A week in Berlin – Part One

I’m (or at least was when I started this)sitting on the plane headed back from my week in Berlin, and what a week it’s been. Between the conference and a few days of playing tourist it’s been packed to the rim most days started around 7:30-8:00am and it was usually 1:00am before my head was hitting the pillow each night.

I’m going to summarize the week over a series of posts this week as one post would just be way too long. There’s no way I would get around to writing all this out fully so I’m going to take the approach of just posting the SMS/Twitter/Facebook style messages I would have posted (had my phone worked over there).

If you’re not a travelogue-y kind of person feel free to skip these – There’s some conference/industry stuff that I’ll flesh out into full posts later as well.

Day One

10:00

  • Leaving Frankfurt a little later than expected – Plane in Frankfurt had just arrived from Turkey and the passengers required “Extra Border Protections”.
  • FYR > TEG: already missing the Boeing 777 we flew over on. The Lufhtansa plane we’re getting on now is a rickety old thing.
  • Ugh. Someone on the last flight had horrendous B.O.
  • Heh. Scent seems to be only in First Class. :)

11:15

  • Jesus. Tegal is one long airport – especially when dragging two large @ capacity suitcases. Trying to get to information desk to figure out buses.

11:30

  • Still walking. Wondering if we should have just started into town.

11:40

  • Finally found info booth. Berlin Transit (BVG) has bus (TXL) we can take. Stops right in front of hotel. 2 Euros – sweet!
  • Bus has also become a inexpensive tour now. Just passed Brandenburg Gate among other places of interest.

12:30
DSC08483

  • Unpacking and Getting settled. Meeting RK in 30 min.
  • Hotel room looks as if it were designed by former set designer for the adult film industry.
  • T-Mobile hot spot is workin’ for free. Bonus.
  • Just gonna lie down for a few minutes before meeting back up with RK

13:00

  • zzzzz…..

14:00

  • Just woken up by Robinson. Turns out I passed out cold. He got concerned and had hotel security open the door – just makin’ sure I wasn’t dead or something.
  • Groggily head out for lunch.

DSC0846114:20

  • Wow. Berlin TV Tower really has that communist “Big brother”/”We’re watching you” vibe to it.
  • Waitress doesn’t understand “Water” but “Still Water” makes perfect sense – what’s up with that.
  • “Water with Gas” – not sounding appealing. Wonder what German for “Sparkling Water” is
  • Restaurant Credit Card machine is “Kaput”. Suddenly very glad I got Euros before I came, half of them now gone.

15:15

  • Walking around Alexandarplatz & area.
  • Found a neat church that’s undergoing some serious renovations – interesting fund raiser idea: buy a chunk of glass and glue it on a big pane of glass in a “paint-by-numbers” kind of way – DIY stained glass, nice.
  • Glue fumes getting me a massive headache heading back outside.

DSC0847116:00

16:30

  • Back in the hotel. Quick email check and then heading out for dinner.
  • Trying SkypeOut with my funky Mouse/USB phone. Cost .15 cents to call home. Nice!

17:45

  • @ dinner with Chris from Hot Banana. He just happens to be in town at the same time.
  • Remarking on how it’s funny that Chris is from Barrie & we’re in Toronto yet we meet for the first time in Berlin.
  • Damn. No credit cards again – Chris saves the day as we’re light on Euros. We owe Chris a dinner & drinks back on the Canadian side.

20:00

  • ATM hunting. Trying to figure out how no one seems to take credit cards AND yet there appears to be no ATMs either.
  • Sidetracked by Saturn, a big electronics store.

21:00

  • Finally exiting Saturn we find an ATM that was under our noses the whole time – stack of Euros now in hand. Crashing for the night.

To be continued…