After a relaxing Sunday, we met at 8 am at the lobby. While heading to the Expo by Metro, one could tell that all participants were very excited to explore this huge exhibition, where many fantastic pavilions were built during the last year. Even though the Expo opened its doors at 9 am, the queue was already enormous twenty minutes before this time.
Due to the fact that we are 36 people, we were split into two different groups. However, all of us firstly visited the Swiss pavilion. Sabine Beck and her colleagues warmly welcomed us and granted us easy access, so that we could skip the queue. The pavilion is surrounded by Solar Cells, which cables are aligned according to the Swiss frontiers and reflect the light. The main exhibition area in the Swiss pavilion consisted of two cylinders, one reflecting the urban and one the rural area. From a birds view, these cylinders represent the yin and yang, which stand for an old Chinese philosophy of oppositional principles. In the first cylinder, the urban one, twelve different Swiss individuals presented themselves and their view on Switzerland. While half of them were unknown, the other half consisted of Swiss celebrities, such as Micheline Calmy-Rey or Renzo Blumenthal. Right after, the movie “The Alps” was shown on a big screen and perfectly reflected the beauty of the Swiss mountains. While heading to the rural cylinder, different binoculars showed various delightful images of Switzerland. The purpose of these images was to draw the attention on specific topics, such as clean water or air. The rural cylinder constituted of the widely known and eligible chair-lift. Unfortunately, at that time the lift was not working and we needed to be satisfied with a picture of the group sitting on the lift. Thereafter, the group left the area of the Swiss pavilion. Afterwards, some of our participants came back to the Swiss area to have a typical Swiss lunch, others to catch up the chair-lift ride, which worked again few hours later.
Thereafter, one group headed to the German pavilion, the other to the French one. The former impressed mainly with its entertaining character and technical know-how being presented. For instance, there was a slide for kids, microphones to sing “Ode an die Freude” from Beethoven and so on. At the end of the pavilion, there was a big room with a sphere in the middle. In order to move the sphere, one had to make noise, and the hosts turned it into a real spectacle. The latter one set value on the French culture and fashion. The French pavilion sparkled with its amazing inner interior area consisting of plants and fountains. Furthermore, massive screens in the walkway entertained the visitor and shed light into the daily life in France.
After these pavilions, one was free to explore more pavilions by him or herself. Naturally, the time passed extremely fast and thus one was not able to see all the pavilions. After this very exciting day and hours of walking, all of us needed a good portion of sleep to be ready for the next day.