Magnum 5 Kisses

I love how Magnum regularly has a series of very creative limited editions with a theme. I first wrote about it in the *first month* I started blogging – April 2002. I was in Melbourne, Australia and the 7 Deadly Sins just came out, with a flavor for every sin. There was also a wonderful 9-ice cream series called The Sixties Nine that came out the next year and I reviewed every single one!

Magnum No3 Passionate Kiss

We were in Paris, France earlier this year when we spotted the new limited edition 5 Kisses series. There are five (5) different Magnum ice creams in total and we got some to eat. The Magnum 5 Kisses is a range inspired by French Patisserie flavors and it came to Australia recently (although we ate ours in France).

Magnum 5Kisses Limited

1. First Kiss
Crème Brulee

2. Loving Kiss
Meringue Et Fruit Rouges

3. Passionate Kiss
Tiramisu

4. Flirty Kiss
Gateau Au Chocolat

5. Stolen Kiss
Tarte Aux Pommes

5 Kisses Magnum

Magnum No. 4 Flirty Kiss Gateau Au Chocolat is the full-on chocolate flavored one. It’s a chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and chocolate brownie pieces, all coated with a layer of crackling milk chocolate. Each of the Magnum 5 Kisses retails for €4.19 at the local Monop’ which isn’t very cheap when converted – almost RM 18 per Magnum!

Magnum Passionate Kiss Tiramisu

However, some of them are very good. We liked Magnum No. 3 Passionate Kiss Tiramisu – it had a distinctively authentic taste, with mascarpone flavored ice cream (!!!), coffee sauce, chocolate chunks and sponge pieces, all coated with a layer of crackling milk chocolate.

Magnum Tiramisu

Both of us thought it was awesome! The boxes that contains the Magnum 5 Kisses are made well, with sturdy cardboard and a perfect ice cream inside. The construction of the Magnums are spot on too – every single element can be seen and tasted!

Magnum Kiss Tarte Aux Pommes

The best in the series though would be the last one – Magnum No. 5 Stolen Kiss Tarte Aux Pommes. This is made with a vanilla ice cream interior, apple sauce and pastry pieces, all coated with a layer of crackling white chocolate dusted with cinnamon.

Magnum Stolen Kiss

It’s the only one of the 5 Kisses that has a white chocolate exterior and it tastes exactly like an apple pie!

Kisses Us

Keeping with the theme, here’s a happy one of us at The Louvre, one of the most iconic places in Paris! :)

Pierre Herme Macarons

The macarons from Pierre Hermé are the best macarons I’ve ever had in my entire life! It was the first place my better half wanted to go to when we were in Paris earlier this year. We went to two of his shops – the original one is at Pâtisserie Pierre Hermé Paris in Bonaparte but their Macarons & Chocolats Pierre Hermé Paris boutiques at Galeries Lafayette has seating arrangements!

Macarons Chocolats Pierre Herme

Pierre Hermé also sells a wide variety of fantastic chocolates and pastries but we were here for the macarons so we got a pack of 7 macarons and opted to eat at the beautiful rooftop with an amazing 360 degree view of Paris instead of at the boutique itself.

Lafayette Roof

My dear liked the Les Incontournables De Paris (The Essentials Of Paris) box so I got that for her. It costs €18 for a box of 7. The friendly attendant was even kind enough to let us pick the flavors (it’s supposed to be a fixed box set) and even include *limited edition macarons* from the Pierre Hermé Paris ‘Les Jardins’ Collection 2014!

pierre herme france

Pierre Hermé has a total of 23 (!!!) flavors of macarons at any time. However, most of their box sets have a theme e.g. the Initiation 20-piece Assortment (€59) only has 4 different types of macarons. There’s no set price per macaron, it depends on what you get and the price can range from €2 – €3 per macaron. We got ours for slightly over €2.50 each (about RM 11 per macaron).

