Throughout my careers I’ve been to some really amazing events. Huge events in ballrooms, boutique events in signature restaurants, cocktail parties and exhibitions. Yet nothing prepared me for how truly fabulous it was going to be this past weekend when I stepped off the airplane in Cologne, Germany thanks to CEWE.
After hearing that I would be one of three UK bloggers attending the CEWE and SisterMAG weekend to cover the Photokina exhibition in Köln, I was nervous. At the time I had no idea who those other two were to be, and only a vague idea of what lay ahead. I was just amazed that I’d been chosen to go. Next to my boys [and the mister], my photography is my biggest passion. It’s given me back my identity after losing it as an isolated mom, and there’s not a day that I don’t pick up my camera or try to learn something new in the field. Yet the promise of a press trip to Photokina seemed unreal. Pho-to-ki-na. I kept saying it to myself.
I imagined a weekend of shuttling around, talking tech, comparing lenses and being very practical. I couldn’t have been further from the reality. SisterMAG and CEWE [pronounced see-vee] just completely ruined every future event for me, ever, in the best way possible. I was spoiled. Indulged, completely pampered in every way. Plus, I made some amazing [and brilliant] friends – people I feel like I’ve known all my life.
Fast forwarding to my arrival in Deutschland, I packed, hopped into a lovely car from English Rose and arrived at Heathrow ahead of time. The staff of Germanwings were amazing. Helpful, friendly and made every step of the trip a breeze. I met Keri-Anne, one of our trio, at bag drop and we headed through security, were disgusted to find that there was no McDonalds and ended up settling for some delicious gyoza at EAT whilst we located Karen, the third member of our group. We took to the skies and before we knew it, the pilot told us we were landing. We thought we were still in England. Customs took around five minutes, bags were there when we walked through, and our chauffeur was waiting as we walked into the airport lounge. All I could think was, if only every trip was like that. So easy.
After a child-free night’s sleep [and anxious texts to the mister saying how worried I was about the day ahead] I awoke, grabbed breakfast and then as we weren’t scheduled until 11.00, the three of us headed out for a walk around the area. Here’s a little look at our surroundings. Cologne is such a beautiful, tranquil area for a walk. I breathed deep and tried to take it all in.
The architecture was just beautiful – old meets new, but in a whimsical, clean and romantic intertwining of the two. It’s fair to say I fell quite in love with Cologne.