Saturday, 15 October 2011

Gore-Tex Bloggers Summit first day in Munich

It has been a great first day in sunny Munich at the Gore-Tex Bloggers Summit. I set the alarm clock last night for 5am knowing it would not be easy getting up at such an early hour. The only benefit of getting up that early is that I can get revenge on the cat, who usually wakes me in the early hours everyday. So being cruel I crept down stairs and gave her a shock and wake her up.

I stupidly decided to update my iPhone and iPad to iOS 5 before this trip which wasn't the best idea as it meant spending the last two nights loading all my content back on as I wanted it for the trip. Despite that taking up my time I still just about managed to pack in time the night before and kept things to a minimum. The only consideration was a few warm clothes as the forecast temperatures are below freezing for the next few days. I left behind around half the kit I had originally planned on taking.

Taxi arrived at 5:15am as booked. The airport was extremely busy and full of noisy holiday makers and stag parties, just what you need when you are half awake, a bunch of drunken chavs shouting. I grabbed myself a bite too eat then queued up at the boarding gate where I was soon joined by Dave Mycroft from www.myoutdoors.co.uk who I already know and would be spending the next few days with. Manchester was grim but as soon as the plane had raced down the runway and burst through the clouds we were in the most heavenly surroundings lit by a morning sunrise.

Flying is something that fascinates me, I find it hard to comprehend how incredible it actually is for us to be able to fly as we do. As well as spotting geographical landmarks out of the window I was also watching the excellent 127 Hours movie on my iPad which was a great, until the moment when he cuts off his arm, that bit I just could not watch! The flight was a breeze and Lufthansa was quite a refreshing change to some of the cheaper airlines i have been on recently.

The weather in Germany for today and the next few days is blue skies and sunshine. Crossing Germany from north to south was a real eye opener, so many trees and so much open farmland. As the plane approached Munich and lost altitude I could make out a long line of dark mountain peaks reaching high in to the sky, some higher than the plane. It was of course the Alps and they were looking awesome. Most of them had patches of snow on them. There were many pretty villages with churches and castles dotted around the countryside near Munich as we came in to land and a surprising amount of Solar farms.

We landed and got through the airport very quickly as neither Dave or myself had any luggage other than our rucksacks which we had packed light. We had several hours to kill at the airport as the shuttle bus that would take us to our hotel was not due for another five hours. We sat at a cafe outside the airport and had a long chat about outdoor gear and other geeky outdoor related subjects then decided to hop on a train and head in to the city.

Everywhere including the airport, the train station and the city streets were incredible clean and free of litter. No queues anywhere, efficient transport, trouble free efficiency in every aspect of every thing we had to deal with. These German traits I had been told of but had never been to Germany before to experience. Marienplatz was our destination which is the main square in the centre of the city. We had a look around a fantastic old building in the platz then headed along a street to find somewhere to eat and drink. We found a well priced bakery come cafe that had a good beer and well priced food.

We soaked up the sunshine and watched the people of Munich go about their normal daily lives. The citizens of Munich seem to be a very civilised, polite, calm and relaxed bunch. After sitting in the sun for a while we made our wayback to the airport, after getting a little lost and confused in the multi level train station. Back at the airport we tried to find Fiona and Tom, fellow UK bloggers who had flown from Edinburgh on a later flight. We eventually met up with them at the meeting point where the shuttle bus awaited our arrival. At the shuttle bus we also met around a dozen other bloggers from other parts of Europe and the Gore-Tex team themselves. The coach took us to our hotel in Miesbach, a good hour south of Munich.

On route as we got closer to the hotel we also got closer to the mountains, which looked absolutely stunning. At the hotel we were treated to a Gore-Tex goodie bag containing a test jacket of the new Gore-Tex Active Shell. I was given a large, despite most of my clothes these days being medium. However it was a good job as the jacket is an active close fitting. First impressions, simply by examining the jacket and materials, are very positive. The jacket packs down to nothing, the material is very comfortable, even next to the skin and it is unbelievably light in weight.

When we booked in to our rooms at the hotel i realised they had me down as Bassnett, Jamie Frau! Last time I looked i am sure I was a man! Dinner tonight was an excellent buffet. We sat with the many representatives from Gore and spoke to a few bloggers from around the continent. It was great to meet up with the German bloggers and hear their perspective on blogging. Tomorrow after breakfast we are being whisked away to Gore's testing labs to be shown how they test and design their products which is going to be a real eye opener and a fantastic experience. After that we are heading in to the Bavarian Alps for a hike to a restaurant where there will be a special presentation by record breaking extreme ski mountaineer Benedikt Bohm. Following the meal and presentation we will be descending back down the mountain by head torch before heading back to the hotel.

Here are a few of the photos taken today...

7 comments:

  1. Lovely to hear your experience so far, it sounds/looks a fab place. I'm excited for you!
    Have fun, luv2you x

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  2. "Bassnett, Jamie Frau"

    Must be the man boobs! ;-)

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  3. Really nice sum up! And it's been a pleasure to meet a fellow blogger from the UK at the GT Summit!
    Really looking forward for the next episode of your perspective on this meeting.
    Greetings from Germany,

    Basti

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  4. Hello Jamie
    It was good to meet you and your fellow bloggers from the UK at the Gore Event (and susequently to buff up my english ab bit).
    cheers
    Alex

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  5. Hi Jamie, sorry for the "Frau" ;-)

    Thanks for this nice and entertaining article. It was a pleasure hosting you as our guest last weekend.

    BTW: there's plenty content arount GORE-TEX® Active Shell available online:

    1) Videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/goretexnews#grid/user/D31F80541970F4B2

    2) Contents:
    http://newsroom.gore-tex.eu/

    3) Layering graphs:
    http://www.gore-tex.co.uk/remote/Satellite/content/product-technologies/garments/active-shell

    Hope we stay in touch!
    Best regards from the GORE-TEX® Team

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  6. Very interesting, Frau Bassnett. Have a great time. It's raining in Alty. Time to test some ... Event?!

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