Open Eyes //

EXTREME

– a motto which promises thrill, excitement and fun! Only two days before we found out where our further education will lead us and finally it is time. In two VW busses, we start a little tired but in a good mood. First stop: The design festival at the paper manufacturer Gmund. In the specially cleared space of the paper mill, impressive paper figures, clever packaging, a showroom with all winners of the Gmund Award 2019 and even the couch design matching the Gmund Colours await us! The possibilities around the use of Gmund paper seem endless to us.

One or the other of us is even particularly courageous, because there are tattoos! – Well, they are not really real, but at least temporarily a really stylish memory. But what's especially impressive are the inspiring speeches of the guest speakers, each of them with a very own story and a very personal appeal to the audience. After all kinds of delicious pasta, hot dogs, cakes & co., a special highlight of the day awaits us, a guided tour through the Gmund paper production. From the paper pulp to the final inspection of every single sheet, we learn (almost) everything about the processes in the factory. Imagine, the paper machine has been running since the end of the 19th century!

Second stop: Innsbruck. Surrounded by enormous mountain landscapes we reach the Nala Hotel in the heart of Innsbruck with many impressions in our luggage. Admittedly, a toilet directly behind the TV is something else, but it is exactly the crazy design of the Nala Hotel that makes us really excited about it. Breakfast at a dizzy height? No problem for us, the next morning we take the lift up to the Bergisel ski jump. In the Bergisel-Café a fantastic breakfast buffet awaits us and while we feast we watch the young ski jumpers taking off into the air – really wicked! Thomas Thurnbichler, former ski jumper and now coach of the junior team, will later give us an exclusive look behind the scenes of ski jumping. Our very personal test of courage is sitting on the notorious trembling beam, the feeling of absolute freedom makes us understand the euphoria for this sport. Of course, we are only minimally irritated by the view of the cemetery directly behind it. But the all-clear – everyone returns safely and we are already looking forward to the next guided tour of the architecture and history of the ski jump. In bright sunshine, we learn more about Zaha Hadid, the architect, but also about the historical background of the ski jump. But Innsbruck would not be Innsbruck if not everyone of us had seen the golden roof and so we go on an exploratory tour before we head to Munich.

Last stop: Munich. It cannot get any better, can it? Yes, it can. Quickly refreshed we head off to dinner at the Olympic Tower. 181 metres above the ground we get a 360° view over Munich through the rotating floor plate and the incredibly delicious vegan menu helps to make this evening unforgettable. Time is running fast once again and the last morning begins at the cosy Café Marais. After panini, scrambled egg and café we move on to the next highlight, a tour through the Omlypic area. Our tour guide Dennis gives us insights and interesting background information on the construction of the entire grounds. 

We are off our socks when we learn that the Olympic Stadium was built more or less on "good luck" and yet it still stands today, unbelievable but really true! It is so stable that we can even continue our tour on the roof of the stadium. Secured with climbing harness and helmet, we climb the roof and get an amazing view over Munich and far beyond. We are allowed to abseil down from a height of more than 50 m. We have to take all our courage, keep our bodies tensed and not look down! But bit by bit we gain confidence in our harness and only a few moments later every single one of us is floating above the stadium, a breathtaking feeling. After all the adrenaline, we are happy to have solid ground under our feet again and to explore Munich at dusk, to have one or two treats before we head home towards Stuttgart. Our conclusion: EXTREMELY interesting, EXTREMELY enriching, EXTREMELY exciting, EXTREMELY delicious, EXTREMELY grateful!