A Trip to Cologne
A few members of the team have just got back from Cologne, where they have been busy showing our exciting new changing bags to Europe's biggest nursery retailers. We asked Lucy from our design team, on her first trip to the show, to tell us more about her visit. Here's what she said:
The typical pointy roofs of Cologne
A fairly small city with historic side streets and a market area, Cologne looks typically German. Colourful wonky building and pointed roofs, beer sellers and restaurants give it a vibrant buzzy feel. Cologne's skyline is dominated by the imposing twin steepled Gothic cathedral, with no other buildings around it more than a few stories high - it is easy to see that it has the second highest church towers in Europe. When the sun sets behind the cathedral, you can see its surprisingly delicate lace-like silhouette offset against the more industrial ironwork of Cologne's Hohenzollern bridge and railway line.
The love-locks lining the bridge
The Hohenzollern bridge crosses the Rhine linking the two sides of the city - the exhibition halls on one side of the river and the old town on the other. The bridge is famous for its locks - thousands upon thousands of engraved padlocks are attached to every feasible part of the railings, creating a mesmerising spectacle of people's love and friendship. We did wonder as we walked passed each day just how many of the relationships sealed with these public displays of affection are actually still valid (and whether the engineers had intended for the bridge to withstand all this extra ironwork!).
Sunset over the Rhine
The bridge became the main feature of our morning walk to the Kind und Jugend baby show. A feat of engineering, during the morning it is busy with bikes, scooters and pedestrians all vying for space. In the evening as we walked back to the hotel we were also obliged to dodge and weave our way back through crowds enjoying bright September skies.
Setting up the stand vs how it looked once finished
A short walk from the bridge and you come across the enormous exhibition halls with literally mile upon mile of floor space, which this week housed a vast array of everything baby. Exhibitors and buyers came from all corners of the globe for one of the world's biggest nursery industry fairs - Kind und Jugend. We were there showcasing our brand new PacaPod designs (which we'll show you soon, promise!). After long days, the walk back to the hotel and over the Rhine became an essential part of the day - an opportunity to clear the mind in time for a welcome glass of Cologne's unique Kolsch beer and a chance to discuss the day.
The Cologne I saw seemed to me to be a busy, accessible and vibrant city with a good balance of business and culture. Maybe next time, if I can find a space, I'll mark my visit with a padlock of my own!