Expo Milano 2015 is well underway and a couple of weeks ago, Michele and I headed down to have a look to see what all the fuss was about. The point of the Expo is to explore new methods and technologies surrounding food production and how we can make this more globally sustainable. For me this is an incredibly interesting and vital topic and I was really eager to learn more about how we can feed our increasing population in the future.
We arrived at 10:30am, half an hour after it opened and stayed for about 12 hours! There's a lot of walking around and queueing to be done so if you go, make sure you wear comfortable shoes!
For me, there was very much a theme park atmosphere and I felt a little bit like I was at Disneyland for adults (ok so Disneyland for adults is basically just Disneyland but you get what I mean!) There weren't any rides unfortunately but there's a huge dose of festive spirit and with many pavilions designed to reflect the architecture of their home countries, it's almost like walking down Main Street USA chez Mickey.
Obviously I took a lot of photos, although I wasn't clever enough to actually charge my camera up to do so. Luckily when it died halfway through the day, I had my iPhone to hand although as I've got a bog-standard 4 (I'm talking pre-Siri here!) the camera isn't fantastic so please excuse some of the pictures!
I've split my pictures into two posts to break it up a little (I seriously got very, very snap happy). Next time I'll include some of our top tips for surviving Expo too for those of you looking to go!
Watching grana padano being made; the smell was incredible! Even the police got in on the action...
Traditional dance demonstrations just outside the China pavilion... I really felt for these guys, it was an absolutely sweltering day!
Inside China's pavilion ^
In my opinion, Holland has got the right idea. Instead of having a big pavilion filled with not-much-at -all, their spot has been colonised by food trucks serving up delicious fast food. I spotted a cheese truck selling cheeseburgers that were literally burger patties made of cheese instead of meat. Genius.
Wandering around France's pavilion where you can buy yourself a nice fresh baguette. Ooh lala!
There was a wine showcase next to the Alto Adige pavilion; I loved this feature which showed all the different colours of wine. The darker ones looked very similar until you peered through the bottle necks and saw some glowing garnet whilst others oozed a plummy light.
The vertical garden at Israel.
Japan was one of the pavilions lots of people had advised us to check out and it really didn't disappoint. We had to queue quite a while to get in but it was worth it! Even if we were struggling in the heatwave...
Inside, you're guided through, room by room. It's a very immersive experience with a lot of thought put into presenting the stories and messages in a way that gets you participating and thinking about it. This room was telling us the story of the destruction of natural habitats and how local people are trying to undo the damage.
^ A handy sushi guide for those of us who have no clue what the different types mean!
The futuristic restaurant was an interesting experience. We were all given chop sticks which activated a touch screen (I am terrible at using chop sticks and failed massively on most of the games although our table won the race and that's all that matters of course). The screen took us through seasonal menus depending on our personal food preferences which was a great idea as it showed that you can eat sustainably no matter what food you enjoy most. The session was finished off by a musical number which I definitely wasn't expecting!
It's a lot of fun walking up and down and looking at the different interpretations and uses of allocated space by the different countries. Some of them looked like holiday resorts, others looked like art galleries and others looked like palaces.
Next time I'll share some more pictures as well as some tips for visiting Expo! Is anyone planning on going? It's open now until October 31st and there's lots and lots of yummy food to be had...