pierre herme chocolates

The French guy serving us allowed us to choose anything (including limited editions) from the 23 different flavors for the 7-pack, so we took turns choosing macarons:

pierre herme les jardins collection

HUILE D’OLIVE & VANILLE
Olive Oil Fruite Vert, Vanilla & bits of Green Olive

CRÈME BRÛLÉE
Vanillas & Caramel bits

MOGADOR
Milk Chocolate & Passion Fruit

MILÉNA
Fresh Mint & Red Berries

MONTEBELLO
Pistachio & Raspberry compote

JARDIN DES 8 TRÉSORS
Lotus Seed, Red Date, Wolfberry, Rosebud, Dried Orange Peel, Dried Longan Fruit, Chrysanthemum and Osmanthus

INFINIMENT ROSE
Rose & Rose Petals

Les Incontournables De Paris

I just love how weird and quirky the flavors are! It’s not just for the “wow factor” too, the combinations works very well! My first choice was the delectable Huile d’olive & Vanille with bits of *real* green olive!

olive vanilla macaron

I’ve never had an olive macaron (with REAL olive pieces inside) before and we both loved it!

Pierre Herme

My dear went for the Crème Brûlée which actually tastes remarkably like the real thing! I couldn’t believe it.

rose petal macaron

The delicate Infiniment Rose is made from rose and has rose petals (!!!) in the macaron!

milena macaron

We loved every single macaron – there were no duds or mediocre ones in the box, every single macaron was balanced well, not the sickly sweet macarons we get here but an amazing symphony of perfection.

Jardin des 8 Tresors

The other highlight was Jardin des 8 Trésors – the April 2014 monthly limited edition macaron from the Pierre Hermé Paris ‘Les Jardins’ Collection 2014 with 8 different Asian treasures packed into 1 macaron – lotus seed, red date, wolfberry, rosebud, dried orange peel, dried longan fruit, chrysanthemum and osmanthus with incredibly complex flavor and texture profiles.

mogador macaron

We were munching on the macarons in a sky park on top of Galeries Lafayette on a sunny spring day with lots of other locals camped out to enjoy the fresh air and the amazing panoramic view of Paris.

pierre herme us

It was one of the highlights of our trip – enjoying good food, each other, and the Parisian experience!

montebello

I have never had a better macaron than Pierre Hermé in Paris! Adriano Zumbo comes close and Ladurée is a distant third. I highly recommend eating the original ones from France in France, you can’t keep it for more than 4 days and I dub Pierre Hermé the best macarons I’ve ever had in my life and my dear agrees! :)

joel robuchon tv dinner

The statement above is perfectly correct and true! smirk

joel robuchon

I present to you, a line of ready-to-eat meals by Joel Robuchon! This is his Le fameux Parmentier de Canard or “The famous Duck Parmentier”. There are several different meals, partnered with Fleury Michon. It’s sold in supermarkets and convenience stores like Monop’ (of the Monoprix chain – they have everything from stores to all sorts of food from cookies to milk!). There was a Monop’ just around the corner from our apartment and we were so tired the first evening we arrived in Paris that we just wanted to cook something easy.

monop

I was quite surprised to see Joel Robuchon lending his name to what seems like TV dinners but such an American term would be out of place in France for this is one quality meal for 5.13 Euros!

parmentier de canard

The serving bowl it comes in is not made of disposable and flimsy plastic but solid ceramic!

ceramic bowl

Duck Parmentier is a classic French dish that looks like a cottage pie. We saw some Cuisses du Poulet Roties (Roasted Chicken Thighs) on sale for 5.19 Euro (original price 13.95 Euros). These are the miniature chicken breeds (also called bantam chicken) which you can *fit in the palm of your hand*! They’re really quite cute (and tasty)!

french miniature chicken

I used that to plate up the dish so it looks like the serving suggestion (just 3 minutes 30 seconds in the microwave) and we ate it with some pasta for our first night in France. It was quite delicious, despite being a ready-to-eat dinner. They pride themselves for ingredients being 100% sourced from France too, as the labels clearly states.

joel robuchon dinner

We actually got to eat through all his collection – it is wide and varied indeed, and although it costs more than other ready-to-eat meals, I convinced my dear that we should get them. It’s not everyday you can have a 28 Michelin star chef “cook” for you at your apartment after all…even in France! ;)

