Today has been my favorite day in Germany so far. It began with a trip to Continental, which was yet another very impressive company. We received name badges as well as bags that included a notebook, pen, highlighter, and gummy snacks. The speaker informed us that Continental offers more than just tires. I remembered learning that from the student presentation, but it was very beneficial to hear some more detailed information. Their product range also includes a lot of other car components, especially those utilized in safety mechanisms. They also make software, including that of some autonomous vehicles. Continental is comfortable and confident in what they are doing, and has no intention to shift their focus to producing their own vehicles.
Lunch was provided by Continental in their dining area, and this time I was more prepared for ordering from the servers. I went for a pork goulash which exceeded my expectations. We returned to our meeting room to conclude the presentation portion of the day, and then moved on to the tour. This was a very immersive tour, which was very exciting! Before entering, we adorned robes and some interesting shoe covers that protected us from harm out on the floor due to conduction through our shoes. We had to test the shoe covers before entering to ensure that part of them had skin contact, but some students had complications. It was amusing to watch two students, Jan and Liam, go back and forth trying to fix their shoe covers to no avail. They ultimately had to change their shoes. On the tour, we saw some of the hardware they produce and how certain parts of their system works, including storage. The most interesting part of the tour was the use of robots they call scooters, which map around their facility and deliver objects. It was a bit unnerving hearing that they can complete functions like routing around traffic and communicating disturbances to each other.
And now- my favorite part of the day! As interesting as our trip to continental was, nothing could compare to how amazing it was to visit Regensburg. The city of Regensburg was stunning, very European looking with Italian influences. Our tour guide was spectacular, and taught us all about different structures and their meanings. Rich families built larges homes with courtyards in the middle, now serving various purposes such as concert venues or biergartens. Towers were also a way to exhibit wealth. Another interesting asset of the city is how different the feeling and architecture was where the Jewish quarters once stood. The Danube river was beautiful, and many people were taking advantage of the weather by kayaking. We even got to wave to the Mayor of Regensburg! Our time here only improved as we made our way to dinner in a biergarten called Weltenburger. My table was very grateful to have Marius, an Augsburg student, sitting with us as he graciously described all of the menu items. I chose a fantastic dish which comprised of pork, bacon, onion, potato, and knödel in a skillet with a fried egg on top. After dinner, we made our way out of Regensburg, but not before witnessing a religious ceremony occurring in the street. Our experience in Regensburg is one I will not forget.