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A Series of (Mostly) Fortunate Events: A Germany Trip Report

I made it to Germany in late August for a 10-night trip. The primary impetus for the trip was a wedding. A young man from my town was marrying a German young lady from a small town in the Frankenwald (Franconian Forest). Any trip to Germany, of course, is a good excuse to visit my favorite city, Berlin.

I flew round trip from my local airport (GSP) to Atlanta to Frankfurt to burn some frequent flyer miles. The Germany itinerary was as follows: Bad Steben x 2 nights, Chemnitz x 1 night, Berlin x 6 nights, and Frankfurt x 1 night.

The Bad Beginning

So, I lost my carry on at the beginning of the trip. I’m one of those physically and mentally exhausted healthcare workers working in a state where “please get vaccinated” and “please wear a mask” are fightin’ words. I had about 5 hours of sleep each of the 3 nights before departure and had a ton of work stuff to accomplish during my layover in Atlanta, which dominated my thinking as I got off the plane. I grabbed my backpack but forgot to grab my spinner out of the overhead compartment. Rookie mistake. After about 3 hours of feverish office work, I realized I forgot my spinner. Panic!

The lovely Lorraine at the Delta Concourse D help desk spent an hour trying to locate my bag, shooing away other flyers who needed help (including one who approached the counter in tears) and sending them to the nearby bank of telephones to call customer service so she could continue the search for my bag. She even called the Knoxville outstation (the plane’s next stop) to see if perhaps the bag had made it there and been unloaded. No luck. Happily, my backpack had my laptop and my important documents, and there was nothing of great value in my spinner. So… I headed off to Germany with a small backpack and the clothes on my back.

The Delightful Driver

Once in Frankfurt, I needed to get to Bad Steben. Track work made the train trip a bit complicated, so I decided to try the Daytrip service (formerly My Daytrip). It’s a bit pricey, I’m not going to lie, but I had a great driver. We both happen to be building houses. The lumber for my house came from Germany; the lumber for his house came from Canada. Go figure.

We made stops at Volkach, a cute town in the Franconian Wine Region (thanks, mchpp, for the recommendation) and BAM!berg, which I’m pretty sure is Emeril Lagasse’s favorite German town. Both towns had very nice medieval architecture, and I enjoyed wandering them a little on my own. I bought a Red Bull in Volkach to try to fight jet lag and bought socks and underwear in Bamberg. My visit to the men’s underwear section of the Karstadt department store made me realize that there are a lot of men in Germany walking around in indecent underwear.

The Wonderful Wedding

Bad Steben is a nice little Frankenwald town with a spa built on a thermal spring. It has some grand old buildings. I stayed in the small family-owned Gästehaus Prinzregent Luitpold where my single room with breakfast was priced right at 51 euro per night. I was greeted on arrival by the owner’s teenage son, who checked me in. Great room. Great breakfast. Great stay.

I had been warned by some German acquaintances that a German wedding is a full-day affair. It was! The service began at 1 pm in a church that would delight any fan of brutalist architecture (despite the town being a part of West Germany). The post-service festivities at the church took on a very Bavarian feel when two large 3-foot pieces of a log were rolled out with nails sticking out of them in the shape of a heart – one for the groom, one for the bride. Both were to hammer the nails into their respective log – the bride with a large mallet and the groom with a small hammer. I’m not exactly sure what the first one to finish the task got, but the bride was the winner. The groom’s prize was to have the blood drained from under the nail of the thumb he hit with the hammer.

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Then, there was what seemed like a very un-German procession from the church to the reception hall with a car with the bride and the groom in the lead, followed by the attendees blowing their horns and waiving at people along the street who waved back. Then Küchen (cake). Then pictures. Then activities. Then dinner. Then the wedding reception program with speeches and a performance. Finally, the dance floor opened at 10:30 pm. Ol’ Dave cut out at 11 pm since he had places to go the next day.

