On our third day in Germany, we did a company tour and visited the Alps. First, we went to Hoerbiger which mainly made compression valves and rotaries. We toured their small office space and then their massive manufacturing plant. They provide a variety of products so it is hard to categorize them for creating one product or service. The tour was amazing. They were so detailed in telling us every step of their process. You can tell how invested the employees were in their work. For me, I was thinking about it in terms of supply chain and what it means for costs. I’m sure the engineers had a completely different mindset and thought process going through the tour. My favorite part was the small workshop held after lunch to talk about supply chain issues. In addition to operating in multiple countries and abiding by individual country’s rules, there are issues with getting product almost everywhere with COVID. Hoerbiger had an interesting mix of strategies since they offer parts that will eventually reach the general public as the consumer but also other industries with different processes such as oil and mining. They gave us lunch and great soda.
After our tour there, we visited the Alps. We went up in a gondola to the top of a mountain that is used for skiing in the winter. The ride up was a little scary because it was so high but it was definitely worth it. The view was beautiful. On one side were tree covered mountains and on the other were snow covered mountains. In addition, we saw people paragliding and taking off from the top of the mountain. I found it very scary and would likely never do it myself. We took a million pictures and definitely bothered everyone that was there. It was nice to get large group pictures with such a beautiful background. After we came back down, we went to the local town for dinner and souvenirs.
I was surprised that a little rural town was such a tourist spot. None the less, we went to a traditional German restaurant and had an amazing meal. I ordered pork schnitzel that came with vegetables and fries. I was glad that I was able to get traditional German food, french fries, and a few vegetables so it seemed somewhat healthy. After that, we got gelato. As someone who loves ice cream, I was already excited. I tried flavors I knew weren’t common in the US, so I got pistachio and hazelnut. It was amazing and only 3.80 euros. Seeing a small town was definitely a change of pace and it was so pretty to be in a quiet town with fewer cars and a beautiful view. We eventually got back to the bus, a majority of us with souvenirs in hand, and traveled back to Augsburg.
This was our first major company visit and cultural visit. So much happened today and we still have many more things to do. More to come!