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EXPO 2000 epilogue

Final statement of my wife Bärbel.


153 days of EXPO suddenly ended October 31st, 2000.

Ten years ago, there was a voting on the EXPO 2000 in Hanover. At that time, we were EXPO opponents and voted against it. But 50.5% of the inhabitants of Hanover voted in favor of this event. So we accepted the impairments of traffic, dust and wear. We read about the rapidly changing managers of the EXPO limited liability company (GmbH) and the enormous costs implied. Only Mrs Breuel, general commissioner of the EXPO GmbH, identified herself enough with her job and stuck out with it all the way through; and she did it well! Thanks to her, the EXPO 2000 was well done. Our patience was tried for many years, during which it was not possible to drive from one point in Hanover to another without getting stuck in at least one traffic jam due to roadworks and our central railway station became a very large building site. And we didn'd believe that the EXPO area building site would be finished by June 1, 2000!

However, the roadworks were completed by the end of April, the central railway station was reopened in May with a large opening ceremony and the new subway / underground line to the Kronsberg was completed and ready. The media increased the number of (partial critical) reports. One week before the opening of the exhibition we decided to visit the EXPO and so we bought two monthly season tickets for June.

On the opening day, we visitied the EXPO (without camera!) and shortly after we were enthusiastic about this world exhibition. We started out at the east ground with the nations' pavilions, mostly without queuing. By using the Exponale we got to the west ground but due to the lack of stamina we visited only a few places. And on this day Reinhard also decided that further visits to the EXPO would always demand for our camera. That was also the time when the idea of building an internet site arose.

During June, we moved between the EXPO area, Foto-Dose (a photographic laboratory) at the Engelbosteler Damm and our PC at home, to place the pictures and first reports into our website. In July, we read the outstanding EXPO-Journal of the HAZ (Hanover newspaper) for specials events. By e-mail we received some inquiries about special themes or requests for places worth visiting at the EXPO. With his website Reinhard attempted to show a impression of the EXPO. The vehement critique in the newspaper was not appropriate for this excellent exhibition.

In August, we had massive withdrawal symptoms and so we purchased some evening tickets for several visits. Up to then, we had still missed some important parts of the EXPO, June was really too short! Together with our family we spent some nice evenings at the EXPO. We have so many nice memories, we couldn't possibly write them all down.

The most important event for us was the presentation of prizes in the German pavilion. Most of the visits ended at the Norwegian pavilion bar, to have a drink of this hard stuff (18 different drinks) from Norway!

One week before the end of the EXPO we had some melancholy or wistfulness feelings. Our first EXPO dayticket, a Christmas present of our children, we used nine days before the end of the EXPO during the whole day for visiting the last unknown places. We enjoyed a nice meal, had the last Aquavit at the Norwegian bar (they had only three different drinks at the bar left) and left the area, feeling a little sad, through the eastern exit.

The first world exhibition in Germany at Hanover ended with a parade with many participants of the EXPO, a gigantic party at the Plaza with more than 100,000 visitors and nice fireworks. This piece of information we gathered from newspaper, because that last day we stayed at home.

The pictures of our last EXPO visit are available at our website, the EXPO-Journal issued last on November 1st, 2000, the 131st issue with a volume of 60 pages! That was the right place to give thanks to the staff and the visitors of the EXPO, and Mr Gerhard Schöder, the German Chancellor, our major Herbert Schmalstieg and many partners of the EXPO did so. The Üstra (Hanover underground/subway system) said thank you to all guests and the staff in three languages at the stations using their electronic displays.

It was a great five month celebration, that we had in Hanover, Germany! Thanks to all!

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