Terrace in Düsseldorf, LiekeDüsseldorf, a city on my list for cities in Germany I still wanted to visit (just München and Dresden left now). It’s only one and a half hour away from where I study, yet I had never been there. Since I wanted to meet up with friends from abroad, I had a very good reason to go there.

It’s already been two weeks ago since I visited the city, but it still worth a post. Düsseldorf is a small city (around 500,000 inhabitants) which makes it quite charming. It is known for good shopping, especially at the very expensive (Königsallee) with lots of luxury shops. Don’t forget to bring your credit card though. Since the weather was wonderful, we spent some time at the promenade having some drinks and enjoying the panorama on the Rhein.

Besides the lovely Altstadt (old town) there is, to my surprise, some great modern architecture as well. I went up the Rheinturm (communication tower) where I had a great view on Düsseldorf and especially the area called Media Port/Mediahafen. My favourite buildings were the Landtag and the Zollhof Gebäude (pictures). For more pictures of interesting buildings in that area in Düsseldorf, click here. Of course we also explored the nightlife a little bit, but we mostly stayed at local pubs. Here we tried what was told a local specialty, namely a shot with Tabasco in it. I can highly recommend a visit to Düsseldorf, but this shot is something I advise you to pass.

Zollhof Gebäude DüsseldorfLandtag Düsseldorf

World Records and media attention, Pink Ribbon

Pink Ribbon Museumplein AmsterdamThis weekend I spent in Amsterdam, where there is always something going on. I walked by Museumplein, when a large group of people holding pink umbrellas caught my eye. It turned out to be an attempt to form the largest ribbon in the world for the Guiness Book of Records. They succeeded!

You could ask yourself why you would try to form a big ribbon? In this case there is a very good reason to, given the fact that the ribbon was pink. Pink Ribbon is an organisation which tries to increase the awareness around breast cancer. They do this successfully in many different ways. Estee Lauder is known for illuminating many famous buildings or sites in pink, such as the Niagara Falls and the Australian Harbour Bridge. In The Netherlands, a special glossy magazine is published once a year of which all turnover is donated to breast cancer research. Doing this year after year is not enough to get attention every time so therefore they came up with the World Record.

It is interesting to see how organisations attempt to get in the news. Trying to set a world record is nothing new. Just recently, Mentos set a world record making Mentos geysers (famous because of movies on YouTube). Last week, Cosmopolitan set a world record in photographing women in bikinis (over one thousand). Personally, I like the Mentos record since it uses the hype in a fun way. You can question whether making a big ribbon helps, but it at least makes you think about something serious as cancer. What Cosmopolitan tries to achieve with their world record or which message they want to send is still not clear to me. Using a world record just to get attention but with not much of a link to what you do or what you stand for is useless attention in my eyes.