Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Final Post

Conclusion of Germany trip

Thank you for reading this blog of my trip.  All of these blogs have been typed on an iPad and I know there are some mechanical errors in the writing.  In the next couple of weeks I will revisit the blogs on my regular computer and add photos to go along with it.

Friday, July 4th was the final full day in Germany for our group.  We headed out the door at. 9:30 to visit Potsdam.  Potsdam was the location of the conference of the Allied leaders following the conclusion of the European side of World War II.  We toured the "house" that had belonged to a Prince up to 1945 that had over 100 rooms.  This is where the actual conference took place.  The delegations of United States, England, and the Soviet Union each had their own villas as headquarters nearby.  Potsdam is located about 45 minutes outside of Berlin and is seen as the "rich" suburb even if it is in a different states than Berlin.  Also Potsdam is surrounded by a series of lakes.  Most of these villas are located around the lakes.  Again, we toured the building where the conference mainly took place.  It was eerie to think that all of these powers existed and negotiated in this room almost 70 years ago.  There were photos and exhibits of of life at the conference over a month long period of time.  Upon the conclusion of the tour, we walked the paths along the grounds and walked around the exterior of the Marble Palace that belonged to another prince.  The view was spectacular along the lake.
We then continued walking back to where we started from and got to the lake shore again.  There was a poster displayed featuring the Berlin Wall that had been erected here in the early 1960s just 100 yards from where the historical conference was held just 15 years earlier.  We then had lunch at a Biergarten on site.  I was a combination counter service or sit down.  I opted for counter service and had a boulette.  This was basically a pork patty on a bun.  Since it was hot, we were invited inside to get some drinks.  There was a small brewery on site and we toured it.
Following our lunch we headed further down the road to Sansucci, which was the. Palace of Frederick the Great.  The grounds were modeled after Versailles in France.    These grounds were now park of a public park for all to enjoy.  There was a windmill on site that was there prior to Frederick and remained there after the windmill owner protested to Frederick.  We toured the grounds and took many pictures.  There was also a church on site that was very Protestant in its arrangement.    Then it was time to go to back to Berlin.  When we got into Berlin, people by the thousands were heading to the. Tiergarten for public viewing of the Germany World Cup game.  One of the members of our group jumped off the bus to go to the viewing.
Once we got back to Berlin, I washed up a bit and headed out to get some souvenirs.  I first went to Alexanderplatz to a Saturn store.  This is a mega electronics store.  I had to get my fix in.  I then went searching for souvenirs.  I didn't find many I liked and I didn't want anything fragile to take back.  I got some small items for family and  an Amplemann t-shirt to wear.
We got together as a group again and went by train to an Italian stay rant f or our wrap up dinner.  There, we said how great of a group it was.  I have to say this was a very cohesive group without any conflicts and everyone got along.  We went back to the hotel to make sure everything was packed up for the early rise the next morning.
I woke up a little after 4 am and took my stuff downstairs and we waited for the bus to the airport.  We drove to Berlin airport and got boarding passes and went through security.  I forgot I had a bottle of water in my bag, oops!  We took the one hour flight to Frankfurt where we had just a bit of a hard landing.  There was a layover of about 2 hours.  We boarded the aircraft and I fell asleep for a bit.  I woke up and thought we were in the air.  Nope, still taxiing after about 50 minutes and there were at least two babies nearby.  Yippie!
The flight lasted over 8 hours and we landed at Dulles.  We rode over to customs in a rolling lounge and it was smooth going through customs and getting the luggage, I met a shuttle for the Hyatt to stay there the night.
At the Hyatt I had a large room to rest for the evening.  I wanted something g to eat, but I wasn't going to pay high prices for food, but there were no restaurants nearby, so I walked about a mile to a plaza with many restaurants.  Most. Iterate he restaurants were small ethnic restaurants.  I opted for a BBQ restaurant,  I ate the food and saved some to take back to the hotel.  I went to sleep at 7 pm and at 3 I woke up and ate the rest of the food.  Still on European time!  I went back to sleep for a bit and at 6:39 woke up and walked a bit to McDonald's for breakfast.    I then walked some more and went back to the hotel.  I caught the shuttle to the airport for the flight back to Clarksburg.   One of my assistant principals and her husband was also on flight back, so I had someone to talk to a bit at the airport,  we loaded the plane and I had a window seat by the propellor.  I fell asleep through drink service!  The flight was smooth and I saw Tygart Dam!  We landed and the wait for luggage was longer than waiting at a large airport.  I believe it was due the many responsibilities of a limited amount of people.  Once I got the luggage, I drove home!
It was a great trip!

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