So for the last final time, we wake up in this wonderful city. Day 5!
After much hard work throughout our stay, we were treated to a visit to the Mercedes museum.
I’ll let the fabulously stylish, timeline-style museum tell you its own story! Enjoy the cars 🙂
It’s important to remember the old guys which took us around for so long before we had the very first car.
The unlimited supply of cool displays and of course, the authentic logo.
Okay I may go back on my word, I really don’t think just those pictures alone do that magnificent museum justice. Even for someone who isn’t that into cars, I still found that this was a good walk through history. You started your tour from the top of this building and moved your way down through all that’s been. Starting the journey right back to the times of horse and carriage and then all the way to an inside views of the modern race car’s highly complex engine.
Not only a fine history lesson, but also a great life lesson. The struggles that the company faced after WWII were very real and they dealt with the issues incredibly well.
All good things must come to an end, all aboard for back to Cardiff!
To round up this wonderfully eye-opening trip, I think it’s fair to say everyone had given their 100% effort throughout the trip, evident in the many sleepy heads on our journey back.
And there are a few people we must thank for this trip – our lovely youth workers and Michael for organising this trip, for keeping us fed and entertained, for showing us life in a different light in the 5 short days we spent together.
Thank you Lee, Lee and Dayle for being so patient, working with us and looking after each and every one of us so well, truly guys, thank you.
Perks of traveling at dusk, you always get the great sunset!
Now safe and sound, and back from London, there’s only one thing left to say…
We’ve passed the halfway point and we are more than halfway through our Stuttgart venture!
Saturday, ’twas the dedicated day of business whilst all others in the city took a day off and rested we powered on, of course with lots of lovely members of Jugendrat Stuttgart!
And so we say hello to this lovely building again! Not to bore you guys with details of the ‘top secret’ discussions that took place that day as there will be a blog with the report of our discussions coming soon – so watch this space! But the morning essentially consisted of various different members of our delegation giving varied styled presentations, whereupon these presentations were broken up by casual (but also highly productive) discussions, where we ventured into the comparisons of our two similar yet so different cities. We ended our ‘work session’ in true politics style and signed a really very symbolic flag which was signed last by the Cardiff delegation that visited Stuttgart many years ago.
After a few needed hours of free time within the city centre, with the entire selection of fabulously lustrous money spending opportunities at our fingertips, we regrouped and went back to the youth hostel to get ready for our final night in Stuttgart!
Let no man say we didn’t get a full view of the city; throughout the past few days we visited so many different ‘youth houses’ and experienced true life for a young German in Stuttgart, and this center was yet another fine example of how well Stuttgart’s ‘youth houses’ are working out. We enjoyed music from some close to home bands and it was a great, relaxing wind-down to the end of another busy-bee schedule!
Must be said, it really was an AWESOME atmosphere!
But from here guys, we check out for one last time in Stuttgart! Our next post shall be the last leg of our highly educational, eye-opening trip and we’ll see you on the other side!
We awoke to beautiful early morning views, before setting off, on what would be our first opportunity to explore Stuttgart in the light of day.
The first leg of the journey meant our first experience of the interesting world of the Stuttgart tram service. We don’t have one here, but at first sight they are essentially massive trains which run using tracks in the road, and wires in the sky; much more energy efficient, faster, and greener than the transport services here in Cardiff- will we see this trend appear at home?
As soon as we stepped off the tram and emerged from the tunnel onto the street, we were immediately struck by how clean everything is over there- not a sign of pigeon poop on a single statue where Stuttgart are concerned. The streets are wide, open and modern, the buildings beautiful and unique. It’s safe to say the majority of our group fell in love. Firstly, we wandered along Königstrasse, the main shopping street in Stuttgart’s city centre, appropriately named King Street, as if in parallel to our Queen Street. On the floor, a large circular mural decorated the floor, a commemoration to each of Stuttgart’s ten sister cities, including Cairo in Egypt, Mumbai in India, St.Louis in the US, and Samara in Russia. Obviously we needed a picture break to snap the best one…
We eventually approached the grand steps of the Rathaus, which, despite what the name might suggest, has less to do with rodents and more to do with politicians! As with most of Stuttgart, the Rathaus was impressive due to its size, its modern appearance, and unique qualities.
