Anuga 2015: setting the scene
Germany's mild and agreeable autumn greeted the first day's hordes who made their way into KoelnMesse for the Saturday start of Anuga 2015. The expo stats for this, the world's biggest food trade fair, again are dazzling: 7063 exhibitors (new record) from 108 countries of which only 769 are local German, spread out over a whopping 284 000m2 of exhibition space!
So, come and share with me some of things that caught my eye as I trekked around awesome Anuga. It is, however, simply impossible to ever do it justice, after all there's only so much distance and time that one pair of feet can cover - that's 43 rugby fields, for want of a timeous RWC comparison!
THIS is probably the sixth time I've done Anuga - and that it's bigger then ever was apparent from massive number of people who were there this year. Official figures put the visitor horde at 160 000 people from 180 countries over the expo's five days, but witnessing the scope of attendance, surely this can't be accurate?
I subsequently learned that this figure doesn't take into account those who attend more than one day. Then, too, there are all those manning the stands, and you begin to appreciate that there were more likely some 160 000 people moving in and around the halls every day.
No wonder it was at times a daunting, suited crush, albeit all very calm and orderly; even slowly shuffling for half an hour to take your turn in getting in if you arrived at the busy East entrance around opening time at 10am!
I liked this promo from the Anuga website, which deftly incorporates some of the excitement and buzz of the event - of being part of the fantastically vibrant and important global food industry.
Cologne was packed to the rafters with people for this fair, the biggest for the city and KoelnMesse - accommodation costs more than quadruple, and people stay in hostelries within a 100km radius. I was lucky to find a superb studio apartment, on the northern outskirts of the city, for a good rate, even in ZAR, via Airbnb. Methinks its owner has not caught onto the buzz and demand of Anuga, thankfully for my budget!
Some historical reflection
Walking around the city on my arrival, past the massively black Dom Cathedral that dominates the skyline, I passed a photographic exhibition in a window that showcased Cologne's wartime devastation on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.
In light of this busy city's contemporary size and scope, I found these fascinating - and wanted to share this one with you....
The cathedral suffered 14 hits by aerial bombs during World War II. It did not collapse, but stood tall in an otherwise flattened city. The twin spires are said to have been used as an easily recognisable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft raiding deeper into Germany in the later years of the war, which may be a reason that the cathedral was not destroyed.