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May 2011 | The idea is born

A camper van is an expedition vehicle pure and simple. The idea of using a holiday home as a fact-finding bureau came to us over lunch at our favourite Italian restaurant round the corner from our offices. What could we possibly do that would be simply extraordinary? With the Brau Beviale Fair in Nuremberg in mind, we thought "let’s criss-cross Europe and find out what is really going on in the various markets". And thus was born the idea of the camper van. The “we” in this case consists of Alexander Büchler and me, Kay Krüger.

True to the motto "How far can we go?", we jointly devised an interesting route taking in Nuremberg, home of the Brau Beviale and far-away Baku, Azerbaijan, then returning to Nuremberg via a different route, just in time for the start of the Fair. We estimated we would probably need five weeks in total for this, inclusive of visits to several PET bottlers in the eleven different countries we would be crossing.

Wasn’t there something about Azerbaijan? Of course – the Azerbaijani duo Ell and Nikki won the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf in mid-May 2011, thus securing the next contest for Baku in 2012. "How about arranging an interview to ask them about which beverages they prefer in PET? It would certainly be a highlight of the tour", we thought to ourselves and made a mental note to fix up a meeting. In the annals of PETplanet, this trip, if it succeeded, would be the most intense and formative we have ever carried out.

And to round it off, we would then be presenting the material we have collected from all the PET companies we have visited, ready to present our findings on our stand in Hall 7A Stand 720 at the Fair, both in text and product format. This will be in addition to the travel reports we will be putting on our blog as the tour progresses. I, Kay, have been appointed Project Leader. So, without further ado, let’s go!