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Up and away on new adventures! Our team of reporters from PETplanet Insider are off on their travels again. Featuring a larger Editourmobil and the spirit of discovery in abundance, the tour this time is centred on and around the area of the western Mediterranean. Our intrepid specialists Alexander Büchler, Waldemar Schmitke and Kay Barton will be analysing the PET markets of Italy, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Portugal and Andorra. Before them is an epic journey of 5 months, involving a gruelling 7,000 kilometre itinerary covering two continents, during which three PETplanet teams will be talking with the major players. And once again we look forward to welcoming you on board to share in the trip with us: follow the tour here!

And you can find out all about the interviews with the companies we visit on our exhibition stand at Brau Beviale from 11 to 13 November 2014 and afterwards in PETplanet Insider.

June 28, 2014 | Continuing to Agadir and back to Europe

The weekend is over all too soon. On Saturday, my colleague departs as planned, and I spend the day cleaning the Editourmobil in readiness for the arrival of my co-driver on this leg of the journey – Rolf. He will be flying in this afternoon from Heidelberg. Rolf is a veteran of our previous tours so he knows the ropes. We team up again with our explorer friends we met at the campsite, and together we head off to the lively centre of Marrakech. ... [ Read more ]

June 20, 2014 | Towards the South

It's Monday. A peaceful night on the campsite above the city. After a quick breakfast we set off and make good time for our 10 o’clock meeting with Chefchaouen Water. Mr Amziane, Plant Director, is already waiting for us and an interesting discussion follows on the water sector in Morocco. We are then taken on a tour of the ultra-modern Krones installation on which the two mineral waters, "Chefchaouen" and "RIF", are filled, and we also see the "Chefchaouen" spring, which is next to the factory. ... [ Read more ]

June 16, 2014 | Morocco starts!

It's Tuesday, June 10, 2014 and the tour is finally underway. Destination: Morocco. On this leg of the tour I am accompanied by an old friend of mine and her husband who will be providing help and support with the organisation, driving and confirming appointments. Fixing appointments in Morocco prior to the trip had proved a bit of a difficult exercise, the result being a mere handful of confirmed meetings. But I am reasonably confident that things will improve of their own accord, as has happened so often on previous tours.

The Editourmobil is still where Waldemar and I left it, on the supervised parking in Seville. In Germany, we have been sweltering for two days in a heat wave, and here I am, at the unearthly hour of 4.30 in the morning, standing in front of my house in Heidelberg, with the thermometer already registering 20C, waiting for the airport shuttle to get me to my flight to Seville. Is it going to be as hot as this in Morocco? Everything goes according to plan and by early afternoon I am back at the airport which I had left a mere four weeks or so ago. My friend and her husband will be arriving later, so I make good use of the time by making my way to the car park to get the vehicle up and running again. I then nip over to the local supermarket to pick up the essentials for the next few days. About five hours later, my friends arrive and we celebrate the occasion by breaking open the Campo Cruz, the local brew, appropriately enough from a 1.5-litre PET bottle. ... [ Read more ]

May 17, 2014 | The show must go on: Spain, Part 2

It's Wednesday. Our initial trauma following the burglary has more or less subsided, although we are still in a state of shock, and trying to put it all behind us. On our way to Madrid we are, as expected, making only slow progress, and there are a lot of steep inclines to negotiate. Behind us lay a distinctly cool night on a motorway service station in the mountains miles away from anywhere; to add insult to injury, the food on offer was quite the worst that Waldemar and I had ever tasted. Our destination is the town of Fuenlabrada , near Madrid, where we are looking forward to our appointment with Farmaplás. Just before reaching our destination we call in at the local electrical store to buy a camera so that at least we can make a record of our last few meetings. ... [ Read more ]