The Sweet Senior

I caught an early train out of Bad Steben the next morning (Sunday). Two of us got on the train – an Oma-looking lady and me. We entered the same passenger car – her through the front doors and me through the back doors. A kid from my town had given me a Beanie Baby bear with a German flag on it a few years ago; the bear’s name is Germania (not my choice but that of the Beanie Baby people). She travels with me, and I often put photos of her up on Facebook. I pulled out the bear to take pictures on the train, but of the dozens and dozens of empty seats on the train, the Oma decided to sit in the seat directly across the aisle from me. So… do I take pictures of the bear riding on the train and look like a nut or just skip the pictures? I decided I wanted pictures, but I did not want to look like a nut.

So… I leaned over to the lady and in German said, “Excuse me. I am a [occupation] from the United States. A kid gave me this German bear. It travels with me in Germany, and I take pictures of the bear in Germany. I am not crazy!” She smiled, and we chatted for a bit. After we concluded our conversation, I turned to taking pictures of the bear; she turned to texting on her flip-top phone. After a few stops, I heard her say something and looked over to see her offering me a piece of homemade cake – yellow cake with fresh blueberries from her garden baked on top. She said she had another piece for herself and wanted me to have her cake. I was full from breakfast but ate her delicious cake and thanked her for it. What a nice Oma! And a nice reminder that knowing a bit of the local language can lead to nifty experiences.

The Cool Concert

A nice coincidence of the trip was that on the day following the wedding, my favorite band (Revolverheld) was playing in Chemnitz, my destination from Bad Steben. The band was playing on Theaterplatz, a regal old square with an opera house, a glorious church with a soaring bell tower, and a museum. It’s gorgeous. I had reserved a reasonably priced room across the street from Theaterplatz at Hotel an der Oper for 59 euro. I got a great room for that price that looked directly onto Theaterplatz. The room had huge windows that opened completely and would never be found in a US hotel. I got to watch (and hear) the band’s sound check and could have watched the show from my window, but I headed down to the concert when the gates opened and was admitted to the venue more due to the exasperation of the COVID-19 checker guy than the power of my CDC card. A great show!

The Aspirational Attire

The next day, I was off to Berlin to stay at my favorite lodging place in the world… mittendrin… boutique hotel/B&B in a flat near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the former West Berlin. Lovely hostess Sabine, a former stage actress in Munich, runs this 4-room hotel in a flat in a building built in 1905 (as I recall). Breakfast with other guests is around a large table in the common area.

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I often read the posts here of travelers who aspire to blend in with the locals. The typical response on the forum is always, “They know by your clothes you’re not a local and/or that you are an American.” After five days in the same outfit, it was time to add a second set of clothes to my travel ensemble. Would buying a European outfit change my experience of Berlin? I grabbed some black jeans and a Euro-cut shirt at the department store and found the dressing rooms closed. So I just bought the clothes without trying them on.

After my shower the next morning, I slid on the shirt. Not bad! I pulled on the pants. Let’s just say I would be totally aware of the most adept pickpocket putting his hand in any of my pockets. I walked out to the common area of the B&B and asked the owner what she thought. She chuckled and said, “Sehr modern!” I asked her if I looked like an old guy trying to be cool. She responded with a big belly laugh and a facial expression that screamed “yes.”

Oh, well. Out into the streets of Berlin I went after breakfast. I ended up wearing this outfit for the next 4 or 5 days. Did my aspirational clothes result in different experiences? Perhaps a couple…

  • A German late teen male seemed to be selectively stopping people on the street to talk to them. He saw me and approached. He asked, “Do you want to give money to a punk rocker so he can get drunk?” I smiled and said, “No, thank you.” He looked disappointed that the middle-aged Eurohipster cool kid wannabe did not respond more positively.
  • I picked up a couple of things while in Germany (like a German Bluray player so I can watch European DVDs/Blurays in the US). So, I needed a… spinner! Off to another department store to buy this. I narrowed my choice down to two. The sales lady approached to help. As I contemplated, she pointed to the red spinner (that was on sale!) and said, “This one is German. It is built strong. It will last you forever. That one… [she sighed and shrugged her shoulders] is made by an American company.” I bought German.

