Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Spielwarenmesse International

Or International Toy Fair to you and me

Very early last Friday morning we set off for Ebbsfleet International to catch the Eurostar and then make our way across the continent by train.

Ebbsfleet to Brussels, Brussels to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Wurzberg, Wurzberg to Bamberg.

During the course of the day we discovered that just like British Rail the trains can be delayed, but unlike BR they keep you advised and even work out how you can still catch your connections with announcements in German, French and English.

We were off to the Nuremberg Toy Fair, a business trip for DH and I was tagging along under the guise of photographer (well that’s what it said on my press pass). Don’t laugh, I have had photos published in the magazine – taking pictures of model aircraft whizzing passed at 30-40mph using a very expensive camera is a totally different ball game to taking snaps for the blog.

We arrived late afternoon at a very German hotel,
The writing on the wall translates to – Give every day the chance to be the best of your life.

The next morning we took a double decker train (now that was a novelty, I felt like a kid, especially when DH and BIL asked me if I wanted to sit up stairs) then the underground to the exhibition centre, which is absolutely enormous and I confess to feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering if I should attach myself to DH to make sure I didn’t lose him forever.

This is just one of the 4 entrances (viewed from the balcony outside the Press Lounge)

Having access to the press lounge was a godsend, somewhere to meet up with the rest of the party, rest our weary legs and refuel on pastries, pretzels and free tea, coffee and soft drinks.

I did do the meeting and hand shaking bit for some of the time, and felt very proud of DH, of the respect he comands and the welcome he recieved from what is frankly not an industry that is easy to get into and that he only joined 5 years ago. I also took some time to wander round the other halls – well after all there are only so many model planes, helicopters, engines and the like a girl can take.

I surveyed the (miniature) kingdom.

Picked out our new summer cottage.

Made some new best friends.

Saw flying fish.

Found the source of our yarn?

And spotted woolies in woolies.

Our journey back was interesting, with the temperatures reaching a 'high' of -21' during the day even the German trains were having trouble coping,(-28' at night resulted in some traders having the diesel freeze in their van's tank's!) and a delay meant missing our connection, running across stations - well DH walked and the other 3 of us ran to keep up - taking an alternative route and literally hurtling through customs and diving on to the Eurostar just as it was about to pull out of the station. But, we made it and came back to a snowy white England to rest and recover and look through our hundreds of pictures and mountains of brochures.

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