Back from Berlin

/ Thursday, 15 July 2010 /
I had a great trip to Berlin: a successful conference and some wonderful catch-up time with friends/colleagues from around the world whom I only get to see once a year.  I also got to do a bit of sightseeing.  We took a bus tour that took us past Checkpoint Charlie and the remains of the Wall.
Checkpoint Charlie
Remains of the Wall
The Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gates
Reichstag
Brandenburg Gates
And many modern things to see, as well, like the Sony Centre and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
Sony Centre
Memorial to murdered Jews
Berlin is a very interesting city, full of history.  There is much more to see than I was able to take in.  Partly this was due to the crippling heat wave that gripped the city.  I snapped this photo of the thermometer near our hotel.  The equivalent of 40 Celsius is 104 Fahrenheit.
Berlin heat wave!
It was brutally hot, but not as humid as it would have been at home.  If you could find some shade, and if you sat still, it was almost pleasant to be outside, since the linden trees scented the air delightfully.  This was the nicest place I found: a wisteria covered tunnel outside the Jewish Museum.
Berlin Jewish Museum
Wisteria tunnel
Our conference dinner was held in the food hall at the magnificent department store Kaufhaus des Westens, or KaDeWe.  This Guess advertisement is not as classy as the merchandise inside the store.
Oh, classy.
I was skeptical when I heard the plan, because I was thinking of a typical food court in a North American mall, but this was nothing like it.  Here are just some of the things we sampled.
KaDeWe antipasto bar
KaDeWe pastry department
695 euro for that tin of caviar
KaDeWe chocolatier at work
The big news while we were there was the FIFA World Cup.  Germany made it into the semifinal round and team spirit, like these flags, was very high all over the city.
Before the ignominious defeat to Spain
However, they lost to Spain, as was predicted by Paul the Octopus.  If you don't know Paul, he is an octopus who predicted, with perfect accuracy, the winners of the World Cup matches.  In the picture below, you see the plastic boxes representing Germany and Spain.  Each box contained a mussel.  You can see him wrapping himself around Spain's box and prising open the lid.
The FIFA Oracle
I had a fairly stressful trip home, since my initial flight from Berlin to Paris (for which I rose at 3.30 am) was cancelled, sparking a chain of mini-disasters involving luggage and missing flights that saw me flying home in the middle seat.  Somebody has to have the middle seat, but it's pretty awful when both your seatmates are strangers and the flight is so long.  Never mind, I'm home now and pretty well over the jet lag.   While I was away, my blessed husband did a major house cleaning.  He really is a marvel around the house - and he is by far a tidier person than I am.   However, he dumped everything for which I am remotely responsible on the dining room table for me to deal with on my return.  I would show you the acre of stuff that is piled up there, but I'm afraid you would never visit my blog again from the horror.  That should all be dealt with by the weekend and I can get reacquainted with my sewing machine again.

8 comments:

{ Lady Docker } on: 15 July 2010 at 08:11 said...

Glad you are back with us and enjoyed your trip to Berlin. I'm looking forward to your regular posts and seeing what you and your sewing machine come up with!

{ Dee } on: 15 July 2010 at 08:21 said...

beautiful pictures, especially the ones on the older architecture blended with more modern designs and construction. the wisteria tunnel is just lovely.

sorry about your flight home. I love to fly, but know someday I will probably have a bad experience that will show me just how right everyone else is!

glad you're home. one acre of stuff compared to a housefull is manageable.

rest up! relax and find your sewing machine quick!

lol

{ elle } on: 15 July 2010 at 09:29 said...

Welcome home! Nice to look thru your camera lens. We all have our piles and yours reminded me of cleaning day when I was a kid. I'd collect everything and dump it on my mum's dresser. She didn't mind clutter but I did. LOL

{ Sarah Craig } on: 15 July 2010 at 14:31 said...

So glad you're back! I didn't realize how much I missed seeing your PickleDish logo (which constantly inspires me - I love that FMQ!) until I clicked on your new post and saw it again! Great pics, too!

{ Lee } on: 15 July 2010 at 18:12 said...

glad you had a good trip. Yep trans Atlantic flights are not good in the middles seat. I had to do alone it a number of times with three kids under 11. My dad's favourite motto about travelling."time to spare, fly by air" for all the hiccups that happen along the way. Only stuff on the d/r table, that is pretty good and a husband that knows how to clean is awesome

{ Claudia } on: 16 July 2010 at 12:22 said...

I'm sure it's good to be home, Lesly. I enjoyed your pictures of Berlin - sounds like an interesting trip.

{ Jennifer Blosser } on: 17 July 2010 at 23:54 said...

That Guess add made me squeal outloud! What a great trip.

Hugs & stitches,
Jennifer

{ Miri } on: 18 July 2010 at 09:36 said...

We had a wonderful trip to Berlin last fall and saw the same things you did-but not the food court at KaDeVe...too bad-that caviar looked good (and expensive! :)

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