Another day in Germany, another day we woke up early to visit another site. This site visit was important as we would be visiting the company that my group was responsible for, Continental. I was excited to visit this company as I had though that they solely produced only tires but through further research I had found that they had actually completely changed their production. Tires were no longer their sole product and instead actually now accounted for less than 50% of their sales. It seemed as over the years Continental had grown to now produced safety mechanisms, like anti-lock brakes, along with sensors to put into autonomous vehicles. I found Continental’s change in focus to be interesting and was excited to learn why they changed their focus along with get a chance to see what new products they were creating.
After heading downstairs, we began to board the bus taking us to Continental. (Sadly, on this day I had missed breakfast once again something I highly recommend not doing to future Plus 3 Germany students as the breakfast spread looks delicious with various fruits, breads, meats and cheeses.) Upon arriving at Continental, I was excited as it was right next to the Energy division of Siemens. My father works for Siemens and I have an interest in developing technology the relates to renewable energy, so it was exciting to not only see the name of the company my father works for but also to see the location of a place I may have interest working at in the future.
Upon entering the room for the Continental presentation, we were all given a bag that included a pen, paper, along with a booklet with all of the information and statistics on Continental. This bag was very beneficial to our group and would help us to easily find information for our presentation, since instead of scavenging the internet for details on our company like the other groups we know had this booklet with all of the up to date data provided to us. The presentation given to us at Continental was also very helpful as it explained how over the years Continental mission has changed to now focus on the safety and comfort of drivers, and how the company mainly began to produce things other than tires as they found that when they produced their own parts, rather than importing them from other companies, it was cheaper. This information provided was very helpful and made my group feel better about the presentation we would have to do.
After the presentation we then went to get a tour of the factory inside continental. The factory we were visiting is where they developed their sensor chips along with a few other small parts. In order to not damage the chips in any way we had to leave our phones outside along with where special coats and covers over our shoes to reduce the change of the electricity generated along our body short circuiting any chips inside the room. Once inside the room where they made chips I found the coolest thing seemed to be the robots roaming throughout the factory. Continental had these robots roaming around that transported chips to where they needed to be. The robots seemed very helpful but the system did seem quite dangerous at times as it was often hard to get around the robots given that they were quite large and the walking space was very tiny. This system made the robots made me wonder if we have anything like this in America where technology is able to bring parts right to you or if it a safety hazard. (This is something I definitely will have to look into.)
Once ending our visit at Continental we headed over to the absolutely stunning Regensburg. Regensburg was right along a river and therefore was a large trading spot previously in history, and because of this there were many influences of various cultures throughout the city. One predominantly noticeable was Italian culture as a lot of the buildings were styled similar to those in Italy and had the center of the building outside rather than covered by a roof, kind of like a courtyard. This mix of Italian and German culture was very beautiful and made me want to live in this town. The town was very beautiful with each building being a different color but the same style. I found this to be very interesting as a lot of houses especially when next to each other in America are similar and almost all are made of brick. The colors on the houses were also very interesting as some were orange, yellow, and purple, and this was also interesting to me as in America it is highly unlikely that you would ever see a building the color purple. Nevertheless, the colors worked well together and made the town beautiful.
In the town we were given a tour of Regensburg as throughout the tour I only fell more in love with it. We were taken to the river we were saw a group of people kayaking. This scene kind of reminded me of home in Pittsburgh as Pittsburgh is in the center of three rivers and often on hot weekends you can see many people boating and kayaking on the river for fun. Seeing this made me miss home a bit but also helped me decide that I definitely want to move here at some point in my life given that it reminded me of home in a sense but was still its own unique place with a mix of two countries that my ancestors are form, Germany and Italy.
After the tour of Regensburg, we headed to dinner were Ally, Jackie, Gemma, and I all got the same dish. It was a pan filled with pork, bread dumplings, and potato dumplings with a fried egg on top. The food was very dense and greasy but still tasted amazing. The amount of grease made me a bit ill though so I stepped outside of the restaurant and waited at the entrance. I am glad I did this as I got the chance to witness something that was absolutely beautiful. A ceremony must have just ended in the Cathedral across the street from the restaurant as a parade of people began to exit the Cathedral while singing a song. The song was absolutely beautiful and I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing as it sounded so pretty and I never had witness a parade of people like this before. (Below I attached the video and I highly recommend turning your sound on while you watch it.)
With our trip at Regensburg sadly over we headed back to Augsburg after another long day. Although I am very sad to have left Regensburg tomorrow we are headed to see the Neuschwanstein Castle which I am very excited for.