Distraction number one came in the form of a lift, unlike any other we’d seen before. As opposed to stopping and taking you to your designated floor, it continues to move, forcing you to jump on and off of your own accord… and it isn’t easy! There’ll be videos on Facebook soon.
After an interesting tour with even more gorgeous views and interesting info…
… we head over to an information centre, where we partook in a “City Challenge” run by “tipsntrips”. From being lifted up by a stranger, to finding out information and statistics about Stuttgart by asking its inhabitants, to taking embarrassing photos, this two hour challenge really was a challenge! Putting our German-speaking, teamwork, and walking power to the test!
After freshening up, we had an exciting evening of youth culture. Our two musicians, Niamh and Rhiannon performed amazing music on stage in Stuttgart with another young singer-songwriter from the city itself. The atmosphere was amazing, as we all enjoyed beautiful original content along with covers to sing-along to from our very own Cardiffians, who made fantastic contributions to our trip- thanks guys!
We also got to watch and partake in a “Paint Battle”. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a paintball style free for all, but rather something more organised, interesting, and a much better way to utilise the extremely talented artists who joined us on our trip. As opposed to throwing paint on each other, paint was thrown on canvass, as the artists fought to create better pictures than the other country’s team in three rounds. The topics for painting were called out by the audience, who also got the deciding vote on the winners. Go team Cardiff, the unanimous winners! Thanks Cerys and Astrid for taking part in everything we did, and to Lydia, one of our new members for your contribution in the last round of the art battle!
If you’ve been to any of our events lately, or seen us around the streets of Cardiff, you may already recognise these lovely little ballot papers- you may even have filled one in for us. Which can only mean one thing- it’s time to Make Your Mark! Yearly, these ballots are released to the local youth forums around Britain by the UK Youth Parliament, meaning young people have a say in what is discussed by members of the Parliament in their annual House of Commons debate. It also decides what issues will be campaigned on across the UK. Basically, this is pretty big stuff, and takes nothing more than a tick, or a click, to complete!
The scheme is the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK. Last year, 875,000 11-18 year olds voted, the highest number of young people ever consulted as part of the scheme. But we think we can do even better, this time, and their target is to reach out to, and collect votes from 1,000,000 young people.
Cardiff Youth Council wants to make sure that we share this enthusiasm. Last year, the votes of 2,152 people were collected, a 6.9% turn out for young people in Cardiff. We can do better than that, right!? Especially when it’s so ridiculously easy to get involved.
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to fill out a ballot yet, here’s how it works– it’s super simple! The paper consists of a choice of 10 topics, which the UK Youth Parliament identified as key issues prioritised by young people. You vote for the one that you think is the most important, the one that needs the most focus (only one, one only, such a tricky choice!) When these votes are collated and counted, the top ones will be discussed by the Youth Parliament in the House of Commons, on November 13th as part of Parliament week.
Last year, in Cardiff, the top two topics voted for were Mental health, and Curriculum for life. This was the foundation of the two successful campaigns we have been running in CYC over the last year, which we’d be happy to answer any questions about, and will talk about in further detail in future posts.
If you’d like to vote right now,click here. Forward this link to any people, groups or organisations in your network of the right age, and encourage anybody you know to take part… let’s hit that target, let’s get Cardiff’s voice heard.
Thank you to everyone who’s taking part- hopefully we’ll see you on the 23rd, where our next meeting at city hall will be held, 4:30pm, be there!
Any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch, email me at email@example.com, or get in touch on Twitter or Facebook! You can find out much more about Make Your Mark and the UK Youth Parliament here.