From Tourist to Local

Trip Start Jul 11, 2008
Trip End Aug 06, 2008

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Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    Today I truly felt like a tourist, and then like a local.  To start off the morning we took a train from Martin's small town of 20,000 people to the center of Berlin.  "We"  including myself, Martin and his Mom, Regina.  Regina is just fascinating to hear her stories, of course Martin aides in the translation, but she was born in German Federal Republic West Berlin and lived and experienced the who climax and fall of the Cold War, of course, ending with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.  We saw numerous monuments throughout Berlin and went to the top of the Television Tower.  I also saw one of the most modernized train stations in the world, "Berlin Hauptbahnhof", only 3 years old.  We saw the Reichstag where Hitler gave his rally speeches and the Olympic Stadium that Hitler built for the 1936 Olympics.    I also got to try a Doener or Kekab, a Turkish specialty.  The Thurkish people come from the Turkey region and bring their food with them.  The situation is similar to California and the Mexican people
                After a full day of sightseeing, I got to join Martin for his baseball practice.   With a lack of appreciation for the sport in Germany, there are only 2 or 3 fields in all Berlin.  Therefore, they play on an Astroturf soccer field.  All the dimensions are the same, just the talent is a little below sub par.  They were amazed at how hard I threw and invited me to through them batting practice.  I did so... and did very well.  Following that, they asked to hit.  Sure enough, same result, and I ended with hitting one onto the highway, a good probably 375 feet.  When they had difficulty hitting it out of the infield, I was like Alex Rodriguez to them.  There coach's jaw hit the turf.   It was a pretty cool feeling.  For most of them, this was their first, second or third year playing and since they don't have softball, the girls play baseball as well.  The German's were very friendly and it was cool to blend in with the locals.  I must say, it was intimidating to hear their coach yell at players in German.  Probably a good thing I understood none of such. 
                Below is an abundance of photos, today definitely maxed out the memory card :)  (i will uplaod them tomorrow)
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