Retreat from Berlin

Trip Start Jul 15, 2007
Trip End Jul 16, 2008

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Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, September 4, 2007


The American invasion of Berlin has been turned back, defeated by rain and cold.

We slept in this morning, enjoying the luxury of Marriott beds and two separate rooms, paid for by the very last of Amy's stockpiled Marriott Rewards points.  At 11:00 a.m., we went out for our walking tour of the city, clad in shorts and rain jackets.  Leaving the hotel, we found 50 degree weather and a driving rain.  (That's Fahrenheit, not centigrade -- we're not in India yet.)

After the inevitable stop at Starbucks, we soldiered on bravely for about three blocks, then turned back to the hotel.  It is really miserable out there.  After a second stop at Starbucks for another decaf for Amy (Venti, with extra room for skim milk), we are now back in the room.  The kids are in a hot tubby, getting ready for a visit to the indoor pool on the second floor, and I'm about to pack up the laptop for an afternoon in the Business Center catching up on office tasks.

I'm reminded of a Churchill speech to the Canadian Parliament during the darkest days of the Second World War:  "What kind of people do they [the Germans] think we are?  Do they think we have come all this way, across the oceans, across the mountains and deserts, across the centuries, because we are made of sugar candy?"

At least for today, we are (weak-willed Americans made of sugar candy, that is).  Hoping for better weather tomorrow, we plan to renew the assault.


After yesterday's stress over the train ride, we were ready to continue the storming of the world. Our first snag was breakfast. We had a choice, the one hundred dollar- Marriott breakfast or the Starbucks down the street. Naturally we chose Starbucks. However, Katharine refused to stop her vegetarian ideals. When we went outside again it became apparent that the weak willed Americans could not keep up with the rapidly changing Berlin weather. Auf weidersehen for now, Jack.
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mwengler on

Berlin Wall? Trabants?
The last (only) time I was in Berlin was 1992. There were Trabants abandoned all over the city. The wall was mostly, but not all, down, and new roads between East and West Berlin were being completed almost daily. We did see a bombed out church in East Berlin complete with bullet holes still in it, we were told the East Germans liked to leave that stuff around to help the people not like the Brits and Americans too much.

I hope you can listen to some Bach at the Brandenburg Gate, and that you see some Tier in the Tiergarten!

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