The Aimless Ambulations

I enjoy a little aimless wandering on trips, often targeting a park as a part of the exploring. One afternoon in Berlin, I decided to finish the day by taking the U2 to its terminus, Pankow, with the plan to find something interesting to see after I got there. I found a park on Google Maps and headed in that direction. At the edge of the park was Schloss Schönhausen, a former palace that I learned served as the seat of government for East Germany’s first and only President. It was later turned into a guest house for foreign diplomats visiting the DDR and was the place where Gorbachev stayed when he participated in the DDRs 40th anniversary celebration. It was a nifty find for this Cold War history enthusiast. The grounds now are a public space and were filled with area residents hanging out, enjoying the 70-degree weather. Nice vibe/atmosphere.

My second wandering adventure was Potsdam. I had previously seen the palaces there but had not wandered much. I ended up in the Dutch quarter, where I picked up a piece of pottery from Königsblau Keramik and then headed east, finding a park (!) and a Soviet cemetery with dates on the graves from late 1945 to 1946. A grand Soviet statue celebrating the dead stood at the center of the well-kempt cemetery. Given that WWII hostilities had ended by the time these men died, I found myself wondering if this was the cemetery of the ignoble – the troops who got drunk and then got run over by a truck or some such thing. Per my Berlin guide Robert, Gorbachev’s only condition for permitting German reunification was the preservation of Soviet memorials by the unified government, so there are still many Soviet memorials throughout East Germany.

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The Marvelous Museums

Berlin has great museums. I’ve been to most of the biggies. The ones I visited on this trip included the following:

  • Dokumentationszentrum Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung. This is a new Berlin museum that deals with refugees and forced migration. The first floor exhibit addresses forced migration as it applies to Europe in general; the second floor very specifically deals with the experience of German refugees at the end of WWII. It’s a bit of a controversial museum as some feel that a museum with an exhibit dealing with the German experience of post-WWII hardship perhaps does not have a place given what happened to Jewish and other persecuted people groups during WWII. I found it to be a worthwhile museum. Entry is free.
  • The Berlin Jewish Museum. I have been to Berlin several times, and the Jewish Museum has always been on my list of places to go but got bumped for some reason. This time, I made it! It explores the history of Jews in Berlin and their experience there. Certainly, there is reference to WWII and the Holocaust, but much less than I expected. Free entry for the regular exhibit, but I paid 8 euro to see a special exhibit.
  • Museum Barberini in Potsdam. This is a fairly new museum (opened 2017) with an impressive collection of Impressionist paintings, including 32 by Monet -- the largest collection of his paintings outside France. I liked this museum a lot. My favorite painting was one by Monet of Venice, complete with a faint representation of a gondolier rowing his gondola.
  • Museum in Kulturbrauerei. This is the free, non-profit DDR Museum in Berlin. I have been through the regular exhibit in the past but went to the Museum to see a special photography exhibit on life in the former DDR from 1991 to 1994. The exhibit was great (but has since ended).

The Historic Heights

I had two day trips planned for my time in Berlin, but only one came to fruition – a trip to see Seelow Heights, the site of the largest battle during WWII between Soviet and German forces on German soil. I don’t want to be a spoiler, so I won’t say who won. I did the day trip with guide Robert Sommer (PhD, tour guide, former 15-year-old son of a fairly high-ranking DDR official who was falling into the DDR punk music underworld at the time the Berlin Wall fell) and our driver Jürgen (who defected from the DDR to West Germany but now lives in the former DDR again).

