands above the rest!  Outside the halls and in-between the halls are loads of options to sit and rest awhile.  Not only are their benches and chairs, but themed areas.  The Messe has converted one boring piece of ashpalt into a desert oasis.  It is complete with sand, cabanas, a fruit & juice bar, and music.  It can be a wonderful respite for tired business people.  Between other halls, is a large grassy area filled with lounge chairs where you can "put your feet up" for awhile.  These themed environments are very restful, especially with wonderful weather.  I caught many a person snoring in the sun.

Too far to walk from Hall 1 to Hall 17? Not a problem!  Here again, they have really thought these things out.  There are very frequent mini buses that just continually go between halls.  You can hop on and off in between the halls.  Fancy something a bit more "airy"?  Then, flag down one of the bike taxis (also free). They seat 2 and are a modern version of the Rickshaw.  Here, you can sit in style and go between the halls.

While I learned a great deal about the world's packaging industry and more about bioplastics, I was most impressed by The Messe itself and how very well done it is.  There is even a subway stop in the center of the convention center.  Also, there is a hotel on site.  It doesn't get much easier than that for business travel.

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photo by: Chokk