Sunday, July 6, 2014

Post 10 Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday and Thursday

On Wednesday, after we spent our first night in Berlin, I woke up in the Motel One and went to breakfast.  No hot foods, there was meats and cheeses, cereals, and some fruit salad.  We boarded a bus to take a tour of the city by sightseeing. It was a chartered bus and not one of the sightseeing buses.  Our guide, Katarina, was describing the landmarks.  We seemed to skim some of the sights though. This was our dress up day (as in suits) because we were visiting one of TOP's top patrons.  We went to Deutche Bank Q110, which is prototype bank opened in 2005.  As you enter this location you encounter some automatic teller machines on one side, then a sales area selling China and wines.  One the right side of the bank where was a treadmill with a screen on changing scenes behind it, then encountered a scale of a human heart that is the same scale as a Blue Whale's heart, and then there was a Ping pong table.  Further back there was lounge furniture, some restaurant tables, and finally a coffee bar.  And there were some conference rooms off the side.  There are tellers with kiosks but not the conventional teller stands that we know of.  We had a tour of the facility and the host described the function. Of each area.  The sales area changed every quarter of the year and where there was fitness and health displays, that gets changed out quarterly as well.  The bank serves as an experiment facility for the rest of the bank's operations in the country.
We then moved onto  Checkpoint Charlie by foot.  There was an interesting read of posters on construction walls, but this was a tourist trap as this was a facsimile of the real thing and those portraying U.S. Shoulders were disgracing to the uniform they were wearing. We then took a U-bah train to a neighborhood and walked for a while to a neighborhood in the east.  We went into a neighborhood and went up three f
Odors to listen to a three hour lecture by a Political Science professor on German society today from education to the gap in stalls of American restrooms.  I was falling asleep during the first hour and had to stand up.  There was a break after the first hour and took a short five minute nap and felt well ever since.
After that, we walked to an Asian restaurant and I had lamb Mandarin.  It was pretty good!  We returned to the hotel and then went back out to out to the Brandenburg Gate at night.  We took a train and got lost on the way to the Gate.  After a fee detours we finally got to the Gate and admired it a night.  Walked about 3 kilometers back to the hotel.

Thursday was a busy day as well.  We started off by taking a train an Economic Studies office and the discussion was about the European Union.  I wasn't very interested in it.  Some of us went to memorials and some to museums.  I chose memorials.  We went to the Reichstag and other government structures.  Walked to the Tiergarten and saw a memorial to the persecution of Jews, Brandenburg Gate,  Jewish Houlocaust Memorial which was a field of over 2,000 steles.  We had lunch at an Italian place where I had pizza.
We then took a tour of Berlin Wall.  Very interesting considering the immediately of the one Sunday morning in 1961.  There are portions of the wall and some stories that go along with it.
We had the option to take a river cruise down the Spree.  That was refreshing and then some of us took a tram to a progressive neighborhood to a Biergarten called Pratergarten.  This was a self service and full service Biergarten. We went to the fill service side and I had meatloaf with mushrooms and mashed potatoes.  Our guide then took us to a former brewery that was used as a Nazi prison in WWII that had been renovated to a culture center with different workshops and restaurants as well as a grocery store.  We then went back to the hole by tram!

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