At the Heights, there is a small but good museum. There is also a large Soviet memorial. Ruins of houses from the battle are still present in the area. Some distance from the heights is the Soviet field headquarters, where the outlines of trenches and dug-out defensive posts still mark the land. Soviet General/Marshal Zhukov’s bunker still stands, as does his place for viewing the battlefield. Both were visited.

The day trip continued with a visit to the former German fortress city Küstrin, (now Kostrzyn in Poland) which was destroyed by the Soviets. The interior of the enormous wall-enclosed fortress town is somewhat eerie – kind of like a modern Pompeii. The wide central boulevard that passed through the center of the city is now grass, but the sidewalks are still present. Raised ruins are all over the place. One part of the fortress wall still exists and houses a museum. Not a must-see sight, but a great-see sight for WWII history buffs.

The final stop was the Neuhardenburg Airport. The airport was part of the German war apparatus during WWII and became a part of the DDR defense apparatus postwar. During DDR times, the airport served as a base for 48 Mig 21 aircraft that were to intercept any incoming West German/US bombers/fighters. Military transport helicopters were based at the airport, too, and our guide at the airport was a former DDR helicopter pilot. I got to sit in a Mig 21 cockpit!

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The Transportation Troubles

The end of my trip fell during a train strike. It knocked out one of my day trips (replaced by the trip to Potsdam). It also impacted all the non-stop trains from Berlin to Frankfurt. So, I decided to turn to Daytrip again to get a driver. My Frankfurt-to-Bad-Steben driver Michal showed up at the B&B at 9:30 am to take me to Frankfurt. It was, once again, a pricey endeavor. And we hit a Stau (traffic jam) that added about 2 hours to the trip, but I made it to Frankfurt the afternoon before my flight, as planned. I stayed at the Motel One Frankfurt Römer. I love the Motel One chain, and this hotel provided a great location for exploring Frankfurt’s old town. The strike knocked out the S going to the airport, so I hired a driver to get me to the airport, too – this time through Blacklane. I didn’t really consider the strike a particularly onerous thing. It’s part of life (and travel) in Europe.

The Gifted Guide

For my last afternoon/evening in Germany, I had a tour with Jo from Frankfurt on Foot. Jo kindly waited for me for an hour in my hotel lobby in Frankfurt while my driver and I negotiated the Stau. She gave an excellent walking tour of Frankfurt. The topic of Spaghetti Eis somehow came up. I mentioned that I had seen it but never tried it. Jo said, “We have to get some Spaghetti Eis!” We ended the tour with ice cream treat, and it was quite good. After that, Jo offered to show me a few more things in Frankfurt, which was much appreciated. If you think Frankfurt has little to offer, take a tour with Jo, and she will show you otherwise (or just watch her videos on her YouTube page).

The Cantankerous Californian

Ah, yes. What would a trip report be without sharing the story of a loud, obnoxious American? I got to the Frankfurt airport early on the morning of departure. I had a business class seat, and there were a handful of us waiting in line for the Priority check-in queue to open with good, solid social distancing in place. An older couple walked up and the female loudly said, “Where’s the line for first class? We have first class! Oh, here it is.” She moved into position directly behind the first person in line, apparently unaware that others were in line but socially distanced. When check-in opened, a Delta agent at the entry to the queue checked passports and COVID-19 tests; she then sent people into the queue for the counter agents to provide tickets and handle checked bags. When the agent opened the queue, she announced, “I’m going to check documents slowly at first because the counter agents aren’t quite ready yet.” The agent was very chatty with the first couple in line, trying to buy some time for the baggage check staff to be ready to go. The Californian (I looked at the tag on her luggage) said, “Well, she’s going to have a long conversation with them! We’re never going to get through this line at this rate!” (remember, she was #2 in line). She kept fuming. Finally, I leaned forward and explained the situation to her. She calmed. She was high maintenance with the queue agent, the counter agent, the gate agents, and the flight attendants.

