On our fourth day in Germany we visited Continental. My idea of Continental was that they just produced tires and that they were a smaller company. I had only ever seen them advertise their tires, so that is what I assumed. I was wrong. Continental is a massive company having 235,000 employees at 317 sites in 50 countries. I was very impressed with their company, but they may not have been impressed with me because I spilled my glass of water all over the table during the presentation. After I spilled water everywhere we were taken on a tour of their factory. In order to prevent electrostatic discharge onto the production line we had to wear a coat and booties. The reason for this was the production line had computer chips. If we had gotten too close we would’ve fried the chips. The tour guide pointed out a screen which showed the current production and the production goal of 100% and of course the current production was operating at 150%. I love Germany.
After the tour we were given a free meal ticket and sent to the cafeteria. On our way there I spotted something I had never seen before. It was a prototype car with an odd paint job. The paint job was black and white with odd stripes. I thought it was senseless because I could easily tell what kind of car it was, so they weren’t really hiding anything. After a chat with a German student he explained to me that the goal was to hide the aerodynamic design of the car rather than what car it is. The black and white distorts depth perception and doesn’t allow competitors steal their aerodynamics before its taken to market.
After a meal in the cafeteria we travelled by bus to downtown Regensburg. We were given a tour of Regensburg by a man who works for the city. At the beginning of the tour we got lucky and we met the mayor of Regensburg on her way out of the city. He started the tour by giving us some background of the city and the people who lived there. Regensburg sits on the Danube river which made it the home of many merchants and traders. The traders would travel around the world selling their goods and bring back the architecture of those places. It seems that the merchants of Regensburg traveled to Italy frequently because there was Italian architecture all around. Examples of this Italian architecture would be open courtyards at the center of one’s home and tall towers to show your wealth.
After we visited the homes of Regensburg our tour guide showed us the oldest building in the city. The oldest building is a church built in 179 A.D. It has been restored so it is still usable today but there are some rocks that are still visible that give insight into what the church would’ve looked like many years ago. Soon after this church we ended our tour at another church but this one was much larger, and its bells had been ringing for what seemed like hours. Just like other churches we had visited this one was covered with many intricate designs. Outside the church I witnessed a man taking bites on a large piece of ham. Imagine a piece of meat the length of your arm and you are walking around outside a church casually taking bites. It was amazing. The man with the ham probably influenced this but I was feeling hungry now and it was just in time for dinner.
This dinner was one of the best meals I have ever had.
Need I say more?