May 12, 2014 | A traumatic journey through Spain, Part 1

It’s Thursday, May 8. A colleague has brought the Editourmobil to Barcelona for the first stage of our Spain Tour. The two of us, Waldemar Schmitke and I, Kay Barton, arrive virtually at the same time by plane from Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, ready to set off on our trip from Barcelona to Seville. We are greeted with bright sunshine as we clamber aboard the vehicle at the airport parking lot. Our first appointment is with the machine manufacturers Side, who are located about 50km north east of Barcelona. We decide to make a prompt start in case we fall into the trap of underestimating how long the journey might take us. Waldemar takes the first stage. ... [ Read more ]

May 2, 2014 | A week in Tunisia

The original plan was for us to try to drive the Editourmobil throughout the tour, as we have done previously. During the planning phase, I checked regularly with the Foreign Office website for the most up to date news and it quickly became clear that it would not be advisable for me to cross Tunisia and Algeria as an individual traveller in a private vehicle. In certain places, the situation is unclear, for example in the border areas. So I decided to fly there.
Right up to the last minute it was nerve-wracking waiting to see if my Algerian visa would appear. Then the thunderbolt: it wasn’t going to arrive on time. Another rapid change of plan: Algeria will have to wait for the moment. So, flight cancellation, flight transfer, and here we go for a week in Tunis. ... [ Read more ]

April 9, 2014 | End of the Italian Tour

After the trials and tribulations of the dreadful motorway, I arrive in Genoa practically on my knees with the effort. Our parking guide indicates there is the possibility of parking at the port. If it does exist, we do not find it. Right on the seafront the Genoa Fair vehicle park offers shelter. We can almost feel the waves lapping at our open window. ... [ Read more ]

April 01-05, 2014 | Way up North

Monday in Sicily. Our appointment with SICON is not until Tuesday and so we have a free day. We decide to explore the island by bicycle. We climb up the lofty hill town of Taormina, visiting its ancient Greek amphitheatre, and enjoying the extensive sea views. But all too quickly our sightseeing is over and we are back in the saddle. Next morning we set off at 7 o’clock, aiming to be at SICON at 9. After asking for directions a few times, we finally locate the factory and we soon find ourselves in front of four Husky lines. ... [ Read more ]

March 27-30, 2014 | Tuscany

Our tour progresses to Tuscany. We make a stop in Lucca. The city pleases me enormously as it is much less touristy than other Italian highlights. In a side street, we find a pleasant restaurant and we while away the evening in the company of a glass or two of delightful wine. ... [ Read more ]

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | Time-out in Venice and continuation of the journey

Who would have thought it? We catch an afternoon train once again from Taveso to Venice and amble in princely fashion to St Mark’s Square to dine. The way back to the station through the maze of streets poses something of a problem, the city map and the narrow streets rarely seeming to coincide. Plenty of signs for St Mark’s Square, none for the railway station. A friendly Italian family kindly comes to our aid, guiding us out of the maze in time to catch our train. ... [ Read more ]

Tuesday, March 19, 2014 | Around Lake Garda and Venice

Our Editourmobil has other ideas when it comes to progress. What we actually wanted to do was to experience Lake Garda from the road on the western side of the lake, but the fact that the tunnels are only 3.65m high prevents us from making any headway. This means we have to turn back. Heading south we find somewhere to pitch up just outside the magnificent medieval town of Sirmione. The town is located on a peninsula which juts out into Lake Garda, with access via a single town gate. This would appear to be THE place to meet as far as the Italians are concerned. During the day there are crowds of people pushing their way through the twisting streets. By the evening the day trippers have disappeared, leaving us to enjoy the streets, squares and houses to the full.

At Gardaplast's facility ... [ Read more ]

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Go to Brau Beviale 2014 - The Start of the Tour

The Editourmobil is off on its travels again. This time it’s heading in the direction of Italy, North Africa and Spain. As expected, the preparations have once again been characterised by a somewhat hectic atmosphere. With a total of 11 sponsors, the Editourmobil is well provided for. Waldemar Schmitke and I (Alexander Büchler) have decided to tackle Italy for starters. On the way there we look in briefly on Alpla at Hard/Austria and Netstal at Näfels in Switzerland.

The Editourmobil in front of Netstal's facilities ... [ Read more ]