The End

The flight home was uneventful. Another great Germany trip was in the books. Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, I pulled out the laptop to start working on the trip report. Lemony Snicket came to mind, as did a plan for the trip report. I tried to find a way to end the report with the last word of the 13th book (the single most satisfying word I ever read in a book), but it made the trip report more unwieldy than it already is.

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2883 posts

Loved your report but will there be a postscript? Was the original spinner ever found?

EDIT: and as a former junior high librarian I think you did an admirable job channeling Daniel Handler.

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1957 posts

Bravo, Dave! You have immersed yourself in the world again and I am impressed with both the Lemony Snicket analogy and the wonderful travel tales. So glad you got out there again!

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2814 posts

Loved, loved, loved your series of (mostly) fortunate events! I am still laughing out loud.
Thanks for sharing!

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Mona,

The original spinner was not found. It's in a Delta warehouse somewhere weeping. It just had clothes, a few toiletries, and a few adapters in it. I wear inexpensive clothes, so no great loss.

On Daniel Handler... did you notice that there were 13 headings to match the 13 books 🙂? I deleted "The Perilous Pandemic" as a section to keep it at 13. I decided it made for a better read without pandemic talk anyways.

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290 posts

I loved your trip report. My favorite part was the wedding traditions. That sounded like a fun occasion. Sorry about the loss of your luggage. Your report sounds like you are fluent in German. How did you become that way?

Thanks for giving the rest of us hope about returning to European travel.

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12357 posts

Very interesting and enlightening report. Thanks

Just walking around and exploring Potsdam is super interesting and revealing. I first got there as part of guided tour from Berlin (west) (that was the only way one could see the place in the cold war days) in 1987 ....one of my favourite small towns in Germany for visiting over and over.

I was in Küstrin an der Oder a few years ago, It is very revealing not only pertaining to WW 2 history, especially with regard to 1945, but also its connection to Prussian history. The museum with materials and explanations only in Polish and German focuses on the former Altstadt. Going through the poignant ruins is like being in Pompei.

Part of Küstrin is in Germany, the small district of Kietz, west of the Oder. The rest of the city is obviously part of Poland.

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4998 posts

Wow, I enjoyed reading the report. The first coupe of days takes the cake - literally.

Losing the Spinner made for a different set of experiences, for better or worse.The black jeans thing was similar to a ski jacket I got on closing day this ski season, just as the store was closing, so didn’t try it on. Too-small jacket (no returns on close-outs) makes it hard to breathe. Bigger pants can always get a belt. Smaller pants can be hard to get on … and maybe painful in certain places!

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9784 posts

You have inspired me to resurrect my University-studied German (a thousand years ago). Thanks for the delightful read.

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140 posts

Nice! I adore Revolverheld. Saw them a few years ago.

We do pictures with Ugly Dolls or reading a book, so I loved hearing about Germania. And I definitely made note of your hotels, particularly in Berlin. We haven't been in a few years, and while we often do day trips, we've been toying with the idea of another overnighter.

Thanks for sharing!

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Janet,

I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

Here's one more wedding tradition that happened at the church: a large heart had been drawn on a bed sheet. The heart, as I recall, had good wishes from some of the attendees written on it. The bride and groom were given scissors and once again raced to see who cut out their side of the heart first. Once the heart was cut out, the couple walked through the cut out heart in the sheet (actually, the groom carried the bride through the cut out, but I'm not sure if that's German or the groom reverting to his American ways. The heart is supposed to hang in the couple's home for some period of time.

I'm not fluent. I like to say I speak German like a three- or four-year-old. It's a lot of subject-verb-object with the occasional adjective, adverb, or prepositional phrase thrown in. My first trip to Europe was to Salzburg in 2014. I heard the teens and young adults talking in German, and I thought it sounded super cool. I thought, "I want to be able to talk like that!" I started learning German in 2015, but I haven't done much with it the last 2 years. I tried Pimsleur first. It helped me say things, but if the person I was speaking to had not listened to the Pimsleur tapes, they did not know how to respond correctly 🙂. I played with DuoLingo a bit. It's good for vocabulary, but I'm not sure how good it is for true communication. The best thing for me was taking lessons via Skype from a native speaker using italki.com as the platform to find and pay tutors.