Ladurée Champs Élysées box

Ladurée is widely credited as inventing the macaron as we know it today! The double decker macaron with a ganache filling was first made by Louis-Ernest Ladurée (which the shop is named after). We actually tracked down their biggest tea room and bakery in Champs-Élysées and took the Metro right to the place before even visiting the Arc de Triomphe. :)

Ladurée Champs Élysées

Champs-Élysées is a very prestigious address in Paris, the equivalent of Fifth Avenue in New York (although it was Parisian culture which started the latter). It’s very expensive to maintain a presence here coz the real estate is incredibly desirable. Ladurée actually calls their branches as “houses” or “boutiques” even though they’re technically a tea room – that’s how seriously they take their heritage!

Ladurée Bakery Paris

Their restaurant, tea room and bakery at 75, Avenue des Champs-Élysées flies their famous green-and-gold Ladurée, Paris sign and is a huge old and stately building that has al-fresco seating during spring. This is the place that we’ve been looking for and we made a bee-line right into their bakery…

Ladurée queue

…to run into a long, slow-moving line of people.

Ladurée Paris

It was more than a queue, it was like watching the human equivalent of rabbits breeding! There are tourists, locals glaring at the camera toting tourists, and bemused passer-bys who got dragged in by the sheer force of the crowd swarming for Ladurée macarons. It was chaos, but organized chaos.

Ladurée menu

We were each passed a brochure listing their macarons, including the seasonal specials. My better half wanted to get ½ a dozen so I asked the patient and professional Ladurée wait staff for their recommendations. I only changed one and here’s our list:

Laduree macarons

  • Vanille (Vanilla)
  • Reglisse (Liquorice)
  • Fruits Rouges (Red Fruits)
  • Pistache (Pistachio)
  • Marie-Antoinette
  • Caramel Fleur de Sel (Salted Caramel)

Ladurée France

The blue Marie-Antoinette and the Red Fruits macarons are seasonal specials for Spring 2014!

fruit rouges macaron

The six (6) macarons are all awesome and there’s one thing I noticed about vanilla in France – no one uses vanilla flavoring, it’s like it’s a culinary sin! Every place we’ve been, from Michelin star restaurants to cafes uses real dried vanilla fruits (which is the second most expensive spice after saffron!) and it makes a lot of difference!

Ladurée macaron box

I quite liked some of the Ladurée macarons – the Marie-Antoinette, Salted Caramel and Vanilla are awesome but the best one is the one I switched to – Liquorice (swapped this for the recommended Lemon). The Liquorice macaron is black and when you bite into it, you get a mouthful of dry ash and acrid bitterness…and then the mild sweetness of the licorice filling hits you, for just a short while before it disappears and leaves a pleasant aniseed aftertaste in your mouth.

marie antoinette

It’s ephemeral and epitomizes the macaron perfectly. I’m not just trying to alliterate my words, but that’s how I felt about the Liquorice macaron. However, as for the others, I felt that Pierre Hermé macarons tastes better.

Champs Élysées

I’ll do a review of Pierre Hermé macarons soon – we tried both of the great French maracons and both were good! I know that both has branches here or close to us but they taste totally different. Macarons are supposed to be temperature controlled and eaten within 3 days and it doesn’t take well to importation or local ingredient substitution.

ladurée seasonal macarons

You can never get macarons here that’s as good as the ones in France and I’m glad we managed to eat these delicate French creations during our Europe trip! Oh yeah, our 2 Michelin star meal at Relais Louis XIII is coming up next! :)

easter displays

These are themed Easter displays we saw at a mall called Skyline Plaza in Frankfurt, Germany. Each Easter display is intricately made – with a lot of detail and even moving parts! They depict cities all over Europe, each with it’s own unique touch.

1. Vienna, Austria

austrian easter display

This is one of the more elaborate displays. The Austrian Easter display features a full-size moving Ferris wheel! The amazing thing about it is that inside each car, there’s a different posed Easter bunny couple, each pointing at a different place.