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Fred! You, of course, are the inspiration for the Seelow Heights day trip! Thanks for pointing me in that direction. It was a great experience.

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Cyn,

The jeans were the right size. I think that was the intended cut 🙂. Happily, the shirt hung down over most of the tight region, making me a little less self conscious about it.

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2598 posts

HowllinMad,

I love it when I get an "Echt?!?!" out of a young adult. I got one from a young adult female staying at the B&B/hotel in Berlin with her young adult brother when I mentioned going to the Revolverheld show. The band's frontman is one of the best in the music business to me -- super entertaining but comes across as just a regular guy up there on stage. it was my third time seeing the band.

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388 posts

Thanks for this great trip report/story! Made me laugh, especially the "I am not crazy" speech.

I hope you came home in a better mental state than you left -- we are traveling to Spain in December with another family, and there are 5 healthcare workers amongst the 10 of us. They are raring to get away!!

Tough times, and thanks for what you do every day.

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8236 posts

It was a pleasure reading your trip report. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I agree with you about Jo and Frankfurt on Foot. Frankfurt has more to offer than I ever imagined. It’s a shame it gets dismissed by so many people. I had my first and only Spaghetti Eis with Jo. What did you think of it?

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6721 posts

What would a trip report be without sharing the story of a loud,
obnoxious American?

In short, better! No need to let somethng petty and negative live rent free in your head. I enjoyed the rest of your report very much, but not that part. The whole caste system on airlines is insufferable, and some people take it too much as a mark of their worth and being.

I'm glad you had a wonderful time and took the spinner snafu in stride. Your writing style is very compelling and enjoyable to read, by the way.

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2883 posts

Dave I hadn’t noticed your strict adherence to 13 chapters, just your appropriate The Bad Beginning and The End. I too am glad you (and your in head editor) chose to not ruin the report with a 14th chapter, The Perilous Plague. Thank you for sparing us that detail.

BTW we first had Spaghetti Eis at a riverside cafe along the Weser River on a Baron von Münchhausen trek. It was the first of many for our teenaged boys in the summer of 1990. We were visiting the home and museum in Bodenwerder.

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1947 posts

I'd like to think there's a chapter called An American Spinner in someone else's trip report, in which he regales his readers with humorous stories of picking it up accidentally; trying desperately to find the owner at the airport; then ultimately heading off to his brother's birthday party wearing slightly baggy clothes, clearly of the American tourist variety: not a dig on your sartorial preferences Dave - never having seen your clothes - just a humorous appreciation of the probable differences.

I bet you'll be glad of that "rookie mistake" every time you use that sturdy new German made spinner!

I will be glad of this trip report when I finally plan my trip to Berlin and need ideas!

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25771 posts

great storybook/report loved it yup

Love Jo. She really lights up Frankfurt!

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2598 posts

DebVT,

Thanks for the kind words. I did come back refreshed. The train strike worked in my favor a bit. I took a lazy day in Berlin on my last day and just hung out in the immediate area of my accommodation, had an early dinner, and went to bed early. It was nice.

I hope you and your healthcare friends have a great trip!

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2598 posts

Andrea,

I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, and I ate the Spaghetti Eis at about 7 or 8 pm. It was delicious. I would have liked it even if I were not quite so hungry.

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2598 posts

No need to let somethng petty and negative live rent free in your
head.

I find it more humorous than negative 🙂, but I understand where you are coming from. I respect your opinion and will take your thoughts under advisement for future trip reports. Glad you liked the rest of it!