2. Edinburgh, Scotland

scotland easter display

This has a full sized castle at the front with a pastoral land vista at the back. There are two teams of Easter bunnies playing tug-of-war!

The tug-of-war display actually moves back and forth using hydraulics and is probably the longest one in the history of the world since no one actually wins – the moving parts kicks in and reverses before a team goes over so they’re perpetually tugging!

3. Barcelona, Spain

spain easter display

This Easter display has a charging bull as it’s main centerpiece. The black bull is set on sand and even has marks made near the hooves so it looks like it’s charging. There’s an Easter bunny with a piece of red cloth as the matador.

There are even bystanders and people in the stands cheering!

4. Helsinki, Finland

finland easter display

The reindeer graces the display for Finland! The Easter bunnies are seen tending to the reindeer and each of the graceful beasts are slightly larger than the bunnies, making them life-sized in comparison. There’s also a running body of water beside it.

5. Rome, Italy

italian easter display

Well, since this is a secular display, there’s no Holy See in this Easter special from Italy. However, there’s a scene depicting the canals of Venice (complete with an Easter bunny operating a gondola), the Leaning Tower of Pisa and a sign that points to France!

pizza easter bunny

Also, there’s an Easter bunny with a pizza, considering the pie was invented in Italy!

6. Paris, France

france easter display

The Eiffel Tower is the most prominent feature of this Easter display but there are touches that makes it very France! There’s an artist to the side that’s painting watercolors from a board and also a café setup with a French waiter (carrying baguettes).

drunk easter bunny

However, the funniest bit in this creation is a drunk Easter bunny with real bottles of wine lying on a bench! Hilarious!

7. Amsterdam, Netherlands

netherlands easter display

This windmill dominated Easter display is from the Netherlands! The windmills all have moving parts and the best thing is that there’s a canal (like the ones in Amsterdam) running through the display with a pump that allows the water to flow!

There’s also two Easter bunnies carrying a wheel of Edam cheese – the most famous and popular cheese from the Netherlands. I just love the detail.

8. Berlin, Germany

german easter display

This is the home Easter display and shows the flag of Germany over a group of three Easter bunnies all doing different things. There’s a car featured prominently as Wolfsburg is home to the Autostadt. Interesting fact: The Autostadt is the second-most popular theme park in Europe after Paris Disneyland!

germany car

The scene at the back depicts Berlin but in a humorous touch, there’s actually a mini-desk inside the display with travel brochures and you can grab one for Frankfurt. Haha! I thought that was pretty smart.

europe easter displays

Happy Easter everyone! :)

applewine murals

There’s one thing that Frankfurt is *really* famous for. No, it’s not the wurst (sausages) that derives from its name, it’s apple wine! Called Apfelwein (or Ebbelwoi) in German, the brewing of apple wine has been a source of pride for many Frankfurters.

schweizer strasse

It’s the (un?)official drink of the city!

sachsenhausen nord

There’s even an entire street in Sachsenhausen-Nord near the city of Frankfurt am Main that dedicates itself to apple wine! It’s informally called the Applewine Quarter and the street name is Schweizer Strasse. There are several establishments serving apple wine in Frankfurt (you can get it in most restaurants) but for the authentic experience, I highly recommend you go to a specialty shop!

zum gemalten haus

I was recommended two such apple wine houses by a knowledgeable local (our concierge haha) – both are located at Sachsenhausen-Nord. The first is called Zum Gemalten Haus and unfortunately, it’s closed on Mondays. The second is called Adolf Wagner (also known as Apfelwein Wagner) and I remember hearing about this place before – that’s how famous the apple wine bar is!

adolf wagner

Adolf Wagner has been around since 1931 – that means they’ve been brewing Frankfurt’s most famous drink for several centuries. There are actual long tables and chairs located both in front and inside the establishment. I recommend doing inside coz there’s a huge apple wine jug where they pour your drink from at the bar.

applewine quarter

The apple wine is brewed on the premises of Adolf Wagner itself! You can see it if you’re seated inside. There are also colorful murals depicting the good ol’ days of apple wine imbibing and scenes of general cheer.

apfelwein

You’ll expect a place like this to be expensive but it’s surprisingly affordable and all the locals come here. One glass of apple wine costs 1.90 Euro. That’s less than RM 10! It’s cheap even *when* you convert the currency. I had a 300 ml glass of their famous apple wine while my better half ordered the non-alcoholic apple wine.

apfelwein wagner prices

Surprisingly, the non-alcoholic apple wine costs slightly more than the regular apple wine. I’m not sure if that’s coz like decaf coffee, it goes through an extra step, but I very much doubt it. The non-alcoholic apple wine that my dear ordered (2 Euro for 300 ml glass) is clear and tastes like apple juice, albeit slightly rotten apple juice.

nonalcoholic ebbelwoi
A 300 ml glass of non-alcoholic apple wine

My apple wine is slightly cloudy from the unfiltered sediments and tastes like nothing I’ve ever come across. Apple wine doesn’t taste like apple cider – it doesn’t have that acidic bite to it. It’s smooth and delicious – but be careful, the alcohol content of these things can hit the two digit mark.

ebbelwoi
A 300 ml glass of regular apple wine

I’ve seen it quoted as 10.4% alcohol although every batch differs. Adolf Wagner also sells 1 litre bottles of their apple wine to go for just 2 Euros while the 5 litre souvenir jugs are just 13 Euros. Or you can just get their matchbooks (free) if you’re a cheapskate. ;)

matchbook

Protip: If you want to get apple wine from Frankfurt to bring home, avoid buying them at the touristy Romel square where every other shop (including the official tourist information center) offers nicely bottled and packaged apple wine for sale at a price premium. It’s not as authentic as grabbing a bottle (or jug) from Adolf Wagner, where the locals drink, so get it from a reputable apple wine bar instead of a souvenir shop!

wagner applewine

I highly recommend walking to Apfelwein Wagner and sitting down for a glass of apple wine when you’re in Frankfurt. It’s one of the few things which is unique to the city itself and even if you don’t consume alcohol, there’s a non-alcoholic apple wine to conform to your dietary/religious beliefs. It’s way better than grabbing a Frankfurter (and you can do the latter after some nice local apple wine in your tummy).

applewine prices

Apple wine is called the official drink of Frankfurt for a reason! :D

apfelwein wagner

Posted: 9:39 am Frankfurt time (GMT +2) – we just took the overnight Paris-Frankfurt am Main bus! :D

Updates on our 10 day vacation through Germany and France:
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eiserner steg bridge

Yeah, the trend has spread to Germany too! :)

frankfurt love bridge

This is the Eiserner Steg Bridge – a pedestrian bridge in Frankfurt am Main. We wanted to go to Romer and the concierge from Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt hailed a taxi for us and told the driver to set us down at the other side of the bridge so we can walk across (it’s nearer and we’ll get to see the padlocks).

new love locks

The “love lock” bridge is all about people putting padlocks (some very colorful ones are coming out) and writing their names in permanent marker (original, old school method) or using laser engraving as the trend exploded and the commercialization started.

love lock bridge

The padlocks are “locked” onto the bridge – any part of the bridge – and the key kept. It’s supposed to symbolize the union of two people and the strength of the relationship.

love lock

AFAIK, the love lock bridge trend started in the early 2000’s and Wikipedia states that it first took hold in Paris. However, I’ve seen old locks with dates like 1989 so I’m not so sure that’s true. The most well known bridge in France is the Pont de l’Archevêché – it’s just behind Notre Dame.

original love locks

I believe there’s even a TVB series made about it, called Triumph in the Skies II or something. I only know this coz my better half watches Cantonese drama series. Yes, that was filmed in France (or so my dear says).

love bridge us

Since the popularity of the Pont de l’Archevêché love lock bridge, it has appeared all over cities in the world.

love padlock

I heard Malaysia even jumped on the bandwagon and *specially* opened a bridge for this, while countries like France have tried removing the locks (or transferring it) due to structural integrity concerns (the combined weight of that much padlocks is nothing to sneeze on).