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25771 posts

I think that CWSocial has just the right idea - I need to see An American Spinner

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2598 posts

Mona,

I've spent the last 60 minutes of my life reading up on the Baron. I'm super intrigued. He did not make an appearance in my childhood, but seems like a pretty interesting figure. I've used his name many times, but I never knew the man behind the eponymous syndrome. I'm going to read the book, and Bodenwerder is now on the list of places to visit. Apparently there is a statue of him in Königsberg/Kaliningrad, too (which is already on the list of places to see, but has a new site to see there). Thanks for sharing. Did you teenage sons have other literary adventures in Germany in 1990?

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2598 posts

CWSocial--

I actually kind of love my new German spinner 🙂.

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12357 posts

Hi,

Thanks. I'm glad I was able to help. The museum at Seelow (Gedenkstätte Seelower Hoehen ) has changed from when I saw it first in 2011.

In 2017 en route to Frankfurt an der Oder I went back to see the whole place again (the memorial site, museum, the display of tanks outside, the little book shop inside, etc) and found the museum apart from tech modifications had changed a bit content-wise.

Keep plugging away at the German. Übung macht den Meister !

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1078 posts

Thank you for the thoroughly enjoyable trip report! Makes me again feel things are right with the world. :) (as I sit in beautiful Slovenia).

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4700 posts

The Rousing Report

Thanks for this, Dave. I'll join a previous poster who admired your writing style. Entertaining and informative. And I admire the way you rolled with the punch of losing the spinner.

I'm planning a 10-day Berlin trip in a few weeks, including a day in Potsdam, so I was especially interested in learning about the Museum Barberini, which gets little attention in the RS guidebook. It website shows no time slots in the week of October 17-23, for some reason, so maybe I'll move things around to be there the preceding week when there are plenty. Would it be realistic to try to see both palaces + Barberini + Potsdam Museum in one long day? Would Cecilienhof be "a bridge too far"?

Thanks again, and thanks for the health care work you're doing when not gallivanting around Germany in tight pants.

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2598 posts

Dick --

The time slots for Museum Barberini open 4 weeks ahead of time. The slots just have not opened yet for the week you want to get them. They should be open within the next week.

The distances between the four sites are pretty decent (except between the Potsdam Museum and Museum Barberini). It would not be impossible, but you would want to use every minute wisely between Sanssouci's 9 am opening time and Museum Barberini's 7 pm closing time. I've never gone inside the palace at Sanssouci. I've just wandered the grounds, but the insides of palaces don't interest me that much. I have toured Cecilienhof because I love, love, love WWII history.

It's looking like I will likely be back in Berlin Oct 22-25.

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2598 posts

Agnes--

Not too far off 😁

Just think black jeans instead of white

Posted by
1268 posts

Indeed, Dave, thanks for all you do at home, for an engaging trio report, and Opening the door to imagining the journeys of An American Spinner in Knoxville (my apologies to Gershwin)

Posted by
932 posts

Thanks for sharing your Germany experience!

I always enjoy reading something from the opposite perspective, for instance about that wedding as a "full-day affair" - or a "full-night affair", rather, since it will usually be celebrated until very late at night, or very early in the morning, depending on how you look at it. We have been fortunate to experience a few weddings in other countries, and every single time, we were surprised when they were suddenly over, and we haven't even really had dinner, have we?

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1956 posts

Loved your report, Dave! And your entertaining writing style. Glad you enjoyed yourself in spite of the spinner bag snafu.

Posted by
1939 posts

Thank you for a truly enjoyable morning read, complete with many, many giggles and mental images of you and your various adventures.

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12357 posts

Hi,

Great that you have another chance going back to Berlin in October !

If you have the time, I have a restaurant recommendation. Try out what is the oldest restaurant in Berlin. I have been there twice, both times at dinner, walkable from Alexanderplatz, called "Zur letzten Instanz". Good traditional Brandenburg cuisine with its selection of Berlin Biere.

Good that you had opportunities to use the German. Communicating in the local language makes it more effective.

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2598 posts

Hey, Fred. Thanks for the restaurant recommendation. i will look it up.