Short mention:

romer panorama

I love the Sweep Panorama feature in my Xperia Z1 smartphone. We were headed to the beautiful Romer square and there was a wedding going on at the Old Saint Nicholas church. I couldn’t take the Romer’s famous Eastern façade together with the wedding at the church with *any* kind of camera, dSLR included, and was about to give up when I thought of the Z1′s panoramic photo and I managed to get everything in just one easy sweep – the instructions were on the screen!

I didn’t think of using it when I was the German version of the famous/cheesy (depending on how romantic you think is) Parisian “Lover’s Bridge” (which is dubbed The Frankfurt Love Bridge – or Padlock Bridge) when I was walking through it though and now I really want to take a Sweep Panorama shot on my smartphone so I can show how nice it actually is! I’m going to do one here in France and another when we head back to Frankfurt so I can show the difference in detail! :)

Posted: 9:38 pm Paris time (GMT +2) on 11th April – but it’s 12th April, 3:38 am in KL now! :D

Updates on our 10 day vacation through Germany and France:
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weeping willow

We’re staying at the beautiful and luxurious five-star Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt for 4D/3N before we head on to Paris. The 13 hour flight here (yeah, it’s a direct flight with Lufthansa) was perfect – we arrived at 6:40 am and the hotel kindly allowed us to check-in early.

nils

I’ve stayed with Kempinski before at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski in Dresden and the service is always spot on. This is Nils, who helped smooth the check-in process after a long flight and got us adapters for the room (forgot to bring mine). The rooms are all connected with free WiFi and even has built in adapters and USB chargers on the main desk (for those who factor this into their decision making process).

kempinski gravenbruch

The view out of the room is amazing too! The hotel is in Neu-Isenburg so it’s conveniently just 15 minutes from both Fraport (Frankfurt Airport) *and* Frankfurt am Main (the city center itself). It’s surrounded by a beautiful forest – the road leading here was lined with trees and my better half thought it was a little like a horror movie while I thought it was tranquil haha – and the hotel even has their own lake!

breakfast

It’s a Sunday today and I’ve been to Germany before so don’t expect shops and such to be open. The Germans really do like their quiet Sundays so unless it’s a special Open Sunday (which occurs every 3 months or so), the shops remains closed, even convenience stores. However, attractions and restaurants remain open so you can still go sightseeing.

esstisch

We just had a lazy Sunday breakfast at EssTisch and I mentioned on Instagram that the OJ is the best I’ve ever had! It’s undiluted and has no added sugar, freshly squeezed and just a treat to drink.

juices

They also have small bottles of other juices, our favorite is the Italian blood orange juice (which also happens to be the hotel soap scent, hmm…)

milk

There’s 1.5%, 3.5% and lactose-free milk in these cute little milkmaid style dispensers too!

eggs

You can order your eggs here but our waitress actually came over to our table to get our order and sent it over too, can really get used to this five-star service.

bread

The selection of bread is staggering too, and I also found my favorite German bread! I first had this aboard a Lufthansa Business Class flight two years ago when I came here (it’s also served in their Economy Class) and loved it so much – the burnt flavor of the outside combined with the chewiness and dense-airy dough makes for very good eating.

loaf

I told my dear that and we both stacked out bread baskets full. #carboverload

soft boiled

You can also grab a 6-minute egg (we call it soft-boiled) or a hard-boiled egg from the buffet…

cheese ham

…as well as a variety of cured hams, cold cuts and cheese.

cereal

I’ve always thought this was how people ate back in the days when there’s no refrigeration – the grapes are to provide a burst of moisture when you eat bread with the cured ham, it works really well. Oh, and I took this mild looking fromage that looks innocuous and innocent and when I touched it, I thought someone who just got lost in the forest for 90 days staggered in and TOOK OFF HIS SHOES. (!!!)

cold platter

Seriously, it was *that* bad and this is coming from someone who loves cheese. Naturally, I made my dear smell it and tried to get her to eat it too (she didn’t). It was the worst smelling cheese I’ve ever come across and this ain’t my first rodeo. I wonder what it’s called. It’s also very delicious and I finished the quarter-wedge of cheese I took, much to the amazement of my better half.

forest

Anyway, we’re gearing for an early start tomorrow so it’s bedtime! I’ll update more next time, have a good week ahead everyone!

flowers

Promotional consideration:
Lufthansa sponsored my return tickets to Frankfurt. They have a direct non-stop flight five times a week from Kuala Lumpur-Frankfurt. The tickets are reasonably priced too, starting at RM 3,300. It’s cheaper if you book early though – I paid RM 2,421 for my girlfriend’s ticket via their booking number. I saw it for RM 2,221 as their special promotional online fare (don’t need to pay the Ticket Booking Fee for web) on Lufthansa’s website.

Kempinski Hotels is a luxury hotel chain that has specially outfitted hotels throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific. They’ve been hoteliers since 1897 and they specialize in luxury holiday resorts, business and spa hotels around the world. Every Kempinski Hotel is unique, designed for guests who value five star holidays and luxury getaways. The 4D/3N Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch stay is courtesy of the group.

Posted: 9:33 pm Frankfurt time (GMT +2) on 6th April – one day behind! :D

Updates on our 10 day vacation through Germany and France:
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transparent factory germany

The glass building behind us is actually a factory for assembling Volkswagen Phaeton. It only does that and the cars you can see are all spoken for – they’re just awaiting for the owner to pick it up. We went on a tour of the transparent assembly plant in Dresden as part of our trip and it was surprisingly interesting!

german guide

This is our English speaking guide – you must have a guide with you when you tour the VW transparent factory and no photos are allowed inside.

You can hear her speak a little here.

pheaton factory

However, you can take photos outside of the assembly area. This entire factory assembles Volkswagen Phaetons only. It’s fully customizable in Dresden, Germany. This is where people come to buy a Phaeton – you’re guided to an area where you can choose everything from the color of the car to the interior features and get your own customized VW Phaeton.

volkswagen phaeton factory

I was rather astounded by the sheer cleanliness of the factory – it’s totally unlike any other factory I’ve ever been to before. The employees even have white overalls that are spotless! I don’t know how the Germans do it but we could learn a thing or two from them.

glass factory germany

The interesting thing about this factory is that it’s one-of-a-kind. The buyer experience it offers and the tall glass building combined with the robots makes this unique. There are automated carts that follows a magnetic path (which can be changed) along the factory floor so parts will be available to the staff when needed.

pheaton

You’ll probably be wondering how they get the cars out of the tall transparent building – it’s automated! There’s a car lift that goes up to the floor you want and rotates to the segment you want to extract a particular car (always a Phaeton since that’s what this factory produces). Very nifty.

vw factory dresden

There’s also a huge sphere where you can watch commercials, old ads and so forth – watch out for the latest one, it’s quite funny and targeted towards the Asian market since it’s the largest market now. The Volkswagen Phaeton transparent factory is worth a visit if you’re ever in Dresden. It’s a remarkable example of German efficiency and one of the attractions in Dresden – it’s the only transparent factory of this scale here.

transparent factory

I don’t think the Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan is coming to Malaysia in it’s current form e.g. infinitely customizable so purchasing the car is an experience in itself. However, it might be coming (don’t quote me on this) in several preset models – check out the Volkswagen Malaysia Facebook page and ask, they’re more qualified to speak about this than me. :)

leaning pole dresden

This is a peculiar structure located in the middle of the old part of Dresden Square. It’s a pole that leans at a 45 degree angle. The oblique inclination of the pole points towards an underground passage that leads to a railway station but the pole itself has no particular significance that I could decipher.

It’s not an optical illusion.

There is no signage to illuminate questing minds as to why the pole is canted.

I didn’t know why it was leaning.

It’s as if the pole had lofty dreams of becoming an attraction equal or superior to the Leaning Tower of Pisa but never quite made it, gave up, started drinking and…well, leaning.

leaning pole dresden square

Thus, we dubbed it The Leaning Pole of Dresden and took stupid photos with it. Heh.

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